Angel – The beginning

Angel and Sixx are my two cats, litter mates, they were rescued from the wild as kittens and rehabilitated with their mother and sister.  Their mom and sister were adopted quite fast, Angel and Sixx remained at the animal haven for the first year of their lives.

Sixx thrived with human contact, he was very social and loved everyone and everything, Angel remained unsocial, still a bit ferrel, he was untrusting and wanting nothing to do with anyone or thing, except his brother.

Ursula, who runs Haven of the Heart, thought Sixx and Angel were lost causes, no one seemed interested in adopting the dual.  She was making arrangements to send them to her mother (her mom provides a loving home to any of Ursula’s rescued cats that didn’t seem to be a match for any forever homes).  That very day she was about to send them to her mom, I called and left a message that I was interested in adopting two cats and wondered if she had any bonded pairs.

She immediately thought of Sixx and Angel and called me back to come meet them.  Haven of the Heart is located in Palgrave, ON, at the time it was about a 45 minute drive from where I was living.  I made arrangements to go that weekend.

Upon meeting Ursula I got to see so many of the wonderful dogs and cats she rescued and was trying to find loving homes for.  She brought me to the “cat” house, while telling of her work in rehabilitating ferrel cats, how she found Sixx and Angel with their mom and sister and had rehabilitated them. She told me how Sixx was very social and very loving (which is VERY true) and that Angel was still a bit unsure and for me not to be surprised if I hardly saw him during my visit.

While she held Sixx and I petted him, Angel came out of hiding, he curled up on a cushion near me and I started to talk to him.  After a few minutes I slowly raised my arm to stroke his cheek.  Angel laid there and let me quietly talk to him and stroke the whole time.

Ursula remarked he has never done that with anyone, and while she usually never lets her pets go home after a first meeting, seeing how Angel responded to me, was good enough for her. I was free to take the boys if I wanted that day.

That was when the Angel I was warned about showed himself.  He would not let us crate him. We tried for 15 minutes and he was so stressed out, he hid, we all agreed it was not good for him, so I left with Sixx, while Ursula set up a live trap to get Angel so I could pick him up.

While  Sixx was settling in my home with Dupont,  I worried he’d forget his brother.  I waited as each day went by, Ursula hadn’t seen Angel at all, he wasn’t even coming out of hiding to eat.

On the third day I got a call, they trapped him.  We all agreed trying to remove him from the live trap into a crate would be too stressful for him and there was a good chance we’d lose him again to another hiding spot.

I drove out to Palgrave that evening, it was pouring rain, I remember it perfectly, I was so stressed out Angel and Sixx would have forgotten each other and it would be awful.

I got Angel home and he immediately hid.  He hid for days, to be honest he basically hid for years!  As he got more comfortable with he would come out to eat and interact with his Sixx, but if I went near him he fled.

I had planned to call the boys Nikki and Sixx (for my rock God Nikki Sixx), but Angel was so good at making himself disappear, I gave him the name of my favourite magician Criss Angel.

It wasn’t until about 2 years ago, (after we enlisted the help of an animal spiritual healer for one of my fosters – and she did all my pets), Angel started coming out when I was around, and letting me pet him.  But he still would retreat to his “hiding” places when people came over.  And if he did come out when others were around, he would not let them pet him, but they would still delight that they finally got to see Angel!! I was so proud of him as he was becoming so much more social and less fearful.  That was until I turned his world around and moved him across the country.

It was such a stressful time for me and the pack, but what I didn’t expect, was turning Angel’s world upside down would be exactly what he needed to fully trust me and his pack………..

 

 

Where are they now??????

One of the things I talk about a lot is the emotional toll fostering has.  It’s not easy but it’s SO rewarding, the rewards out weigh my heart hurting/breaking when one gets adopted.  I have been so fortunate to have met so many amazing families/people who have adopted my fosters and so many have stayed in touch.  I am so grateful to those who have.

Here is an update, on the amazing dogs I have helped get to their forever homes and live happily ever after.

  1. Dougie (now Beo)

My first foster, a stray from Dominican Republic , who had been bullied by other dogs and beaten by people.  Scared of everything from dogs, my cats, people to even snow banks.  I had him for 7 weeks, when his family came along.  Now – this amazing dog is best friends with his feline brother, is a daddy’s boy and Grandpa is one of his favourite people.

