Saturday, August 28, 2010

When you say nothing at all



Very much in the moment, as you can see!

Bluegrass is a big Festival in Telluride.  Famous people come to perform for anyone who has had the good fortune to get a ticket. They even  play for those who don’t have the correct coloured wristband  but want to sit near the river and listen to the music without partying along ringside.  That would be me!  Being a dog  there is no way I can buy a ticket. I guess it is to keep me away from all the great food inside the gates, not really clear on why I’m not allowed to attend.

During the last couple years Alison Krauss has come to town; she’s a favourite of a lot of people.  Who doesn’t want to go Down to the River to Pray?  She prettinear makes me want to go get saved and I’m of the canine persuasion, in case you forgot.  She has another song that I love called When You Say Nothing at All.  It’s beautiful.  Since I have never said anything (out loud) I feel it was written especially for me.

When you say nothing at all you can live inside your head for a moment or two.   Owner and I are living there right now.  We are eking out every single bit of pleasure we can from single solitary moments because we know that next week life is going to change.  Once the surgeon puts the big slice into her foot….the only moments we will have to enjoy will be flat…me on my stomach on the floor and she on her back on the couch.  So, you see even though it is hotter than hell  and miserably humid we are working hard at enjoying ourselves every sweaty moment.  This is especially difficult for me as I don’t sweat well; you think dogs are scratching when in reality we are wiping the sweat off our paws onto our fur. Learn something new every day, don’t you!

A few special moments this week

Lulu Abe and SilviaSeeing my old pal Silvia and having her love me up.  Swimming at Dog’s Day Inn in The Woodlands.  Air conditioning blowing into my face while I ride in the car.  Chewing a pillow and playing with the feathers in the back of the truck on our way to Texas. Watching the white heron fly in for a landing on the dock in froP1060905nt of the apartment. Meeting Curly haired when he comes  home after a long day’s work.  Playing in Sue’s garden.

Yes, life has been good  this week. Change is on the horizon so I’m going with  “enjoy the moment.” Owner has no idea how she will get me out to the “relief” yard when she’s got stitches, a giant boot and crutches.  Oh well this too shall pass, right.

And since it is best if i say nothing at all….how about you copy and paste the link below so you can see this great but short little video.  (or google “What is a Moment….video.” Have you ever thought about the “moments” in your life. This little video covers them all with hardly a word.  


Quiet moment in the tall grass

Why this little clip makes me think of Tiny Tim I don’t know as it has nothing to do with Christmas.  Somehow I  think he would say, “enjoy your moments, every one!” See ya later. 

What is a moment - Watch more Videos at Vodpod.


Seconds before sunset in Telluride – priceless!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Telluride I’m going to miss you




Well it is time for us to pack up and head on back to Texas.  Owner’s foot surgery beckons.  Nervous? You betcha! What am I going to do while she recuperates?  There is little enough action  for a dog in The Woodlands on a good day,  and now I’ll be holed up with nothing to do and nowhere to go.  Oh well, once that foot heals, watch out world!  I know skate skiing is on her agenda and if she can learn to do that the world will be our oyster.  One thing about owner she never stops trying to learn new things.  Dancing? Yup, I heard her discuss beginner  ballet  class…surely to God she doesn’t mean LEOTARD!  Where’s my blindfold?

So as we pack up the condo, clean out  our refrigerator, hand over keys to Alice so she can keep an eye out for leaks from the upstairs apartment,  and unload old clothes at the Free Box for those less fortunate, I am reflecting on the things I’m going to miss over the next few weeks.

1. COLD AIR. Texas is too hot for me at this time of year. Humidity--I hate it.  No, I much prefer  searching for the warm spot inside the snuggly covers on the bed.  Chilly paws and nose make for great dreams.


Benj come home…I miss you!

2.  EXERCISE.  Just being alive means you are exercised in Telluride. Even though we have a vehicle we rarely hop in.  The first year and a half we were here we didn’t even own a car which was fantastic.  You can easily get in four to six miles a day just walking around without having a serious hiking agenda.  Texas….drive to Starbucks, drive to the grocery store, drive to your friends…..did I mention it is freaking HOT.


