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Canine Sense - Did You Know

Check out these articles by Dr. Stanley Coren (BC, Canada) Canine Corner

Monday, May 31, 2010

More Shelamo Wins on the Weekend!

I get home from the dog show Sunday and have several emails from clients, with some more great news on accomplishments of some of our other Shelamo dogs. Down the Cornwall way, Valerie had her girl Grace, Playland Shelamo The Charmed One out trying her paw at herding. Here's a few pics she sent of her obtaining her Herding Instinct Test. I think she's got it in her!

Valerie wrote me ..

".... was noted as having a gathering style, runs wide, with a loose eye, a little wearing, some barking, a little distraction, some interest and sufficient power for stock, responsive to guidance/control, adjusts position (grouping) and some adjustment (balancing stock)."

Ewe over there, move Ewe!
and Ewe, just keep going or I'll tell you what I think ....

Also heard from Judy from down the Guelph way with her 10+ yr old girl Amber - Ch Shelamo Sure Fire CD - Rocky's sister ... she finished her Rally Novice with 2 top scores of 93 & 94 out of 100.

Great job ladies!!! ... love to hear about your accomplishments, the fun and pride you have in doing things with your shelties.


OKC Show Weekend Wrap Up

Ottawa Kennel Club show site, Richmond Fair Grounds, Ontario - Thursday evening set-up

It was a busy (and hot Sat & Sun) weekend for us as we had 3 of our dogs entered, our Senior Puppy "Whistler" owned by Linda Howie, our adult boy "Rush", and his sister "Ruby". Mucho thanks go to Penny for assisting in the grooming, ringside assistance and handling. Mary-Anne (our kennel Mgr on Sat carrying for our 14 new pups!) and Marylou @ the show site for all their setting up help, ringside assistance, keeping the dogs pottied and cool. Thanks to Kate (Panda's owner), and Linda for being there at the end on Sun and helping to do the take-down and van packing. Extra hands certainly make the work easier.

On Sunday it clouded over, was windy and thus cooler, and I think all the dogs found their extra wind and their "I'm full of it!!!" attitude, at least "Whistler" did.

All in all it was a great weekend. The highlight was Shelamo's Riding The Sky going Best Puppy In Show on Friday! and Winners Dog and Best of Opposite on Sunday.

"Whistler" and his mom Linda

Our Shelamo Sugar Rush garnered 4pts, going WD & BOS the 1st two days.

On Sunday Rachel Pratt was at ringside so I asked her to capture some ring moments ... here's a few of them."Whistler' baiting his heart out

if it's not me ... then he'll bait for the judge too if asked!

Penny with "Rush", baiting for the judge too ... love those hocks Kim :)

judge has asked his 2 1st placement males to 'show me your dogs' in front of him together
"Rush" is with Penny on the left, "Whistler" with me on the right

"Whistler" wins the 'face off' and takes another 2 pts .... Now time for the girls

"Ruby" moving on the go around Kim with her girl "Miley"

judge's female final line-up - Kim with Miley is in 2nd, Ruby is in 3rd


Caught In The Act

All weekend this past weekend at the OKC show, Penny helped me immensely in getting our 3 dogs ready and as a back-up in handling. On Saturday we did a switch up and she took Ruby in the Open Female class.

Ruby standing tall and in position with Penny

I had was now able to sit back watch the judging and take pics as he had some 6 dogs to go over.

It was a hot, humid day so most exhibitors were allowing their dogs to 'rest' in between their turn on the examination table, their down & back and go around. Yet, I noticed this judge gazing at the dogs even tho his focus, supposedly, was to be on the dog he was examining.
Penny's turn for the judge to go over Ruby on the table

Penny does the down and back, and Ruby stands and shows in full form.

Penny's holding Ruby in show mode as she's not been told to move.

Who's the judge looking at?

