Uh Oh…

My almost brand new, 24″ iMac hard drive is about to die, as I can tell by the ominous clicking and whining it’s making on start up. I’m taking it into the shop now, and won’t have it back until some time late tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’ll be without email or any other on line capabilities.

Wish me luck…

Pink Poodles and Purple Frenchies

I’m starting to get jealous. Everyone and their sister has a blog about dyed poodles, and here I sit, with my non fluffy, non dyeable French Bulldogs.

It just doesn’t seem fair.

I suppose I could get myself some blue French Bulldogs – they’re always controversy magnets, not to mention loads of fun (although the pale yellow eyes sort of freak me out).

Personally, I’m holding out for a purple French Bulldog. Purple seems to me to be the ideal color for a Frenchie, what with it being the color of royalty and all.

Here’s King Solo, deigning to consort with the plebeians.

Purple French Bulldog

French Bulldog Walking in Durham

Sailor and Ellie in the Muddy ElementI spent part of the afternoon walking Sailor and her daughter Ellie in Durham. As always, I brought my camera along, and got some great pictures (in spite of the two feet of mud on the ground).

By the end of the afternoon, I was mud up to my knees, the dogs were mud up to their bellies, and my Element was mud up to the roof. I hate winter, but spring thaw isn’t too far behind on my list of things I loathe.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I cooked a big pot of kick ass pea soup. I made it in the crock pot, and left it cooking on low all day. Served with a loaf of fresh bread, it made the perfect ‘welcome home’ gift after an afternoon wandering ‘downtown’.

I love my crock pot – semi instant food, no waiting.

Here’s the recipe –


1 ham bone, 3/4 cup pieces of leftover ham
3 cups dried whole green peas, split
2 quarts water
2 quarts chicken broth
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped(with leaves)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper


1. Saute onions until translucent
2. Add garlic, saute until lightly golden
3. Put onions, garlic and remaining ingredients in crock pot on low
4. Cook for five to six hours – add more water as needed near end

Hastie Tobacco Shop, Durham Ontario CanadaI have some awesome photos of Solo to post, likely tomorrow. In the meantime, a the end of the post you’ll find some photos from our afternoon walk – or see them full sized here.

It’s worth visiting Flickr to see the photo of Hastie Tobacco Shop, the local Durham smoke shop. It’s been there forever, and is fitted with the most incredible built in cabinetry. Look closely in the photo, and you’ll see that each custom fitted cabinet has a sign on it, indicating what was originally showcased in it – toiletries, ‘sundries’, etc. It’s simply too perfect for words, right down to the fact that it was a combination Tobacco Store/Pool Hall. There are still three or four tables in the back.

I imagine that Hastie was a pretty rockin’ place to hang out, in its heyday. I look at it and picture leather jacketed hoodlums, lounging at the pool table, smokes tucked into the arms of their t-shirts.

The store and building are for sale – I wish I could figure out something awesome to put there that would let the interior remain intact. It’s just too perfectly preserved to see it all torn out and sold for salvage.

Tessa Earns a Nap, Dexter Fails at Geography and Solo Goes to the Darkside

Tessa is the last remaining puppy from her litter – although I suppose I can’t even come close to referring to her as a ‘puppy’ any more. It doesn’t really matter that she’s thirteen and change – to me, she’ll always be that little red and white trouble maker I tucked inside my coat and brought with me every where I went.


It’s not that I don’t realize she’s getting older – that’s obvious. She moves slower, sleeps more, and occasionally wanders into a room and forgets why she’s there (I’ve compared it to those moments when I get to the kitchen and think “What the heck did I come in here for?”). In spite of that, she’s still pretty perky for her age. Playing with the Grandkids (Fanny is an honorary Grandpuppy) gives her something to do, and probably makes those fireplace naps that much sweeter.


Here’s a video of her wrestling with Dexter, Fanny, Paris and Bunny.



Dexter is living up to the Frenchie family tradition of getting stuck in stupid places. A few nights ago, we heard him bark-bark-BARKing outside, so Sean came down to investigate. Seems Dexter had gone out the dog door, and around the corner of the house into the fenced play yard (probably following his ‘girlfriend’, Tula, who he shadows almost everywhere). Once there, he got a bit confused, and stood outside the ground level windows of our downstairs bathroom, yelling for someone to let him in. That’s where Sean found him, after walking around the house in his slippers – through three feet snow drifts. Dexter seemed pretty happy to be back inside.


