Sunday, 17 August 2014

new town, new job, more agility!

Well, the happy event finally occurred. I landed my first full-time, permanent, professional job as a Junior Planner for a planning consultant in Muskoka. I interviewed around the end of May, and was hired two weeks later, with a start date the third week of June.

That left me two weeks to find a place to live... no easy feat when you have two dogs and two cats. I looked at apartments in several towns, up to 40 minutes from my new workplace. Several were extremely scuzzy (no thank you!) and several were too expensive, or too far away. But I eventually hit the jackpot. I found a building 8 houses down from my office, with one apartment available July 1, and a larger one available August 1. I really wanted the bigger apartment, so was able to make arrangements to move into the smaller one for a month, then move across the hall to the bigger one! The building is clean, the kitchen, flooring, bathroom, and paint all very fresh looking. It is smaller than my beloved Guelph apartment, but big enough for my needs.

My job is also going well. I find the work interesting, and am able to get out of the office for meetings and site visits periodically. I am able to go home at lunch and let the dogs out, and have flexible hours. I am paid a professional wage that will allow me to live reasonable comfortably and pay off my debts. The best part is that when I get home in the evening, I am ready to go and do things! I don't get home from work and feel tired and grouchy - I want to run - bike - train my dogs - cook supper. No shortage of energy here. It's a fantastic feeling.

Now that A) I have the time and B) I have the money, Piper and I have been back in regular agility classes. We have been going out to Huntsville and taking classes with Muskoka Agility Dogs, specifically Lynda Yielding. She is a lot of fun, and is helping me to understand how to walk a course, how to weave, and do contacts. The only crummy part is that they don't hold classes through the winter, so we'll see what will happen then. I'm saving my pennies so hopefully I can purchase a few pieces of equipment that I can store in my trunk and practice with in the park.

I am only an hour from the cottage, so we have been spending many weekend there. Ace just adores it, as he can swim all day long! It makes me feel better that although I'm back in an apartment and leashes are once again required for even the quickest pee break, the dogs can go the entire weekend at the cottage without even wearing a collar. They are just my little stars.

Piper and I have been exploring a few of the many trails in the area. All have been beautiful and quiet, my favourite trail characteristics. Since Ace has been swimming so much on weekends, and I have to be careful not to over-tax his elbows, he has been staying home.

I also started volunteering at the OSPCA last week. I'm hoping to focus on training rather than just walking, to improve my training skills, and hopefully increase the adoptability of the dogs at the shelter.
Piper standing on a log over Muskoka River. Wilson Falls Trail.
Piper climbing on rocks. Wilson Falls Trail.

Piper standing on a log, overlooking Lake Muskoka. Huckleberry Rock Trail. She was wearing a harness because I knew it was a lookout, and was not sure how steep it would be. Thought I would leash her, just in case she accidentally took off running toward the edge! It ended up not being too bad.