Tuesday, March 08, 2011


pictures of Abby


photos of Abby


The Story of Abby

I'm publishing this partly for posterity, and partly for the enjoyment of the fine folks at Speaking of Dogs rescue, in Toronto. Without their help, my Abby would not be in my life, and so, I'm certainly grateful to them!

Abby came to live with us in June 2007. At the time, we had Ender and Lucy.
When Abby first joined us, she was worried and a bit timid, but always very lovey. Over the first few months with us, she really came out of her shell, and she has been blossoming ever since!
She had some health issues when she was turned into the rescue, but between them and us, we both worked to get her healthy. Her patchy dry coat is now very thick and shiny! She has the thickest coat of all three dogs now!
She has a beautiful smile, which we see often! She is always looking for hugs and love.
When she first joined us, she was not able to keep up for a regular length hike, but over time, she has built her stamina, and hiking is her favourite activity now! She especially loves the winter, and munching the snow and snowplowing her face in the white stuff are favourites as well.

Two years ago, Abby suffered a partial tear in her left ACL. Thanks to Dr Campbell's advice, we treated her with bed rest and about 8 weeks worth of hydratherapy. She was good as new again, and was eager to take to the trails again!
Just two weeks ago, she tore the ACL in her right leg, partially again, thank dog. So we are on bedrest again, and will start hydratherapy for her again in about 6 weeks.

Since Abby has joined our family, we have added Molson (cat) and Shelby (yellow Lab) to our little(?) pack.
Some things you might not know about Abby:

She doesn't bark much, but she does tend to "speak." This tends to sound like a cross between a wookie and an orangutan. There have been times when she has reduced an entire room to laughter because she also has great timing.
She loves to "go around" for a treat.
She loves to watch football with me.
She looks lovely in the pearls that my Aunt and Uncle bought for her, and she wears them for special occasions.
She loves to sleep in, right after breakfast, it's back to bed! (with her head on the pillow)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Labour Day 2009 Balsam Lake Trip

So, for the Labour Day long weekend, we loaded up the car, and took the "kids" camping. They were very enthusiastic to get on the road.

We were heading to Balsam Lake for two nights - this was to be Shelby's first camping trip.

Abby enroute:

Don got a little tired of driving, so Shelby took over for a bit:

Ender spies the park:

Some swimming at the dog beach:

Three zen pups after swimming at the dog beach:

Shelby decides that sleeping on the dirty ground at the campsite is for chumps:

Ahh, good times:

Don had to fix the Coleman Stove.

Three tired and satisfied dogs:

And then we drove home to enjoy a sunny labour day by the pool.


So long since last post!

Oh, I've been SO bad, not posting in FOREVER. I won't pin this on Ender, this is one of his people typing,I'll take the blame fully. I've been reminded by one of Ender and Abby's faithful friends (thanks Blanche!), and I feel terrible that I have not posted in so long. I also realize that the photos are gone - this is thanks to a recent hard drive crash,I'm sure, I will have to figure out how to get those back up there.

