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Catie Caitlin

Golden Retriever and cancer

Catie Caitlin

The Riley Files 2

July 3rd, 2010 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

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Something strange is going on.

The dog eating machine has been working overtime the last couple of days as Mom and Dad – in a flurry of activity totally unlike their usual selves – as the treasure-trove of fur balls Catie and I carefully tucked away in the house were hunted out.

There are open suitcases on the beds.

Mom’s got that crazed look in her eyes she gets when she’s stressed. Her hair is sticking out every which way. Mom’s been obsessing about hurricanes.

This is not good. We don’t get hurricanes in the prairies.

It takes me a while to figure it all out. There’s been a lot of talk about our human sister’s wedding. There’s been a lot of talk about Cuba. I thought at first they were talking about one of the world’s best actors until I realized there were referring to a place.

“Dude, you and Catie can’t come,” Mom says. She gives us extra cookies.

I’ve scoped out Cuba on the internet while Mom’s been crazy with packing and housework. Beaches. Water. I see no reason Catie and I can’t come so we get dressed in our beach gear.

COME ON MOM! WE’VE GOTTA GO BEFORE MY PANTS FALL OFF!

Mom feels sad but she tells us it’s only for a week. We’re off this morning to a kennel-free kennel where my pre-vet cousin works and I won’t have access to a computer for a little while.

Since we can’t be at the wedding, Catie wants me to post a picture of her with the bride-to-be.

Since I won’t be writing for a bit, here’s a a pic of ME!

Have a great week everyone!


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The Riley Files

July 2nd, 2010 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

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The temptation to form premature theories upon insufficient data is the bane of our profession.

Sherlock Holmes

Monday, June 28, 2010
9:20 PM

Catie and I are hanging around waiting for our next unsolved case. Results from the investigation of Catie’s missing whiskers and the naked patches remain inconclusive. Suspect has covered her tracks well. The good news is that Catie’s bare patches seem to be slowly growing in and she doesn’t particularly miss the whiskers anyways.

Case closed due to insufficient evidence.

Mom is running up and down the stairs doing laundry. Catie’s rolling around on her back with her three legs in the air. I’m thinking that if I was a real supersleuth I’d be kicking back with a whiskey or brandy or even some Kentucky bourbon like dudes Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade. Instead, I’m stuck with water in a stainless steel bowl.

“Good grief,” Mom says, marching another basket of clothes up the stairs, “One of you guys really has bad gas. Phew.”

9:40 PM

When is Mom going to bed? I want my bedtime snack.

9:50 PM

Surely this is the last time she’s going to run down the stairs to the laundry room. Arms full, she pauses at the foot of the stairs and gives an exaggerated noisy sniff.

“It really stinks down here. Phooey,” she says. She carries the clothing up to the bedroom and returns to the family room.

The investigation doesn’t take long. She spies the dirty deed on the area rug between the television and dad’s amplifier and guitar. A perfect pile of excrement. “What the h—,” she says. She is genuinely shocked. “Where did that come from?”

A rhetorical question I’m sure. The critical query, as any supersleuth knows, is: “How long has that been there??”

After Mom removes the deposit, she lifts Catie’s tail and checks her butt. She checks mine. She’s dusting for carpet fibres. Oh come on! She’s watched too many episodes of CSI.

10:25 PM

The carpet’s been spot cleaned and scrubbed. Mom’s been all-over scrubbed and showered. I’m subjected to another random bottom check before being allowed on the bed.  Catie’s on the floor by the bed. We’re still waiting for our snack.

“Did you poop on the floor, Riley?” she says. Me???? Her face is alarmingly close to mine so I squirm and wiggle to disarm her. I know how to work the charm when I have to. She asks me again and again. I squirm and wiggle again and again and make short order of the interrogation.

Three days later Mom still obsesses over the crime. She talks about it with dad, the neighbours, her friends, strangers on the street, she’s sent query emails to Ace Ventura Pet Detective.. It drives her crazy not knowing who the culprit is. Again, however, she’s totally missed the relevant question: WHY?

