Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Goodbye Dash, Hello Pete

We can honestly say we tried it … but … we’re just not dog people.  It just wasn’t working for us.  It seems we have no luck with dogs sticking around.  After three attempts with dogs we faced that fact that we are not really dog people.

I think it’s because Rob and I both grew up on a working farm that we just assumed that if you’re in the country you should have a dog … a dog just goes with the country.  What we didn’t really think on is that because we grew up on farms where there was actually daily activity going on outdoors or around the farm the dog always had someone to follow or watch or protect or whatever it felt it needed to do.  The dog had the closeness of a human in one way or form, even if it meant just watching or following.  Our dogs could find warmth in the barn around the other animal or the work that went on there during the cold months, and during the warm months there were always things going on outdoors … plus we usually had two or three dogs at a time.

We really did think that Dash was a keeper.  He was a wonderful dog.  He loved the family and was faithful and protective.  He stuck around, listened well, was calm and obedient.  He didn’t beg or jump or get in the way.  He was content to just lay beside us if we were outdoors, just wanting to be in the presence of people.  He did well adjusting to be outdoors but he appeared sad.  He made it through his first winter with us but we often felt guilty because he looked so sad and lonely.  He didn’t get enough attention during those cold months.  The girls would try to go out with him each day but it just wasn’t enough for a dog that was used to be indoors around people all the time.  As summer came we were back outdoors again and the long winter was forgotten.

Throughout the summer we ran into a couple instances that made us a bit concerned when we realized just how protective Dash could be. Twice he bit when someone (not a family member) was fighting with Matthew, as his way of protecting Matthew.  We understood why Dash did it, but it was a bit discomforting.   As summer ended we began to wonder if we were being fair to Dash.  He seemed to thrive off of attention (as most dogs do) and though he got a fair amount during the summer he still appeared sad.  He was dealing with his new life as an outdoor dog but wasn’t content with it.  We debated what was best but that was as far as it went, until he stopped sticking around.  Third dog now that we have this problem with.  That last two dogs were fixed as this was suppose to lessen the problem, but no such luck.  Once Dash discovered the dog next door we couldn’t keep him home.  If we turned around he was gone and so he had to spend most of his time in the fence.  To me there is no point in having a dog if he’s just fenced up all that time … that’s no life for a dog.  When Dash decided to bite the delivery guy one day …. even though I was standing right there I lost most of my trust for the dog, always leary whenever someone came on the property as I was no longer sure what he would do. 

Rob tried his best to give Dash more attention and even allowed him to spend some time in his office while we were cleaning it out, but when he left the office for a minute Dash was gone.  We decided it was time to stop talking and to post him on Kijiji … he need a home where he could be indoors and around people more.  We were quickly able to find this home for him and we took the kids with when we brought him away so they could see where he was going.  There were tears and sadness to see him go, but everyone knew this was better for him.  He got a great deal as he can no be indoors but he’s still living in the country so he’s got room to roam, a pond to play in and can go on car rides again and with them to their cottage on weekends … I’m sure he’s not sad that he left here.

We have fond memories of the good dog that he was for us.  It’s unfortunately it did not work out, but we just don’t seem to be the people who can find the time for an outdoor dog and indoor is just not an option.

Goodbye Dash


Now we get to the Hello Pete  part.  I’m not sure Dash would be too please to know that he was traded in for a bird.

Pete is our new pet canary and one more to our liking.  Pete is in a cage and can be left in the cage if we want.  He can be left for several days without needing someone to come to feed him.   Pete doesn’t need someone to walk with him, run with him, pet him, play with him, etc.  Pete is quite content in his cage watching us and we quite like that Pete is nearby so we can enjoy him regularly.  The best part about Pete is when he sings, canaries sing beautifully.

Pete came with a 60 day guarantee.  We’re beginning to think Pete knows how to count.  For the first months we had Pete he sang ALL THE TIME.  Almost too much.  He especially loved to sing during Bible reading, prayer and psalm singing.  We loved his songs.  Unfortunately he has completely stopped singing.


We decided to try train Pete to fly outside of his cage.  It didn’t take much training really.  Canaries like to eat often and so he returns to his cage often enough that we can just close it once he comes back for food.  But now that he’s used to us and we’re used to him we know how to shoo him back to his cage … he’s not dumb, he knows what’s suppose to do.  He also knows that if we come near the cage when he’s just flown back in that the doors are going to close … we have to be fast or he quickly takes off again.

Not long after Pete was adjusting to his freedom of flying around outside of the cage he ran or should I say flew into a sticky situation … fly tape.  We have a continual problem with fruit flies or drain flies or some sort of annoying small flies and so we had fly tape by the kitchen window.  I guess it’s not just fly tape, it can also be called canary tape, for there Pete was, stuck to the tape.  Rob rescued him and he lost a fair amount of feathers out of the deal.  After that Pete didn’t sing near as much.  We read that if a canary is injured or in pain he will stop singing.  We waited for him to heal … but his singing slowly decreased until it stopped.  We recently noticed blood by his wings where they meet his body and since he had been scratching we started him on some mite treatment … too bad they didn’t tell us right away when we purchased him that canaries are susceptible (pretty much guaranteed) to getting mites …. would have saved us the hassle of disinfecting and cleaning everything as we would have just done maintenance treatment right from the beginning.  So Pete is just over a week into mite treatment and is looking a bit better … still hoping to hear him sing again :(


He’s still cute, even though he doesn’t sing … but really, we want to hear the singing!  When Pete comes out of his cage he usually heads for his favourite spots, the window near his cage, the floor by his cage to peck at food on the ground (as if he doesn’t have enough in his cage) and the table to clean the scraps out of the center crack.

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He starts on one end and works his way to the other side.  Usually he goes back over it one more time as well. It’s pretty cute!  He must get something out of there each time since he goes there pretty much every time he’s let lose.

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We’re still hoping Pete will sing again … should we tell Pete that just because the 60 days is up doesn’t mean we can’t replace him??

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