Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yesterday's Adventure, by Sadie

Yesterday, mama got up early and fed all of us and took us for a walk. Then she put Charley in the house and told me to get in the van. I thought I must be going to the vet, because that's almost the only time I ever go in the van without Charley. But, no, we went on an ADVENTURE! First we drove for a while. Mama made me stay in the back. She sez dogs aren't allowed to drive. Hmmph! Soon we got to a parking lot near the ocean and we went for a walk. Then we got back in the van and we went on a boat.

I remember dat boat! I think it is called a Fairy Boat. We went on it when we moved away from the farm, and we went on it when we visited Auntie Deb and Riley and Jasper and Rupert. But we wasn't going back to the farm, and we didn't get to visit Auntie Deb and Riley and Jasper and Rupert.

Instead, we went to visit my Gran Rose. I got to go into the nursing home because it is very pet friendly. There are some cats who live there, and the staff get to take their doggies to work. There is a golden retriever who does rounds at night. I don't know his name but I think they should call him Doctor Dog.

Everyone in the nursing home said hello to me and told me how boootiful I am and what a GOOD dog I am. I was on my very, very best behaviour. Gran Rose was surprised to see me. We took her out for lunch. Well, actually, I needed a nap after all the schmoozing with the old folks, so I slept in the van while mama and Gran Rose had lunch in a restaurant. Then we went back to the nursing home and I went in to visit everyone again. Mama forgot to take the camera in with her so she didn't get a picture of me being a Good Visiting Dog. But here's a picture of me and Gran Rose from a trip we took last year.

Next we got back in the van, just mama and me, and went over the Golden Ears bridge. Mama said she wished she could stop mid-span because the lighting was perfect to capture the long support arms and the misty mountains in the background. But the other drivers probably wouldn't have liked her to stop on the bridge! Instead, we went to Maple Ridge and dropped off some Birds and Blooms magazines for Logan and Kinley's Opa. We didn't see Logan and Kinley, though, because they were out wiv their mama.

On to Mission, and a stop at the Piggy Lady's place, Hearts and Noses Sanctuary. The horses came out to greet us right away.

Mama was in trouble with them, because she always brings them an apple and she forgots!!! The Piggy Lady gave them some hay instead, only I got underfoot and some of it landed on me! Heheheheh.

Mama dropped of some stuff for the HEARTS ON NOSES GARAGE SALE which is being held in Mission (not at the sanctuary, but at the Piggy Lady's sister's place). The Hearts on Noses Garage Sale is Saturday (April 2) 9 - 4 and Sunday 9-1 or when traffic stops. The address is 33470 -12th Ave. in Mission . Please go if you can - there will be tons of great stuff at great prices!

We also dropped off some special stuff for the Piggy Lady to sell on ebay to get some money to help feed and vet all those hungry, troublesome piggies. Well, actually, they aren't troublesome most of the time. When we went in the Piggy Lady's house, we met Cotton who likes to live in the Great Room. He was very, very social and not in the least bit scared of me. (Actually, I was a little scared of him at first! But he told me to chill and come inside to say hello.)

Mama went over to say hello to all the piggies she used to foster - Scotch and Soda and the babies who aren't babies no more! They are all full growned now, and they are big pigs. They ate a bag of marshmallows while I foraged around for piggy poops to snack on. Good thing my mama brought my food and fed me while I was at the sanctuary.

The piggies were having a nap, but they came out to greet mama with lots of straw on their faces - and great big smiles, too!

We said goodbye to the pigs, got back in the van, and headed to Abbotsford. I stayed in the van while mama visited Emma. Mama took lots of photos of Emma - though Emma was more interested in the squirrel who was making squirrel noises in the trees.

Mama loves Emma to pieces.... But she loves me too, 'cause soon mama and me was back in the van and heading home. I had another walk while we waited for the boat, and then a long nap in the car. Sometime in the middle of the night we got back home, where I crawled onto my couch and went to sleep. Twelve hours in the van and two hours visiting - that was an exhausting day. But I'm glad my mama took me wiv her.

Even if she didn't let me drive the van or eat piggy poops.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Visit

A week has gone by since my friends, Ann and Ken, returned home. The week of their visit was a continuation of our changeable weather - occasional spots of sunlight broken up by cloud, rain, mist, and sudden bursts torrential rain. Consequently, some days I took few pictures. Still, a trip to Salt Spring Island, and a rainless moment on the docks at Genoa Bay, provided some photo ops without soaking the camera.

Ann and Ken are great guests to have around - I didn't have to wash a single dish all week as Ken took the role of chief bottlewasher. Thankfully, he is also accustomed to life without a mechanical dishwasher and fully understands the need to keep on top of those dishes which, he claims, have a habit of reproducing madly if left alone on the kitchen counter. Naughty dishes! There is only one bathroom in my home, and Allie's litterbox is kept in the bathtub. So even Allie had to line up to use the bathroom in the morning.

C'mon, c'mon, I gotta GO!!!!

Ann, Ken and I all enjoy checking out the thrift stores, so on our tours around the Cowichan Valley we hit eleven of them! I did find a great cast iron frypan, in excellent condition and well balanced, for $8 - it was just the size and make I wanted. I'm sure I picked up some other goodies too, though I can't for the life of me remember what.

On their first full day here, we wandered around downtown Duncan, twenty minutes away. Though I am there fairly frequently, I never really noticed the plethora of beautiful totems and murals. I forgot my camera that day, but Ken kindly gave me permission to past these ones of his:

We spent one day on Salt Spring Island, a fifteen minute ferry ride from Crofton. We took the dogs with us, and Sadie happily agreed to share the back seat with Ken.

Watching the tiny tugs pull huge barges in and out of the mill as we cross the bay always fascinates me - I never fail to think of "The Little Train that Could", because I'm quite sure those tiny tugs are in the same category, full of a positive attitude and saying "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...."

The rain held off long enough for us to spend some time tromping around the beautiful Ruckle Park.

While gazing at the waves washing onto the smooth coastal rocks, we suddenly spotted something I've never seen here before - a dolphin!! (Okay, it may have been a porpoise - which I also haven't seen in our waters - but the shape of the fin and the lighter colour of the body led us to be pretty certain it was a dolphin. Both porpoises and dolphins do live in these waters.) The dolphin came up several times, arching through the water just offshore. My camera wasn't set up for multiple shots, so I kept missing him.

He was moving along the coastline, and I would have followed in the hopes of getting a shot, but was prevented by this sign:

Sadie and Ann searched for him, but to no avail.

So you'll have to take my word that we saw a dolphin. Maybe if you stare hard enough and long enough at this image, you'll see him!

It was an exciting moment. Once back home, I watched the sky light up with our signature sunset:

And the next morning began with a signature sunrise, though I didn't get down to the beach to capture it reflected in the waters.

Thursday, we took a drive out to Cowichan Bay to pick up fresh crab for dinner, and fresh kamut bread and ginger cookies from True Grain Bread. The weather wasn't conducive to picture-taking, but here are a couple of shots from the last time I visited on a sunny day.

(I swear I had a nice one of the bakery, with a colourful bike outside, but darned if I can find it!)

On the way back, we ran out to Genoa Bay where there is a nice little Gallery that carried some art cards Ann wanted for her relative in Europe. While there, I watched a cormorant on the top of a post on the wharf. He (or she) was so gracefully stretching the wings to catch what little sun appeared. I have read that birds hold their wings out like this (or sometimes lie on the ground with wings outstretched) to rid themselves of parasites. The cormorant showed no concern for my presence and put on quite a show for us.

And that's the end of an interesting and fun week, despite less-than-cooperative weather.