Saturday, June 18, 2011

Puppies, Parenthood and a Psalm

After one week of new puppy ownership we are all rather tired and out of routine. Raven has a lovely temperment and is learning quickly, but we cannot take a break from being super vigilant when she is awake. Unfortunately, she still howls for company at night and doesn't sleep past five to six in the morning. The Becka asked if babies were this much work. I assured her that she and her sisters required far more attention and their training took years, not the weeks or months it will take to teach a dog all it needs to know.

Parenting is the toughest job anyone can undertake!

Leash training
This is the sixth dog we have had since my husband and I were married. And each new dog has benefitted from our past animal training experience. Most of us get one, maybe two chances to raise a family to adulthood and we have to do our best to get things right the first time.

At the dog park
We are working harder at socializing this puppy with other people and dogs. Fortunately we have a large leash-free dog park at the end of our street and Raven is learning to be more confident even though the picture doesn't look that way. She now runs with the other dogs and expects all humans to pet her and tell her how cute she is.

Photo by The Becka
Would I do some things differently if I had a chance to raise our children again? Of course! 
But we did the best we could at the time and now know that perfect parents do not exist. As imperfect people we must admit our mistakes, love and forgive while upholding a consistent standard of responsible and disciplined behaviour. While we do not get second chances in raising our families, we can usually access the wisdom and experience of older adults, parents, grandparents or other mentors to help guide the way.

Happy Fathers' Day 
to my dad, husband, brothers and all men who invest time and love into the lives of their children.

Praise the Lord. 
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, 
who finds great delight in his commands.

His children will be mighty in the land; 
the generation of the upright will be blessed. 
Wealth and riches are in his house, 
and his righteousness endures forever.

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, 
for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. 
Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, 
who conducts his affairs with justice.
Surely he will never be shaken; 
a righteous man will be remembered forever. 
He will have no fear of bad news; 
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

His heart is secure, he will have no fear; 
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. 
He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, 
his righteousness endures forever; 
his horn will be lifted high in honor.

Psalm 112

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A New Puppy

It is about three weeks since we lost our well-loved dog Dakota and while there are benefits to living in a house without a dog, we knew we would be getting another one eventually. I have been watching ads and found Kijiji the best place to view a great variety of pets for sale. Our last two dogs have been pound rescues but lately our local animal shelters have been featuring older dogs, many with health and behaviour issues. We are partial to larger dogs who can romp across fields and in deep snow.

Raven's mother

This weekend we visited a farm an hour or so away where Labradoodle pups were for sale. The family raised a few puppies at a time and they were well cared for in roomy pens in the barn. The mother of this litter was a lovely black Labrador with a very calm temperment. The father was a white standard Poodle and we did not see him.

Outside at 6AM

We brought home a 12 week old female who had never been in a house or out and about in the big wide world. Everything was new and a little frightening but she is adjusting quickly to our routines. I commented to our vet that this was the fourth dog we had brought to his clinic and he laughed saying he didn't need reminders that he was getting older. He declared her healthy and likely to grow considerably. She is already 24 pounds.

Life is busy right now but Raven is learning her boundaries and her place in her new pack. The Becka and her dad picked out the name because of her shiny black coat and her inquisitive, intelligent behaviour.

If something is a little scary, there is always a bench or table to sit under while trying to figure it out.

You cannot replace a dog you have loved, but there is always room in your heart for another. 

Monday, June 06, 2011

Murdoch Mysteries and Ruthven Park

Ruthven Mansion picture taken by me when I was looking at Bluebirds and Orioles

Early last year my friend Lesley introduced me to the Detective Murdoch Mysteries by Maureen Jennings. Set in Toronto, Ontario at the end of the 19th century, they feature Detective William Murdoch, a forward thinking man with an interest in new forensic methods. She also told me about the TV series and her 85 year old mother raved meeting the handsome star of the show at a reception. I did not really take note of the details as I am not one to watch much television.

Set for Murdoch Mysteries at Ruthven Park (Riversong*)

Fast forward to May of this year. I was at Ruthven Park for bird banding and I noticed that the house and grounds had been used for filming an episode in season four of the Murdoch mysteries. I took more interest and found that our local library had seasons one and two available on DVD. My friend's mother was right. Yannick Bisson is very good looking and well suited for his role as Detective Murdoch. I recognized many places in various episodes including Webster's Falls near Hamilton ON and areas of Cambridge ON in our region.

Bird Banding station at Ruthven Park

I love a good detective story and these are fast paced with a thread of historical interest. Season Four premieres on Tuesday June 7, 2011 on City TV. I see that the DVDs are well received on as well as I started to watch the pilot movies but found them plodding and dark. Here's hoping the new season is a snappy as the first two which we watched over the past couple of weeks.

*Riversong -Newsletter of the Lower Grand River Land Trust December 2010