The judge each time would walk around behind the dogs, checking the rear stance I'm thinking ... now where is he looking? Not at Ruby, at the other females in the line-up!!! He would constantly do this, even when going over the dogs on the table.

Guess, as an exhibitor, when it's your turn to be fully examined, you expect the judge to have pretty much full attention on you ... that is your main time to shine and show the judge what's so good about your dog. Nope, this judge had his eyes aways moving.

Yes, I know the judge can do what he wants, in his ring, but hey, give me your undivided attention when it's my turn, PLEASERuby's still our "that's amore"!


Saturday, May 29, 2010


Just received this pics in from the Charlebois family in Ottawa of their boy Travis doing what he loves best - JUMPING! His natural talent for running and jumping is going to come in handy for his upcoming Agility classes. His personality shines at his doggie day camp.

It was ironic that I should receive these pictures on Friday, as he happens to be a 'brother' to Whistler, the BPIS winner (posting) yesterday. The difference is he was from the 1st breeding we did between "Dallas" the sire, and our "Tyme" the mother. He's a year older than Whistler, so you can see why we considered repeating this breeding. The sister to Travis is our MBPIG & Group Winner "Chinook".

Thanks Eric for taking such action packed pictures.


Friday, May 28, 2010


Today at the Ottawa Kennel Club Shelamo's Riding The Sky was Reserve Winners Dog and Best Puppy In Show!!! His owner Linda Howie is just over the moon. This is her 1st show dog, and what an awesome way for her to experience it. This is the 3rd dog we've bred that has won a BPIS. Rocky was the 1st, then his grandson Windsor, and now another grandson.

Judge Mr Edgar Bajona presenting the award.

Linda & Whistler

AND, our boy Shelamo Sugar Rush was Winners Dog for his first points, and sister Shelamo That's Amore was RWB. We just need that judge as she's sitting on 10pts.

Great day for us here at Shelamo. Tomorrow's another day, another judge, who knows what it will hold ....


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Saskatoon - Last Day & 3 Days to Home

Am finally finishing our round trip Blog, Ottawa - Saskatoon

Sunday (May 2nd) was a seminar on 'The Art of Presentation', put on by the talented Rod Oshi from BC. No pics, sorry, it was his request. This was an all day seminar. Not only did he cover grooming products, so different & neat way he trains his puppies with one of those lasers, but also a told us stories of his experiences with many of our top shelties in history.

Monday - time to pack up and leave early as we want to make it home in a shorter time frame, as there are 2 dogs to get ready for next weekends dog show in Arnprior. We made sure we had enough Tim Hortons coffee so we could at least make a pot in the mornings before hitting the road. I could not see me drinking the watered down stuff for 2+ days!

On our trip there, I saw this red barn, standing alone in the fields, nothing as far as the eye could see. I just had to stop and take a picture .... WHOOOOOOO Mike said, there it is! Out I get, run cross the 4 lanes of traffic to the other side of the road and take some shots. The sun wasn't in the best position, it would have meant walking some distance in the fields, and time wasn't on our side. The odd time you'd come across a few of these windmills in the fields

We took the same route, crossing into the USA at Portal. We'd been asked many of the same questions each time we did a boarder crossing, but this time was different. The questions became a bit more involved ... have you been on a farm? have you been near farm animals? hummm what's up with this? Officer asked us to pull over 'there' as we'd like to ask you a few more questions. Out came this small older, quiet man to the driver's side and asked if we'd mind taking a 'survey' for the Dept of (some thing like this) Agriculture, Food Safety. More questions on, fruits, veggies, seeds, plants, farms .... then came the dogs and dog food. He wanted to see our dog food and needed to see what was in it and where it was manufactured. So, we dug out. He was looking for any beef or lamb products and anything made in Canada! The only one we had that fit that bill was the Purina One Lamb & Rice Puppy made in Mississauga. So after reading all the labels in detail, he said 'sorry folks, am going to have to take this one.' Luckily Tootsi is good on any food, no diarrhea issues.

