Monday, July 30, 2007

But I'm a CUTE Drooly Monster!

I didn't mean to drool on the furniture, really I didn't. What did you expect though? Laura had apple for her dinner.

Specifically, Laura cut up an apple and put it on her dinner plate, all nice and fresh and appley-smelling. Then she proceded to prepare some other food, which she piled onto the same plate. Then she sat down to eat her dinner right in front of me!

Yes, it's true that I had already eaten my kibble. But I LOVE apples! I love them almost as much as I love peanut butter cookies. Laura knows this and she ALWAYS shares her apples with me!

Well, tonight, she sat down with her plate full of food and a tall glasss of minted lemonade and she proceded to sip her drink and eat all of the other food first!

Laura, you see, is of the inclination to save the best until last.

I am more apt to follow the philosophy, "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow... Well, who really cares what happens tomorrow if today there's feasting and drinking and merriment to be had!"

So there was Laura, saving the best until last. And there was I, sitting ever so quietly and trying oh so hard to be good. But that apple looked SO GOOD! And it smelled... Oh!

Finally it came to be time to enjoy that shiny green apple together. It tasted so yummy and I was so happy that Laura is my friend and shares her apples with me -- but Laura wasn't so impressed that a little puddle of drool was left on the futon after our feasting.

I say it serves her right for making me wait for that apple for so long. (And, I know that Laura secretly loves sharing her apples with me, even when she pretends to be grossed out by the aftermath.)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Be Good to Your Body Day

Laura has been making a lot of whiney noises today and walking around the house on all four limbs (which is an improvement over the way she was trying to move last night, let me tell you!)

If you have had a look at The Polyphagous Dragon today, you might think that Laura has been in the kitchen all day, cooking up a storm. In truth, she has been in the kitchen -- but only because that's where her computers are set up.

Laura hasn't cooked any of the things she added to her blog today in ages. She's only been sitting at her computer typing out recipes. Cooking would require Laura's back to be in good shape -- which today it isn't.

(The one thing Laura did "cook" today was a box of soup. I almost got to taste that because Laura had to put the bowl on the floor in order to pour the soup from the box into it before crawling over to the microwave to heat it up!)

I feel badly for Laura's back being poorly, really I do, but the one upside to Laura's being unable to walk today is that I don't have to walk either.

I know that Laura wants me to be strong and healthy -- and walking is good exercise for almost everyone -- but sometimes Laura goes a bit too far. For instance, did you know that Laura's back is messed up because she injured it doing a weight-lifting class FOUR YEARS AGO? She injured her back doing that class. Then, later that day, she went running. The next day, she went running even further. The third day, her back really wasn't feeling good at all, so she ran even further still, then did the weight-lifting class again! After that class, Laura had to call our friend Loretta and ask her to come pick her up, drive her to a drug store to buy painkillers (which Laura NEVER had to take before her back injury) and take her home. Usually, Laura is a very smart person, but she wasn't very smart that week.

So, my message to you all today is this: Do NOT push yourself "way beyond your limits". Going too far isn't anything to be proud of. Going too far is just stupid.

Think it cannot happen to you? Think you're young and strong and invincible? Laura was young and strong and in great shape when she injured her back. She was a regular exerciser who ran with good form and knew how to lift weights properly. And today: Today Laura cannot walk because of a stupid mistake she made four years ago.

Today Laura is also wiser and knows that exercise is something that should be taken in MODERATION. Today Laura knows that you should NEVER EVER push through an injury. (When you work out, your brain releases endogenous opioids and endogenous cannabinoids into your body. These chemicals make you feel good -- but they also block your perception of pain. Not such a good thing when the pain is there to tell you that your body is injured and you should stop doing whatever it is you're doing that's causing your body harm!)

We still hope that Laura didn't learn her lesson too late. We hope that one day her back will forgive her for that mistake she made four years ago. And we hope that you can learn from Laura's mistake now -- before it's too late for you. Exercise moderately for optimal health and well-being, and, when your body needs rest, give it a good one!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Kitchen Helper

Today Laura made guacamole and I helped by helping to wash the dishes after she was done with them.

(I don't want any of you to think that I have stopped being a good helper just because I am a rock star now. I am still a part of a family and I do what I can to help out in whatever way I can - as everyone should, even rock stars!)

Today Laura remembered me while she was cooking and she saved me my piece of pepper. (Yummy, spicy, jalepeño peppers go into Laura's guacamole!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Kendal's Favourite Cookies

If you've been reading my recent posts, you'll already know that Laura has started a recipe blog so she won't forget her favourite cooking experiments and will always have her recipes available to her, no matter where she is living. Well, she hasn't posted MY favourite recipe yet, so I thought I would post it here, just to be safe.

