Our little Nora is 14 years old, despite being an old girl, she does not give any indication of stopping or aging. Nicky will be 14 next next, there is about a week separating their birth dates. Nicky on the other hand is now blind and showing signs of aging.
Nora’s chief quality is that she is stubborn and does things her way, never your way. I really feel like her personal attendant. She is lovely and very loving little dachshund, quite the actress with a modulating voice depending on her mood. She is also quite perceptive like most dogs and a little manipulative to get more food/cookies/gouda cheese/ etc/. It seems it is always about food with Nora. Despite her appetite she is built like a little tank and forges ahead, nothing scares Nora.
Yes she needs a good grooming and we are going to the groomers in 2 weeks.
On another topic, a question about my last post about Will’s Health and Champagne purchase at the Liquor store.
I have wanted to write about this funny habit here on PEI that I have never encountered anywhere else. Per example if you go to the restaurant and order your meal, you say that you want a side of this or that, usually priced between $5 to $9 dollars on top of the dish you ordered. Often the waitperson will say; you know this is extra, you do not mind paying more? I never know what to respond, why would they say this? Do they have a lot of complaints from patrons who did not read the menu or realize it is not free?
Many stores also have this policy, not in the big box stores but in the smaller local stores. Liquor stores are the same, despite the fact that the staff is knowledgeable they will point out that they always have a cheaper option, even if you are not interested. It is almost as if they make the value judgement that you cannot afford it. In bars they will not ask you if you have a brand of Gin or Vodka you like over another brand, you will be served the cheap version unless you specifically request your brand. The same with wines again unless you request something specific, most people are happy with just anything as long as it is not expensive. A 5 oz glass of wine is $10 and a 9oz is $14. which never appears quite right to me. Beer is a different matter, this is a Beer drinking Island and craft beer is preferred, however cheaper American beer will be ordered to start an evening and then graduate to a better beers.
Canada Games installation and ice rink at Founders Hall
Today I went to see my pharmacist and he gave me my 5th shot of the Covid vaccine in the new improve formula for the current strain. Few people are following through with regular at 6 month interval of the Covid vaccine, in fact the new stat about vaccination in general in Canada is that only 2% of the 38 million Canadians have all their current vaccinations. With Covid the % is going down since the second shot was given out 2 years ago, the drop in people getting their first and then second booster is low around 21% of the population. The reason, people do not understand the need to keep ahead of this disease by improving their immunity in general. Sadly the ignorance of the population and the conspiracies on the internet have create a real problem of credibility for Health practitioners.
This is the 16 January and still no snow, the temperature hovers around 39 to 45 F. that is not Winter weather in PEI, normally it should be around -12 C at night and 0 C. in the day time. We have no snow and the Canada Winter games are in 28 days. This could be a huge financial failure if the snow does not materialize. None is forecasted before the end of January. Many will tell you that this happened in 2015 and suddenly we had several major snow storms over one month, making it a record snow year. But I think that with climate change this is not likely to happen. People still believe in miracles, unfortunately the age of miracles is long past.
2023 is the 150th Anniversary of PEI joining the Canadian Confederation, despite the fact PEI hosted the Conference in August of 1864 that would lead to a union of the British colonies to form one united Canada, the decisive conference took place in September of 1864 in Quebec City. The famous painting by Robert Harris shows the Father of Confederation in Quebec City, and when the time came to sign up in March of 1867, PEI refused, preferring to stay a colony of Britain. Only in 1873 PEI being bankrupt and Britain refusing to help did the PEI government finally decide to join Canada if we paid their debts. It’s the Island way.
I told you all about Nicky but we should not forget our Eleonora AKA Nora. Will picked her at the kennel because at one week she was already feisty. When Will picked her up from the litter box the first thing she did was to suckle his index finger and would not let go. Nora’s markings are different from Nicky, he is blonder around the face and has more the Boar colouring. Nora has large black fur in her face and just a bit of blond under her chin. This gives her an intense look when she fixes you. Nora does not look away when you stare at her, while other dogs would. She is also very stubborn, she will pretend to listen to you only to do exactly what she wants once your back is turned. If you scold her, she puts on this show of incomprehension. If you speak sharply to her, she will give you the big puppy sad eyes look or she will be even more defiant. She takes on any dog no matter what the size. Nicky would never do that. Nora is like a little tank and is very dominant. Our other female Dachshund short hair, Bundnie who was born in Egypt in 1989 was also defiant and knew how to play her cards to get what she wanted. Bundnie lived to the grand old age of 17. We do remember her very fondly.