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2. Marti (party pup)

Marti was from Tennessee, he was a young lab mix, and although he and his litter were dumped and left to die, he was rescued and we estimated he was only about 1-2 years old. I had Marti for a week before his family found him and it was love at first site for them all.  Adopted by a family with triplet boys and a daughter, the kids love Marti as much today as they did when they first me him two years ago and he is only too happy to accept their love!

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3. Hanna

Dumped in the Everglades with her brother to survive on her own, Hanna was with me for only one day when her family wanted to meet her.  One week late she was adopted by a young family, with two young sons.  Hanna is so proud of her family and watches her “siblings” like a hawk, knowing they are her kids.  Hanna and her family recently took in a foster and did a great job helping Stella find her forever home.  I’m so proud of them for paying it forward and I also know how very kind hearted Hanna’s mom is.  I was her “sponsor” to ensure she didn’t fail (not that being a foster fail is a bad thing!).

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4. Dahlia

My foster fail…….enough said!  LOL.  She’s loving  life in B.C. and is constantly surprising me with her youthful spirit.

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5.  Lucy (my Lulu)

Lucy was from Mexico, adopted out as a pup, and surrendered at 3 years old because her parents are assholes (that’s my opinion anyway!).  Lucy was with us for a long time, 7 months, she was unsure of anyone she met, until she met her family.  Lucy’s dad passed away suddenly about 6 months after she was adopted, but she and her mom are doing well.  I truly believe Lucy was waiting to find the family who needed her most, she is such a special spirit.

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6.  Ben (my button/now Doug)

This little guy was my boggle dog, his head looked so much bigger than the rest of his body!  That is until his mom got him healthy and strong!  Ben was with me for about 2 months when he met his family.  He is currently recovering from minor surgery, he had dewclaws removed from his back legs and a cyst on his tail needed to be removed.  He’s causing his mom a lot of grief pulling his sutures (and then replacement staples out), but he’s loved and adored.  He and his mom are also paying it forward and have also taken to fostering to help other dogs be as lucky as Ben is!

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Sweet button helps his mom by lifting his legs when she’s changing his bandages.

7. Daisy (my Roo)

Sweet Daisy was 10 weeks old when I got her.  I had her for just a couple weeks when a friend of mine adopted her!!  She is having a great life and is growing into a beautiful young lady.  She has an older brother Bailey and sadly her feline brother, Alex, passed away this week.  I’m sure Daisy will provide lots of comfort for her mom.

8. Willie and Bambi (now Vanya)

My twins as I called them!  Willie and Bambi came to me from Antique at about 7 months old.  They were such fun fosters.  Unfortunately they were not adopted together but both have been adopted by amazing homes.

Bambi, has been adopted by a lovely couple and their teenage son.  She is still a little minx and finds mischief every where. Her mom messages me often with updates on her antics and knows I know all too well what it’s like to have a Potcake with that much confidence (see Flipflop blogs!).  And we both know that “sorry mom” look they give when they’ve misbehaved but were having too much fun to stop when we try to get them to!

I knew Bambi would be ok no matter where she ended up.  But I worried about Willie, he was such a follower and so unsure of anything unless his sister was there.  Willie’s mom “watched hours of Ceaser Milan videos” and worked hard to help Willie get his confidence.  And confidence he got!  Willie loves everyone and everything.  He loves to play with other dogs and will run up to any dog to play and socialize, he no longer needs his sister to feel safe, he’s got his mom and he knows he’s safe now.

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9. Solo – by far the most popular foster to date

Solo’s past is horrid, but when he met his family, they knew!  Actually his mom said she knew from the moment she saw his photo.  When Solo got adopted, he was starting to show signs of confidence and being a real dog, but I knew he still had so much more in him.  And I was right.

His mom and I chat a lot because every day is such an amazing day with Solo.  He’s no longer afraid of people, he loves everyone.  And he especially loves playing chase and wrestling with his canine brother, Rome.

Solo is a dog now, he’s goofy, loves to play and has picked his person!  His teenage sister, Mya (who interestingly, he growled the most at when meeting the family).  Solo’s family also wants to get more involved and potentially foster down the road, but they recognize Solo still has a lot of adapting to do in his new life before starting down that path.