Riley’s Supersleuth List of Clues:

  • no evidence of any gastro-intenstinal distress on my part or Catie’s
  • shortly after dinner Monday evening there was a rocking  thunderstorm. Now, storms aren’t enjoyed by dudes, but they are tolerated albeit with mild apprehension. However… Catie hates storms. Catie is petrified of storms. Catie quivers and pants and shakes and sometimes crawls into the bathtub during storms. Most importantly, there is no way Catie will go outside during a storm. For ANY reason whatsoever. Period.

It is my conclusion, based on all the circumstantial evidence, the window-shaking crack of thunder at 7:05 PM, simply scared the poop out of Catie.

    Mom, this case is closed.

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    Missing whiskers and leg patches by Riley

    June 18th, 2010 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

    Mom comes home from shopping. Since she still owes me a truckload of treats, I sniff the bags as best I can – I don’t table-surf like Catie and there’s a limit to how high I can lift my nose but it’s all good because I have superpower nostrils. I don’t smell anything interesting. Mom is enthralled however with all her goodies and she carefully lines a series of small packages on the table. Then she puts on her funny-looking facial apparatus that makes her eyes look scary huge.

    “Hm. Why do they make the print so small,” she says. She turns a pink box over and over and squints at some microscopic markings on the back. She notices that Catie and I are watching her and mistakes my apprehension for curiosity – her eyes look like that guy in that horror movie The Fly and it’s creeping me out. She feels compelled to explain. “These are beauty products. And this…” she squints some more. It’s not a good look. “..is a hair removal kit.”

    That sounds seriously wrong. I look at Catie, who still has these funny naked patches on her front leg and both her back ones. I look at the box Mom is holding in her hand. Aha. I make the connection and slink off to a safe corner where Catie and I hide all our fur balls from Mom. Catie’s too lazy to be concerned and flops down on her pillow while Mom disappears upstairs.

    Just as I start to relax, there’s some commotion from the room with the flushable water bowl.

    Mom comes back downstairs. She’s wearing her bath robe and she’s got the pink box crushed in her hand. She shoves the package in the garbage can and stares at it for a moment. “That really hurt,” she says. She has some funny red patches all over her legs.

    For a species that prides itself on its intelligence, I’ll never understand humans. I certainly don’t understand mom’s obsession with grooming. Maybe it’s just her. Dad’s not nearly as worried about it all – in fact, one time he was sitting at the table reading the paper and something caught Mom’s attention. “You have an eyebrow hair that’s four inches long,” she said to him. “Stay right there.”

    When Mom says stay, everyone but Catie listens.

    Now, my dad’s usually a tough dude like me; but when Mom came back with some tweezers and yanked on that eyebrow whisker, he cried like a baby.

    Mom blames the disappearance of Catie’s whiskers on some chemo treatments. Hmm. I’m just not too sure any more so Catie and I are going undercover to put the pieces together. The truth might not be pretty.

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    A blog without a title

    June 16th, 2010 · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

    I know my dreary mood is directly correlated to awakening before 3:00 AM. It’s one of the more unpleasant hazards, I’ve found, of getting older. I swear I was once able to sleep all night. As a teenager I could sleep for days, it seemed. It’s an elusive and nearly impossible feat now when I need all the beauty rest I can possibly get.

    Catie and Riley are never sure what to make of my nocturnal prowls through the house; they barely raise a brow. Their innate sense of time tells them it’s too early for breakfast, for dinner, for a walk or a trip to the park.

    I cruised the internet for a help line for insomniacs; surely they didn’t have daytime hours. I phoned in a refill for a prescription and checked the mailbox for the paper. The world is eerily quiet at that time of day.

    I shouldn’t have looked through old photos last night but both my daughter and my son want a visual display for their respective weddings and I’m the one with all the baby pictures.

