In which two gifts* and a lovely present are recalled.
Eight years ago our lives were invaded by two little creatures who to this day aggravate, frustrate, annoy, and give untold pleasure and love: The Infamous Hounds from Hell.
We had an online contest to name them and our friend Cecilia (at the time known on her blog as Dora) gave us the winning names. Because they were Roman puppies we decided that their names should be introduced to the world in a traditional Roman way:
Several weeks after a parcel arrived from the United States: a christening gift from their godmother in Virginia.
The collars are now a bit frayed and worn however they are still sported proudly as we take our walks through town. Nora with her red collar and Nicky with his green have become celebrities around Charlottetown and there are people who know them but will be damned if they know who we are.
*For all that we mutter about Hounds from Hell they are still our treasures.
On this day in 1966: The Heron Road Bridge collapses while being built, killing nine workers in the deadliest construction accident in both Ottawa and Ontario.
For some reason – well actually for two reasons – every day or two I get an advert popping up on my FaceBook page telling me about a new delight for daschund owners. Normally it is a t-shirt or something of the sort which allow me to publicize to the world that my life is controlled by four (eight in my case) legged, elongated, demanding Hounds from Hell. I have been collecting them to no known purpose – sorry the adverts not the dogs, they – so I’m told – do have a purpose. What that purpose may be I will leave to you, my faithful reader, to decided.
I will leave the last word to the remarkable wordsmithing of E. B. White and his observation on his beloved Fred.
Being the owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. Some day, if I ever get a chance, I shall write a book, or warning, on the character and temperament of the dachshund and why he can’t be trained and shouldn’t be. I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a dachshund to heed my slightest command. When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something he wants to do.
E. B. White
Oh wait a minute I stand corrected: the last word – or a least image will go to the Hounds from Hell.
On this day in 1816: 1816 – Battle of Seven Oaks between North West Company and Hudson’s Bay Company, near Winnipeg.
As I was going through some old drafts I discovered this post from 2009 when the Hounds from Hell first entered our lives. In honour of their 7th birthdays – Nora’s is today, Nicky’s Monday of next week – I thought I do what every dotting parent does – I’d post embarrassing pictures of them when they were young along with what I wrote at the time.
*Decided to change Gratuitous Puppy Pictures to more accurately reflect the nature of the beast(s).
The famous – or infamous – “rub my belly because I’m so damned cute” Nora pose.
Even as a puppy Nicky hated it when that bloody snappy thing was shoved in his face.
Hey she mades as good a pillow as the real thing.
There’s always time for a little nap – between biscuits, chose-a-mange and walks.
Nora curls to sleep and Nicky does that strange on his back thing. How the hell he sleeps like that I’ll never understand.
Aren’t they adorable? So cute! So quiet! Sleeping peacefully! Before they wake up to wreck havoc throughout the household. We’ve ended up with two problem kids – love them to pieces but my lord are they a handful. Daschies are stubborn little critters and very single minded. But as our friend Yannis keeps reminding me – I mustn’t let 4.4 kilos of dog control 75 kilos of human.
Let’s just hold these images in our mind as we view the destruction around us.
It worked seven years ago – and it still works today.
Again with that damned clicky thing.
And who is the Queen of this Castle?
Dead to the world – and I still don’t know how he does it.
Okay this is meant to embarass me infront of the world, right?
Seven years on and Yannis’s advise went for naught and as we spend two weeks on Prince Edward Island the HFH are at boot camp in the Ontario countryside. Two weeks with a colleague of mine who is a drill sergeant with the Canadian Forces and also a dog trainer. First thing Monday morning she had them on the treadmill and was reinforcing the training we’ve been doing the past few months. By the time we get back they should have been demoted to the Hounds from Heck!
They are still 12 kilos of trouble but this place seems awfully quiet without them. And we miss the havoc – which must mean something!
Settled into their new home the HFH seem quite happy in the one chair they are allowed to be up on in the living room.
Its been a long while since I’ve posted photos, let alone any news, of the HFH. Actually its been a long time since I’ve posted anything regularly, this working for a living is interfering with my living but I keep meaning to remedy that – the posting thing I mean.
Nick and Nora have adapted fairly quickly to their new home – perhaps more readily than the humans in the family. Fortunately we found a very pet friendly building – there are two other dogs on our floor alone – plus at least 10 others in the building including a snappy schnauzer and two pugnacious pugs that even I won’t ride in the elevator with. So far no one has complained about the odd barking or even a occasional ruckus in the hallway.
Nora has always had that thoughtful side to her – or perhaps she is just annoyed about that flashy thing going off again!
Though here she does seem to be “at one” with herself, almost as if she is taking her inspiration from my little Buddha.
Nora has discovered squirrels and they are the enemy! She’s also discovered and seems quite captivated by Toby the Portuguese water dog who lives across the hallway. Unfortunately her reaction to him is almost the same as her reaction to the squirrels – full hunting howl! Neither the squirrels nor Toby seem impressed by this display of interest. The former run like mad chattering excitedly and poor Toby just wants to get away from this mad little creature as fast as he can. This ear piercing howl which no doubt serves her mother well when hunting boar in Tuscany has led to several embarrassing incidents in the boarless environs of Ottawa. One peaceful Sunday morning around 0700 just after we moved in she and I were walking along the Rideau Canal and a squirrel was sighted. The Sunday calm was shattered and the air rent with a series of high pitched bays which echoed across the water – a noisy concerned jogger stopped in his tracks, ran back and indignantly demanded to know what I was doing to that poor dog! And just last week we encountered Toby coming in from his walk early morning walk as we were leaving for ours. Its odd how an apartment hallway amplifies sound – almost every door on the floor opened and be-housecoated occupants poked their heads out to see who was being murdered! Well at least I know that I live amongst concerned neighbours.
Nicky is proud of his Italian heritage but the idea of wearing an Italia jersey doesn’t seem to appeal all that much. We’ll see how he feels when it drops to -30c, the display of patriotism may be welcomed at that point.
Our Nicky is another story – as he always has been. He’s an extremely timid little fellow at heart and responds to people cautiously. Unfortunately that shyness turns to aggression on occasion so we have to be very careful with him in the elevator and on our walks. He looks so sweet as he trots along the Canal with that “I’m a sexy little Italian stud on the catwalk” strut of his that everyone wants to pet him. Fortunately the schools seem to be teaching kids that it is always best to ask first before petting a strange dog – it saved us some possibly sticky situations. In an attempt to avoid trouble we brought in Barkbusters and he has responded to their system remarkably well. As their Uncle Pervy said the other day – Nicky’s the perfect pack dog he actually wants to follow orders. Nora however is a little less willing to follow anything but her hunter instincts… or poor Toby. But we’re working on it and us – as the Barkbuster motto, rather snidely to my way of thinking, puts it: Dogs are great trainers of people!
Nora – ever the instigator – to Nick: Okay we’re not suppose to be up here but its sunny, its soft and its warm. Don’t move and old what’s-his-name won’t even notice us – we’ll just blend in.
Though I’m not looking forward to Ottawa’s famous snow days – normally from sometime in late November until sometime in late May as I recall – I’m anticipating the HFH’s reaction to their first encounter with snow. I have a feeling Nicky will look at it as an insult to his dignity and Nora will revel in it. What ever it will be I want to have the camera at hand to record the event!
20 novembre/November – I Santi Avventore, Ottavio e Solutore
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown