This past weekend, the city of Canberra hosted the International Dog Sports Extravaganza. In addition to a competition that's called flyball, dogs try to best each other at weight pulling, obedience, grooming, dancing and agility.
Boris the dog is a constant companion of Hollie Evans (19), who suffers from anxiety. Boris distracts her and helps her remain calm, even under challenging circumstances like the college graduation of her sister, Daisy.
So Boris would fit right in at the school, he was fitted with a mortarboard for the day.
Drug sniffing dogs are needed in the critical effort to protect our youth from the dangerous new street drug, fentanyl.
And an RCMP detachment in Innisfail, AB, is training them to do just that. It's a program with an international reputation. And it's a program that gives the lie to the urban myth that drug sniffing dogs must be addicted to the chemicals they have to find. Safety for both trainers and dogs is a top priority.
"Hey, how come my weight keeps creeping up? I'm not eating any more or exercising any less. But slowly, year by year, the pounds keep adding up." This was me about a year ago.
Up until then I had been able to control weight gain by just eating less. So instead of two slices of toast and jam for breakfast, I cut back to one. Instead of a ham and cheese sandwich at lunch, I cut back to a bowl of soup. Instead of a donut for coffee break, I learned to be satisfied with a few slices of fresh apple or a couple of handfuls of mixed nuts.
This kind of cutting back was never too hard for me. I am usually fairly resistant to hunger pangs and my appetite quickly adjusts to the meal sizes I choose. And for more than 10 years now I have faithfully climbed on my stationary exercise bike for about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Gosh, I'd forgotten how long it has been since I last posted here. Last fall I had recently finished a span of work with dog photography, and had just begun the process of adopting a little rescue dog from the local humane society.
In this case, because the dog had some medical problems, my wife and I had to serve as foster parents first, with the hope of making him well enough for adoption. Boy was that a fun time, although also full of a heap of hard work and weeks of anxiety. Anyhow, eventually that little dog led to a little book. And bunch of sketches I made of the little guy are in there too.
That book, '10 Big Things I Learned From A Small Dog' is a combination of engaging memoir and inspirational self-help book. It's about what we all can learn from the heart-warming story of a little dog with a big heart. He was so small, and the forces he was up against were so large and overwhelming.
The book is intentionally short because, hey, who reads that much any more. 10 BIG THINGS is a quick read, for people with a lot of curiosity and love for dogs but not much time to indulge them. I also intended it for all of us who could use some inspiration to overcome the increasing challenges in our lives. This is a book for the times.
10 BIG THINGS tells the story of how my wife and I offered foster care for a little rescue dog who had suffered crushing injuries. Almost unwittingly we found ourselves in the role of medication nurse and canine physiotherapist in an attempt to return him to health. In some former life he had acquired both a broken leg and a fractured pelvis, and they had not healed well. The humane society where we found him was concerned that every effort be made to ensure he would be able to lead a happy life. And the rest of the story is in the book.