December 25 / 27 - Merry Christmas to all - Bill and Butler were in the back yard playing fetch with a stick. Butler suddenly turned around during one of the throws and the stick struck his head/eye. By 6:30 p.m. they were on the way to the vet. The eye ball was scratched... treatment with antibiotics and eye drops. December 27 a follow-up check-up - all is well and the eye is recovering. No permanent damage.
November 12 - Butler has been residing at Amadeus Haus for 1 week and is settling into his new home and routine. He has exceeded every expectation and has charmed all that have met him. Can't wait to introduce him to all of our guests in the years to come.
Early November - Dorien completed a Safe Food Handling Course.
October 25 - Bill has been researching various kennels looking for those that are conscious of Golden Retriever inherited diseases and illnesses by looking to reduce the risk with the careful choosing of parents. He had narrowed the list to 4 or 5 that he felt met the criteria of a good Kennel. After 3 phone calls, thinking we would be put on a waiting list, we had several puppies to choose from. Last evening, we decided on Butler a 6 month old. This bundle of joy has a wonderful disposition and we look forward to bringing him home on November 4. Butler's Great Great Grandmother and Great Grandmother have the same father that Riley had. We look forward to life filled with puppy duties in a few weeks time.
October's Indian Summer - we have enjoyed some wonderful days in October with record high temperatures and cool nights. That being said we have had some dreadfully awful days with constant rain. But that is what the fall is all about. Guests have enjoyed some relaxing times on the front porch with a picture perfect view of two of the nicest maple trees on the street changing to their colours. Red is especially rare this year and we have a beauty next door!
August 25 - a big thank you to everyone who has sent condolences on Riley's passing with phone calls, emails, cards and flowers. He certainly left his "mark" on all who knew him. We really appreciate your thoughts and kind words. They all add to the great memories of a life well lived!
August 16 - it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Riley our beautiful golden retriever. He fought every health issue presented to him over his 11-1/2 years with us with great courage and the will to overcome, but cancer proved to be too much. A proud and happy dog until 36 hours before his passing he never missed wagging his tail or voicing and smiling a greeting. His meet and greet reception for all guests and friends will be missed. He has left us with great memories of treasured times together. Rest in peace "Smiley" Riley. You are and will be forever missed.
End of July - over the next year we will be reconfiguring/tweaking our gardens to reduce the overall maintenance for Bill. Especially in the Spring and Fall. Step one has just taken place in the front. The garden under our maple tree has been replanted with Stella Dora Day Lilies which have also been strategically planted in the other front beds. A Weeping Red Cut Leaf Japanese Maple has also been planted by the lamp post.
We have been nominated again for best gardens! What an honour. Bill is absolutely thrilled. Judging takes place on Thursday July 14.
This is the year - my washer after 9 years of hard work decided it needed to be replaced. My new machine arrived June 21 just in time for the busy months ahead.
On June 13 our fears were confirmed with the analysis of the biopsy taken from a lump on Riley's neck. He has cancer in the tumours that are moving along his lymph nods. From the X-rays of his head and neck there are 3 tumours. The official name is Spumous Cell Carcinoma or Tonsil Cancer. The veterinary and a second opinion confirm, surgery is not an option and they do not recommend treatments due to his age and current "good" health. He was 11 in March had has a good quality of life to this point. Bill is making sure he enjoys each and every day with a special activity or an extra long walk. His voice is all but gone and his bark is a tiny squeak as one of the tumours is pushing against his larinex. The prognosis is an average of 6 months depending on how fast growing the tumours are.
Early May between major rain storms we had underground extensions added to the two east side eaves troughs. This will prevent the further erosion of the foundation lime mortar which does not like being wet.
On April 10 Riley had dental surgery to remove an aggressive tumour that had returned from a previous occurrence two years ago. He is feeling much better and is back to his normal happy "self!"
Early in April when most of the snow finally melted away, new Adirondack chairs were delivered to replace the old wooden ones around the water fountain. Made of recycled plastic they will never need to be painted, fixed or moved indoors for winter storage!
On March the 9th, we had the opportunity to “Share the Love.” This was without our immediate knowledge but the consequences… well! At 5:30 a.m. Riley went out into the back yard for his usual explore time and had an encounter with a Skunk! A direct hit to the forehead… the mist floated and lingered in the backyard and the back deck on this very damp and foggy morning. Because it was a very close hit we did not “smell” the usual skunk on Riley. We smelt an odd odour which could be a cross between burnt flesh (Riley's burnt skin) and a potatoes gone bad smell. We arranged for Riley to have a bath and an extra day at his Day Care and Bill went to work.
Without realizing it Bill managed to contaminate two buses that day with the skunk smell, his usual and the one he drove for the charter run. He had changed his coat but kept the same safety vest. Riley managed to transfer the smell to the Doggie Day Care centre and 25 or so other dogs, the handler… the two runner carpets on the main floor of our house … the floors he slept on… One day later after removing the carpets and sending them out to be cleaned, scrubbing floors and doing laundry there is still a hint of the skunk smell when you first walk into the house. Riley apparently will have the smell return for a number of weeks when he gets wet. Bill has purchased some “KoK Out” which will help erase all lingering evidence! Riley can’t go into the back yard until the contaminated snow melts away which won’t be long with the forecasted 27 mm of rain.
Early in March our furnace decided to fail after 16 long years of service. We now have a new energy efficient unit that was installed on March 4th.
Wiarton Willie our local ground hog predicted 6 more weeks of winter on February 2nd. This would be great as the winter has been consistently cold and with a good measure of snow. Stratford for a change, has missed all major storms. They have gone around us or we have been on the fringe. This is okay. As you can see by the pictures below, we have had our share of the white stuff! Bill has been busy shovelling and blowing the snow.
January saw Dorien revamp/redo the main Website using a web based software. If you are reading this, you are on our new and updated site.