A B.C. Adventure

It’s another beautiful Sunday morning in Kamloops, and it’s been a couple of weeks since I took Flipflop in the car to go for a hike.  One of my favourite places to hike him is Dallas Barnhartvale Nature Park.  It backs onto a horse riding ranch, which dogs are also welcomed to enter and hike.  And as most nature parks in BC, it’s dog friendly and has a selection of different trails of all levels.

Since we had a fairly easy walk day yesterday, I decided to bring Dahlia today as well, and stick to the green (easy) trails so she could enjoy herself.

One of the reasons I enjoy this park so much, is it’s quieter than most, I am yet to see a cyclist in the park. We run into the odd dog along the way, which depending on Flipflop’s mood he either ignores or has a play with.  It’s a great park for a nice walk, or so I thought!

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I naively expected a nice, chilled walk with the my dogs this morning, but was I ever wrong!!!!!!

When we arrived at the park, I parked and let the dogs out of the car, we were the only car in the lot, but it was still fairly early.  I unleashed them both, as I had all ready decided to take them to the riding ranch paths, as they are easier for Dahlia and the entrance was right behind my car.

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The hike started as any other, Flipflop running up ahead and then coming back to check on me, Dahlia taking her time strolling behind me. Every now and then I had to stop and encourage Dahlia to catch up to me.  And she would, she just loves to stop and smell the flowers, literally, along the way on her walks.

About 10 minutes into our walk, things started to derail…….Flipflop saw goats and a horse, grazing in a field.  Fortunately, they were safely gated and Flipflop couldn’t get in, nor could they get out.  The sweet goats ran when they heard Flipflop barking like an idiot on the other side of the fence.  The horse, who was right at the fence, calmly just walked away and started grazing about 10 feet away from it. Flipflop continued to bark and ignore my calls.  After a couple of minutes, I was able to get him, I leashed him and gave him a time out.

Usually his time outs are him being leashed for a few minutes and when he’s again released he behaves.  But today was a “jack” day for my boy.  A “jack” day is what I call Flipflop’s crazy days, as the Jack Russell in him comes out and he gets so hyped up, he’s insane, much like a Jack Russell who is not exercised enough.  And trust me, Flipflop is exercised a lot, he just has the odd day where he’s crazy and needs more of an outlet.

A few minutes after his time out, he took off on me again, and started barking.  “What now!” I mumbled to Dahlia, who was still just calmly walking behind me.  When I got a better view of what had Flipflop in a tizzy this time, my heart jumped to my throat.

There must have been about a dozen cattle in the park.  They, much like the horse and goats, were just grazing in the fields, but they were not behind a secure fence.  The only thing I can think of is a nearby rancher must have left their gate open in error.

Flipflop was wild, he would not listen to me and if I got close he would just run away.  He ran around the cattle making sure he took the time to bark at all of them as he ran around.  The cows started mooing, I leashed Dahlia and tied her to a tree for her safety, away from the cattle and her brother.

I entered the heard, hoping with all my might I didn’t scare the cattle and they didn’t decide to hoof me and trample Flipflop.  They were so beautiful and peaceful, and although seemed interested in Flipflop, weren’t particularly scared of him or me.  I talked to them (because I talk to all animals) and apologized for Flipflop.

After 5 minutes of Flipflop ignoring me and continuing to be a jerk, I gave up.  I went back to Dahlia and untied her.  I yelled “bye Flipflop” and Dahlia and I started walking back down the trail.  Usually when Flipflop sees me give up and walk away, he comes running, it’s like it’s all fun and games until he loses mom’s attention.  But today my plan backfired.  He’d never seen cattle before, and this was too exciting for him.

So back up the trail Dahlia and I went, because as angry as Flipflop can make me, I would never abandon him!  When Dahlia and I went back to where Flipflop was running around the cattle, the cattle must have heard something, and all of a sudden they started running. They started running up a hill and to, I assume, their ranch.  Flipflop got even more excited, they cattle were now moving prey!  I kept calling Flipflop to me and before long he was back down with me, but wouldn’t come close enough for me to leash him.  He still wanted to play his game.

Fortunately, the “cattle run” tired him out out, and within a minute of playing “stay away” he was on the ground rolling in the grass.  I leashed him immediately.  Another time out.

This one was a longer time out, we were going home!  I walked him down the trail, on leash a while, pass the horse and goats and basically until we were only a few minutes from the car.

I then let him off his leash again, as he was tired and honestly he’s usually not this bad!  I thought for sure he got his fill of being a “jack”.  Dahlia was off leash as well, but again, she just likes to putter and is never a worry for me, sweet girl.