Dogs also stretch out after a good workout

3.  FRESH AIR. The air is so clear here that you just know it is good for you.  Of course we don’t have a lot of air pressure to get that good clean air into our lungs but eventually you adapt.  We will be sucking wind when we return and try to hike up the Judd Wiebe.  Every time we get  really and truly acclimated, we pack up and go back to Texas for some dumb reason, surgery say.   Fresh air, clean air, clear views is what it is all about here in town.


clear, pristine, perfect

4.  FRIENDS.  There is nothing better than heading out for an amble and suddenly Zak or  Shipper is in front of me waiting for a friendly sniff.  In Texas a lot of people pull their dogs away from me as if I’m dangerous. Texans are not big fans of dog sniffing.  Seriously folks this is not smart behaviour on the part of a human.   Us dogs are easier to handle, nicer to own, and better socialised when you let us up close and personal with other dogs’ behinds.  Duh!


If you read this blog at all you will know this is my good pal Shiprock!  Fellow rescued dog by fantastic owner woman he calls a Folly.

5. RIVERS AND WATERFALLS.  Yes, I appreciate beauty.  Perhaps  the colours I see are a little different than yours and perhaps I don’t see exactly the same view you do, but I get it.  Beauty is beauty.  Waterfalls and Rivers are more than beautiful, however.  Nothing beats being out on a long hike and suddenly a spray of water cools me down or a trilling spring offers up a fresh drink of water.  Oops, forgot, our Texas apartment has a fake waterfall complete with frogs.  I don’t drink out of it though.


spontaneous ephemeral waterfalls are the best

6.  APPETITE.  I have often lamented in this blog that I eat the same damn thing day in and day out and have done so for ten years now.  The good news is that in Telluride, unlike Texas, I actually have an appetite (see the reasons why…1 and 2) and so am able to stomach that dry boring kibble.  In fact (owner avert your eyes) I look forward to 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. when I hear JD Science Diet tumbling into my delightful “I Love Telluride” bowl.


My foster dog, Don…remember him.  Too young to know KIBBLE gets OLD after ten years!

7. KARAOKE PARTIES.  Call me weird but I like owner and Curly’s friends dropping by to sing.  I can’t sing a note but I can tap out a good beat with my hind leg.  I hear there is another choir event coming up some time in  November.  Yahoo Mountain Dew!


Yes, they look silly but it’s really fun!

8. DOGS COME TO DINNER.  Not only do owner’s friends drop by for supper but their dogs do as well.  Chloe has been by for some soup with Shannon, Lily rested her weary head on the dining room table when Eric came over, Moose slept quietly under the table the night Jerry and owner skipped out on their swimming lesson.  Ship and Zak…well they practically have their own honourary dog beds when they drop over.



Lily makes herself at home on the dining room table



Every Sunday I get a good chuckle! Nuff said, eh?

10.  SMALL WEASLY THINGS TO CHASE.   I don’t care what you call them: I love them. Haven’t caught one yet but I’m still trying.  These are more fun than Texas squirrels. They love to run in and out of the rocks along The River Trail.  They don’t just disappear up a tree and end the chase.

Cute Chipmunk Clip Art

I want one of these so badly I can almost taste it.  These are “chips” right?

11. URINE AND OTHER STINKY SMELLS.  I know, you even find the word  “urine” disgusting.  I can’t help my fetishes; I’m a dog.  We love pee.  Bear pee, Elk pee, Chipmunk pee (yes, they do…how do you think I know which rocks they have been hiding in?), neighbourhood dog pee…You name it I love it.  I can sniff it, lick it, and best of all roll in it.  Add a dead and decaying animal nearby and I’m in absolute woofer heaven.  I have to be up and out really early in Texas to benefit from any messages left behind from other animals.  Sure, there are ducks and geese and other dogs in The Woodlands but there are also hundreds of men out keeping our sidewalks and pathways tidied, swept, hosed off.   Just like number 4 above,  involving dogs sniffing other dogs,  Texans don’t like any odours or rotting varmints lying around for dogs to roll in.  Oh woe is me.

stinky cartoons, stinky cartoon, stinky picture, stinky pictures, stinky image, stinky images, stinky illustration, stinky illustrations

My philosophy exactly!

12. HOME.  Telluride is home.  Everybody misses home when they aren’t there.  Hey owner…this time the bed comes with me.


 why on earth do I have all those towels all over the place?  what’s up with that?

When I get back to town the leaves will have turned and there will likely be some ice in a few of the waterfalls.   The first snowflakes will have fallen.  Snow won’t have arrived but that first  “take your breath away” childish moment of delight  for the initial flake will have passed. The first snowflake I catch on an eyelash or taste on my tongue won’t be one of the first to arrive in town this Autumn.  Why this makes me so sad I don’t know but it does.


