I surrender!

I did it.  I took your advice, and I passed Poutine off to another foster home (they already have an Aussie, so everyone speaks the same language there), and I am now totally foster-free.  I’m taking a BREAK.


I know Dex, it’s shocking.  But I’ve decided to take a little “me” time with just my own smoocherooni poocheroonies for company.  Of course, right after I did that, Kim offered to trade me fosters; Poutine for 7 month old Rosie, who is GIRLY TWEED (well, not that Tweed isn’t *already* kinda girly, but Rosie’s an actual girl Tweed.  See for yourselves).

WAH!!  I immediately regretted it.   But then the Waggin’ Wagon died – oh yes it did. *bows*  I killed the engine.  21 years that car zooms merrily along, and in a single month I managed to destroy it.  The mechanic claims it’s just “age” but we know better don’t we?  It’s just another sign from the Universe that the Food Lady needs a rest.

Technically it still runs, but it’s making this absolutely horrendous sound the internetz tell me is “engine knock” due to worn pistons.  The mechanic tells me it’s “a ticking time bomb” and that any day now, the engine will seize and the wagon will simply cease to exist.  Apparently I could ‘replace the engine,’ but what the hell, I need a real car anyway.

So hopefully by Tuesday I will be the proud owner of this little fella:

I decided to go with the Kia Sportage.  I’m just having BCAA do a mechanical inspection on it before I throw down the big bucks.

The question is … what do I do with the Wagon?

Anyway, I picked a good day for my Me Break, because when I awoke this morning, Spring had come to pay us an honest to goodness visit.  It was sunny and warm and beautiful outside.  I had a late and luxurious lie-in and when we finally went out to play, I felt kind of like this:

Tweed was happy too, because I gave him a day off from prison (ie crating) and let him have some fun off leash.  The crate rest and leash walk routine doesn’t seem to be making a lick of difference to his pathetic limp, so I figured some exercise couldn’t hurt too much.  I mean, he has shown exactly zero improvement, so whatever the problem is, resting isn’t going to solve it.  May as well let him have a little joy in his life.

He couldn’t believe his luck.  I even let him play fetch-the-stick for a while.

Why for are the Food Lady being so kind to me and letting me fetch a stick?


Shut up Tweed!  It’s been forever since she has thrown ANYTHING!  Stop asking questions and just bring it back to her!  Oh here, I’ll do it, you idiot.

She’s right.  We haven’t played fetch in quite some time, because I feel guilty about throwing things when Tweed is not allowed to run after them.

Then we played some hide-and-seek … apparently.  I didn’t know we were playing, but Dexter was really into the game.

Look at me!  I’m sneaking up on you!

Look at me now!  Now I’m swimming!

But when I get out of the water, I will sneak up on you again.  And then shake on you.

I wish you could have seen his face when something in the water brushed up against him.  I don’t know what it was – maybe a fish?  There are salmon in that river.  But he freaked out!  He tried to jump in the air (impossible to do when water logged) and then he tried to run on top of the water (just plain impossible to do) and I didn’t get a single photo because I was laughing way too hard.

It freaked Piper out a little bit too.

After that, there was a distinct lack of interest in swimming.

It was such a beautiful morning that even Wootie played some fetch-the-stick.

TWooie was unimpressed.  And this is such a terrible photo of him, as he has lost his whole muzzle in this angle.

After a couple of hours of sunny, glorious freedom, we are now all at home napping.  Well, everyone but Dexter.

It’s coming for me, isn’t it?  I can’t sleep.

We hope you are all enjoying a sunny, lazy Sunday too.  I’m going to go join the dogs for an afternoon nap :)


  1. Of Pitbulls and Patience says:

    Enjoy your break! Also, it looks like you live in a dog paradise; sticks, fields, AND water? Those must be some happy pups living with you!


  2. Yay for the Food Lady! And yay for her break! Looks like you guys had a beautiful day out, and I’m glad to see the menagerie out playing, now in “plus Tweed” deluxe edition. I am sending good vibes from this side of Canada; hopefully they reach you.

  3. Ha ha ha! What a great post!

    So glad you had some sun and the chance to enjoy it! I spent the day dressed for spring at a trial (vending not running) in a horse arena that stayed at 32 degrees all day as is rained most of the day outside. (That’s the temp at which water freezes, so zero celsius.) After having the heat blasting in the car on the way home then a hot shower that drained the tank I am now sitting under my overhead heat lamp to finish getting warm.

    Probably a good thing you passed on Rosie Otherwise it would have been “Four Woofs and a WooTWoo”.

    Piper cracks me up, she looks slightly demented half the time! Is she truly as um, hare-brained as she looks in the photos?

  4. You will appreciate the rest. And see if you can find a cheap facial or massage on Groupon and treat yourself.

  5. you know your blog never fails to make me laugh!, out loud, like a fool !!
    thanks for that !!

  6. There’s a couple of charitable foundations that will take the waggin wagon off your hands AND give you a taxable credit for it. Try the Kidney Car Foundation. And enjoy your rest.

  7. FL, if your shoulder/back/everything is aching badly, is there a separate means whereby I can donate to your RMT or a spa for you to have a massage? Just wonderin’ :) If I knew where you actually were in BC, I’d try to find a close spa and get you a certificate!

  8. You have earned your break. You do great work, and its totally okay to want time to yourself and your own dogs. After all, five dogs is already a lot of work. If you ever have another problem Aussie, feel free to ship him here to Minneapolis. We know the language here, plus we live in a one bedroom apartment so runners would have to pass through three doors to get free! While having two active herding dogs in a one bedroom apartment is generally ill-advised, that door thing is kind of nice.
    Sorry about the Waggin’ Wagon. I hope your new car is awesome!