    To be honest, I couldn’t finish the sorting before I went to bed because I started missing my oldest son. I’ve seen him once in the last year, and that’s not because he lives three hours away. Following a twelve-month period where his life went off the rails –  substance abuse and suicide attempts and financial distress – he left a phone message last July and said he wanted nothing more to do with the family. He’d already exchanged his old circle of friends for a new one; I’d never dreamed he’d cast us off too.

    We’d forget about him in time, he said.

    So my heart was feeling heavy. I didn’t see him at Christmas or  get a return phone call to the message I left on his voice mail. I was sad he won’t be going to his little sister’s wedding. They were once really close and she’s even living now in the same city as he is. I somehow doubt he’ll be attending his younger brother’s wedding in September either. I was sad he hasn’t picked up the phone or sent me an email to ask how Catie’s been doing; he knows about her illness because I sent him a message the day of her surgery. And I was sad because I knew he was in town yesterday to see a surgeon at the clinic in the same building where I work and I’d been hoping he might, just maybe, come and see me.

    I’m thinking, just maybe, that’s why I couldn’t sleep last night.

    It was a really long day and I was ready for a good, solid poor-me cry when I pulled into the driveway this evening. But then – oh, look –  two expectant golden faces at the window, noses squashed against the glass, just as they had been when they watched me leave in the morning. I could see Catie’s scrawny tail wagging in circles and thwacking the curtains; I could hear Riley’s excited bark telling me to hurry up and get inside as I fumbled with the door key.

    I’d be lying if I said Catie and Riley made everything better. But their non-judgmental, unconditional, unselfish, wholehearted loving this evening really, really, really helped. I didn’t need a cry after all.

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    Being Boring – A Riley Post

    June 11th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

    Bored – according to Oxford: Feeling tired and impatient because one is doing something dull or one has nothing to do.

    Ok. I didn’t quite get the human concept before, but I’m getting it now.

    After reading something about the benefits of strength and endurance conditioning for Tripawds, Mom decided that Catie needed to start a fitness program – NOW – to make her one remaining front leg stronger. I don’t understand what the big deal is; Catie seems plenty strong enough to me when she has one of my toys and I want it back.

    The training goes like this:

    Mom spends a lot of time getting Catie positioned on one of the dog beds. Like most houses, we have heaps of them in each room. Mom and Dad have had to clear a lot of their own furniture for them all, which is fine with me because the only human item I go on is Mom’s bed. I’ve never willingly gone up on a couch or a chair except for the times Mom hauls me up on one. I endure it to make Mom happy – for about five minutes. She finally lets me go because I won’t look at her for the entire time because it’s humiliating. Mom can’t understand it. I keep trying to tell her it’s because I’m a cool dude and I prefer being on the floor.

    Catie doesn’t want to cooperate. I simply stay out of the way.  I’m a little worried already that this is all going down the way of yoga. Mom’s all red in the face and she’s not even upside down. Who needs a fitness program again? Catie’s not even breathing hard.

    “Down, Catie,” Mom says.

    Catie looks at her. She looks at me out of the corner of her eye. Naturally, I go down.  I respond to commands very well – even ones not directed at me – and wait for my treat but Mom’s not even looking my way.

    When Catie finally does as she’s told, Mom makes a lot of gushy noises about “Oh, good girl!”

    Give me a break. Hellllloooo! Over here! See this g’boy, superpowered dude over here doing exactly what Catie’s not doing?!??

    Here we go. Mom asks Catie to sit.

    Catie looks at her. She looks at me. Her gaze slides toward the window, the ceiling, anywhere but at Mom. Good grief. It’s an involuntary reaction and I sit. And wait.  Mom eventually wrestles Catie up to a sitting position. It is sad but true – this is FAR worse than yoga.

    This futile endeavour continues for some time. In the meantime, because I can’t help myself, every time Mom says “down” to Catie, I go down; every time Mom says “sit” to Catie, I get up and sit. Over and over and over again. By my estimation by the time Mom gives up, I’m owed about 6,032 treats. Catie deserves none. Nada. Zippo. She gets one anyways. So do I.