It was less than a minute of being off leash that Flipflop jumped a fence to meet a dog that was having fun in its yard………He’s NEVER done that before.  As he ran and played with the dog, I again ended up tying up Dahlia so I could retrieve him.  Once again, Flipflop did not have his listening ears on, but as the dog ran over to me and then noticed Dahlia on the other side of the fence, Flipflop laid down……it’s tiring being bad!  So I was able to leash him up.

And this time his time out did not end.  After our hike, I drove to the nearby boat launch, so the dogs could cool down in the water, Flipflop was not allowed off his leash, I tired Dahlia’s leash to his to give him more freedom, and of course Dahlia was a good lady off her leash.

And now we are home and Flipflop is full of hugs and kisses for his momma.  He is such a naughty boy some days, but he is so loved and he knows it!

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Tessa

I had the honour of meeting Tessa at a fundraiser for a B.C. Rescue, Pommy & Pals.  Tessa is being fostered by a co-worker of mine and his wife.  I have been fortunate to spend some time with this amazing little lady.

Tessa came to Canada from Taiwan, where she was found at 2 months old in a ditch.  She is now 9 months old and is waiting for her forever family.  Her adoption is pending, and she’s going to a sleepover with her potential family tomorrow night.

Tessa’s journey has not been an easy one, at 9 months old. Tessa has degenerative disease in her left hip which she has under gone the surgery to repair (Legg-calve-perthes).  She is recovering nicely and receiving some rehabilitation from her foster mom.  It is expected she will eventually be able to have full use of her leg and put weight on it.  But even now, while she’s working on strengthening her leg, it doesn’t stop this fun loving girl from running around.

Tessa also has a neurological disorder, shaker syndrome, which causes this sweet lady to shake, as she calms down and becomes more comfortable her shaking does get better, and she’s on CBD oil to help her. But even as she shakes, it doesn’t stop this little lady from wanting to be cuddled and babied.

She also loved meeting the other dogs at the adoption fair and was very social with everyone, she is such a sweetie.

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Tessa engaging with the standard poodles (bonded pair for adoption)

When I met Tessa she was wearing a lovely pink dress with bows down the back, she was looking for her forever home at an adoption event.  Needless to say she stole a lot of hearts, but I was lucky enough to witness her picking her family.

They seem like a lovely couple, who lost their dog a couple years prior and feel they are now ready to open their hearts again to a dog in need.  As soon as they saw me holding Tessa they came over and started asking about her.  I asked if her potential future mom wanted to hold her and of course she did.  Tessa barely shook, she felt at home and she snuggled into her potential mom’s shoulder.  She held Tessa for long time as we chatted and I brought over Gina, Tessa’s foster mom, who actually knows Tessa’s potential dad!

I had a feeling, this would be the family for Tessa, as I’ve seen my fosters pick their families time and time again, I felt Tessa felt safe with this couple.  Although Tessa and I met many other amazing people that day, Tessa had a ton of interest, I was so happy when I was told by my co-worker, Darryn, that Tessa was going for a trial sleepover this weekend and it was a couple that he and Gina knew.  Before Darryn even told me which couple it was I knew.  I just had a feeling when I saw sweet little Tessa in her future parents arms.  I think they knew it too, but as every responsible adopter should do, they met other dogs and thought about it over a couple of days to make sure they were ready for her.

I am very optimistic that early next week, I will hear that the sleepover was a success and Tessa is officially adopted!

Tessa’s foster mom sent me pictures of Tessa today and shared with me how much she is going to miss her. I can relate, all too well!  Fostering is not easy, but it is worth it.

 

 

 

 

Rome & Solo

Rome adopted Solo in the early spring, mourning the loss of his big brother, Merle, Rome’s humans knew he needed a sibling.  The family wasn’t ready for another dog, their hearts still ached, Merle had only been gong a couple of weeks, but watching Rome’s grief just compounded their own even more.

“We’ve never rescued before,” the application read, ” but we would love to give a deserving dog a good home.” Promising, but as first time adopter, I worried the family may struggle with a dog like my foster, Solo.  But their application was strong, and they at least earned a phone call.

It was on the phone I first met Joanne.  I instantly liked her, and after talking about rescues, and the challenges Solo had faced in his life, she wasn’t scared off.  She told me how they had lost their dog Merle, just a couple weeks ago.  She and her family were heart broken, and so was their 3 year old dog, Rome.

I asked Joanne if they would be interested in meeting, Solo, and of course she was.  I recommended Rome come, she had planned to ask, as this dog was being adopted to help Rome, and Rome would be the being who decided what dog to adopt.  Rome had a meet and greet on a Saturday and we scheduled Solo’s for later the same day.

