This Is The End, My Friend

Yesterday marked ninth anniversary of the day that my Briggsy Bubba Border Collie was recycled back into the Universe.

That means almost 20 years ago my adventures in red doggedness began.  It’s strange to look at the pack now and see no red border collies gazing back at me (I’m really going to have to do something about that one of these days).  There’s just Woo, who in his orangeness is not quite red  … and not quite a border collie.

I volunteer as tribute.

I was feeling a bit melancholy about the anniversary of his passing, and missing Tweedles too, and had planned to a little post honouring his memory.  But yesterday became a very sad day in its own right.

Yesterday, the gates of Hell opened up and swallowed back one of its minions when the legendary Tempus Fugit passed away suddenly.  He developed a blood clot at the diverticula where the aortic vessels branches off into the two femoral arteries.  His hind quarters stopped receiving blood flow and he was paralyzed.  His kidneys stopped receiving blood flow and were shutting down.  And his body was not able to dissolve the clot. And after 24 hours of hoping for progress, his humans made the kindest decision and released him from his pain.

Right now, Tempus is looking up at us (because he surely went to Hell) and smugly gloating that he didn’t give up his fatal blood clot and managed to resource guard it bitterly to the end, and he won.  For this is the only way that a dog like Tempus could go out; he would get something fatally strange, and he’d keep it because damn it, it’s his and he’d bite anyone who tried to take it away.

Does it sound like I’m making light of the passing of a dog I loved very much, and who was loved very much by my best friend?  I’m sure it does, but I’m really not.  Tempus was an extremely disturbed little dog with a myriad of behavioural issues that would have worn down most owners – I certainly could not have lived with him.  He was a Terrier with a Capital T.  He was a consummate resource guarder, he had severe barrier frustration, he had all kinds of intensely bizarre quirks and you’d need a really big sack in which to stuff all the triggers that would send him into FURY.  He’d bite you as soon as look at you if you rubbed him the wrong way, and his entire life he tried to bite (and sometimes was successful) Fiona when she put him in a crate in the car.  And he *loved* Fiona – but was an equal opportunity biter.  He could hold a grudge like you wouldn’t believe – way back in the day when we all played flyball, one time Tweed got all excited and nipped Tempus when he passed him in the lane.  Tem waited for A WHOLE OTHER TOURNAMENT to get his revenge; he sped toward the first hurdle, stopped and turned around, came racing back and bit ME in the ankle, then resumed his run.  Because I belonged to Tweed and by doG, someone was going to pay for that nip A MONTH AGO.  He was truly a terrible, vindictive little animal.

He was also an amazing flyball dog, and a successful agility dog.  And he could be freakin’ adorable when the mood struck him.  He could be amazingly cuddly.  He loved puppies.  He head humped Peetie with gusto.  And he was always so happy to see his friends.  He lived his life hard and he was hard to live with.  He also lived an AMAZING life, because his human accepted him for who and what he was (demon spawn) and worked not against him but rather around him.  I don’t think she and her hubby have been on more than one vacation in 13 years because you certainly couldn’t leave Temmy with someone else; you’d have come home to a dead dog sitter and Tem resource guarding the corpse.  They worked with him on what they could, and accepted what they couldn’t, and gave him a life that 99% of people in this world could never have offered the shifty little bastard.  They saved him from himself countless times and set him up for safety and success over and over and over. He was possibly the luckiest dog in the world.

It’s the truly stand out dogs that make the deepest impressions on our soul (though Tempus probably stole some of our souls and ate them).  Every one of our dogs leaves their mark and leaves sadness in their place when they go.  But it’s the truly remarkable dogs, the really good ones, and the REALLY bad ones, that depart this mortal coil as legends.  And Tempus was nothing if not legendary.

I went to see him yesterday at critical care and said my goodbyes to that fine little shithead of a dog.  My world is a little emptier without him.  Fiona’s is a whole lot emptier.  But he’s still with us, because there are dozen, thousands, countless tales of his veracity, his antics and his temper.  There will never be another Tempus, which is a good thing – but there will never be an end to the stories about him we could tell, and will tell, over and over again.

So raise a glass tonight in his honour, and tell someone you love a tale of a dog that you loved deeply, in Temmy’s honour.

The Terrier Minions compel you.

RIP Tempus.

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It Goats Better

(yes, I can spell)

Auntie Michelle and I did our first walkies of the year yesterday at Pitt Lake.  I had the Cabin Fever real bad, since I’ve been off and on snowed in for most of a month.  Ugh, winter.

Not this Winter, who ears what you ear, and ears many other things besides, if those dumbotrons on his head are any indication.