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Solo and his brother Rome, best friends!  Rome was patient and persistent and it paid off!

To me this is what rescue is all about, the front line rescuers take these dogs from horrific situations, and nurture them and help them get healthy and then us fosters come in.  We love them and start the ground work of what life in a loving home is like.  This is where Flipflop and Dahlia are amazing helpers too! And then the family comes, it’s bitter sweet but so worth it.

I feel so honoured that these amazing families stay in touch with me, because I have fallen in love with and still love their dogs  And I love these families too, for giving these sweet souls the best lives!

Unfortunately, not all my families are in touch, but these dogs still enter my thoughts all the time. Every foster takes a piece of my heart!  So here’s to Lola, Tess and Rose, I know they were adopted by amazing families and I’m sure are having the best life!!

Welcome home Sixx & Angel

Dahlia, Flipflop and I, left Mississauga, ON at 9:45 am, Saturday April 13.  We waved a tearful goodbye to our good friends and neighbours, Miss Ellie and Janet, and started our 4 day drive to Kamloops.  The experience of road tripping with my dogs is something I’ll always treasure.  I found it a bonding moment with them, as we drove and stopped along the way for rests and walks.

I was so excited for this adventure and so pumped to travel with my two dogs, but I left behind other two parts of my heart.  I couldn’t even say bye to them, because I knew it would be so hard, and I also try not to show too much emotion around my animals when there is a lot of change, knowing they will pick up on it and it’ll add to their stress.

Sixx and Angel, my two cats, who I adopted 6 years ago, and have been amazing troopers through Flipflop’s puppy stage and all of our fosters.  As awesome as they are, I knew a 4-5 day car ride would not be comfortable for them.  Fortunately, Janet offered to keep them for a couple of weeks to allow me to get out here, get settled so I could fly them out.  We both agreed one day of travel would be far less stressful than 4-5 days in a car for them (and me!).

To prep them for their plane ride in their crates, I started feeding them in their crates two weeks before I left, and Janet continued that habit so they learned their crates were not a scary place.

I was set to have them flown out on April 26, I called the airline and made all the arrangements and then called my vet to get a health certificate.   That’s when I found out they needed to go to the vet for the certificate, my error as I had them at the vet just a week before I left and I didn’t find out more about getting their certificates.

Janet came to the rescue again, and arranged a vet appointment, but we couldn’t get them there before their April 26 flight, so I had to cancel it.  I was so stressed out and worried, once again that something would go wrong.

Fortunately, everything went fine.  Janet got the cats to the vet on April 30th, I rescheduled the flight for May 3rd and we were set to go.

At 5:30 am (PST) on May 3rd, my phone dinged, notifying me of a text, I was up all ready, I had hardly slept the night before with anxiety over my cats flying on their own.  It was from Janet, the boys were processed and ready to leave Toronto at 10:30 (EST), however there was a problem with Angel.  He’s a big boy (ok maybe a tad over weight according to his vet) and while I thought his crate was big enough for him, the airline thought it was too small.

Someone had left a dog crate behind and the employee offered it to Janet, and suggested my two boys could fly together.  She knew getting the boys to me was the priority and rightfully agreed.  Other than that, there were no issues.

I anxiously watched the flight all day, they left Toronto 22 minutes late, they arrived in Vancouver at 12:50 (PST).  One leg down, I tried to breathe.  I knew they were leaving Vancouver at 4:10 and would be landing in Kamloops at 4:58.

It was the longest day of my life.  When I booked their flight I was told it could take 3 hours after they landed to get them, I was told not to show up at 5 expecting my cats…..But that’s exactly what I did!!  I left work at 4:30 and drove directly to Kamloops airport.  Their flight had landed but I didn’t see them amongst the carts of luggage sitting outside the aircraft.

I walked to the Air Canada counter and had the most amazing lady serve me.  She promptly checked my ID and had the paperwork ready for me to sign.  She then went and personally got my cats for me.  She also had me pull up to the terminal so I wouldn’t have to take the cats across the parking lot.

