Throwback Thursday

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.

Lunedi Lunacy

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.

This would be Nora!
Nora again! Followed by Nicky singing descant!
This would be Nicky – here let me just rest my head on your crotch area. And don’t move or you’ll hurt yourself!
Okay this one is just creepy!
And we had amble (and embarrassing) proof of that earlier today.  The Bell Alliant rep was scarred out of her wits.


Self-explanatory I believe?  Particularly #10.

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.

You want me to do what???? Is there a biscuit in it? If not forget it!
The reason this post was finished using my right hand only!

On this day in 1816:  1816 – Battle of Seven Oaks between North West Company and Hudson’s Bay Company, near Winnipeg.

Hounds from Hell* – 7 Years On

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.

The Hounds from Hell*

*Decided to change Gratuitous Puppy Pictures to more accurately reflect the nature of the beast(s).

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.



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!

On this day in 1899: Iceland’s first football club, Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur, is founded.**

**This is for my friend David over at I’ll Think of Something Later.

Happy First (Seventh ????) Birthday!*

I originally wrote this post four years ago (2010) to be published on the first anniversary of the births of The Hounds from Hell and then for some reason (a busy life, work, study…  laziness) didn’t finish it.  So I thought that perhaps four years later I’d go back and revise it to reflect things that have changed since that first year.  Changes – if any – are in blue.  I’ve added a few pictures – some of which may well have appeared here before – from over the past few years.

*This was the original title but of course it should really read Happy Fifth (35?) Birthday! 

The first day we saw them – March 13, 2009 – they almost fit in my hand.
At the end of their first day with us – April 24, 2009.  It was an exhausting day for everyone.

The Hounds from Hell turned one year old this week – Nora actually last week (February 19), she’s the older of the two. (Nicky was born on February 23 – they are from two different litters) There was no party and nobody got any presents but I was reminded of a friend who worked her way through collage as an events planner. At the time there was a television personality called LouLou or something like that, who was very popular in Quebec and she asked my friend to plan a birthday party for her poodle and the other dogs from the off-leash park in Outremont. The party mostly consisted of Loulou and her friends enjoy cocktails upstairs as the dogs scrapped, peed, craped, humped, slept and created mayhem amongst streamers and balloons downstairs. Every twenty minutes a progressively more festive Loulou would call down to ask how things were going – though since she purported to be a psychic you’d think she would have known? Apparently she  missed the guests destroying the rather elaborate doggie biscuit cake while a great Dane tried to hump her beloved Bijoux.  My friend said it was a total disaster but at least it paid for her books for that year’s courses at University.

A year later in April, 2010 they fit their lovely big kid collars from Auntie Cecilia and pretty much
owned the house and had the humans trained the way they wanted them to be.

But I digress – back to the kids! In honour of their first fifth year I thought I’d post this adaptation I made of a great e-mail I got from my friend Charlie and added some pictures of the HFH from the past two months five years.

If I Didn’t Have Two Dogs ….

  • All the carpets would be in place to cover those cold tiled and marble hardwood floors.
  • All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would be free of hair.

These photos were part of the original post so I thought I’d leave them as is.

Nick really is intrigued and I might add distressed by suitcases – signs of an adventure to come or being left alone! And he does love to pose!
  • When the doorbell rings, it wouldn’t sound like a kennel.
  • When the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without wading through barking, fuzzy bodies who beat me there.
Honestly Nicky hasn’t been drinking – its just one of his favourite ways of laying – even when he was a puppy.

And another favoured position is this sort of pile-on – which was fine when they were puppies
– a bit more cumbersome when they got a bit bigger.

    • I could sit on the couch, at the computer or on my bed the way I wanted, without taking into consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.
    • I would be able to get up to answer the phone or the call of nature without having 10 kilos of fur glower at me for disturbing their rest.
    Our Nora has always had a Zen side to her – her mantra is the Daschie equivalent of “Kill the Squirrel”.
    And Nicky is always more interested in things of – or more to the point on – the table.

    • I would have money, and no guilt when I go on a vacation.
    • I would not be on a first-name basis with 3 veterinarians, as I put their yet unborn grandkids through college.
    Semper iacebat in sole – the Daschie motto!
    And sometimes a girl has to forgo elegance to get that all important tan just right.