Why beef and chicken, is beyond me, and any Customs site I've searched it doesn't say. What I have found is that if the product isn't made in the country you are travelling in, and especially if it's not in its original bag, it is likely to be taken.

So folks, if you're in Canada and travel to the US, make sure you know your food, what's in it (protein source), where it is made and IS in its original bag. If it's Canadian made, make sure your pooch has eaten it all, canned food included, before entering the US! If it's taken, you're going to have to find a place to buy more. And depending on your route, as was ours, there are NO Specialty Pet Stores! So, go check out what Wal-Mart carries and consider what you could feed .... the key here is whether your dog is a picky eater, doesn't have an 'iron' stomach and will get diarrhea easily and where are you going (high density areas where specialty shops would be abundant, or more remote areas where there are none) to buy the food you need. If your food is a special one, there are few places that have it here in Canada, then I'm almost going to guarantee you won't easily find it in the US. In fact, check to see if it is even sold in the US.

We just kept pushing it home. As the afternoon approached I'd get out all the maps, check the Garmin for distances, check the Comfort Inn 'manual of motels' for where the next one was, and then we'd decide which one we'd drive to for the night. The #1 key was it had to be Pet Friendly, and secondly a ground floor. The passenger seat became our office - maps, Trip Ticket from CAA, Comfort Inn Handbook, cell phone, credit card handy, Comfort Inn Privilege's #, passports and of course, the dog's vaccinations & registrations.

The door of our van has all kinds of neat places. I kept my hand lotion handy up top, down below was a slot for an extra coffee mug, bottle of coke, water, and another place for folders, maps, paperwork.

The center console ... more mug/drink slots, a place for the Garmin to rest, down the sides of the seats held more paper items of reference; the floor had room for snackies and my purse sat in the middle for easy access to my wallet for toll $'s, credit cards and anything we women pack into those 'mini' suitcases :)

My lap became the 'dinner tray' as we mostly grabbed our meals and ate 'on the run'. This was dinner on our last leg home.
WOW, have things ever greened up in 1.5 wks! It's now raining and chillier .... guess we brought the Saskatoon weather with us! It is getting hillier, and more scenery, plus more animals hit by cars.
The other thing we started to notice while in the US, and especially with on coming cars some distance away, that looked like a pin in the distance ... what's wrong with this picture??? took a bit, but NO head lights or running lights as we have here in Canada. It is law that all cars must have running lights on during the day. It certainly made for a different 'vision' of on coming traffic.
HOME ... it's only an hour or so away (8:30pm we think) ..... can't wait to sleep in my own bed. We're 'stuck' in 2 positions .. knees bent, along with our lower backs. It takes a few minutes for us to straighten up after getting out of the van. Being in that seated position for some days, over a 1,000 km, one's body is almost set in a different configuration.
Our total trip kilometers was 6,660.7 km ... WOW .... such a good time, seeing new and old friends, neat & different landscapes, birds in their habitats .... home ... was nice to get back.
Thanks Mom, Wilf, and Mary-Anne for holding down the fort and carrying for all our dogs & puppies. Wilf, our antique wagon wheels look just LOVELY, all freshly painted up.


How Many Puppies Did You Say??

This past weekend, our May long weekend was HOT and HUMID, setting an all time record yesterday to boot.

However, we 'lost' Sunday with delivering not one but 2 litters of pups! Our 2 litter sisters Bliss and Flirt came into season at the same time and were bred. Their 1st due date wasn't till around the 26th, so their delivery was a bit unexpected.

