Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Boo! Happy Halloween!

We're not real big on Halloween around here, but we will be handing out candy and enjoying the parade of cute and scary costumes that comes to our door!

So, this isn't Juno in a costume:

and this isn't Juno in a costume with her identical friends:

But, cute.

Hope you all have a fun and safe Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nice is Nice, But These 12 Alternatives Are Better

Synonyms for simple words.

Now these are basic, but they got me thinking, particularly as it applies to us as we're writing our book about the dog.

Why write 'he said' when you can choose 'he remarked' or, when appropriate, 'he whispered'? Ooh, the intrigue.

But, it's easy to go overboard, so be careful. When it sounds cheesy, then you're trying too hard. Let others read what you write. Reading a book (or article or any piece of writing) that sounds like it's a walking ad for detracts from any sophistication you intend to convey with your writing, so, again, be careful.

It doesn't always have to be 'cordial', something can really just be 'lovely'. And I'm pretty sure 'elegant' will be better than 'dazzling' any day. Make sure the alternatives are better, and not just something different.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What Do Animals See In The Mirror?

In human psychology circles, the 'rouge test' is considered an important assessment tool for evaluating self-awareness in children.

Toddlers start recognizing themselves in a mirror when they are around 18 months old. Passing the 'rouge test' is one sign that a child's cognition is developing properly.

In the animal kingdom, higher primates, dolphins, orcas, elephants, and European magpies are the only animals to recognize that what appears in a mirror is actually their reflection.

And, not surprisingly, pigs don't recognize themselves, but do use clues in mirrors to focus on food that is placed behind them!

So what about cats and dogs? Domestic animals are usually startled by images in a mirror when they are young, and when the images don't pass the "sniff test" (which they never do!), the dog or cat learns to just ignore them.

So...not sure what Juno thinks she sees here?

Wait... - is she napping? Diva.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Home Fires

We are fortunate to have a lab puppy that actually curls up in front of a warming fire - in true storybook fashion.

She seems to find the balance between heat from the fire and the cooling effect of the tile in front of the fireplace quite appealing and comforting.

Call us old-fashioned, but wood-burning fireplaces are a feature we've always enjoyed in a home. Evidently, so does Juno.

And with the cooling temperatures lately, we think she's getting ready for another season of dozing by the fireplace. We've already had one fire so far this season, but Juno appears keen for another one soon.

Snuggling a log might be a bit of a signal, wouldn't you say?

We'll be keeping the home fires burning this season. How about you?

Monday, October 08, 2012


It was Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and we spent it giving thanks for what we have and how fortunate we have been over the years.

Trail walking

We hosted this year and are thankful for out-of-town family who made the trip up. There was good conversation and delicious food, a playful baby, happy dogs, walks in the park, drinks on the deck, and late-night catch-ups around the table.

After a tough year, we all have our health and happiness, and, for that, we are all thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian readers and a good fall morning to everyone else!

Park colours

Tuesday, October 02, 2012