Garth joined the No Time to Paws family in October of 2019! In the four months that he has been growing up with us he has lost his house mate Romeo but has made many new friends! Welcome to the family Garth!! Our first meeting with Garth .
When we moved to Waterloo we were joined by our Maine Coon cat Romeo and our newly adopted dog Lucas, an 8 year old Shepherd mix. Over the years that we have lived here the boys made many friends, and have been the faces of my home based business. Unfortunately, our fur babies don’t live for ever even though we wish they would! In July of 2019 our dear old boy Lucas passed away, which was very hard on us. Five short months later our beloved cat Romeo succumbed to his health struggles he was born with and passed away on New Year’s Eve. We moved into 2020 without our boys, even though they are no longer with us their faces will remain on the site just as their memory lives on in our hearts .
My heart is very heavy this afternoon…I just found out my friend Max passed away suddenly on Saturday ! Just goes to show how precious life is. I met this lovely guy about a year ago! For the longest time I was a kite, flitting behind him as we explored the neighbourhoods in his area. Craig and I liked to joke that he was like Inspector Clouseau….he was a comical boy, who loved to investigate every bush and telephone poll, he would without malice take out a flower bed with his antics or drag us into a tree, every walk he made us laugh ! I will miss how he greeted the other dogs he met , he would lay down, his whole body vibrating in anticipation and watch as they approached with this expression on his face that read “Hi I am Max, do you want to be my friend?” Goodness me, I will really miss your smile and how you waited by the door for me every night and would pounce on me and lick my face! Love you Max, Rest In Peace.❤
The ‘Bucket List’ as we age we start to contemplate our mortality, ideas like ‘perhaps we may only have 35 more summers left’ cross our minds. The concept that those things we have talked about doing, those places we have said we would like to visit, the musician that we absolutely have to see in concert, the recognition hits us that time is of the essence. You come to the realization that the Trestle bridge trail you wanted to hike, experienced a huge forest fire and was decimated, that the lead singer to your favourite group has taken his life, it becomes evident that we shouldn’t put off until tomorrow, what we should do today. That Carpe Diem is really how we should be living our lives. According to the Urban Dictionary, a “bucket list” is a list of things you’d like to do before you die, like visiting the Grand Canyon, falling in love or falling in love at the Grand Canyon. Is this a concept exclusive to humans or do our animal friends also experience a yen for adventure and experiences before they approach the pearly gates? Recently one of my senior feline friends, who I’ve developed an affection for was M.I.A. Barney has a reputation in the neighbourhood of being a wanderer. When I moved here approximately six years ago, I used to see him all over the subdivision, he was the tough guy, as is visible from one of his ears that flops over, giving him a a look of character. Barney is 18 years young, and his years are starting to become evident when you see him. He has a bit of a wobble when he walks, he moves slower and his cat like reflexes aren’t what they used to be. For example, Barney ventured into my back yard awhile back (something he hadn’t done since we moved onto the block and changed the height of the fence and filled the yard with various dogs visitors). I had a four legged friend residing with us that discovered Barney had decided to throw caution to the wind and was traipsing through the back yard. A chase ensued and thankfully luck was on the cat’s side, he made a huge leap and narrowly made it to safety. As of late, Barney’s adventures have been limited, he is on pain medication and is not allowed to roam like he once was. Barney has so many stories, so many lives he has touched…many of the folk around here tell ‘tails’ of how Barney used to curl up at night at the end of their bed or wander around their house like he was part of the family. In his twilight years he has settled on two homes that he goes between, with two women that adore him. His daily excursion these days is to meander from point A to point B, often getting a drive home at the end of the day, even though it is technically around the corner. This past Sunday when Barney left home he never showed up to his intended destination, what a worry. I think we all assumed the worse, that he had gone off and curled up under a shrub to have his final sleep. The search was on to find the old guy in whatever state he was in. Much to all of our relief, Monday evening the cat came back…with a little assistance! Turns out, Barney was just working on his bucket list, he had meandered through a hole in the fence to a cul de sac he used to frequent, to visit some of his old haunts. He enjoyed a meal or two with friends, who affectionately know him as Felix….as an aside, it turns out many people have their own handle for the ‘stray’ cat, who has duped many in our area to opening their hearts and doors for him. I think Barney, like many of us, as we get on in years, wanted to cross a couple things off of his bucket list, he wanted to revisit a few places he used to enjoy hanging out and see some faces he missed. The only trouble, when he went to return home he couldn’t, someone had replaced the fence panel, his entry route he had used to gain access to this other neighbourhood was no longer viable and the days of jumping up and over were no longer an option. So close to home and yet he wasn’t able to get back to ladies in his life. Thankfully, persistence prevailed amongst the women in his life and after a door to door canvas of the area, pieces of the puzzle were put together and Barney was found! As he pulled up to the curb in his chariot, a flock of women stood on the front lawn joyously hooting and clapping at the sight of him! Barney’s expression was comical, he couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about! Just because he is a senior doesn’t mean he is done being an adventurer! He gave us a look like “relax ladies, I was just crossing another item off of my Bucket list!”