Flirt started showing signs in the morning with the 1st pup out by 10:30 am. Next was 11 am. I got on the phone and called our good friend Maryl0u as she wanted to see one of our litters born and with working, it made it difficult with all our others time wise. So over she came. We proceeded to deliver a total of EIGHT pups!!! 5 boys, 3 girls. The largest litter we've ever had. This took us to around 6:30pm.
Now it was time for us to eat, feed and send the adults out, deal with our 8 wk old pups and get laundry done. By the time we'd eaten, dogs were back in, it was well after 10pm, Marylou headed home. I settled Flirt in for the night where I could watch her from snoozing on the couch overnite, and figured I'd better send our other pregger girl out one more time ... it's now around 11pm ... I hadn't had time to pay too much attention to her. Well don't I find her in a pool of 'water' in her crate!!! OH LORDY, her water's broke and she's now in labour.

Mike and I bring out another whelping crate to the kitchen, grab the towels we'd just washed, push Flirt & her pups back out of the way and now start working with Bliss. In between pushes I call Marylou ... 'Hey there, want to watch another litter born???' ... say what? Yes, Bliss is now in labour. So she hopped in the car and drove back over. We joked she was now ready for the desert she was too full to have earlier :)

So through the night until the wee hours of the morn, Bliss presented us with 6 puppies, 5 boys, 1 girl. TG Marylou was there to help as Bliss's pups were a little more difficult to whelp. We spent a lot of time on our knees, Marylou holding her and allowing her to lean into her and me, at the 'back end', helping each pup come into the world. We were so sore & stiff, it became a laughing matter .... getting too old to be 'praying' this long!
So these litters were a lot of 1st for us ... 1st litter of EIGHT, 1st time 2 girls delivered the same day, and the 1st time Marylou was around, not for one but for two litters.

Finally, around 5am after more laundry, cleaning up and settling the 2 moms in the kitchen, we took up a spot in the living room and were able to stretch out and have a snooze, while being able to hear if there were any issues. Marylou headed out around 7am.

I spent one more night sleeping on the couch just to make sure the moms were not laying on them and all were getting to the milk bar OK.

Betcha have a question ... YES Flirt has enough nipples for all of them. Everyone is doing just fine, mothers are being very attentive and our lives are pretty easy now for 2-3 wks ... THEN ... the workload of caring for them starts to switch from mom to US.

Thanks Marylou!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Whistler's 1st Canadian Points

Just received from owner Linda Howie, Whistler's picture (as a Snr Puppy) taking his 1st points towards his Canadian Championship. He's sired by Am/Cdn Ch Playland Dallas Cowboy out of our "Tyme", Ch Shelamo Tyme Descends.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yet To Be Named

In between what was a busy weekend (more to Blog when I can find the time), Marylou and I were able to catch a few pics of my fav boy before the sun went down, from our Sibelle litter sired by our Rush. We have yet to give him a name. Any suggestions? Preferrably not a human name either.

At 8 wks I think he's got promise.


Saskatoon CSSA National - Day 6-9

Day 6 Thursday (sorry folks got ahead of myself by a day and had to correct some of the info on Day 5, so no you're not reading the post again)

First order of business is my 9:15am appointment to have my nails done. YEAH, get to sit back, relax, and have someone else pamper me. Meanwhile, Mike was at the end of the mall doing laundry.
Decisions, decisions .... how do I want them done?

Just a little 'bling' please.

It's now around noon and we were to meet the National crew, specifically Marge, to help with the set-up of the hall. Mark the Garmin with our destination and off we go. The remainder of the afternoon was spent at the hall. The greeting/eating area needed setting up (a fenced in area, bar tables/stool area with a wooden arch entrance), the ring needed setting up with all the chairs for viewing and other odds and ends. It went fairly quickly with the hands on deck ... Brian Reid the Dir from the Maritimes was there to help also. Once done we worked at unloading and setting up our grooming area. . The 1st part of the show, the Breeder Sweeps was at 6pm and we had 2 dogs entered.

Thursday- the show starts @ 6pm with Breeders Sweep (Puppy, Open & Veteran), judge Larry Ermel.

