Introducing… Tulip!

It’s been a tough year for Vince and myself without our beloved Sophie, but the fates have now smiled on us 🙂

A Little Backstory

This past year I’ve had my name on well over 30 different Ontario dog breeder wait-lists for a puppy. Last week I received an unexpected email from Karen Anderson of Royal Frenchies, one of the many kennels where we’d been on a puppy wait-list (we were originally the 26th family on the waitlist and it would be an estimated 2 years before there would be a pup available.). Karen asked if we might be interested in a grown, 2-year old dog, rather than a puppy, which they had in their kennel. Royal Frenchies had imported this girl from The Netherlands for breeding in their kennel, but it turns out that the dog is infertile and unable to conceive – not a desirable situation when your business is breeding and raising French Bulldogs! What was the kennel’s loss, was our gain…. of course we said YES!!

Enter into our lives and home the beautiful Tulip, a red fawn French Bulldog. Her Dutch kennel name is Thyra (pronounced Tier-rah, with a strong roll on the letter r), but the breeders called her Tulip – much easier to pronounce and remember. We may shorten this to Tuli (too-lee) but the jury is still out on that one. Anyway, here she is!!:

This is Tulip’s bio from the Royal Frenchies website before they became aware she had a hormonal issue and couldn’t conceive.

Settling In

Tulip just came to us this past Wednesday, and some of you have already met her. She is still settling in, but so far she’s very comfortable here. Tulip’s a lovely, calm, independent girl who loves attention…. she’s come to the right household! She’s a perfect fit and we just love her to pieces:

Sophie will always be our Number 1 girl, but we are so happy and fortunate Tulip came to us. We will give her the best life any dog could ask for. Fingers crossed for many happy years ahead!

Remembering Sophie

Dearest Sophie: it’s been a year today since we had to say goodbye. We love and miss you so much, more than I’m capable of putting into words. You were wonderful and special, and will never be forgotten. Never.

We’ll meet you under the Rainbow Bridge someday, but until then you’re always in our hearts.

The Rainbow Bridge

I encountered this piece the other day while looking at a Yorkshire Terrier site. I instantly thought of our beloved Sophie and started to tear up. I’ve often heard of The Rainbow Bridge in the world of dogs, but had never come across this piece until now.

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown


From the “Memories” page of Judawn Yorkshire Terriers site: http://www.judawnyorkies.com/

So God Made A Dog

I believe this one has been around for a while but I just heard it today for the first time. It’s beautiful and so perfect.

And on the 9th Day God looked down on his wide eyed children and said they need a companion

So God made a Dog

God said I need somebody to wake up and give kisses, pee on a tree, sleep all day, wake up again, give more kisses, and then stay up till midnight basking in the glow of the television set.

So God made a Dog

God said I need somebody willing to sit, then stay, then roll over then with no ego or complaint dress in hats they do not need and costumes they do not understand. I need somebody who can break wind without a first thought or second thought. Who can chase tails, sniff crotches, fetch sticks and lift spirits with a lick. Somebody no matter what you didn’t do, or couldn’t take, or didn’t win, or couldn’t make will love you without judgment just the same.

So God made a Dog

God said I need somebody strong enough to pull sleds and find bombs, yet gentle enough to love babies and lead the blind. Somebody who will spend all day on a couch with the resting head and supportive eyes to lift the spirits of a broken heart.

So God made a Dog

It had to be somebody who would remain patient and loyal even through loneliness. Somebody to care, cuddle, snuggle and nuzzle, and cheer and charm and snore and slobber and eat the trash and chase the squirrels. Somebody who would bring a family together with selflessness of an open heart. Somebody who would bark, and then pant, and then reply with the rapid wag of tail when their best friend says lets go for a ride in the car.

So God made a Dog

God said I need somebody who would stand at your side when the world around you collapses. Somebody to lie next to you during the long nights of pain and sorrow when it hurts to move, or talk, or think, or be. Somebody to stand guard, play games, snore for hours, and repeat as needed. Somebody to give you strength when you have none of your own. Somebody to fight when you have no fight left, to hold onto your soul as if it were their favorite toy, playing tug of war to keep you in this world. Somebody to be your companion and guide in this world and the next. Somebody to wait for you on the other side or stand guard in your absence until they can join you for eternity.

So God made a Dog

Cat vs. Dog — War Of The Diaries

This is an old one, but it’s so very true. Whoever wrote this understands the true essence of cats and dogs.

The Dog’s Diary

8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing!

1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00 pm – Dinner! My favorite thing!

7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Cat’s Diary

Day 983 of My Captivity

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a “good little hunter” I am. Bastards!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now…

Goodbye, Sweet Girl

SOPHIE

March 13, 2008 – July 10, 2020

The Bustle in a House (1108)

The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon Earth –

The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity –

Emily Dickinson

Our beloved Sophie has left us. Words cannot express how much we miss her; our home is so quiet and still now without her. I struggle to write this post – there’s so much I’d like to say about Sophie, but words are failing me. My grief is enormous.

