Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Celebrating the Bear Facts

I had my Voter Information Card in my coat and my son had his card in-hand as well. We backed the car out of the driveway, off to vote in Monday’s federal election. We barely got 50 metres from the house when my son commented that my wife’s Voter Information Card was on the edge of the kitchen table. We knowingly looked at each other, turned the car around and went back to move the card to the middle of the table.

Those are the Bear facts. There was a strong possibility that if the card was within snout distance, Bear might indulge his crazy cardboard craving by exuberantly mulching it.

As she reads this, I guarantee my wife is rolling her eyes because she’s identified me as the guilty party who allegedly nurtures his cardboard craving. He is so thrilled to be handed a finished paper towel roll, I can’t help it; I understand it!

I always pick up the shredded pieces afterward.

Do not be fooled by that adorable face
One week ago today, he indulged his craving for furry things by eating a thin, fluffy toy with round plastic squeakers at both ends. I saw him chewing it earlier in the day and idiotically gave him the benefit of the doubt. He hadn’t swallowed anything in a while; at least nothing we’re aware he swallowed.

Later in the day, we began searching for evidence the missing toy ever existed at all. There was none. Vaporized by aliens! Fairly certain it lay crumpled in his stomach, we went to the vet and asked them to induce vomiting. Five minutes after they took him in the back, they returned with the intact toy wrapped in a towel, squeakers and all.

Those are the Bear facts.

One year ago Saturday, we drove home with a little ALD on my wife’s lap in the back seat.

We had a hard time naming him but, because he looked so much like a teddy bear, we settled on Bear.

He was supposed to be 25 pounds but now weighs 40 and he provides us with no shortage of weighty adventure!

As I pointed out in an earlier blog ("Spotless Insanity" May 21, 2015), we’re a lot more careful about leaving potential ingestibles lying around. Clearly, we have some work to do yet.

The "Doodle Romp" in Ottawa
He's so darn cute and loveable! Those are the Bear facts!

He embodies sheer exuberance and, for his trouble, his personal Instagram account, @thedoodlebear, went over 1000 followers on October 18th! I’m way back there, eating doodle dust with a measley 250 followers. That’s my Bear fact.

Earlier this month, we attended the “Doodle Romp”, organized by his breeder in Ottawa. It was great fun for us and for Bear! The breeder invites owners of her Australian Labradoodles back to her home in the country to see how her dogs are doing and to, I'm convinced, surreptitiously, assess the mayhem they’ve sown.

What a year it’s been. We’re celebrating the first anniversary of the Bear facts on Saturday, although I’m pretty sure our unimpressed Westie, Spike, will choose to sleep through the whole thing.

Cardboard for everyone!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Brace Yourself for Mr Blotchy

We tape Montreal Billboard on Friday.

I got up this morning and noticed a nasty cold sore emerging on the left side of my bottom lip.


Then, I shaved and cut myself in the centre of my upper lip.


I went to the studio and thanked Stephanie, the make-up artist, profusely, when she expertly made them disappear.

See, you can't even notice cuts and sores!
We recorded our show and as I walked back to the train later in the day, a TVA reporter and her cameraman cornered me at the red light as I waited to cross Ste-Catherine at McGill College.
I had initially waved her off, which is what I always do, since I work in the media myself.

She was good - and politely persisted, asking me about the federal election. I answered in French, explaining my mind still wasn’t made up. When she asked me why I was not yet decided, I told her none of the candidates have inspired me.

She asked whether I would be voting; I assured her that, without a doubt, I would be voting. The brave men and women of Canada who fought and died in the wars of this world sacrificed their lives so that I could cast a ballot, choosing the government and policies under which I live.

Do not doubt I will exercise my democratic right!

Thanking me for my comment, the reporter turned off the camera and kindly said she hoped I would be inspired over the coming weekend.

I was being honest.

None of the party leaders have anything new, inspiring, or the least bit visionary to offer. It all strikes me as gibberish and none of it helps me any more or less than I'm already being helped or hindered by politicians in this country. I sincerely wish that wasn't the case. I would like to sit up in my seat, convinced a politician and his or her policies could improve my situation. For the record, all of them are pushing some policies that I do not like.

Pierre Trudeau and Rene Levesque are two politicians that unequivocally inspired people because they fought to take us somewhere we had never gone before. These were men of vision, driven by unstoppable passion and conviction to strive, no matter what the odds, for their ideal.

Anyway, if you watch TVA tonight and they use me, without make-up at that point, as one of their “streeters”, I’m the guy with the nasty cold sore and shaving cut.

Brace yourself.