  9. Janice in GA says:

    Can I just say that if I wasn’t on the opposite side of North America from you that I would just LOVE LOVE LOVE Rosie?? I want a red dog some day. (Though I can’t have one while I still have my currently 14 year old Bouncer.)

    Good luck with the new vehicle, and I’m glad you’re having some time to yourself.

  10. Oh my; I started belly-laughing at Dexter’s “brush with death” reaction, kept laughing nearly till the end, and then burst forth again with that final photo and its caption!

  11. There are many reasons for a noisy engine. It could be something as simple as a bad tank of gas — low octane fuel makes a “ping” or a ticking/tapping noise. I’m assuming your engine is probably overhead cam, which means it could also be bad lifters (if you have hydraulic lifters) or that your lifters need to be readjusted (if they are the kind where that can be done). The latter job is not all that difficult to do, as you only have to take the valve cover off (not take the whole engine apart), and I’ve done it plenty of times on my old car, so I wouldn’t *think* it would be too terribly expensive (though what do I know about mechanic rates? I don’t pay anyone to do what I can do myself). If your timing is slightly off that can also cause the engine to sound noisy.

    Did you do anything right before it happened? Get your oil changed, fill up with a new tank of gas, etc.? If I were you I’d kick a little before you give up and buy another car (and saddle yourself with another car payment). The interwebz is NOT the best way to diagnose a car problem, any more than it is the best way to diagnose a medical problem, so it may not be anywhere near as bad as you read.

  12. The Food Lady says:

    Actually, if you go back and reread the post, you’ll see I clearly took it to the mechanic, not diagnosed the problem myself. It’s knocking in the top and the bottom of the engine (not ticking) and it’s massively losing compression (ie, I can’t accelerate very well) and I guess I should mention that it’s burning (not leaking) through about two quarts of oil every 24 hours. The environmentz are very unhappy with me. I’m pretty sure that means it’s dead, yeah? Plus the mechanic said it was, and he’s not on the internetz. Actually, he was kinda cute ;-) Maybe I should go back and ask for a second opinion. If I thought the car would make it that far, I’d consider it. HA!

  13. Excellent photo as always!

  14. Congratulation, you’re finally taking a rest!! Though I totally understand you about Rosie, she looks adorable!!!. :D

    Take some time, get some rest, give more cuddles to your dogs, even Wootie and Twootie will enjoy it and take some time from the pile of wood chips to get some of those, and maybe some treats as well. Reassure Dexter he is not going to die and more importantly get used to the new car. No matter how experienced you are a new car needs some time to get used to it, maybe you need less, but your dogs will enjoy the cuddles and treats.

    Disclaimer: I have not received any payment from any of your dogs to encourage you down the road of treats and cuddles.

    Enjoy the break and relax and recover that shoulder.

    Best wishes :)

  15. clairesmum says:

    What “language” do Aussies speak? Are they known for being escape artists? Glad you are taking a break for a while – looks like all of you had fun on your day off! Well, maybe not Dexter – that last photo and caption are priceless! Let’s hope the new vehicle has many safe and sturdy miles for you and the gang.

  16. Sorry, FL, I saw the bit about the Internetz, and the comment about the mechanic sounded kind of general, like he hadn’t seen it this time, had just told you at some point that you didn’t have long on this engine. So I assumed you hadn’t had it in. If I’d known it was losing compression, too, I would have spared you the lengthy and completely unnecessary comment. :-) But by all means, get him to explain it to you in more detail! Maybe over dinner, because of course you wouldn’t want low blood sugar to interfere with your comprehension of what he is saying, right? ;-)

  17. clairesmum, if I can reply for the Food Lady, Aussies are just… a little different in some ways that add up to a different language. It has to do with the way they were bred to herd. They were made to be the half-way-in-between border collies and cattle dogs. Rather than being ‘sheep’ or ‘cattle’ specialists, they are herding generalists. The reason for this is that when the breed was being developed, ranches in the US (where the breed was developed, contrary to the name) commonly kept both sheep and cows at the same time, something that doesn’t happen in other areas of the world. Now, a border collie generally has an intense, obsessive, and very responsive nature because herding sheep takes a very light touch, so they must respond to the farmer’s commands immediately. Cattle dogs generally are tough nuts with minds of their own, because they NEED to have no fear in order to manipulate heavy stock. This makes them quite stubborn most of the time. Of course, there are ranges of personality in every breed, so no dog fits exactly this mold, but you can assume those personality traits for our purposes. Aussies can range from broder collie personality to cattle dog personality and anything in between because they were bred to be the half way. This creates some interesting situations. Many aussies are frustratingly stubborn and single-minded, while at the same time being ‘soft’ in personality, dogs you have to be very careful about using heavy correction on. They often have a very unique way of interacting with other dogs, both flighty and physical at the same time, that other Aussies seem to understand fine, but other breeds get confused by. Too often they will be the best, most responsive, tractable dog you’ve ever had, until the cattle side comes out and they suddenly turn into one stubborn little you-know-what for a few hours. They just aren’t quite of one world of herding dog or another. That is the best I can do for explaining why their language is different than other breeds. Maybe The Food Lady or someone else can do better.


  18. Maybe the thing in the water that freaked out Dexter was an otter. The freshwater ones are big, and quite capable of sneakin’ up to check out a dog underwater. I’ve seen them get in pretty close to dogs before. I used to see them often out in Pitt Meadows, which is similar habitat to where you are by the looks of things.

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