Tuesday, January 31, 2012


After postponing Petey's vet visit down island twice due to snow and ice, we were finally able to make the trip yesterday, a mild, partially sunny day perfect for an outing.

So we left Allie at home to guard the house, lest any of those renegade birds decide to break in to steal the valuables, like kitty treats or warm, soft kitty blankies,

Yeah, and you stay OUTTA here!

And with Sadie on the bench seat at the back of the van

Car Ride!  Yaaahhhhhoooooo!  Car Ride!

And Eddie in his crate in the middle of the van

What?  Huh? Am I goin' home now?

And Petey riding shotgun - sort of - beside me in the front of the van


We headed off to the Saanich Peninsula. Rather than going down Hwy One over  the Malahat, a pretty but not always safe mountain highway, which would have taken us south to Victoria, from which we would head north up the peninsula,...

Hwy 1 down and 17 back up, or pretty little ferry ride across the bay???
(Map from http://www.explorevancouverisland.com/)

....we decided to take the little ferry from Mill Bay to Brentwood Bay, which would put us on the peninsula just a short drive from the vet's.

We had read a lot of stories about ferry lineups on this route, so we allowed lots of time.  Here's our van in the long, scary lineup at 9:50 AM, waiting for the 10:25 ferry:

It's lonely being first

Eddie, Sadie and I got out for a little walk while we waited. There's not really anywhere to walk a dog there - just a narrow road with no sidewalks, and private "NO TRESPASSING" properties with very pretty beachfront that I could only photograph from the ferry terminal.

Then I glanced up to see a big, big dog standing on the empty road, no human in sight.

I hustled my dogs into the van, in case he wasn't friendly, and turned around to see him trotting towards me.
Hi! Gladtoseeya! How're ya doin? Can I haz a cookie or a pat on the head!

What's that black box in front of yer face???

Very friendly, lovely boy, though I still didn't let him meet and greet my crew. He had no collar or tags - had I not had a vanful of dogs, I would have been tempted to offer him a ride to the nearest animal control. However, we were surrounded by First Nations lands, so chances are he lived in the vicinity as many of their dogs are allowed to roam free.

We travelled across on the M.V. Klitsa, which according to a nearby sign holds 22 vehicles on average. A baby compared to the big ferries that travel to the mainland and back, but rather more picturesque.

The trip across takes about 25 minutes, and is very pretty. The green hills surround the bay, with mountains in the distance on the open side of the inlet.

Those green hills are spoiled only by the high density development - sure brought to mind a song from my youth....

Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky....
Little boxes, little boxes, little boxes all the same....

The boats in the marina, however, more than made up for the sameness of the little boxes on the hillside - there were boats of all sizes and shapes and colours:

Red ones....

and blue ones.....

Ones that looked homemade....

And ones that were futuristic.

And little tow-alongs with cormorants sunning their wings.

And even boats in for repair - and the sign waaay in the back says "Tomorrow". 

And then there were colorful kayaks and canoes racked up waiting for spring:

Kayaks on dock
Canoes waiting for spring

But my favourite was one off by itself in the shadow of the hills, all black and ominous, a pirate boat lacking only a skull and crossbones hanging from its mast and Captain Hook parading along the deck:

Avast, ye landlubbers, avast!

On the peninsula, we stopped to pick up Cora, one of the directors of Broken Promises Rescue for whom I'm fostering Petey, and then headed off to the vet. Petey was an angel, and submitted to all sorts of pokes and prods and very personal intrusions, and soon the bill and the estimate for other work was presented, and we were on our way back home.

Petey slept like a log the whole way back, exhausted from his medical ordeal.

Those vet visits are enough to make my head spin!
Or maybe Dr. Poke 'n Prod just turned me right inside out when she was fishin' around in there.

All in all, we had a very nice day full of new experiences for Eddie and Petey, a favourite activity for Sadie (riding in the car), and some photography opportunities for me.
And tomorrow will be February 1st - which on Vancouver Island means winter is over and spring has begun!


georgia little pea said...

Beaut trip! It must be great to get out of the house. That ferry ride was lovely. BigDog was a little scary though.

That last shot of Petey doing a whirlpool is fantastic. I guess that must be his little nose but he looks like that one-eyed monster from Greek mythology whose name escapes my addled brain at this time. Eeek Cyclops!

Hope the news is good for the littlefella.

Thanks for dropping by to visit The Crybaby . Nothing compared to your constant sleepless nights! :) x

P.S. what do you mean it's Spring? Isn't that in March? Please don't panic me.

EvenSong said...

A lovely visit to your neck of the woods! Makes me want to retire there too...
I remember the ticky-tacky houses song--I guess that puts us in the same generation? (which means I get to retire soon???)
Love the variety of boats, especially the pirate ship! (There was a skull and crossbones, on the side--guess they didn't want to scare anybody.) I've always wanted to learn to sail--that's my older brother's universe--but I guess it's hard to keep my very large four-legged friends on a boat. ;-)
Hope little Petey's doing okay.

Jean said...

GLP, it is only on the island that spring arrives in February - the rest of Canada waits until March or even May or June. The island has the mildest climate in Canada, and in Victoria, just south of me, they have an annual flower count around the last week of February or first week of March - just to thumb their noses at the rest of the country! :)

As for the whirlpool shot of Petey - that was a complete fluke. I was trying to photograph him in the new red harness Cora provided, and he decided to give his head a good shake. The photo was too bizarre not to print!

Evensong, I retired a few years early - yes, we are about the same age I think.

And Petey is doing fine - he needs extensive (and expensive)dental work, but his eyes may not need to be removed (though he has zero vision) if some other less invasive surgery is done around one. The rescue will make all final decisions. The vet visit was very educational - with a vet who teaches dentistry. One thing she pointed out is that the penchant for breeding smaller and smaller dogs means that their jaw bones beccome too small to provide adequate structure for the teeth, and sometimes when badly damaged teeth must be pulled, the jaw actually breaks as there's nothing left to hold it together.
The good news is that Petey's blood tests were excellent for a dog his age and history.

Mark said...

I remember the little boxes song as well and I am nowhere near to retiring LOL.

I totally understand what you mean though Jean, When I see these all the same houses I start to sing " there's a brown 1 and a brown 1 and a brown 1 all look the same all look ticky tacky all look the same"

Irene, S.Surrey said...

Lovely post & pictures, Jean. I've missed your frequent posts!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely blog entry. However, I must dispute the "only on the Island does spring arrive so soon" comment! It is positively springlike here on the mainland too, with buds and bulbs swelling and the redwinged blackbirds singing their territorial songs (their sound is my personal harbinger of spring, and I yesterday heard it for the first time this year). Spring is definitely in the air! As for the rest of Canada - poor them, still in Winter's grip.

I'm also interested in that excellent bird feeder Allie was eyeing up. It looks like the perfect model for our rainy climate. I've been struggling to keep seed dry all winter.

Glad to know that Petey's in better-than-expected shape.

Deb S.

Jean said...

Deb, I just hung one of those squirrel-deterrent covers (available at most places that sell bird feed supplies) over a regular bird feeder - we don't have squirrels, but I was tired of soggy, moldy seed. It works like a charm.
And perhaps I should have said "southwestern BC" re the early spring - though when I lived in the Fraser Valley, my friend and I always visited Victoria during spring break (third week of Feb) and found the flowers to be several weeks ahead - just opening in the Fraser Valley, but in full bloom in Victoria.

Olivia said...

Beautiful pictures! Love the ones on the beach in the fog! I'm so glad I found you via GLP!