Flicka, the Hospital and the New Baby!

Recently, my partner gave birth to our son.  We decided to have him delivered within a hospital setting.  When Flicka was placed with me in June, we spoke with our hospital to make arrangements to have Flicka with us during my partner’s labour and delivery, and during her recovery.  Flicka met the criteria for access under the hospital’s service dog policy, and, in advance of our labour and delivery visit to the hospital, we got pre-clearance to have Flicka with us.

It was truly a pleasure having Flicka with us!

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Flicka’s back on Lake Ontario

Flicka couldn’t resist the opportunity to go boating again on Lake Ontario.  This time, she did better loading and unloading on both the tender ferry and the private boat.  Congratulations, Flicka!  With practice, Flicka becomes good at the task she’s asked to perform.  In the some of the photos below, you’ll see a small plastic ladder leading up to the boat.  Flicka now walks comfortable on the ladder and loads herself onto the boat.

Flicka got to swim in Lake Ontario, and she had a blast – I think!  We didn’t intend for her to go swimming; however, once I went into the water, she insisted on following me.  I’m told that she got concerned while she was on the boat because I wasn’t there with her, and she wanted to be with me.  Oh Flicka, you’re so silly!

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Flicka and the Ontario Science Centre

Flicka went to the Ontario Science Centre today.  I think she enjoyed herself.  There were lots of day campers there, and they seem thrilled to see a dog.  Staff at the Ontario Science Centre treated Flicka well.  Thank you!

During her time at the Ontario Science Centre, Flicka took in a movie under the IMAX dome and saw “Flight of the Butterflies“.  Afterwards, she hung out at the special exhibit called “Game On 2.0“, and watched as I tried my hand at various video games.

Flicka at Home

I’ve been asked by some people if Flicka is always working.  I assure them that Flicka gets downtime, just like other dogs.  When Flicka’s at home, she gets to be a regular dog.

Here are some photos of Flicka in her home environment:
Flicka at home 1     Flicka at home 2     Flicka at home 3

Flicka at home 4     Flicka at home 5     Flicka at home 6
(click on image to enlarge)

 

Flicka meets Roxy!

Flicka met Roxy today!  Roxy is a lovely cockapoo who is nearly four times Flicka’s age.  While Roxy does not live with me, Roxy has been a part of my life ever since I picked her out of her litter with her owner.  Roxy and I are very fond of each other, and we’ve spent a lot of time with each other over the years.  We have some great memories together!

I’ve wondered how Roxy would react to Flicka.  After the customary crotch sniffing, Flicka and Roxy didn’t pay much attention to each other.  When I first saw Roxy, I did get down on the side walk and let her cuddle into my lap.  She was there for a few moments and then Flicka came down and took the other side.  Each of them was content that I was petting the other one with my other hand.  As long as each dog was getting my attention, they seemed okay that they were sharing me.  We had a great walk along a wooded trail, and it was nice spending time with Roxy and her owner!

Here of two my favourite photos of Roxy that I took several years ago:

Roxy 1     Roxy 2
(click on image to enlarge)

Flicka, the Dock, and the Ladder!

Flicka spent this afternoon at a cottage located on Lake Simcoe.  She seemed to enjoy herself in the spacious open backyard.  When several people, including myself, went swimming in the lake, Flicka really wanted to join us but didn’t understand what she had to do to get herself into the lake.  She finally realized that she could climb down from the lawn onto the cement retaining wall and then slip into the water.  While Flicka could eventually get into the water on her own, she struggled to get herself out of the water on her own.  The retaining wall was just a little too high for Flicka to pull herself up.  She kept trying, but never succeeded.  Each time, I’d help her get out of the water.  She’d then go up to the lawn, shake the water off of her coat, and they come back into the water.  This cycle repeated itself on countless occasions.

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Rush Hour on the Subway

This morning, Flicka and I had to attend an early morning appointment.  We took the subway during rush hour to get there.  This was the first time Flicka has been on the subway during rush hour.  Flicka handled it well, and, like the other times she’s taken the subway, she tucked herself underneath a seat and took what appeared to be a nap.

Boating on Lake Ontario

This evening, one of my good friends took Flicka out on his private power boat for a tour of the Toronto Harbour and Lake Ontario.  It was interesting to watch Flicka’s mannerisms.  In order to get to my friend’s boat, we had to take a tender ferry service provided by the yacht club.  Flicka was reluctant to board the tender ferry.  She wasn’t sure what to make of the walk-way between the mainland and the ferry.  After some coaxing, Flicka made her way aboard.  It took some more coaxing to get Flicka to disembark off of the tender ferry once we arrived at the yacht club, and again when it was time for her to board my friend’s boat.

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Flicka at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

Flicka went to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) today with some of my out-of-province friends.  Flicka did really well inside the museum.  There were two particularly fun parts to our visit.  First, Flicka wasn’t sure what to make of the ROM’s Bat Cave.  It’s dark inside the cave, and the sound of bats fills the air.  I don’t think she appreciated being inside the cave, and, upon recognizing this, I promptly took Flicka out of the cave.

The second fun part of the visit was seeing Flicka’s “squirrel distraction” in action inside the ROM’s Gallery of Birds.  When she came upon this exhibit, which contains numerous stuffed birds, Flicka froze in her tracks, her ears popped up, and she stared down one bird in particular.  This bird happened to be at her eye level, which may be why she took an interest in it.  Flicka stayed in this frozen position for several minutes until I decided that I had better get between her and her new stuffed bird friend.  Flicka was being unresponsive to verbal commands, and I didn’t want to yank her leash on her.  I know I should have.  I just couldn’t do it.  Oh, this bird was located behind a glass display window and it never flinched when it saw Flicka.  You’re so crazy, Flicka!

Flicka and Mud Puddles!

This evening, my partner, some friends, and I took Flicka to High Park.  Flicka had just been there on Sunday; however, this time, we let Flicka go off-leash in the off-leash trail area.

Boy, did she ever enjoy it!  She would run really far ahead of us on the trail, wait for a moment or two and then come running back.  Occasionally, she would disappear out of view, but upon hearing her name called along with the “come” command, she would return.  To my dismay, she’d come back with increasing amounts of mud all over her fur.  A few times, she’d go bouncing into mud puddles right in front of me.  Have you ever seen a small child bounce around in a rain puddle?  Well, Flicka bouncing around in mud puddles is very similar.  A huge smile came across her face each time she’d discovered a new mud puddle, and gotten herself even muddier!  I’m glad she had fun!  My fun was going to be later in the night when I’d be giving Flicka her first bath.

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