Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Listening to the human...husky style...


"What did you say? No wet dogs in the house? I musta missed that."

"Get off the couch, you stinky wet dog....What language is she speaking guys? I don't understand a word she's saying!"

Monday, May 29, 2006

First paddle of the season...

The ice is finally off some of the lakes. I loaded up my kayak on Saturday afteroon and headed for Chadburn, after a quick stop to pick up some new paddling gloves at Up North Adventures. No idea where mine went, but I'd almost guarentee that Bandit knows! Bandit has a glove fetish.

But for the first time in his life, Bandit isn't talking! So I just bought new ones.

Chadburn is always a nice paddle. It's an interesting little lake and no powerboats allowed. Good place to see if I remember what I'm doing in the boat!

Apparently, I recall at least the basics.

A storm moved in as I was coming off the lake and Sunday morning I woke up to this:

Ice, heavy frost and just a bit of snow. The dogs' water was frozen again this morning! I'm afraid to even go look in the greenhouse!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A year later...

Friday, May 26, will mark one year since my Dominique died. That awful year of firsts--the first of everything without her is over. For the past few days, the tears have flowed almost as freely as they did in the days and weeks immediately following her death. Finding her little broken body will forever be one of the worst moments of my life. A year later, I still can't find the words to express my horror when I realized that it was her laying in the yard. Dominique was an indoor only cat who escaped unseen and was killed by my own dogs.

The dogs were merely acting on their instincts. They'd never seen an outdoor cat before that evening and have never caused any trouble with the cats in the house. Oh, I was angry at them for a long time. For awhile, all I could do was feed and water the dogs. I said some vicious, awful things to them. I wanted nothing to do with them. As the fog cleared, I realized that not only had I lost my feline friend, but I was loosing my canine companions too. They had no idea why Mom was being so cold to them. They had long since forgotten the event. They had forgotten before I even got home that night and I believe that if they had known they were about to break my heart, they would have not hurt Dom. I'm grateful that I don't know which dog or dogs were involved. I am not sure how I could have forgiven if I had known exactly who did it. In any case, the ultimate responsiblity for her death is mine.

I try not to remember the way I found her, but to recall her in happier ways. The last time I saw her alive, she was safely in the kitty enclosure, happily hunting bugs. I clearly remember stopping to watch her pounce and jump in the grass. I treasure that image of a happy, carefree cat. I remember the way she always let out a little mew before a pet and would head bonk my hand; the way she loved to snuggle under the covers with me and how every night there was a race between Dom & Ivy to see who got the best spot in the bed; the little jingle of her tags as she raced through the house; how she always waited behind the door for me after work; the silky feel of her tiny white paws; her giant, loud purr.

I remember that tiny kitten, just a five weeks old, stuffed inside my winter jacket for the ride home. She had been found wandering around a busy street and brought to my office. Even then, just a wee thing, she was confident, bold and curious--traits that defined her for the rest of her all too short life. When I introduced her to the two adult male cats who already lived here, she took one look, bopped them both on the nose, despite the fact that she was the size of their heads and that was that. Dominique the Dominator was home and ruler of the house. Full grown she weighed a mere five pounds, but she believed she was a lion!

Perhaps her life would have been longer if she had been afraid just a little bit every now and then, but she would not have been my Dominique that way. If something new was in the house, if something got knocked over at 3am, if the dogs' water bucket was tipped over, Dominique did it! She was into everything. The water bucket was her favorite thing to play in. She tipped it every day. We learned quickly not to leave any water in the bottom. Occasionally since her death that bucket has fallen over for no apparent reason. I like to think she was stopping by for a visit.

10 days after she died, Dominique sent us another kitty, another tuxie with a confident, goofy personality:

Sweet Boots. I believe she not only sent him, but that at times her spirit visits through him. They are so very much alike. Now when something goes crash in the night, it is always Boots who is at the centre of the commotion. The other cats accepted him immediately, as if they already knew him--maybe they did. Last night as I lay crying in bed, Boots came and curled up in the same spot Dominique used to sleep in, gave me a few head bonks and licked my hands, just like she used to.

I miss you, my little troublemaker. What I would give to pick you up just one more time and ask "Dom what have you done now??". Try not to cause too much ruckus at the Bridge. Say hi to Hoodoo and Twicket for me. A part of my heart resides with all of you wherever you are. I love you, my precious Dominique.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Back to some dog stuff...

One last bit of water news....the witcher dude came over tonight and gave us all our money back! He said he always knew he would miss someday, but hoped it would be with some rich people he didn't like! He found out yesterday how far off his depth estimate was and said he felt so bad he couldn't sleep last night.

