Tuesday, July 26, 2016

WW - House Sparrows w/linky

We have a nest of house sparrows in the eaves over our back deck. There are at least three babies, but it's impossible to see into the nest because of the way mom and dad have built it. Just a few days ago the babies began to venture out. I got a few great shots of them feeding.
So hungry, Momma!
Lunchtime!

Daddy Sparrow




Monday, July 25, 2016

It Had to Happen Eventually

Last night we let the dog out to relieve herself before bed, about 10:30. She was out just a few seconds when she came asking to be let in. Not enough time to have done anything, but likely in her mind enough to convince us to give her a treat. Scam artist. I was on the verge of sending her back out when I saw it. A flash of white under the cherry tree. Crap. A skunk.

Needless to say, I let Maxi in and thanked my lucky stars. I'd rather clean up pee than skunk spray.

Fast forward to tonight, about 11:30.

Maxi had already been out and was in bed, but Boo came downstairs so she asked to go out again (i.e., she saw an opportunity for a second bedtime treat). He let her out and pretty quickly started calling her back. "Momma, I think Maxi is chasing something."  Yep. Tonight the skunk was back and Maxi got far enough into the yard to see it.

She saw. She chased. She got sprayed.

I could smell it as soon as I got to the door. Then I saw her frantically rubbing her head and face in the grass.

It's way too late at night to be dealing with this.

We've been in this house 12 years, and we know there are lots of wild creatures in the neighbourhood, including skunks. But we've never had any of our animals get sprayed. I guess it had to happen eventually.

Last year. When I still thought skunks were cute. At least once their stinky gland has been removed.

I yelled to Boo to start the tub as I attempted to keep Maxi off any soft surface. Hubs went online to research remedies while I gave her an initial bath. It might not be the most effective thing, but it wouldn't hurt, and it kept her contained.

One good wash during the research phase, with lots of doggie shampoo. Hubs found info that essentially said speed is of the essence - you need to get to the oily spray before it dries, so at least we had that one covered. The advice suggested using tomato juice, which I've heard before, but we have none, or mouthwash, which I hadn't heard, but we do have on hand.

I felt a little mean making Maxi stay in the tub while it drained and refilled and Hubs went to retrieve the mouthwash from the other bathroom. But really she brought this on herself.

Doused her in minty mouthwash and let it sit for a bit. Then another good lather and a lot of rinsing in clear water. She smells pretty good now, but we're not convinced where we'll let her sleep tonight. I am voting for putting her dog bed in a bathroom and closing the door.

Oh! Which brings up a piece of advice. If your dog is like ours, she goes immediately from the bath to a bed, the better to dry off by rolling around in the soft sheets. If you are bathing your dog after a skunk spray incident, I recommend you close every door you can, to shut off any access to upholstered furniture, carpet, textiles, etc. Just in case the bathing doesn't quite do the trick.

And - before you attempt to wrangle your pet into the tub, either strip yourself down or haul on some old clothes you don't mind throwing out if needed.

The article we found actually suggested not letting your dog in the house if at all possible (obviously not an option we would go for). I can see why. The whole darn house smells like skunk. Or at least it did. We've sprayed the heck out of place with Febreze, and I have a Lampe Berger going now as well. But the smell has worked its way up into my nose and it will likely be days before I'm convinced the house is ok. I considered turning off the A/C and opening the windows to air out, but considering the stench in the backyard, that's not a great option.

So, wish us well. In the morning I'm heading out to pick up skunk shampoo and tomato juice. Maybe if we have those on hand it won't happen again? Maybe?

It's a good thing she's cute.

UPDATE: She is dumber than I think she is, apparently.  I checked for the skunk before I opened the door tonight, didn't see it, so I let her out. And suddenly there's a skunk and she's chasing it and I'm yelling and she gets sprayed. Again. Right in her eye apparently, given how she was squinting. Another bath. Another round of Febreze. From now on she goes out on a leash after dark. And I need another bottle of Scope. Did I mention I didn't make it to the pet store today? Sigh.

Thanks for your tips and sympathy!

Friday, July 22, 2016

This Weekend in Toronto July 22-24

There's always something happening in Toronto, especially during the summer months. Here are a few of my picks for this weekend.


It's going to be hot, hot, hot this weekend, but there's so much to do in the great outdoors. Just be sure to stay hydrated. Don't forget your hat, sunscreen, and water bottle!


Beaches International Jazz Festival has had a number of events already this month, and now it's time for the main event. The excitement at Woodbine Park begins tonight at 5pm, and runs through Sunday at 8pm, while the StreetFest is on now and runs til 11pm on Saturday, with more than 45 bands! Queen St. E. will be closed from Woodbine to Beech during the Streetfest. All events are free, so come on out and enjoy some great music. Check out the website for the full schedule.



In Scarborough? Scarborough Centre MPP, Brad Duguid, and MP, Salma Zahid are hosting Community BBQ events on Saturday, July 23, in Birkdale Park (1299 Ellesmere Rd.) There'll be food, fun, and family entertainment. Salma Zahid's event is scheduled 12:00-3:00pm, and Brad Duguid's is 12:00-2:00pm. These events are free.

There's also Taste of the Woods, taking place on Saturday from 12:00-5:00pm at the Warden Woods Community Centre (Warden Ave/Danforth Rd.) This annual event will feature live performances, a talent show, a multicultural fashion show, crafts, exotic animals, vendors, and games for all ages! The theme this year is "Inspire Health and Wellness." Event is free. Food will be available for purchase at $2/plate.

For the West End folks, head to the BIG on Bloor Festival of Arts and Culture, Saturday and Sunday, for live performances, food, vendors, games, interactive exhibits, and tons of fun. It takes place on Bloor St. W., between Dufferin and Landsdowne. Saturday 1:00pm-midnight and Sunday noon-6:00pm.


You can celebrate Youth Day Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square, Sunday from 11:00am-11:00pm. This free family festival celebrates young, aspiring artists, showcasing their music, dance, art, photography, fashion and film. There will be two stages for live entertainment, an art tent, vendor market, and more.


But, if the stifling heat is too much for you to take, consider heading indoors -

The Ontario Science Centre is running a special program for kids 8 & under in their KidSpark zone. Optical Illusions runs July 23 at 1:30 p.m., and July 24 at 12:30 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. Hosts will demonstrate and discuss amazing illusions in these interactive sessions. Kids will have fun as they experience the battle between their brain and their eyes as they try to interpret what they see before them.

Whatever you do, enjoy the weekend!

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