I like kibble, and I like my Zukes treats. I like sharing apples with my friend Laura and I like to clean her hands after she cuts up mangoes. I like helping my Mum to clean out yogourt pots too. But everyone knows that the best food is food made with love, and my most favourite food of all is a special peanut butter cookie that Laura makes for me.

Laura got the idea for how to make these cookies from MacPherson's K-9 Cookbook - but Laura makes my cookies with 100 percent whole wheat flour because whole grains are better for me and Laura loves me very much and wants me to stay healthy. (If you buy the cookbook though, it comes with three cookie cutters especially shaped for dog biscuits.)

Okay. Here's what you will need to make these cookies:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup peanut butter *
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • good music **
  • LOVE

Notes on the Ingredients:

* Make sure you use real peanut butter -- NOT peanut flavoured icing. The only ingredient in peanut butter should be peanuts! All of that extra sugar in the sweetened spreads isn't good for dogs -- and it isn't good for you either!

** Tonight we listened to music by Susie Keynes while Laura was baking. Laura listens to FRUiT music a lot when she is cooking, and also the Wyrd Sisters. I know that you have to listen to Wyrd Sister music when you're making cheesecake, and I think FRUiT music is good for making pies. If you were making pizza and beer, you should probably listen to Allison Brown. Other than that, I think you can pretty much listen to whatever music you like.

And this is how to make the cookies:


1. Play the music. If you have musicians visiting you, maybe they can play for you. If not, playing a CD is fine. So long as it is good music that you love. (It's all about the love. Laura says that all good music is a gift of love, therefore you should always listen to it when you are making food for your friends. That way, you are always cooking surrounded by love, and when you're swimming in love, your own love can flow freely. Then, the food that you are creating will be sure to be saturated with love and it will taste better!)

2. Mix the peanut butter and milk together until well blended.

3. Pour the flour and baking powder over the peanut butter mixture. Mix flour and baking powder together before incorporating flour mixture into peanut butter mixture.

(Most cookbooks will tell you to mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl first, then add them to the wet ingredients. This makes an extra bowl dirty, however. We have to wash everything that gets used to make these cookies really well, because our friend Rob is allergic to peanuts, but Laura has sensitive skin and I don't want her to get dishpan hands from scrubbing too many dishes, so we try to make as little mess as possible. It is really easy to mix the flour and baking powder together while they are both sitting on top of the peanut butter, so no need to use that extra bowl.)

4. Knead dough well. The warmth from your hands helps to make the dough stick together and also a lot of love can go into the cookies through your hands.

5. Roll the dough out to a thickness of 1 cm. You can use a rolling pin to do this, but you can also flatten and smooth the dough out with your hands. (Fewer dishes & more love if you do it the second way!)

6. Press cookie cutter into dough to cut it.

7. With your fingers, press the dough down firmly into the cookie cutter. This makes sure that the dough is stuck together well and fills the shape of the cookie cutter properly. (Plus, you can squeeze some extra love into the cookie!)

8. Clean off any dough that is stuck around the edges of the cookie cutter, so you will have a nice, perfect, dog-bone shaped cookie.

9. Carefully press the cookie out of the cookie cutter.

10. Again, very carefully, transfer the cookie onto a baking sheet. Be careful not to break it!

11. See all those extra bits of dough that got cut off the outside of the cookie cutter? Don't throw them out! This dough is so easy to work with that, once you have cut up the main sheet, you can pick up those little extra bits and press them into the cookie cutter, using your fingers to mould them into the cookie cutter shape. The last little crumbs of dough might be kind of crumbly -- just use lots of extra love to make them stick together!

12. Bake cookies for 15-20 minutes at 400°F.

13. While the cookies are baking, clean everything that touched the dough -- including the counter on which you rolled out the dough -- really well, so that your allergic friends don't get sick when they come to your next dinner party.

14. When the cookies first come out of the oven, they will smell VERY GOOD -- but you have to wait to eat them! When they first come out of the oven they are HOT and could burn your tongue. Be patient!

15. Once the cookies have cooled, you can enjoy them -- but not too many at once! I only eat one per day. Laura puts them into ziplock bags, seven to a bag, and freezes them. We thaw out one bag per week and I enjoy the cookies in that bag while the rest stay frozen. This helps the cookies to stay fresher so they are always yummy.

These cookies are so good! I hope that every dog will have a friend as good as Laura who will make them for her/him.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Last night when Laura and I went for our walk, everybody wanted to be near me! All of the children wanted to pet me, and the big people kept saying how beautiful and sweet I am. Then, when we got to the park, there were four other dogs there, all of whom came running the moment they saw me! I had to get Laura to work crowd control for me!

On the way home, a man sitting on the steps of a convenience store tried to flirt with me, and we met the cutest little chocolate labrador puppy who was so excited to meet me, he was beside himself with joy!