Hang on Telluride pals.  We’ll be back.  Here’s hoping that owner will be better than ever.  Maybe she’ll be able to put on a pair of high heels for the first time in years. Can’t wait to see her navigate the streets of town in some of those.  See ya later.


Don’t Forget to tell your friends to find me on Facebook – all you have to do is type in Telluride Dog Blog and up I pop.  Thanks to a super nice guy in Wyoming and the help of an Animal Hospital from the same state I have a lot of followers now.  Join the crowd.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Memory Lane with Ol’ Pops



Sorry folks but I’m not around today.  I’ve had to give the task of getting the blog out to owner. Unfortunately she’s not nearly as articulate or creative as I.  Here’s hoping she can throw together a record of her trip to Canada to visit her father and other family members (I’m helping from afar otherwise the dialogue would be so dull.)  They took a trip down Memory Lane to old picnic haunts of their youth, yes Ol’ Pops was young then too.  Getting a post out brings on a “crise de nerfs” so I had to give her a lot of shoulder pats….for God’s sake what’s up with that?   The French quote….well they are pretty close to Quebec up at owner’s old home.


(Ol’ Pops – a spry ? years old….Age is just  a state of mind he says.)

Duramax, the young Border Collie featured above is one of  my Canadian cousins.  He’s the only one of any size or durability.  Shall we  say, he’s all dog! The other cousins are of the puny and hairy variety, much loved, very pampered, and opinionated. Granted they are cute…but demanding?…hmmm, let’s just say Yes.

Duramax tried to convince owner to briimageng him down to Telluride to hit the trails  but his owner, James, had different ideas.  How would James cope out on the farm without Duramax to keep him company with the horses.  Actually, after the damn dog nearly electrocuted himself by chewing up owner’s computer charger….she wasn’t sure he’d be such a great addition to the condo.



(here’s The Old Homestead in all its glory.  Pops got older and suddenly grew a green thumb….who knew that was possible? Not looking bad for a house built by the Grant family back in 1903.)

First owner dropped in at the old homestead.  (I get confused about this term since owner’s family also uses it to refer to people taking up way too much time in the bathroom…as in , what the heck, are you taking up a homestead in there? The term comes from the good old days with five people, one bathroom.  Won’t even mention the “rip your tits off shower.”   To keep ol’ pops happy they headed down to The Legion to do some karaoke.  Trailers for Sale or Rent (or whatever it is called) never sounded so good.  Pops and Margot singing We Got Married in a Fever….sounded like the original! By the end of the night people were doing the limbo and generally going wild. Beer does that to some folks.   What happens at the Legion stays at the Legion apparently as there are no photos that I can find. 



(A little view through the front porch windows down to Lake Temiskaming and yes, folks, that IS Quebec on the other side of the lake.)


(View from the verandah, pops favourite place on a summer evening watching the boats go by.)

DSCN0921 Here’s the newest addition to Aunt Karen’s family, Chloe. She’s cute; I get it.  She reminds owner of a cartoon dog.  She has expressive eyes; you’d swear there was a person inside that little body.  It would be a person of very little brain (sorry Winnie the Pooh) since what dog would be content to waddle around with a huge leaf stuck to her lip.  However, she’s very young so I’ll forgive her.  You don’t get to choose your cousins after all, do you?

Now Aspen is a whole different ball of wax.  She’s a Shih Tzu or something.  My first question  is if you mix a Bull dog with a Shih Tzu…don’t you end up with something rude? However, it is extremely unlikely Aspen would ever stoop so low as to “mix” with anyone.  Haughty?….her picture defines the word in the Oxford English Dictionary!

DSCN1056This dog got adopted by the right family.  She arrived with some god awful skin condition that caused all her fur to fall out, bleeding, death–defying fevers,  mites.  She proceeded on to need her eye bags removed – plastic surgery for a dog! Then  she needed surgery to prevent her eyelashes from growing into her eyeballs.    Seriously folks!  Aunt Karen drew the line at braces although lord knows Aspen could use them – she barks with a lisp!   Considering Aspen didn’t come free from the pound and then ran up thousands of dollars in veterinary bills just to stay alive that first year….I repeat she found the right home.  The good news is that now she’s actually “large and in charge.”