So many people in our condo loved Sophie and everyone knew her. She was a Celebrity Place girl from day one. Born in our condo building on the Easter weekend of 2008, this is the only home she ever knew. Sophie and her sister Dixie lived their whole lives at Celebrity Place and were a fixture of our complex.

Pack walk through Riverdale Park, September 2013

I will never forget that first year, especially, of Sophie’s life. I wanted her to be a big city girl and not fear city noise and mayhem. To that end, Sophie and I became quite a team as we transversed Toronto from side to side and top to bottom. Together we travelled the buses, rode the subway, up and down store escalators, took in the lunacy of Yonge-Dundas Square, made trips to the Toronto Islands via the ferry boat, visited shopping malls and the Eaton Centre (where she visited her Uncle David, working at Birks). Where I went, Sophie went. In all our city travels together we were only tossed out of two places – Mount Pleasant Cemetery and Shopper’s Drug Mart at Yonge and College Streets! So many places, so many memories… wonderful memories.

In Philosopher’s Walk, U of T, May 2012

Vince and I have lost our best friend. It is heartbreaking for us to say goodbye but Sophie left behind 12½ years of precious memories to cherish.

Thank you, Soph, for coming into our lives; we loved you beyond measure and will never, ever forget you.

Do’s and Don’ts When Encountering Service Dogs

For a while now I’ve had it in mind to create a post talking about the “do’s and don’ts” when we see a service/working dog in our daily travels. I have a personal connection with this topic as my very good friend is visually impaired and has used service dogs for most of her life. A service dog is a lifeline to a blind or disabled person; I can attest to this as I see my friend’s challenges almost every single day as we make our way through busy downtown Toronto.

Despite the best efforts of programs to educate the general public, there are still many people who just simply don’t “get” the issue of service dogs and don’t know how to respond around them. Hopefully I can throw a little light on some of the “do’s and don’ts” for those who are not familiar.

Never Distract A Service Dog

This is probably the most important thing to mention. Even though a service dog may not “look like” it’s doing its job, she is always working. Service dogs typically wear some sort of vest or harness and are easily identifiable as such. To distract a working service dog can have serious or dangerous consequences for the dog and handler team. A service dog needs all her attention to safely guide her handler through traffic and many other obstacles; to be distracted from that job is dangerous or even fatal for the dog/handler team, especially in big city traffic.

Never pet or touch a service dog or make distracting sounds to get their attention – for example, making “kissy” or clicking sounds, calling to them or talking to them. The best practice is to politely ignore the dog.

No Need To “Feel Sorry” For The Dog

Service dogs are dearly loved by their owner/handler. They are well adjusted, socialized and highly trained to be working much of the time. Service dogs are just like other dogs – they get plenty of time off duty to run, play, get treats and just be a “regular dog”. No need to “feel sorry” for a service dog; they are very happy doing their duty. Dogs love a routine and like to work, especially many breeds of bigger dogs.

Be Patient

Be patient when you see a service dog and handler team executing a climb up/down stairs, getting on/off public transit or any similar situation. The dog needs to work out the safest method for herself and the handler to negotiate the challenge. As a team they will usually successfully work it out, but in the rare case a handler needs assistance to navigate a problematic situation they will call out or ask for assistance if it is required.

Never grab a blind person by the arm and pull them across the street, etc. in an attempt to navigate them – this is probably one of the most confusing and frightening things a blind person can experience as it totally disorients them within their surroundings. If you do want to help, politely ask them if they require any assistance with whatever it is they’re navigating and proceed from there. It will be appreciated.

It’s Personal

Although people may mean well, it’s inappropriate to ask a service dog handler: “What happened to you? How did you go blind (or become disabled, etc.)”, or “How do you deal with it?”. Please understand this is personal information and the handler most likely does not wish to discuss this with anyone.

Don’t Discriminate – It’s The Law

The law protects service dogs and their handlers. Service dogs are not pets. They are allowed in all food stores, restaurants, food outlets and other public spaces. This is the law: both the Ontario and federal Human Rights Codes prohibit discrimination based on disability, and rejecting a service animal definitely fits that category.

Rejecting a service dog also violates the Ontario Blind Person’s Rights Act. If there is a rejection of the service dog, the service dog handler can file a human rights complaint with the appropriate tribunal, either Ontario or federal, and can pursue charges under the Blind Person’s Right Act, which fines any offender a maximum of $5,000 if convicted.

I hope this helps. I’ve also included a couple of relevant links below if you’d like to learn more about service dogs, their handlers, and the challenges they face:

Guide Dogs for the Blind

Blind Not Alone

Service dogs save lives