I guess word of my rockstardom has spread already because today was more of the same. Even the little dog Bandit, whose family says is so shy she never approaches anyone, came creeping out of her yard as Laura and I approached, ever so quietly, ever so slowly, inching her way towards us to say hello.

I guess my days of quiet, solitary strolls through the park are over.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm a Rock Star!

Yesterday, Laura and I went back to Home County for two more concerts.

First, we got to hear more from the Sirens, Twilight Hotel and a new (to me, that is, Laura heard them perform last summer at Summerfolk) band called Dala. Then came the big, exciting, finale:

For the last daytime concert ("workshop", Laura says they are called) of the festival, there was a huge crowd. People were packed in many rows deep, out to the sides all the way between the sidewalk and the vendors' tents, and even wrapped around behind the stage. Laura and I were sitting less than one metre from the stage, and we weren't even the front row! (Laura says that has NEVER happened at a Home County stage before!)

Dala were back onstage again with Andrea Koziol (a performer Laura actually hadn't heard before!), Catherine McInnes (most excellent Artistic Director of Home County), Mae Moore, Tannis Slimmon, and ME!

For real! Tannis invited whoever wanted to go onstage and join her for her last song to do so, so I did!

Lots of people came onstage to sing with us. They were all taller than me, however, and I couldn't reach the microphone, so I danced for everybody instead. (Laura says it is always good to dance, and I knew that Tannis would appreciate dancing because she and Mae danced for one of Andrea's songs earlier in the concert.)

I was such a good dancer that one of the ladies in the audience came down to the front of the stage and asked me if I would dance with her. Of course, I did! (When you are a rock star, it is important to come down off the stage sometimes and dance with your fans!)

Afterwards, everyone was happy with our performance and applauded wildly. Maybe I should plan a tour for next summer. Do you think I would need an agent?

After the concert, Laura wanted to say hello to Tannis, so I finally got to meet her! I have been listening to her music for many years and, it turns out, Tannis has been reading my stories (she said I am a very funny writer!) but we didn't get to meet face to face until yesterday!

(Laura forgot that I had written about Tannis' music before. She told her, no, my Home County blog posts were the only time I had written about her, but Tannis was correct. When Ashton and I published our journal about our Adventures at Camp five years ago, I wrote about all of the music that we danced to at Camp, and Tannis' CD was one of my favourites!)

After we said goodbye to Tannis, and Tannis promised to come back to London and visit us again soon, I got to meet Mae Moore! Laura really likes her music and wanted to thank her for coming out to London and performing at our festival, so I got to meet her too!

It turns out that not only is Mae a wonderful person and musician, but she is smart too! She said that I am a very good dog. She only got to spend two afternoons with me (and they were busy afternoons for Mae, remember, because she had to perform and all both days) but she saw already how good I am!

Mae lives further away from us than Tannis, but I hope that I will get to see her again too!

Now the festival is over and we are back at home. Laura is back to work on her computer and I am resting up after my exciting weekend and stage debut.

Until next time...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Music & Raspberries!

I blogged earlier about how Laura and I harvested all of the cherries from our parents' cherry tree. Well, we've also been harvesting wild raspberries.

There were lots of wild raspberries along the edge of the field where Laura and I used to walk in Blenheim, and our neighbours there have some in their back lot which they let us harvest. I helped Laura to find the best berries and I kept the bugs away from her while she was berry-picking. (I am a good bug catcher!) The best raspberries, however, were from our own garden in London.

Last month, Laura had to take out half of our garden so that people looking to buy our house could see where the car parking was. We were sad about that. Especially because most of what Laura had to remove were wild raspberry canes with lots of blossoms on them.

Our raspberries were a gift from the birds the first summer Laura had this house. We let the rapberry canes grow in our driveway because we don't own a car, and every year they invited more of their friends to move in so that every year Laura harvested more raspberries than the year before. Last year she had enough raspberries from her own garden to make her famous Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake!

Then, this year: the big cull. Half of our raspberry plants sacrificed to appease potential home buyers with motor cars. But the raspberry patch obviously forgave Laura because this year we harvested 8 cups of raspberries from our own garden!

Laura made a raspberry pie out of some of the raspberries we harvested in Blenheim. The raspberries from our own garden, however, are waiting for our next party (or three!) so they can contribute to cheesecakes again. In the meantime, Laura has been posting some of her raspberry recipes on The Polyphagous Dragon so if you have your own raspberries, you can try some of these yummy recipes out without needing to wait for our next party. (We still don't know when that will be.)

First thing this morning, I helped Laura harvest the last of our raspberries. Then we headed off to the Home County Folk Festival.

Remember how Laura's dragons were always complaining that she never took them to any music concerts? Well, dragons are kind of big and scary and, well, crazy, but I am small and cute and everybody loves me, so I got to go to the music festival with Laura today and hear all kinds of wonderful music!