Lately Nora has been giving signs of doggy dementia, she temporarily appears lost or will stark to shake. She will bark at people she knows as if she has forgotten who they are. We always reassure her as best we can and it seems to pass. But it is a new development, she too is 14 but is a week older than Nicky.
She is very fond of food and the kitchen is her favourite room. Nora comes from a family of tracking dogs and she could have been easily trained to do tracking for the hunt. Her mother was an Italian National Champion at tracking. This gives her a completely different personality compared to Nicky.
She is very lovable and loves cuddles but she can also be very jealous if she thinks we pay too much attention to Nicky.
It seems that the Winter Storms in the Atlantic provinces are getting worse each year. This year so far we had 4 storms over 4 weekends. It is the same pattern, a mix of snow and freezing rain and very high winds in the 70 to 80Km range. This past Thursday night we had very high winds around 100Km and then rain, so much so that severe flooding all over the Island was wide spread, roads cut off, etc..
The rain and wind was so fierce that the windows on the West side of the house were leaking and the wind was pounding our 180 year old house. We did not loose electricity, we stayed in obviously. We could not take the dogs out for a walk, they would have flown away. The snow melted quickly and now we have a lot of green everywhere. Funny to see how in two days big snow banks disappeared. The weather also went from -29C to +9C. The next day it was sunny again but cold. The temperature has been fluctuating wildly from one part of the day to the next.
Today is Nora’s Birthday and next week it will be Nicky, both are 13 years old now. Incredible how time flies by so quickly. They are in good health generally and Nora is as feisty and talkative as always. Nicky has cataracts but he is getting eye medication twice a day and is doing well. With COVID we really spent a lot more time with them and developed quite the routine and I often think that they organized the routine for us to follow, one thing is for sure we cannot depart from it, they give us dirty looks. For her birthday Nora and Nicky got prime rib roast beef, just a few pieces, they also got home made liver treats, they enjoyed it all.
It is true that there is inflation all around but what continues to surprise me is the crazy sale and discount in grocery stores, often prices are slashed 50 to 70% for a week on various items. I know that they are still making a profit, so it is telling. There is no shortage, all this talk of shortages in grocery stores was nothing but pure nonsense, a lot of it spread by the Conservative party who truly hate PM Trudeau.
As for the situation in Ottawa today, well the occupation is over, the trucks are gone, many left on their own but the police made sure to get all their details, name, licence and insurance. They are free to leave but prosecution will follow at some time. Some where towed away. I watch live on CBC and CTV the coverage of the police action to clear the streets, the Media had unfettered access, many journalists commented on that fact, they could go where ever they wanted, film and record. The police presence was massive, including a detachment from the Sureté du Québec in their green riot uniform with steel helmets. Others came from all regions of Ontario and the RCMP also had a big tactical presence. The police were very polite, you heard them ask people to leave and move out, it was a little unreal but it was all very professional. Contrary to what FOX News, Reuters and the New York Times were reporting no one was injured or killed, no guns. The police did not use their guns or shoot at people, the New York Times had to retract that story. The cavalry unit separated the crowd to allow the police to form an inside line, one woman fell but was not injured otherwise. The protesters had lots of diesel and gas jerry cans, some had propane canisters and threw them at the police, they also threw firecrackers which could easily have ignited the fuel. The police responded with pepper spray and smoke bombs.
There is a hard core or protesters, some want to die for the cause and they are delusional. Some parents with small children and one lady with a small baby charged at the police line on Sussex Drive. That was unbelievable that anyone would do that to a child. The police managed to bypass her quickly without injuring anyone. The leaders have been arrested or fled, news tonight is that they are on their way to Quebec City, am not sure that this is a true story. During the police action, protesters, some of them in the USA flooded the 911 line of the Ottawa police with obscene messages. Some one called a bomb threat at two major hospitals in the hope of disrupting the police action. The media followed all this and reported as being malicious action on the part of protesters.
