Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hello all, it's been awhile and I sorry but life seems to get in the way of blogging. However, today I feel the real need to write, probably as some kind of catharsis that I need. You see, today, Contessa and I had to put down our beloved miniature poodle Max. Max was born April 21, 1998 in Missouri and we bought him and gave him a home on August 3, 1998. He lived with us non stop from August 3, 1998 until earlier today when we had him put down as a final act of love that is only a drop in the bucket so to speak as compared to the unconditional love he provided to us all those years. Yes, he was sixteen years old and lived with us just short of fifteen years and eleven months. Max came into our lives at a difficult time. My dad had died March 28, 1998 and needless to say it was a tough time for all of us. I remember April being the saddest part of my life but little did I know that during that time a breeder in Missouri's dog called Dave's Misty had given birth to a multi coloured poodle who would join us and put smiles on all our faces just a few short months later. Contessa and I had discussed getting a dog, in fact we bought our condo on condition it allowed pets. We just happened to walk into a pet store at a mall we didn't go that often after I had bought some shoes at Roots. She saw a little poodle in a cage barking away as he wanted to join in the fun two other little puppies were having. She said, there's a poodle (we needed a poodle as both of us are allergic to dog fur dander and poodles have hair, not fur). I remember saying, he looks freaky with all those colours, must have been the runt of the litter. He also cost a ton and money was a little tighter in those days. Anyway, we had him brought to the play area and my wife was smart, she had me hold him. He looked at me with his big eyes and licked my face. I was smitten but the cost still was high and I was always told not to buy from a pet store, just a breeder. My wife knew he would be our dog but I said not ready, let's see if we can get a dog from a breeder. She made a few calls to no avail and we agreed to take a drive the next day and talk about it. The fact we had already named the poodle in the store Max kind of tells you how that conversation went. Anyway, on the long weekend Monday we drove back to the mall and she went in first, with me being afraid of seeing her in tears if someone else had snatched up our dog. Nope, there he was running around the play area with her, I joined in and he pulled my shoe laces. We bought him with my wife financing him on her Visa. We took him home and other than babysitting with grandma or auntie, he has never left our side. I can still see him running through the house on running spells, his first hair cut where my wife almost cried he was so cute. Hand feeding him at first as he was a social eater to some extent, his first walk around the neighbourhood with our being the proudest parents around. Funniest was my wife saying once, he's asleep let me see if I can walk by him without him hearing, not knowing of course that dogs hear EVERYTHING. Anyway, days grew into weeks, into months and years. He was so embedded in the family that he had birthday parties, received congrats on passing puppy school and never missed a family dinner where he got to sit on grandma's lap after everyone had finished eating. He was the family dog, the family grandchild so to speak and put a smile on my mom's face that had been absent since my dad had died. He filled a void. Five years after we gave Max a home, his human brother Brandon was born. Needless to say we were worried he might feel a little jealous and I tried to ensure Max still got the attention he deserved. He was never jealous although when we brought his brother home and he was on the ground in his car seat carrier, Max went up to him, sniffed him, then pulled back, then sniffed again and figure oh ok, he is in the family but I get to sleep in the room in bed with mom and dad, sucker. Max became a close companion to his brother, always appearing in pictures, never far away when Brandon was playing on the floor, and even looking out for him. Once when Brandon was in his swing and couldn't lift his head, Max sensed something was wrong and ran into the kitchen where grandma was and started barking. Of course he was saying, um my brother needs you, come help him. I remember Max barking about 10 seconds before feeling an Earthquake, barking at Osama Bin Laden on