At the first concert, we heard Tannis Slimmon, Mark Reeves, Mae Moore and Valdy all sing, accompanied by a famous guitar.

I love Tannis' music. Laura has one of her CDs which we listen to all the time. I hope that Laura gets a new job soon so we can buy more CDs though, because Tannis just finished a new CD which we don't have yet, and the other musicians were really good too!

Our friend Allison was at the first concert too. Not playing. Just enjoying the music this weekend like me and Laura. So Laura and I got to sit with her, and I met Allison's Mum & Dad and lots of other people who wanted to come and talk to me (because I am so beautiful and I am a princess, after all).

At the next concert, we got to hear the Sirens (a wonderful London band that Laura has known for a long time) and Sarah Burnell (a Celtic singer & fiddler). Then there was a performance by a cool band called Twilight Hotel. (I really hope that Laura gets a job that pays a LOT of money, because we have a lot of new CDs to buy!)

After the Twilight Hotel concert, I went to get my picture taken with the famous guitar. They wanted lots of people to pose with the guitar to make it even more famous, and I figured a photograph with a princess would be a real boost to that effort. Plus, the lady who was helping to look after the guitar and organize the photo shoot was really nice to me, so I consented to the photo-op.

While I was waiting to have my picture taken (when the guitar people send me the picture, I will post it here so you can all see it) it was very hot. A nice lady came and shared her water with me. (Laura brought water to the festival for us, of course, but Laura's water was all warm by this time and the nice lady had beautiful cool water.) The lady told us all about her dog that helps her to garden, and Laura told her how helpful I am, and I gave her the address of my blog so she can read about my adventures. (Hi Deborah!)

After photos, it was time for more music. This time with Mae and Tannis again (both beautiful, beautiful people - I hope that we can get their new CDs soon!) and Treasa Levasseur. Oh! She was good too! Laura got to hear Mae and Treasa play last summer in Owen Sound, and Tannis she has known for a while and heard many times, but today was my first day hearing any of them live!

For my last concert of the day, the Sirens came back, this time with their friends Tanglefoot. Party time! Tanglefoot were a little bit loud for my sensitive princess ears, but they sure were fun! I didn't understand why none of the people got up to dance (Laura says it is a common failing of London audiences) but when another dog arrived on the scene, I decided to mix it up with him a bit. The other dog didn't want to dance with me, however. He went and hid under some of the sound equipment, and one of the guys in the band made fun of us. (That's okay though. Princesses can laugh too, and Tanglefoot were funny!)

After the other dog declined my dance invitation, a little boy came to play with me. He stroked my ears and scratched my bum and was generally a pretty good kid -- except for when he tried to lie on top of me. (I am a puppy dog, people, NOT a pillow!) He was nice though. So was Tanglefoot's fiddler Sandra. She came down off the stage to talk to me after their set.

After the Sirens/Tanglefoot jam, I went home. It was a hot day, and I have to save some energy so I can greet my adoring fans at the festival again tomorrow. Sure did get to hear some great music today though. Folk festivals are fun!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Part of my job is to remind Laura when it's time to eat.

She gets so caught up in her projects on her computer, sometimes she works for hours and hours and forgets to stop for food. When that happens, it is my job to give her a little nudge. A "hey Laura" poke with my nose or perhaps a little lick on her knee to remind her that it is dinner time.

Well, today, Laura actually remembered to make dinner on her own. She stopped working and turned away from her computer and got to work chopping vegetables. Laura decided to make a very yummy Curry Chicken Salad. Only trouble is, she then got so caught up in creating her salad that she forgot she was supposed to share it with me!

I know I don't need as much food as Laura, and I try not to eat too much people food because you all eat some things that are not very good for you and I want to stay strong and healthy for a long time yet -- but when Laura chops up red peppers, she is supposed to share them with me! Just a little tiny piece. Just a taste. But she forgot!

Laura mixed ALL of the red pepper into her salad. Then she turned and saw me sitting behind her, patiently waiting for my piece. She then had to fish a piece out of the salad for me, now all coated in yummy curry sauce. Hmmmm-mmmmm! (She remembered my piece of onion before tossing that into the salad though, so I didn't get curry sauce on my onion, just my red pepper.)

If you want to know how Laura makes Curry Chicken Salad and other yummy things, check out her new culinary blog. (She's actually posting to that one!)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Photo Shoot

Today a stranger came to visit us. Well, Laura says he's not a stranger. He is her client and she says he is a good person, but I barked at him a bit anyway, just to let him know that I was keeping my eye on him. (You never can be too safe these days.)

Laura is designing a web site for her client for his new infrared thermography business. He brought his special camera with him to show us how it worked and I helped with the meeting by being the model for the photo shoot:

Cool, huh?