I actually like the snow (soooo much better than muddy feets!), but I just wish it wouldn’t strand me on the farm so often.  They finally plowed the main road, and the driveway has packed down and is now driveable, so I was keen to get out and do an epic New Year walk .  We had a lot of fun, but I didn’t take very many photos because they turn out the same as taking them at home.  Everything is brown covered in white.

Like here is FaeFae standing on a frozen lake, but you wouldn’t know that if I didn’t tell you that.

And Dexter running through the brush, which may as well be my yard for all you could see the difference.

And Pesty Peetie posing on the dyke, which may as well be the river behind my house, except for the mountain in the background.

Wootie found a Really Big Stick, but it’s from the same kind of trees we have at home, so ….

But everyone had fun, and ran themselves to sleep after almost three hours of meandering around the lake – so first goal of 2017 accomplished!

Second goal of 2017 accomplished this morning when I (*insert drumroll here*) signed the leash on my new place!

!!!!

Those of you on Facebook already know this, but I found a new home.  I am SO EXCITED!  It’s an old three bedroom house (rooms!  I will have REAL rooms!) on an 18 acre farm that is filled with

(wait for it)

GOATS!

Goats goats goats!  Big goats!  Little Goats!  Baby goats! Grown up goats!

MY NEW LANDLORD GAVE ME A GOAT AS A HOUSEWARMING GIFT!  I named him Snorfles.  I have no photos of the goats because I was so excited I plain old forgot to take any. Not even a photo of baby Snorfles because I was too busy cuddling him.  My stepdad practically had to pry him out of my arms and make me leave. But I did get a couple of photos of the property with the phone.

This is my new house and the front yard.

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The side yard, and you can see the garage (currently houses horses) where my poultry can live.  Or my car.  Priorities, you know.

ahomefrontside

Here’s a view of the back of my house and garage-thing from the other end of the property where the landlord lives.

ahomefrontback

The inside of the house needs a lot of work done, as it’s old, and the current tenant hasn’t done anything to it.  But my landlord says if I do the work, he’ll pay for the needed materials.  And it has a wood burning stove in it too!  I predict Addy will be vacating my shirt and living on a dog bed next to the stove.

My new landlord is the nicest guy.  I had posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a new place to rent – it’s how I found the place I’m on now, seven years ago, so I figured it could work again.  And it did!  He hadn’t advertised this house yet and he said when he saw my advert he thought “PERFECT.”  He doesn’t care how many dogs I have.  And when I suggested I might get a donkey he said “OH MY GOD, YES PLEASE!”  Could this be any more wonderful?

The property is much more rural than where I am now – my current location is a pocket of pseudo rural in a fairly developed neighborhood.  The new place is way out in the boonies.  And SO QUIET.  Michelle and I creeped my new house and hood yesterday after our walk and I stopped the car, rolled down the windows and made her listen to the sound of NOTHING.  It’s going to be so great!

I’m so relieved that we will all have a new home :)  Thank you all for putting it out there in the universe for us!

(This is a random photo of Wootie who looks like how I feel right now)

So.  Who wants to help me move?  ;-)

Well, That Was Awkward

Happy 2017!

I got stuck on a hill coming home from the grocery store today.  On New years Eve my party plans were ruined when it decided to dump another almost-foot of snow on us out here in the sticks.  Seriously – I live in a temperate rainforest FOR A REASON.  Why does it keep snowing?  So I got snowed in with the dogs.  After it snowed, rather than getting warm and washing the snow away as per usual, the temperature instead dropped.  Right now it claims to be 1 degree outside, but we have an arctic outflow that with windchill makes it like -10.  So all that snow FROZE and for reasons known only to city officials, snow plows and salters use our neighbourhood to go salt and plow other neighbourhoods, but do nothing to ours en route.  As such, the one road leading in and out to the main routes (and it has a big hilly dip in the middle of it) is basically inches and inches of solid ice.  I’ve been snowed/iced in since the 30th and desperately needed groceries so today I risked the road to go run errands.  I made it out onto the main route and was literally shaking by the time I got there, it was so harrowing.  But coming home was worse – as I turned onto our street from the main road, a car coming up the intersection couldn’t stop on the ice and plowed into another car driving down the main road.  I stopped to see if they needed help, but it was a low impact collision and everyone was cool (though annoyed AF, obviously).  I then made my treacherous way down the hilly dip but part way back up the other side I started to slide backward … and slide, and slide … thankfully there was nobody behind me and I eventually came to rest on the side of the road (but not IN the ditch, thankfully, as I was basically in someone’s driveway).

Some people get a shiny knight on a white horse to their rescue.  I got a farmer in a tractor from the farm two doors down from me.  He towed me over the crest of the hill and I inched my way the remaining two blocks home at 7 KM/H in first gear.  My teeth have finally stopped chattering and I have managed to scrub the frozen tears off my cheeks.  It was so scary.

