Quite a summer

Quite a summer

We have sometimes wondered whether we have slipped from early summer directly into early fall. Other than one uncomfortably warm week, temperatures have been strangely mild. One morning the low temperature was 11.5 C and this morning’s low has been about 13.5 (I haven’t checked the thermometer yet).

We do not complain though. Memories of summers past, particularly summer in Texas, help us be grateful for this mild summer. I think that we are generally appreciative of our climate, no matter what is going on. Though we may sometimes grumble and not like it, we cannot change it. It’s better to, at minimum, accept what we cannot change.

I sometimes call Texas ‘the land of hot and not as hot.’

Dogs at Play

I am sorting through photos and came across these from the time shortly after we moved back to this house.

Achilles kicks off a merry chase game and Kendal joins in, which he rarely did.Image

Achilles leads on with Kendal in hot pursuit of him. Achilles is so fluid and graceful, Kendal is pure power. Chilidog can outmaneuver Kendal but if Kendal caught him, Chili would be bowled over. Stella is in hot pursuit of Kendal. Stella and Achilles have been buds for seven years now. Sometimes she singles Kendal out for special attention more than I like.Image

Chase games happen less frequently now, the dogs are older. While it would be easy to be sad about that, I prefer not to be. I look at these photos and smile. I look at Stella and Kendal now, several years on. They are crashed on separate dog beds on the deck. (I would look at Achilles but he is inside, crashed on the love seat. They are our dogs. They are good dogs.

The Keystone XL pipeline and the PM

Paul Wells, over at Macleans.com, wrote an interesting post about the Prime Minister’s seeming lack of opinion and comment about the US President’s recent comments on the pipeline.


If one took Mr. Obama’s comments literally, it seems the Keystone proposal will be disapproved, or at best needing a rewrite.

Mr. Wells suggested three reasons Mr. Harper might be so quiet on the file. He may be right (though I find it hard to believe that Mr. Harper can be wildly misreading the evidence). I thought of other reasons.

If the US does not want our product, other nations – especially those on the Pacific Rim – do. A pipeline to the BC coast (or thinking outside the box, to the Arctic) can get it to a port.

A reversed pipeline from Sarnia ON east to Quebec is another possibility.

I’m unsure that the PM would run in 2015 on #3, the Wounded Pride hypothesis. I think it’s more that a pipeline and a port in Canada means jobs for Canadians. And with an election on the horizon, jobs for Canadians (especially potentially in hurting ON and QC) would be a good selling point.


Today, I told some people at work stories about my dog Avis.


She was literally a flea market dog – adopted at a flea market for some acquaintances who backed out at the last minute, leaving me holding the bag (or should I say holding the puppy).

Avis was a spaniel(?) mix who weighed about 30 lbs and was quite a character. She escaped three times that I remember, once being bailed out of the pound. She was almost fearless, once launching herself at a GSD/wolf hybrid, only escaping unscathed because I and the other human alertly brought our leashes up short and backed away. She liked being in the water but never learned to kick with her hind legs which resulted in some comical/unsettling moments as she sank by the back end, being resolved by fitting her with a flotation jacket.

As she aged she mellowed (thank goodness!), enjoying more lap and couch time. Ambles around the block became quite enough. She tolerated the addition of younger dogs – Moonpie, Stella, Corndog, foster dogs – to the household.


In early 2005 and at fifteen years of age she had had enough, which is a story in itself. It was time to let go of her. I do not grieve for my loss. While I do sometimes shed a tear or two, the bargain we make with having and loving dogs is that we will almost certainly outlive them. I don’t mourn, I look back and am grateful that I owned her and learned something about the love of and for dogs.