Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone! 

I am so filled with gratitude and joy today.  Our family has so much to be thankful for and it has been such a happy celebration of Christ's birth.  I am so glad for the love of family and friends at this special time of year but I am also so very glad to have my beloved animals in my life.  Daphne and Quincy have been with us the longest and we have lots of memories of Christmas' past with them.  Sophie and Coco are our more recent additions and we are enjoying making new memories with them.  I had a wonderful walk with the dogs this afternoon and they are all resting most contentedly and enjoying an afternoon nap now.  Here are some photos of Christmas' past below. The photo above was taken this afternoon upon our return from our walk.  

Dinner is going into the oven soon.  Tonight we are having a yummy tourtiere homemade by yours truly and leftover blaukraut from last night (thank you Oma).  A tossed salad will round it out.  Our big feast was last night so tonight is a little more casual.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us here at Northrock.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas is almost here!

It has been quite a while since I last posted!  But with Christmas almost here I thought it was high time I post an update as to the going ons here at Northrock.  To start with I would like to introduce Bayport Coco Chanel.  She is the goofy brown barbet in the photo and we have all fallen very much in love with her.  She has been staying with us for the last few weeks and is getting along great with the gang. 

It's a very busy season for most people and our family included but I really wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Just A Dog

Just A Dog

From time to time people tell me,
"lighten up, it's just a dog",
or "that's a lot of money for just a dog".

They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a dog".

Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog".

Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog", but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my sadddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog", and in those days of darkness,
the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you too think it's "just a dog", then you won't understand phrases like "just a friend", "just a sunrise", or "just a promise".

"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.

"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person. 

Because of "just a dog" I will rise early, take long walks, and look longingly to the future.

So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

 I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog" but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a human".

So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog", just smile, because they "just don't understand!"
- author unknown

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunny Sunday Morning

Sophie found this deflated ball in the park the other day.  She was so proud to have discovered it abandoned by the school children.  She carried all the way home wagging her tail the whole time.  It has now become a great toy for the dogs.  It won't last forever but while it does they will certainly get lots of joy from it. 

Throw it! Throw it! Throw it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fabulous Fall Weather

My dogs are tired now and sleeping legs up in the air on their backs.  We have been having such wonderful weather these last few days but the forcast calls for rain and showers for the next several days :0(  I decided we would take advantage of today's sunshine and after I dropped the kids off at school the dogs and I went for a long walk in Sunnybrook Park.   It was warm and sunny, we hiked along trails, over bridges and ran across the fields.  I brought my camera but the batteries had no more life left in them so I have no photos to share with you.  I do however, have some photos I took yesterday when the dogs were keeping me company while I raked leaves.  I love the fall!
Quincy in the leaves - Tollers look great in fall photos.
My boy looks good for a 10 year old no?  His Grandma just turned 16.  I think Quincy has got a lot of life left in him yet :0)

 It's hard to take photos of black hairy dogs but here you can see Sophie's eyes! 
My two treasures....Quincy always looks like he is smiling....

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We headed north to spend Thanksgiving weekend at the cottage.  This year I am thankful for so many things and the weather that we got to enjoy with our family was one of them.  It was absolutely spectacular.  So now that I am home again I thought I would upload a few photos and videos of our weekend in the great outdoors.
What a think she could have found herself a smaller stick!

 This video will forever remind me of the bliss of being at the cottage with a dog.  It was morning time and I was still wearing my fuzzy slippers, p.j.'s and robe.  The air was cool and crisp and it was sunny and gorgeous outside so I grabbed my camera and headed down to the water.  Sophie of course tagged along.  I took lots of photos of the trees and water and Sophie was begging me to throw something, anything for her so I grabbed a stick and tossed it in for her.  I love it... water retrieves in pajamas!
The "girls" went for a canoe ride together...while we were out paddling we thought we would try to find the beaver dam we knew was around somewhere... and ta da...we found it!
The evenings and nights were just as nice as the days... beautiful sunsets, still water and starry skies.

Thanksgiving Delights

On Thanksgiving Day we’re thankful for
Our blessings all year through,
For family we dearly love,
For good friends, old and new.
For sun to light and warm our days,
For stars that glow at night,
For trees of green and skies of blue,
And puffy clouds of white.

We’re grateful for our eyes that see
The beauty all around,
For arms to hug, and legs to walk,
And ears to hear each sound.

The list of all we’re grateful for
Would fill a great big book;
Our thankful hearts find new delights
Everywhere we look!

By Joanna Fuchs

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

2012 Club Barbet Canada Calendar - Available Now!

Hey Everyone!  The 2012 Club Barbet Canada Calendar is available now.  It's filled with wonderful photos of our beloved Barbets that were sent in by club members.  The calendar is bilingual and you can order yours by going to the club website

Friday, September 16, 2011

A rainbow on our walk...

No vision and you perish; no ideal, and you're lost; your heart must ever cherish some faith at any cost, some hope, some dream to cling to, some rainbow in the sky, some melody to sing to, some service that is high.
--Harriet du Autremont

It was a lovely walk yesterday.  The air has a distint chill and fall is almost upon us.  I absolutely love the autumn months.  I think the dogs do too.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Get Your Dish :0)

I don't remember when I taught Quincy to bring me his food bowl.  It was a while ago though 'cause he's been doing it for years now!  I have yet to teach Sophie to get her dish also...hmmmm maybe once the kids are in treat :0)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dog days of summer...