tv after September 11, 2001. So many memories, how he loved the infrequent snow we get and how he would sit under his brother's high chair waiting for food to fall from heaven (he gained a couple of lbs at that time). Of course, he started slowing down as he aged, and in August 2006, we found out he had a heart murmur (he had been coughing a little). Needless to say it was devastating and we figured his days were numbered especially after he went on heart medication in January 2007. I figured he would not live that year but we along with the vet managed his heart issued and he continued to have a happy life. He had monthly vet visits where his progress was checked and even after adding additional medications in 2010 I believe, he continued to live a happy life. After he turned 15 he started losing a little weight but no biggie although it continued. We never knew how long he had but were happy with each milestone, another family birthday, xmas, another birthday for him. In November 2013, we found out that he had a growth in his bladder that was operable but given his heart, really wasn't if you know what I mean. My wife and I decided that his quality of life was important and we were going to keep him happy as long as we could. He remained on low fat diets to combat his pancreatitis which we had beaten and began wearing doggy diapers to stop from going in the house (he was really cute and on the cutting edge of fashion as walked around the house in them). He turned 16 on April 21, 2014 and as we had for the last few birthdays, had a party for him knowing it might be his last although we had said that for the last few and he always found a way to come back for one more. However, that did prove to be his last one. He started turning away from his food a few weeks ago so we tried other food and for awhile he gobbled it up but about a week ago it was getting harder to get him to take any food. We did some blood and urine tests on him and found out he had very bad kidneys mostly from being old. There was nothing really we could do as fixing the kidney would hurt the heart etc. We found that out on Sunday and by late Monday he wouldn't eat anything and rapidly went downhill. We knew what we had to do. It was not easy seeing his brother crying knowing that the dog that has been part of his entire life would no longer be there. He said his goodbyes today and Contessa and I took him to the vet tonight to say our goodbyes. The vet told us it was inevitable and we were doing the right thing but many times doing the right thing hurts more than doing the wrong thing. As we gave him our last hugs and told him what a great dog he was, we called the vet in who humanely ended his life. Max's last action was to open his mouth and go bleh re the anesthetic taste much like he did when we was biting furniture and tasted bitter apple. Then it was over. We hugged him one last time, thanked the vet for all his amazing care over the years and Max was taken away. His body might be gone but his spirit will live with us forever. It hurts a ton right now, I wish I could hold him right now and of course, would do anything to have him back with us, but not the way he was the last few days. When we found out he had the bladder issue, I told the vet that I did not want to have him around when he wasn't "Max". The vet understood. The last couple of days he wasn't Max. No tail wagging, no running to see me at the door, no barking at the TV etc. He was telling us it was time. I always wondered how I would know it was time and people told me, you just will. They were right. No one will ever love a dog more than we loved Max, no one will ever do more for a dog than we did for Max. However, all the money spent on special food, monthly grooming, pet supplies, treats, vets is nothing compared to the unconditional love and companionship he gave us over the years. We could never repay Max for that. We are are so in debt to him, it is beyond belief. We learn a lot from our companion animals, unconditional love, not to be judgmental, to love others more than we love ourselves etc. Max gave us all that. He truly loved his brother, his mother, his grandmother, his aunt and me more than he loved himself. He even made the final decision easy for us as he knew I was having doubts earlier in the week. He said don't worry dad, it is ok, I have had a great life, thank you. No Max, THANK YOU for everything. RIP Max April 21, 1998-June 25, 2014.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Nice Run

