Friday, December 2, 2011

squamish meet up

daizy the most agile 10 year old

Trainer extraordinaire, Katherine and I met on the internet through our love of beagles and working with dogs that have 'issues'. Through our blogs we learned that we (including Andre) were into positive reinforcement training and that we also have dogs that require a bit of extra care.

Last year our schedules didn't mesh, but this year I made sure to contact Katherine well in advance and to ensure I could meet her cute beagles and herself in person!

She took us to some magical places in Squamish that I never even knew existed in my 25 years of living on the west coast.

ninja dog!

katherine and daizy in perfect heel

cutie pie

10 year old Daizy!


Duke was too excited to stay still for even a second for a photo - this shot is a good example of how he was during most of our hike.

Thanks Katherine for sharing your beautiful hiking spots with us! I hope we can do it again soon!!

image image

Friday, June 3, 2011

more swimming updates

I was looking at cute sloth videos when I stumbled upon a video of a sloth swimming (oh and I think it's pretty cool that they use Canadian, Kid Koala's song for the video)!! So I've decided to make the swimming sloth my mascot! I'm trying to keep this image of a calm sloth swimming while I swim so that I don't start panicking the minute I get a little bit of water in my mouth.

This swimming thing is going to be an uphill battle for me I think. AND a week after I get a 3 month pass for the length swim at my community, they post up notices that the pool is going to be closed for a little over 2 weeks for maintenance. Great.

The other thing is my extreme dry eyes flared up again because of all the showering with contacts I was doing last week so I swam without contacts today and I ended up regressing with my progress. In total I swam about 6 laps in 20 minutes with less down time between laps, but I went back to only being able to swim 0.5 laps doing the front crawl. Very frustrating.

SessionDateNo. of Laps at one go Notes
1Sat. May 210.5totally winded at 1/2 way mark
2Mon May 240.5mental block stopping me from swimming more the 1/2 way
3Fri May 271!! 
4Fri June 30.5no swimming with contacts

To cheer myself up I'll watch this video too:

... to be continued ...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Swimming Log

double exposure

Andre, Shana and I have signed up to do a mini Triathlon in August.

The running part and biking part is easy!! 2.5 or 2 kms running and 10km biking on a flat terrain - with a little training, it will be doable and maybe even fun! .... BUT the swimming part (which comes first) is 350 metres. In Lake Ontario.

It wasn't until I visited Hawaii and tried snorkeling in the ocean with Andre that I realized that I have a drowning phobia. I almost had a panic attack when I swam out with Andre and lost a fin. Andre volunteered to dive down to get it but I freaked out when I saw how far it had fallen to and not only was I scared because I can't tread water, but I was worried that Andre would drown too. I lost the little logical mental capabilities I had and decided I had to leave the situation ASAP and swam on my back all the way back to the beach.

Not a good situation to be in for swimming in a lake that was once mistaken to be the Pacific, right?

So I went to the my local community centre pool on Saturday to try to get comfortable enough to be able to eventually swim more than 350 metres. I was talking to the life gaurd and she said that 350 metres is approx. 15 laps and that I should make it 20 laps if I'm going to be swimming in Lake Ontario. I think this summer I'll use this space to log my swimming progress.

SessionDateNo. of Laps at one go Notes
1Sat. May 210.5totally winded at 1/2 way mark
2Mon May 240.5mental block stopping me from swimming more the 1/2 way

What I find really frustrating is that my community pool is frequented by seniors and old people, who if I saw them on the street wouldn't think they were in good shape, but they are! They can swim lap after lap without being too out of breath. And there I am, huffing and puffing at the end of the pool after one lap. wwwwhhhhhyy??

To be continued....

Saturday, May 7, 2011

we're not very good at this

... these days.

i've got a backlog of stuff i want to post, but can't seem to get to them. now with my taxes done and paid for, hopefully i'll return to poor

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

some R&R

sleeping duke

Petey and Duke are slowly starting to get used to each other and Petey is warming up to the idea that it's ok for Duke to touch him while they are napping.

