Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Perfect Day

I broke my washing machine a couple weeks ago by putting a dog bed in it. How else are you supposed to wash them? The point is my Dad and I (read: my Dad) is supposed to fix it but since my parents are away in New Jersey the repair had to be delayed. I have a lot of clothes and linens but obviously at some point I needed to do laundry and rather than go to a laundry mat I headed out to my parents house to collect their accumulated mail and throw in a few loads.

It was a gorgeous day and by gorgeous I mean it was literally a perfect day. Not crazy hot, light wind, fluffy clouds blocking the sun every once in a while to cool you down, quiet, peaceful, and relaxing. While the washing machine worked its magic the dogs and I headed for a leisurely stroll around the property and to my surprise we spotted a cow grazing nearby ... no wait, that's Leeloo.

It proved to be a shorter trip than usual because although the heat was nothing to Boy and I, Leeloo was moving a bit slow since she is carrying some extra responsibility. There are lots of little interesting places to explore so it wasn't too much of a burden to wait while Leeloo decided what little copse of trees or bushes she needed to investigate.

We did stop to say hello to the frogs in the pond - some of which are a lot larger than I am accustomed to seeing in Alberta - this was one almost the size of my hand. The dogs pay them no mind, they are almost invisible and move so fast they are gone before the dogs even knew there was something to look for. Added to which they are in *water* which nullifies Ridgeback interest in them immediately.

As ever Boy is very civilised - rather than lower himself to climb through the ditch the next to the driveway he chose to cross on the cute little bridge. And by little I mean why is it even there?

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Rolling Stones

Leeloo is now just over 6 weeks pregnant. She is finding it hard to sleep in a Ridgeball and more often prefers to stretch out on her side with those crazy legs sticking out. We still go for a walk everyday but she has definitely slowed down (except when there are squirrels to harrass) and the heat today made it an even slower pace for her. She combatted the humidity of the day by cooling down the only way a decent Ridgeback can, she rolled in the cool grass. This is Downward Rolling Dog.

Then she gets all skoochy and scratchy in the grass and wiggles with joy from side to side. Thankfully Leeloo is not modest, most gals would have a problem exposing their boobies to the heavens in such a way. Not my little DoodleBug ... as evidenced by the happy smile on her face.


Life is rough when you're being coddled, fed, hugged, walked and allowed to steal the occasional key lime pie. She is clearly no worse for wear.  Look at those gorgeous white feet waving in total bliss.

And this is Leeloo all decked out at 6 weeks pregnant. She is a little fatter than last week but now the puppy growth rate increases almost exponentially. They take their sweet time until about 5 1/2 weeks and then suddenly they gain weight in spades and Leeloo, if she thought she was uncomfortable now, has no idea what is to come! At this point they are actual dogs with paws, hair and even little whisker buds. Soon they will start to move and I will not only be able to feel that movement but if they are especially active I'll be able to see it.  T-minis 20 days to her due date - hope we are ready!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I am a director for the Ridgeback Club of Eastern Canada so I hosted a Ridgeback Fun Day up here in Trenton. Unfortunately circumstances beyond people's control meant that several people were not able to make the event. Ah well, it turned into more of a walk and squirrel hunt. Here's Raimi, Leeloo and Mayla looking for one of those perpetually naughty squirrels.

The squirrel hunt became sort of an obsession for Raimi and Leeloo. Mayla didn't seem know precisely what they were looking for but since her attention span is quite short, standing staring up at trees wasn't exactly her gig. She was much happier when Archer arrived to provide her with more suitable entertainment.

Here's Mayla looking up into the tree - not exactly what the Ridgeback was bred for.

Neither is this. Especially when they are 6 weeks pregnant. I am impressed with Leeloo's clearance though considering her bulk.

Raimi was a little more determined about climbing the tree. My apologies to Donna's garden. I think it will recover. That squirrel was some annoying though - chatter, scold, chatter, scold, it was endless.

And back to Archer and Mayla playing. They had a great time but Mayla arrived an hour before Archer and was tired out pretty soon - Archer was the energizer bunny this time!

And a final look at what the big damn deal was with this squirrel. See that green bird feeder just behind the branches of the pruned bush? Well, the squirrel wanted to come down and leap from the tree to the feeder to get a snack. The dogs kept him up in the tree for a while but this little guy is pretty brave. His intention was clear, come down enough to stay out of dog range but low enough to be able to make the jump to the feeder. I can't think things would have gone well if he'd gotten to the feeder because it's not nearly as sturdy or safe as the tree. The squirrel is on the left side of the tree and Boy is looking right at it. Honestly, what a stupid squirrel.