Well, let's start at the beginning of the big black hole - last fall.
My mother's neighbours - let's call them George, Jane, and daughter Judy - got a puppy for little Judy. George knew in his heart that every little Judy should have a dog, but had NO clue as to what to do with this dog. They bought a yellow lab puppy, named her Shelby, and built a chain-link pen out behind their pool and left her there. My mother promptly pointed out that this was no way for a pup to be housed. That she needed training, and shelter, and love and attention. But George would hear none of it. He felt that dogs belonged outside. Without training, Shelby quickly became unmanageable - and always knocked little Judy on her butt, because no one could teach her to STAY DOWN. George, Jane and Judy loved little Shelby, that was clear, but they had preconceived notions of how to deal with her, and unfortunately they were wrong. Mom spent a few weeks frustrated with this situation, occasionally, rescuing the little thing from her unsheltered pen during thunderstorms, and bringing the pup into her own house. Mom eventually started asking for the dog - George, just let me have her, Judy can play with her whenever she wants - you can't leave her outside like that - winter is coming - on and on and on. Eventually, George got fed up with Shelby, she had scratched Judy (oh sin of sins, no blood by the way) while jumping up on her. They announced that they would give Shelby up.
Now, at this time, Mom had recently gone through the loss of her recent dog Sunny. And she had gone to the shelter and got herself another dog as a companion, because the loss was so great. Olivia came bouncing into Mom's life, a black poodle-lab cross. Mom was in the midst of trying to situate her new dog to her home, when Shelby landed on her side of the fence. Mom did her best, but it was too much - being thrown into a multi-dog situation is difficult, and she was unsure how to handle it - couple that with the fact that Shelby had never seen the inside of a house before, except for those two brief periods during thunderstorms.
Mom called me in total anguish, sad that she had promised this puppy she'd rescue her, and feeling that she was failing in making good on that promise.
We had met Shelby already, she came over to play with our dogs during a family event, and everyone took a real liking to her. She is petite, very friendly and loving - and so darned pretty! We offered to foster her in a heartbeat - to take the strain of training her off my Mom.
Mom lives about 3.5 hours from me, so we met halfway, in London to do the handoff the friday after Thanksgiving 2008. The plan was to have Shelby all prepped and ready to go back to Mom at Christmas, which we'd be hosting, so Mom was travelling up anyway.
We worked with this new puppy, and Ender and Abby immediately took her in as their own little buddy. They'd play with her, and we'd go for hikes, and all was going swimmingly. She loved to snuggle, and loved furniture! (remember, the inside of a house was relatively new to her)
On a hike in the fall, I heard Abby yelp, and she came running back to me on three legs... it seems my girl had torn her ACL. She had been rather spunky on that hike, and I'm afraid she may have slipped in some mud while rounding a corner. Not a week later and Ender pulled or sprained his knee pretty badly. So, we found ourselves training a puppy, and nursing two older dogs with injuries. It made for an interesting few weeks.
I bought a bow to put on Shelby, so we could "gift" her to Mom for christmas - and when the time came, we just couldn't do it. Couldn't give her up, Ender and Abby both adored her. Shelby even understood that the other two were injured - she'd play with Abby by wrestling her while they were lying down. And we were able to get Ender to play gently with her, so he wouldn't injure his leg further. Couple this with the fact that Mom was recovering from a really bad sprain, and a second dog woudl have been just a whole lot of trouble at that point. Especially a second dog who was in need of training, rigourous play and lots of walks. And, we had fallen in love with her. All these things were at play when we decided to keep her. I had mixed emotions about keeping her - her staying with us meant upsetting my Mom, but I think it was in everyone's best interest to keep her where she was.
We managed to get through the winter - even the portion of the winter where we drove Ender and Abby to Georgetown for hydratherapy for their injuries. A brief note on this: I think this is what healed them - Abby was very good about putting herself on bedrest - and we didn't walk her for about a month. Ender needed more constant attention to keep him still - but with the hydratherapy, both of them recovered and gained their strength back. If anyone needs info on Hydratherapy, let me know - I'll happily refer you to the place we went!
I also think that Shelby brought some happiness and entertainment to the other two as they recovered.
So, our strange little family limped along throughout the winter, and when spring hit, and we opened our pool, we stopped driving for hydratherapy once a week, and we were able to let them swim at home more regularly, and both Ender and Abby healed very quickly.
Shelby took to the pool like a lab to water! She loved it, and it seemed like she'd never been without a pool. Luckily she has not been scarred by her former life. She and Ender compete with one another to fetch toys from the pool, while MiLady Abby prefers a relaxing swim when she gets too hot, and then a massage in the lounge chair.
We just took all three dogs camping for labour day weekend - I will have to post some pictures of that and everything that has happened in the past year - it's a lot to catch up on.
Everyone is happy and healthy. And, I almost forgot, we took in a new cat as well over the past year - so my little family consists of me, Don, 2 cats, and 3 dogs! My house is full of hair, happiness, noise, excitement, and lots of love!

Monday, October 06, 2008


Fall and a big welcome to Cousin X!

