Thursday, June 29, 2006

Stanley Park - June.26.2006

My tag speaks it all!

This is my job, what I love to do, and what I was born to do. So on Monday, June.26.2006, mom took me to **Stanley Park to fulfill my inner beast.

Mom says I wouldn't be a successful hunter in the wild because I seem to just want to "watch" my prey and "stalk" it until it has already taken off, then I start my chase which has ended in 100% failure everytime. Sometimes I would just stand there completely still, in my stalking position and watch my prey for ten minutes or more depending on when it decides to move. Here are two examples:

OOPS...excuse me, this is MY rock!

We walked along the grassy area next to the Vancouver Aquarium where the Seal/Sea Lion and Beluga Whale enclosures could be viewed from the outside perimeter. I was like a little person amongst all the other two legged people watching from outside the enclosures. Mom didn't have me on leash because I was very well behaved and just watched the seals quietly with my orange ball in my mouth. I wanted to see the lone Sea Lion that was in the enclosure, but he was too BIG and FAT that he just laid there on land the entire time.

Watching the seal with my orange ball in my mouth

Where are you Mr. Sea Lion???

Hey there you are........

Mom told me I should go check out the Belugas, so off I went to say hello to "Qila", the youngest, most curious and playful Beluga at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Watching the Belugas, still with my orange ball in my mouth

"Hi Qila, I'm Sunshade!"

After my visit with the seals and the adorable Qila, mom and I walked the Seawall for while. However, I got very warm from the walk so mom thought it would be a good idea to take me down to the little stretch of beach by the Children's water park. The sea water was so refreshing to swim in. Mom threw my orange ball for me and she found a huge log for me to retrieve. I'm an excellent retriever (it was noted in my puppy testing done at 7 weeks of age), and the bigger the log/stick is, the more excited I am to go after it.

Hurry mom!!!

This thing is HUGE

I got it! I got it!

By the time I was finally satisfied with swimming and fetching my huge log, the sun was already setting, and the ocean in turn got a little cold. Mom decided it was time to leave the beach and walked me up to the Children's water park area where I just "sat" there with my orange ball still in my mouth. I have this habit of "sitting" very still when I get cold, and I was a little cold from all that swimming. This is what I look like when I'm cold.....

We then made our way back to the parking lot where I did more squirrel patrolling on the way.

**A little info about Stanley Park

Stanley Park is considered by many to be the jewel of not only the City of Vancouver but also of the Lower Mainland. It is Vancouver's "first" park, an oasis of 400 hectares (1,000 acres) close to the heart of Vancouver's downtown core. Its natural west coast atmosphere offering a back drop of majestic cedar, hemlock and fir trees embraces visitors and transports them to an environment rich in tranquility.

A myriad of recreational facilities are available in Stanley Park including a pitch and putt golf course bordered by the spring-blooming Ted and Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden. At the Park's heart is the formal Rose Garden surrounded by mass perennial plantings looking their very best from April through September. The Children's Farmyard, Miniature Railway, tennis courts, bathing beaches, a children's water park, a heated ocean-side swimming pool, Theatre Under the Stars, the Vancouver Aquarium and the 5.5 mile (8.85 km) perimeter seawall round out the menu of what a great public park offers.

"Un-locking" car door for mum

Once again, on June. 6th. 2006, I came to mum's rescue when she needed me.

On the morning of June. 6th, mum decided to take me for a two hour hike around Buntzen Lake since the weather was so hot and sunny. It was about 12:30pm by the time we finished our walk and got back to the car. So of course, the car was like an oven. Mum turned the AC on high and pulled into a gas station to buy herself a cold beverage. Since mom thought she was only going to be in the store for a few minutes and the car was still pretty hot from being in the sun, she decided to leave the AC on for me while I waited in the car. (mum: I had a clear view of the car from inside the store.) Well, thanks to mum's bad habit of locking the car door from inside before leaving, she locked the key (in the ignition) and ME in the car. 

