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!

2016 in Review

Another year gone, and it's time for my annual blog post!

I've made many wonderful memories this year, including this trip to Sparkling Hill with Megan...

...finally climbing the Chief...

...and making out with my boo all around New York.

In the summer, I caught the Pokemon craze and enjoyed many long walks with Derry.

But we took time to do non-electronic things too - like the time we cycled 34 km in one day!

We went on a fantastic trip with our friends to Half Moon Bay as well.

We added a new family member with Macho, our feisty little gerbil who proceeded to nom on his foot in the first week he was adopted so that we would take him on our family trip to Salt Spring Island.

Derry loved the little guy, but he also loved spending some alone time with his humans.

In October, we went on a road trip to Whistler for Woof Weekend. We spent the entire weekend catering to Derry and his friends, including a gala dinner in which the dogs were served their meals alongside the humans.

A month later, Derry passed away, leaving a hole in my heart. In his memory, I got my first tattoo.

We realized we had room in our home and hearts for a new love, and adopted our sweet girl Aurora. Despite our great loss, we know Derry is watching over us from heaven, and we are looking onward to 2017 and making new memories.

2015 in Review

Happy New Year! Looking back on 2015, I think it's safe to say this year was one that went to the dogs. Late in 2014 I started an instagram for Derry, and have since built up the page to over 10,000 followers. The best part however was meeting the great people behind the instagram community, and Derry has gained tons of new two-legged and four-legged friends (okay, so it's also a great excuse for me to play with other people's dogs). With some of our new friends, we participated in fundraising for the BC SPCA Paws for a Cause in September, and our team raised just over $6,000!

Mike and I started online studies toward obtaining our MBAs, which of course meant that I felt it was an appropriate time to pick up a dozen hobbies. For instance, I learned to knit, I made a mug, I participated in some painting, I did a mini photo project, and I bought a bike.

In June, Mike and I went to Japan and explored Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, where we had tons of great food. We took Japanese lessons earlier in the year, but it's pretty safe to say I have forgotten most of it (sorry, sensei!). I won't forget the great memories though, like visiting a bunny cafe, dressing up as a maiko, and hiking to the Monkey Park Iwatayama. In the summer, we also went on a few small side trips to Leavenworth with the Crew, a beautiful log cabin near Merritt, and I went on a girl's weekend trip to Kelowna with Megan.

As a joint Christmas present to ourselves, we started sponsoring a kid through World Vision. Her name is Leyli, and she is my motivation toward learning more Spanish through Duolingo.

Over Christmas, we visited Mike's mom, who moved to Kelowna, and it was a great time with family. We can't wait to see what 2016 has in store!

Stayin' Warm this Winter

I recently learned to knit, so Derry's getting all sorts of goodies to keep his neck fat warm! It also makes for some super fun Friday nights.

I mean, it's study season... I had to find some new hobby to distract myself with.

Derry was very unimpressed with my measurement techniques.