2019 in Review

Whenever I start these annual roundups, I feel I haven't accomplished very much, but as I look through the photos and memories, there sure is a lot that happens in a year! We started out with Aurora titling in SDDA-S before her 7th birthday, earning two BIG ribbons that we braved a snowstorm to receive.

In February, we headed to Mexico for a much needed sunshine vacation, this time heading to the east coast near Cancun at the Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an.

Back home, we walked in the first Soi Dog Canada Mutt March, at which Aurora won the waggiest tail contest (there was no contest haha).

After several years hiatus from overseas travel, we left for Budapest where we battled sweaty tourists for langos, Vienna where we indulged in beautiful books and music, and Prague where a sudden rainstorm drenched us on my birthday.

We arrived home to find our fresh new MBA diplomas waiting in the mail - we are done school!

In July, I traveled with Megan to Toronto where we attended the beautiful Viola and Carlos' wedding. We also had tons of excellent food, especially at Alo, which is ranked as Canada's best restaurant.

Then later in the summer, Megan and I took a weekend getaway to Ashcroft where we rode horses through beautiful scenery and had excellent food at Sundance Guest Ranch.

In September, our family participated in the annual BC SPCA Paws for a Cause walk, at which I surpassed my personal fundraising goal for the first time ever thanks to generous friends who donated.

This was also the year we got to meet a new mini member of our friends group, Evelyn Schwartz. We look forward to watching this independent little kid grow.

What else have we been up to with our fancy new degrees? Well, we bought a Switch and relived childhood memories with Let's Go Eevee, kicked ass with our cooperation skills in Overcooked, and spent many hours exploring The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Last but not least, Aurora and I are so lucky to have a great group of friends (nicknamed the Wolf Pack) to frolic with on weekends. We're hoping to get into some agility classes in 2020, and our goal is to obtain CWAGS Level 1 in nosework, so... paws crossed. We look forward to a new decade and the adventures it brings!

2018 in Review

It's that time of year again! I started out 2018 by seeing my very first winning Canucks game, thanks to Sabrina!

In February, Mike and I escaped the winter by heading to Mexico, where we stayed at the amazing Azul Fives by Karisma resort and had tons of delicious food. I soaked up the sun in our private rooftop jacuzzi while Mike enjoyed the air conditioning.

On a whirlwind weekend with less than 4 hours of sleep, Megan and I went to Hogwarts and Diagon Alley in Florida, and I was selected for the Ollivanders wand experience!

Feeling a bit nostalgic for Derry, I bought the Cats and Dogs expansion for Sims 4 and reunited the family.

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to the littlest member of our family at the end of May. We made sure Macho got lots of cuddles and treats in his last few days.

After being on waitlist for 2-ish years, I finally got to use the Vancouver Public Library's Inspiration Pass! I had lots of fun playing mini-golf for the first time, and visiting many of Vancouver's tourist attractions. 

In June, Mike and I did a roadtrip exploring the Maritimes! We started in Charlottetown, drove around PEI, stopped by Moncton, visited Halifax, and finished off in the Cabot Trail.

Megan and I then went for a ladies' spa weekend on the island at the Tigh-Na-Mara Resort.

In the Fall, Aurora and I participated in our first nosework trials! We qualified in two of the three events. Hopefully we'll pick up the last ribbon in early 2019!

We had a wonderful weekend trip to Kelowna to visit the in-laws in December.

It's been another great year. I look forward to (finally) finishing my MBA studies in 2019, and returning to international travels in June!

2017 in Review

Has it been a year already? 2017 seems to have zoomed by! Speaking of zooms, Mike and I started the year with the purchase of a new car - Nikita!

We went zoom zoom with her to many new places, such as Tofino, where we braved the rain to check out the many beautiful beaches and trails.

We also took her on a road trip through the rockies, where we stopped in Jasper and Banff for the amazing view.

We picked the perfect year for our road trips, as we were able to use the Canada 150 pass to get into the many wonderful national parks for free!

In the summer we spent time on the island, adventuring around Victoria...

And we finally got to stay in the amazing Free Spirit Spheres on Qualicum Beach.

We even did some cave exploring in Horne Lake!