SO.....mum was presented with two options. One was to call a tow truck and pay $50+ to have the car unlocked, or she had ME, her SuperDALE. My dear mum of course, opted for the second option. I was asleep in the back seat when all of a sudden I heard this knocking coming from the window and mum calling "Sunshade, Sunshade". I was so tired from the hike and the heat that I really didn't want to move. Through my sleepy eyes though, I could see that mum needed me for something. So reluctantly, I got up and looked at mum. Then mum moved to the front drivers seat window and started to call me from there. Well, I knew then that SHE HAD LOCKED HERSELF OUT AGAIN!!! I jumped to the front seat where mum was frantically pointing at where the lock was located and was telling me to "PAW", which is my command to shake or touch something. I really didn't need mum's commands because I had done this far too many times for her. I knew what to do. By this time, I saw people have started to gather around my silly mum who kept repeating "Sunshade PAW Sunshade PAW" while pointing at the door lock. I knew those people must be thinking what is this crazy woman doing trying to get a dog to unlock her car door. So being the good doghter I am for mum, I decided to not embarrass her infront of her own kind and started pawing at the lock like she had asked of me. It took me a total of 3 tries in less than a minute to get the lock and the latch as well and actually popped the door open. 

Mum screamed "GOOD GIRL SUNSHADE!!!" and I heard applause coming from the on lookers. One very nice man offered me a Tim Bit he had just gotten from theTim Hortons in the gas station. I, of course, happily gobbled it down since my mummy had no "food" reward for me..... (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT???).

On our drive home, mum kept telling me how proud she was that I stayed calm, took her commands and performed them to perfection. Little did she know, the memories from my previous "two" experiences were still fresh in my mind and I really didn't need her commands!!!

UPDATE (Oct. 5th. 2006):

This is a video that sort of shows how I un-lock my car door. Mind you it was at my favorite park when this video was taken so I was a little more frantic, a little more anxious about getting out. Most of the time when mum requires my rescue, it usually happens in a boring place such as a gas station, or Safeway parking lot.

You will see and hear:

  • mum locking the car door via remote
  • mum pointing asking me to "open" or "paw"
  • me frantically trying to get my hands on the lock
  • finally I got the latch and pulled it
  • I stopped pawing as soon as I knew I got the latch
  • mum shows how the door is popped from the side of the car
  • my reward was being let out of the car

Modeling experience

Back in May of this year, mum was approached by two company representatives for Pet Revolution wondering if I would be interested in doing some modeling for their new beds. Knowing how "photogenic" I am, mom of course agreed.

So on May. 6th. 2006, I went to my first ever photo shoot! It was hard work let me tell ya! I was so pooped by the end of the shoot that I just fell asleep on the floor. Here are some of the shots taken.

Me and mum!!

Mom was so proud of me because I did EVERYTHING she asked me to do. Chris Mores of Pet Revolution asked mom if she could get me to put my head down so that it would appear like I was comfortably sleeping on their bed. Since mom has never taught me a command to just put my head down, mom used our "BANG" command. "BANG" is my command to fall to my side and "play dead". So when mom said "BANG" to me, I tried to get into my usual dead position at first. However, the bed was too small for me to comfortably lie on my side, so I just did my own interpretation of "BANG" and put my head down!!!! That was the picture that was ultimately chosen for the website since I was the ONLY dog they were able to get a "sleeping" pose out of.

Click here to see

Chris and the photographer were so AMAZED at how great I was throughout the session. They told mom that I was the prettiest, most well behaved, and most "efficient" dog they have ever had. Chris also said he would like to have me come in again should they have new products. Looks like I have landed myself a job!!!!!

Introducing "Georgie" - My GIANT pet bunny

My birthday wish CAME TRUE on Jan. 31.2006!!!!!

Mom came home with 9 week old "Georgie". Mom told me even though Georgie looked small at the time, he was not an ordinary bunny. She said he will mature to be between 18 - 22 lbs because he is a Flemish Giant bunny. WHAT?? I said, that's bigger than most house cats..... Look at this picture, these are Georgie's mom and dad!!

Nonetheless, I was still very excited to see him! Mom put Georgie in the livingroom inside my exercise pen with a cat litter box. She told me we have to just leave him alone for the night to let him settle in and get use to the surroundings. It was very hard for me to just ignore him because I was just too excited about my new little friend. Eventually, I got tired from watching him and fell asleep right next to the exercise pen. Here are two pictures of Georgie the day he came home.

