31 January 2010

Zoë 101: "Puppy Number 2"

First day home

This is the life!

This should have been the first blog post, oh well!
So, what is a Blue Picardy Spaniel? Where did we get Zoë anyway?
I might be completely biased, but I think the Blue is one of the best, yet unknown, breeds in Canada today.
Brighthope Nola's New Life: Our Zoë
Born: May 25, 2009
Sire: CH Brighthope Blue Suede Shoes ("Suede")
Dam: Alexcyril Gamboling Granola ("Nola")

What's in a name?

With my husband's Greek-Cypriot heritage, we decided on the name, Zoë, Greek for 'life'. It has turned out to be perfect for her. She is most definitely full of life!!!

Although she answers to "Zoë", we have many 'other' names for our little Blue:
Zoester, "Z", Zola, Baby Z, Zoe-Zoe...and many others that are far too embarassing to mention!!

How we chose our Blue
We told ourselves that we were just going to 'look'. We hadn't decided if we wanted the commitment of a dog and were unsure of how our 12 year old, Ginger Tabby, 'Gus' would like a sibling. So off we went for a 2.5 hour drive to Walkerton to 'visit' Vicki and Dave Duncan and their Blues. We met all the adult dogs first and then were taken upstairs in their home to meet their mom, 'Nola, and the pups. There were 11 in the litter! When we saw them all on a big blanket I think we both fell in love instantly. We sat with all the little pups, cuddling them, watching them play and test out those brand new puppy legs. They were about 4 weeks old. Vicki explained that they chose a pup for us based on a number of temperment tests...Did we want a dog for hunting, as a family pet primarily, how active were we, etc.

Our pup, was the 2nd born and also the only pup on our visit that licked my face when I was cuddling her. So, although Vicki thinks she chose our pup, I believe our pup chose us

Our Breeder: Brighthope Kennels

Vicki Duncan is a great person and a wonderful breeder. All of the dogs are treated as family pets and are well socialized and loved.
Please visit their website at:

What is a Blue?

Origin: France
Height: 22 to 24 inches (56-61 cm)
Weight: 45 lbs (20.5 kg)

The Blue Picardy Spaniel (also known as Épagneul Bleu de Picardie) is a versatile sporting dog known for locating and retrieving game under the most adverse conditions. It is a long-legged spaniel with setter characteristics.
They have a calm, well-mannered and patient demeanour. The 'Blue' is very adaptable, gets along well with other dogs and animals, and is gentle and playful with children. They make good watch dogs and will always announce the presence of strangers and will defend their family if need be.

As a sporting dog, they hunt almost instinctively, with an untiring attitude and are able to travel great distances at a steady pace. The Blue is an active dog who requires regular moderate exercise.

The coat is of medium length, thick and flat but may also be slightly wavy. There is feathering on the ears, legs, underside and tail. The colouring is a distinctive blue-grey with black patches of various sizes. Puppies are born mostly white-black the colour filling in later.

The breed was recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1995.

Kypros and I never realized how much joy Zoë would bring into our lives. She has most definitely secured a place in our hearts forever. As she has matured through puppyhood, she has developed into quite a character. We love her morning snuggles and kisses. She can fall asleep while getting a belly rub and snores like a buzz saw. She is a very quick learner. She always keeps an eye on where we are while out for a leash-free romp and often 'points' out squirrels and birds on our walks. She is well liked by all of her buddies at the leash-free and loves to chase and be chased.
She will eat ANYTHING - except peanut butter and rhubarb yoghurt.

She is sweet, smart and endearing. We would recommend this breed to anyone who wants a medium size, intelligent, affectionate, active dog.

26 January 2010

Happy 8th month and yet another dog park rant

Yesterday was Zoë's 8th month birthday! She's big now, basically full-grown, but still a wee pup at heart.

I took her up to the leash-free yesterday morning and it started to rain the minute I got her out of the car. Luckily I was dressed for it - it was so mild that all I needed was my windbreaker. It was great not to have to dress like I'm about to summit Everest!!!

Zoë had a fabulous time. I thought that maybe she might be the only dog there, but the dog walker showed up with 6 dogs, so game on! All the dogs got completely soaked and muddy (as did I). Since the ground was partially thawed, many 'treasures' were unearthed - pieces of tennis ball, more water bottle caps, plastic bags, dicarded coffee cups and piles of unscooped poop. I mean, really, people!!! There are two garbages at the entrance to the park! The leash-free is not a garbage dump. Also, the Volunteer Committee, thanks to the membership fee of a $10, leaves poop bags for patrons. However, there are some who see this generosity as an opportunity to load up on their own personal supply, so these donated bags - about 60 of them - are there one day and all gone the next. Thank you to whoever steals them - the rest of us greatly appreciate it.