Anyway, despite the low attendance everyone had a great time and slept the rest of the afternoon away. It meant lots of time to get things done at home without tripping over dogs! We are hoping to have another event in the Fall which will include some fun lure coursing for the dogs, hope to see more people at that one!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Shallow Hal

Of late there is less of this roaring at Boy and more sedate sniffy sniffy in the grass for Leeloo. She is still on the prowl for deer poop and although I question the nutritional benefits of such fare for puppies it doesn't seem to be affecting their growth rate. Lady Leeloo is getting a bit on the portly side with marked increase in girth in the last week.

Her appetite has followed suit to the point where counter-surfing for a key lime pie falls within the parameters of "But I *needed* it Mommy". My dogs don't counter-surf ... ever. People with Ridgebacks often seem to have problems with this particular habit but I have never had a dog who does it ... until the key lime pie incident. I can forgive her this time, mostly because she paid for it with an uncomfortable evening of gas and sore tummy and because she is pregnant. Boy surely helped eat it but I know he's not the one who instigated the theft and he seemed no worse for wear.

Gone are the days of play bows, bolting through the hedges and racing after squirrels. Our walks now consist of Boy galloping down the path and Leeloo's half-hearted attempt to gallop, then trot and finally just walk and stop to smell the bushes. She seems perpetually baffled about why she can't run as fast and why it's harder to get onto the bed. I scratch her bum and tell her she is my Doodle Bug (that's a new nickname of late) and that as long as we are together, everything will be all right.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

At First Sight

If the eyes are the window to the soul then my dogs have souls that are filled with depth, warmth, intelligence, deveotion, adoration, and just enough naughty to make life interesting.  When Boy turns his gaze my way I always feel that string tug at my heart and I reach out to him without thinking.  

Leeloo's eyes are a little sharper, a little more opportunistic and a lot more self-serving but the warmth is always there even if the devotion tends to wander. She lifts up her feminine browns to me and demands, rather than requests, a pat on the head or better, a scratch on the bum. I am wrapped around her paw and always oblige.

Esme, if she ever stood still long enough, would demonstrate bright, sharp, clever, mischievous, naughty little eyeballs that are looking for the next great adventure. Best of luck to little Esme and my parents who are on their way to New Jersy for some American shows. I am confident she will be able to bring back a couple majors to start her on her way to an American Championship.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Say Cheese

What do you do when you have some deer poop stuck in your teeth? Why, you floss of course! Find the gnarliest tree you can and then go to town chomping away at it until that nasty ol' deer poop is good and gone. To get the tree bark out of your teeth you just graze on some green grass; don't worry if you swallow any because later you can just barf it up at 3am on the hardwood at the back door.

When you are pregnant obviously you have to be more careful about what you eat so Leeloo recommends chasing deer poop with a little apple tree branch. Careful not to eat too much otherwise you might end up hacking it all up at 3am by the back door. How embarrassing.

And nothing beats a nice stick chew with your Honey. Aren't they adorable, sharing is what makes being in a relationship so wonderful. Until you snap off your end of the stick and sneak away with it. Boy would never do that. Leeloo? Leeloo ...? Uh, Leeloo, you greedy little bitch. She's such a girl.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Room with a View

When I walk the dogs I love to watch them explore. Unfortunately my view of them is often something like this:

A couple of brown bums disappearing into the bushes. Chances are they're looking for deer poop. In fact, Leeloo is probably partaking of the delicacy in that photo. Boy just seems to wander. Kind of like this one where he is strolling up the path thinking difficult Boy thoughts like "Sniff. Grass. Walk. Sniff." But again, the view is the same for me: brown bum.

This is the same kind of photo except it's Leeloo and it's moving a little faster. This was one of her rare 'at speed' moments. They are fewer and further between these days. I can almost see her getting fatter by the hour.

Here's one where you can see ... brown bottoms sticking out of the bushes. If you are in the market for a Ridgeback this will be your view for years to come. Whether you live on the prairies, near the mountains, the woods, the beach ... head down, tail up, sniffy sniffy sniffy. Get used to it.

