Tuesday, 31 August 2010


The abundance of rain here this summer has meant that there are TONS of mushrooms springing up all over the woods. TONS!!!

I went online the other day searching for guides to what mushrooms are edible. I discovered that there are over 45,000 species of 'srooms in Alberta - a good number of them poisonous. A few deadly.

The websites I found had a good number of warnings not to eat ANY wild mushrooms, but my question is - are these the same folks that put warnings in toaster packaging telling you not to use them in the bathtub???

I mean, I get that these things are ugly...

...and probably not good ones to eat (indeed - Fletch ran over to them on his run this morning, took one sniff and headed off to find something else to play with).

But these guys have been munched on a regular basis over many years by my puppies...

And the squirrels collect these ones...

... and I've not had any of them banging at the door asking to use to the phone to call the poison control hotline.

Now again, these ones don't look friendly..

..but I'm pretty sure these ones are...

But what about these??

Or these?

I know, I know... but it just seems like such a waste!!! What I need is a guinea pig...

Oh Mark......dinner is ready!!!

(just kidding...sort of)


Monday, 30 August 2010

You Can't Fool Us!!

When I have company around and am free running the Brits I have someone waiting back at their kennel for them with their kibble. That way they run hard back into the yard and straight to their kennel. Works great!
When I'm on my own however, I must do things a little different. They can't see the kibble before or during the run but I have to have it right handy when we get back into the yard, as their attention can only be held for under a minute. So, what I've come up with is carrying their bowls in the crate on the front of my ATV. As long as I avoid big bumps it works fine - and the boys haven't figured out that the kibble is there...

....until today when I stopped in the woods for a few minutes to let everyone catch their breath.

Sherwood was the first to discover it..

"Hey Todd, look at this!"

Fletch said "Seriously??? Kibble???"

"It looks delicious??"

"How should we get it?"

Things went quickly downhill from this point...

With alot of help from Bet we got the show on the road again, but not before I had to drag Fletch out of my lap and pull Sherwood out of the crate.

The jig is up I guess. Thankfully Simone arrives on Wednesday and I will have backup for dealing with the clever little hooligans from then on!


Sunday, 29 August 2010

Fall is DEFINATELY On The Way

Ah....a SURE sign of fall approaching...Bait has moved back to sleeping on the heat register!

Trust me....it is under his ample butt. Honest!

Saturday, 28 August 2010


The 'Powers That Be' must have had enough of my whining because this morning it was actually cold enough to run dogs!! YEAH!!!

It was still overcast and dreary, but at least it was overcast, dreary and COLD!!! 

The dogs, who are under-miled and RARING to go, did great.

Sisters Grimmy and Tramp sharing a water bucket after the run.

I got the team all watered and put away, picked up ganglines and harnesses, fed the Explosions and then the skies opened up as I headed out of the yard with Bet and the Brits (so sorrry - no pictures due to the rain).

We still went, but cut things short, which wasn't bad, as I had noticed alot of fresh bear signs on the puppy trails this morning and wasn't up to running into a bear with those 3 big, bad boys who think they are invincible!

So, it is still raining and miserable here, but at least I got the temperatures to let me play with dogs!!!

Think I might turn my back on the things I should do today and curl up on the couch with a good book. What the heck!


Friday, 27 August 2010

England - Who Knew????

I think my expectations of England were colored by the two British handlers I've had over the years (yes, you all know Richard, but many probably don't remember Matt, our very first handler, who was also a hard working, charming, and easy to get along with Brit) - both who were in a pretty big hurry to flee England and move to Canada.
I guess because of that I expected England to be pretty dismal.

I was very mistaken.

From the second the clouds cleared as we were landing I was enchanted with the country. I will confess that I didn't take as many photos as I should have partially due to camera issues a couple days and a general sense of being overwhelmed as to where exactly to point it on a few other days (not a problem I often experience).  Probably lucky for you all, as there would be pages and pages of images to scroll through on the blog if I had taken photos of everything I wanted to (besides Richard and Kim would have likely abandon me on the side of some country road if I had asked them to stop at every photo opportunity).

Much of the countryside felt very familiar, however the houses, buildings, fences, and such add a charm and quaintness to the scenery that is captivating (at least to me).

Overwhelmingly my biggest sense over my time in the English countryside was that I wanted to spend more time here. Especially in the Yorkshire Dales. Oh my goodness!!

I've been asked by many since I got home what I thought of London - did I see Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and other such notable places? Yup, I did. Richard took me on the PERFECT (at least for me) 1 1/2 hour driving tour of London. He pointed out all the necessary landmarks and I 'ohh'd and ahh'd' in all the appropriate places - and then we fled the city back to the countryside! Perfect!!

 In case I forgot to mention, my hosts for this portion of my trip were my handler from last winter, Richard and his wife, Kim. Although Kim spent some time at NorthWapiti with Richard this winter, I was in Alaska, so this was my first chance to meet her! I had heard so much about her that it sure didn't feel like our first meeting.
The Todds were wonderful hosts. My time with them was relaxing and restoring - a truly wonderful gift. There were enough dogs around that I suffered no withdrawal, but not so many that it didn't resemble a holiday at all times. 

The Todd's dogs - Icy...


Kaska (if I could have fit this hairball in my suitcase - I would have brought him home even if he did drag me through a batch of stinging nettles one day)...

and Charlie

I'd like to take a moment to thank all of you that extended such kind invitations to visit once word got out that I was in the country. I truly appreciate it and hope that you all understand that this was a real holiday for me and I was selfishly hoarding every moment of it.
I hope to make it back to the country at some time in the near future for a more 'doggy visit' - and at that time I will happily take you all up on your invitations, if they still stand.

Just a few more pictures...

And I couldn't not share with you a few pictures of the most beautiful building I've ever set foot in - the Lincoln Cathedral. Stunning - especially the stain glass!!

And finally I stumbled upon this great Jay Leno quote on friendship the other day -

“Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren't bad people; they're just acquaintances.”

Richard made no less then 4 LONG drives to the airport - all at fairly ridiculous hours -  for me during this trip. I hope he knows how grateful I am - and how honored I am to call him a friend.  Hugs and thanks, my friend. 

I will definately be back!

Oh wait - just a few more pictures...

 Okay...now I'm really done!