I am going to miss my neighbourhood so very much, they are such good people here :(

The plus side of the snow is that the dogs really enjoy it* though they seem a bit mystified about where it keeps coming from.

(*Addy exempted from above statement)

Here’s Wootie enjoying the icesnow pack from the 30th:

And here’s Wootie wondering what the f*ck happened to the earth after the second dump on the 1st.

Here’s Spring levitating over the icy ground from before New Year’s (notice “greenery” clearly visible in background):

And here she is bounding through the snowdrifts on New Year’s Day (notice nothing visible in background except more snow):

Look!  You can see the ground!  You can also see a bad TWooie hunting on the neighbour’s property.

Now – nothing but Winter in the snow.

Speaking of Winter … this is the face of a dog in the midst of an existential crisis that only a man could experience.

Namely, Peetie is in season right now and has decided that Winter is her chosen mate. Winter The Giant Penis (interpret as you wish) is neutered, but that doesn’t stop him from thinking impure thoughts.  He does not like Peetie, as he finds her (as we all do) annoying and persistently pesty, but he is also a horndog – which means he growls at her when she butt-flirts with him and then he furiously humps her, and then he’s angry at both her and himself for what he’s done.  Wash, rinse and repeat several times a day.

I hate myself.  Moar sexy times pleaze.

His self loathing may come from two places;

1) Dexter was her Numero Uno choice.  Dexter obliged.  The naughty dogs started to tie, Peetie lost her nerve and started crying, Dexter ran away and is now terrified of Peetie.

HELP ME, I’M CONFUSED!

2) Peetie is a slut, and is flirting with everyone and everything that will engage her and if Winter won’t get it done, she figures someone else will.  I caught Wootie giving her sexy ears this morning and doing a little tap dance for her (which reaffirms my belief that Wootie is not, in fact, a dog, but rather a species of exotic bird).  But most amazingly, she has charmed TWooie into thinking he might have a shot at some sweet, ermm, lady bits.

I thought TWooie was asexual, so this has been entertaining.  He is practically doing cartwheels to get her attention.

Who am I becoming?

Meanwhile, this tiny dog (in her coyote vest for safety, and sweater for warmth) is enjoying the snow endlessly.

Because the snow has flattened a lot of the scrub on the property, visibility is a helluva lot better, so she is allowed to explore more places as I can see there are no carnivorous dangers lurking unseen behind bushes.

The other tiny dog is a miserable shivering collection of bone and skin and wishing she had never left sunny California for this freezing cold god awful climate.  She is not wearing her coyote vest because I can’t put her in my jacket when she’s wearing it, and she spends 99.981% of our walks in my coat.  She basically leave the comfort of my clothes long enough to poop (for which I am very grateful) . No amount of sweaters and body suits can keep her warm, poor thing.

This dog likes the snow so much that she goes out in it to “pee” late at night, then suddenly loses her hearing and refuses to hear me calling her to come back inside and I have to put on boots and a coat over my pajamas and go retrieve her.  Good thing I built a fence, or I might lose her forever!

I’m glad the dogs are having fun in said snow…

Because this weekend we are supposed to get another 25 cms of the freaking stuff (that’s 10 more inches to you Americans).  On top of the foot or so we already have.  That’s gonna be just FREAKING AWESOME.

NOT.

More snow?  Yay!

One year I bought snow tires for my van, and four weeks later somebody totaled my van, and it didn’t even snow that year.  It hasn’t seriously snowed since (just smatterings here and there that last for a day or two and then melt), and thus I haven’t gotten snow tires since.  I am deeply regretting not having them this year.  I’d pimp Peetie out for some!  This kind of weather is so unprecedented.

So far, absolutely nothing even close to resembling something affordable that is dog friendly has come up for rental possibilities, so I guess the silver lining is at least I’m not missing potential homes because I can’t get out to go see them?  (I’m reaching here).  The landlords’ realtor and the buyer’s realtor came up with a one-year lease rental option for all of us (landlord included) but when they approached the buyer, the buyer nixed it – doesn’t want any of us here.  So there is 100% no possibility of any of us staying past the end of February.  I’m trying not to panic.  Even though this place has caused me some serious grief over the years, I’m still going to miss my home a lot :(

I’ll be sad to leave it.  After all, it’s where I am going to bury Peetie’s body after I throttle her for pestering me to go outside to play in the icefridge world.

This photo is from December 12th.  That’s a long time for us to have snow!

Happy New Year, I guess.  (insert New Year’s equivalent of “bah Humbug” here)