October 18, 2005
That time of year again...
The leaves are turning gorgeous shades of orange and red.

The stores are full of packages of small candies to hand out.

The pumpkin patches I drive by on my way to work are brimming with bright orange gourds.

The little ones are excitedly deciding what costumes to wear for the big event.

And it's time to start medicating the dog.

I live beside a park. A great park known for the favourite hangout for kids at night. And it's firecracker time. Sure, they're illegal here but there's never been a shortage. I had them when I was a teenager - hell, I might have even sold them, but that's a story for another day. That day long ago when I nearly was arrested trying to smuggle the firecrackers across the US border. Ahh, one day of my teenage years I do not want to live over again.

Last night, the cracks started. One here. Another one there. Then rapid succession of blowing up a whole pack of Mini-Mites.

Molly has always been a bit of a timid dog. Highstrung as well. Being a border collie, she's on alert for the littlest thing. Let me tell you, there is hardly a moment when I'm not reminded that a leaf has fallen off a tree, or grass might be growing in the field.

She's gotten better though with age and more used to life's little adventurous sounds. When we first moved in here, the foghorn would have her pacing all night long, but now 6 years later, she sleeps through it. The thunderstorms would have her whining in the corner as I coaxed her through it. Now at worst, she might let out a bark to let the world know she's not pleased.

But fireworks? Yeah, not a chance. I have tried most everything I can think of. It's hard to watch and it tears at me to see what she has to go through these two weeks of the year during Fireworks season. It turns into a crescendo the closer we get to October 31. And on Hallowe'en, I don't leave the house lest she become completely panic-striken and hurt herself.

She goes to daycare during the day at a local veterinarian's office. Yeah, some might think it's excessive but I think it's money well spent. Gives her more exercise than I could ever possibly do and gives her a place to socialize. When the vet saw how stressed she got the closer we came to Hallowe'en, he prescribed Valium. She can have up to 7, and it's the same as human valium - but apparently dogs metabolize it differently.

I give it to her sparingly. Not just because I don't want her doped up, but more because of the other side effect. Like any good little addict, as she comes down, she gets the 'Munchies'.

It's bad. She's been known to try and eat boiling pasta off the stove WHILE I'm still cooking it. She will eat until she gorges herself, if I'll let her. And if there isn't food around, she will eat whatever else. Paper, cardboard, even carpet. It's the Munchies, pure and simple.

I suspect, if she could speak, she look at me with glassed-over eyes and slur 'Dude, I need a Big Mac stat.'

Luckily, it's only a very short period during the year and as soon as November begins, the neighbourhood returns to the quiet, sleepy little fishing village. Good thing too, as I don't think Betty Ford runs a canine program.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.

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Turning thirty and a half
  • July 2004
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  • January 2006

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