I was so excited and tearing up when I saw them.  Of course, being cats, they didn’t really care about seeing me!  But they both looked calm and healthy.  I was so relieved, I was worried the stress of the airplane rides and the 12 hour day they had would have been harder on them than it was.

On our drive home, Sixx realized what was going on and poked his head to the edge of the crate so I could put my finger on him and stroke his face.

I got them into our apartment and Flipflop lost his mind, he was so happy to have his older brothers home.  I opened the crate and Flipflop greeted each one of them with a good sniff and lick as they walked out.

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Sixx with Dahlia and Flipflop eating breakfast this morning.

It’s so great to have my whole family with me in B.C. now.  And I’m so proud of all my kids for doing this trip, they all rock!

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Angel is still getting comfortable, he takes longer than Sixx to adopt to new situations.

 

 

 

 

 

B.C. Dog

It’s been 1-1/2 weeks since we pulled into Kamloops and started this next chapter of our life.  I just unpacked the last box and we are, for the most part, settled in our new home.  Dahlia and Flipflop are doing wonderful, they were such amazing troopers on the 40+hour drive to get us here and have settled into their new neighbourhood.

In order to balance the needs of both dogs, I started alternating our walking routines, one day is a nice leisurely walk throughout the neighbourhood, not unlike the walks we did in Ontario and the following day a short walk for Dahlia and into the mountains with Flipflop.

He LOVES it.  I have never seen him so happy and in his element.  He loves to run up and down the sides of the mountains and never fails to come back and check in on me from time to time.  I’m not going to lie, some of these walks are really challenging for me and I need to stop and catch my breath as we climb higher up the mountain trails.

Friday morning, on my way to my car, I ran into the building manager, he asked how my dogs were settling in, I told him they were both doing quite well.  He then mentioned he has seen me out with the dogs and that Flipflop looks really happy!  I told him Flipflop is loving it out here and the building manager agreed, “he’s a B.C. dog!” he said to me.  I can’t disagree.

This morning, being a weekend, and our hike day, we took Dahlia for a short walk and brought her home.  Flipflop and I then ventured out to the trail.  There are so many different turns and paths, and there was one I wanted to try, that another dog walker I ran into one morning told me about.

So off we went, it was beautiful. We spotted some white tail deer, but before I could get my camera into focus, Flipflop was off after them.  I waited in the spot I was at and called and whistled for him.  I heard him bark off in the distance, I called him again, and a few seconds later he appeared in sight.  We continued on.

We went over the bridge I was told we would come across and that’s where things went wrong.  I missed the path to get back toward our road, I ended up along a cliff and a very narrow path.  My ankle injury from many years ago came back to haunt me, I pushed through as I tried hard to maintain my balance.  And then Flipflop took off down the cliff, I called him.  And thats when I saw more deer running up another mountain side, I watched in horror as Flipflop climbed up after them.  He was gone, out of site, out of ear shot.  I forced myself to remain calm.  I climbed back up the steep cliff onto more stable ground, where I could call and whistle for him.  It felt like hours, but it likely wasn’t even a minute before I saw him appear on top of the mountain across from me.  I kept calling him and he eventually made his way down, in the valley he stopped.  I could tell he was debating if he should come to me or go back to the deer!  Fortunately, he choose to come to me, as he made his way up the mountain and the steep trail to me, his tongue was hanging out the side of the mouth, he was exhausted.

I opted to turn back and avoid the steep cliff trail in hopes of finding a less rugged area, with less distractions for Flipflop!  I had leashed him up, just to be sure he’d not go far!

As I made my way around different turns and paths, I realized we were lost. I looked at my phone, we were 8 KM out from our place and no where near a road.  We kept climbing, there were homes at the top of the mountain, surely they were off a road.  But when we made our way up, there was no road down the mountain, just more roads going up.  I turned around and went back down the mountain trying to remember the paths we took to retrace  my steps back to our street.

After an hour of looking and searching, I was feeling lost, and unsure what to do.  I could call someone, but who and what would I say “I’m lost in a mountain!” They wouldn’t be able to do anything more than I could on my own!

We ended up near a mining area, surely there would be a road near it, I hoped but…..nope!  As we left the mining area and made our way back to where we came from I came across another path, one we passed much earlier in our hike, one that led back down the mountain to my road!!  It was so clear I could see our street from where I was standing.

