Ode to Odin

I’ve come to realize that one of the biggest reasons people follow me on Instagram is for pics of our dog, Odin.

They don’t like my selfies (shocking) or my food and party pics. They barely tolerate my home decor.

BUT upload a pic of Odin, and the smiley faces and hearts start rolling in.


Fair enough. He really is much cuter than I am.

So today I bring you all your fave Instagrams of Odin, in one place. An ode to Odin.

Which is your fave pic? Leave a comment and let us know!

Removing Great Stuff Spray Foam From Hair/Dog Fur.

Having a dog is akin to having a gaggle of small children. You turn your back for one second, and they can manage to ruin more stuff than the Tasmanian Devil.

Enter last weekend, when on a whirlwind (pun intended) of home maintenance, I was using Great Stuff expanding foam to fill in some holes on the exterior of the Storefront and the garage. The garage door had quite a few gaps between the frame and the cinderblock, and I was filling them up with spray foam to keep out any unwanted bugs, creatures, neighbors, as well as prep the garage for insulation.

I had sprayed one whole side of the door, and was up on the ladder spraying the other side when I heard El Granto exclaim “ODIN! What are you doing?!” His voice had an unequivocal edge to it, so I instantly knew it wasn’t a “did you poop in the alleyway” kind of problem. It could only mean an actual, legitimate, serious problem. I looked down and Odin was on the end of his leash, trying to make his way into the alley. He had pressed himself against the garage wall in an effort to see around the corner (and chase squirrels I’d imagine). In his plan of escape he had pressed himself so closely to the wall, that he had in fact rubbed his face, ear and neck into the wet expanding foam.

If you have seen Odin before you will know that his giant velvet soft ears are his crowning glory. His pièce de résistance. His lady killer ears. Those things are so big that Odin is anything but breed standard Vizsla. They are the thing we fell in love with when we met Odin as a puppy.

His right glorious velvet vizsla ear was now covered in molten plastic.

We panicked. Would it burn his skin? Did he eat any? Is his hair going to fall out?

It was a Saturday of the long weekend, rushing him to a vet wasn’t the best option. We needed to figure out how to remove the wet foam before it dried and was (cue dramatic reading) stuck forever.

I ran to the Great Stuff container (cause I’m a direction reader) and low and behold it gives you clear instructions on of what to do if you get it on your skin. I figured dogs are close enough to humans. They have skin and hair errr fur. So good enough! Okay, all we have to do is  “remove with acetone”. Acetone? Why would I have acetone? That’s not part of my standard garage chemicals. I mean I’ve got varsol and paint thinner, but acetone….not in the garage.

BUT wait! Isn’t acetone…nail polish remover?

I ran into the house yelling at El Granto to get the dog in the tub. He yelled back that water speeds the foam curing. I yelled back no water! I grabbed the acetone nail polish remover, and jumped in the tub (fully clothed in my maintenance/painting clothes). We got to work applying acetone to his ears gently with a cotton pad. While this worked, it wasn’t going fast enough. Eventually we just started squirting his fur with the acetone, and working loose the spray foam with our fingers. This worked much better.

We removed the spray foam from Odin’s skin and hair like it was a bad manicure.

After we were finished, we rinsed him off with warm water, and shampooed and conditioned him with his soothing oatmeal boutique dog shampoo. (Yes, yes I know, we’re yuppie dog owners who treat their dog like a child, I’m fine with it.)

By the end of it, there was clumps of dog hair littering the tub, a dog with bits of spray foam still lodged in his hair, and two very unimpressed dog owners. El Granto even had the foresight to snap a pic of the dog & I in the throws of foam removal. You can see the enjoyment in both our faces.

photo 2(15)

But Odin was alive, not burned or maimed, or missing an ear. The only evidence of  foamagedden was the few errant bits stuck in his hair. He didn’t break out in a rash, have shortness of breath or do anything else scary enough to warrant a trip to to the 24 hour vet.

Shortly after his bath after everyone had calmed down he was again a happy pup sitting in the sun.


So there you have it. Use acetone (or acetone nail polish remover) to remove Great Stuff Expanding Foam from your hair or your fur. Hey, we’re not judging, that sweater vest of chest hair you’ve got going on could certainly be considered fur. And yes, I’m a good enough friend to not bring up your mustache or back hair.