    One.

    Bored – according to Riley: Feeling tired and impatient after doing something extremely dull and still waiting for 6,031 biscuits.

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    Idle Monday thoughts

    June 7th, 2010 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

    Some idle thoughts in no particular order:

    We decided after much thought and conversation with the oncologist not to put Catie through the sixth chemo treatment. Catie was tired. We were tired of her being tired and feeling ill for over a week each time. She’s endured enough. Wherever this journey takes us, and however long the road may be, we just couldn’t put her through it any more.

    She was also running out of places to shave for the IVs.

    Over the last couple of weeks the weather’s been seventy percent lousy and thirty percent good. Lousy meaning we had snow the weekend of May 29th; good meaning days where we had no rain and snow.

    Not only does Catie still have a sparsely-feathered tail, she’s lost all but four whiskers. Yes. I counted them.

    When I took Catie and Riley for their leash walk on one of the thirty-percent pleasant evenings, a teenager on a bike way too small for him stopped and asked if he could pet my dogs. He asked what happened to Catie’s leg and I said she had cancer. He considered her carefully and told me she looked like she was really strong and she could fight it.

    We continue to celebrate each small victory. Since Catie’s amputation she has only tried to go down to the third level television room a few times and only when my son or my future son-in-law were here. Each time, however, we’d have to carry her back up to the main level because she was too petrified to attempt on her own. This past Wednesday evening, she paced and hovered at the top of the stairs and, as if she had simply made up her mind, she tentatively but determinedly worked her way down to the bottom to thunderous applause and happy dances (the dancing would be my husband, not me). Riley thought our behaviour perplexing and ridiculous – after all, he goes up and down all the time so he couldn’t understand the fanfare. He accepted a treat anyways.

    Since then, Catie’s taken the stairs down and back up, on her own three legs, on numerous occasions. It goes without saying that each time she makes the trip, my heart hiccups in exactly the same way it did when my kids used to scramble and climb on playground equipment.

    I’m really hoping the snow’s gone for good now. And can anyone explain to me why there’s still hockey on television in June?

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    For Benny

    May 28th, 2010 · 10 Comments · Uncategorized

    Now, I know this has nothing to do directly with Catie except in a peripheral way because the events are part of our shared lives, but two of my three children are getting married this year; my daughter in July and my middle son in September. Part of the planning for my daughter’s upcoming wedding has meant trying to capture a visual collage of her life up to now. Meandering through old photos has starkly resurrected so many memories, from the chubby folds and creases of infants, the chocolate-smeared faces of toddlers and the tears of teenagers, through so many interwoven chapters of beginnings and of endings.

    I realized, with some surprise, as I searched through the haphazard collection of photographs that – although there aren’t many images of them – most of my adult life has been filled with animals of one species or another despite my protestations that I was ill-equipped to living with and caring for them. When I was growing up, our pleas for a puppy went unheeded, and all my brothers and sister and I learned about pets came from watching Lassie on television.

    When I was a young mother living in a small Saskatchewan city, we lived in a narrow two-storey house with an enclosed veranda that sagged at one end. It was the third house from the corner on a street with cracked sidewalks, crumbling curbs and shaded by overarching trees. Up the tall poplar tree on the boulevard out front Sammy the cat climbed and wouldn’t come down until the neighbour rescued him from his anxious perch while the children and I held our breaths on the ground below. He was our first pet.

    We tried to nurture hamsters even though I wasn’t partial to rodents. The first escaped from his cage in the third floor apartment where the children and I later lived. I succumbed to more pleading when we moved to Alberta but the second one we bought tumbled from a perch and smacked his head during the fall. My oldest son cried and held him in the palm of his hand. The other two children wept too and I phoned my husband at work but the hamster gave a last shuddering breath before any of us could decide what to do.

    “No more hamsters,” I said.