But, I love it. I love their Lewis and Clark spirit. Their David Thompson adventuring (ya that's right Albertans ... *David Thompson*). And their insatiable need to just keep following their nose no matter what kind of trouble they get into and no matter how I yell myself hoarse. And if you are lucky enough to have this view then you will love it too. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Waiting Game

As most people know the traumatic experience of Leeloo being bred to Raimi occurred 5 weeks ago. It was a stand out bonding experience with my parents. I'm sure Leeloo will never forget it and neither will The Boy but for different reasons. Here is chubby Leeloo attempting to signal someone in a desperate cry for help before she is molested by The Boy.

I forgot to get a 1 week photo of her baby belly but imagine the way she looks in the above photo only ... the same. There wasn't a lot of change and at only 7 days in whelp there isn't exactly a lot to look at. Below is a rather hastily scrounged photo of her at 2 weeks because I also forgot to actually get an official 'baby belly' photo. Yes, I am that dis-organized. At this point I was thinking 'Maybe' but not even 50% sure. She was also a couple pounds over weight when she was bred so I wasn't trusting that she was not just gaining weight. I was busy second guessing myself every hour.

Three weeks is when things start to accelerate. The embryos are implanting in the uterus so the dog tends to feel a little off. Leeloo would never consider being off enough to stop eating or vomit but what she did do is become far more sedate for about 4 or 5 days. I suspect she didn't feel actually sick but she certainly didn't feel quite right. I bet. The below photo is at 21 days from the day she was bred and you can see her tummy is starting to fill in a little more just behind her ribcage. Okay, maybe you can't because the above photo is so atrocious but trust me, there's fill. Also ... her boobies were not themselves if you know what I mean.  At this point I am 99% sure she is in whelp but I needed a second opinion.

Enter Archer. His owner Sandra hadn't seen Leeloo since before she was bred so I wanted to know if she noticed an apparent change. She did. At 4 weeks, or 28 days, we were just under halfway along and things were dropping. Her tummy, her boobies, her activity level. My parents also saw her and gave their educated opinion that Leeloo definitely has something going on in there. Phew right? After the production to get her into this state it would have been a disappointment to have it go to waste.

And here we are, the official announcement that Leeloo is in whelp and this is the photo to prove it. Five weeks and what the hell? I had rather expected her to not show so soon because Halo, at 5 weeks for her first litter, didn't and was ultra-sounded to confirm and she had 8. I thought Leeloo's greater length of body would hide the babies more but in fact I think her length actually allowed them to drop sooner. That or she has a football team in there.  

Leeloo is from a litter of 13 and her mother is from a litter of 14 - now, there is no proof that genetics follows any kind of trend when it comes to the number of puppies a bitch will typically whelp. I think fertility plays a factor but being fertile can just mean it's easy for them to get pregnant, not that they will have lots of babies. Either way Leeloo gets a cozy bed, lots of food, exercise and hugs every day. Her little buns are cooking away and their mom is getting more demanding by the second. Their father is his great, loving, adorable, goofus self and he doesn't have any idea how his life will be turned upsidedown in 4 short weeks. I am secretly pleased that even when he officially becomes a Daddy Boy, those beautiful brown eyes will only be looking at me. Okay, that's not quite true because we all know puppies are fascinating - still ... see below for L.O.V.E.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

View from the Top

However brief this brag might be I'm still going to brag it because it's not likely to occur again in my lifetime. Breed rankings change weekend to weekend with different dogs winning and losing at the whim of the judges. But this weekend, on this day, I can say that the #1 Ridgebacks in both Canda and the US were bred by or out of Invictus dogs.

In Canada BPIS Can. Ch. Charisma's Mischief Managed w/ Coso is currently the #1 Ridgeback with the most all breed points obtained by a Ridgeback in Canada. That is of course shows to date and subject to change. Isn't everything? Atlas is professionally presented by Kim Cowie and was actually bred by Charisma Ridgebacks but Charisma and I spent a lot of time deciding who was the best sire for Can. Ch. Invictus One Magic Christmas (Karma) and aren't we glad we chose Argos? Atlas is following in his sire's footsteps with his wins and rankings at a young age - he just gets better and better.

And in the USA who else is there but Zero? With his wins last weekend he is now ranked as the #1 Ridgeback in the USA - again subject to change (you knew that was coming). Always presented to perfection by Juliet, he was bred by me and is co-owned with Erin at Aegis. None of this is new information so instead of my yammering on about the now famous Zero, let's just look at how awesome he is and how awesome Juliet's smile is.