In preparing Tootsi & Tyme for this show don't I find a TICK! on both of them. 1st time ever I've found them on our dogs. Tyme's was located on the side of her face where dog's have a small set of whiskers. Tottsi, @ just 6mths was still in the moleskin braces & that tick was on the underside of her ear, appearing to still be trying to find a good spot. Both were easily removed and not engorged. I stuck them in a small ziplock to take them in to our vet for identification and Lyme testing, once home.

Tootsi had fun in the ring .... and she christened it! She'd been the easiest one to get to potty, but with the rain and mostly cement parking lot area, she wasn't 'into' going later in the day. At the end of the 'down' on the mat, she promptly stopped and pee'd!!! I was so embarrassed ... it's not like our dogs to have an accident in the ring. OH, well, what can you do .... Brian Reid came to the rescue of being the 'clean-up' person.

Tyme placed 4th in her class of 8 present, and Rocky was 2nd in his class of 4 present.

By the time we finished the show it was late. Not much time to do much, but pack up, X and feed the dogs and call it a night as the Juvenile & Veteran Sweeps, judged by Jo Ann Pavey, would be starting at 8am tomorrow, with the Class dogs for the Conformation show being judged at 1pm, judge by Judy Kelsey.

Zesta shelties were set up beside us. This is a banner done by our good friend Penny Woodruff.

The nights were getting chilly, to the point I wished I'd brought my mittens to walk the dogs.

Friday - a real early start! We were out the door by 6am as the hall opened at 6:30am, so it was a Timmies stop for breakfast again. To get a decent parking spot at the back of the building (a very small lot) arriving early was a must.

We had Tootis entered in the Juvenile Sweeps (9 entries) and Rocky in the Male 10+ Veteran Sweeps. Tootsi got more training :), Rocky was 1st.

We now had a bit of time to visit the Hub KC area, with vendors & silent auction tables. I found some new items to purchase ... a new black & white bling kangaroo lead for one, and Mike spotted a new x-pen made by Precision. It's made of heavier metal than the regular x-pens, has a step over gate ... well, we purchased it to use on the deck for the puppies. No one, but two, so when put together it is huge. The big plus is we can easily put our shade cover over it and it won't cave in with the hanging weight. When the pups are older and still not of age to be kenneled with the adults, they can't push it over either.

Friday - 1pm it's time to start the regular classes & Veterans for the main Conformation show. Tootsi and Rocky needed to be spruced up as they would be shown. Tootsi was in a large class, Rocky placed 2nd in his.

The Executive had a meeting after the show which Mike, being the East Ont/PQ Dir had to attend, and afterwards there were goodies put out. Not too many people stuck around, but for those few of us we had a bite to eat and enjoyed some good conversation.

Back to the hotel, dogs done and into bed, as tomorrow it would be another 6am start.

Saturday - The Specials were all called to the ring to be counted in @ 8am. They then split the females & males into groups for judging. Tyme made the 1st cut in her group of females. This meant I could now sit and enjoy the rest of the judging.

View of the final line-up for BOB competition and the general hall area.

After judging we rushed back to the motel to change as there was our AGM and then the Banquet. That went till 11pm or so.

It was a great meal, and Mike & I had fun running the auction.

Will Blog our last day in Saskatoon and our 3 day trip home in a few days.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Sibelle Pup - YIPPEEE!!

Our Rush x Sibelle litter are 8 wks old this weekend, so it is time for some of them to go to their new homes. This little sweetie, Maggie she is now called, has found herself with a lovely lady down in the Cornwall area. She will enjoy loads of company as she teaches piano out of her home.

I hear she made the 1.5 hr or so trek home with no incidents, in fact slept all the way. Then enjoyed a romp in the backyard. Here are a few of the pics sent to me.



Break time ....

We look forward to getting more of these great photos .. especially the actions one! Enjoy your new puppy breath Heidi :)


A BIG Surprise for Michael

Yesterday, May 21st was Mike's birthday ... what do you get a man??? I ran out in the morning and purchased his BD gift and set it up before he got home. I wasn't sure if they were going to be let out early, given it's our May long weekend. He was quite surprised as he drove in the driveway and saw this big box sitting there!

