Category Archives: Wilson

Seven Quick Takes Friday

–1–

I had our second meeting with a financial planner today to do the data dump.  I came armed with all our financial statements and info, wills, Powers of Attorney, and they got it all down.  I have a few action items to get back to her with, but it feels great just to get started.  We'll meet again in four weeks to see what we need to do to prepare for retirement.  Someday.

–2–

Yesterday was Michael's 15th birthday.  We'll have a family party next weekend, and a dinner for him with just Z and I tomorrow.  He wanted to go to karate last night as he hadn't been much this week, so we just gave him his gifts and a big hug, and we''ll go out for Dim Sum (his choice) tomorrow.  We gave him a clock radio that docks his ipod and a memory foam pillow…he was pretty happy about both things!

–3–

He has a girlfriend.  His first one.  I can't really say more, but it's just sweet.

–4–

Tonight, Z and I are going to see David Clayton-Thomas (of Blood, Sweat and Tears fame) with the TSO at Massey Hall.  Should be a great show! 

–5–

Tomorrow evening, after the 4:30 mass, our parish's Catholic Women's League is hosting a wine and cheese reception for married couples in the parish.  I suggested this idea, as our former parish in Atlanta did it every year, and we've had some great feedback from people in their RSVPs.  Right after mass, the priests will bless each couple individually, and then everyone who wants to can head downstairs to our parish hall for a chance to mingle.  I'm looking forward to meeting some new people!

–6–

Monday is Family Day here in Ontario and school kids, provincial employees, and some others have the day off.  Z still has to work since he works for a private company, but I'm having two friends from university days over for lunch and some catching up.  If Z is free for dinner, the four of us will go out somewhere, as he knows them as well.  Should be a nice afternoon for some girl talk!

–7–

I broke down and had Wilson's teeth cleaned by the vet yesterday.  I vow to give him one raw bone each weekend to try to keep his teeth clean for more than a year.  Even with the National Pet Dental Health Month, I don't really want to spend hundreds of dollars each year on his teeth.  If we can extend the cleaning by a year, that effectively cuts his dental bill in half, so I'm hoping this plan will work.

The miracle in my dog’s mouth

The annual trip to the vet last month resulted in two things:  he’d gained a little weight and needed his teeth cleaned.

On the weight side, we’d changed his feeding routine a few months ago and we simply needed to cut back a little on his morning meal (from 2/3 to 1/2 cup of kibble).  He’s fed twice a day, gets tiny treats, and virtually no table scraps (except what he hoovers up off the kitchen floor), so the solution was easy.

On the teeth front, I was not surprised.  Terriers are known to have teeth that attract plaque.  He had teeth cleaning a year ago and the cost was outrageous:  hundreds of dollars, the majority of which was for blood work and anesthesia.  I love my dog, and want him to keep his teeth, but really.  It was outrageous.

I popped into my local Global Pet Foods where we get his food and supplies, and chatted with Rosemary, one of the owners.  I told her of my teeth angst and she proposed a solution (actually, one of two, but I’ll focus on the first.)   She suggested we give him raw bones to chew on once in a while. She explained that there is both a mechanical and biological benefit to this.  Gnawing on the bones provides a physical scaling of the teeth, particularly as they try to get the marrow out of the centre of the bone.  There are also enzymes in the bones that work to improve the flora of the mouth and prevent tartar from building up.  They sell frozen organic marrow bones and it’s important to get the right size for the dog.  I bought a bag of bones and have been giving him a couple per week to chew on.

A few days ago, I looked at his teeth and really didn’t see much improvement,  Yesterday, he spent hours chewing on a large bone, and was really scraping out the centre.  This morning when I looked at his teeth, there was NO brown buildup on his large incisors (canines?), and much less on his smaller teeth.  Unbelieveable!  And the extra bonus is that he enjoys the bones and they really occupy him for an extended period of time.  The only downside is that he needs to be supervised so that he doesn’t hide the bone somewhere in the house. He has already done this a couple of times and I had to follow him around for a while to figure out where he’d put it.  I really didn’t want a smelly raw bone to turn up under my pillow or behind the sofa!

I’ll be a regular bone customer!

The miracle in my dog’s mouth

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The annual trip to the vet last month resulted in two things:  he’d gained a little weight and needed his teeth cleaned.

On the weight side, we’d changed his feeding routine a few months ago and we simply needed to cut back a little on his morning meal (from 2/3 to 1/2 cup of kibble).  He’s fed twice a day, gets tiny treats, and virtually no table scraps (except what he hoovers up off the kitchen floor), so the solution was easy.