These photos were processed through the online photo filter Rollip.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cupcake Bike Ride!

It's starting up again this month! Now on to planning routes and contacting bakeries...

Hopefully the weather will cooperate!

Five good things for this week:

• last minutes plans and my parents are arriving for a visit next week!
• book club
• being able to walk past dogs with duke and not one howl
• being inspired by pugly pixel (and getting a lot of good resources)
• discovering gigi (thanks cbc radio 2)

I also have a special, 6th good thing.

On Monday, I biked up to my book club (a 10km ride one way). Things were great and I climbed the crazy hill on Poplar Plains Cres. After the dedicated bike lanes end, however, there is a part of the bike route that takes you through a park. The route is a bit rough here and the melting snow was starting to refreeze on the path.

I was being careful biking on the forming ice, but after being distracted by a cute beagle, I slipped and fell off my bike at the exit of the park. My basket fell off my bike and my bag that was in the basket fell into a puddle of ice water.

Cursing myself, I quickly put my basket back and angrily, tried to brush the water off of my bag. Then, I went over my bike for damage and after straightening my handle bars, I rushed back on my bike and sped off.

It wasn't until after my book club meeting that I realized my cell phone was missing. I checked the time on it while biking up so it should have been in my bag and with a sinking feeling, I realized it must have fallen out when I fell off my bike.

I cycled back to the scene of my accident with thoughts of hoping my phone would still be there interspersed with imagining a person finding my phone and promptly placing an ad on craiglist to sell it.

When I got back to the park, the phone, of course, was not there. A kind man even lent me his phone to call to see if we could hear the ringer. No luck. And I slowly and sadly rode home, thinking how 2011 was starting to become a really bad year.

I got home, sullenly told Andre about my fall and my missing phone and trudged upstairs to get ready for bed.

When I went to quickly checked my email, however, I discovered an email from a girl saying she had found my phone! She lived right by the park and was safe keeping it for me!!

Suddenly 2011 turned back around to being not as bad I was thought and my faith in Torontonians was restored.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

a lovely visit

two friends

my sister hannah's visit went by so quickly and i was so busy trying to soak up as much hannah-time as i could, that i forgot to take photos!

we mostly did home stuff and hung out with the dogs. hannah baked up such a storm (lemon-yogurt cake for a dinner party, chocolate cake for us, walnut cake and walnut muffins) and cooked so many delicious meals for us, we hardly had a chance to take her out for some toronto eats.

we even biked around together (although initially hannah didn't enjoy biking in toronto because of the parked cars on the college street bike lanes).

she was here for exactly a week and i don't know why i do this, but 2 days before her departure i started to think about how we'd be apart again and started to get really sad. i even took out my sadness on poor andre by being cranky the morning of hannah's flight.

it's getting harder and harder to part with my family ... so to try to stay positive and not so blue, i want to start a weekly good things (a la hello ... although i'm not sure if she's doing it anymore):

• we're all sick of winter right now, but the snow fall last night was beautiful
• petey and duke's giardia medication is finished
• playing fetch in the snow with the dogs
• sending a newsletter to print for a client
• making butternut squash soup

Saturday, February 12, 2011

doggie treats


doggie cookies

over the holidays, shana baked some yummy doggie treats for duke and petey. with the treats she also gave us the recipe for the cookies and also a really cute bone shaped cookie cutter.

as a thank you for the support that we received from marna and erica from big on beagles, during petey's ordeal (that's a whole other blog post in itself), i decided i'd try shana's recipe to give as presents.

it was super easy to make and i also copied the way shana packaged the cookies because i was so impressed with the presentation of them. after packing up the present cookies, there were still enough for duke and petey!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

a bike date

andre and his bianchi
biking through the bike lane in the new dufferin underpass

for a few days last week, the temperatures warmed up to around the 0 degree mark, so andre and i took the opportunity to ride our bikes to our lunch date.

