Archive for Animals Posts

published in Activity, Animals, Dogs, Nature, Safety by Maryanne | July 31, 2018 | 2 Comments

Tip: If You Are Going to Hold Onto Something for Dear Life, Make Sure It Has ROOTS

 

“A tree with strong roots laughs at storms.”

– Malay proverb

Hallo…hope you are having a super summer!

If you look closely at the above photo, you will see an orange & blue Chuck-it ball precariously perched on a ledge at the bottom of a small ravine. That ball was (I suspect) strategically dropped there by a certain retriever, just to test how good MY retrieving skills were.

But I didn’t fall for THAT trap…oh no, no! I knew better than to clamber down a steep and slippery embankment in the middle of the woods with no one around (other than Sadie) to pick up the pieces, should things happen to go awry.

So home we went.

But I have hung out with this particular retriever far too much to be able to actually forget about the ball. So when big brother came to visit two weeks later, I took him on the hike and showed him the ball (which, of course, was still on the ledge because who in their right mind would go down and get it?).

Big brother looked around and did a quick risk assessment. He shook his head. “Not worth it. Leave it there.”

But as I mentioned, I have hung out too long with a ball-obsessed retriever…and now, apparently, have become one myself.

I shook my head. “I think I can do it,” I said, then told him my strategy.

He sighed and gave me the big brother look. But before embarking on my descent, I gave him a second orange & blue Chuck-it ball and told him to hold it in front of Sadie – but not give it to her. That way, she would remain with him and not follow me down.

So big brother did exactly as he was told and all went according to plan. Sadie stayed with him, her eyes unflinchingly fixed on the Chuck-it ball on his hand. I made it safely down the embankment, stepped over the creek, retrieved the ball, proudly put it in my back pocket…and then made a last-minute decision to go up that side of the riverbed – instead of stepping back over the creek and going back up the same side I came down.

All was going well until I reached out to grab onto a big rock – instead of the little tree – and the next thing I knew, the rock gave way and came crashing down onto my shin. Ouch! The rock was actually a large slab of shale that was just waiting for a good excuse to release itself from the dirt of the eroding riverbank.

And along came the human retriever.

On the bridge above my head, big brother calls out in alarm, “Googie, are you okay?”

“Yeah,” I reply sheepishly, crawling up the embankment to the bridge. “But just out of curiosity, what did Sadie do when I fell?”

There is an awkward silence then: “Uh, nothing. She didn’t even blink. I knew this dog was ball-obsessed but I have never seen such intense focus. It’s extraordinary.”

It’s also humbling. But at least I know where I stand in relation to a Chuck-it ball 🙂

There are several morals to this story – the most obvious one being to never risk one’s safety for a silly $7 ball. Another one might be: if you are going to hold onto something for support, you better make sure it has roots.

In this photo from a week ago, you can see the wound on my shin:

Thankfully, it is healing up beautifully.

Other than that, I have been having a lovely summer! I am taking full advantage of my quiet rental home in Mill Bay and am making tremendous headway on some writing projects.

I also took a road trip down to the Oregon Coast and Portland for a few days. Here are some photos:

On the Coho Ferry, leaving Victoria and heading to Port Angeles, WA

Gearhart, Oregon Beach

 

Ruby beer (with a hint of raspberry…yum!) at McMenamin’s Gearhart

 

Gearhart, Oregon Coast

Back home, Sadie is making like-minded friends at the local swimming hole:

Sadie & Trevor the Retriever

Take care, stay safe and I shall smarten up and do the same!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. She is the executive producer of the documentary, Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here. Maryanne lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

published in Activity, Animals, Caregiving, Dogs, Pets by Maryanne | June 26, 2018 | 2 Comments

My Fish Tank Bound Hound – Canine Hydrotherapy 

 

“Everyone thinks they have the best dog and none of them are wrong.”

– Anon

Okay, now you’ve seen everything!

Yes, that’s Sadie in a rather large fish tank. She’s having hydrotherapy to help give her exercise that is not so painful on her arthritic joints. Her days of chasing the ball on land are over 🙁

Sadie was a very good sport about being put in the tank (treats helped). I’m not sure I would have been so tolerant of the water level quickly rising up around me…then the ground starting to move beneath my feet!

Sadie on the treadmill

Along with the hydrotherapy, she is also continuing to receive laser therapy as well as massage. She doesn’t seem to feel a thing with the laser therapy but she certainly reacts when the therapist hits a trigger point while massaging her back. Yikes! But then the next day, she is considerably more mobile.

These alternative therapies (plus the fact that she isn’t allowed to chase the ball on the ground anymore) really seem to be helping Sadie’s mobility. And (other than the massage) she certainly enjoys all the extra attention 🙂

The clinic we are going to for these treatments is Hillside Veterinary Clinic in Victoria. They have an entire rehabilitation department. Interestingly, the treatments are not particularly expensive either.

Of course, Sadie also continues to do hydrotherapy au naturelle…nothing beats the great outdoors for a swim!

Sadie at Spectacle Lake, Vancouver Island, BC

Happy Summer from me & my fish tank bound hound!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. She is the executive producer of the documentary, Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here. Maryanne lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

 

published in Animals, Inspiration, Photos, Travel, Workplace Safety by Maryanne | November 1, 2017 | 6 Comments

Pig Pen Happiness – Priscilla, Pippa & Pixie the Piglet

 

Priscilla enjoying breakfast

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

– Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

It’s probably a good thing I don’t have a home of my own at the moment. If I did, I may well have brought back a PET PIG from Saskatchewan yesterday!

MA bottle feeding Pixie

My friend, Jackie, has just started breeding “kunekune” pigs on their ranch near Foam Lake.

Jackie with Priscilla & Pippa

The kunekune is a small breed of domestic pig from New Zealand. Kunekune are hairy, with a rotund build and may bear wattles hanging from their lower jaws (Priscilla, Pippa and even baby Pixie all had wattles). Their colour ranges from black and white, to ginger, cream, gold-tip, black, brown and tricoloured. They have a docile, friendly nature, and – like the pot-bellied pig – are now often kept as pets.

I can see why.

MA with Priscilla

Kunekune are suitable for a novice owner, as they are placid, friendly, and love human company. They are easy to train and intelligent.

MA rubbing Pippa’s belly

 

The resultant HUGE smile on Pippa’s face!

The native Māori people of New Zealand adopted kunekune. The word kunekune means “fat and round” in the Māori language…kinda perfect!

If you happen to be interested in learning more about kunekune pigs, you can contact Jackie through Facebook.

Oh and yes, I did take a few photos of humans, too 🙂

L to R: Mac, Lexi, Shade & Jackie

And prior to visiting the Foam Lake homestead, I spent a weekend with my friend, Colleen, and her family in Saskatoon. This is a cute shot of me & Col in the brand new Remai Modern Art Gallery:

I was actually in Saskatoon to deliver a couple of JPMF workplace safety presentations at the Mine Your Potential conference (for women in mining and nuclear), so naturally had to stretch that out into a week of visiting friends!

And I just received this bit of feedback from one of the conference organizers:

“Thank you so much for your participation in our event. I hope you get a lot more requests from Saskatchewan, now that word is spreading about how powerful your talk was. You are such a natural speaker. Your talk will be one of my long lasting memories of this conference. I am so sorry for your tragedy. It is awesome that you are helping to make the work environment safer for so many other first responders.”

– Donna Beneteau, PEng, MASc, University of Saskatchewan

That’s it from this bohogazelle…have a safe & productive week!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life