And we now return to our regular scheduled postings.....Dog stuff! See the March postings if you missed this originally, but regular readers will remember when I was a witness to a drunk idiot dragging her dog behind her car or as she put it "taking him for a walk"....Well, because I am a little nosy sometimes and because dogs make me forget that I'm a little shy, I continued to stick my nose into the situation:

Introducing Nytron.....NO, he doesn't live here! He's a purebred GSD, not fond of most other dogs and not cat friendly. He is however a perfect pet for someone who's home alot, has no other pets and has lots of experience with german shepherds. Someone like my father-in-law who is now Nytron's proud owner. Course he's out of town for a bit so I am dog sitting!

This has been my entertainment for the last few nights. I throw the ball, Nytron brings it back--over and over and over and over. Only that little orange ball. He completely ignores other toys. He is obsessed with that ball. As a husky owner, I find this a bit fascinating. My dogs do not fetch. Pingo will go get a ball if I throw one, but she won't bring it back. She takes them to her dog house and adds them to her stash of treasures. She has a wide array of treasures--stuff she found in the recycling, in the compost pile, toys, bones, beer cans...she's a nut! No one else will even pretend to be interested in playing fetch.

Nytron has one other interesting trait. When I give him a command, he does it--the first time! It's amazing. None of that "yeah, I heard you, I'll do it later" stuff I get from my own dogs. Although their independant natures are one of the things I love most about huskies, I can see how that immediate response thing could be appealing!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

We have WATER!!!

Finally after five days and much more drilling than originally anticipated, we have WATER!!! We hit at 226 feet! The witcher who says he's never missed on depth will be getting a piece of my mind next time I see him. He missed by over 150 feet!

But who cares, we have water! It's getting clearer all the time. There's a pump in the hole right now that will run all night and get things cleared out a bit. Brian, the driller, is ordering us our own pump so we can start getting water into the house very soon!

The water is husky approved! Earle was right in there testing things out! (I had to put a dog in...there hasn't be a dog picture in at least a week!)

This, my friends, is what almost 12 grand will buy! The only things I've ever spent more on was my truck and my house!! In five years, with the current price of water delivery, the well will have paid for itself. But the added bonuses are--no more wondering if there is enough water to do laundry and have a shower; no more frantic 2 minute showers just before the water runs out; no more worrying about the driver not closing the gates properly and coming home to no dogs! I was a basketcase when one was missing, all of them would require massive doses of valium and likly a hospital stay!


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Still drilling...

After a 24 hour delay due to a breakdown:

We are still drilling...120 feet and no sign of water or bedrock. Water would be best, but bedrock is half price to drill through! Fingers, toes and paws are crossed for one or the other soon!

Thursday, May 11, 2006


This is currently in my yard making alot of noise!

It's drilling a well...well, hopefully a well and not a very expensive good for nothing hole!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Boys and their toys...

Initially this looked promising..the yard needs to be graded and we had ordered several loads of gravel. However, heavy equipment, mud and snow are not a great matter what my occasionally brain dead husband(and his equally brain dead friends) says to the contrary!

It doesn't show up really well in the picture, but that is snow! It came down for quite awhile yesterday afternoon. Didn't last long, but the ground was already nice and squishy!

You can see how terribly impressed Delta is with this weather!
The grader work proceeded anyway, briefly!

I don't know much about these things, but I'm pretty sure the wheels are supposed to stay on the ground!

Hmmm, this doesn't look right either!

It took awhile, but we did get the grader unstuck and some of the yard graded without further mishap! The gravel even got delivered on time, much to the dogs' delight!

Piles of gravel make great wrestling rings!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Spring walkies...

Spring in the Yukon means mud, mud and more mud. Right now we have a lovely combination of mud and slushy, soft, "break your ankle" kind of snow on the trails. So we've been sticking to the main road through the subdivision. Road might be a bit of a stretch for readers from Outside!

This is what's left of our sled trail out of the yard.

This is walking along the road. It's still pretty! Those two houses are ridiculously close together--built by brothers who no longer speak to each other and neither of whom live in there anymore! There is something to be said for a little distance from your family! Sometimes Saskatchewan to the Yukon is a little too far, but at least we are all still on speaking terms!
Technically this is a lousy picture, but I just love the happy expression on Bandit's face.

He is a joy to walk on leash. Bandit has typical husky recall. He'd be halfway to Nome if I let him off leash. He used to be a sled dog, but not a very good one. Pulling always kinda escaped him. Why work if the other dogs will do it for you? He always liked to tag along, but he never did much actual work. He has self-retired now and didn't even pretend he wanted to be a working dog this winter. His lousy work ethic does make him nice and easy to handle on lead though!

The chaos that greets me everytime I come home, even if I've only been gone for an hour!