It's been a great year at work - I got to meet President Ono at a breakfast with the president event.

I went to my first conference and made a presentation for WARUCC (Western Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada)! I'm very lucky to have support from my bosses, including Kate Ross, our registrar.

I had some great new experiences with my Student Financial Services team, and I was promoted to Associate Director, which has made the last quarter of 2017 a challenging, but exhilarating blur.

My year would of course be incomplete without mention of dogs. Beyond the fun activities with Aurora in my previous post, I want to celebrate two victories this year. In May, my friends and I participated in an anti-BSL (breed specific legislation) walk to protest the pitbull ban in Montreal. The bylaw has finally been scrapped in the last couple weeks.

In June, I attended a city council meeting for the first time to witness their unanimous vote to ban sales of cats, dogs and rabbits at pet stores. The amended bylaw was put in place this month and is a major win against impulse pet purchases and puppy mills.

A post shared by Aurora (@myawkwarddog) on

Finally, I'd like to share my new year's resolution for 2018: to spend even more time with Aurora! My goal is to teach her one new trick every month. In the last year, Aurora has learned the following tricks: sit, down, wait (for treat), spin, roll over, play dead, shake paw, high five, up (on something), sit pretty, figure eight through legs, and weave through legs. Most of these I consider basic skills, so I think it's time to double down! Stay tuned to our instagrams (her and me) for updates on our progress!

One Year with Aurora

This was the very first photo I saw of Aurora (previously Zora), posted on Petfinder. She was listed as a sweet girl who loved fetch. While she was located in Texas, I couldn't keep away from her profile, and kept clicking on it. Finally, I reached out to her rescue, Save Our Strays, to inquire. 

On December 10, 2016, Aurora arrived in the Vancouver airport! Her flight arrived at 9pm on Saturday night. After some long delays with customs, we finally brought her home at 1am, where she proceeded to get zoomies in the apartment and cuddle with Mike, the perfect Daddy's Girl.

The first month was a whirlwind, and we quickly learned what a energetic little bug Aurora was, and how intelligent she was. On her first food puzzle (which was rated difficult), Aurora found all of the hiding spots in 2 minutes! 

We learned a ton from Shelagh of Dizine Canine in the Life Skills - Basic Manners class. 

We celebrated Aurora's 5th birthday in February. Whenever we meet strangers on our walks, we have to clarify that we do mean 5 years, not 5 months... they never believe us with Aurora's super wiggly bum!

For Easter, we set up an egg hunt for Aurora, and she did great! Around this time we also took fun nosework classes with Erin of Pawsitive Connection.

One of Aurora's first public outings was at the "Bark at the Bird" Whitecaps FC2 event. We didn't watch much of the game, but Aurora sure had fun barking at the bird!

We welcomed springtime at the Abbotsford Tulip Festival.

After practicing for 6 months, Aurora was able to leave an armful of cookies until given the cue to go ahead!

Aurora got a taste of the working life. She spent the day extremely busy gathering treats and pats.

In the summer, Aurora learned to swim! She spent a few afternoons at Spanish Banks during low tide, and had a pool party with her friends.

In September, we went to the BC SPCA Paws for a Cause walk to fight animal cruelty. Despite the hustle and bustle of the many dogs in attendance, Aurora behaved very well (other than stealing a stamp from one of the booths, but who can resist a yummy stamp next to all the delicious treats?).

In October, Aurora and her buddies went back to Abbotsford to explore a corn maze... and for the photo ops, of course.

Aurora also graduated from an official Level 1 nosework class with Rich of Doggone Smart Nosework. We're looking forward to Level 2 in the new year!

For Halloween, Aurora dressed up as a bumblebee to go trick-or-treating around the neighbourhood, and got lots of yummy snacks!

She also went to a party where she dressed up as Supergirl.

In November, Aurora partied with her friend Lexy the Elderbull in celebration of Lexy's one year free from cancer. They dressed up as the princesses they are and had a blast! Rumour is they will be on The Dodo!

Aurora continues to go to daycare three times a week and hangs out with all her friends there.

Happy Gotcha Day, Aurora! We love having this lovebug in our lives, and we look forward to many more happy years together!