    There was a cat named Bailey. She was part of a pair the children and I bought from a pet store when my new husband was out of town one weekend; the other kitten we named Barnum. My husband swore never to leave town again.

    Barnum suffered from wanderlust and ran off one day; he simply never returned. Bailey however was a skittish cat who was afraid of the world and never tried to go outside. She hid in the basement when people came over and peed on blankets and would only allow the children to pet her. She wasn’t that old when she died of what we’d later learn was a urinary tract disease. She crawled one night into our bedroom and I found her on the floor by our bed; we’d been going to take her to the vet that morning. We hadn’t realized how sick she had been.

    Not long after, my husband and I stopped at the humane society after work, “just to look,” and came home with two orange kittens we named Oliver and Dodger. When my oldest child moved from home, Oliver roomed with him. Dodger was a big tabby charmer and acted more like a dog, who cuddled and came running when called until he discovered by chance – like Barnum before him – how easy it was to escape through window screens. He dashed out through the patio doors one evening and didn’t come home in the morning like he had always done before. My frantic daughter made posters with Dodger’s picture and our phone number and I photocopied them at work and she taped them to the poles of the neighbourhood street lamps. Someone called a couple days later and said he’d found the body of large orange cat in his window well; the man thought he’d been struck by a car.

    “No more cats,” I said.

    My son at fifteen – the confused, unanchored middle child – made a decision to live with his father in another province and a different time zone. The trailer -loaded with his backpack and report card, his bike and his basketball, soccer cleats and hockey helmets and pads – rolled out of our driveway on a Saturday morning. Later, I stood in his bedroom and stared at the empty dresser by the unmade bed and the pinholes in the walls where posters of hockey stars and models had hung.

    Even Benny wondered where he’d gone.

    Benny was the family’s first dog- a soft-eyed brown and white English Springer Spaniel. She was there for most of the children’s youth, their adolescence, through Bailey and the hamster and Oliver and Dodger; through graduations and a death in the family.

    The children and their stepfather brought Benny home as a six-month old puppy with promises that they would look after her. I didn’t love her as much as she deserved. Oh, the pithy excuses I made. She had a strong odour, she made messes in the house and ate my shoes and she shed and wouldn’t stay off the furniture and my resentment increased with each passing year because of the promises that weren’t kept by others in the house. The older she got and the more work she demanded and the busier everyone’s lives became, I was the one who walked and cleaned up after her. She was thirteen years old when she died in 2003.

    I wasn’t prepared to miss her presence in our home, the galumph of her arthritic gait, her snoring, her strong doggy smell. But I did. And mixed in with the sorrow was shame for all the times I had thought her such a pain. All she’d ever asked for was love and affection.

    “No more dogs,” I said. “I’m not a dog person.”

    But just months after she died, along came Catie. She was intended to be a surprise Christmas gift from the children, but my daughter left an ad on her bed with a red circle around “Golden Retriever puppies for sale.” My husband left it for me to decide what I wanted to do. Did I want another dog or not?

    I uncurled the fist that was my heart. I don’t know how or why it had gotten so tight. A year after Catie, there came Riley. They sleep on my bed; Catie has her own couch. Sometimes they make a lot of noise and a lot of mess and they’ve really cost a lot of money, but they make me cry and laugh and they’ve helped make me a better person.

    As much as we often would like to, we can’t rewrite history. I can’t rewrite all the times I’d thought Benny a nuisance and a burden, all the times I’d been impatient and complaining and so grudgingly took her for walks.

    The other day I was thinking I would like to take all my regrets and blow them into balloons and release them, bobbing and sailing, one-by-one, into the sky. One of my balloons has Benny’s name on it and if her spirit is somewhere close at hand, I hope she knows I’m sorry I was often so cold. I like to think she loved me anyways.

    She would have loved Catie and Riley too.