On top of the mountain looking down, it seemed so close, but it was not, we still had quite a trek back to street level.

After three hours, Flipflop and I made it back home to Dahlia!  Tired and a bit dirty but no worse for the wear!  I think I will save the exploring for times when I am walking with a fellow hiker and someone who has a much better sense of direction than I do!

Flipflop will still get his mountain hikes but we’ll stick to the path I know!

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Our first day in our new home…..

Well, we woke up in a hotel this morning, with a few hours to spare before we moved into our apartment, so I googled dog parks in Kamloops and off we went.  It was such a fun morning and so deserving for Dahlia and Flipflop.  The first dog park was just an open field but it was enough to let Flipflop run and Dahlia roll around in the grass.  I left the off leash area with them and we walked along the park path.

We came along an off leash dog beach…..yes a beach for just dogs!!  I immediately unleashed Flipflop and Dahlia and they delighted as they played with another dog and then went into the river.

We then went back to the hotel where I packed up and headed to our building.  I left Flipflop and Dahlia in the car, as I spoke with the building manager, who then asked me to bring them in the office.  The dogs delighted him, as he fed them cookies and saw their two very different personalities.  He loved them both, Dahlia for her sweetness and Flipflop for his flare!

He gave us a tour of our building, which is fully constructed, but so new, they are still working on the landscaping around us.  That said there’s lots of wonderful places for us to walk, and some flat sidewalks for Dahlia to be comfortable.

I walked around my apartment and out on to the balcony where mountains looked back at me.  I also noticed I had a drug store across the street as well, which could come in handy!

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The view from my balcony.

While I was unloading my car, Telus called and asked if it was ok to come by earlier (my original appointment was for this afternoon). I said that would be great.  I was still unloading my car when Dane (from Telus) pulled up.  Dane also loved Flipflop and Dahlia, it was wonderful!

Once Dane left, I took the dogs for a walk, it’s a beautiful day in Kamloops and Dahlia found it a little warm for her liking, but she did ok.  I ran into town and picked up some food and essentials that I needed while I wait for my belongings to arrive.

Flipflop and Dahlia were amazing, as they have been the whole journey. When I leave the apartment they don’t bark or make a fuss, they are quite calm and seem, for the most part, taking it in stride.

That said, Flipflop still needs hugs and assurances, but I’m really pleased with how well they are adjusting.

B.C. Bound – The road trip – Day 4

WE MADE IT! We’re here in Kamloops, although not in our new home, that’ll be tomorrow am.

We started our morning around 7 am, leaving Medicine Hat, Alberta with the intent of arriving in Kamloops today.  The drive from Medicine Hat to Calgary was pretty cool.  It was a bit flat with wheat fields and then right next to those fields, there were oil rigs (or whatever they’re called).  It was kind of cool.

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I also found it pretty neat that every few kilometres, there were areas you could pull over to throw out trash and recyclables.  A cool way to keep litter off the highways for sure!

As we made our way closer to Calgary, I though my eyes were playing tricks on me.  Did I see mountains in the distance, or was it clouds? I kept looking as I drove along, for clouds they weren’t moving or changing shape.  I contacted my west coast expert, Janet (aka Auntie Janet) and she confirmed they were in fact mountains.

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We stopped in Calgary and I took Flip and Dahlia for a nice walk, they have been such amazing dogs on this long trip.  They enjoyed rolls in the grass and a long drink of water and we continued on our way.

Our next stop was about 300 KM later at a small mountain down and it was beautiful.

 

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This was our last stop, until we entered Kamloops!  The last 200 km seemed the longest of this whole trip.  But we made it!  And I’m so excited to go through this adventure with my two best friends.

 

B.C. Bound – The road trip – Day 3

Nine hundred and three kilometres to go!  We had quite the long day today, but as usual Flipflop and Dahlia were troopers!!

After a morning walk, I packed up the car around 6:30 am, I left Flipflop and Dahlia on leash and took them in and out of the hotel room with me as I packed up.  I think Dahlia thought I was going to leave her, as she had no interest in packing the car with me, she wanted in the car and happily waited in the back seat while Flipflop and I packed up.

