More Sofie!


Cheezie goodness

Oh Cheezies…I love you

So, I emailed the Cheezie company a few weeks ago.

They responded with some very sad news:

Thank you for your e-mail regarding our product, Hawkins CHEEZIES®.
We were pleased to hear how much you enjoy our snacks.
Unfortunately, we do not ship or retail outside of Canada.
We are a family run business with only one plant to supply all of Canada.

But, fortunately, my good friends back home keep me in a steady supply of them (and maple syrup, Frank’s hot sauce and other delicious noms)!


Earlier today Lois was climbing trees as usual, so I went out to film her. And potentially catch her (as I always think I’m going to have to do, but she always catches herself and never falls. I hear cats are like that.)

Lois loves climbing trees. I’m not as nervous watching her as I used to be. But this time, she was jumping to different trees, checking out her weight on branches and she even manages to flip herself upside down!

Lois likes to jump onto M’s shoulder (and sit there or lie there), so M sometimes climbs part way up the tree to meet her and I finally got that filmed too! Super cute. (video)


A neighbour comes to the door and says our cat is way up a big tree and she can’t get down. What?! She was with me just two seconds ago. So, M goes out to the neighbours who have planted a super, long ladder up a huge oak tree. Lois and Rudy were in the house. Phew! I ran out with my camera and a blankie if we had to fireman-catch her…but M was already heading up the ladder.

He grabbed the kitten and put her on his shoulders and carried on back down the ladder. Cat jumps down before he reaches the bottom, looks a bit bewildered, didn’t come to us when we made kissy noises and moseyed on down the road. She was up SO high! But M saved the day. : )

Our second walk today!

The area the animal shelter is in is quite pretty. There’s a huge lake that we visited today where puppy sort of met  some geese (video). She also met two nice ladies walking their two nice dogs. Super easy encounter with the dogs.

The only time she has barked was at a post with a bag on it in a field (I almost barked at it too), the geese at the lake and at naughty dogs we meet along the pathways. If the other dogs are behaving and they pass by without barking, she doesn’t bark.

She impresses me.
*Dog Proud*

Walkies and a whole new kind of love

Me: I think I love her already.

M: I know you do.










So, walkies was super fun! She behaved incredibly well on the lead and listened to me! She is even more adorable than the first time we met. She will be a very easy puppy to train.

We can go for another walk with her tomorrow, then on Monday the vet checks her out…then, Tuesday she can come home with us!!!!!

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Memorial field - Escapees during the war hid in this area.

Memorial field – Escapees during the war hid in this area.


In getting a dog…

We’ve both been internet-peeking at tons of dogs all over the place off and on for over a year. Mostly the search has been in the Netherlands and Germany…at rescue organizations and shelters. Sometimes it was just looking, but M knew that ‘looking’ to me meant possibly ‘getting’, so he quelled the search a bit. Tee hee.

I’ve had two dogs in the past: Our family dog, Sheba, the Samoyed, beautiful girl; and a German Shepherd cross that was stolen from me after I had him for only two years. That was one of the most devastating things that has ever happened to me.

Since then I have worked as a part-time pet-sitter-dog-walker for over five years and have taken care of friends’ dogs. I wanted a dog so bad, but circumstances did not allow for me to have my own (work and such), so I lived a vicarious life through those who already had dogs and I loved it! But since I arrived in the Netherlands, 19 months ago, getting a dog has been forefront in my mind. Perhaps making M a bit crazy sometimes. *shrug*

Ripley —my sweet, old cat, made the journey to the Netherlands with me, but passed away only a few months after I arrived. I was broken.

We live in the country. I’ve never lived in farmland before. It’s beautiful here —don’t get me wrong— and we have a huge yard, garden and a big house (for two people, it’s big). M works and I was here by myself. It was too quiet, it lacked fur. We got Rudy and Lois, two cats that have immense characters and love being here…they have the huge house and they roam around outside. Having them saved my sanity. I love them with all my heart. Once I taught myself how to knit (after some excellent tutelage from my friend, Shelley, back home), I was on my way to busying myself into a new company that I started and subsequently, taught myself how to crochet and sew. (Thanks internet!) I was a lot less crazy once I could be busy.

