A cabin in the woods – the embarrassing truth.

Morning mist on the riverFive days in a fairly isolated cabin in the woods, on the Magnetawan River is exactly what you might expect. A peaceful retreat that gave me the opportunity to sleep, re-energize and reconnect with myself and My One and Only (MOO).  I also learned some embarrassing truths about myself and MOO that I sort of knew but became glaringly apparent during this get away.Magnetawan River

  1.  We love being near water – but not so much in the water.  It was lovely sitting on the edge of the river, enjoying the sunshine reflected on the water, the gentle movement of the dock when the wind picked up, the early morning mist and the afternoon sun.  Deep cold water with things (pike, bass, turtles etc.) moving in the water however freaks us out so we did not swim in the river because neither one of us wanted one of the water creatures to nibble our toes or get caught in our hair.  Oh, and neither one of us really likes cold water.  We did take a ride in the paddle boat, once we figured out how to steer it, but paddling against the gentle strong current was more energy than we wanted to exert and so we returned to our chairs on the dock after a quick paddle to the island and back. We did see one of the water creatures (aka a large turtle) swimming beneath the boat.  I think it was a snapping turtle and I was sure that it would somehow jump out of the water and go for my jugular.  MOO tried to briefly follow her but after losing sight of it, we turned around and headed for shore.Sitting on the dock
  2. We are the manicured outdoor nature lovers and not the wilderness type nature lovers because the woods are a little bit  very scary. We spent a lot of time looking over our shoulders especially when we were sitting on the dock with our back to the trees. MOO was sure that a black bear was in the vicinity itching to come for a visit. I was secretly hoping we might see one but no such luck.  We did see a Blue Heron standing on the shore watching us for a while but he eventually lost interest at our lack of activity and he flew to the opposite shore.  Little dogs especially are not safe in the woods.  We saw an Osprey circling overhead near the cabin when Abbey was trying to do her business.  Even though Osprey primarily hunt fish, MOO was sure that this particular one was a carnivore and thought a little Shih Tzu might make a nice dinner.  We subsequently scouted the skies for bird of prey each time Abbey had to visit the loo.
  3.  I read way too many mystery novels because my first thought driving down the one lane, gravel road to the cabin was that this would be a perfect spot to kill someone and dispose of the body.  During the five days we were at the cabin, we didn’t see another soul except for the occasional canoeist on the river, one motor boat and a couple of Sea Doos from across the river.  Who would know? I definitely need to stop with the mysteries.
  4. Flashing red lights on dimmer switches do not signify that an electrical fire is imminent.  At about 4 a.m., on her way to the washroom, MOO noticed that the light switch was intermittently flashing red.  After feeling the switch box for heat, smelling the area and inspecting the switch plate, she was relatively sure that a fire was not slowing brewing but she searched the cabin for a fire extinguisher anyways. When she couldn’t find one, she placed a set of clothes for each of us, keys, wallets and phones near the door for a quick get away and then spent the next couple of hours watching the flashing light.  I was more worried about the storm raging outside that was going to wash away the road to the cabin.

I think we might return to the cabin in the woods but next year MOO will have her pepper spray in case of bear sightings and Abbey will have an orange vest for her trips to the loo and I won’t pack my bathing suit because I will not be swimming.  I may still bring a couple of mystery novels with me though because they would make good projectiles in case of an attack from a snapping turtle.

Magnetawan River, Ontario


Weekly Photo Challenge – Dreaming

Dog DreamingAbbey, sleeping in the early morning, sleeping.  I often watch her as she sleeps and wonder what she dreams about.  Perhaps she is chasing the squirrels that live in the trees in her yard, or her orange tennis ball.  Maybe she is dreaming of her next treat or the piece of food that we dropped on the kitchen floor and she managed to gobble before anyone noticed.

Do dogs dream?  Stanley Coren, Psychologist and Dog Expert suggests that there is some research evidence that like humans, dogs do dream, mostly likely about the activities of their day.  So Abbey, I hope that we give you sweet dreams!


Shih Tzu Love

Abbey is the greatest dog in the world.  She is twelve years old, usually about 11 lbs but has lately gained weight and has to lose a couple of pounds.  Abbey loves people but is largely indifferent to other dogs, except for her cousin Stanley (a miniature dachshund with loads of personality).  She loves cats and can’t understand why they won’t play with her when she barks.  The only time she ever barks is when she wants to play.  She will bark at her toys until someone pays attention.   She also barks at the squirrels and gives chase when she sees one in her yard but has never managed to catch one (thank goodness).

Abbey loves sniff walks, provided she is in the mood and she can pick the direction or else she refuses to walk.   On days when she isn’t interested in a walk, we carry her around the block so that she will at least walk home and thereby get some exercise.  She prefers to keep her yard pristine so tends not to poo in her own backyard (which is why it’s also necessary to force her to walk).

Shih Tzus are not considered the smartest dogs in the dog world and are supposedly quite stubborn. (Just because she dictates her walks or when she walks, doesn’t mean she’s stubborn does it?)   I don’t know, I think she is pretty smart given how her humans cater to her and address her every whim.  She sleeps on the master bed and gives a low growl of disapproval when she is moved to make room for her humans.   She has allergies to just about everything so we reorganized the house to accommodate her.  For instance, an inexpensive area rug was replaced with a much more expensive wool rug because she is allergic to nylon.  (Who is allergic to nylon anyway?)  The mattress cover in the master bedroom was replaced with a much more expensive hypoallergenic cover to decrease her exposure to dust mites (yes she is allergic to dust mites), and her diet is highly specialized to accommodate her food allergies (including chicken, fish, oats, barley, corn, tomato, and a whole bunch of other things).  Oh yeah, and we got a retractable awning in the back yard so that she could sit on the back deck and be protected from the falling black walnut sap and nuts which would cause serious head injury or worse if one fell on her not to mention that she is also allergic to this type of tree.

Hiding from the paparazzi

Oh and did I mention she is allergic to cats.  How did we discover she had allergies – because we had her tested after several months with puffy lips which made her look like one of Angelina Jolie’s children.  So now she is on daily medications, she is catered too and basically living the life of a princess.   But then of course this makes sense since this Tibetan breed of dogs was first bred in Imperial China as a pet for the nobility.

And they say that Shih Tzus aren’t very smart.