On the teeth front, I was not surprised.  Terriers are known to have teeth that attract plaque.  He had teeth cleaning a year ago and the cost was outrageous:  hundreds of dollars, the majority of which was for blood work and anesthesia.  I love my dog, and want him to keep his teeth, but really.  It was outrageous.

I popped into my local Global Pet Foods where we get his food and supplies, and chatted with Rosemary, one of the owners.  I told her of my teeth angst and she proposed a solution (actually, one of two, but I’ll focus on the first.)   She suggested we give him raw bones to chew on once in a while. She explained that there is both a mechanical and biological benefit to this.  Gnawing on the bones provides a physical scaling of the teeth, particularly as they try to get the marrow out of the centre of the bone.  There are also enzymes in the bones that work to improve the flora of the mouth and prevent tartar from building up.  They sell frozen organic marrow bones and it’s important to get the right size for the dog.  I bought a bag of bones and have been giving him a couple per week to chew on.

A few days ago, I looked at his teeth and really didn’t see much improvement,  Yesterday, he spent hours chewing on a large bone, and was really scraping out the centre.  This morning when I looked at his teeth, there was NO brown buildup on his large incisors (canines?), and much less on his smaller teeth.  Unbelieveable!  And the extra bonus is that he enjoys the bones and they really occupy him for an extended period of time.  The only downside is that he needs to be supervised so that he doesn’t hide the bone somewhere in the house. He has already done this a couple of times and I had to follow him around for a while to figure out where he’d put it.  I really didn’t want a smelly raw bone to turn up under my pillow or behind the sofa!

I’ll be a regular bone customer!

The story of a small dog and his spe-shul holiday weekend.


I spent the aftenoon cleaning up dog puke after Wilson got into a bag of Easter chocolate.  Luckily, he vomited so copiously that a vet call wasn’t necessary.  He was doing, all on his own, what the vet would have induced.  Unfortunately, he seemed to prefer carpets and a hard-to-reach-corner under Alex’s bed.  

All is back to normal now.  
Easter celebration details to follow.  I need to get some sleep after the four-liturgies-in-four-days choir marathon that was the weekend!  
Up early tomorrow to take Alex to the movie set.

The story of a small dog and his spe-shul holiday weekend.

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I spent the aftenoon cleaning up dog puke after Wilson got into a bag of Easter chocolate.  Luckily, he vomited so copiously that a vet call wasn’t necessary.  He was doing, all on his own, what the vet would have induced.  Unfortunately, he seemed to prefer carpets and a hard-to-reach-corner under Alex’s bed.  

All is back to normal now.  

Easter celebration details to follow.  I need to get some sleep after the four-liturgies-in-four-days choir marathon that was the weekend!  

Up early tomorrow to take Alex to the movie set.

My Big Fat Middle Eastern Family…

…or a portion of it. 

We hosted family from across the Atlantic last week! 

Z’s brother, his wife, and 13 yo son visited us from France.  They arrived on Saturday, BIL left on Tuesday for meetings in Salt Lake City, and returned late Thursday.  They all returned to France on Saturday.  
We had fun!  Z took them to Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake on Sunday, we all went to the Ontario Science Centre to see the Sultans of Science exhibit on Monday (Z took the day off), on Tuesday I took them out to some factory outlets west of the city before taking BIL to the airport.  On Wednesday, I shuttled SIL and nephew to the subway so that they could visit the ROM and Eaton Centre.  Thursday, they hung with me and we did some errands on foot, and cooked together.  On Friday, BIL was back in town and they headed down to the CN tower and some sightseeing downtown.
Saturday morning, Z headed out to the Patisserie Royale and picked up some Cheese Knefeh for breakfast and we watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a story so applicable to our family situation (substitute Middle Eastern for Greek) that we were all roaring, even though Z and I have seen it before.
It was six straight days of cooking for a crowd, at least, a bigger group than normal.  It meant more planning and real meals every night, not just pasta, jarred sauce, and steamed veggies, my low-energy-day option.  It went something like this:
Saturday:  marinated flank steak with fixing for tacos, fruit crumble
Sunday:  buffet dinner for 14 with PW’s Chicken Spaghetti and lots of sides and finger foods.
Monday:  steelhead trout, mashed potatoes, asparagus, leftover ice cream cake
Tuesday:  rotini, tomato, and ground beef casserole, broccolli
Wednesday:  Chicken Enchiladas, salad
Thursday:  Pork tenderloin in a creamy/chutney/white wine sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans
Friday:  Dinner out!  Sushi and another ice cream cake at home.
The cooking was fine.  The most draining part of the week for me was that my SIL and nephew don’t speak very much English so I spoke French for a good part of the week, particularly when Z was at work and BIL was away.  I really enjoyed their company, but my brain was just fried at the end of each day!  I’m fine with simple stuff, but to have an intimate conversation with family members that you don’t see that often just stretched my abilities.  Plus they have something of an accent/speaking style (they are from Brittany) that I found a little difficult to follow at times, so I was constantly asking them to repeat themselves.
They saw Toronto on all it’s winter states.  When they arrived, there was very little snow and it was quite mild.  Later in the week, we got snow, it got colder, and they experienced a different side of our climate.   As they were leaving Saturday afternoon, the snow started in earnest and their flight was delayed for de-icing.  
We miss them all.  
Oh, and my SIL and nephew were very taken with our dog, Wilson, playing with him endlessly.   He’s been quite pooped since they left, but he had a great time!

