Thursday, September 29, 2016

Plot Twist

Well, that was unexpected.

Oh, buddy. We had such a good day. You only had one accident in the house. You peed and pooped on command. You didn't complain about the removal of your all-you-can-eat buffet. Probably for that reason, you responded really well to the training we did with kibble rewards. I watched you like a hawk and almost never let you out of my sight. We killed Training Day 1.

Except for that one oversight.

E had just come home from school. You had just come out of your crate and had peed in your spot like a champ, so I let you off the leash to play in the backyard to celebrate. We threw the ball a little, we ran around a little, and then E and I sat down to eat popsicles while you played in the bushes. We watched you the whole time. You were only in there for about 3 minutes. But it turns out you weren't playing. 

Fast forward to an hour later. I put your dinner down for you, and you gave it a pass. Highly suspicious, given the fact that you hadn't eaten (apart from reward kibble) for 8 hours. I shook your food around, but you just ignored it. Your muzzle was all wet, but I didn't see you drinking water. Your paws were soaked, but you hadn't stepped in water. I stood there, warning bells starting to tinkle but still utterly confused...and then you vomited. Three times in rapid succession. Mostly mushrooms. 

Over the next half hour you drooled profusely, dry heaved and had explosive diarrhea. By the time I called the vet they had just closed, so we wrapped you in a blanket and drove to the emergency vet. You were in rough shape. You were lethargic and shaking and drooling like a faucet. I felt terrible. 
After a little research it looked like the mushrooms you ate were probably not the liver toxic ones, just mildly hallucinogenic muscarinic ones which cause a lot of drooling and vomiting/diarrhea, and maybe severe breathing problems and convulsions. Did I mention I felt terrible? 

They kept you overnight. They gave you IV fluids, anti-nausea meds, activated charcoal and tested you for all kinds of stuff. By 10:30pm they said you were drooling less and coming around a bit. At 6:20 this morning you were "back to being a puppy". 

I don't know who was more excited when were finally reunited. Sure, I didn't lick your face as much as you did mine, but my happy dance was every bit as enthusiastic. 

I can only hope that you're a quick study and that you'll leave mushrooms alone from now on. But just in case, we're going on lockdown. For the foreseeable future it's you and me kiddo, literally joined at the hip. It's not that I don't trust you, it's just that I really don't trust you. But I sure am glad you're okay.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

To: Gryffindor

You are 9 ½ weeks. Training starts today.

So far you have been a delightful little boy, with the exception of your deplorable bathroom etiquette. You are devastatingly handsome, as everyone has told you, which I suspect will get you out of more than one of life’s scrapes. You are calm and gentle, as puppies go, and you’re very, very good at hugs, kisses and cuddles. Yes, I think we picked just the perfect puppy when we found you, and I think we’ll be together for a very long time.


Buddy. You have got to figure out this potty training situation. Not to mention the leash walking fiasco. And the shoe-chewing conundrum. And the catch-me-if-you-can nonsense. But mostly, right now, I need to stop having to clean up your pee and poop from my floors eleventyseven times a day. I need that real bad.

So I will follow the trainer’s advice to the letter; only putting your food bowl down at breakfast and at dinner, taking you out to the same spot and refusing to let you have any fun until you’ve done your business, praising you up the wazoo and giving treats when you do answer the call of nature, and not letting you wander unchecked through the house, looking for virgin spaces devoid of pee smell. Life is going to get a little more prison-esque for you starting today, Griffy old pal.

But I promise, if you put your mind to it and do your very best, this phase of our lives together will not last long. Soon enough you’ll have full run of the place, you’ll be spared the indignity of being carried to “your spot” and kept under intense scrutiny while you powder your nose. Best of all, one day you and I will share a chuckle about those early days when you were so cute but so dumb, as we snuggle on the couch or hang out at the park chasing ducks. It’s going to be great. Really great.

So please, dearest boy, for love of everything holy, please get your shit together. And keep it outside.

Love: Mom

Monday, July 18, 2016

What a day

For someone who woke up saying "Hey, my clock is still blue. Get outta here!" when I came in to her room this morning, E sure did end up having a banner day.

July 18 was a big day for the whole Cowfamily, in fact. Dr. J officially welcomed his first patients today. After 20 long years, he's in business. It was a big moment, and his mom and dad came to share it with us.

But somehow, E might have still come out on top. After all, J didn't get to be a sous-chef in a fancy restaurant. And he most certainly did not get himself immortalized in a piece of the city.

The day started early as we accompanied J to his clinic to start the day. We delivered cucumber water and met his parents, who were eagerly awaiting his arrival.

We arrived home to see Tony Baloney and his construction crew pouring concrete for the new sidewalk in front of our house. They started the work on Friday replacing our uneven tiles, and he and E made fast friends even though she declined his request for her to join his crew. Today E decided to sit and watch them work, and it wasn't long before Tony suggested that she get her hands dirty, literally. "Come here!" he directed. She complied hesitantly, and he told her to spread her fingers out wide before grabbing her wrists and plopping them down in the wet concrete. He then whisked her away to the truck to rinse off her hands before returning to carefully inscribe her name and the year under her paw prints for posterity. It was absolutely heart-meltingly adorable, and E was over the moon. Best day ever.

