Where the grass is greenest…

Like all good things, the summer of 2012 has to come to an end. And this summer happens to be the end of Jaz’s first ‘real’ summer, for she spent the end of the summer of 2011 hiding in London’s belly and lounging in her private puppy-pen. Oh, how different things were going to be outside! Jaz could have never imagined the vibrancy and variety of colours, smells, and sounds that were waiting just behind the french doors, ready to thrust themselves upon her with more and more force, as, through the revolution of the seasons, they came to a climax in the summer.

Ah, summer! Sweet, sweet summer… Whether it was racing around the yard, sunbathing on the doormat, or snacking on frozen, trout-stuffed Kongs, Jaz enjoyed every single second of it! Especially the grass. Soft, cool, tasty, fresh grass… Jaz would marry it if she could!

So… what is next? September will come knocking soon. Summer puppy-classes have ended. And we probably won’t be showing for a while. Or at least not as often. Jaz qualifies as an adult now, but we’ll have to wait until she matures a bit. Most Lakies continue to look somewhat juvenile until they turn 18 months old. Six months from now, Jaz will look like a different dog. Scary (I adore her cute puppy-face!) yet exciting (just picture little Jazzy all grown-up!) at the same time.

But none of this will manage to cast the slightest drizzle on our parade. I happen to love Vancouver in the fall! We’ll still be rolling around in the grass, which, thanks to the rain, will be even greener than it is now. We’ll also continue our obedience training, as this is a life-long commitment. And if time permits, there may be some rally obedience or agility classes on the horizon, because Jaz seems to pick things up rather quickly. She enjoys a good challenge, and so do we!

(Wo)man’s best friend – an ode to dogs

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Puppy love: Jaz & myself just after grooming (which is why her hair looks awesome and mine not so much, LOL!)

A dog is so much more than just another pet. If you own a dog, there’s always someone to greet you the moment you walk through the door, someone that makes you get off the couch to catch some fresh air, and someone to share your stories or split your dinner with. A dog is the friend you take for a walk on the beach (even when it’s raining – because you promised!), the family member you snuggle up with on the couch (and who never complains during endless Sunday afternoon re-runs of ‘Sex and the City’) and a partner-in-crime when it comes to finishing that extra piece of pizza you could do without (but you’ll walk it off together, right?! :P). With its endless zest for life, a dog can magically cheer you up with something as simple as a wag of the tail.

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Best buds: Jaz & dad enjoying refreshments on the beach at less than ideal temperatures… gotta love Vancouver 😡

Don’t get me wrong, I love my cats as well. But where my cats cry of abuse and scream of murder when I take them anywhere outside the house, Jaz is always ready to roll: anywhere, anytime, with anyone (well… except for toddlers, but we can’t blame her for that now, can we?!). And while my cats stick their noses up at new food offerings, putting them through an FAA-grade inspection before accepting them, Jaz will gobble whatever you have up in a split second – fingers included if you don’t watch out! Dogs have masters, cats have staff. Cliché, but oh so true.

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Ready for anything: Jaz & grandpa on the prowl

But perhaps the best thing about a dog is that a dog knows it is part of your inner-circle. Jaz may not always listen and be compliant (after all… Lakies are known for their selective hearing ;)), but she knows exactly what is expected of her and she has a thorough understanding of our unique bond. She knows when and how to pull a cute face so she gets that extra treat. She knows when you’re sad, and will offer to join you on the couch. She knows when you’ve had enough and she should really listen, or else…!
It’s this interaction and the silent agreement that we have, that makes (to me, at least) owning a dog so special.

Jaz & grandma
Perfect posers: Jaz & grandma. You can tell that Jaz knows it’s picture time...
“Gramps! Did you get the shot?!”

We’re taking cyberspace by storm!


“What’s happening over there? I smell change!”

A lot of things have been changing around here lately. Some of these changes went on behind the scenes and may have gone unnoticed. I figured it was time to update you on them:

– Our new (and permanent!) url is: http://blog.lakielove.com Simple, sort, and easy to remember!
– Due to technical difficulties, our YouTube moved to: http://www.youtube.com/lakielovevids
– We have so many great pictures (a lot of which never make it to the blog) that we opened up a Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/lakielove
– Jaz is gaining popularity on Instagram…. If you want to see what she’s up to, you can follow us @lakielovepics

We’ve been busy getting everything up and running (which results in fabulous things such as the new Flickr widget in our sidebar)! And we are keeping busy, as a new header —UPDATE May 29th: new header now up!—, an ‘about me,’ a blogroll and a Lakie Love Facebook page are also in the works. Slowly but surely, Jaz is becoming a true cyberdog, tricks and all!

As you can see, Jaz has the tricks-part covered!

As far as the blog itself is concerned… I have one post ready to go up in a day or two. After that, I am thinking of starting a short series on grooming. I know that I have been promising you a post on grooming for a while, but there is just too much to talk about. The idea is to split the story on grooming up into 5 separate posts: general introduction, flats, jacket, furnishings, and miscellaneous. I’ll space these posts out a bit, so those among us that aren’t interested in the details of hand stripping won’t get bored!

Alright. Onwards and upwards. I’ll leave you with a picture of Jaz and myself taken at Beaver Lake in Stanley Park, Vancouver. This is the full version of the picture I cropped to use as my Gravatar (oh, I’m so tech-savvy these days!)