But there was still a little hole in my heart…just big enough for a dog to squish into. Hence, the dog-peeking.

I found a very sweet German Shepherd cross with Rottweiler mix in Belgium and she’s just adorable and started off with a pretty crappy life in Turkey. Fortunately, the mother-daughter team of Sos Straathonden Turkije found her, her sister and their mom and then transported them to Belgium for adoption. The woman who is fostering them now is a very nice person and she knows what she’s doing. Between the Turkish shelter and the foster home, we spoke a lot about the young dog. While we were looking for dogs, M pointed out that we could look at the dogs in the shelter we stumbled upon during a bike ride earlier in the year, across the border in Germany. While I wasn’t looking, M called me to the computer and said: “I’ve found the perfect dog for you!” It was this little adorable girl.

We visited her at the shelter. She was ADORABLE!! Super happy and playful. A bit on the skinny side, but she is healthy. Someone had dumped her at the shelter one night while it was closed. Sad, but a much better situation for her than a million other horrible things I could imagine. So, fortunately, the people who had her were actually kind and did a good thing for her. And for me!! There was another, older dog, there that captured our hearts too. We’ll ask more about her/him tomorrow.

We get to go back tomorrow for walkies, then she might have a sleepover another night!!!

UPDATE: I didn’t have the information right about her life before getting to the shelter: She was with a man who became very ill and had to go to the hospital, so he brought her to the shelter. Very sad for him to have to give her up, I’m sure, but at least he did the right thing and wasn’t selfish. He gave her a better life. : )

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Winter greetings from the Netherlands!!

Wow! It has snowed here so much! Like 15 cm or more!! It looks like home!!!!!

I made something for M’s return home from work.



Update: My snowman melted two days later. : (

We went to school, but it was cut short to half our normal time. Trains and buses were going to stop running, so they had to make sure everyone could catch their bus on time.

Here are some more photos of my exciting and snowy day!

Our street covered in snow.

Rudy in the snow.

Rudy in the snow.

So much snow!

So much snow!

Lots of people still on their bikes!

Lots of people still on their bikes!

My school. Only three people didn't show up for class.

My school. Only three people didn’t show up for class.

Lois is not liking the snow so much.

Lois is not liking the snow so much.

Rudy and Lois venturing out into the snow.

Rudy and Lois venturing out into the snow.


Rudy in the snow! He enjoyed being outside.

Rudy sitting in the unsnowy patch.

Rudy sitting in the unsnowy patch.

All of the laurel leaves are heavily burdened by the huge dump of snow all day.

All of the laurel leaves are heavily burdened by the huge dump of snow all day.

Neighbour’s new chainsaw owl

Instead of digging up an old stump, our neighbour had a guy chainsaw an owl for her. I want one.

Cats like to pretend

I thought I was being helpful by taking the plastic cap out of my boot when I saw the cats struggling to get it out; however, they wouldn’t play with it again until I put it back in the boot.

I think cats really like pretending they don’t know/see certain things, like: they’ll play with a ball and then leave it alone…pretend it’s not there and then attack it from the side! Or they put things in boots just so they can pretend to ‘catch’ it.

Such weirdos.

Herfst in Nederland

Every year around this time, in the Netherlands, all you see in the countryside are piles and piles of sugar beets. They are harvested and sent to processing plants to turn them into sugar. This harvesting time is known as de bietencampagne (the beet campaign). This lasts from September to the end of the year. In this period the sugar factories run 24 hours a day.

I love autumn here…the leaves change colours for months. Unlike back home where it is summer for three months, then three days of autumn, then five months of winter!!

More pretty leaves!

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