Maybe I could be a professional model. Everyone says how beautiful I am!

Here is another pic of me, resting on one of my beds:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Something Good

I know I have written mostly about happy things and then my last post wasn't very happy and probably that was shocking for some people so I wanted to get back to writing about something good. So here it is: a good thing that Laura is participating in:

Laura was recently invited by Alana Lea, a peace artist who she met online while preparing for the Imagine Peace group's celebration of the International Day of Peace last September to join The Peace Portal - a Global Network for Enlightening Peace Activism. The group is still very young, although already there are members from all over the world who are engaged in some very exciting peace-creating projects.

If you are a peace maker who would like to connect with a web-based community of "peace activists, artists, authors, entrepreneurs, spiritual teachers and visionaries to share resources for the success of a shared purpose: to Affirm Unity & Declare Peace" then you are welcome to join the Peace Portal.

(If you do join, be sure to say hello to Laura Rainbow Dragon and she'll be happy to add you to her network of friends on the Peace Portal. -- Just tell her Princess Kendal, Wonder Dog sent you!)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Grotesque Miscarriage of Justice

Laura didn't want me to blog about this because she doesn't want my soul to be tarnished with hatred, but this is just so awful, I have to say something.

There's this person (we'll call him that because equating him with a different species would unfairly slag that species) who has a "problem". Specifically, he has "a problem with voyeurism". He violates women by spying on them while they are in private places doing private things.

He commits this crime.
He gets caught.
He cries, Boo hoo. Please don't be mad at me. I didn't mean to break the law. I have "a problem."
He goes to some therapy sessions to help him with his "problem" and is never convicted of the crime he committed.

Sometime later....

He stops attending therapy.
He finds himself a new victim.
He commits this same crime against her.

While she is a guest in his home, he spies on her while she is bathing.
He does this again. And again. And again.
One time, he even does this with his infant daughter on his shoulders!
Eventually his victim catches him in the act and confronts him about his behaviour.

He confesses that he behaved dispicably.
He tells her he has "a problem". He used to be in therapy for it.
She tells him it must NEVER happen again.
He swears that it will not.

The victim is in shock.
She is reviled and repulsed.
She fears for her safety.
If the criminal broke into her room at night, would she awake in time to save herself?
Could she scream loudly enough to attract help?
Could she extricate herself from beneath his disgusting 300+ lb bulk?
Would sleeping in her jeans provide any protection?
How about piling furniture up against the door?
How long can she go without sleeping at all?

Hideous as this situation is, the victim must find a way to continue to function in the rest of her life. Not an easy task, because the criminal is her colleague and his wife her boss. However, she forges ahead.

She buys herself a house.
She installs good locks on all of the doors.
Now she is safe.

... but she's not safe.

The criminal spies on her in her office too.
Several times she catches him pressed up against the glass of her office window, trying to peer in through the hole in the blinds. She also discovers that he has turned the office security camera 180 degrees around from the position it is supposed to be in (focussed on the office door) so that it is now aimed down through the slats of her window, into her office.

The victim is not the only person to catch this criminal in the act either. On one occassion, another colleague walks into the office and finds the criminal down on his hands and knees before the victim's window, trying to peer up beneath the blinds at her.

The office voyeurism is deeply disturbing and creepy, but the victim doesn't do anything too personal in the office -- it is an office, after all -- besides occasionally getting changed before she leaves at the end of the day (which she soon learns not to do when the criminal is in the office with her or when the security camera is focussed in the wrong direction). What can the victim do but take what precautions she can and try to do her job?

Then the criminal trespasses on her land and spies on her in her own home!

The neighbours see him and call the police.
The police offer to "talk to" the criminal.

"Are you going to arrest him?"
"No. Probably not at this point."
"Well then, what good will your talking to him do?"

The victim is afraid again. Now she's not even safe in her own home!
What if the criminal breaks in? What if --

The locksmith who installed her new locks is a friend of the criminal's!
He wouldn't have given a key to the criminal, would he?
Would he?
Surely not. He is a professional locksmith. He would never violate a client's trust with such an act...

But there was a time when the victim believed that a colleague -- a friend -- someone she had known for nine years would never violate her trust. Yet the criminal did.

Is it safe to trust anyone?

The victim is afraid to involve the police because the criminal has a bad temper and is physically very large. If he became angry... she does not know what would happen.

Once again, the victim needs to find a way to continue to function. Now she really needs her job because she has a mortgage and no one paying her bills but herself -- but the next day she feels sick at the prospect of going into work and facing the criminal. She works in a small office. Sometimes she and the criminal are the only ones there. Alone in an office on a quiet floor of a concrete tower. The victim is unable to force herself to go into work.

