Monthly Archives: June 2013

Charlie Boy

It’s a day for dog blogs.

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I’ve never had a dog age out on me. My childhood dog went from fit senior to sick and dead in a matter of about three days. My first dog as an adult went from fit to dead in a matter of hours at the tender age of nine which was a heart breaking mystery. My next dog ended up with a serious illness that we could not fix no matter what the vets tried and I had to euthanize her at the age of 2.5.

Now I have the 4-year-old Dane and 2-year-old husky and … the 10-year-old retriever/basset hound cross Charlie.

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I’m scared that Charlie will be the dog I have to learn the lessons of aging out from and I am not looking forward to it. I find myself wishing he’d go out in a blaze of glory like Scout did. She had the most awesome summer and her last day was a hoot and then POOF! gone in a matter of hours. I have this sinking feeling that Charlie is going to be that dog who just gets slower and slower and blind and deaf but will still want to go on walks and try to keep up and

oh gosh. I’m going to make myself cry just writing about it.

He has heart. He’s loving and loyal in the way that only those magnificent retrievers seem capable of. I think it’s the cheeks. I think they just have a look that suckers us in and captivates our hearts.

Charlie Cheeks 2013


When I adopted Charlie he was 6 years old and though loved, his previous family did not have time for him. He was depressed and overweight and bored. I brought him home to Piper who was then still a youngster and to my boy cats who instantly recognized a new friend in him and we went camping in the Alberta Rockies with my parents who spoiled him rotten and then to a friend’s farm in Manitoba where he ran wild and swam in a creek all with Piper leading the way.

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I changed his food and medicated his allergies and after three years of figuring it out and increasing his activity he went from nearly 90 lbs and unable to jump into the car with those short little legs and pot belly to the healthy 68 lb boy he is today, fetching sticks from the lake and wrestling with True and chasing Piper.

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But he’s 10 and I’ve noticed more and more white on his face and muzzle. He’s slower to get up and move along after supper time. He has begun to ask to sleep on my bed rather than on the dog beds that I think might be a bit hard for him now. He can’t quite keep up when I power walk all three dogs at once.

And I can feel my heart breaking with each new sign of his age.

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The first lesson I’m learning is this.

Dogs live for the moment. They don’t dream about tomorrow or pine for yesterday. I took on three dogs and so it’s up to me to make sure that all three of their needs are met and as Charlie requires a new routine I will find a way to continue to make his daily life awesome.

I’ve taken to walking him alone on the days that I run with the girls and on the days that I walk all three together we just go a bit shorter and then I make sure they have more time to chase and wrestle in the yard depending on their energy levels.

And he lives for the lake so on hot sunny days like today after the girls have had their fun and run and played in the yard, I packed up my boy and drove with all the windows down to a different little lake that has a long, arcing beach. I put him on the long line and simply followed his lead, letting him wade in and lie down in the water and fetch some sticks and attempt to swim out for a loon and I waded in with him and he circled me a few times happily cool and doing what retrievers were predestined to do.

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And if he asks tonight, because he doesn’t ask often, I’ll let him sleep at the foot of my bed.

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Posted by on June 2, 2013 in PonderQs


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My 5Km Problem Dog

You know what the problem is?

PIPER is!!!        Too cute for her own good

Cute as a button. Social as a butterfly and bouncy as a kangaroo.

This is Piper chillaxing last week in what was once her puppy bed. Easiest pup on the planet. Now she’s a moose. Random June 2013 007       Piper in the pool 008

And here is Piper enjoying her Sunday afternoon following our 5km run today. As you can see, her life is very stressful.

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So the problem is this. I’m trying to speed up my overall time and increase the amount of time I run versus walk on the 5km but Piper is screwing it up.

The dog has legs a mile long and she’s lithe as a leather belt. My friend Laura calls her the string bean which is appropriate. I have taken to running with Piper and True, a little husky, to help burn some excess energy out of both of them and to get into better shape myself.

People stop to watch Piper run and I have been literally stopped before while bike riding with her by people who want to tell me how stunning she is with those long legs. She glides.

This is True after our run the other day. That is how I like a dog to look after a run.

True Pooped

 This is Piper.   Problem Piper   Not pooped.

The Route:

I head out the front door and head straight up a hill, through some woods and onto the highway where we then run a big rectangle pattern that finishes in town. Now that holiday makers are returning there are lots and lots of people and other dogs around that Piper would like to socialize with.

Everything falls apart in that last 2 km in the heart of town.

She pretends to be having heat stroke. She behaves as though she might pass out and have massive heart failure on me unless I slow to a walk. So I do and what does she do then? She pulls to meet people and dogs, a giant mass of wiggles and tail waggles and when I realize I’ve been had and attempt to run again, she’s looking over her shoulder and blindly being dragged down the street by True and me so then I’m pretty sure people must think I’m the world’s cruelest dog owner dragging a giant black dog down the street who appears on the verge of heart attack when really it’s the giant black dog who is attempting to drag me down the street.

What a bugger!

Let’s recall how damn cute and well behaved she was when little.  more piper 006_1 more piper 005_1

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Posted by on June 2, 2013 in PonderQs


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