It's leaf-raking time in Port Credit.

Last year at this time, our first months in a house, we had to start from scratch. We had to buy rakes, work gloves, a wheelbarrow, snow shovels - everything. This year it's a little easier.

In our neighbourhood, full of big, mature trees, the town comes by with a huge leaf vacuum. This is apparently pretty common now, but neither of us had ever seen it before. On the advice of our neighbours, we bought a tarp. You rake the leaves onto the tarp, then drag it to the curb, dump out the leaves, and they get vacuumed up on designated Leaf Vacuum Weeks.

We have so many leaves, we couldn't wait for a Leaf Vacuum Week. Last week, raking only the front yard, we filled five huge trash barrels, packed down with leaves.

This week we did just the backyard, and filled five tarps like this:

cody raking leaves 003

It's so nice to work outside and have Cody with us. Last year at this time, Buster was still alive. Since he couldn't be off-leash, he'd stay inside, watching us from a window, howling and crying. So we kept Cody inside, too, just to be fair and not drive Buster completely insane.

But now Cody can hang out with us, trotting to the front as we drag the tarp, then back to her backyard for more raking.

Cody is mad for sticks. She adores them. She likes to carry them around, or break them into pieces, or just chew them until they're soggy, then find another. Sticks are all over the lawn, and as we pick them up and put them in the wheelbarrow, she comes over to investigate, looking for the best one to steal from the pile.

One spot on the lawn is Cody's special hang-out. From there, she can see if her favourite people next door are outside. It's also where she keeps her stick collection. I think of it as her toy chest. When Allan mows the lawn, he moves the sticks, mows, then puts them back.

cody raking leaves 008
Cody says: the bigger the better.
You can see the garage with the back door open.
We drag the tarp through the garage and out to the curb.

cody raking leaves 010
Bringing it to her toy chest.

cody raking leaves 002
Stick heaven.

cody raking leaves 006
Guarding her stash.

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While we are raking, Cody hangs out among the piles and keeps an eye out for choice sticks.

cody raking leaves 014
Our girl is getting old! She's gotten very gray over the last year.


MSEH said...

What great snapshots and a good looking dog. About the leaves - that's really funny bc here it's illegal to rake your leaves to the curb. It makes more sense to the bureaucracy to have people put them in (mostly) plastic bags and then pay $2 a bag for pickup. I'd much prefer the Port Credit approach!

M@ said...

Is there any greater joy of dog ownership than watching your dog prance around with a newly-found stick?

I say no.

West End Bound said...

Cody appears to be having a great time helping Mom and Dad!

Love the reference to her toy chest - Hope she gets lots of presents to fill it up!

doug said...

yes I love the fall, the leaves, the weather...also changing the subject did you see where the Harper conservatives keep shooting themselves in the foot...today they suspended outspoken MPP Garth Turner for comments deragatory against the Prime Minister, these guys are a joke should see the blog on Globe and Mail ...there losing all respect, and this when they are deadlocked in the polls with a leaderless Liberal party....they are so out to lunch, it's comical...

L-girl said...

Thanks, all. I love this time of year. Cody is having so much fun.

The yard waste pick-up in Mississauga is great. There are some regulations on how big stuff can be and how to stack it and such, but mostly we just leave it out and they take it. The leaf vacuum is the best. Then all the leaves get mulched and composted.

Doug, I've been trying to write about that, no success yet, but I'll try to get a post up soon, so we can all kick it around. :)

Vera said...

Love the first photo of Cody with her balance beam... guess she didn't quite grasp the concept, eh? Well, to my way of thinking, her idea is better... forget about perching on the thing, just carry it around. :)

M@ said...

Vera -- my idiots grab big sticks at one end and try to drag them around. They make Cody look like a world-class genius!

Ah, these pics make me so happy.

L-girl said...

I've been trying to get a picture of Cody with a big stick all year. Either I don't have the camera out, or the stick's not big enough, or she runs off with it before I can focus... I was really happy to get this one!

I'm glad you guys like these. :)

Vera said...

m@, I think you have it all wrong. (I always take the animals' side; can't help myself.)

Your furfriends aren't idiots. They are just playing a different game. Cody is a gymnast, and your furfriends are into hockey.

Vera said...

Had to come back and look at Cody's pic again. Miss my little woofer tonight; he's staying with his nanny. Need a doggie fix. ;)

Beautiful girl, that Cody!

L-girl said...

Ha! Cody might be a lumberjack. She is always making big sticks smaller.

Sammie has a nanny? Good for him!

L-girl said...

Vera, you met Cody right around this time last year... Little did I know it was the last month of my Buster's life. :<(

Uh-oh, didn't mean to end on a sad note. I'd better go hug Cody right now.

Vera said...

I know Laura, I was thinking the same thing. These guys get under our skin and stay there forever. They are all so special... particularly the boys like Buster and Sammie who honour us with their trust.

Sammie's nanny is my mom. :) Is calling your grandmother "nanny" a Canadian-ism? My parents are east coasters; maybe that's where it came from. :)

Jenjenjigglepants said...

hmmm.... cute dog photos, I see what you're up to, you're trying to give Stacie (www.keeponsledding.blogspot.com) a serious run for her money in the Cdn blog awards.

Good try, Cody is VERY sweet, but she is up against some serious competition x14. It just may work though. I think dog photos are the winning gambit.


L-girl said...

Oh no, when it comes to Stacie: "I am not worthy"!

Now, when Buster was alive, maybe... ;-) But just with Cody, no way.

Vera, a-ha, Sammie's grandma. :) Some Americans call their grandma a "Nana". (I did.) But a nanny is the super live-in babysitter.

Vera said...

Okay then, must be a Canadianism. I know a lot of people who call their grandma "nanny". :)

Scott M. said...

My grandmothers are my nannies... Nanny R and Nanny M.

It was a little odd to hear my mom being referred to as "Nanny" by my nephew though...

James said...

Sammie's nanny is my mom. :) Is calling your grandmother "nanny" a Canadian-ism? My parents are east coasters; maybe that's where it came from. :)

We used "Nana" for my maternal (Scottish) grandmother, and "Oma" for my paternal (Mennonite) one.

Anonymous said...

Wow, she really loves sticks.

Noah has gotten grayer in the past few years, but he is still vigorous. Is Cody slowing down?

L-girl said...

Is Cody slowing down?

Sure. She's (we think) around 9 years old, she has to slow down. But it's the slow-down of middle age, not of old age yet.

Daniel wbc said...

Our family here in Seattle does not include persons of the canine persuasion, but we do have a weakness for our four-legged friends. (There are two cats who own us.)

Cody's toybox reminds me of a precious behavior of Taz, our dearly departed black Labrador sister. We would be at the "breakfast bar" in the parents' kichen having a snack or meal. She would go to her food dish, take a pile of kibble in her mouth, walk around the kitchen and stop next to us. Then she'd dump the kibble into a pile on the floor and eat next to us. We guess she was a social eater. :-)