The following day, the victim contacts a counsellor at her community's sexual assault crisis centre. The counsellor advises her as to her options - none of which are viable. The harassment in her own home is a matter for the police, not a human rights tribunal and, while she could force a human rights case over the workplace harassment, the case would take years to resolve and she would receive no income support during that time.

Still ill at the thought of returning to work, the victim contacts her employer, the criminal's wife, and tells her what has been going on.

The employer is shocked.
(Who knows what griefs she endures as a result of her husband's behaviour.)
The employer confronts her husband.
He confesses to her that he committed the crimes.
He tells her he has "a problem". He's been in therapy for it before.
She tells him the behaviour must NEVER happen again.
He promises her that it will not.
The employer tells the victim that she has received an assurance from her husband that he will not repeat the criminal behaviour. Furthermore, she ensures the victim that her husband will now work from home and not enter the office during the daytime without the victim's express permission in advance.

The criminal abides by this new restriction for a time, and the victim returns to work. The criminal does not take the restriction seriously, however. The victim several times enters her office to find him there. He always has some excuse as to why he didn't bother to warn her first. Nothing the victim can do except keep trying to do her job. Keep trying to get on with her life.

Then, one night, the victim is alone in her bedroom.
It is a hot night, and she is naked, watching television.
(There is a thick drape covering her bedroom window and foliage in front of the window and around her front porch. A person would need to be on her front porch, face pressed up against the bottom corner of her bedroom window to be able to see in from the outside.)

Bedtime arrives and the victim turns off the television.
Her room now quiet, she hears a noise on her front porch.
She quickly turns out her bedroom light and presses her face up against the glass in time to see the criminal slinking off down her porch steps.

Another sleepless night.
Another 2 a.m. discussion with the police.
This time the police officer is willing to arrest the criminal but confesses that a conviction would likely not result. She suggests, as the officer from the previous visit did, giving the criminal a stern talking to.

The victim is still afraid that police involvement may trigger a worsening of the criminal's behaviour. Plus, the criminal has small children. The victim is afraid that waking in the middle of the night to find a police officer berating their father for his disgusting, hideous, criminal behaviour would traumatise them.

But what other option is there?
She's tried confronting the criminal directly.
She's tried asking his wife to deal with him.
Clearly the criminal has no respect or concern for either of them.
Asking the police to talk to the criminal is a crapshoot, but something has to change and there are no other options.

The victim asks the police officer to talk to the criminal.
The police officer makes note of the criminal's street address and heads off to do so.

Sometime later, the police officer reports back to the victim.
She spoke with the criminal.
She impressed upon him the seriousness of the crimes he had committed.
He told her he had "a problem". He'd been in therapy for it before.
She told him obviously he needed to be in therapy for it now.
She told him the criminal behaviour must NEVER happen again.
He assured her that it would not.

The victim keeps trying to do her job. To pay her mortgage. To function in her life.

The criminal trespasses on her property again.

The victim is alone in her bedroom.
She hears him on her front porch.
She turns out the lights.
She presses her face up against the glass.
This time, the criminal hunkers down, trying to make himself small, trying to hide. (As if he ever could!) Eventually he stands up and slinkers off down the stairs.

The victim calls the police again.
This time the police officers berate her for having greenery in front of her front porch and no porch light on.

"The entire front of your house was in darkness when we arrived."
"It's two o'clock in the morning!"
"We couldn't see your porch at all from the road."
"What difference would it make if you could? Are you going to patrol my street all night long, every night?"
"No. We cannot do that."
"Then how would keeping a bright light on right outside my bedroom window that would keep me awake all night help me?"
"Have you taken out a restraining order against this person?"
"Well, you need to do that. We cannot help you unless you have a restraining order."
"You what?!"
"If he's harassing you, you need to get a restraining order. Otherwise, there's nothing we can do."
"How would a restraining order help me? Would you provide me with a 24 hour police escort?"
"Then how would the restraining order help? He's trespassing on my property! He's peering in through my bedroom window! His behaviour is illegal isn't it?"
"Yes. It is."
"Then you don't need a restraining order to arrest him!"
"We'll have to make a report to our supervisor and see what he says."

The police officers leave.
They take the criminal to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
They report to their supervisor.
The supervisor calls the officer who responded to the previous call.
She tells him that the criminal is majorly creepy and that, if he has offended again, he needs to be arrested.
The police officers return to the victim's home.
They take her full statement.
They return to the criminal's house and haul him off to jail.

By morning he has been released.

This time, however, he finally fears for his own hide.
The grief he was causing his victim -- his colleague and one-time friend was not enough to induce him to change his behaviour.
The grief he was causing his own wife was not enough to induce him to change his behaviour.
But now. Now he finally goes back into therapy because he doesn't want to go to jail.

This time he does stay away from the victim.
But he also stops doing his job.