Here are a few new photos of Dexter snuggling with his mommy Bunny, along with some lovely profile photos of Paris, and two that show how incredibly similar Sailor’s markings are to Dexter’s. Barb calls it ‘the mark of the Devil’. I don’t think Dexter is ready for a career of evil just yet – he should probably stick to figuring out how to navigate the backyard before he takes on total world domination….



Lots of new photos of Solo to post this week, including some of his exercising his ever growing ESPP powers, and a few worrisome ones where he contemplates going over to the darkside. More on that this week…


French Bulldog Hide n' Seek and Old Timer Nostalgia

It is a simple fact of life that if you live with French Bulldogs, weird things are going to happen.

Years ago, I had a panic attack when I realized I couldn’t find Leeza, our little cream French Bulldog puppy. We searched the entire house, calling her name, and then fanned out over the entire neighbourhood. None of us could remember letting her outside, but mistakes happen, and puppies manage to escape even securely fenced yards. When you live 500 feet from the steep, rocky shores of Lake Ontario, a missing puppy takes on an entirely new level of fear. Just as we were getting ready to call animal control and the local shelters, we heard a tiny noise coming from inside our massive pine armoire.

Leeza had climbed inside of the bottom cabinet while it was being dusted, and stayed there, curled up quietly and unnoticed, when the doors were closed. She slept through our calls, our whistles, our shaking of treat boxes, and the escalating sounds of our panic, waking up only when it was close to dinner time.

Couch against the wallYesterday, I went upstairs to make a steak and kidney pie, leaving Paris, Bunny and Dexter sleeping on the dog bed in the family room. Paris started barking shortly after I went upstairs, and as usual, I told her to ‘be quiet’ and kept on assembling my pie. When I came downstairs, I could hear Paris barking still, but I couldn’t find her. She wasn’t on the floor, on the bed, or anyplace else to be found. I finally realized where the noise was coming from – behind the couch.

Well, ok – dogs sometimes get stuck behind the couch, although it’s usually Dexter, who is sweet but not quite the sharpest tool in the box. I guess maybe Paris could get stuck, too.

The space underneath the couchA quick look behind the couch showed no sign of Paris, but I could still hear her barking. That’s when I realized – Paris wasn’t behind the couch, she was inside of it. She had somehow managed to get herself behind the couch, and up into the inner working underneath the couch, probably in a quest for some microscopic morsel of dropped food. Paris is nothing if not food motivated. Seeing a panicked brindle head peering out at me and making mournful noises was rather disconcerting, but just moving the couch out still didn’t get Paris to attempt to escape. However she’d gotten in there, she was wedged in good, and she’d need help to get back out. A full size leather La Z Boy recliner couch is heavy, and I had visions of the sharp edged metal frame work coming down on Paris’ head.

Thankfully Sean was home, and he was able to lift the couch, while I held Paris still and then quickly pulled her out. She emerged none the worse for her adventure, and this morning I caught her trying to slide behind the couch once more.

French Bulldogs – more determination than brains sometimes, I swear.

French Bulldog Knuckleheads Journey and EllieAt the end of this post, there are a few new photos of the Frenchie knuckleheads, hanging out. Here’s my favorite one, of the two spaz sisters, Journey and Ellie, having a ‘who can make the silliest face’ competition.

I plan to do a posting of new and updated ‘Where are they now?’ puppy photos next week, so send them in to me if you have a Frenchie from us and are reading this. We want more Solo photos in particular, and some of a certain little white coated Southern Belle hooligan! I’d also like some new pix of some of the old timers out there….

I’m feeling very nostalgic after the death of Tessa’s brother Hammer.

I remember him with Tessa, and Buzzy and Ralph, just like it was yesterday. It’s inconceivable to me that those chubby little red headed puppies are now almost fourteen years old, and that Tessa is the last among them still living. I hope she’s with me still for a long, long, long time.

Red fawn pied French Bulldog puppies