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    A lot of nonsense about yoga and lycra by Riley

    May 19th, 2010 · 9 Comments · Uncategorized

    The anarchy was nice while it lasted but there are some new rules around here now. Like, I can blog as long as there’s no talking about poop. I can say waste management if I have to. No mention of butts. I can say bottoms and only if necessary. How’s this gonna work anyways? ‘Oh, did I tell you about the time Catie had a waste management problem? Yes. It was quite stuck to her bottom.’ Who talks like that??  Seriously why can’t a mom be more like a dude – dudes are far more easy going and unoffended by word choice, don’t insist on near as many baths and grooming and paw wipings, and are so much more complacent about dust and dog hair and a little yard dirt.

    Sigh.

    Mom’s playing funky music with wind chimes and flutes and sounds like water and birds.

    Not to be rude, but it’s not my style at all. It’s way worse than that techo stuff she likes. A little Snoop Dogg or Four Dog Night would be nice for a change.

    Trust me. My face doesn’t say half how bad this is.

    “I have to practice my yoga,” mom says to Catie and me.

    I have no idea what yoga is (except that I’m sure dudes don’t do it) and even though mom’s wearing something bad made of Lycra (and I KNOW dudes don’t wear Lycra either), she’s sitting on the floor. This is usually some strange human invitation of hers for us to play with her.

    She gets into a position on her hands, with her butt bottom in the air and her head between her arms.

    “This is the downward facing dog,” she says. Her voice sounds funny and faraway because her head is upside down and her face is turning the same colour as the carpet.

    I’ve gotta say, she’s not looking like any dog I know. Oh, this is awkward. I look at Catie to see if she’s as embarrassed for mom as I am. Catie licks mom’s face. Mom does a face plant on the carpet and says something that sounds like #$%@#.

    Finally, mom lifts her head off the floor and squints at the carpet. Her face is all scrunchy. “Ew. This is disgusting. Look at all this hair.”

    I know that look and that tone; this is dog-sucking machine time. I brace for flight.

    But she gets up and turns off the bottom-ugly music. “Don’t worry, Rile. I’ll vacuum tomorrow instead. I’m too tired now,” she says and puts on some Madonna.

    Oh joy.

    Before you can say Material Girl, Catie’s up on the expensive couch she thinks mom and dad bought just for her, and she’s groovin’ to the tunes.

    And me? Look. I’m a pretty easy to please guy but this evening I’ve had to endure to some really twisted new age music that to be honest sounded like waste management, watch mom do weird things on the floor and pretend she was a dog, and now I have to listen to some girlie pop songs. So, I’m breakin’ out the shades and hoping mom gets the hint and plays some hard dude music by Corey Hart. It’s the least she can do.

    Riley.

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    A Blog about Not Blogging

    May 18th, 2010 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

    I’ve been languishing for quite a while now with a stubborn case of blogger’s block. Catie’s barking at people on her street to go away; Riley’s barking at them to come over here and visit. I notice there’s a hole in my sock and the curtains need washing; maybe it’s time for the walls to get a fresh coat of paint; if I sit here long enough perhaps I’ll figure out if I have anything to say.

    I’m determined not to mention the weather (which has been hot and sunny; wind gusts today of 39km/h; relative humidity 27%; there’s the first rumble of the expected thundershower and Catie’s now heading off to hide under the desk). Maybe that’s been part of the problem: trying to stifle my inner meteorologist has simply stifled me.

    Maybe that’s utter rubbish and maybe I can start with this instead: Catie had her fifth chemo treatment yesterday. It’s a curious thing, but she’s always excited to go to the hospital. The dog who wags her tail all the way downtown and bursts through the doors of the clinic looking for attention isn’t the same timid girl who used to have to be dragged to the vet and who cowered around strangers. She’s still a ferocious house sentinel and doesn’t tolerate people and other dogs walking on our street. And yet … when I take her and Riley for their evening leash walk, it’s both of them now who turn towards passersby with eagerness.

    It’s weird, really, and I’m not sure what to make of it at all. Maybe nothing. Maybe something. Even though she doesn’t know she lost her leg to cancer, is it possible that the experience of the last five months has given Catie more courage and confidence in some teeny way?