Now the victim has to deal with complaints every day from her colleague in charge of office reception because the receptionist is paging the criminal with tech support calls every day which the criminal is failing to reply to and the clients are then calling back and venting their frustrations on the receptionist.

The victim brings this matter to her employer's attention.
The volume of calls is not too high to handle, and, if the criminal is busy doing programming work, the company isn't making any money from it because the victim doesn't know about any programming work and she issues all of the company's invoices.
What is the criminal doing all day long that he can no longer do his job?

The employer replies that her husband is "busy".

Later, the victim finds out what the criminal has been "busy" with.
His counsellor has suggested to him that he needs to find a safer outlet for his problematic urges, so he has taken to spending his days in an online virtual world.

The victim begins to receive reports from multiple sources concerning the nature of the criminal's questionable activities within said online virtual world. Meanwhile, the criminal's lawyer asks the crown to drop all charges against his client because his client has found himself a "hobby" now.

The days pass.
The company's clients, still not receiving the technical support that they require, start cancelling their contracts.
The company's revenues drop.
The company can no longer afford to pay the salaries of its full staff complement.

Who do you suppose is laid off at this point in the story?
(I'll give you a hint. It's not the man who is sleeping with the boss.)

You got it!
The victim -- who is a good person. The victim -- who has given eight years of her life to this company. The victim -- who has worked hard, who has worked long hours, who has worked for very little pay. The victim -- who has suffered the criminal's hideous behaviour for three and a half years and still kept on trying to do her job, trying to pay her mortgage, trying to make the company work. The victim loses her job.

She searches for a new job, of course, but this isn't an easy task.
She's spent most of her working life servicing the needs of her now previous employer -- developing the skills which that company needed and trying to clean up the messes caused by the criminal and not having much in the way of opportunity to acquire the certifications or work with the programs which would position her in a good place to move on from that company into a new position within a highly competitive and quickly evolving job market. A job market in which employers don't have time to train new employees or even to examine every potential hire thoroughly enough to learn of her skills and experience which would prove valuable to their company so instead resort to weeding initial applicant pools by requiring that candidates possess certificate X (which denotes mastery of a fraction of the skills which the victim possesses) or have experience with software program Y (which the victim could learn how to use in a day).

The victim's job hunt continues.
Her savings melt away.
No longer able to pay her mortgage, the victim is forced to sell her house.

Now five years have passed since the criminal began his harassment and violation of the victim. The life which she had worked hard to build for herself has been torn to shreds by his behaviour. And she receives a letter from the Assistant Crown Attorney, informing her that the Crown has withdrawn all charges against the criminal.

The criminal harrassed this victim repeatedly over a period of three and a half years.
And he is a repeat offender. (He has victimized at least one other woman that we know of.)
And he has confessed to his crimes.
He confessed to the victim.
He confessed to his wife.
He confessed to the police.
He confessed to the Crown.
The fact that he committed the crimes with which he was charged -- the crimes which ruined his victim's life -- is not in dispute.
So why has the Crown withdrawn all charges?

Because the criminal asked it to.
Because the criminal, when his own hide was finally on the line, finally went for therapy for his "problem".
Because the criminal told the Crown that he is all better now and solemnly promised that he would not repeat the criminal behaviour again.

Where have we heard that line before?

The criminal promised the victim he would not re-offend.
The criminal lied.
The criminal promised his wife he would not re-offend.
The criminal lied.
The criminal promised a police officer that he would not re-offend.
The criminal lied.
Now the criminal has promised the Crown Attorney that he will not re-offend and the Crown somehow believes that his promise will be worth something this time?

Well, remember that the criminal has done some therapy sessions now.
(Oh. Right. Been there. Done that before. Re-offended.)
And he says that he has gained an understanding of how his actions negatively impacted upon the victim.
(If this were true -- if he understood even a fraction of how much damage he has caused to the victim -- how could any individual fit to remain a part of human society who possessed that knowledge have the gall to ask the courts not to prosecute him for crimes which he KNOWS he committed?)

But the Assistant Crown Attorney says "it is not in the public interest to pursue this matter any further."

The Assistant Crown Attorney then proceeds to rub salt into the wound by suggesting that, since the criminal's counselling sessions were not covered by medical insurance, he has had to bear the financial burden of these sessions himself, therefore, "there has already been a direct impact or consequence to him as a result of his actions"!

Sanctity of home destroyed. Job lost. Home lost. Life in ruins.


Out of pocket a few coins for some therapy sessions.


I'm not a hateful dog. I'm shy, and people scare me sometimes, but I try to be brave and find the good in people.

But there's nothing good in this story. This story is so very, very wrong.

My heart aches.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Compassionate Musician

Since Laura spends so much time on her computer, I decided I should do some web surfing myself to see what all the interest is about.

