Saturday, March 27, 2010


I've been admiring people's self portraits on Flickr a lot lately. Some people can get pretty amazing pictures of themselves. I've never tried before but as I bought myself a remote a little while ago, I thought I'd give it a try.

It started out kind of like I expected it to...

How the hell do people do this????

But once the novelty of me lying on the ground wore off, I was able to get some of just me.

My favourite is this last one.  Ironically (or not!) it shows the least of me. I'm not sure where that jaw line came from, but I like it!


Now for something a little more lighthearted.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rasta Man

I'm struggling right now with going to the Animal Shelter every week.  I'm there to help the dogs and cats but there are things there, that to be frank, bother me.  I had heard "horror" stories about the shelter before I started going and I have been pleasantly surprised for the most part. Things aren't anywhere close to as horrible as I had been told.  Usually the kennels are clean, the dogs have access to food and water and the staff are very pleasant and genuinely seem to care about the dogs and cats at the shelter.  But there are little things that bother me and some bigger things too....

Like Quentin for instance.  This is what he looked like this morning....

The poor guy is matted to the skin and looks horrible.  In the above photo, his hair is not blowing in the wind, that is how it sits because it is so stiff with matts.  He was available for adoption today, so it is my understanding that he has been there for at least 72 hours.  After seeing him yesterday, and after seeing other things I won't talk about here, I almost decided to not go back again.  It breaks my heart to see dogs like this. When a dog is matted this badly, it has to hurt as the hair is pulling their skin.  If this dog came into rescue he would be whisked to a groomer instantly, probably even before going to a foster home.  It would be considered basic care.

The problem is, if I stopped going to the shelter, situations like Quentin would continue to happen, I just wouldn't know about it. Out of sight, out of mind. I'd feel better, but would the dogs?

So I decided to see if there was another way to make things better.  And thankfully I have good friends to help.  I covered Amanda's shift this afternoon so that she could turn Quentin into a handsome dog that anyone would want to adopt.

I bet his original owners wouldn't even recognize him.  He is so cute under all that fur.  And I bet he feels a hell of a lot better too.

I'm trying hard not to judge the shelter.  I know nothing about their agreement with the City, about their financial resources for each dog, about their staffing issues and about their training needs and wants.   The staff there have been nothing but friendly and helpful to me, but I can't help but be surprised at how something as basic as a decent groom isn't a priority.  Hopefully we can help a few more dogs this way too.  And if there are any groomers out there reading this, maybe you could consider volunteering for the shelter!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Golden Sheep

I took Luna, one of the dogs with the Windy City Canine Rescue, out today to get more pictures.  The moment she saw the wide open field, her ears went up.  It was like she was home.  I couldn't get over the change in her.  No more mushy little lap dog.

Then I threw the frisbee for Coulee.  Oh My!  Who knew this shy little girl could be so fast and so confident.  She had so much fun herding Coulee.

Just look at the wild look in her eyes!

She even ventured into the water... Anything to keep up with her "Golden Sheep".

She wouldn't take her eyes off her.  Wherever Coulee went, Luna was sure to follow.

I got a lot of photos with Coulee in the way.  Luna was always positioning herself with the "sheep" between her and I.  Just like she is supposed to.

Thankfully Coulee didn't mind her little herder.  Luna didn't want her frisbee and that is all Coulee was concerned about.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fort MacLeod

Fort Macleod (which is 30 minutes from here) has an awesome dog park.  There are lots of trees and shrubs and best of all no other people or dogs!  The only thing you need to keep an eye out for is all the wildlife. Thankfully we seem better at spotting it than the dogs. They are way too distracted with things like fresh deer poo to actually notice the real live deer just a little ways away.

Coulee was on a "no-fetch" diet as she came home limping earlier last week from a walk.  She had been fine during our walk but when she got up from her afternoon snooze, she was limping quite a bit.  It seemed to work itself out as she moved around, but after her next lay down, it started up all over again.  Yesterday was the first day she had been back out for a real romp and I didn't want to push it.  That didn't stop Coulee from finding sticks and creating her own fun.

One day I am going to figure out how people get awesome back-lit photos... If I take enough, one is bound to work out right?

Pixel was trying hard to teach Coulee to share.

So was Lacey. 

Ahh the things we do to take pictures of our pets.  Boone was trying to snuggle with Amanda, Vito was hoping that a treat might come his way, Wicca was wondering why she had to stand still, and Amanda was trying not to throw her back out while getting the perfect angle.  Thankfully Pixel was off somewhere else and not pestering her mama.

Lacey briefly got to chew on one of Coulee's sticks.  I think Coulee is actually attached to the other end still though.

Despite what it looks like below, Lacey does know that stalking and tackling Wicca won't turn out very well.

The girls had a great time and best of all there has been no sign of a limp from Coulee.  Yay!

Thanks Amanda for a fun walk and for DRIVING!  :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I love what Lacey's fur does when wet.  The little clumps create the coolest texture.

You can also see how much light coloured fur she has underneath all that black.  I'm surprised she looks as dark as she does when dry... she really has a pale undercoat.

Bits and Pieces

Or maybe I should have called it heads and tails.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just 'Cause

Spring Swim

The river has been open for a while but yesterday was the first day when we were down there that I didn't see ice chunks floating downstream so I decided it was safe for swimming.  Last week I just let them get their ankles wet running down the shore line, but yesterday they were able to get all the way in.  Lacey decided on her own that it was still a little chilly for chasing bubbles, but Coulee jumped in with both feet.

And of course, with water comes lots of shaking which means lots of amusing photos.  The last 2 pictures in the series of Coulee below make me laugh - she is still shaking but you can see her getting ready to pick up the ball and go again.

Again, the last one is my favourite...
And just one more set of Coulee for your enjoyment.  :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Windy City Canine Rescue

So you know that rescue I mentioned the other day?  Well it is finally official.  The Windy City Canine Rescue is going to be helping mature dogs in Lethbridge and the surrounding area.

There is definitely a need for another dog rescue in town.  If you just glance at kijiji, you'll find no shortage of people trying to find new homes for their dogs.

The Windy City Canine Rescue is looking for volunteers and donations.  If you'd like to volunteer there are lots of options including foster homes, fundraising, transporting (getting dogs to and from vet appointments, etc.) and more.  Please contact the rescue at if you might be willing to lend a hand.  Also, if you want to give a cash donation there is a PayPal link you can follow from both the website and the blog.

If you visit the website, you'll notice that our "poster boy" is none other than Max!  He has already gone to a great home and is officially Windy City Canine Rescue's first adoption. Yay for Max!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Maybe I'm the Crazy One

A new rescue is forming in Lethbridge.  I'm excited and scared all at once.  The last time I was involved in rescue it was rewarding but also frustrating and at times, all consuming.  But I miss the dogs and I miss helping a worthy cause.  And this time it is going to be better.

I've talked things over with Marlin and he is very supportive (as always!) but doesn't want to be a foster parent.  OK I said. No problem. I don't want to do that either.  But then I came home with Max.  Ooops! The rescue hasn't even officially started and already I'm doing things I said I wouldn't.

Thankfully we managed to escape relatively unscathed.  He went to a new foster home after one night and we weren't given enough time to fall in love.  We are hoping the new foster home is actually a new "real" home so we won't be singing Max's praises until we've given her some time to decide if she wants to keep him.  I have a feeling, she won't be able to resist.  He is a GREAT dog.

As you can see I took him off leash after just having him for one night.  And he listened as well, if not better, than my girls.

He has it all - looks, brains and lots and lots of speed.  He managed to give Coulee a run for her money.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

They Must Be Crazy

A few of us went to the PBR Bull Riding last night.  It was a lot of fun.  I brought my camera and took a few videos and lots of pictures.  I had to set the camera at ISO 6400 so the graininess is horrible but you still get a pretty good idea of what is happening.

I have no idea why you would want to try and make a living like this.  So every one gets to ride on bull and the top 10 scores go into the finals. The goal is to last at least 8 seconds.  If you don't make it 8 seconds, you are disqualified.  Some of these guys "worked" about 2 seconds and went home with nothing.  And to top it off you never know if you are going to land on your head, your ass or your feet.  Not to mention the risk of the bull going after you.

The rodeo clowns have been replaced with Bull Fighters.  These guys are equally nuts. If they see the bull heading for the rider, they try and get the bull to chase them instead.  One guy last night had a pretty hard fall but other than that, most of these guys escaped relatively unscathed which I find unbelievable.

Here are a few video clips.  I included a slightly longer one that shows how they get the bull to leave the ring when he is done.  A lot of the bulls know what is expected of them and they just run through the open gate on their own but the guy on the horse had to help quite a few of them find their way home.

The last clip is of the guy who won the event.  I didn't buy a program so I can't tell you who any of the people or bulls are.  Sorry!  Pictures to follow in a later post.

The Boys

The last time the boys stayed here I was a bad babysitter and never posted any pics of them.  So this is for Amanda.  :)

Our walks with the boys are pretty predictable.  Vito always has a plan.  And the plan is to get the toy.  It doesn't matter what toy it is, if Coulee wants it, Vito wants it.

Boone is equally predictable.  He is just happy to run and run and run.  He loves to try and beat Coulee to the ball. He doesn't normally make it, but it never seems to bring his spirits down.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


... affect everyone differently.


Sometimes pictures really do speak better than words.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Prairie Girl

It never ceases to amaze me how there can be such large areas of "nothing" in southern Alberta. And this is still within the City boundaries!