Out and about with visiting dogs in our own backyard

When Heidi (the dog) brought our great-nieces, Alyssa and Shelby, to visit, she immediately checked to see if the rabbits and chickens had magically reappeared next door

Vinnie the dog (from Clearwater) helps great-nieces (l-r) Danica

Vinnie the dog (from Clearwater) helps great-nieces (l-r) Danica

When Heidi (the dog) brought our great-nieces, Alyssa and Shelby, to visit, she immediately checked to see if the rabbits and chickens had magically reappeared next door. No such luck. Instead she entertained us with her incredibly flexible gyrations. She chases her tail round and round, often grabbing it between her back legs, almost pulling herself inside out!

A week or two later, Jake the tall, black, curly poodle was here for a sleepover. As Jake watched “Superdogs” at the PNE leaping across the TV screen, he looked like a spectator at a tennis match. His amazement and confusion grew as he peered around the side of the TV, trying to find out where they had gone. With our outings being limited as my mobility decreases, he was less than impressed when I said, “Let’s go pull some weeds!” I weeded; he visited – bounding happily out of bounds. Nope, not a good idea. Using a sturdy rope I attached him to my unoccupied weeding stool. All was peaceful until the neighbors and their dog went by. However, the stool caught on a post before he got too far. Jaeger, the passing dog, knowing Jake was just envious, ignored him. An unseen dog answered Jake’s bark instead and they exchanged insults (or something) for quite a while.

One of John’s not-so-favorite squirrels was next to tease Jake. Ker-slam! Again a post stopped the empty stool, bringing doggie to an abrupt standstill, though some of our carrots will never be the same! Not one to be thwarted, he sneakily chewed his way through the rope soon after so it will never be the same either.

For a chance to stand upright, Jake and I went across the street to visit our newest neighbors, snooping to see who their visitors were. Introductions were quickly under way. “This is Jake,” I told the attentive little girl. “What’s your name?”

“I’m Taia,” she stated. “T-A-I-A.”

“One of my friends had a dog call Taia,” I told her. “T-A-I-A.” And thus we bonded – or so I thought.

A few moments later, I tried for a High Five. “No,” she said decisively. “Your hand is dirty!”

“Maybe the other one isn’t?” I begged. No such luck. I didn’t think quickly enough to tell her it was good clean dirt, having come straight from our garden.

Jake wants to tell you about one more thing: “Kay finally took me for a bike ride. At last I could run and gallop, sniff and explore. At Brookfield Creek I slurped and splashed and slipped on stones. I thanked Kay by not zigzagging in front of her too many times, so she didn’t even fall off once.”

When my niece from Kelowna and I were arranging for her to bring my four great-nieces from there to see us, she had a request: “Please borrow a couple of dogs while we are there!”

We were expecting a doggie visitor from down the street for a couple of nights at just the right time. Vinnie is small – part pug and part poodle and loves kids (and being a lap dog during kids’ movies) so she fitted in immediately. She has probably never had so many short walks in her life, as one child after another asked to walk her around the house.


At the lake, the three older girls turned into fish; Vinnie stayed dry, watching the youngest one, and everyone else, most attentively. These young ladies love to sing – and we are delighted when they entertained us with a variety of melodies. So much to see and do – so close to home – with neat people, and doggies too….