Oh and don’t be stupid, call poison control if you get any in your eye, nose, mouth,  or any other hole (again…not judging). Well…maybe a little.

Who let the dogs out?

We left the dog alone in the house today. All by himself, out of his crate, for the first time. For fellow dog owners out there, you can understand how apprehensive I currently am. He normally spends the days in his crate, which he’s absolutely fine with. He knows his Monday-Friday routine and he knows that someone will be home in a few hours to let him out and go for a walk.

I’m sure he would happily stay in his crate during workdays for the next ten years, but that’s not what we want. We want him to be able to sit at the window and watch the people walk by, to nap in the sunshine, and to wander around the house as he pleases.

We want him to be a normal dog.

So were trying an experiment today. We de-cluttered our guest room, shut all the other upstairs doors, left his crate open, and put a baby gate at the top of the stairs.

Guest room with pretty much everything removed. Pillows, lamps, nicknacks, cords. Dog proofed
Guest room with pretty much everything removed. Pillows, lamps, nicknacks, cords, everything. Dog proofed? Lets hope.
Odin's crate, left open at the top of the stairs.
Odin’s crate, left open at the top of the stairs.

We left as if nothing was out of the ordinary, and went to work.

I’m worried that he will cry and bark all day. I’m worried that he will scratch at the windows and hurt himself. I’m worried that he will jump over the baby gate and plummet down the stairs. I’m worried that he will chew his way through doors, or furniture or Marley style through drywall.

Baby gate at the top of the stairs
Baby gate at the top of the stairs

Is this what parents feel when they leave their teenage kids alone in the house?

So what do you think, is Odin basking in his new found freedom and being a good dog? Or is he screaming his head off annoying all my neighbors?


Odin did great! Not a single thing out of place when we got home. He has since spent several days home alone without incident. Very proud of our pooch, and his independence!

S#%t my Dog Does Part I

My dog can’t actually speak, but I’d say his actions speak louder than words. When he wants something he will hit it with his paw (if he wants food he hits his bowl, he hits the door when he wants to go outside and smacks you in the face when he thinks you’ve had enough sleep on a Saturday morning). There’s nothing quite like a dog slapping you out of a dead sleep. If he could talk I think he would be saying “get your lazy ass outta bed and play fetch with me”.

My dog does a lot of weird stuff. I thought I’d share with the world, so they too could see what a bizarre vizsla he is. So here goes, a (semi) regular post entitled S#%t my Dog Does!

As a puppy he wanted to sit on the sofa arm
Fully grown, he still thinks he should sit on sofa arms
He loves hanging out in the bathtub
He photo bombs
and he thinks people are for sitting ON

He also believes rakes and brooms are the spawn of Satan, and that they should die. (This is him as a puppy, but he still does this to this day.)

Does your dog like to do weird things? Does he hang out in strange places?

On Staycation!

I am on vacation from work for the next week. I have scheduled a few posts while I am relaxing. (So you’re not allowed to call me a lazy bastard…)

We will be staying in and around the city for most of our vacation, but we hope to head up North to my parent’s cottage on the water for a few days. We didn’t take a summer vacation last year as we were gearing up for the wedding, so it’s been a while since we were able to spend our days sitting on the dock with a good book overlooking the water. This year we will have Odin to join us, and I am excited for him to swim in the lake, jump off the dock and run around in the woods. We will also be enjoying spending time with a good friend in from London, and getting a few things checked off our to do list around the house.

Here is the plan:

Good Dog + Good Friends + Good Food + Good Drinks = Good Time

Training a Vizsla

Our pup Odin is a Vizsla. A Hungarian bird dog who’s been bred to point game birds for hunters then retrieve the bird back. I bet you’re asking yourself why on earth do we have a hunting dog in the city? Obviously not all Vizsla’s become hunters, some are just companions. (don’t let the hard core Vizsla owners hear this, I am a black sheep in the Vizsla crowd for not hunting my dog.) However because Odin was bred to work all day running in the field, he’s a bit more…well…energized than some most other breeds. If he doesn’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation he can be a handful. Don’t get me wrong, we knew what we were getting ourselves into long before we got him. We picked the breed for their athletic ability. El Granto and I spend our weekends walking the city, and wanted a dog to accompany us. He’s done even more than that. He gets us out walking rain or shine, hot or cold. We go hiking, jogging, swimming and walking. He has increased our active lifestyle to where we walk at minimum 5km each weekday and 10-15km each day of the weekend. We have also met a ton more people. Odin is the ultimate ice breaker, and we are constantly having people stop us to ask about our red bundle of trouble.