Well this has been a nice run by the Canadiens. Everyone seems to be contributing, even Desharnais. It all coincides with Emelin returning to the lineup from his knee injury. We are 8-0-1 since his return. Price is on top of his game, Subban and Markov are other world like and Max seems to be able to score at will (at least at home). Even last Wednesday in New Jersey where things usually do not go well for us, our nemesis Elias scored what appeared to be the winner with less than a minute to go when Subban gave the puck away. Did we cry and say oh well, all good things come to an end, nope. Desharnais tied it late on a deflection of a Gionta shot and then scored the shootout winner. Then last night, we faced a well rested Bruin team who hadn't played since Saturday whereas we were playing our sixth in nine nights. After falling behind after one, we came our flying in the second with Plekanec and Pacioretty scoring to lead us to a 2-1 lead. Of course, things can change rapidly and we could lose five in a row, after all stathead analytics and the fenwick stat say we shouldn't be winning. That is why games are not fenwicked on compute, but on the ice. Right now, enjoy the ride.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Another trip to Whistler

Tomorrow I have travel to the quaint mountain town of Whistler for the third time in less then two months and second time in two weeks. Count jr has a Sat am hockey game. It is his first league game. Hopefully my all season tires hold out :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hello again

Well my pretties, it has been too long. Sorry about that but life got in the way. I do intend to bring this blog back to its previous low level of incitefulness and force you all to read my ramblings on a far more consistent basis. Hell, who am I kidding, if I post more than once before 2015, it will be more consistent than it has been. It has been a whacky 18 or so months since we last met up. My son is almost 10 years old now. Hell, imagine me with a child that won't be aged in the single digits in another week. He is enjoying his hockey for sure. He is ecstatic as he will be going to three road tournaments, Victoria after Christmas, Phoenix in February and Seattle in March. When we last chatted he was a forward who hated defence. Now he is a defenceman who hates playing forward. He is enjoying playing and I now have to blow out almost every muscle and tendon in my body to beat him in a race. I figure another year or so and he will beat me. It keeps him in shape though, no childhood obesity for him. He has at least five hours a week with his club team, then power skating and additional free skating so he is on ice on average 7-8 hours a week. It is all good. Canadiens are not going all that hot this year but it is early so they have time. Cowboys frustrate the hell out of me. One week they look like they could beat the best in the NFL, then the next like they could be in the Johnny Manziel sweepstakes. My fortune for consistency. Anyway, enough for now, just gotta get reacquainted again. One parting note, Vive la France. Allez les bleus a Bresil. If only I could say that about Canada but hell, we can't even score against Martinique so good luck. A la prochaine.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Vive La France

2-1 over Germany in an exhibition err friendly on Wednesday in preparation for Euro 2012.

France has not lost since September 3, 2010 when les bleus lost at home to Belarus 1-0 in Euro 2012 qualifying.

Vive La France

No TV for UNC-Duke death match

Tomorrow night, North Carolina and Duke play for the regular season championship and top seed in the ACC Tournament.  Most years, this game is on tv in Canada but alas not this year.  We have three options for NCAA BBall in Canada, TSN, TSN2 and The Score.  They are showing other events at the time of the game.

To say I am choked is an understatement.  So far this year, I have probably seen about 10 UNC games on various networks but the one huge game isn't on.  Life is so cruel.

Oh well, I will just have to follow online or on my phone.

Go Heels!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Where to go on my holiday?

Well it's that time of year again when you have to decide where to go on holiday.  One week for us will be in Montreal for Count Jr's hockey school with the Canadiens.  However the second week is tough.  Spain is looking good, Hawaii too. 

What sayest thou?

Off to VCC tonight

Best part of teaching tonight is that my students are writing an exam so I get paid to watch them do that (while reading or watching a movie of course) ;)

Life is good.

Ugly season

Yeah I know I hzven't written much on the Habs this year, hell what really is there to write about.  A few spread out good runs follow by long runs of ineptitude.  Massive injuries to key players has us 3rd from the bottom in the NHL and dead last in the Eastern Conference.

In my wildest dreams, I could never have seen that happen this year.  Remember we were one shot away from eliminating the eventual Cup champions last year. 

We have 19 games to go and the only thing left to be determined is where we draft in the top 5.

A bright light has been the play of Max Paciorretty this year who has 25 goals.  Not many others have stood out.  It is the longest year for the team since I started following them in the 1970s. 

It is funny how so many wanted Martin fired, he was ruining the team etc, yet he had us one game over .500 and now we are five under. 

At least this should end the tenure of Timmins and Gauthier.

More to follow but if I write much more now, I might puke.

Count takes you to the Oscars

Hello my pretties.

As my yearly gift to my readers, I am providing you with my meaningless takes on the Oscars as I thought of them during the show.  Overall, the show was decent and I figure if you can Best Picture without dialogue, then anything is possible.

Anyway, here goes:

I wish I had Morgan Freeman’s voice, deeper than the Mariana Trench but more soothing than baby oil.  I would never lose a case.