Fall is here, and Abby and I are quite happy! We love the fall for hiking because we don't melt under our thick chocolatey coats. We did a great hike yesterday, it was a section of the Bruce that is very hilly, it's a great workout for us, and an even better workout for the two leggers - this hike really tires Sonia out. While we were hiking, we came across an old limestone kiln, and I can jump on top of the chimney! The two leggers weren't fast enough with the camera to catch me in action, so Don took a picture of Sonia showing how high I can jump. It's pretty high:

And this is a picture of us on a very tall, upright staircase on the hike:

After the hike, this is how tired Abby was:

We have big news! We are getting a new cousin! She doesn't really have a name yet, so we're calling her Cousin X! They say she is to be a black labradoodle, whatever that is. They tell me I'll like her, I hope they are right.
I loved Sunny, my other cousin, and we all miss her terribly. But I'm happy for Grandma that she is getting a new friend, and now maybe she won't be so lonely. (I can't always be there to give her chocolate kisses to cheer her up)

Here are some new pictures of me and Abby. Abby is wearing her new pearls from Uncle Tim and Aunt Mar. Abby is quite thrilled with her pearls, and I'm pretty good looking just as I am, don't you think?

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Life with Abby

So, Abby has been with us almost a year, June 3 is the anniversary of her joining us.
Since we don't know when her birthday is, that's the day we're going to choose as Abby day. I'll have to help her open her presents, I'm sure, since I'm better at that than she is.
She and I hike together, we walk together, we play together, I just don't like to get too close to her when we're sleeping - a man needs his space, you know. But sometimes, when I'm too tired to care, she snuggles right into me, and I guess that's okay.
We spent the last week at Grandma's house - our people were diving in Honduras. We love going to Grandmas' because we get lots of love and lots of treats!
Abby especially loves the treats!

Thought I'd update you all with some photos taken since the end of last summer... Summer is just around the corner again, can't wait til they get the cover off my pool!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Summer 2007

Wow - what a summer for E.Dog - - just over two months ago, my people got me a dog, guess they figured I was mature enough to handle one now, even though I didn't ask for one. Her name is Abby, and she is fairly well trained, but some times we have trouble with her, as in she runs like crazy if she's off leash in the neighbourhood - so we have to keep a close eye on her.
She's been great on hikes though, and the other day she came upon a big bunch of deer and ran back to us as soon as she saw them - good Dog!

Abby seems really happy with us - we have even taken her on three road trips this summer. The first one was a trip to Kingston, where my people went diving. Poor girl, the whole time we were in the motel room, she was all worried, "oh, I'm getting left here, they're gonna leave us here..." I tried to tell her that everything was okay, but she was still worried, so I fell asleep. She was sure happy to see them again... see, Abby? Told ya! I can understand though, she's had some changes in her life, and we all work to make her comfortable and happy.
Road trip number two - we went to a cottage in Parry Sound with my Grandma, and my Uncle Tim and Aunt Mar. It was a blast! I jumped off the dock and swam the whole weekend, and Abby even came in the water sometimes too! She doesn't swim as well as I do, though. She was a good dog at the cottage, she stayed right with us the whole weekend! No running or anything! Good Abby!
The third road trip was a trip to Grandma's, for the annual Camp Grandma - my people call it Camp Mary, but I don't think I'm sposed to call her Mary... me and Abby had a good time there too, there were lots of people feeding us, and again, I was running and jumpting into the pool, and doing lots of swimming!
We even went for one of Uncle Tim's walks in Kingsville, and then stopped to see my other Grandma, and Uncle Sherwood for a visit. I got to see Bear, their dog - he's a good Dog too.

And so now, we are home for a long weekend in August hoping for good weather for the pool... Here are some shots from the summer so far:
This is me and Don with our new girl at Fort Henry in Kingston.

Abby sure was tired after all that worrying in Kingston.

This is Don with Abby on the dock, with Tim returning from a sail.

Uuuuhh, Guys? Maybe the person taking the picture should have held the Doritos...

Ooooh Yeah! There's nothing like a good wriggle on the dock in the sun!

Abby looking snappy in the neck thingy's Grandma made us for Camp Grandma.

Me opening my Camp Grandma present.

Abby playing shake the Poodle, with her Camp Grandma present.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


The Abby update day one

her first full day seemed pretty good - I think we tired her out on sunday though! Of course she was on sensory overload, taking in all the new sights and smells, so we decided against taking her to a conservation area that day. Instead, we took about 3 walks throughout the day, around our neighbourhood, repeating a couple of our usual paths for her to get familiar with some of the smells.

And then she hung out with us by the pool while we threw the ball in for Ender, she wasn't too keen on getting in the pool on sunday - and she seemed to really need close contact that day, so she spent most of her time right next to me, either following me, or getting petted. She is such a sweetheart!