AND THEN. We went to dinner to celebrate J's first day, where she quickly gained the attention of the chefs in the open kitchen behind us. She was all smiles and cuteness, and it wasn't long before the head chef came out and asked if E wanted to have a hand in making our dinner. He placed a chef hat on her head, took her hand and led her back to the kitchen, where she made eyes at one of the chefs as well as some pasta. Once she was done the bartender came over with a very special fancy drink that he had created especially for her, along with the recipe so we could recreate it at home. All that AND dessert on a Monday night?

What a day.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Perfectly Ordinary

Best day ever.

Well, okay, wedding day was pretty great. Daughter being born fairly noteworthy as well. And sure, lots of other days have won out in terms of excitement and/or general spectacularity. But today? Today was an example of "My Perfect Perfectly Ordinary Day".

Gardening. Neighbours. Great friends. Children running from yard to yard. Outside the whole day. Patio lunch. Patio beer. An awesome sense of accomplishment from working hard and getting dirty, while having fun and taking it easy, all at the same time. Not a single blip. No whining. No fighting. No drama.

Contented sigh.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Lots of updates to get to...but first things first:

I am officially unemployed. And it feels GREAT.

In 8 days E will be finished school and in 12 days we're loading up and leaving Ottawa, but in the meantime I've quit my job and I'm taking the summer off. That feels almost as good to type as it does to do. 

So how was Day 1 of Summer Vacation? FANtastic.

It's funny how easy it is to get to school on time when you no longer care if you get to school on time. 3 minutes early with no squabbling or mad rushes out the door. Sha-Zam! 

It's also interesting how long brunch can take when your child is at school and you have no reason to get up from a comfy chesterfield. (2 hours.)

And when you do finally make it home and get down to packing, it's funny how much time there is to try different packing strategies, consider organization techniques, and even to stop and chill out once and a while. Ka-Pow!

It's 5:30. Dinner preparation should be in full swing, but I'm on the couch snuggling with E (who's watching Octonauts) and J (who's doing who knows what on his computer over there). Dinner will get on the table...E will get in the bath...I'll probably do a little more packing at some point...but I have officially ceased to be concerned about keeping to a strict schedule and constantly watching the clock, worrying about one thing or another. 

Because, did I mention? I'M ON VACATION!!!

Monday, April 4, 2016


I guess on some level I expected an awkward conversation to come out of today's events. I mean, let's look at the facts. I took an inquisitive six-year-old to a charity softball tournament where a bunch of dudes in drag were tossing their balls around, and other euphemisms.

And while I hummed and hawed over what to wear to such an event, she didn't miss a beat:

Fits right in, doesn't she?

We watched some baseball, ate some cupcakes and hot dogs, drank some beer and had a great  afternoon soaking up the sun and scenery.

Did I mention that the whole event was a fundraiser for Bruce House, an organization that provides housing and resources for people living with HIV and AIDS? A great cause that we were happy to support, but perhaps a little more thought could have gone into the questions that might arise out of such an experience.

For example.

We wandered by a table selling various items including red ribbons, lollipops and snacks. There was one bowl I hadn't noticed that attracted E's attention on account of the bag of chips that was perched on top of it. Unfortunately, under those chips sat a large pile of vibrantly hued condoms.

"What are those mom?"

Damnit. I was about to find out whether the beer buzz I was rocking would help or hinder the situation. I saw the ladies sitting at the table exchange expressions of thinly-veiled glee at landing front row seats to watch me squirm. Candy? If I said it was candy and she couldn't have it would I get away with it? Or would that lead to some even more awkward and/or horrifying experience in later years for both of us?


"Uhmmmmm...those are condoms." End of story?

E: What are condoms?
M: They're for grown-ups.
E: But what are they?
M: ... Ok E, I'm going to be straight with you. I think it's an important question and it deserves an answer, but I've had a couple of beers and it's very hot out and I feel like maybe I should take some time to think about what I want to say before we have this conversation. How about you remind me tomorrow and I promise I will give you an answer.
E: But why can't you just tell me right now?
M: Because it's a pretty grown-up thing and it's a bit complicated to explain, and I want to make sure that I give you the right amount of information, so I need to be able to think about it first.
E: Well, why don't you just try, and if I don't get it THEN you can think about it?
M: ... (this is happening) ... Ok. Here it is. They're sort of like raincoats for penises.
M: Yep. You know how you wear a raincoat when it's raining to protect you from the rain? Well, when people have sex there are some diseases that can be spread from one person to another because there are germs in all body fluids, so people put condoms on to protect themselves from getting those germs.
E: A raincoat. I get it. That's not complicated, mom.
M: Awesome! Who wants a cupcake?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Fast facts

My goodness it has been a while.

E is trying to explain how difficult it is to get all of the pieces of her board game back in the box. I sympathize that it sounds tricky. "Yeah," she replies. "It's a real struggle".

So much affection since she turned 7! Lots of hugs, cuddles, "Best Mom Ever!"s. Great efforts at "no argue days", interspersed with arguments.

Amazing 6K run on a glorious sunny 12 degree day in March. Ran to the shoe store, bought shoes for mom and E, ran home. Some walking breaks, but mostly running. So impressed. Talking about our next run, explaining a 3km route that I've mapped out. I describe it as a rectangle, drawing it in the air. "Mom, that's not a rectangle. That's an upside down trapezium." Of course it is.

Still mixing up b's and d's, both writing and reading. Reversing some numbers, mostly 5's and 9's. Focusing on those for March Break. Planning to meet with teachers after break to develop plan of action for rest of year.

Whole family moving to London. Best thing ever.

Birthday party at Humane Society. Loves birds - wants a bird for a pet. Still crazy loves animals.

That's all I've got.