    Maybe I’ll just end with that.

    The local forecast is on in four minutes.

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    Barney in Canada, eh.

    May 4th, 2010 · 17 Comments · Uncategorized

    For anyone who has been worrying about Barney, please know that he’s been very safe here in Edmonton, Alberta. It took him quite a while to make the journey from Loveland, Colorado. Canada Customs don’t let any purple dinosaurs cross the border without serious scrutiny. We’re lucky he made it at all.

    Barney’s journey started on April 9th from Loveland but he didn’t arrive until April 19th, the day of  Catie’s fourth chemo treatment. His visit was unexpectedly lengthy for several reasons and we apologize for the delay; Catie wasn’t herself for the first week and there was a simply a lot of other stuff going on.

    Edmonton can’t compare to places with charming names (a nickname of ours is  Deadmonton) like Loveland or Fairbanks, Portage Lake, Madison or Livermore (well, maybe not Livermore), but Catie and Riley were happy and grateful to Spirit Peyton, Cami, Kris, Dillon and Rhys for sending him our way.

    We have to admit it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. Barney’s introduction was greeted with suspicion. He didn’t do himself any initial favours by bursting out of the box in a frenzied purple blur to immediately perform all  kinds of  agility tricks. He scared Catie and Riley half to death. Who taught him those tricks and what was with the sweater? Why did he smell like a pug? What was with the puppy breath? Where the heck were the fritos? Was there a danish somewhere here? Who put barbecue sauce on him and who dropped all those  leaves in the bottom of the box? It all simply confounded poor Catie and Riley’s old factory senses.

    When things calmed down (mostly when Barney stopped showing off his fancy dinosaur manoeuvres) and they all got used to one another, we made sure Barney had some fun with Catie and Riley at the dog park.

    It's Catie and Barney!

    It's Barney in the Hood on Riley!

    Riley giving Barney love bites

    Barney playing peek-a-boo

    Poor Barney just couldn't get a moment's rest

    Come on down, Barney!

    Riley's ball, Barney, Riley's ball!!

    Catie standing on the couch to have a heart-to-heart

    What exactly IS that on Barney's butt??

    We took Barney, Catie and Riley downtown for a little urban tour, consisting primarily of our art museum and some governmental monuments. We’re not sure he was particularly interested in our municipal and parliamentary procedures (our politics are pretty boring) but he was a good sport about it all.

    Barney, Catie and Riley at the downtown art gallery

    Edmonton Art Gallery

    Barney at City Hall

    Barney having a Lunchbreak

    Barney for Premier!

    Taking a break

    A view of the High Level Bridge

    Everyone was pretty much tuckered out by the time we got home. Barney went for a much-needed lie-down in the guest bedroom. Yes, he had his own room; it was the least we could offer after his long trip.

    Barney having a nap

    We were stunned when we checked on him a while later to find the bed much more occupied than when we left him.

    Three in a bed

    Way to catch a mouse, Barney.

    All in all, we had a great time during Barney’s extended stay. We didn’t get to do quite as much as we’d hoped but we hope he enjoyed his visit. Although he was welcome to stay as long as he wanted, wanderlust is making him keen to move on. We are sad to see him go but  we know there are so many other Tripawds yearning to see him and he’s getting packed and ready to go. He’s an absolutely tangibly huggable,  funny-looking, soft-bellied, warm-hearted ambassador of all the overwhelming support and love on this site.

    We’re happy we found you.

    Thank you.

    Carmen, Rick, Catie and Riley

    I love you
    You love me
    We’re a happy family
    With a great big hug
    And a kiss from me to you
    Won’t you say you love me too?

    Barney Lyrics byLee Bernstein

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    THE LAST WORD FROM RILEY: Catie and mom liked Barney way more than I did. And those weren’t love bites I was giving him. Seriously, the dude really bugged me when he stole my ball.

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