And that is that. Next weekend I will probably have to eat my words but for now I can say that being associated with the two top Ridgebacks in the country is humbling. I don't have an iota of control over the dogs themselves, am no part in the decisions made regarding where and when they show, and have no control over whether they win or lose. What I do have is good foundation stock, great people to work with, the ability to choose promising puppies, I can see the pros and cons in potential breedings and lend advice and opinions based on a sound history in purebred dogs. It's not really that much but it has served me well so far.

Make no mistake. These dogs are not accidents. My own breedings and any others directly out of Invictus-bred dogs are based on a solid groundwork of foundation stock whose genetics are as sound as their offspring. The pedigrees behind these dogs were developed by some of the best Ridgeback breeders in the United States and I do not need to be reminded that I stand on the shoulders of giants. I cannot allow myself to take credit for just one or two generations of breeding; however, both Zero and Atlas were planned with these results in mind and that planning was only possible because of their pedigrees. A thousand thank you's to Erin who will always be the best Ridgeback mentor ever - no question.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fight for the Title

I’m going to stray once again from the well worn, paw printed paths and delve into something also quite close to my heart. My name. I get asked a lot, and I do mean a lot, about my moniker. Where it came from, how my parents thought of it, whether it was a family name, whether it is my real name. Let it be known; Tamzin is my real and actual name. The name Tamzin, in its various spellings, is an Old English name, generally accepted to be from the Middle Ages, and can trace its origin to Cornwall, England. It is a variation on the name Thomasina which is obviously the feminine of Thomas. My mother read the name in a British children’s book called Wish for a Pony (from 1947 - the first book of the Romney Marsh children’s series by Monica Edwards ) and always remembered it. It is the only book in which I have ever read my name, correct spelling and all, as a character – one who loves horses no less! Anyway, as the story goes my mom intended to name a daughter, if she had one, Tamzin or Clarissa (since she was Tamzin’s best friend in the series). So, here I am.

I have a love/hate relationship with Tamzin; I am unfailingly and universally complimented on this personal attribute but it is one of the only things about me for which I can take absolutely no credit at all. I did not choose my name and so when I get complimented on it I am, and forever will be, at a loss as to what to say. Reactions to my name can vary from curious puzzlement to blank silence to outright delight and exclamation. It can be a little awkward since some people are strangely effusive about how much they like the name.

Thanking someone for telling me how much they like my name seems a little ego-maniacal so my go-to reply is “Thank you. I spell it a lot.” I tread carefully around “Why thank you, it is a nice name isn’t it?” since I have no idea how nice a name it might or might not be. I have always had it, heard it and known it. There has never been a time in my life when I did not know the name Tamzin existed. I hear other nice names and think “Is this then, what people think when they hear my name?” I will never know. I simply presume that it’s appealing in some way I cannot discern and accept that although the person complimenting it might think that it’s a great name, in 10 minutes not only will they be very unlikely to be able to pronounce it correctly, they almost certainly will not be able to remember it at all. As for spelling, well, that gets its own paragraph.

I spell it a lot; lather – rinse - repeat. I have of course been asked for my name in various situations to which I reply, “Tamzin. T-a-m-z-i-n.” Sometimes I am then asked “And your first name?” so thus my inward sigh being barely concealed I reply “That *is* my first name.” Many years ago I had a job where I would receive faxes a lot. I started keeping a collection of the names that people thought I had and it was quite impressive. I still have it in fact: Tamzen, Tamzim, Tazin, Tamzan, Jamzin, Tansen, Jasmine, Tamzn, Tamson, Janzen, Tamzon, Tamden, Pamzen, Tamara, Tamzyn, Tazmen, Townsend, Tamsyn, Tazmie, Tanzin, Tamrin, Tam, Tamazin, Tamzden, Tazmin, Tanzen and my two personal favorites: Tamilla and Copy Writer. I also have one that was spelt correctly but then corrected to change the ‘m’ in the middle to ‘n’. Go figure. Heaven preserve me from spell check because the word Tamzin is most often corrected to ‘tampon’ – lucky me. I have no idea what iPhone auto-correct does to my name but I’d rather not find out.

I also have people mis-hear my name, or at least substitute what they think is the correct name. I get Katherine, Hanson, and Townsend regularly but usually Jasmine is the go-to guess. Tasmin is a close second. Whenever someone is reading from a list I can always tell when they get to my name because there is a pause and usually a failed attempt to get two simple syllables to make the correct sounds. I can probably count on one hand the number of times someone has gotten my name right the first time.