My Big Fat Middle Eastern Family…

…or a portion of it. 

We hosted family from across the Atlantic last week! 

Z’s brother, his wife, and 13 yo son visited us from France.  They arrived on Saturday, BIL left on Tuesday for meetings in Salt Lake City, and returned late Thursday.  They all returned to France on Saturday.  

We had fun!  Z took them to Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake on Sunday, we all went to the Ontario Science Centre to see the Sultans of Science exhibit on Monday (Z took the day off), on Tuesday I took them out to some factory outlets west of the city before taking BIL to the airport.  On Wednesday, I shuttled SIL and nephew to the subway so that they could visit the ROM and Eaton Centre.  Thursday, they hung with me and we did some errands on foot, and cooked together.  On Friday, BIL was back in town and they headed down to the CN tower and some sightseeing downtown.
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Saturday morning, Z headed out to the Patisserie Royale and picked up some Cheese Knefeh for breakfast and we watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a story so applicable to our family situation (substitute Middle Eastern for Greek) that we were all roaring, even though Z and I have seen it before.

It was six straight days of cooking for a crowd, at least, a bigger group than normal.  It meant more planning and real meals every night, not just pasta, jarred sauce, and steamed veggies, my low-energy-day option.  It went something like this:

Saturday:  marinated flank steak with fixing for tacos, fruit crumble
Sunday:  buffet dinner for 14 with PW’s Chicken Spaghetti and lots of sides and finger foods.
Monday:  steelhead trout, mashed potatoes, asparagus, leftover ice cream cake
Tuesday:  rotini, tomato, and ground beef casserole, broccolli
Wednesday:  Chicken Enchiladas, salad
Thursday:  Pork tenderloin in a creamy/chutney/white wine sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans
Friday:  Dinner out!  Sushi and another ice cream cake at home.

The cooking was fine.  The most draining part of the week for me was that my SIL and nephew don’t speak very much English so I spoke French for a good part of the week, particularly when Z was at work and BIL was away.  I really enjoyed their company, but my brain was just fried at the end of each day!  I’m fine with simple stuff, but to have an intimate conversation with family members that you don’t see that often just stretched my abilities.  Plus they have something of an accent/speaking style (they are from Brittany) that I found a little difficult to follow at times, so I was constantly asking them to repeat themselves.

They saw Toronto on all it’s winter states.  When they arrived, there was very little snow and it was quite mild.  Later in the week, we got snow, it got colder, and they experienced a different side of our climate.   As they were leaving Saturday afternoon, the snow started in earnest and their flight was delayed for de-icing.  

We miss them all.  

Oh, and my SIL and nephew were very taken with our dog, Wilson, playing with him endlessly.   He’s been quite pooped since they left, but he had a great time!

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Who’re you gonna call?

Bark Busters!

Really. I can’t believe that after one three-hour training session, there have been huge changes in our dear Wilson and his level of anxiety (read, barking).

The trainer came over Tuesday afternoon for our first session. The teaching (of me) part was short because their philosophy and methods are very close to that of Cesar Millan aka The Dog Whisperer, and I have watched pretty much all his shows. So I get the pack thing, the dog psychology stuff, and the notion of teaching by voice and action, not treats or physical discipline.

We started by working on getting Wilson to understand that he needs to be submissive to me. Then we dealt with knocking at the door and the doorbell. We did some outside work on walking and dealing with other animals he meets outside (lotsa work left to do here….Jana the trainer will bring one of her dogs in the future to help here). Then we did “distance training” which is teaching him to stay by my side even when he is distracted by things.

She recommended that we get a crate for him to use as a den when he wants to relax, so we picked one up yesterday and are just starting to get him interested in using it. That will take a while, but we’re not needing to potty train or anything…it’s more for his comfort and relaxation.

I have some practice stuff to do at home, and we’ll do another training session with Jana in a few weeks. But it’s freakin’ unbelieveable how much of a difference this has made so far.