Our push lawnmower bit the dust a year ago and there are some places on the property that are slopped, or along the ditch on the road that the riding lawnmower & heavy duty weed whacker just can't do the job. Thus my Mom and husband Wilf and I went in on buying him a new lawn mower. The Weed Eater was a bonus, although it's electrical, it's light weight so I can at least do around the more 'sensitive' areas. The big gas weed whacker can tend to do damage when doing around the pool, and some of my plants & bushes that aren't in a built up garden, well, can get 'chewed up'.

Happy Birthday Mike ....... enjoy your weekend of work :)


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Saskatoon - Day 5

Day 5 - Wednesday - Saskatoon here we are and we have a day of 'rest' as the show doesn't begin till Friday.

Now given the sink hole Tyme went into, and the gumbo mud we walked in in Minot, the dogs needed a bath and their travelling crates cleaned out. We got a bit of a sleep in this morn since the grooming shop didn't open till 10 am. We did a Tim Horton's breakfast stop as it was just at the corner, and in we went with the 3 dogs. Tyme got a full bath, the other 2 it was legs, belly & white ruffs. Here's Mike blow drying Tootsi. They got time to run around the shop until clients showed up.Something happened with the pics taken of me with Tyme in the tub ??? hummm guess I'd better show Mike again how to operate the camera :)

I had tried to keep my nails in decent shape as Mike & I were the ones doing the auction at the Banquet ... Mike was the auctioneer and I was going to be Vanna White showing off all the bidding items. Well didn't I have a small 'slice' on one of my nails and it kept getting caught in the dog's fur as I bathed them. When talking to the woman that owned the shop she said "Oh, just next door there is a nail salon, it's a teaching one, so you could get it fixed there for a good price". Well, I thought, get it fixed? why not get them all done, fancy like, a treat me day?! After close to 3 hours of working on the dogs I stopped in to the nail salon and made an appointment for 1st thing Thurs morn.

(I don't have a lot of pictures from here on ... the camera was either in the car, no secure place for it, it wasn't handy ... just too busy to grab it).

We had some more shopping to attend to and by the time we added lunch and dinner to our schedule, doggie time, the day went POOF!

The weather is drab, cool & overcast, rain is certainly in the air. Just great for walking show dogs over the next 3 days.

Each night we've checked in with 'home base'. Mom is handling the dogs & pups during the day, while Mary-Anne heads in to work. MA is home in time to do the evening feeding, go thru my emails & deal with any client requests. Caring for 8 pups that are between 3-5 wks of age, that were now really starting to get active, well there were many questions each night on them. We were hoping to have Internet access at all the Comfort Inn chains, and altho this one did, it was the only one (so far) that you were allowed only 5 mins at a time and had to purchase a 'time card' to pay for time usage. Now that was a new one on us, and to boot, this was the most expensive motel, and I mean by quite a bit. Forget about the continental breakfast from 6-9am served in the small lobby, 'cause if you weren't there by 6:30 am, most of it was gone, including the boiled eggs! Don't they plan? Guess not at this place. Timmies was going to be the stopping place then, as most days we were going to be at the show site for 6:30 am.

Here in Saskatoon the cost of motels/hotels is high, and the vacancy rate is LOW. Traffic around, on and off the Circle Dr (this is a highway that takes you around the city central) seems to always be busy. The roads we travelled had loads of traffic lights, mini malls, business, larger malls, and just generally traffic, traffic and more traffic. Our hotel saw many over-nighters that were 'truckers' ... everything from Tim Horton's transport trucks to these Sperry trucks with the wheels that allow them to go along the railway tracks.