Tonight, Saturday, the streets of Ottawa are deserted, Parliament is still sitting until midnight to finish the debate on the motion of the Emergencies Act. The vote in the House could be Monday and probably in the Senate the next day. The Conservative Party with interim leader Candice Bergen are doing all they can to vote down the E.A. but it looks like the motion will pass with the help of the NDP for reasons not clear to me, possibly because their leader Jagmeet Singh is of Punjabi origin and saw the hatred and racism of the protesters. Many people living in Ottawa from residents to business owners said out loud that they were very afraid of the protesters. Harassment on the street and acts of vandalism against ordinary people and property is one hallmark. We had during the day, Friday 3 Conservative members of Parliament come out from the West Block to cheer the protesters and tell them to keep fighting to get rid of the Government. One Conservative Senator Michael MacDonald from Cape Breton berated on the street the Citizens of Ottawa and the Government, cheering the protesters as good people.
I don’t think this is the end of these protests, the extreme right, the white supremacists are spear heading a movement similar to the Trump Nation in the USA. However despite the lies and their rhetoric and their appeal to the Armed Forces and the Police to come and join them, they are very unlikely to prevail. Some protesters like Dwayne Lich the husband of top organizer Amanda Lich, quoted the First Amendment of the US Constitution in Court during a bail hearing. The Judge asked him what he was talking about, reminding him that we are in Canada and have very different Laws and Constitution. Dwayne was taken aback and then asked the Judge if the Government of Canada was legitimate, the Judge and the Crown prosecutors were in disbelief. Some protesters asked the police to read them their Miranda Rights, there is no such thing in Canadian Law. Truly sad to see so much confusion from people who watch too much Fox News. Dwayne Lich is from Saskatchewan and Amanda from Medicine Hat, Alberta. Both had jobs in the oil patch in Alberta.
Majority of Canadians are disgusted with what they saw in Ottawa and the 3 week occupation of the Capital. The people of the downtown core are proceeding with their Lawsuit against the organizers of the protest, money donated has been frozen in accounts. But what is also apparent now, some so called influencers on YouTube are very well financed. One guy who does videos of Downtown Ottawa got a donation of $40,000 last night (Saturday) from one donor and thank him publicly on his site.
This is what happens when you have a population who does not pay attention, watches to much foreign television and is illiterate in Civics. I feel anxious for the future, something has to give.
So I went with Nick to the vet for his eyes and I am returning with him next week for a follow up.
Going through old photos tonight on my computer I have one of Nick on 23 March 2021, his eyes are fine, no problems with cataracts, by June he had a problem and it has been progressing quickly since.
We got our Flu Shot yesterday, no after effects. Now with the weather getting colder and the first North-Eastern wind storm tomorrow at 50Km per hour, this tells me it is time now to phone the garage to have the tires changed to winter and get a tune up.
Evenings are strangely quiet, no cars and no one on the streets. We went out dining last night with friends at one of the few open restaurants in town, it was full and we had reservations. People love to dine in groups of 6 or more which I find unpleasant. Four people for dinner is plenty in a restaurant. I noticed also that the menus have been simplified if you can it that, soup, salad, sandwiches, pasta, fish and chips, sirloin steak. It reads like a lunch menu. The dessert lists is very simple, always a date toffee pudding, a chocolate cake, a cheese cake. It was good but nothing more.
Our Nora who comes from a long line of European champion tracking wire hair Dachshunds, is always on the hunt and is our guard dog. For a 12 lbs dog she has a very loud bark. She is in the habit of trying to eat just about anything on her walks, two morning in a row, she has been sick because she ate dead leafs or bark or whatever she thinks looks good. So this morning she got a good bath and her blankets where washed. She does not like the bath but this time around she was easy about it. She is very funny and this is why we find her so endearing.
She is quite jealous of Nicky and does not want him to get too much attention, she gives out dirty looks if she gets jealous. At night Nick goes to bed at 10pm it’s his habit and he does it without being prompted. Nora loves to bundle on the sofa and she would much prefer to just sleep there if she could have her way. So now at night we have this game, she will go to her kennel to sleep and get her cookie or her home made baked liver treat. Close the lights and she starts to whimper, we come and have a look, she runs to the sofa in the living room, all the while giving us the sad pleading look. We bring her back to the kennel and give her another treat. She starts again this whimpering, she has a one track mind and is good at manipulation to get her way. Nicky is sleeping ignoring all this nonsense. Eventually, she goes to sleep, but not before making her point. It is a great game.