We have discovered that she is a fairly skittish dog, and we have also discovered that after only a couple of hours with us, Ender is ready to defend her! There was a sound from the neighbour's yard that startled her - someone dragged a chair or something across their deck - and as she jumped and ran about 12 feet from the noise, big Ender came barreling over to the fence and proceeded to check things out - he didn't bark, but he was all in a huff, and certainly was interested to find out what startled her Abness... he normally doesn't give a crap about noises like that!

The two of them seem to be working out fine - they sniff each other now and then, and when ender is close to her face, he includes a couple of licks. The two of them were running through the green belt together - me on the end of her leash, as I'm not sure about her off leash skills yet, so, truthfully, the 3 of us were running around the greenbelt like big goofs - ender was off leash, so Don just got to sit back and laugh. She is so funny when she runs! Definately one of her mad lab moments, while Ender was his normal freaky nutbar self. We got a ball for her to play with while ender was jumping into the pool after his - and she was so goofy again! She loves to pounce after a bouncing ball, and after seeing her all goofy, Ender got in the mood too, and both of them ran a few mad lab/freaky nutbar laps around the yard!

Monday night, we introduced her to Dukie, another chocolate in the hood, and his people. She was VERY good - no jumping this time! But, as I mentioned, I think she was tired. She really liked Dukie though!

On sunday, our cat hissed at her, and she looked dejected for about half an hour, poor thing. But, Lucy has since warmed up to her! We spent some time together sunday, on the bed - just us three girls! We've had a chance to sit together, the three of us a few times now, with not much drama at all. Lucy is a notorious ninja - famous for threatening 4 leggers new to her territory. But Abby seems to have never encountered a ferocious feline in her life, and just patiently waits for Lucy to stop hissing or swatting, and she stays perfectly still. I think she will have the great and powerful ninja disarmed in a matter of days.

Tuesday night, being Dog night, we tood Ender and Abby to Claireville - and there, we tested her offleash skills - which, shall we say, are not quite mad skills. But there is hope that we can get her there. She is quite the treat hound, and as long as we have a treat to lure her with, she returns almost faithfully, and this was only day three, technically. It's like training a puppy again, and we have to remind ourselves of that.

We have talked trash for a long time about making a list of Mr Ender's vocabulary - and at this point, I wish we had done so. It's amazing that we take the training he's gone through, and the progress he's made for granted. But it's very apparent when we tell the dogs something quite clearly, and while Ender goes off and does whatever we've said, poor Abby leans in, looking deep into your eyes, as if to say, "sorry, what was that?" So we are starting almost from the beginning, getting her used to certain words that will someday become commands or common lingo for her.

I'm finishing this entry on wednesday night, which is basically her third day with us. She has done very well, even her itch seems to have subsided? The jump in the creek she had last night might have helped that. She has a wonderful personality, very calm,and inquisitive - she wants to learn. She and Ender do not seem to be best-friends-forever yet... when I come home from work, I find her coming downstairs from the bedroom, while Ender is still keeping his grumpy old man post on the couch, so he can yarp all day at passersby and that pesky mailman who comes every day.

We are thrilled to have Abby as part of our family, and we are doing our best to make sure she is happy with us. She seems to enjoy our company and praise, and I hope she is comfortable in our home. She really seemed to love dog night, that's every tuesday night, for the uninitiated.
We're very happy we were able to offer her a home. That said, i don't believe she would have had much of a hard time finding a home through the rescue group - because she really is lovely - but I'm really happy that she has found her way into our home. After only a handful of days, there is still a lot I don't know about her, but I'm looking forward to learning!
Time to get my chocolate butts to bed... this is BrownDogMama, signing off.

Sunday, June 03, 2007



Today, we added another smiling chocolate lab to our family - her name is Abby, and she is very sweet. She and Ender are getting along well, and she has yet to truly encounter tha Luce, but we'll get to that when it happens! Lucy saw her once and hissed, but so far they have not had contact.
Abby is a rescue, and seems to be about the same age as Ender. On her first day with us, we've taken a walk through the green belt behind our house, and watched Ender fetch balls from the pool. Abby did get into the pool just up to her ankles, she stepped in on the first step, but I'm sure she and Ender will be swimming together in there before long.
Here are a couple of picture from day one.

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