Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Resuming our Regular Broadcast

Down the Road from Dogpound

We are missing our four legged family members but I thought I might update you a little on the other things that are happening around Dogpound North. My Mom is bearing down on three months of self-isolation in her home, she is 90 and that puts her amongst the high risk folks although for the most part she is healthier than most 50 year olds. I talk with her most days and her grandchildren keep pretty close tabs on her as well so she is not running short on supplies. Matt, my son, runs a bi-monthly trip to Costco to reprovision all of us with the necessities that that business usually provides to us. We used to buy most of our meat from them but recently we have been trying out a local ranching operation, Long Run Ranch,  and their meat is every bit as good as Costco's, no more expensive, and I would rather keep the money in the neighbourhood if that is possible. Costco like most big operations gets most of its beef from Cargill south of Calgary, but this is even closer to home.

Our home province of Alberta has fared fairly well throughout this pandemic. Our stockpile of masks, ventilators and all the other paraphenalia that we are hearing other jurisdictions are running low on are adequate, in fact so much so that we are sending stuff to other provinces that are not so fortunate. Folks have been self-isolating and at this moment in time we are in the midst of phased re-opening of the economy. Small businesses like hair dressers and the such as well as restaurants are re-opening although with some restrictions on crowds. I don't imagine the airlines or travel business are seeing much traffic and it is hard to imagine that they will anytime soon. People are getting pretty handy at "Zoom" and other meeting software so I actually think there will be a shift in how people work, less travel, less office time, and if the reports are correct, more productivity.

Our schools up here are closed and have no plans to re-open until the fall, so kids are being home schooled with the assistance of their regular teachers online and of course their parents where they are able. Even my band teaching son is running his classes online.

So although normal is different now that in the past, we are seeing more and more people masked up when they are out and about, but after seeing that some countries where masking was a common occurence are coming through this wave with less severe economic impacts maybe, just maybe, we are figuring out that if you wear a mask you probably need measurably less severe restrictions to deal with the corona virus fall out.

But enough of that, I am getting out and about most days of the week and enjoying the spring migration as the birds go through here on their way to the northern parts of Canada where they typically nest. We are seeing many more varieties than is typical, but that is the opinion of a decidely unknowledgeable birder so I am just enjoying shooting them......with my camera. For folks who don't want to be inundated with pictures of birds or my Facebook fans, who have already been subjected to these photos, this is a good time to sign off.
Mallard Drake and yes he is really that colour.

A cute little Chickadee

Yellow-headed blackbird

A pair of Ring-necked ducks

Great Horned Owlets, we're watching you human

American Kestrel

A goose family out for a swim.


Great Grey Owl

Green-winged Teal

Rufous Hummingbird stopped by for a portrait

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

For the moment my favourite duck, the clowns of the pond, a Ruddy Duck

Baltimore Oriole

Mallard Drakes in Flight

Monday, May 25, 2020

Together Again!

My last blog post I spoke about Max and his buddy Maya and the things they added to our lives. They came to us as a bonded pair, Maya had only spent a few weeks of her life without Max in it. She washed his face every morning, and tomorrow morning she will be doing it at the Rainbow Bridge.
Every day, no matter where we were, she washed his face.
Maya was one of those dogs that was just sweet, kind and gentle. She didn't really have a mean bone in her body and was just happy to be loved on at all times. It is hard to tell stories about her without telling stories about them both, they were very rarely apart and if Max went with me on a picturing expedition or out to chase a storm Maya was not happy while he was gone.

She had suffered an episode last winter that we had thought was in the past, but it was probably some kind of stroke and it seemed that when Max was gone she just went downhill fast.

Just wanting to be with her people. "Outside is for dogs" she seemed to say
She would spend her every waking minute being with her people if she had her choice, and other than going along with Max on his coyote chasing expeditions as his security detail she was never far from Brenda.

She hated thunderstorms and was usually looking for cover, behind the chair, or in our walk-in closet, long before the first thunderhead showed up at Dogpound North. Entirely different than Max who would roar out to do battle with the storm. But she really liked just laying about wherever her people were, and in most cases in front of the refrigerator in the trailer or in the high traffic areas in the house.
Her favourite sleeping position
The last few weeks have been hard on everyone here, but especially so on Maya, she would wander aimlessly like she was looking for her buddy, and stare off into the distance like she heard someone calling, but didn't know how to get there. She was having more and more trouble getting up and we were having to lift her to her feet. Along with her own health issues which were not insignificant it just seemed she had lost the will to live without her friend.

There will be some high energy romps going on at the Rainbow Bridge tonight

Together Again
It will be a lonely place here at Dogpound North without these guys.