The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Catching Up!

The scribe and I have been very busy over the last month or so, so we haven’t been able to fill you in on all that’s been happening for a while. And there has been a lot happening around here! So, since this is a holiday weekend in Canada, we decided to take a little time to catch you up on our lives through a series of posts…

First we’ll catch you up on Walter’s news.
Walter, Lil the Egg Lady informs us, is getting less sticky with every day. He gets very excited when the flock of rehabilitated pigeons come to visit Lil’s house for food and to cheer Walter up. He hops around and calls out to them and then they all spend time telling him the neighbourhood news. Last we heard, Lil was hoping to send Walter to a halfway house a bit closer to his old downtown haunts (still in the country, but closer to town than Lil) run by one of the local librarians. This means that Walter is almost all better now. We’ll let you know when we hear more!

Second…
Remember I had a birthday in August? We celebrated by having a flash sale at the bookshop. Anyone who wished me Happy Birthday got a 5% discount. If they sang Happy Birthday to me, they got 10% off. If they got their picture taken with me and their purchase, they got a whopping 15% knocked off their book buy! Elizabeth has tried this before without much success so, we were really surprised by the number of people who went for the full deal.
Here is my photo album of Birthday Song! (click on the first photo to enter the Gallery)

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Thursday morning, after Elizabeth let me out of the car at the bookshop, I did my usual security check of the parking lot before heading in to greet customers. Usually this process just involves checking to see if Isabella the bulldog at the Greek restaurant next door left me any messages, and maybe leaving her a message to say I received and understood hers, but this was not the case on Thursday. On Thursday, I found a visitor who was desperately in need of help.

I was about to pick him up and bring him to Elizabeth, but she saw me heading into the corner and knew by the way I was striding that I’d seen something she needed to know about. She’s pretty smart, my scribe is [Scribal note: Thank you, Stella.]. When she saw me lean in to pick our visitor up, she said, “Leave it, Stella!” That means she thinks it’s something she needs to look after, or that it might not be safe for me. So, I backed up.

Elizabeth took me into the shop. Then she went up to the attics and pulled out an empty liquor box. She put a cloth bag in the bottom and ran back outside with it. I could hear her running around and talking to our visitor, who was a little bit frightened of her, I think. She caught the visitor and gently put him in the box. Then she closed the flaps, found some heavier cardboard and a brick to put on top. She left an air hole so the captive could breathe, and carried it all downstairs. Then she washed her hands.

I was very curious to know what was going on. I trust Elizabeth to do the right thing. But her behaviour was very curious. I couldn’t understand why she would put our guest in a closed box. Usually, they are welcome to just come in and walk around the shop!

Elizabeth picked up the phone and made a call to our friend the Lil the Egg Lady. It turns out that Lil the Egg Lady also operates a wildlife rehabilitation centre (Sooo. That’s why she smells so interesting…) “Hi, Lil! It’s Elizabeth. I’m calling because Stella found an injured pigeon in our parking lot. I don’t know what’s wrong with it; it can still run around, and it seems pretty alert, but it’s got a lot of drying blood on it, I think. It was really tacky when I picked it up.”

Lil explained that several pigeons had come in from our that seemed to be poisoned. She thought maybe the tackiness was drying pigeon vomit. Eeeeuw. I went and got a drink of water. I’d had the pigeon in my mouth. I could have told Elizabeth it wasn’t blood that was making the flapper tacky. But she hadn’t asked me. Still, I hadn’t thought it was… you know. Yech!

After the call, The Scribe told me Lil the Egg Lady was coming to get the pigeon soon. It would stay quiet in the box, thinking it was night. If it was injured, then it was safer there than in the parking lot or lane. Big Croaking Black Flappers live there, too, and they like to eat pigeons. Walter (Elizabeth’s idea to call him that) was fortunate that I found him.

Well, Lil the Egg Lady came and took Walter to rehab. The day went on as usual. Later in the afternoon, Elizabeth got in touch with Lil and asked her how Walter was doing. Was he badly hurt? Was he going to be all right? The answer was shocking.