    • The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: NORA, NICKY, out, sit, down, come, NO, stay, and leave him/her/it ALONE.
    • I would not have to pretend to eat from the dog dish to establish who is the alpha or at least in my case beta in the household.
    • I would not talk ‘ baby talk’ in French and English:  ‘Mange, mange!’ ‘DoeDoe’. “Who’s the most beautiful girl/handsomest boy on Mcleod St
    • I would no longer have to spell the words W-A-L-K, T-R-E-A-T, G-O, R-I-D-E, B-I-S-C-U-I-T.
    Yeah well you can say: get off! as much as you want – if you turn the heat off outside
    in October we’re planning on being warm and comfortable inside until it comes back on. 

    • I’d look forward to a gentle fall of rain without thinking “O God! Mud! Puddles!”.
    • My pockets would not contain things like poop bags, treats and an extra leash.
    • Walks November through April would not entail unending struggles with boots and coats
    • It would not be necessary to go back into a snow bank to retrieve boots that have been kicked off by over-exuberant little back feet.


    You say Patriotic – I say just plain embarrassing!  And you want me to go out dressed like this?

      Our Nora – every vigilant!  Just in case some other dog walks by four floors down
      – she’ll sound the warning!  And god help the dog that dares come up here!

      • I would not have to explain to concerned joggers that I am NOT “doing anything” to that dog its just that she’s seen a squirrel and that’s her hunting howl.  
      • Okay let me say this more slowly – she is a hunting dog,  yes she is small but you wouldn’t want to see her take on that squirrel!
      Explain to me again why I left a warm patio in Roma for this?

      Yes red is “my colour” but honestly enough is really enough!
      • I would not look strangely at people who think having ONE dog/cat ties them down too much.
      • I would not have to answer the question “Don’t two dogs really interfere with your life?” from people who don’t understand that yes they do but the joy they bring into my life more than makes up for it.
      Your coffee table?  Where on earth did you get the idea it was your coffee table?

      Yep the Hounds from Hell are still pains in the butt but they are our pains in the butt and we love them almost as much as they love us – particularly if we have a two biscuits in hand.

      February 21 –  1739: Richard Palmer is identified at York Castle, by his former schoolteacher, as the outlaw Dick Turpin.

      HFH* – Long Overdue GPP**

      Its been so long that most people have probably forgotten the acronyms *HFH (Hounds from Hell) and **GPP (Gratuitous Puppy Pictures) but rest assured that Nicky and Nora are still running around the household.  Mind you they are no longer puppies however as far as I’m concerned they will always be my puppies.

      This is now their third winter here in Canada and much like the humans they own they are still not use to or happy with it.   And they are particularly not use to (or happy with) winter arriving at the end of November!  They have however learned the difference between the temperature and the temperature + wind chill.  As an example this past Monday it may well have been only -24°C but with a sharp blowing wind that -30°C was more like it. They’ve learned that when it gets that cold the stylish doggie coats come out.

      They’ve also learned that when there is snow and ice on the ground plus salt to melt the snow and ice  – and our super uses generous amounts of salt – then those detested red booties are also necessary.  The past week or two the boots have become de rigueur for even the quickest trip into the cold. 

      But of course this winter sartorial splendor requires that the human equation in all this do some fancy work to get puppies clad and booted.  Not having a great experience of it  I am only guessing but I would think it is less work to get a child ready for skating on the canal.

      Particularly with our Nicky.  First he runs and hides on the couch, then reluctantly creeps towards the entrance hall – trembling in (feigned) fear and trepidation.  A furtive look up and an attempt to placate the demanding human with a quick lick face-wards.  Then the real fun begins 

       Okay so the left paw – nay won’t fight you on that one:

       The back paws – hmmm well okay I’ll let you win that one.  In fact I may even lift my leg so you can get them on without too much trouble.

      Ah the right paw – not sure on that one…. how about I just put it over here out of reach and push real hard against your paw. 

      Gosh you weren’t able to get it on that way – how about I push the other way.  Oh sorry that doesn’t seem to be helping much, does it? 

      Well okay that one is finally on – hey it only took three minutes this time, if you want I can do a repeat of the morning I went for the record?????  Okay I’m ready!  Hurry up I have to go!

      Nora is a bit more of a stoic about it – no fuss, the odd furtive look and attempted lick; she won’t fight you but she’ll be damned if she’ll help you with this form of canine torture.  She is not really happy about this; in fact if she had a cell phone the Humane Society  would be on speed dial!

       Okay now I’m ready!  I don’t like this one bit but damn it red is my colour isn’t it?

      Okay torture – not to mention the indignity of being seen in those damned boots – over!  Biscuits given as a rewards for doing what we were aching to do anyway.  Time for a doe-doe.  Wake us when it’s summer!

      December 21 – 1913: Arthur Wynne‘s “word-cross”, the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.