This picture is taken right out our patio door. You can get an idea of the grass areas, or lack there of, for walking the dogs. A little further past these trucks we did have a slightly larger patch. There was more than one, non show person, with their dog staying here and we weren't shy about offering them a poop bag! Saskatoon has a strict leash law & pick-up, guess these folks didn't know ... we weren't going to be held responsible for anyone else's mess!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ottawa to Saskatoon - Day 4

Day 4 of our travels to Saskatoon, it's now Tues ...

We left early from Minot to try and get into Saskatoon by mid day. We only X'd our puppy Tootsi, leaving the older ones till we could find a grassy area out of town.

A deserted gas station on the side of the road was quickly found, so out came the x-tenda leads and everyone got a good walk in the grassy area. The last one to always find that 'perfect' spot was Tyme. I continued to let her move out at the end of the lead while Mike packed up the other two.

Then all of a sudden, she disappeared!!!! in the grass! YIKES, MIKE!!! As I kept a strong hold on the x-tenda lead and quickly moving towards her - hoping she wasn't down some deep hole that went to nowhere - I could see her paws & head popping up out of this barrel like hole. I yanked up on the lead and pulled her out. Woooo .. it was like a large old barrel in the ground, somewhat hidden by the tall grass. Mike called it a 'sink hole'. Checked her out and except for her being black on the legs and belly, she was fine. We cleaned her up as best we could, knowing she'd definitely need another bath for the show.

OK, take a breath, you didn't 'loose' a dog .. we get settled again and back on the road heading for the US/Canadian boarder at Portal. We go through the boarder without any issues and not far around the bend ....
WOOOO, Mike! Turn around, there's a TIM HORTON'S! look at the line-up it's out on the road. I could just taste it! OMG, over 3 days without a good coffee ... it's like HEAVEN just popped by.(ya, know you saw this pic before)

The sign on the door says "Welcome Home". Guess you have to be a Canadian to understand what a landmark TH's has become. It is a warm place, with good food, great donuts, clean washrooms and GOOD coffee. You usually find one on your route. Starbucks is another popular one, but they don't seem to be on the main travelled routes.

Off on the road again ... fields, and more fields .... my TH's is getting low and when I check the Garmin it's going to be a loonnnggg way till the next one. Then we come into Weyburn and isn't there some new construction with a large TH's off the road.This time I filled up my TH's mug and also got an X-Large on the side. I didn't care if it was cold by the time I drank it, I wasn't going to be without coffee for kms upon kms this time.
On up the road we go .... more fields, more horizon .... some swampy areas, birds, ducks ... and one smooth collie trying to cross the 4 lanes of the road. Yes, he/she got across safely ... altho no homes in sight for miles.

As we approach Saskatoon we still need to find dog food! At least the kind they normally eat. I was searching on the Garmin as we entered Saskatoon for pet stores. Certainly seemed some large mall areas open that weren't there on the Garmin. I hit a 'go' mark, and well, doesn't it take us to an area of town with mostly houses and a few small malls. Obviously I hit some wrong 'go' on the Garmin, as this wasn't a large mall with a pet store. We pull in and reassess what went wrong. Then Mike notices a sign - bath your own dog. Wow, let's check this out as we need a few bathed (again) before the show on Thurs. Yep, a place with 6 tubs, blow dryers the works ... we'll be back tomorrow. Off we go to a store they said had our Proplan food. We arrive @ 5:32pm, it closes at 5:30! More searching, a few more stops, we're getting the lay of the land, we finally find a PetsMart where we can get a small bag of PP Selects Snr for the two older ones. The Purina One for puppies we picked up at a Wal-Mart will be OK for Tootsi while we're there. (I now know why Purina came out with this higher quality food to sell outside of pet stores ... there were SO many Wal-Marts, and big ones at that, in some of the small towns we went through that made it so easy for owners to pick up their dog food, really just about any time of day).