Has it been harder that I expected?! Abso-freakin-loutley. It’s a non stop job keeping up with him and keeping an eye on him. From crate training to loose leash walking, he has been stubborn and trying, but sometimes your hard work pays off. Last night we let Odin sleep out of his crate for the first time on a dog bed in our room. It entailed 15 minutes of us kicking him out of our bed repeatedly, then BAM, he got it and went and curled up on his bed and sleept the night through. A small milestone to some, but for us that was 9 months of work in the making. No bedding was eaten, no doors scratched and no barking screaming puppy. Hopefully one day soon we’ll be able to leave him alone in the house uncrated during the day, but for now I will take this small victory.

What was the hardest thing to teach your pet?

Weekend Fun

For the last 4 weekends, we have done home improvements of some kind. We have had a To Do list, we have visited a hardware store at least once, and we were given sore muscles and bruises in return. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE getting things done around the house, but sometimes you need to recharge the batteries. This weekend was a battery recharge.

We had a bbq, went to the beach, visited the Big on Bloor festival, had good friends over, visited with family, and took a trip to Ikea and Costco.

Odin & I driving to the beach in a convertible
Odin’s Ears and My Hair Blowing in the Wind
El Granto & Odin Playing Fetch at the Beach
Odin Swimming
Odin Fetching Stick

What did you get up to this weekend?

We got a Puppy!

El Granto and I knew long before we bought our house that we wanted a dog. In fact, one of the requirements for our future home was a yard for our future dog.

We both had dogs growing up, and were anxious to bring home a new member of the family. However, there was the problem of having to move out of our house for almost three months for the unplanned renovations, then our upcoming wedding. So finally once we’d tied the knot, and things had settled down a bit, we looked into getting a puppy.

El Granto grew up with Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and I with a German Shorthaired Pointer. After much debate we met in the middle and settled on a Weimeraner. That was until one fateful day… We were walking past our favourite chocolate shop Stubbe and a Vizsla was tied up out front. He was incredibly beautifull, and when we leaned down to pet him he was gentle, sweet and full of love. After looking into his amazing eyes, we knew that a Vizsla was for us.

A Vizsla however…is not for everyone. They require about 2 hours a day of exercise, as well as mental stimulation. These dogs are working dogs, and without a task, they can get restless, and destructive. El Granto and I live in an urban environment, and we don’t own a car. We walk or take transit everywhere. We wanted a dog who would fit into that lifestyle, and come everywhere with us. A Vizsla fit the bill.

Last fall we contacted pretty much every Vizsla breeder in Ontario. We had missed the summer/fall litters and would be waiting until the spring to bring home a pup. Resigned to that, we put it out of our minds and got right into the house renovations. Then we received an email from one of the breeders we had contacted. All the pups in their current litter had been spoken for, but one of the new owner’s circumstances had changed. They had a newborn baby, and the husband was in the military and was being dispatched overseas. They no longer felt that they would be able to give a new puppy all it needed. That meant that there was a puppy available, but it was available NOW. El Granto and I knew we were ready, and jumped! We went to meet the pup the next day, and of course he came home with us. We were so unprepared, we had to stop at PetSmart on the way home and buy the crate and everything else we needed for him. We named him Odin, and his name suits him perfectly. He thinks he is a God, and that El Granto and I were put on this earth solely for him!

It was a tiring first few days, with house training and potty training, and lack of sleep for everyone, but so worth it

Odin the Vizsla Puppy

These gorgeous photos are by the talented Allyson Scott. Check out more of her work at allysonscott.com. They were taken at High Park when Odin was 10 weeks.

All photos copyright Allyson Scott