My name does not appear on pens or notepads or those cute little license plate key tags. I’ll never forget seeing a book on the bargain table at Chapters, I had to buy it instantly, it was $2 and the title was Tamsin Hart. Yes, the first name was not quite right and the last name was not yet my last name (it is my Mother’s maiden name) but I just had to have it. Who knows what it was about – I still haven’t read it, it’s in my parent’s library!

There are now a couple young actresses in England(The Tudors & Camelot) with my name and I think it’s becoming a little more popular although I don’t think it will ever catch on as a common name. There is another person in the world with my name “Tamzin Hart” and imagine my confusion when she found me on Facebook! Why would I send a friend request to myself? But no, Tamzin lives in England (go figure) and was just curious if anyone else on Facebook had the same name. I did end up friending her and occasionally she will comment on something I post and my confusion resurfaces until I remember there are two of us in the world.

The other day someone (Thanks Kate!) came across a list of top ten cool and uncommon names and was compelled, for a couple reasons, to photograph it and send it to me.

There I am on the left in the corner – not everyone can have a ‘z’ you know. One of the other names was Lilou – go on, say it out loud -Leeloo (which *is* the correct spelling of the character in The Fifth Element). I also noticed that on the boy’s side, for cool and uncommon names, was the name Hart. Yes people, yes. I am cool and uncommon on both sides of the coin.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Robin Hood

Yesterday there was a break in the almost constant rain this spring and so we had Archer come to visit for a walk. He is looking very trim and fit and was, as usual, as cheerful as the day is long. He was roared at by Leeloo for a minute or so until he got it through his brain that she was still the boss - as if he could forget. He didn't let it affect his mood.

Shortly thereafter we were yelled at on the walk by a woman with a small dog who's only phrase appeared to be "Leash your dogs!" while stringing up her own dog from its collar in an apparent attempt to protect it. She was on the other side of the schoolyard fence behind which she apparently ran when she realized that my dogs were loose. Her cries alerted the Ridgebacks to something exciting which meant they bolted toward her, increasing her insistence we leash our dogs and the level of panic in her voice. I'm sure her little Shih Tzu cross didn't appreciate being almost choked by her fear but no harm no foul.  The Ridgebacks came back quickly and we put them on their leads until the woman was out of sight.

Technically she is right though. In the county where I live the by-law states that all dogs must be on lead unless they are on their owner's property. Walking my dogs on lead is difficult simply because they wouldn't get the kind of exercise they get racing around the woods - although right now, with Leeloo preferring to stroll (and sleep most of the time) being on lead would not be such a hardship. I usually walk them at about 7am so I never run into other people, but noon on a Saturday is a different story. This is why my all-consuming dream is of owning a couple acres in the countryside where I can fence to my heart's content and the dogs can explore without restrictions.

The county does not have the money to re-surface roads, much less employ a by-law officer to troll the woods looking for people who are walking their dogs off lead. I've also met other people out on those same paths who's dogs were also loose so I am not alone in my wicked ways. For now though, until I can get my acreage, you bet your britches I will bend the law a little for my dogs, that's just how I roll.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Wishing Tree

There is something about the woods that feels very peaceful and calm, the trees are close in and it smells like wet pine needles, damp earth and bark - a cornucopia of smells for me so I can't imagine how great it smells to dogs. But who needs smells when you might have heard/seen a squirrel in a tree. One of the zillion in the woods; trees, not squirrels.

No, really. This is what they did for ages and ages. Never mind that no squirrel was actually seen or heard. The possibility existed that one of the dogs might have seen a squirrel and that was reason enough to give them neck cramps. The best is Leeloo in this one, she's like an owl with the head turning almost 360 ... that or she's possessed. Let's stick with owl.

It was really quite cute how they looked in every tree. Well, not every tree, we'd still be out there if that was the case, but in the area we were in every tree top got a very good hard stare. Leeloo is so dead serious she seems like she'd almost take flight the second she sees a furry little squirrel bottom. 

Leeloo was ridiculously determined. She's only seen one actual squirrel this year, they should be coming out of hibernation or whatever it is that squirrels do in the winter, but they are taking their damn time about it. Anyway, her memory is like a steel trap and squirrel capture is pretty high on the agenda this year. She's right serious about it.

