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!

 

 

 

Angel – Today

My closet gave Angel comfort, a place to hide when he was unsure, when I had visitors or a foster dog.  Angel was a “cats cat” as I called him, very anti-social.  The fact he let me pet him and groom him was nothing short of a miracle.

Taking Angel to the vet was a nightmare, he wouldn’t let me pick him up, he wouldn’t allow himself feel “trapped” in a crate.

I made an appointment when I was prepared to move from Ontario to British Columbia, the cats needed their shots, and confirmation they were ok to fly.  Sixx let me put him in a crate immediately, after 20 minutes, I gave up on Angel, he was showing his ferrel traits and was not going to let me near him.  I went to the vet with just Sixx and told the doctor the struggle with getting Angel there.  The vet suggested I start feeding the cats in their crates and Angel will see it’s a good place to be.

I followed those instructions and a week later got Angel to his appointment. He was so scared he pooped in his crate and peed all over the vet technician, but he let them examine him and he got his shots.

The following week I was moving………there would be no more safe zone for Angel, he had to move to Auntie Janet’s.  The movers had come and the apartment was empty, I was going to spend a couple of nights at Janet’s before I started the drive out west with the dogs.  Janet graciously (despite her allergies) volunteered to keep the cats for a 2-3 weeks while I drove the dogs to Kamloops and got settled, and arranged for the cats to fly.

Flipflop and Dahlia had been staying at Janet’s for a few days all ready, Sixx was with them and time had run out for Angel.  I tried to trap him, he was too smart for me, he would not be tricked.  Hours passed……………………….

And then I thought of doing something I never thought of doing before……..what if I just tried to pick Angel up and put him in his crate.  I never thought of this before as Angel would NEVER let me pick him up!

In the completely empty  apartment, with nothing but me, Angel and a crate, I  just started petting Angel and then calmly picked him put and crated him…….It was so easy, I didn’t give him enough credit.

We went to Janet’s, where of course he hid for two days. I was leaving for B.C. and Angel was still in hiding.  I was worried he wouldn’t come out and I would be able to get him to B.C. I cried for close to two hours as I started the drive to my new life.

I knew Sixx And Angel were in the best care. I wasn’t concerned that Janet would be kind to them, she loved them. But what she wasn’t prepare for, was Angel. Angel came out of hiding the day after I left, and showed her the awesome cat he was.  He came out and snuggled her and let her get close to him.  She was so excited, sending me pictures of him and telling me Angel is such a cool cat, to which I replied, “I know!”

Angel and Sixx stayed with Janet for 3 weeks.  I wanted it to be two but it turned out they needed to return to the vet to get their travel certificate. 😦 .  Janet was amazing and happily helped me out.  Much to my surprise and relief the boys went to the vet with no issue.

Finally May 3rd, it was time to fly the boys out. Angel went into his crate, with no problem, Sixx put up a fight, which was so shocking, as he’s the easy going guy.  I was so proud of Angel, he was behaving in ways I never expected.  He was no longer fearful of new things.

Since arriving in B.C. Angel is a different cat.  He is ALWAYS out with me and the dogs, he’s social and never hides!  He even refuses to eat without his brother, Flipflop, so I now feed him when I feed Sixx and Angel.

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Angel eating breakfast with the dogs.

I cannot believe the difference in this cat, I’m so happy after 6 years, he is interacting with us, all the time.  He is no longer hiding, no longer fearful and he is an active part of my pact.  It turned out for me to show Angel he was truly safe with me, I had to turn his world on its side.  I don’t think he’ll ever be as social and out going as Sixx but it’s really nice having him out and about with the rest of my kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.