Look at those HUGE ears of his

Georgie LOVES "Corn Pops"

Mom says I'm an "ODD dale" because any little critter or cat I see outside my property, I will chase it with vengeance. I was not brought up with little animals, and I have killed many mice, few rats, a skunk (don't remind mom about it), and a squirrel in my life. Yet, if you bring a little critter home as a pet, not only will I NOT chase it, I will befriend it and protect it with all my heart. Mom had a little hamster named "Mousie" before and I loved him. I used to open his cage when mom was not watching, grab him very gently by his scruff and set him down on the floor and just watch him run around the house. Mom of course spent the rest of her evenings trying to coax Mousie to come out from under the fridge...........(I had so much fun watching mom do that.....Shhhh). The day when Mousie didn't run up to me when I stuck my head inside the cage, I knew something was wrong. My little Mousie had passed away...... Even though he lived a good 2.5 years with lots of "freedom", I was still very upset. I didn't drink or eat that day and just laid beside his cage the entire time until mom said it was time to bury my Dear Mousie. Here are some photos of me and Mousie.

Photos taken on 02.23.04

I of course, am no different to my Georgie. I'm always on the look out for crows and other possible predators whenever he is out running around in the yard. Mom sometimes takes us to her school's Thunderbird soccer field for Georgie and I to run around since there are rarely any dogs there.

Georgie and I at Thunderbird field

I love Georgie so much because he is just a very COOL bunny. He is not skittish like most of the small breed rabbits. He is very curious and friendly and always runs up to either mom or me to see if we've got food for him. The thing that mom likes the most about Georgie is that he is EXTREMELY SLOOOOOW so she never has any problem catching him.

Here are pictures of Georgie lounging in the yard at almost 6 months old. He weighed 15 lbs at 6 months old!! Mom had to buy a "dog harness" for him since none of the rabbit/cat harnesses would fit him.

Georgie is now 7 months old and he has out grew my large size Veri Kennel crate, so mom bought him an extra large wire cage (St. Bernard size) so that he would have more space to run around. Even though Georgie is a very good boy and goes to the bathroom in his cat litter box, he chews on our hardwood floor and electric wires so we can't let him have free run of the house.

Georgie's new house:

Mom thought it would be a good way to show Georgie's size if she put me in the cage with him..........

Georgie was very happy with his new house, just look at him!!

Georgie is still not as big as his parents, but he is definitely getting there. Just like dogs, the larger the rabbit is, the slower it matures. Flemish Giant is the largest breed of rabbits and they mature until they are about 12-14 months old. This is not a great picture, but shows you how big Georgie is in mom's arms.

Look at the size of those FEET!!!

New Years 2006

This is how good, or crazy my mom is depending on how you look at it.

On New Years Eve 2005, mom gave me a bone to chew on and left to go to a house party to celebrate New Years. However, she left the party at about 11:30pm and came home at 11:50pm. I was sound asleep when mom got home but was happy to see mom nonetheless. As soon as mom got home, she turned on the radio and upped the volume, and then she went to the cupboard and got out the "Rescue Remedy" and put 4 drops on my tongue. I was a little confused about what was going on because to me, it was just an ordinary night. However, mom told me the Rescue Remedy was to calm and relax me and the radio was to mask the sound of the fireworks still to come. Mom knew I don't like the BOOM BOOM BOOM from the fireworks, so she came home to be with me. She wanted to be there to comfort me if needed. Mom also said she wanted to spend the first few moments of 2006 with her BEST GIRL - me!!!

Look at the pictures mom took with sleepy me. The timer in the camera was a little off so it says 11:59pm on the photos, but it was actually 12:00am when mom took the pictures!!!

Giving mom a head rub!! I LOVE YOU

So is my mom crazy??? Some people think so because they say "I'm just a dog", and for her to leave the party right before the count down was just crazy! However, to mom, I'm NOT just a dog. I'm her baby. I'm part of the family, the only real family who has always been there for her through thick and thin ever since she was 16. So naturally, mom would want to spend her first few minutes of a brand new year with the one she loves the most!!

Do I think my mom is crazy??? Absolutely not!! Because mom took the precautions before the fireworks begun, I didn't even notice them and fell back to sleep soon after. The kind of bond mom and I share is really once in a life time, one in a million kind of bond. People who are lucky enough to share this type of bond with their pets will totally understand why mom does a lot of the things she does. On the other hand, for those people or pet owners who don't have the luxury of knowing what having this kind of special bond feels, they in turn, will never understand why some of us do the things we do. To them, we are just "crazy".

