Things humans do that dogs hate

Among other things, dogs hate being bored.

ou know that feeling of being stuck hanging around someone who is totally boring? Think back: remember having to be with your parents while they ran grown-up errands? None of which revolved around a toy store or park, of course. Remember that feeling of barely being able to contain yourself, of wanting to squirm and groan and complain. You couldn’t take part in the adult conversation, which was boring anyway, and you were told to sit still and hush. But oh boy did you ever want to just moooove! Just run around the block or something to break the monotony. That’s how your dog feels when you’re busy being that boring grown-up. Dogs abhor it when we’re boring. And it’s hard not to be! We get home from work and we want to unwind, to get a few chores done, to make dinner and sack out on the couch and relax. But that’s about the most annoying thing we could do to our dogs who have been waiting around all day for us to finally play with them.

If your dog is making trouble — getting into boxes or closets, eating shoes or chewing on table legs — she’s basically showing you just how incredibly bored she is. Luckily, there is a quick and easy solution to this: training games. Teaching your dog a new trick, working on old tricks, playing a game of “find it” with a favorite toy, or going out and using a walk as a chance to work on urban agility, are all ways to stimulate both your dog’s mind and body. An hour of training is worth a couple hours playing a repetitive game of fetch in terms of wearing a dog out. While of course exercise and walks are important, adding in some brain work will make your dog happy-tired. Even just 15-30 minutes of trick training a day will make a big difference.

Camping thoughts

This week Jordon posted about getting a couple of guidebooks to Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains.  We are heading to Banff for a day this summer in part to scout out a campground that we plan to spend a week in next year.  From there we will be taking a series of long day hikes into the mountains (and some local tea houses).

We have a lot of gear for our backcountry hike to Grey Owl’s Cabin but we don’t really have a lot of stuff to more traditionally camp with.   Today while I was in Wal-Mart, I saw some cook sets for the family that were reasonably priced but then I realized that we have travel mugs and some stainless steel beer mugs already.  So I bought a travel container and seven lightweight melamine plates for $5.  I then went to Dollarama and bought four melamine bowls for $2.  So rather than spending $49, I spent 7 and got exactly what I would have had to pay $50 for.  I’ll call that a win.

They won’t get used this year but they will be used a lot next year.  It feels good to have them checked off the to-do list.

While we were out today, we bought Jordon a pair of hiking boots.  That wasn’t that hard.  He just wanted 3/4 cut hikers which gave us a fair amount of options.

Olympus OM-D E-M10

Last night Jordon stopped by my work and told me he picked up my Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera from Don’s Photo in Saskatoon.  This is what it looks like.

Silver Olympus OM-D E-M10

It’s an upgrade over the Olympus PEN E-PL2 that Jordon gave me for Christmas in 2013.  I love that camera but this one is faster, has better image quality, a viewfinder, wifi, and is better in low light.  I am super excited to try this out and master it.

I already have a collection of lenses from my E-PL2 so I am set there.  Now I just need to master the new camera. 



After Maggi died, we know that we would get a new dog.  After looking around at some rescue dogs (and having some weird conversations with some of them), we found a black lab at the Saskatoon SPCA.  Jordon looked at the profile and filled out an online application.

Elway, Maggi, and Hutch had all come from the SPCA so they approved our application in no time.  We went out to the SPCA on Wednesday and asked for a black lab named Civic.

Out came this dog which looks to us to be a black lab/terrier mix.  After meeting him for a minute, Jordon decided to adopt him when they told us that he was spaded.  Ummm, we thought it was a male dog.  It wasn’t.  Even some of the SPCA staff thought it was a he (which is what the online profile said).  Again, it wasn’t a big deal so we took him, err, her home.

She isn’t that socialized yet and is still a puppy.  She leads with her teeth which means that we all have bite marks all over us.  This morning she woke Jordon up by chewing on his face.  That has gotten old quickly.

She has bonded with all of us except for Oliver who is a little scared by a high energy puppy who likes to pounce.  Oh right, Hutch hates Marley.  Marley loves to romp, pounce, and play.  Hutch likes to grump a lot.  They will need some time.

It’s been an adjustment for me.  I am used to mature dogs.  Marley is a puppy with endless energy and hasn’t learned any obedience yet.  It’s been fun but her and I have a lot to learn.

Happy Birthday Jordon!

It’s Jordon’s 41st birthday today.  To celebrate I got Mark and Oliver up early and we gave him his gift which was a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Lens for his Pentax camera.

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Lens

He will use it to shoot Mark’s football this fall with and maybe some wildlife.  I hope he likes it.  Of course Mark is super excited as it means that he gets Jordon’s older Sigma 70-210 lens.  He sees it as a win-win.

Mark gave him a new Starbucks Travel Mug

Starbucks Travel Mug

Oliver gave him Saskatoon’s Electric Transit: the Story of Saskatoon’s Streetcars and Trolley Buses by Easten Wayman

Saskatoon's Electric Transit by Easten Wayman

It’s a used book from Westgate Books.

They also ordered Jordon a 65 litre backpack for our trip to Grey Owl’s cabin.  It’s big enough that we can pack Oliver in it and have room to spare.

North 49 - 55 litre backpack

It is Jordon’s day off today.  I took it off to hang out with him.  After the boys were off to school, we went for coffee at City Perk and then grabbed lunch at the Spring Roll on 33rd.  This afternoon we are  off for a long walk as Jordon tried out his new lens and then to Broadcast House where Jordon does his 5:15 roundtable with David Kirton and Cynthia Block.

New Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10

Jordon got a great year end bonus.  Instead of spending it on himself, he decided to get me a new camera.  We looked at a variety of Olympus options from the Olympus PEN E-PL5 and E-PL7 to an older Olympus OM-D E-M5 but decided on the Olympus OM-D E-M10.  

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mirrorless Camera

I ordered the Olympus OM-D E-M10 from Don’s Photo in Saskatoon and I hope to have it in a couple of weeks.  Thanks to Jordon who bought (and surprised me) with the Olympus PEN E-PL2 and two Christmases ago and surprised me with the decision to get me this camera.  I can’t wait.

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Jordon is working today but I am not.  He did get up early and gave me a new “Canada” spring jacket, a chocolate rose that I wanted and a chocolate rose (my favourite kind of rose).  He also took me down to the CP Rail Bridge in Saskatoon and put a love lock on the stairwell.  The wind was howling and it was unbelievably cold by the time that we climbed the three flights of stairs.  By the time we got back to the car our ears and faces were frozen.  I’m glad he did it.  It was a great romantic gesture.   He does this romance stuff well.

I got him a new hat by Under Armour.  His old hat was stolen out of our Mazda.  It’s not the same but it is close enough and I think he looks good in it.

Under Armour Hat

Think of it as lingerie for bald guys.  Before you comment that I am horrible at this Valentine’s Day stuff, I actually am and this is what Jordon wanted.

For tonight, we are ordering in.  We have tried to go out many times over the years and the food sucks on Valentine’s Day in so many places.  They seat us late, rush some food out, and rush us out.  Not exactly romantic.  There are better nights for us to go out and enjoy being a couple.

We aren’t sure where we are ordering in from yet but I could go for some pizza or Vietnamese food.  After the kids go to bed, we’ll chill out over some gourmet coffee and music to chill out to.  There is a reason why we have a 60 gig iTunes library.

I hope you are having a good day as well.