So yesterday I got my second shot and now I applied and received by proof of vaccination and I am also getting my PEI PASS which allows me to travel to the other Atlantic provinces and back without quarantine. After 18 July we will be able to travel to other Canadian Provinces. All of this took only minutes, no waiting whatsoever, the system is very efficient. Now the question is, can we travel internationally? To Europe? The USA border is still closed but it is pretty certain that by August it will re-open to those Americans who have proof of full vaccination. All the people who bitched and said no to the vaccination are now out of luck, every government wants proof of vaccination, no proof = no travel for you. Some have seen the light finally.
Other than that we are waiting for Post-Tropical Storm Elsa, but now it looks like she may miss us or at least we will get some rain or wind but not much else. The path of the storm appears to be moving to the middle of the Bay of Fundy. By the time we leave for the Cottage on Saturday it looks like Elsa will be near Newfoundland having passed PEI.
I bought new blankets for the two little dachshunds, they love them, it is like a lambswool fleece and they love to sleep in them. It appears to calm them down. So I put them in their kennels where they sleep at night since their puppyhood. They are quite attached to their sky kennels from KLM. It is their home and they have travelled with those kennels around the world.
Now Nora is a bold girl and she is not shy about setting the tone and Nicky just better behave or else. She simply stole his new blanket and put it into her kennel, thus monopolizing for herself all the blankets. This is too funny. Female Dachshunds are usually very assertive compared to the male dog.
Having two dogs is like having two kids, same thing really, they have their little personalities and ways of doing things. Having lived with dogs in the house since 1990 we are use to them and how they are the presence in our lives. Our first two dachshunds, one short hair from Cairo and one long hair Chicago were family members and they travelled around the world with us. To this day we have fond memories of Bundnie and Reese and how they were more than just dogs.
Bundnie and Me on the terrace of my apartment in Cairo 1990.
Reesie and Bundnie on the deck at our home in Ottawa, 1993
Bundnie died at home of old age at 18 and Reese died in Rome at 17. A year later we were visiting a colleague of mine outside the City in Capena and her husband use to walk around the countryside and came upon the farm of Dr. Massimo Buzzanca and his wife Tiziana, both are well known in breeder of Wirehair Dachshund circles in Italy and their dogs are bred with other champion dogs in the EU.
Nicky and Nora are now 10 years old, yes it has been a decade since our time in Italy. Nora is older than Nicky by a week, they also have travelled with us not as much as Bundnie and Reese though.
Last week Nora had symptoms of what is very common in any aging Dachshund back weakness which can lead to paralysis. Unfortunately we know all too well what that means, we went through several back operations with Bundnie and Reese.
Nora always seem to get sick on a weekend which means that only the Animal Veterinary Clinic at the University of PEI is open, but since we are outside normal clinic hours, a special fee applies of $135. just to step in. They took good care of her, the AVC is a teaching hospital and they also take care of Farm animals and horses. So its complete kennel rest for her for a month and some medication.
Of course Mr Nicky also started to have what looked like a tooth problem, so we took him to our other Vet who is known in the region for specializing in dental work, even the AVC refers patients to him. Though in Nicky’s case it was not his teeth, I got a call from the clinic and was told that he had a growth under his tongue and it had to be removed pronto, could it be cancer? His teeth were fine. So it was sent for biopsy and about five days later we got the results, all benign, no problem. We also had another growth removed from his shoulder, it too was benign just fatty tissue.
Vet care in Canada is very expensive if compared to the USA. When we lived in Ottawa, some people took their dogs to the USA for treatment, the border is only 50km, away a short drive. We cannot do that here, the border with Maine is about 5 hours away through moose country not the thing to do in Winter on isolated highways.
This week we will return to the AVC for an assessment of Nora’s condition, though at the moment she is doing fine. Nicky is going back to have his shoulder stitches removed at the end of the month. At the moment he wears the cone, which he will not wear if going outside, he simply refuses to go out with it. He gives you that look and you know what it means.
Yesterday our miniature Wire Hair Dachshund Nora got suddenly sick around 6:30pm. She was with us on our South terrace when we noticed she was twitching and had a glaze look in her eyes, she was unable to walk and was unresponsive. She could not see us but could smell and was very afraid.
I immediately phoned the Emergency service at the Animal Vet Clinic of the University of PEI. It is one of the very best Vet schools in North America and offer excellent service at very reasonable prices. We are only 5 minutes away by car, got there and we were met by 2 doctors and one senior student. The examination took 2 hours and the doctors told us that they wanted to keep Nora for the night and wanted to run full blood work etc. we agreed to it readily.