(Mom did eventually return to the party after the fireworks have ended and I was back to sleep. )

My 6th Birthday

I love birthdays because mom always tries to make that day as fun as possible for me. If weather permits, she will take me to different outdoor locations for me to play all day. However, the November weather here in Vancouver BC is often cold and wet. It was no different on November 25th 2005, my 6th Birthday. Mom decided instead of taking me on an outdoor outing, we would move our outing "indoors" to my favorite pet store, Super Pets.

Super Pets is located in the city of Richmond, which is a good twenty minutes to half an hour drive from Vancouver West end depending on the traffic. It is my favorite pet store because they have so many different kinds of little critters that I just LOVE watching from the windows. I can "sit" there and "watch" them for hours and hours (NOT exaggerating), ignoring everything else that's happening around me. All the store staffs think I'm really funny because they say they've never seen a dog that just sits and watches without making a sound. I don't bark or do anything to them, I just like to "watch". Like this,

Guinea Pigs are my favorite to watch because they move around a lot and are very speedy! I like rabbits too, but some of them are so lazy they just sleep all the time. Degus are pretty fun to watch too as they are always so busy.

Hey Guinea Pig!!!

Sometimes I give mom that "please please can we get one??" kind of "look" to see if she would give in and get me a "pet".

Can I have a rabbit? or a Guinea Pig? or a Ferret??

I promise I won't dig huge holes anymore, and I'll clean my toys up, and I won't roll on disgusting stuff anymore, and I'll try not to eat any horse poo on our trail walks, NOW CAN I PLEASE HAVE A BUNNY???

Usually when we go to Super Pets, we are always there for at least two hours because I absolutely refuse to budge when it's time to go. A lot of the times mom has to trick me by taking me off leash and pretend she is leaving so that I would, eventually, get worried and run out the door to find her. Everyone in the store knows me for that reason, and they have given me a name as "The Bunny Lover Dog"! On my birthday however, mom let me stay there for as long as I wanted to, until I got tired (eventually) and followed mom out the store when she said it was time to go.

When we got home, mom had a big surprise waiting for me - it was a cake that looked exactly like me!!! The cake was custom made from my photos mom had sent them, and it is made for human consumption except mom told them NO CHOCOLATE. It is very cool because you can chose what kind of cake you want inside, for examples: fruit cake, black forest cake, sponge cake etc. Mom picked sponge cake for me since I don't really like fruit and of course, black forest has lots of chocolate. The hair on the cake is made of colored cream. Mom doesn't like all the food coloring, but she said once a year on a special occasion like this was ok.

I was so excited when I saw the cake and I couldn't wait to have a taste of it. Mom however, told me I had to keep my composure and wait for my human guests to come and have some photos taken before I could use my tongue. Unfortunately, I couldn't have any doggie guests because I don't really like to share my food with other doggies. I mean, would you want to share a cake like this with anyone??? Mom did however, invite my little "Aire-Buddies" to come celebrate with me. Here are the pictures

See me and my "Aire-Buddies" in the back!!

Finally, it was time to EAT!!! Mom's friends were nice enough to let me have the whole cake to myself, SO................

OOPS cake, you sort of look like a porcupine now..

AH oh well!!

This is what my poor cake looked like after I was made me take a photo with it so I'll always remember what I did to it.......

After the cake celebration, it was time to open my big present!! I wondered what was in the box all day, but mom kept telling me to "LEAVE IT" so I did until now. Look at me working so hard ripping at the wrapping paper and tearing the box open!!

Now....look at what was the FIRST THING I did to my present...........yes, I'm a spayed girl.......I guess I just had to show the stuffie who is the boss......

Mom isn't sure if this is a "dominance" thing because I have NEVER ever in my life try to hump another dog or human, I only do it to my stuffies. Mom started buying stuffies for me because I was humping her "pillow". It has worked since I don't hump mom's pillow anymore, only my gorilla, elephant, and now sheepdog!!! Mom gets a crack out of watching me because it is a daily ritual for me. The first thing I do when I come home is pick one of my stuffies and start humping. Sometimes I would do two or three times in a roll until I'm out of breath.

Shhhhh......this is my little secret, don't tell anyone. Here are photos of me with my elephant and gorilla. They were previous birthday presents.

My gorilla

My elephant

Elephant again

Oh and this is my horsie, except he doesn't "stand" like the other ones do

AND THIS, is what I usually look like after all that "EXERCISE"...hehe!