Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Snow Train to Jasper

We took the VIA Snow Train to Jasper this past weekend with Sierra to visit our daughter Dayna. VIA were great. They even issued Sierra her own ticket, and made a special Busy Busy stop for her in each direction so there were no accidents. While not the fastest way to Jasper, it is certainly interesting and relaxing. Astrid and Richard at Amanda's Guest House where we stayed were very accommodating. We did all the tourist things except for skiing. Sierra took a walk in the lower Maligne Lake Canyon, and had her first encounter with a river. She had quite a frigid look on her face after she rushed into it. As usual the Elk were cooperative for a photo shoot. On one walk (when we did not have a camera) we came within about 25' of an elk and Sierra was content to just watch it without even a woof. Dayna and I climbed the hill at Old Fort Point a couple of times and we saw Rocky Mountain sheep both times. Sierra was fine with them, but was much less impressed with the sound of a few blasts that I presume was for avalanche prevention. Saturday night we ate at the Moose's Nook dining room at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. This was Sierra's most upscale dining adventure to date. At the end of the meal when it was time to leave she was sound asleep on the floor and we had to wake her up to leave! All restaurants we ate at were both interested and accommodating. It was a great get away weekend for Sierra and us.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

The 9:00 to 5:00 Girl!

In keeping with Cesar Millan's thinking that dogs need to have a "job" to be really happy, Sierra has taken on a couple of household tasks. Each day I bundle up the newspaper in a bag for her and she takes it upstairs for Jeanine to read in bed. She is getting very good at delivering right to hand, and always cashes in on the first treat of the day for her work.

Sierra's other job is bringing out the laundry basket from the laundry room to the family room for folding. This is good for even more treats!

We are not so sure she is ready for prime time yet though as she has been known to sleep on the job! Perhaps one too many runs at the off leash...

One Last Winter Blast???

One of Sierra's favourite play activity is retrieving a frisbee at the Mill Woods off leash. This area has a large berm that collects fairly deep snow on the downwind side. Earlier in the year when Sierra was smaller and the snow was lighter she would literally disappear under the snow like a submarine when going for the retrieve. With this last (hopefully) blast of winter I thought we should try and capture it on video. We had a rookie on the camera, so apologies for the quality. Obviously it does a digital zoom not optical. This first one shows how the run out is a little easier than the way back which is uphill, and especially if you do not follow the same path. The snow was pretty heavy so no submarine tricks this time. But it does look like you can swim in the snow. Also the handler was showing his lack of confidence with the frequent commands!!

The last retrieve shows both the dog getting a little smarter and the handler more confident! It didn't take many retrieves to get the exercise for the day in.