“He has no injuries. He fell victim to the sticky traps people have been setting out for pigeons. Seems poison wasn’t working well enough for them. Stella almost had a permanent pigeon mustache. Even goo gone isn’t cutting it. Poor wee thing.”

Elizabeth responded, “Oh, no! What harm are they doing that people need to do them such cruelty! I wonder who is doing this…. Are you able to help Walter at all? Does the stickiness wear off over time if you can give him a home ’til then? I’ll gladly give you a donation to help look after him if you can. Or does he need to be euthanized? Please let me know whatever, Lil. And if you could take a picture of him, for me, I will put my head together with Stella and we’ll write about this. Thank you.”

“I took some photos and hope to also add to my blog.

“Several stores took wasp and bird sticky traps off the market after the photo of several chickadees stuck to one hit the net. But they still have them in Kenora stores. I tried Goo Gone, dish soap and rubbing and only moved it around. In desperate measures, I coated it with very fine sand to keep him from sticking to things and so he didn’t preen pure goo. His beak was glued shut from preening. I will keep him/it as I love my pidgies. Hopefully he will start a molt and get new ones, but have to figure out how to get a molt started.”

Poor Walter! He would have died a gruesome death if I hadn’t found him when I did. He could have starved or died of thirst or been attacked by a cat or Raven… How could two-leggers do such a horrible thing! Like Elizabeth, I fail to see how these gentle Rock Doves could possibly bother anyone. They live on the downtown rooftops, minding their own business. They frequently fly over a couple of blocks to hang out at their diner along the railway tracks, where they eat grain that has spilled out of the grain cars. They’re pretty friendly chaps, and they make a lovely sort of purring coo noise that travels down the chimneys in the wintertime (they congregate around the chimney openings to get warm in the winter).

Lil said we could share her pictures with you. If you’d like to follow Walter’s progress, she will probably keep us all informed on her blog, Iggy’s Wildlife Revisited. You’ll also learn about other adventures she has helping animals there. Anyway, here’s what Walter looked like while she was examining him:

You can see how Walter’s feathers are stuck together so he can’t fly anymore.

His backside is a real mess, And look at his feet! Poor Walter…

Oh, dear… It looks like I left some of my wool on him.

I feel confident that Lil the Egg Lady will look after him well. We’ll be keeping tabs on his progress when she visits us at the shop, too. And if I catch the two-legger who’s laying traps like this in our neighbourhood, GRRRRR… I might not be able to keep myself from biting him/her! If you know who it is, PLEASE! tell them to STOP!

FLASH SALE!

Today is my Birthday! I’m eight years old now. That makes me the oldest member of staff at the bookshop in two-legger years. Kay is still has me beat, though…

First Day in my New Home - Big Bed all to Myself!

First Day in my New Home (seven weeks old) – Big Bed all to Myself!

Elizabeth and I want to celebrate the day by doing something special. We can’t have a traditional party at the shop because it’s too full, and the crowds of people would probably overwhelm us. The usual bottlenecks would get all jammed up and two-leggers would get stuck and I’d need to hide because, much as I love my fans, sometimes I just need to take a wee break and be alone for a while, and cake and drinks in a bookshop really aren’t such a great idea and… well, you get the picture. What to do?

I thought up a grrrreat idea! It only works for my local fans, but then, so would a party, so this is what we’re going to do:

  1. Come in and see me at the bookshop today. Wish me happy birthday and I’ll give you half my usual cut (5%) off your book purchase!
  2. Sing me Happy Birthday and I’ll give you my whole commission on your purchase (10%).
  3. If you sing and hold up your book purchase and let the scribe take you picture with me for the blog and a poster of the celebration for the shop, Elizabeth will give you another 5% off your book purchase! Then I’ll have something to remember the day. That’s important to me because I’m getting old now and my memory isn’t as good as it used to be.

My most recent portrait. Not as cute as I once was, but I’m still very cuddlable! (Note the soft focus. We used that option to hide my wrinkles.)

I hope all my Kenora friends and visitors will drop in and wish me a Happy Birthday today. I’m really excited to see you all!

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