One more thing - Kypros and I actually watch two girls avec their dogs walk around the leash-free on Sunday. Their two large dogs crapped all over the place and neither of them stopped to scoop it up. Completely ignorant. These types of patrons are not welcome at the leash-free. Other dogs, and people end up stepping in poop and tracking it home on boots and shoes and PAWS.

This morning, Zoë threw-up. She's been quite lethargic this morning and has just now assumed her post by the living room window to look outside. She hasn't touched her food this morning either. So, my guess is that she ate something at the leash-free. We'll soon see. I'm not going to take her today, maybe just a walk. That way, I can completely control what she puts in her mouth.

Anyway, that's yet another leash-free rant.

19 January 2010

Dog Park Beefs and One Hungry Pup!

Although not reported to date, our Blue eats not only her puppy kibble. Today's casualties:

one Royal Bank pen
the sole of one Sanuk sandal
one sheet from a memo pad
grass and turf tufts - hidden in the mouth and eaten on our living room carpet

Today Zoë spent just over an hour at the leash free. She romped with a couple of other regulars - including a German Shorthair Pointer pup named "Lola" and a Chocolate Lab, "Madison". For puppies, sometimes the leash-free areas are landmines of off-limit 'stuff' - busted tennis balls, shards of broken dog toys, caps from water bottles, coffee cups - even the occasional beer cap. Now thanks to mild temps, one can even see how many folks don't scoop the poop. This is disappointing as the leash-free provides, free of charge, biodegradable poop bags. Today, I spent some time picking up old tennis ball parts and other puppy hazards. We pay a yearly membership to belong to the leash-free - it's only $10. Call me crazy, but that's nothing, right?? Unfortunately, many people use the facilities and don't pay. I'm sure these are the folks who don't comply to the posted rules of use - they're quite simple really (and I mean the rules, but maybe the people too!!)

18 January 2010

Blue Monday

Well, yesterday was completely void of Picardy antics.

We were at the leash free yesterday and were talking 'weather' over steaming hot coffees with other leash-free patrons and agreed that to date, us 'dog owners' have been completely blessed this winter - very litle snow, mild temps... But hey, we know its coming...the frigid, crisp mornings and the unending snow drifts...Now that I think about it, it has 'Blue Picardy' written all over it! Zoë is such a snow dog! When we did have snow a couple weeks ago, she was delighted. She'd bury her head up to her shoulders, bound through the drifts with complete joy and jump (a great vertical by the way!) to catch snow flakes. To see this is a complete treat - it is done with such absolute abandon and utter happiness it would bring a smile to anyone's face.

Today, up at the leash-free our favourite Blue romped with 8 other carefree doggies, but then retreated to spend some quality time eating wood chips! Of course, this is an activity that we completely frown upon. It is just way too dangerous. But, it is nearly impossible to catch her when she's off leash. We do the best we can, but there is more than the odd piece that slips by.

Zoë didn't sleep much this afternoon, so tonight she's completely zonked out on the couch beside Kypros. This means that the pup is out for the night and so am I!

Until tomorrow,

16 January 2010

Happy Saturday!

The Dog Park

Kypros and I just came back from taking Zoë to one of the local leash-free parks. She had a great 1.5 hours playing around with Rocky - a year old American Bulldog. He's twice her size, but he acts like a puppy. She acts like a dog his size. Together they run around and 'wrassle'. It's great that she gets completely tired out, but today she left the park one dirty Picardy. The SUV smelled like wet dog for the trip home. So, a bath was in order (for her of course, not us!!). Being a water dog, she loves the water, but absolutely has no use for a blow dry.

Now, all dry and smelling good, she's completely crashed out for a few hours. Thank you leash-free Mississauga!!

15 January 2010

It's the first blog post!!


This blog is dedicated to our lovable Blue Picardy Spaniel, Zoë. I know, how cute, right?? No worries - it'll also be peppered with comments not about our Blue. Non-Blue comments will appear whenever her day is completely uneventful...rare, but it does happen.

Anyways, stay tuned, enjoy the posts!