Everywhere the people went the dogs went. Out to Mowat’s landing where a bunch of canoers were heading down The Lady Evelyne towards Tema20100808_56gami, if I remember the direction correctly. Out to The Old Mission to see what had happened to the Brion’s cottages the family used to stay in every June.  Over to the more rugged part of the Old Mission to remember picnics with cokes tucked safely into cold water harbours created by damming the area with rocks.  Mum, gone eight years now,  used to make the best salmon sandwiches, brownies, and pack chocolate bars which were a serious treat. Everything was recreated for the Memory Lane picnics with ol’ pops but they couldn’t bring mum back; she was missed.


(Yup, that would be the picnic area just left of Karen at Wendigo, it’s gone!)


(Karen, that place you could picture in your mind but couldn’t name….well it is Wendigo, imagine that!)

Memories of shooting tin cans with the BB gun (more likely Ron than Karen and owner),  outings in the old freighter canoe  (testing the already old life jackets every year with a short swim to make sure they worked), swimming along the seven feet of Old Mission shoreline that were safe – or the big drop off would suck us away! Pops caught in a mini tornado at eight years old and seeking shelter in an old shack with his dad.  Tasty meals in the restaurant in Ville Marie, across the lake on the Quebec side….everything came up in conversation.  Let me tell you the fish they caught back then were quite H U G E!  Some shock resulted when “the going back in timers”  found out their  old picnic spot along Lake Wendigo, on the way to Englehart, is completely overgrown with a pine forest.  Were those gigantic trees babies in the ground forty years ago while they sat on the ground  around the tablecloth and enjoyed each other’s company.  Owner can remember a gigantic peacock blue and vibrant green blood sucker swimming by her one day but everyone else just nods politely and wonders if she is nuts?


Ol’ Pops pointing out how the storm came up the lake when we was on a fishing adventure with his dad back when he was eight.  Uncle Chick had to hack his way down to The Old Mission  with a saw and axe so that they could be rescued. This drive is no picnic today!


(Mowat’s Landing…canoe trippers still head out on long voyages from this spot.)


And then it was time to leave.  Ol’ pops wishing everyone lived nearby for Sunday dinners.  The dogs wishing they lived up North where they can run around leashless and the chipmunks are a dime a dozen.  Karen and Kath wishing they could go back and enjoy, even briefly, a day in the old homestead with everyone singing along as mum accompanied them on the piano for the latest show tunes.  Who wouldn’t give anything they could to be driving on a family road trip to Toronto and screaming out the lyrics to “What Do You Get When You  Fall in Love?”  Oh, those were the days.  See ya later.


Ol’ Pops and owner reliving the old days



Aspen and Chloe enjoying life up around Haileybury

Friday, August 6, 2010

I wanna sing, sing, sing


(Thanks to Eileen Burns for organising this event on behalf of the choir, to Rhonda Muckerman for being so well prepared and so much fun, and to Deb Stevens for taking  fabulous photos to document this perfect day – wet, cold, miserable and still perfect.)



Can’t deny it folks.  I’m an easedropper.  Sure, you say eavesdropper, I get it. For me, though  it  relates to the ease with which I sit around on the floor and listen to conversations. Plus, there is the “grandma what big ears you have,”  if you get it.

Owner disappeared last Saturday.  I had absolutely no idea where she went. One moment she was home and one moment she was gone, bag in hand loaded up with winter caliber  clothing.  For Pete’s sake, I thought, it is only the end of July what on earth is she thinking?  Apparently she packed the right stuff for a rainy summer day up at Alta Lakes

Getting to Alta Lakes can be a tortuous experience, especially if you don’t like cliffside roadways, Everest-like boulders in the middle of the road, and lakes on either side that are threatening to spill their banks.  Luckily Stu was at the wheel and with seatbelts fastened (thanks Stu!) up up she went to 11,300’. This is over two miles up from sea level! if you remember your grade four measurement lessons. We are talking way up….for the Canadians who read this look up, look way way up, and I’ll call Rusty).

Picture a dark, dank, chilled to the bone kind of day and you’d think October right? However, it was only July 31 and the thermometer hovered at about 45 degrees “F” at its warmest moment  and likely much lower given the elevation.  Rain, rain, rain and more rain continued throughout owner’s big adventure day up high. Luckily those muddy cliffs extending up above the jeep only looked like they wanted to slide; they held.


