Tuesday, December 29, 2009

RIP Roxane (1995-2009)

Unfortunately, today we need to advise you of the passing of our darling Roxane.

Our darling girl joined our family one month after we were married. The tiny little thing immediately stuck to our heart. She was with us through the good times and the bad.

She was our fierce guard cat as well as a lovable, soft plush cuddle toy.

In the past couple years she had been sick and had developed a tumor that made it difficult for her to walk. Lately she had been in a lot of pain, and today we made the difficult decision to end that pain.

We will love her always and she will always have a very special place in our heart.

Missing you already

xoxoxoxo Mom & Dad (Joce & Rich)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oui, je PEUX parler français

Just heard from my advisor at the School and I got my C for my oral exam (this is a GOOD thing -- crazy government system). Now I can relax and enjoy my holidays. Yippee!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas is going to the dogs ...

We had a lovely dinner at our friends, Rob and Joce's, last night. Those of you who know our dogs have probably heard us talk about Rob and Joce -- who also live in the neighbourhood and have two GSPs. So no, it's not me talking in the third person.

Joce made some of her amazing chili and I test-drove a gluten-free Black Forest trifle. Joce said I'm more than welcome to continue test-driving desserts on her, so it must have been okay. Now, I have my contribution to Christmas dinner at John and Rachel's all set!

The dogs were also warmly welcomed and they ate, well, whatever they could get their snouts on frankly! (Plus a few pup-sicles from outside, on Razzie's part. Eww!) Bogey even came home with a present -- a ball-toy that neither Bee, 13, or Keeper, 8, play with. Score!

Now, I meant to get a picture of all four dogs together, but I forgot (again!). Will try to get one of them all over the holidays. Here is a previous picture of taken of the girls (previously referred to as Bo's harem before Razzie joined the Everbell zoo!)

Keeper (in blue) and Bee (in yellow)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Je peux parler français?

Well, I guess we'll find out in a couple days. The oral exam is done, although there were a couple questions I wasn't quite sure of ... sigh! Hopefully this'll be second time lucky.

Oh and a quick update on the weight loss -- had a weigh in today and I'm up to (down to???)  16 pounds lost. Yay! (On track for a pound a week at the end of the program!)

So the thief (Bogart) nabbed a tea bag yesterday. Fortunately, after a quick phone consult with the vet, I was assured that it wouldn't hurt him irreparably, aside from tummy upset, and perhaps a more hyper dog than usual (Gaaa!! Imagine Bo with MORE energy!) Also, I have discovered the dogs LOVE almonds and both have tried inserting their snouts into my mouth to get the almond crumbs out. Add that to the list of other human foods the dogs love, including peanut butter, yogurt, carrots, pumpkin, etc.

Anyhow, during a quiet moment post-my-french-test and a post-run-around-the-lake-with-Richard, I got some update pix of the rawgs. You can tell they really have it rough chez nous! Hopefully, if it's warmer this weekend, I'll get out too and get some action shots!



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Home and Abroad 2009

We started off 2009 in sunny Mexico, again. As planned, we returned  to the Mayan Riviera with our friends Mike and Lori. We stayed at another amazing hotel and did plenty of snorkeling and visited Sian Ka'an, an ecological park and UNESCO Biosphere habitat. Joce has finally found paradise -- see the picture below.

Other than a couple trips to Waterloo (to visit Jocelyn's sister) and Toronto (for a marathon) we spent the rest of the year at home. No trips planned for 2010, but that could change any time.

We decided to invest in finishing our basement instead of more traveling this year -- and it was well worth the investment. We now have a comfortable, warm and cozy basement, perfect for watching films and exercising.

We also decided to add to the family one more time: we have been fostering Shiraz, a five year-old German Shorthaired Pointer since April. She is actually Bogart's half sister. We will be fostering her until her last litter (scheduled for Winter/Spring 2010) and then we hope to adopt her permanently. She and Bo have become fast friends and she is a real little snuggler.

We also bought a second car, since the Matrix has now officially been converted to the dog-mobile. You can often see Joce zipping around town in her snappy little red Hyundai Accent.

We also had the opportunity to volunteer at two dog agility championships held in Ottawa this summer. What an amazing thing to watch these highly trained dogs perform up close. In order to give our two dogs a bit more variety, we are also looking at getting them involved in dog-powered sports: cani-cross, skijoring and scootering. (For more information on what this involves see skidogs.ca.)

Speaking of the animals ... Our "senior" cat, Roxane, is still kicking along, but we have noticed her slowing down considerably. We hope she will still be with us for many more years. She and the dogs seem to agree to keep out of each other's way, but Lily loves to egg on the dogs.


Rich continues his work as a Trademark examiner with the federal government. He has also been busy with his running this year, achieving 4 new personal bests (in 4 different distances). Part of his success is probably due to changes he has made since his diagnosis with celiac disease in the summer. Once we switched him to a gluten- and wheat-free diet, he has had a lot more energy and seems to be feeling much better overall. (For more information on celiac disease see http://www.celiac.ca/.)


Joce is still on full-time French training in order to get her required French levels for her position. She is scheduled to go for her oral exam on December 16, so fingers crossed that she will be successful this time. She has also decided to make some lifestyle changes recently, and started an exercise and nutrition program at the end of August. (She even completed an eight-week learn to run program). She is about half way through the program at this point and is happy with the results so far.


Fortunately, our extended family is happy and healthy. Our only oops in the year was Jocelyn's mom, who broke her ankle and foot in October (but is now well on the way to recovery). We are looking forward to spending time with both families over the Christmas holidays.

Wishing you and your families a very healthy and happy Christmas and New Year's.

Rich and Joce

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cast of Characters

Welcome to our adventures. We are going to use this site to update you on our adventures, as well as those of the inmates, inhabitants of our zoo.
Here's some recent snaps!

Bo and Raz getting cozy ...

Roxy surveying her kingdom ...

Lily being, well, Lily ...

And the two principal inmates, Rich and Joce:

Look for more of our adventures coming up!