We drove through the rest of North Dakota and through Saskatchewan and it was exhausting! There were very few places to stop, so I ended up stopping along the sides of roads and/or in business parking lots to let the dog have a stretch.  As we got closer to the Canadian border the snow was gone and both dogs delighted in rolling in the grass.

As we entered Saskatchewan, tumbleweed flew across the highway and I texted some friends that I was definitely no longer in Ontario! 🙂

The dogs are getting restless on the long drive, I stopped for gas and Dahlia climbed into the driver seat!  And later on while I was driving she tried to climb up front with me.  But my car is fully packed and there was no room for her so I couldn’t allow her to come up. Flipflop finally laid down and slept a bit today, but as he woke up between naps, he was panting a lot, a sign of distress.  And unlike the past two days, neither of them wanted to get back in the car after each stop.

But we are now stopped in Medicine Hat, Alberta and I took them for a nice walk, bought them some chicken nuggets (they get spoiled on road trips) and they are both sleeping peacefully now.  And while it’s 8:00 pm local time, this Torontonian girl is exhausted and will likely call it a night soon as well.

I am hoping we will get an early start to our day tomorrow and get to Kamloops in time for a nice hike with the dogs as an award for them being such amazing babies.

B.C. Bound – The road trip -Day 1

I would be lying if I said the past week hasn’t been the hardest week of my life, emotionally.  So many goodbye’s, so much cleaning and packing, and preparing to leave my very comfortable, very familiar life in Ontario.  Even now, 950 KM’s into the drive, it still hasn’t really hit me that I am actually going to be living in B.C…..the place I’ve always wanted to live in, since I first visited over 20 years ago.

But this blog isn’t about me, it’s about the dogs in my life, and of course they are on this adventure with me!!  For the past few weeks, Flipflop knew something was up.  He constantly needed assurance from me, hugs and cuddles (more than usual).  Dahlia, true to her nature, was oblivious for the most part.

Last weekend they moved into Auntie Janet’s apartment, while I continued to stay in mine, making sure I visited them and walked them a few times a day, so they knew I was still there.  I moved in with them on Tuesday evening, as the movers came for all my belongings Wednesday.

This morning when I woke up, I started getting myself organized, Janet offered to walk the dogs, to give me time to pack up my final things and to help get me on the road quicker.  I left my home at 9:45 am.

The dogs were troopers, Dahlia pretty much slept the whole time we drove today.  Flipflop likes to look out the window when we drive, so he refused to sleep.  At times he literally passed out sitting up!  But he’s now stretched at the end of my motel room bed sleeping peacefully.

We drove to Sarnia and crossed the border, after an hour wait, into Michigan.  Shortly after we crossed, I pulled into a McDonald’s parking lot with lots of greenery around it.  Flipflop drank almost a whole bottle of water, poor guy, and Dahlia had a few sips.  After a brief stretch of our legs, we got back in the car and kept going.  We stopped again in Michigan a few hours later, I thought we’d never get out of that state!  But there were plenty of rest areas, which was nice.

Finally, we crossed over to Indianapolis, it was a short drive through that state and we entered Illinois.  I thought I was so prepared, printing my list of rest area along the way……I didn’t realize Chicago and I90W pretty much has NO rest areas!!!!!

Chicago traffic was horrible, we crawled through it for an hour and the finally the roads opened up again. I could tell Flipflop was getting hungry and I planned to pull over at first rest area I saw, but as an hour flew by there were none.

As I continued my drive I spotted an exit with tons of hotels off of it.  My eye got the Motel 6 sign……I was sure on my “bring Fido” app, it said all Motel 6’s were pet friendly and don’t even charge an additional fee.

Side note: bring Fido is a super cool app (and website:  https://www.bringfido.com/)  that tells you all dog friendly parks, restaurants, hotels, activities, etc. world wide!  It’s awesome for travelling with your furry companions.  It also tells you any pet restrictions (size/breeds, etc.) and if the hotel charges an additional fee.

