Seasonal observations of an ever changing coastal landscape 
by Bold Bluff host Tamar Griggs 

Life with Daisy, our Bold Bluff Puppy

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Remote Name: 208.181.177.86
Date: 22 Dec 2004
Time: 16:55:16

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The weeks fly by and my puppy all too soon will collide with adolescence - in exactly 10 days. I've been reading that if you haven't trained your puppy by the time it is 5 months old to unerringly behave, you are heading for an uphill battle (this from a Vet in San Francisco, Dr. Ian Dunbar). "The Clock is Ticking" he warns, and it is rather un-nerving when I realize that my puppy still only sits when she wants, jumps up to the counter and steals cheese when my back is turned, jumps up when greeting children, and pulls on her leash. Oh my, and I wanted a PERFECT PUPPY!

She is adorable: weighing 30 pounds, with long wavy black hair (yes HAIR, not FUR). She looks rather like a bear cub with bright brown inquisitive eyes and a shiney black button nose. If we don't give her a "puppy cut" soon, her hair will form dreadlocks.

Life with Daisy is exhilarating. We take frequent walks through the damp woods laced with rotting maple leaves and mushrooms, out on the emerald mossy bluff with the vermillion arbutus berries nestled in the lush green, ducking under smooth as skin arbutus branches. We play Hide-and-Seek on our walks. When she bounds ahead, I disappear behind a big tree or stump and wait for her to race back and find me - to her wag-tail pouncing delight. The trouble is, she is so good at keeping track of me that it is hard to find a way to "disappear".

Daisy makes weekly trips to the Extended Care Unit of the Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island. She visits the old men and women who are dying, and brings immeasurable delight to everyone. She snuggles in bed with people, allowing them to pet her, and even if they can no longer talk, they smile.

Daisy visited a Grade 3-4 class before Christmas break and was beside herself in joy greeting all the children sitting in a circle on the floor. They weighed and measured her with difficulty, and everyone gave her tiny liver treat hearts. She plans to continue visiting this class after the Holidays, so the children can chart not only her physical growth, but her behaviour (which I hope will improve!).

Daisy's latest adventure involves kayaking. A friend has lent me his double kayak for the winter and we put Daisy in a stiff bright orange life jacket and enticed her into the front hatch with freeze dried liver treats on her seat. She couldn't resist polking her nose down to the seat, and then it was easy to put her hind legs in, where she sat facing me with the most quizzical expression on her face: "HUH? What's this? You gotta be kidding!" Did she ever jump out of the kayak fast once we returned to the dock. The challenge will be when I am alone - how to keep her in her seat while I climb into the kayak.

This morning we paddled along the stunning Bold Bluff cliffs to the point where a sea lion snorted and a handful of seagulls stood on the big rock. Mt. Maxwell rose up high in the distance, and it was a sublime moment. Daisy rode most of the way with her front paws on the kayak rim, ready to beat a hasty exit, but eventually she put her paws inside the boat and she stood facing me for the rest of the trip. I LOVE being out on the water, and hope Daisy will warm up to the adventure.


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