Most gay men and all straight women wish they were Billy Crystal in that hospital scene with George Clooney.

Speaking of George, how long until he dumps that blonde?  I guess she hasn’t asked for a commitment yet.

If I told you two years ago that Jonah Hill would be up for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, you would have laughed in my face.

Great line, “millionaires presenting each other with golden statues”

Hey Forrest Gump, it’s called Grecian Formula, use it.

I want to be that seat filler but no blue tux please.

When did that guy from the Oak Ridge Boys become Rob Richardson?

Michelle Williams, next time you are at the salon, ask for more blonde dye, it isn’t blonde enough.

I guess I need to see Hugo, it is winning and I must follow a winner.

Jlo puts a younger Cam Diaz to shame.  Mark Anthony was not worthy!!

Hey there’s Willow being interviewed, now that the little person quota has been met, I am happy.

Memo to Hillary Swank, Julia Roberts has nothing on your teeth.

Sandra Bullock can even make a harsh language like German sound sexy, suck it Jesse James.

BTW Sandra, nice fake pony tail.

Why is it whenever I see Christian Bale, I am glad I’m not homeless?

I always laugh at the losers in each category clapping for the winners when in reality they are thinking, “bitch that should be my Oscar”.

Octavia Spencer, now that you have an Oscar, you should be able to afford to fix the Michael Strahan gap in your front teeth!

Hey, major shoutout to Stiffler’s mom.

Sarah Palin looked great presenting with Bradley Cooper.

Rooney Mara, you clean up well.

Martin Scorcese is wearing the same glass frames he wore when he filmed the Godfather.

Yep, I gotta see Hugo, it is kicking ass!

Kermit the Frog still rules.

Ooops, gotta fast forward during Cirque de crap err Soleil.

Christopher Plummer and Max Van Sydow, did you bring your daughters to the Oscars?  Oops sorry, they are your wives.

Robert Downey Jr is cool but damn your suit is way too tight.

I still say Mila Kunis got burned last year, she deserved an Oscar for that one scene in Black Swan.  Every guy I know thought that was Oscar winning material right there.

Chris Rock once said a man is only as faithful as his possibilities, well with that haircut, your possibilities are now nil.

Puss and Kung Fu Panda should demand a recount or beat the crap out of Rango.

I wonder if Ben Stiller felt like Willow as he stood next to Emma Stone?

Caesar the Ape got screwed for the visual effects award.

Rob Legato admitted it was awesome to win, no way.

Nice slam by Billy against Mitt Romney re income tax.

Melissa Reo, your hair is so 80s, I guess if you keep the same style long enough, it comes back.

Jonah Hill’s date is old and married, good job Jonah, losing that weight really helped you pull her in.

I still see Christopher Plummer as the Duke of Wellington in the movie Waterloo when he was asked what are your battle plans he responded “to beat the French”.

The role of Santa Claus on December 25, 2012 will be played by Nick Nolte.

Penelope Cruz and Owen Wilson, Beauty and the Beast.

Angelina Jolie, love that pose.  Translated it means “suck it Jenny”.

Mila Jovovich, open your eyes.

Length and girth skit by the bridesmaids, very subtle.

Looks like Catherine Zeta-Jones has nursed Michael Douglas back to health.

Meryl looks good even in her Tina Fey glasses.

Darth Vader has a great voice, I want it.

Stedmon Graham is still alive?  Why hasn’t Oprah dumped his parasitical ass by now?

Liz Taylor was hot.

Natalie Portman, who did your hair, remind me never to book with him or her.

Angelina, damn those lips are red.

How can you win the Best Actor award without saying a word and when you are outshone by a dog?

Glenn Close, you have come so far since you killed that rabbit.

Rooney Mara, you should have gone girl with dragon tattoo on Meryl when she was announced as the winner.

Tom Cruise hasn’t aged since he cross examined Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, that’s it, I am signing up with Scientology tomorrow!

Until next year bye by.