We were up north again for our last hurrah before school starts next week.  The weather cooperated and we managed to do lots of swimming and boating and canoeing.  Here are a couple of photos. 

Sophie really loves it.  Most of the time she can be found wherever we are but occasionally she'll take off to explore on her own.   Occassionally she will come back smelling like something stinky.  Decomposing fish carcases and goose poop are among her personal favorites. Often you can find her down at the dock, just hanging out.

As the day draws to a close she goes to her lookout spot on the deck and just chills...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Head Shots

Sophie the Barbet

Quincy the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

I was looking though my photo files and came across these two head shots of Sophie and Quincy :0)  They made me smile so I thought I'd put them up on the blog. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Canadian Dogs Abroad :0)

July 8th 2011 was the World Dog Show in Paris, France.  Florence Erwin entered Sophie's brother Ch Flacon de Paris of Neigenuveaux aka Murdoch.  He was expertly handled to his wins by Michel Raymond. Murdoch won the Junior Male Class and Best Junior.  Way to go bro! 

Murdoch along with another Canadian Barbet Ch Courailee Echo (bred and owned by Lyne Trudel) was mentioned in Dogs In Canada Magazine you can read more about it here    Here are a few photos of the Canadians from the show

If you are interested in seeing more photos of Barbets at the World Dog Show you've got to check out Stacy Able's blog  She is a talented photographer who travelled to France to attend the show.  She took many great photos and they are up on her site for everyone to enjoy!  Thanks again Stacy :0)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sophie Can Dive off the Dock!

While we were up north at the cottage we decided to take a video of Sophie diving off the dock.  Is a dock diving title in our future?.....Who knows...for now we will just keep on having fun in the water!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Wet Water Dog is a Happy Water Dog!

We went to the cottage again for the civic holiday long weekend.  The weather was perfect and we did a lot of swimming.  Sophie was as usual a part of it all.  She really likes the boat rides - I think she likes the feel of the wind in her coat.  She is getting good at jumping off the boat and into the water when we stop for a swim. 

If you are wondering where our other dog was...Quincy stayed home with Daphne our cat.  I am grateful that my mom is there to look after them.  Quincy gets lots of attention and walks while we are gone.  I would like to be able to bring him with us but after our experience cottaging with him last year we have decided it is best for him to stay home.  The whinning and screaming that he does when we all go out in the water to swim is truly horrible.  Even when he is out in the water with us he is still noisy.  Also none of us want to deal with him barking at passing kayakers and fisherman *sigh*.  Sorry Quince....we love you but we do not love your noise :0(    

Monday, July 25, 2011

Camping with a canine companion.....

We have just returned from a camping trip with friends at Bon Echo Provincial Park.  We had a super time.  We have never camped with a dog before but decided to bring Sophie along to see how it would work out.  It was fantastic.  She was really really good.  We went for long walks and they have a designated dog beach and off leash area which is very nice.  Shallow sandy water and lots of room for dogs and kids to swim :0)  We didn't end up taking too many photos but here are a few to sort of give you an idea.
Definately room for a family of four and a dog....or two or three or heck I'm sure you could fit at least four extra dogs in this tent - it's huge!!!! 
No they don't really shed but ummm it's almost the reverse effect.  Instead of leaving hair all over the place they collect all manner of debris in their coat.  Nice :0)  After a few shakes it does mostly drop out but I still have to give her a good brush out...There is a fair amout of sand still in there!
She sure slept well at night.  Three families and 6 kids all under the age of 7 makes for lots of fun and excitement but by the end of the day, just like the children, she was exhausted.  Gives new meaning to the expression "dog tired".

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cottage Life

Spent the weekend up north at the cottage on Georgian Bay.  Great weather all weekend and everyone had fun swimming and boating.

Friday, July 8, 2011

New Working Certificate Title

I am very happy to brag that Sophie earned her WC last night at the Mountain Valley Retriever Training Club test in Flamborough, Ontario. Sophie was the only Barbet running and I was so pleased that she did so well. A lot of people were curious about her as it was the first time many of them had seen a Barbet let alone watched one run. She did a great job and brought back all the birds!
I have a lot of gratitude for all the people who have helped us to get this title.  Susie Bell is a great trainer and she really got us off to a great start.  A huge thank you to Sue Kish for everything she did to bring out the best in Sophie and get her ready to run.  Sue you are an amazing trainer!  There is no way we could have achieved so much so soon with out you.  And of course to everyone who threw birds and bumpers, quacked duck calls and fired off starter pistols - thank you too!    

Thanks again to Florence Erwin (Sophie's breeder) for providing me with such a wonderful girl. Sophie is now the 1st Barbet in Ontario to earn a WC, the 2nd Barbet in Canada, the youngest so far and the 1st Canadian bred Barbet to add the letters WC after her name! Yippeeeeeeee!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quincy Turns Ten!

Quincy turned 10 years young on June 9th!
It's so hard to believe that a whole decade has passed since he was born.
He really was the cutest puppy and we are soooo thankful that he came into our lives! 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Champion

Well it is with much joy that I announce that this weekend at the Norfolk Kennel and Obedience Club dog show in Simcoe Ontario, Sophie completed the requirements for her Canadian Championship.  She finished under Judge Mr. A. Ewles.  She can now put the letters CH in front of her name. Yipeeeeeeeeeeee.

I am very thankful to her breeder Florence Erwin  for entrusting her to me.  I love this little girl so very much.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011