I sent Joanne all the information I had on Solo and the blogs I wrote on him to prepare her.  I found out later, those blogs made her fall in love him before even meeting him and she had hoped that Rome would feel the same way!!

And he did………….

Rome took it upon himself, as Flipflop does, to teach Solo.  Rome somehow understood Solo needed his guidance.  Solo had just started showing interest in playing when he was adopted. Rome continued Flipflop’s work, patiently waiting until Solo understood how to play with toys, tug, chase and wrestle.  The boys had a few territorial scrabbles but the family kept to the training of Solo and things smoothed out in a very short time between the boys.

The stories of Rome and Solo continue to warm my heart, but I thought I would share a few of my favourite ones:

Grandma’s visit:

Rome’s Grandma was visiting and was down in the basement.  Solo must have             forgotten she was there, or she startled him when she came up stairs. Solo started     barking and growling at his grandma.  Rome calmly stepped in the space between Solo and grandma, and showed Solo how grandma is nice.  He calmed Solo down by giving him some affection while getting love from his grandma.

Cousins

It’s been a few months since Solo got adopted and he was doing so well, the family felt they could introduce to him to cousins (3 dogs).  When they arrived at Joanne’s brother’s house, the first thing the humans noticed, was how Solo was a different dog.  He is confident, his eyes are happy (no longer sad) and he was behaving as a well adjusted happy dog.

Rome led Solo to his canine cousins and helped Solo remain calm and happy.  It wasn’t long when I got videos of Solo playing chase with all his cousins, having the time of his life.

Later that day, Rome and Solo made their way to Merle’s resting place.  Solo laid on top of  where Merle’s body was buried and Rome sat beside him.  It was an emotion moment for Joanne when she saw the boys.  I can only imagine.

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July 1st:

On Victoria day weekend it was discovered Solo is petrified of fireworks.  Unfortunately, July 1st is another holiday where fireworks are used to celebrate the day.  As they started Solo ran to safe place, his bed.  Rome went Solo and laid on top of him to try and comfort him and show him there was nothing to be afraid of.

Joanne and Tony (Solo’s dad) called Rome to bed and Joanne went and got Solo. Solo snuggled into Joanne for comfort, the same comfort he got from Rome a few moments ago. Rome also snuggled close, to Solo, ensuring he was there to provide comfort to his brother until the fireworks stopped and Solo calmed down.

I get so many videos and pictures of these two boys, and how they are best friends and brothers.  I am so grateful to Joanne and Tony for adopting Solo, being patient with him and giving him the love and trust he needed to excel.  And I am completely in love with Rome, who is such a special boy.  Solo would not be the same dog without him.

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My Flipflop…..

I always say he’s as bad as he is cute!  But the truth is Flipflop is not a bad dog, he’s a sweet boy, with a high amount of energy and a zest for life.  And it shines through every day now that we are in B.C.

Flipflop has a crazy hyper side, I call those his Jack days!  In Ontario, on his Jack days, even on his goods days, I was always worried.  I was worried he’d get hurt, I worried he wasn’t getting exercised enough because I knew he needed to run and in the city, finding safe places for Flipflop to run was tough.

It was tough because he didn’t like dog parks, neither did his big brother, Dupont.  They are “lone wolves” and being in an open field with other dogs did nothing to excite either of them.

I would take Flipflop to some areas where he could run and he enjoyed it but there were so many people who projected fear on their small dogs, and when Flipflop sensed fear he would turn into a “Jack” and the fun would be over.  He would get out of control, lose his “listening ears”, and would literally mock me, pretending he was coming to me and when he got within a foot of me, take off again.

Moving out to B.C.  I vowed Flipflop would not be off leash (as he wasn’t at home for a long time) and he would not be socialized with other dogs.  What I didn’t realize is I was moving to a very dog friendly community, where large and small dogs alike love to say hi to each other and all the humans love dogs!

In the past two months, I have seen this dog transform into the most amazing boy.  Now that we are living in the mountains, with dog friendly parks all around, Flipflop is excelling.

People don’t fear him, so he has not interest in them and most times he completely ignores them.  Dahlia gets petted by every one we see, and she loves it!  I feel like Flipflop and I have found the place we were meant for.  Despite my strict rules in Ontario and my intentions of keeping the same rules here, I quickly learned that Flipflop was free to be himself here.

Flipflop is definitely the pup who won’t stop, he always has been but now he really gets to go!  We go for hikes, he runs through the mountains like he’s been in them all his life.  And most importantly he listens to me!

He still would rather hang on his own than with other dogs, but occasionally he enjoys a wrestle or a chase with a dog we meet along the way.

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Flipflop with his friend Cash.

I am so proud of me Bahamian Potcake, and am so happy I get to give him the life he was meant to live, now that he’s a B.C. boy!