Monday, October 31, 2016

So, er, this happened on the weekend...

We have a dog in the house again. Well, TWO to be precise!

Meet Dodger and Chloe (formerly Chance/Roo; she had two names in foster care. I have a horse named Roo so I couldn't keep that name!)...

Dodger is 9 months old and Chloe is 6 months old. They aren't very big. The two of them weigh less than one Tristan! They will probably max out at 40 - 45 lbs.

But they are super cute and cuddly. And they both had a tough start to life. We adopted them through Eastern Ontario Potcake Rescue. They were saved from certain death as tiny pups in Jamaica.

How sad is this little man?

This was Dodger when he was found in a ditch in Jamaica. He'd been hit by a car and his leg was severely broken. He'd been left for dead.

But he received some really excellent medical care and has healed amazingly well. He may require further surgery but his latest x-ray indicates that is unlikely. Yay, Dodger!

We also adopted this little ragamuffin...

She was rescued by a very kind English woman named Dionne. Dionne spends part of her year in Jamaica.

She found this girl and named her Chance (later Chance was named Roo.) Dionne thought the pup's legs were broken because she couldn't walk, but as it turned out, she was just terribly malnourished. Proper nutrition soon sorted her out.

Dionne wasn't able to keep this gal, so she took her to The Animal House in Jamaica, where they help rescue dogs and cats in need. And from there, Chance aka Roo aka Chloe and Dodger found their way to Canada, where the wonderful Julie and Allison at Eastern Ontario Potcake Rescue put them up for adoption...

We applied to adopt a puppy, and a week ago today, Allison and Julie brought out Dodger, Chance, and another pup named Bree for a home visit. 

Dodger  had been waiting a long time for his forever home. Not everyone wants to take on a dog with his medical history and the possibility of him needing more surgery. But we fell for him right away! And we also fell for his little girlfriend Chance, who we have renamed Chloe.

And on that same day, our friend Bernie was here helping with chores. He came in and met the third pup, a cutie named Bree. Instant love! Long story short, Bernie and his family adopted Bree! Dodger, Chloe and Bree were all delivered on Saturday. And then Gordon's assistant at work heard about all this, and yesterday she and her husband adopted a little pup named Brady.

Not bad, eh? Four puppy adoptions, all because I found this group and spread the word. I think Tristan would be pleased.

The dogs have been here for two days and have instantly settled in. They bonded in foster care and I think that has helped them adjust more easily...

They are super cuddly.

And they are both great with cats. Mootie, of all cats, is besotted with them. But they do steal cat beds...

We have been for several walks...

They've met Monty and the three of them get along great!

They are slowly meeting the other animals too.

Look! I have ponies and dogs that match!

I expect these beds to be occupied by cats soon.

Dodger and Chloe are called Jampups because they are pups from Jamaica. Street pups from the Turks & Caicos and Bahamas are called potcakes because people feed them the caked rice from the bottom of the pot.

We couldn't be more pleased with these two. Of course, when you lose a dog, that dog can never be replaced. But I think Tristan would be pleased if he knew we were able to offer a forever home to these two little ones. And it does make my heart feel a little bit better.

Welcome Dodger and Chloe! The cats will cope. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


So THIS was dumped at my across-the-road neighbour's place on Friday night, when it was raining and 4C and just a generally awful night...

Yes, that's right. A six-week old female Calico kitten, dumped like trash. Fortunately my neighbours are kind.

They heard her wailing outside and brought her into their house.

Then they called me! But before you start...

NO! I did not keep her. We do NOT need 18 cats!

No one believed me when I said I was going to find her a great forever home. I think even Gordon doubted me.

(Although he fell in love with her right away!)

But no, we really didn't need another kitty. My neighbours couldn't deal with her, so I told them to bring her over.

She settled in really quickly. She is an amazing kitten: super affectionate, confident, friendly...

...and completely unfazed by other cats.

We took her to the vet on Sunday. Apart from worms (for which she was treated) she was fine.

She likes to be carried around. She fell asleep in my hoodie.

Sometimes she sleeps with her eyes open! But she's wide awake here.

And while we were waiting for her NEW KITTY-PARENTS to pick her up yesterday, she fell asleep zipped into my vest.

Her name is Destiny now, and she has gone to live with my friends Bob and Laurie, who recently lost their beloved cat to cancer. They weren't quite ready for another cat but when they heard about this special little kitten, they wanted to come meet her. And then they took her home.

Her name is now Destiny, and she is going to have a fabulous life.

And I am so PROUD of myself for not keeping her... I amazed many of my friends, and quite possibly Gordon. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sweet as... Honey!

I meant to post these photos ages ago...

Our friend Shawn took this photos of Honey hanging out in the window box last spring.

Well hello, Honey!

She was basically crammed in a flower pot at the end, next to a long rectangular planter inside the box.