We had no idea if it was a stroke, a seizure or poison. When we got home we were pretty upset and had no appetite for dinner. At 10:30pm the AVC doctor called to tell us that Nora was stable and on IV, they were going to keep an eye on her all night. The following morning they phoned again to tell us she was much better but would keep her for the day and could we come by around 6pm to see her. It was an anxious day, despite the good reports we were receiving. In the end, the Vets told us it was a poison of some kind she had eaten, possibly in Confederation Landing which is the park behind our house on the river. Luckily the dose was not great, just enough to make her really sick.
She is now back at home tonight, doing better but we are keeping an eye on her. Making sure she has water and rest comfortably.
Today was another nice sunny day in Charlottetown, so I took Nora for a walk on the boardwalk around Victoria Point. A very nice park area all along the North and Hillsborough rivers looking out towards the strait of Northumberland. Sail boats and luxury yachts.
Nora likes to walk and her attitude is, the boardwalk belongs to me so get out of my way.
I made her sit for a little while but she is sniffing the air and there was a good breeze so I am sure she picked up a lot of scents. Victoria Park is known for its numerous aggressive crows, Nora does not care, crow pie she says. There are also Foxes and skunks though not usually seen in the day time.
A very nice area to walk but with Nora it is always quickly as if she is on a mission.
Yes you have to look where you are going because a Fox can appear out of nowhere. Nora of course would given the alarm with her hound howling before I would see anything. The other night coming home, walking down Great George Street there was a Fox sitting on the grass just a few feet away from me. He startled me but he did not move, they are very bold.
and once a week Holland American cruise ships enter the Charlottetown harbour.
This map shows the park, it was once the entire estate of the Residence of the Lieutenant Governor of PEI who is the personal representative of the Sovereign. In the 1960’s the park was open to the public and the Crown kept one third for the Official Residence. So I walk with Nora along the brown line and back which is a fair distance for her about 3 km but she does not mind.
At least today she did not try to jump into the river. It is salt water and I would not want to have to go after her. As for our Nicky, he does not like to walk any distance so there is no point is taking him. I would end up carrying him.
Our friends from Phoenix visited us in Ottawa in the past week. We had planned this visit for months and prepared a briefing book for their visit, I say this in all seriousness. They too were somewhat surprised by our level of organization.
It was great fun to have them with us and brought a change of pace from the recent tragic events in my family. Both are delightful gents, good conversationalists, walking on average 15Km a day visiting sites around town.
We took them to Montebello, Quebec on Sunday which is always a pleasant drive down Hwy 50E. Sunday night we went to Parliament Hill to see the new Northern Lights Show which is quite dramatic.
Our poor Nicky was quite sad to see them go and so was Nora who tried to jump into their suitcase.
Here is a panoramic retrospective of this week long Official Visit
Official Birthday Party with specially designed Tomato Soup Cake as per MCR’s request. We do not know his precise age but have been told unofficially that it is anywhere between 43 and 73. The Fire Dept only allowed 2 candles on the cake.
We paid a courtesy visit to Rideau Hall, Home of H.E. the Governor General of Canada
We also went to visit Laurier House, a national historic site and home of two Canadian Prime Ministers, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William Lyon Mackenzie King. A fascinating place full of artifacts. No seance on that day with dead dogs called Pat or the long dead mother of the PM.
The sculpture Maman by Canadian Artist Louise Bourgeois. An iconic piece of contemporary art. All went well until our friend wishing to conquer his fears of spiders decided to climb on it, when the police arrived well… it’s a long story. Ah those tourists.
No expenses where spared to impress our guests even renting a canoe.
A walk in the woods of Chateau Montebello before lunch, if you look carefully there are 2 black bears on the left side of the picture.
He said ”Where is the Roastbeef?”
Now Evelyn, I thought this establishment was Vegetarian
The Northern Lights show at Parliament, impressive, much appreciated by our visitors.
Blooming tulips on Parliament, the story of WWII, Canada and Holland.
The Canadian Flag at 50. All part of the story told at the Northern Lights Show ending with the National Anthem
We saw many more sights and walked a lot around the Capital, had fine dining at home and in restaurants. Still much more to see and we hope our friends will return. Ciao Ragazzi, Ci Vediamo!
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown