The Quiet of Late Summer

Blog posts go beyond 9-5 communications and include my dog Miller, who teaches me about communication beyond words. For work related posts only, use the work  tag  or say hi on LinkedIn.

Summer smells tired. Wafts of blackberry and caterpillar have taken over from blossoms straining to attract bees. The wasps (yellow jackets for more Eastern folks) are clumsy and mean.

I’ve been trying to be quiet this summer, slowing down to the season as much as possible even as work hums along. I’m trying to listen better and more often. I’ve taken a break from word-based social media and focusing on more on visuals of Instagram; looking for details. Yesterday I was walking in an industrial area and  looked up and there was a jet flying across behind  a stretch of barbed wire. I loved that juxtaposition.

Late August is gently edgy, hinting at things to come. The air has a moisture that was missing even a few weeks ago: dew. The morning sun is long and I’m tempted to take photos of  Miller, our short dog seeming a giant in the shadows of the light.

The roll downhill to September is inevitable now. My friend’s son was proudly testing out possible back-to-school-Day-One outfits today. My son gave me a look when I said “Back to school”. He likes school, but after summer dedicated to eating, sleeping, and growing, he knows September will feel like a flurry.

I look forward to the exciting upswing of September. It’s always been the start of the year for me, with January a pale and cold second. Work-wise I have plenty to look forward to; it will be a busy fall. In the meantime, I’m holding onto quiet as much as possible.



Sunday Morning Spiritual

Blog topics go beyond 9-5. For work related posts only, click the work tag or say hi on LinkedIn.

There are days when I want few words and a lot of walking in nature. I’m very fortunate to live in a city that is nudged up against nature everywhere you turn: mountain trails studded with rocks that lead to spectacular views; canyons with so many shades of green they seem unreal but to the people who live here; flat river deltas with herons, eagles, ducks, geese, kingfishers, red winged blackbirds and many more. It’s as common to see an eagle soaring as it is to see a robin; something visitors find amazing.

I have lived and travelled across Canada, but the West Coast is my heartland. It was an Ontario friend who introduced that concept to me. We were looking out on a deep green lake in Southern Ontario at the end of a summer, and when she heard I grew up in Vancouver, she asked about it. She admitted she wasn’t that interested in visiting; the ocean didn’t draw her. Canadian shield country, she said, this is my heart land. I’d never heard the term before but I recognized it. The West Coast is mine. Read more

Geo Dog

Blog topics go beyond 9-5. For work related posts only, click the work tag or say hi on LinkedIn.

Yesterday Tracy and I went geocaching. Miller came along as a distraction.

If you don’t know geocaching, welcome to the wacky world of getting excited about finding tiny containers in the woods. Or you might find one on a city street, in which case you need to be super stealthy so the Muggles (the uninitiated) don’t see what you’re doing. A rule of the game is to protect the caches for others through careful searching, so geocachers the world over are trying to avoid detection as they use GPS coordinates, narrative descriptions and clues to find things hidden everywhere you can’t imagine.

There is probably a geocache not far from where you are. According to the official geocaching site, there are over 2 million hidden in the world in over 180 countries. When I introduced my friend Jenn, after her first find, she breathed, “It’s like there’s a whole world people don’t know about!” That’s the fun. Read more

A Dog’s Breakfast in Space

This morning Miller had his breakfast in a tunnel. It’s all part of our plan to help him feel better about space and touch, two of his sensitivities. He is a dog who needs space even with us, which we respect. Given how sensitive he is, we’re not surprised he lost whatever home he had in his first year- people generally expect to be near and able to touch their dogs. His comfort with us has changed a lot for the better with training and time, which takes patience. Read more

I Don’t Want A Christmas Puppy

Bridging Communication Divides with Dogs 

I was the kid who scrambled around the grass on all fours, pretending to be a dog. (A neighbour complained if I barked too early on Sundays.) I was the kid who wanted to pat dogs, got bitten more than once but persevered. (I knew little about dog body language.)  I wanted a happy dog smile in my life, at my side.

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Improving Communications with Miller

miller_may29_16Bridging Communication Divides with Dogs 

It’s the weekend, a rainy Sunday, and I’m staring down at the family dog, PuffleBunny (his actual name is Miller). He’s got me thinking about what feels right and good in our relationship. He is stretched out next to me like a basking seal and he is relaxed; very relaxed.

This is a big change from our early days after my family adopted him, when we gave him the nickname Space Man to respect his needs.

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