She is probably the most content cat I have ever had.

Can I get an amen, Honey?

Honey came to us with her sisters Daisy and Buttercup two years ago from the island of Syros in Greece, where my friend Joan runs a cat sanctuary. Even my friends who say they don't like cats DO love Honey. She is pretty irresistible! She was thrown in a dumpster with her sisters as a tiny kitten, and all she ever wanted was to be loved and cuddled. We do our best to oblige!
Hope you are having a great weekend. :)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Thank you!!

I used to love going for walks in the snow with Tristan and his "sister" Sophie. They were both fans of winter...

Thank you for all your kind words about our sweet Tristan. They made me cry some more! But that's okay, Tristan was worth the tears. Here are a few more oldies but goodies for you...

When he was younger, Tristan loved toys. He especially loved to carry things around in his mouth, and retrieving tennis balls, and disembowelling stuffed animals to get at the squeaker inside!

He loved CERTAIN cats, but especially Redford (and the feeling was mutual!)

And he had the best smile ever!

He was skunked many times. Eventually I stopped putting a collar on him because so many were ruined with the stench of skunk! He was also porcupined once, which did seem to cure him of his interest in those creatures. He never lost his interest in skunks, but fortunately he became so slow-moving in his later years that the skunks were able to shuffle away from him rather than unleashing their odiferous spray!

Tristan had a great sense of humour and he loved rolling on to his back.

I hope he and Sophie are together again, getting muddy and chasing critters and following their noses to the next adventure. Time goes so fast, and it's hard to believe they are now both gone... this really is the hardest part of having pets: saying good-bye. All you can do is hope you gave them a good life, and spared them any suffering at the end. 

But it still sucks...

Thank you SO MUCH for all the beautiful comments left on my last post. They are so comforting to me.

And happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends. I am thankful to have such a wonderful group of people reading my blog and sharing their feelings about it with me!

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Good bye, sweet Tristan

Yesterday we said good-bye to our dear Tristan. This is the worst part of owning pets.

A couple of weeks ago, our friend and photographer Deborah Wilson came to take some photos of our boy. I am so glad I have these gorgeous shots of him.

Tristan had been steadily declining for the past month, and in the past few days, he was finding it impossible to get up, and very hard to stay standing once he was up. We knew this was coming and probably would have helped him along last week, but our vet was away on vacation, and we wanted him to come to the farm to euthanize Tristan, so we waited until he was back.

Dr. Dave came out yesterday, and our boy had a very peaceful passing on the front porch with his head on  my lap and Gordon holding his paw. he was surrounded by a trio of his kitty friends.

 He was a Lab-Vizsla mix and we used to call him our noble Vizslador.

We adopted Tristan along with his "sister" Sophie in 2007 when his owner died in tragic circumstances. We lost Sophie in 2014 to hemangiosarcoma.

She was diagnosed a year after Tristan was also diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. He had his spleen and a six-lb tumour removed, and we expected him to last maybe another three months.

Instead he kept going for over three years!

He suffered from arthritis for a long time, and finally it became too much for him to bear.

He was a one-of-a-kind sort of dog...

...we will miss him so much.

Yesterday his friend Luc brought him a honey cruller from Tim Hortons, something Luc often did for Tristan. You can see in this photo how tired Tristan was (even compared to the photos above, which were taken just a couple of weeks ago)...

Luc also built Tristan a beautiful coffin, and used his excavator to dig a hole in our woodlot for him. Then last night, Gordon and I went out with Luc and his partner (and our friend) Debbie to bury Tristan. Before we closed the lid, we all said good-bye to the old boy. I tucked the box of Sophie's ashes in next to him. Then we loaded him onto the back of the RTV and drove him out to his peaceful resting place in the woods.

We feel really lucky to have friends like Debbie and Luc. They both do so much for us, and their kindness towards Tristan in life and death is something I will never forget. Tristan especially loved Luc, who would often lure him along with a trail of M & Ms.

A little selfie yesterday while we waited for the vet.

He had the softest ears ever!

He could be such a goofball. And he loved certain cats, particularly Redford.

And he had the best smile!

Tristan, we will miss you so much. You were a connoisseur of crullers, a lover of Tim Hortons coffee cups, a chaser of squirrels (before arthritis slowed you down.) You were so joyful swimming in the river and the pond, chasing tennis balls, and just lying in the sun enjoying the warmth of everyday life. You had the best sense of humour... only you would eat a tear-drenched Kleenex as your last supper just before passing over, as Gordon and I cried in your fur. We will never have another dog quite like you. We love you Tristan, and hope that you are once again with Sophie, running through the fields and woods like you both used to, looking for squirrels and muskrats, sniffing the farm air, seeking out your next adventure, never knowing what might be just around the corner...

Tristan, our noble Vizslador. 2002 - 2016