Boy, while less serious, is certainly not easy to dissuade. He's got the whole peepers to the sky thing going on. I love his toes on the root gripping it for balance. His bright eyes are so earnest in their search for that elusive squirrel. This is one of the reasons I love taking them out; to see that manic predator gleam in their eye fills my heart with pride.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Burn Notice

Now that the weather is positively balmy it can mean only one thing. Black flies. Today was the first day I had to swat away those nasty little black devils and try to enjoy the walk with the dogs. We were in a wooded area but thankfully the wind was doing its very best to bluster so only parts of the walk were tormented with Dark Passengers. There's Leeloo bringing up the rear as usual ... although since this is a Leeloo caboose I suppose I am actually taking rear guard.

We stopped for a photo op when every one was cooperative for a moment or two. I love that each dog is so distinctly themselves in this photo. Boy hanging back, being cool and posing handsomely. Leeloo with her silly ear and legs all askew. Esme up front, centre and windblown.

We carried on to an area we don't often go that had recently been burned to clear the old dead matted grass. I am not sure why since this is not exactly parkland but the green is bursting forth and I'm okay with that.

The dogs are okay with it too as evidenced by a burst of joy from Boy and Leeloo. The worst of it is the soot that ends up on their feet but fortunately the rest of the walk wipes most of it off.

And now she's the actual caboose. Smelling the coltsfoot along the path (which, by the way, actually does look like a colt's foot when the petals are closed and the head is drooping down) and taking her damn time  about catching up. There is no hurrying Leeloo or jollying her along, she comes at her own speed. The point, she says, is that she comes at all and I should consider myself very lucky. It goes without saying really.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Rose

I have been thinking about Leeloo a lot lately but whenever she comes to mind it is often with a different nickname assigned depending on my or her mood. For the record the light wheaton Ridgeback bitch who resides in my house is variously known as follows:
Boo boo
Doo doo
Doo-dee pants
Doo-dah poopypie
Toe toes

And there you have it. I think that's all of them although I might have missed one or two. And yes, I use them often enough to actually remember that these are the ones I use - I didn't make any up just to have a list. It also means I talk to the dogs way too much using stupid words and need to get out more.

Esme is also known as Tiny. Raimi is also known as Boy. They don't have upwards of twenty nonsense word names a la The Teletubbies. Why Leeloo has so many is a mystery but they are all commonly said in a sing-song voice which she appears to love. She responds to all of them but I gather it's more the tone than the actual word. She knows I'm talking to/about her, does her silly, happy twist and the dorky tail wag which smacks her in the face and presents her bottom to me for scratching. How I love that gal.

All that said, the urge to murder Leeloo has slowly subsided of late due to the fact I have successfully thwarted her ability to access any kind of garbage in the house. This has resulted in a much more peaceful co-existence. She is becoming a bit more clingy and is utterly convinced I am starving her to death. She does have some stores set by (hence the Chubbalicious name), surely in preparation for the possibility of a litter of puppies, so I am not too worried about her fading away into nothing despite her assurances she will DIE if I don't feed her more.

A rose by any other name is still a darling Leeloo.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Although it's not very warm here yet I decided to head to the beach for a little change of scenery. The dogs have a good time at the beach but not as good as I know they have in the woods or the fields. Could be something to do with the water, or the lack of critters to chase, or just that there isn't as much to look at and sniff. They still have a great time as evidenced by their raucous play but with Leeloo possibly feeling a little less like the Bubbalicious and more like a Chubbalicious and Raimi with an owie healing on his foot, things were moving a bit like molasses for most of the walk.

Esme was her usual boisterous self zipping from Leeloo to Raimi and back again. Oblivious to the water and determined to keep the pack in a tight little group, she was on the go the entire time. Surprisingly the coat keeps her leg hair relatively dry although there is nothing to stop the water from creeping up her legs. It's most bizarre but I'm not complaining. She does get sandy though!

Boy, having the sharp eye of his ancestors, spotted this seaweed billowing in the waves and approached it with caution and curiosity. As it turns out seaweed floating on the waves poses no danger to the immediate area and we were allowed to continue the walk in relative safety thanks to Boy's inspection services.  

Leeloo has a habit of following me quite closely when I want to take a photo of her. She seems to know when I am about to snap because I have rather a lot of photos like this one. Fortunately I adore that nose, those whiskers, that long pale leg and the darling white toes attached to the end of it.

It was a good walk at the beach but although I would like to go more often, I know the dogs prefer the woods so when we hit the beach it will mostly be for me. Except running on the sand dunes ... I know they really enjoy that!