I found this website which is by a musician who loves animals. She made a CD with some friends to help raise awareness about animal cruelty and she helps to support the work of With Compassion and Soul, an Australian organization that raises money and collects donated veterinary and medical supplies and donates them to animal shelters in countries where they don't have very much money.

I know I am very fortunate because I have my friend Laura and my Mum and my Dad and other friends who all help to look after me, and I get to sleep in a big bed and eat yummy food, but not all animals are as well blessed as I am. Some animals have to live in horrible conditions and some have people do mean things to them. Some companion animals even get abandoned by their families and left to die alone! This makes me really really sad and really really angry, but I am glad that there are people like Bev Luff and Mel Watson who are trying to help people to change and be nicer to animals, so I hope you will visit their web sites and learn more.

P.S.: Laura says that she knows Mel and that Mel even slept in our bed one time! (Laura organizes and promotes concerts when she is able to do so and she invited the wonderful band FRUiT that Mel is a part of to perform in London a couple of years ago.)

I really hope that when Laura and I find a new place to live Laura will be able to be a concert promoter again. Then we can invite FRUiT to visit again and I can meet Mel too!

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Yesterday morning my Mum took the van to see the doctors. They fixed it all up and the van came back with no more leaky fuel line. Then Laura packed all of our gear back into the van.

I wasn't sure what to think. The day before she had promised me we were going home. I was all excited and I waited in the van while Laura loaded it up. Finally, we set off down the street - only to drive around the block and go straight back to our parents' house.


Laura unloaded the van again and we went back in the house and ate treats to make us feel better.

Then, yesterday, the van went to see the doctors and then Laura started loading it up all over again. Were we really going this time?

Finally, everything was loaded up again and we all piled into the van (I sat up front with Laura) and we set off down the road.

No bad smells this time.
No trail of fuel in our wake.
We were really going!

Home, home, home!
We are really home again!

When we first got back to London, I didn't want to get out of the van. It's been so long since I've been here and I've been left behind so many times... Was this a trick?

Laura said no, no trick and to get out of the van, so I did. We went into our house and Laura unloaded all of our gear into our house. Then our Mum drove away in the van. Laura and I were home!

The house looks kind of funny. Stuff has been moved all around. Even the furniture has been moved. I wasn't sure which of the beds was Laura's and mine, so I made sure to spend some time on all of them!

Laura says that moving things around was part of what we had to do to sell the house. Now the house is sold, so we can put things back how we like them -- but only for a little while. At the end of the summer, we will need to move house again. But for now, we are home!

Laura is going to write to all of our friends to invite them to come around and visit us, because I know everyone will have been missing me while I was away!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

False Start

Today was going home day.

When we woke up this morning, Laura took my special travelling blankets off the bed and washed them. Then she took the big blanket off our bed and washed it. Then she stripped the sheets from our bed and washed them. Then she rolled up the whole bed!

All day I couldn't lie in our bed because it wasn't there anymore! I was a bit worried about that, but Laura said it was okay. She said today we were going home.

After the laundry, Laura started packing up all of her stuff. She packed up all of her clothes. She packed up all of her papers. She even packed up her computer!

I tried really hard not to be worried because Laura said everything was okay -- but Laura packed up her computer! That means for sure she was leaving and everytime Laura leaves I have to stay behind because we are selling our house.

Laura said this time was different though. She said the house is sold so we can move back into it now. (I'm not quite sure how that works, but Laura is really smart so I'm sure she has everything all figured out.) Laura said we were going home -- Laura and me both together. She packed up my food and my blankets and all of my toys. Then she started to load everything into the van.

I ran and jumped into the van and took my spot by the front seats. Laura said I was going with her -- but I wanted to make sure. No mistakes. No forgetting me. No leaving me behind. I was going to be in that van with Laura today when it left. We were going home.

Finally, everything was packed. Laura got in the van and our Mum got in the van and I was already in the van (of course!) and nobody said I had to get out. We closed up all of the doors and started the van's engine. And there was a nasty, horrible, smell.

Gasoline, said Laura. The van smelled of gasoline.

We drove down the driveway and onto the street, but the smell didn't go away.
Mum was worried because she didn't know what was wrong and it was too late to go to the garage and London is far away. We didn't want to be stranded on the highway!

Laura said we should drive around the block and go back to the house. If the van was leaking fuel, we would be able to see marks on the driveway where it fell. So that's what we did. No one had to inspect the driveway for gasoline stains when we got home, however. As soon as we started backing the van onto the driveway, Laura saw the trail of gasoline we had been leaving on the road.


Laura unpacked the van and brought everything back inside.

In our home in London, it is nice and quiet and peaceful -- and our bed is there! -- but we are not. Laura and I are still stuck in Blenheim.

So much for going home day.