Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Weekend of Firsts!

Friday morning, before I went to work with Earl, he did something new... he absconded with my lunch! Each morning I stand a few steps below Earl at the back door, getting my shoes on while he patiently waits. This time... with my lunch bag sitting on the stairs, I had to grab something from the basement... I returned just in time to see Earl merrily trotting through the kitchen and into the living room, carrying my lunch bag by its handle!

Saturday evening we returned from being out for about 4 hours to find that Earl had marked some territory in one of our spare bedrooms. This was the first time it has happened that know of.

Today the weather forecast was calling for rain, so although it was a beautiful morning for a walk (which we did after our sleep-in) we looked forward to the afternoon and the inclement weather. We weren't disappointed... we both donned our yellow slickers and drove over to the nearby park where of course we were the only ones out walking. We didnt stay out long, maybe 20 minutes, but it was fun. And probably funny if you were watching.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Road Trip

Last weekend Earl and I took our first solo road trip (not counting the day I picked him up from NLGA). The difference this time was it was an overnight. The main purpose of our trip was to go cheer on the skaters in the Northshore Inline Marathon, an event I have skated in since 1996... but due to injury have not skated the past two years. The other part of the trip was to stop in at Ryden's Border Store just across the border into Minnesota to pick up some clothing we had ordered from K9 Apparel.

This trip would also be Earl's first night in a hotel/motel. We stayed at a Motel6 in Duluth... despite having read some pretty lousy reviews on Trip Advisor, but it turned out to be an okay place to stay.

I had requested a non -smoking groundfloor room, so we would not have to tackle any stairs (good for my knees and Earl's lack of skill on stairs). They managed to give me a smoke-free room... but it was on the second floor. I thought this might present a problem... and although Earl was tentative at first, he did manage to go up and down the stairs with relative ease, and at a slow pace, which suited me and my poor knees just fine.

Earl sniffed out and examined every corner of the hotel room, restraining himself from marking his territory anywhere in the room, thank goodness. I wasnt prepared for Ear's exhuberance every time he heard a noise in the hallway; when there was someone in the hall Earl would run to the door wagging his tail thinking someone was coming to visit us.

The night passed without event as Earl and I maintained our routine of suppertime walk and late night (11:00pm) walk before going to bed. Earl did have his bed on the floor next to mine, which is a little different than the arrangment we enjoy at home but he sure didnt seem to mind.

The next morning after breakfast Earl and I packed up the car and headed to the race location. For two hours Earl watched skaters go whizzing by at speeds upwards of 20-25mph and did not blink an eye. He was not tempted to chase anyone and did not bark... what a greyt guy!

After we had watched enough of the race to satisfy our need for speed we went to the finish area and chatted with old friends and made some new noes (thanks to Earl). Everyone commented on how well behaved he was, even with the commotion all around. They also commented on how the German Shephard that was walking around with its owner of NOT well behaved. So I guess Earl really shone by comparison.

After a quick stop at a local pet store Earl and I headed back home to Thunder Bay, with stops in Two Harbours and Grand Marais along the way to break up the trip and stretch our legs. All in all, a successful little 30 hour jaunt to the US.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Who You Are

In a recently previous life I had a truck, rollerbladed marathons and played a lot of volleyball. On the back window of my truck I had a volleyball decal and a Salomon logo decal, displaying my interests.

For the past few years on my current ride I have displayed both the old and new Apple® logo decals, showing that I have been an avid Apple® afficianado for several years (circa 1987) and not just since the iPod generation. Now I have added yet another decal to the back window... check it out!

The Things You Find

I have noticed while walking Earl that people lose a lot of things while they are out and about, and they also litter a lot! I leave the litter alone, but get a kick out of "collecting" things people have lost, and I have started a "treasure chest" of items.

By my house are a couple soccer fields, and when people are not playing soccer I guess golf neophytes like to use the field as an unofficial driving range, hence the golf balls.

The pink baseball cap started out as a deep red, however after it became Earl's favourite play-toy, it began to fade after almost three months in the sun.

The rubber work gloves are in pristine condition and were found in the parking lot of the local elementary school. They must have belonged to one of the janitors.

The waterbottle had some beer caps and paper towels stuffed inside.

The running shoes were found hanging over the fence at the soccer field.

The baby toy I found on the sidewalk in front of my house, which technically, I would have found whether I was out walking Earl or not, but as it happens I was walking Earl. I hung it from the tree in front of the house in hopes that the owner would come around again, but after several days, no one claimed another prize for the treasure chest.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back To Work!

My wife is away in Toronto for a week, so I have taken the opportunity of having no one home during the day to give me the kickstart needed to slowly re-introduce Earl back into the workplace.

The difference between our new routine and the routine we previously enjoyed is that now I let him eat his breakfast at home instead of at work. Probably a good idea anyway.

It is going to take a bit of adjusting to the new digs... previously I had my own little office (closet) but now I am sharing a "graphics department" which is also used as a thoroughfare for everyone going from the front office through to the press room (I work in a commercial print shop).

The first day, I only brought Earl in for a half day. Today was his first full day. He did well. We went for a walk at lunch at the marina for about 30 minutes before returning to work. It seems to be working out well.

The top picture is taken from my chair... this is the view Earl and I have of each other the entire day.