our yummy lunch

with our groupon coupon in hand, we sat down for lunch at mildred's temple kitchen. and lucky for us, one of andre's past clients who is a chef at the restaurant was there and we were able to quickly catch up with him. he also sent over a delectable oxtail, gnocchi dish that just melted in our mouths. the meat was so tender!

nice bike mural
a very cute bike mural - which i admired in the past but didn't remember the bike!

hi there pig!
thanks for carrying those apples ms. pig

then we went off to mec and urbane cyclist to do some errands before returning home.

hopefully these almost spring-like temperatures will return soon!

me and my bike (that is getting a beating with all the salt this winter)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

a new year's romp

Duke and I (sans Andre, who was working on our bathroom and Petey who detests muddy textures under his paws) went for a hike through High Park. It was unseasonably warm on New Year's Day and most of the snow melted over night, creating a very misty, moist start to 2011.

finally out of the mud
made it through the super muddy trails


why are you so slow?
eventually we just ended up walking, instead of playing fetch

sitting pretty
looks more like an autumn shot, than a mid-winter photo!

see ya!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

winter wonderful

for christmas last year, i took the boys to the historic village of alton, just 1.5 hours outside of toronto, for a short holiday get-away.

alton is a picturesque mill town with many heritage buildings. because the village is old, despite being a small town, the streets are narrow and all the buildings are placed really close to the streets giving it an almost urban feel. a lot of buildings have heritage plaques stating they were built during the last couple of decades of the 19th century!

we stayed at the town's mill which has since been converted into a beautiful inn and spa.

the beautiful waterfall at the millcroft inn
the gorgeous waterfall right behind the dining hall

christmas decorations
christmas decorations were everywhere

a very popular birdhouse with lots of feathery visitors in the mornings

the inn is dog friendly and our two-storey room had a great fireplace and an outdoor hot tub. because of duke and petey's separation-anxiety, we did room service for all our meals and we even brought our breakfasts back to our room (which felt more like a small townhouse). i must say that the food is quite delicious at the millcroft!

the main reason for choosing the millcroft inn was it's proximity to the bruce trail. what we didn't know until we arrived was that the inn is surrounded by hiking trails and we didn't have to leave the property to go for a hike with the beagles.

hunting together

more often than not, these two were running around together

initally we let both duke and petey off leash. both have great recall at parks and urban hiking trails. we have no problems with going to parks that aren't fenced in. so we didn't think we'd have to worry about them wandering off.

the trails in alton, however, must have a tonne of exciting smells and duke soon took off, hopping like mad through the snow banks. it took a good 10 minutes of me trying to run after him in thigh-high snow before i could catch him, when he paused to drink in the the scent of something particularly good.

and with that, off-leash privileges were revoked for him and shortly after for petey as well, when he high-tailed it through the fields, returning only when duke started howling after him.

what a great recall
petey before his privileges were revoked - a good recall!

sniff sniff
sniff, sniff

keenly listening
duke did a lot of pausing to listen carefully and sniff the air

the trails were really pretty, despite everything being in hibernation mode.

giant pods

the hiking tired the boys out thoroughly and they were more than happy to pass out in front of the fire for the rest of the evening.

pooped petey

tired beagles

our little getaway was so relaxing and fun - if only, like all vacations, it could have been a little bit longer. it has, however, definitely given me ideas for another winter getaway. it was so nice to see duke and petey have fun in the snow and not get painful salty paws. for the humans it was also a relief not to have to worry about litter and gross discarded food that the beagles love to scavenge in the city.

while researching for this trip, i found quite a few dog friendly accommodations within easy driving distance from toronto. the only problem is that they are quite popular and for a holiday getaway, many were booked up by late november. here is a list of a few that i've ear-marked for future trips:

The Little Inn
Cedar Grove: you get your own detached log cabin with all meals included!
Red Bay
Millcroft Inn: where we stayed!