The stairs have become my Mount Everest.
I was perusing Facebook this morning and was faced with a video of garbage….acres and acres of plastic that will not biodegrade. I was feeling saddened by what we are doing to this planet, and yet I know I am part of the problem, I get take out coffee in a paper cup with a plastic lid when I could bring one of my many thermal ones in the cupboard. Sure I recycle, but what I keep coming back to in my thoughts, is we have become on overtly disposable society! We skip the dishes, we throw things to the curb without the thought that perhaps someone else could use that perfectly good coffee table that no longer tickles our fancy and when we are saddled with the responsibility of taking care of a family members pet when they pass away, we toss it out onto the street. What is wrong with this world is that we have become inheritantly selfish and ‘me’ focused and blasé about how our decisions impact the other creatures we share this earth with. What kind of person drives out into the country, opens up their car door and abandons a dog or cat at the side of the road? What kind of foolish thinking leads them to believe they are going to find a nice farm that will take them in and that their life will be roses? Ridiculous….abandoned dogs end up having to forage for themselves, often hit by a car or ending up shot because they have become a nuisance….the cats freeze to death or get eaten by wolves. Shelters are truly a more humane option, and yet they have become the dumping ground for so many animals that have become inconvenient like the plastic water bottle, cell phone and computer monitor. We need to realize that everything we do impacts this planet. We need to work on being the solution…we need to open our doors, but more importantly, our hearts! We need to look deeper and see the value of all life and be respectful and kind. We can’t just walk away and hope that someone else will take care of that dog running along the highway, or that kitten eating out of a dumpster. And we need to support organizations that foster and give shelter to those disposable animals by donating food, our time or opening our homes temporarily as foster families. We are all given the opportunity to be the change, to carry reusable water bottles, drop a bag of litter off at the local shelter or give a cat or dog a safe habour until something permanent comes along. It starts with a small change, which becomes a new way of looking at the world, and then the ripple gets larger and larger until your behaviour starts to influence others around you, you can become the catalyst for change!
“No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it, it is COLD outside!” Our dog Lucas, hails from Thunder Bay, Ontario, he is used to a real winter. Frankly when we moved South, he found the humidity in these parts, oppressive and hard to handle, he much prefers the climate to where he was born. Lucas doesn’t really have a heavy fur coat, but it does the job and on truly frigid days I put on one of his coats. We have been having a cold spell for the past eight days, -25 with the wind chill when it is blustery. This real winter that we have been experiencing, hasn’t seemed to phase my boy, he starts pacing around the kitchen and up and down the hall if I haven’t gotten him out for his morning walk by ten o’clock. When I opened the blinds today the sky was clear and the sun was shining, the one thing I learned about gorgeous looking wintry days from our stint in the North, if the sky was blue and the sun was shinning, it was most likely frigid outdoors and one should prepare to dress warmly. The Weather Network was telling me it was -14 in K-W, but with the wind chill it was feeling more like -23. We have been out walking every day in similar weather, so we piled on our gear and got Lucas his coat and prepared to face the cold. When I opened the front door, Lucas’ response was unusual, instead of him bounding out, he just stood there and stared. Eventually, I nudged him outside, where he then became a fixture on the front porch. We put him in the car and drove over to get his buddy Diesel and do our little forest walk. It was evident within about five minutes that according to my canine friends, today was not fit for man nor beast! Both kept stopping, they would lift a paw and look back they way we had come, l think they thought we had lost our minds and were trying to do them in. Both of my canine friends were displaying to me that they were uncomfortable and needed to go back to where it was warm. A common thing I hear from humans is…”it’s a dog….they have a fur coat, they don’t care about the cold, they are suited for winter.” People scoff at the concept that our four legged friends can feel the cold and suffer from it’s affects. It is important to remember, we have coats, boots, hats, and mittens, our gear is engineered for severe weather, we can bundle up to protect ourselves! Even-though our pets have a fur coat, it isn’t an impenetrable shield from the elements, they can get frost bite! They can damage their paw pads and they can freeze to death if we leave them outside for too long! Just like in summer, do not leave your dog in the car for prolonged periods of time while you run in to do some shopping, they may be out of the wind, but when the temps dip below-20 they can die from the cold. Don’t put them outside to go to the bathroom and leave them without checking on them frequently. If you are out walking and they are lifting their feet, it’s time to head home (salt is not necessarily the cause for sore feet, if the ground is too cold your dog’s paw pads can become extremely painful, it’s almost like experiencing a burn from the asphalt in the summer). It’s supposed to get down to -30 tonight, batten down the hatches, keep your pets indoors and make sure you keep them warm!