I arrived at the Motel 6 and asked if there were any rooms, the girl asked if I wanted one or two bedroom, I said I only need one bed, as it was just me and my dogs.  As she was processing my room, she questioned if I would take a two bedroom, it cost a bit more but was on the ground floor for the dogs.  I told her I was fine with the extra charge as it will be nice for the dogs and easier for me. 🙂  I used a blanket off the second bed to make a bed for Dahlia, as she doesn’t enjoy human beds, only couches!

So to sum it up, day 1 of our B.C. bound adventure went pretty smoothly, and I’m excited to see where we end up tomorrow evening on our drive.

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Flipflop, when I invited on the bed, wasted no time!

 

 

 

B.C. Bound – The road trip – Day 2

Well almost 2000 km under our belt and we’re still going strong!! Dahlia and Flipflop are troopers!!!  It hit me along my drive today, that I really am moving to B.C.!  The numbness I felt yesterday has left and I’m so excited today!

Last night after we settled in for the evening, Flipflop was unsettled, he kept growling and I think it was because we were just off the highway and he could see the lights or hear the cars.  I took him out for a short walk so he could see there was nothing to fear and that seemed to work.  Dahlia, of course, didn’t mind a thing!  I think she is enjoying the fact that I’m not restricting her food and she keeps getting up through the night to eat!  At home they have designated feeding times but being on the road, I’m being a little loose with their schedules.

I always have a hard time sleeping in strange beds, so I was up at 5, and relaxed in bed until the sun came up and got the troops ready for a new day.  We left our motel around 6:30 am.

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Starting our journey on day 2.

My sister surprised me with a phone call, and it was great to pass some time chatting with her, it’s definitely going to be strange not seeing her for our weekly lunch.  But as I stated yesterday, leaving those I love in Ontario was the only hard part of this journey.

We spent our night just outside of Wisconsin and we crossed into the state early on.  Our drive was pretty uneventful, short of two warning lights coming on while I was driving. Both my error, thankfully!  When I filled up with gas first thing this morning, I forgot to put the cap back on, so I had to pull over on the side of the road and screw my cap on!  And then leaving one of our rest areas, I didn’t have Flipflop’s door closed properly. Thankfully that light came on immediately and I was able to secure his door prior to pulling back on I94!

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Flipflop, absolutely thrilled with snow at the rest area just outside North Dakota.

We made our way through Minnesota and into North Dakota.  North Dakota was not what I expected at all.  Past Fargo there’s very little off I94!  Fortunately, using my bring Fido app, I found a pet friendly hotel 7 hours outside our border crossing back into Canada!

Since we had such an early start, I pulled over early so we can all relax for a few hours (and Flipflop can play) before we go to bed for the evening.  It’s been super cool, driving through the US, but i’m looking forward to getting back into Canada tomorrow and making our way from Saskatchewan to Alberta (hopefully) tomorrow!

 

Happy Birthday Lady Dahlia

Like most rescues, Dahlia’s birth date and exact age are unknown but she was about 8 years old when she came to be fostered by me, two years ago today (April 4). So, when she became a foster fail (when the foster parent adopts the dog), I made the day we first met her birthday.

Dahlia seemed old and frail when I met her, she wanted to enjoy life but was fearful. When I would go to pet her she would freeze, unsure if my hand would be a gentle touch or one that caused her pain. She was such a nervous wreck she would pee constantly, in fear I was going to hurt her.  It was both heartbreaking and, after weeks of cleaning up urine, frustrating.

I was an inexperienced foster mom at that time, and as with all the fosters, Dahlia taught me a lot.  She learned to trust me by observing my many interactions with Flipflop and also, by me giving her proper structure.

A couple months after meeting her, I adopted sweet Dahlia, and made her part of the forever pack.  She has been by my side ever since, along with Flipflop, helping other dogs in need.  She no longer fears a human hand, in fact, she kind of demands everyone she walks by use their hands to pet her!

I remember when I adopted her, and called to get her license, I debated over getting a one or two year licensed, as I was sure this fragile dog wouldn’t be alive in a year.  Boy did she prove me wrong.  She is no longer frail, she is strong, playful and a DIVA!  I have taken to calling her Lady Dahlia as she holds her head high and feels so entitled to her life, it’s beautiful to see.

She is getting younger all the time, and I’m so excited to be celebrating her 10th year with her today and bringing her to beautiful British Columbia in a week to live out the rest of her long life!