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Regular readers know we brought home a rescue dog yesterday. She has had a great day today and is adjusting much faster than we had expected, so much so that she is obviously a great fit in our household and we’ve already told the rescue folks we’d like to finalize the adoption during the week.

Shadow meets Bonnie

She came to us as Teya, but today, we stated calling her Bonnie, both because the name seems to suit her and because her new best buddy is Clyde from up the street, and they are clearly going to be sidekicks.

Bonnie is setting into the house very well. She is shy of new people but doesn’t seem to be shy of new dogs. This morning, she had a short leash walk. I would say she was interested in her surroundings but still somewhat scared of the big world. Since then she’s had 2 longer walks with Clyde and his human, Sharon, and did very well. Her on-leash skills aren’t great but they are not that bad either, considering she has had only a bit of practice. We’re using 2 leashesThe last walk took us into Sam Smith Park. Bonnie really enjoyed all the smells in the park and was startled by a flock of ducks taking flight. She seems to enjoy the snow. On the way back, she initiated play with Clyde. Her confidence has already grown a great deal, even from this morning, and we think as we establish our routines with her, that will continue.

Bonnie doesn’t like leaving the house yet. Maybe she is afraid of more change? Once outside though, she relaxes and does well. She was overwhelmed by our back yard yesterday but today let Sheila know she needed to go out and happily went out to take care of business in the yard while I was out grocery shopping. She’s a smart dog and a sweetie-pie and she’s making strides fast.

Those who know us know we have a few cats at home. One of our cats, Phyllis (AKA Bunny AKA Miss Canada) has been actively making friends and I believe she spent last night sleeping in box a few feet away from Bonnie. All the cats have checked out the new dog except Bugs, who has stayed away. That’s not too surprising as she wasn’t impressed with the Newfs either. I think they will all be able to coexist well together. We are very lucky to have found a dog who seems pretty much somewhere between indifferent and friendly toward cats.

The rescue group, Just Paws is super-professional. Everyone we’ve talked to from this organization has been just great. They ask a lot of questions and that’s a good thing for everyone, plus they are very organized and communicative. We exchanged several texts today as Bonnie began the process of settling in, and it’s great to know they are there to support us. As well, the couple who fostered her did a great job preparing her for a new home. We feel very fortunate and very well supported.

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New Kid in Town

After our Newfoundland George died, we decided to look for a rescue dog. After some looking we made an application at Just Paws Rescue for a dog who seemed, at least from the online description, to be a good fit for our home, which includes cats. Today we drove out to Campbellford to meet this dog. She came to Canada from Tennessee and has been living with a foster family since.

She is the sweetest dog. She’s a little shy, but that’s understandable, considering she has been in a shelter in Tennessee, at a foster in Tennessee and now at a foster up here in Canada. We agreed to bring her home. The idea is there is a one-week foster arrangement with us as an evaluation period, during which we can adopt the dog or return her to the foster.

She was given the name Teya at some point along the way. We may give her a new name to go along with her new digs but we’ll decide that as we get to know her. She is apparently around a year old and they think she is a Pyrenees/Lab mix. She weighs 68 pounds and is perhaps a just a little underweight.

She was very well-behaved in the car. When we got home, we let her check out the back yard. That was pretty scary for her and she wanted to come into the house after a short while. She seems very comfortable in the house – now it’s time for her to go out and pee but she wants to stay put. We’ve read that we should start our routine on the second day, so we aren’t pushing the issue tonight, and if she has an accident in the house overnight, that’s not the end of the world.

In the morning, we’ll try a little leash walk. She has little experience with a leash. For a while, we’ve been asked by the rescue to use 2 leashes and a collar + a harness until she gets past any fear of change and the new environment.

Our cat Phyllis has already made friends and Jack and Gracie and Jacques went upstairs to check her out but they kept their distance. The dog seems fine with all the cats.

This coming week, we’ll start establishing our routines with her and if all goes well, we’ll formalize the adoption at the end of the week. Although she is a little overwhelmed by her day, leaving the foster where she was starting to feel at home, I think she’s doing pretty well. It could take weeks or even a few months for her full personality to come forward.


We did finally have a short venture outside. We just walked 2 houses north then 1 house south and then happily came back home.

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Home Depot Hi-Jinx

If you’ve followed the news over the past couple days, you will have read or heard about Home Depot getting caught selling customer data to the folks at Facebook without customer permission. Since 2018, they’ve been asking customers at checkout if we would like to receive an emailed receipt instead of a paper one. Those are the folks whose data has been sold.

From the start, I had assumed they were selling the information. That’s why, when asked, I generally say, my customer data is valuable and I don’t give it away for nothing. Usually I offer to sell them my email address for $200 cash. Of course the cashiers just look at me like I’m a crazy man. Several have promised me they don’t sell my data. Liar, liar, pants on fire! All this is to say that I’m not surprised, not even a little bit. I doubt it’s just Home Depot either, though they’re the company with the media target on their back right this minute. I bet loads of big corporations do this routinely.

These days, consumers have become product. What we buy, where we shop, how often we return and more – these days it all has value. I’m willing to play ball, but not for free. Maybe we should all produce personal rate cards to present to companies when asked for valuable information. I’m not inflexible. I would accept store credits in return for data.

Ever since Loblaws cooked up the Great Bread Price-fixing Scandal a few years ago and brought their competitors on board, I’ve simply assumed we’re being systematically scammed at every turn. I’d like to be proved wrong. Enough with the conspiracy theories, Eugene, companies don’t do that! Right? Now Home Depot has shown us that maybe there is truth to my sad assumption.

I think all the money Home Depot made surreptitiously selling customer information should be divvied up among the victims. What? How could they do that? Well, they do have the data. Shame on you Home Depot.

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The Shining Birch Tree

I came across this video from 1992 on the YouTube – with Wade Hemsworth and the McGarrigles, and Adrienne Clarkson, who went on to become Canada’s Governor General. I had seen Mr. Hemsworth perform either that year or maybe it was the year before, when Mariposa was in Barrie. I guess he only wrote a couple dozen songs but they’re all great songs, some of the finest songwriting this country has heard. I think as Canadians, The Blackfly Song and The Log Driver’s Waltz have become part of our DNA over time. I’ve watched this video many times of the years. In it, Wade and Kate and Anna sing part of The Shining Birch Tree – in my opinion his greatest song. “In the quiet of the evening when the camp settles down, and the night is cold, so very cold, and Old Rory Bory start shiftin’ around, shiftin’ around…..then you think of the warm lips and the laughter so free, in the land of the muskeg and the shinin’ birch tree, the shinin’ birch tree.”

Here’s Mr. Hemsworth’s original recording of The Shining Birch Tree. Maybe you’ll agree, it’s just perfect.