Jaz & mom profile

… and a sailor was born!

Posing in my new life vest.
Jaz posing in Horseshoe Bay’s marina

When you own a puppy, it is important to introduce it to as many new situations and experiences as you can early on. As long as you make sure that it’s safe and it won’t overwhelm your puppy, these early experiences will help your pup to become a confident, flexible and easy-going dog. There are many firsts in a pup’s life, and as the owner, you can sense when it’s ready to pop another one of your puppy’s cherries. This was exactly the case with Jaz. She left her last fear period behind a couple of weeks ago and was settling comfortably into her daily routine, so we decided it was time to spice things up a little. We killed two birds with one stone by taking a speedboat to explore Howe Sound, which introduced Jaz to the nautical lifestyle while we entertained a houseguest.

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Our 17 feet, 75 horsepower speedboat had us zipping around Howe Sound!

Like many terriers, Jaz isn’t terribly fond of water. She doesn’t like to go outside when it rains. In fact, she makes a point of avoiding rain puddles. And since bathing isn’t exactly Jaz’s favourite thing either, we have been holding off on the swimming lessons. Since we didn’t feel like testing the waters during our boating trip, we decided to purchase a bright orange life jacket for Jaz. Very fashionable, right?

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Well… Jaz thought otherwise. I’m not sure whether it was because she reckoned the colour didn’t suit her or because she was worried the padding would made her look fat, but Jaz was terribly unhappy in her new vest. Since our rented speedboat was pretty deep and the chances of Jaz jumping off-board were pretty slim, we decided to cut her some slack and took it off. Sailor Jaz was born.

What is going on?
“What’s going on over there?”

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“Hmmmmm! Fresh ocean air!”

Jaz loved the boat! She wanted to see everything that was going on, and stuck her little nose up high to smell the salt in the air. Even when we were going pretty fast, and experienced some very bumpy patches, she stayed put, bouncing up and down with us. Due to all the bouncing, we had to dock the boat in Halkett Bay on Gambier Island for a potty-break…

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“Hey! No peeking!”

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“Let’s get back on the boat! What’s our next destination?”

We circled around Gambier Island and travelled all the way south to Gibsons Landing on the Sunshine Coast for some drinks and snacks. Jaz had a blast getting on and off the boat, walking the pier and hanging out with her human friends on the patio of Molly’s Reach (if this rings a bell with my Canadian readers…. Molly’s Reach was the home of the CBC series “The Beachcombers”).
A successful first, that’s for sure!

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“Ah, gotta love a good neck-scratch!”

Making new friends

Sometimes, things are meant to be. Last week was an example of such an instance. The universe decided it was time for Jaz and myself to make new friends. It all went down yesterday. But for me to be able to tell you about what happened, I’ll have to take you back in time to when it all started.

A few months ago, Jaz and I decided to walk to Tisol, our favourite local pet store. The goal was to hit two birds with one stone: take Jaz on her afternoon walk and pick up some cat grass for Jaz’ feline sisters. However, before we even made it to the section with the cat grass, we stumbled upon a gorgeous Welsh terrier: confident, muscular and (which is most extraordinary) perfectly groomed. You don’t see many Welsh terriers around here that are hand-stripped. In fact, almost none of the wire-coated dogs that you see are hand-stripped. It simply is too much work for most people to dedicate several hours a week to grooming their dog, which is why most pet owners have their wire-haired pooches clippered. After talking to his lovely owner, Emma, I found out that her Welsh, although he isn’t shown, is being hand-stripped to perfection by Emma herself.

As Jaz and I walked back home with a bag full of cat grass and our minds full of terrier thoughts, I regretted not asking Emma for her phone number. After all, how often do you find a fellow terrier owner dedicated enough to hand-strip their own dog, even when they are not showing? Exactly. Hardly ever.

A few months went by, and the encounter at Tisol had travelled to the back of my mind when I was browsing the website of a local dog training school and saw a picture of a Welsh terrier named Miles. Wait a minute! Miles looked very familiar. Could it be that we had met before? In the photo’s description I read that Miles’ owner Emma kept a blog called “Miles & Emma”… Lo and behold! When I clicked the link and perused the blog, this Emma was the same Emma I met with her Welsh at Tisol a few months ago!

It goes without saying that I wouldn’t let this opportunity slip by like it did the last time. I just couldn’t. This girl was a terrier-lover, hand-stripped her own dog AND blogged about it… hmm, who did she remind me of? At the risk of coming across as a stalker, I went ahead and emailed Emma. And, as a result, Emma, Miles, Jaz and myself met up yesterday to walk and talk terriers. Emma and I hit it off right away. Jaz responded a little hesitant to Miles’ advances, but I’m sure she’ll warm up to him on their next date. I’m so proud of her; she’s growing up to be the kind of girl that likes to be wined and dined first. 😉

Please enjoy some of the pics that Emma took while our four-legged friends got to know each other, and don’t forget to check out their website for more Miles!


Posing for my close-up!                    “Wait… who’s that around the corner…?”


The meeting of two great terrier minds… Jaz (little over 8 months old now) & Miles (almost 3 years old) make a stunning couple!


Jaz is playing hard to get. Look at Miles’s jacket; tight and pitch-black!

Two can play that game… Miles seeking higher ground.


Terriers on the prowl… Jaz is showing off; a perfect free stack.

Thanks Emma & Miles!