Owner wore  sandals up to the Observatory and within five minutes of being INSIDE the cabin, she pulled on her wool socks and running shoes just to keep her feet warm.  Next she threw on her winter wool undershirt as an extra layer on top of her t-shirts and under her fleece sweater.  Her friend, Patty, had to borrow a big pair of lumberjack socks or risk hypothermia of toes and calves!  Where was owner’s camera for that photo op? That hole in the heel really added to the appeal….she wasn’t dressed for her Tucson life now, was she!

Easedropping filled me in on  what was going on.  The Telluride Chorale Society and all interested singing members of the community had been invited to Alta Lakes for Summer Sing….a day long workshop.  About twenty excited singers showed up, some old timers and  some newbies.  Everyone was raring to let loose and fill the air, bring down the rafters,  and  ripple the waters.  Rhonda, the choir director arrived, and  the cabin burst into song.  There was a lot of that “mi, mi, mi” stuff going on, a little “doe a deer, a female deer” etc. only done with hand signs and voices. From the sounds of it, owner felt a bit rusty and was worried she couldn’t even hit the C above middle C but she persevered and with everyone else she made it. Halleluia.  Now they could sing. (Did their warmup sound a little bit like this? Would someone please buy ME a keyboard. This brings back thoughts of Don, now known as Wiggins.)



The first few songs were rounds,  and everyone seemed to like those  because they bring back childhood memories of camp and public school music classes. For owner this means memories of her mum getting school choirs and soloists ready for The Kiwanis Music Festival every Spring.   I’ll never know the joy of song; no one taught me to sing as a pup.  Have you seen my tongue?  Try wrapping that around words eh? 


As only Rhonda can,  she soon  had everyone  singing songs they had never seen before and singing them in four part harmony.  What would that choir do without its men?  You have to have that pounding bass line to make everything come together. Several women agreed to act as Tenors  even though each and every one of them can hit the highest notes possible, this is what happens when you have phenomenal vocal ranges.   Amid lots of laughter, fellowship, good food, and singing the feeling in the room was intimate.  Owner says IF anyone arrived in a bad mood they certainly didn’t leave that way. (Well, the two flat tires that Rhonda experienced  could have changed her mood as she tried to leave for home and for that she is forgiven. Let’s just say she hadn’t been a fan of that road on her way up to the cabin and certainly wasn’t a fan when she couldn’t simply head home.)

The best part was yet to come.  Curly arrived just as the choir was practicing its Lion King wannabe hymn.  Hips were swaying, boom dada boom boom da dum dum was bouncing off the walls along with a tippi, tippi tum, tippi too, tippi tum  and some Alleluias and drawn out Amen’s.  If you want to end your workshop on a high  note this was the way to do it.

But wait…..they weren’t done.  NO.  Roasted turkey, roast pork, chili, tabouleh, the BEST salad in the world (owner wouldn’t say whose it was), bread, you name it…that table was groaning.  Apple pie, chocolate graham wafer dessert, brownies, fruit….owner apparently really packed it away. I’m imagining the crumbs lying around were delicious. (me, just kibble at home as usual). Curly has never been known to turn down a free meal either. I heard he was back to the dessert table a couple of times until owner had to shoo him away.  Like she doesn’t feed him here?

Suddenly singing started again, tattoos were flashed to great delight, guitars strummed, poems recited, people burst into song to accompany singers through  repeating refrains.   Joyous times. Several audience members raised gentle background vocals for the young singer and her rendition of Oh, Shenandoah as she worked through  stage fright.  A more supportive and loving audience would be hard to find; several tears were seen streaking down cheeks in celebration of her accomplishment.  Yes she could do this and Yes, she did.   To everyone’s delight, Maria from The Sound of Music dropped by to discuss whiskers on kittens.  This led to bee stings and dog bites….as if I couldn’t have told them kittens tend to lead conversations in that ugly direction.   It sounds like somebody left on a Jet Plane but I can’t figure that one out. Curly couldn’t help but be moved as everyone joined in to accompany Rhonda on Amazing Grace…twenty beautiful voices raised in joy and celebration at the  end of a wonderful day.

One thing does bother me about this event.   Apparently Toddies got to go.  Now it could be that the organisers thought that Susan was bringing some HOT toddies, not her dog..but still,if Toddies can go and then Moose (my old Bud) can show up…why the hell didn’t I?  See ya later.


Here’s that flat tire  I was telling you about.

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