October was a whirlwind of activity for Cliff. We took him to London, Ontario to visit family for a week during Thanksgiving. He climbed in the back footwell of the cab we took to YYC, and curled up at my feet like he’d been doing it all his life. Cliff charmed the WestJet agents that we had to see to get a special boarding pass for me, and then we were off to security. He breezed through the metal detector like a pro, and then we went to explore all the nooks and crannies airside. Once we boarded our flight to YXU, he settled right in at my feet and we prepared for take off. In a few hours, we landed in London, picked up our rental car, and checked into our hotel. Cliff explored all the spaces in what would be his home for the next week while we set up his collapsible kennel. Then we took him to meet a houseful of people who all fell in love with him.

Ontario had much in the way of new experiences for Cliff. He visited a very angry Lake Erie on a windy day and had trouble keeping his ears from flipping over. We took him with us to the St. Thomas Elevated Park where we could see the fall colours emerging all over the countryside. Cliff enjoyed the dog beach at Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron. He walked the length of the beach sniffing and exploring everything he encountered. At one point, he got close enough that the lake touched his paws, but he quickly moved away from the water. He loved hiking with us through the beautiful fall forests that are abundant in and around London, and then happily returned to my husband’s family to be spoiled by all the attention they gave him. At the end of the week, we boarded our return flight home. I’m pretty sure that week wore him out as he slept for much of the flight home.

Not long after we returned home, it snowed and Cliff was quite overjoyed by the cold fluff that fell to the ground overnight. He ran out and buried his nose deep in it, and wasn’t bothered by the cold at all. He spent a bit of time one afternoon socializing with some new dog friends and accompanied us on trips to the library, grocery store and Home Depot. Cliff was gifted a Darth Vader costume which he wore on Halloween while he watched the trick-or-treaters come to the house.

Submitted by: Tracey