OK, a few other items to pick up and a stop for dinner. #1 item is to pick up a can of Tim Horton's coffee, had them open it since one needed a can opener, and some small filters so we can make our own TH's in our room ... not going to trust the motel's packaged coffee. It's now getting late, another long day ahead.

The motel we stayed in didn't have much grass, just along the side of the road. We had an end room with a walk-out. Great, easy in/out with the dogs and easy to load. On leaving, one of us could just lock the patio door and go out the end door right there .... dah ... nope! The key card lock was broken. When asking at the desk if it was going to be fixed ... 'we're waiting for a part' and so ???? 'well it's been broken for a yr now! We don't know when it will be fixed'. Go figure. So it now means one of us has to be dropped off at the front, walk all the way down the hallway, then once in the room, unlock the patio door. It was nice to have this access, but boy a real pain every time you locked up or returned.

We made it ... to the middle of the west of Canada, Saskatoon.

Saskatoon's slogan is "Saskatoon Shines" ... hummm .. that ain't what the forecast is saying ... grey, cloudy, raining, winding, and could get to -0 at night. Not looking good over the next 4 days.


Ottawa To Saskatoon - Day 3

Day 3 was April 26 , Monday a beautiful sunny day for travelling.

We left Ironwood, Michigan travelling through the top part of Wisconsin, another time change, and then into North Dakota, heading for Minot. We now hit FLAT lands, grain elevators, wheat fields, general agricultural processing areas, with a lot of national wildlife refuges. One sees small marshy areas along a very wide 4 lane 112 km speed road way, where you'd see the odd duck pair (common loon for one), Canada geese nesting, red-winged black birds and the odd seagull. If there was anywhere we saw animals hit by cars, it was along this route and they were all seagulls. The other thing we found, it didn't matter which of the 2 lanes you drove in. The outside lane wasn't 'reserved' for passing only.On this long quiet traffic road, you'd come across wide areas of land where horizontal shale drilling was done. With little to do :) but watch the same thing over and over, we would pick a large object on the horizon and see how many kms it would take to get there. Most times it was around 10km.

Another 'duck' bobbing its head ....must be some rich people out here ..

Here and there you would see stands of trees, which you knew that there was some one's home.

The one place we stopped to take pictures was in Rugby, ND. It is the geographical center of the North American continent, and right off the main highway. Not much around either.

We stayed in Minot just off the highway at the Sleep-Inn Suites which was attached to the Dakota Square Shopping Mall. We arrived late day, finding mostly a paved parking lot! AHHHH, where to walk the dogs? We had to walk far across the parking lot to an open area, where beside it a building was being watch by firefighters as it was still smoldering. Well ... don't we find the area is sparse with grass and the so called soil, is well, like that on a beach, only soggier! is that a word?? Mike was sinking big time, like it's quick sand, with it coming up to the edges of his 'duck boots', and the more we walked on it the more it STUCK to them! and it got heavy. What a mess we had on our shoes. It was so funny, well not really ... but we got the giggles as we tried to scrap off this muck on the curbs. It was getting dark, windy & cool too. Finally, we had to remove our duck boots to walk through the hotel and then try and wash off this sand/gunk in the shower (no bath tubs in this place) or in the sink.

This hotel offered a few 'freebies', one which was buy a drink, get one free at their lounge. So we decided we needed a drink after all this mucking around and we'd have our dinner too. We got served and then viewed the menu on the table. Hummm ... the bartender isn't coming back??? I flagged him over ... only to be told, 'oh sorry we don't serve food after 9pm'! So why the menus ...'oh we leave them out all the time!' DAH?? So now where do we get food? You have to walk thru the mall to a restaurant called Grizzly's. We were able to get take-out and go back to our room. We were tired, hungry and just wanted to hit the bed. This day didn't end till almost midnight.

We've now learned that it one must fill up when you are starting to get low on gas, as the next stop could be for 100's of km away. There are no signs, like we have on our 401 that tells you it's X till the next gas station.

And still, we've not had a GOOD coffee!



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