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Spring Hiking: Barrier Lake Lookout

Barrier Lake Lookout
We kicked off our 2017 hiking season with Odin’s first hike, in honour of his first birthday. We’d been told to wait until around a year before taking him up any mountains, to help prevent any future issues with hips & other joints. I think part of the fun of having a spunky pup is taking them on adventures, so we’d been looking forward to this day since we first started looking into getting a dog.

I knew I wanted to include as much of our family as we could, so we’d originally planned an easy climb up Sulfur Mountain. We’d take the gondola back down afterwards as it’s free in the off season. We’d done it a few winter’s ago with my brother in law’s dog. It was a great little season opener. Unfortunately, a few days before the hike, I found out the Banff Gondola no longer allows dogs due to some negative experiences. I turned to some other doodle owners for suggestions & we landed on Barrier Lake Lookout, also known as Prairie View. It looked like a relatively easy, rewarding climb.

Barrier Lake Lookout

Not bad, Kananaskis, not bad.

Barrier Lake Lookout

Trail Head

Barrier Lake Lookout

Barrier Lake Lookout

We met our hiking group in the parking lot around 10:30 am & headed out. Walking along the lake at the start of the trail, it seemed like we might be in for a cold, windy day. As soon as we got into the trees though, our entire group shed most of their layers.

The trail is south facing, so I hadn’t expected to see much snow, however, it didn’t take long for us to run into some icy patches. None of us were wearing spikes, so it got challenging pretty quickly. My mom was only in runners so her & my dad had to bail about halfway up. The rest of us continued on, despite some pretty sketchy sections on the way up. Yay for spring hiking!

Barrier Lake Lookout

Icy patches on the way up

Barrier Lake Lookout

We made it to the first lookout area & stopped for a few pictures. We were pretty close to the summit at this point, & planned to continue, but a combination of congestion & a steep, slippery section caused us to re-evaluate. We decide to stop for lunch with a view, & call it a day.

Barrier Lake Lookout

Barrier Lake Lookout

Views from the first lookout

Barrier Lake Lookout

Barrier Lake Lookout

Family Photo!

Barrier Lake Lookout

Looking for scraps

Mud pup lunch stop

Barrier Lake Lookout

Lunch views

We had braced ourselves for a treacherous climb down, but were treated to a fairly easy descent. The icy sections has softened up, which made a huge difference. It’s definitely something to keep in mind if you plan to hike this in the early spring – either go later in the day or bring spikes.

Despite the early season conditions, the trail was quite busy. I imagine it’s even more so in the summer, so I think I’d stick to shoulder season unless you like hiking in crowds. We saw lots of other dogs too, many off-leash despite signs stating that dogs must be on one.

Barrier Lake Lookout

Barrier Lake

Back at the base after our hike

Overall, it was a great day. We got lots of sunshine, enjoyed some beautiful views, & great company. I’m hoping to get out to the mountains lots with Odin, so any other dog friendly hike suggestions are more than welcome. We’re on the hunt for our first real summit!

Odin \\ ONE YEAR

Odin \\ One Year

Dear Odin,

Today you are one year old. I remember anxiously waiting to hear from Notch Hill that you’d arrived. At the time, we thought we were getting a little girl pup, but now I can’t imagine that at all. You’re the best.

Odin 8wks - 11 mths

Odin at 8 wks, 3 months, 9 months, & 11 months


Walks in the East Village



All geared up for the winter weather

Odin & the bridge

N helping Odin with his fear of the metal bridge

Checking out Cold Garden Brewery with Mom & Dad. It’s a pretty cool place!

Mémé & I drove out to Sorrento to pick you up on May long weekend. You were so shy at first, but so friendly. Not a lot has changed in that regard, actually. I love how much you love people & other dogs. It makes me life so much easier that you’re so social.


I love it when my friends share with me!


Mom loves me!


Feeling naked after my haircut!


Right now, you love chewing your toys relentlessly, running as fast as you can at the dog park, protecting the house from intruders, & digging what little dirt you can find in the backyard.





Sick pup cuddles


Trying to make us both fit on one cushion


National Puppy Day!

Happy Birthday, Odin

Birthday Burrito


You don’t like when we leave you home alone or when Dad has to go away for work, people wearing too many layers for you to recognize them, when the mail gets delivered but you don’t get to say hi, bathtime, or any attempts at dental hygiene.

You make our lives so much better, Odin. We love you so much.


Mom & Dad


See the rest of our Odin Report recaps here. Follow along on Odin’s adventures on Instagram – #OdindeBoer

Odin \\ 11 months

As of last week, Odin is 11 months old! I’ve really loved doing this little Odin Report post every month. Puppies change so much, so quickly, that it’s easy to forget what it was like in those first months. Now that he’s house trained, sleeps through the night, & we aren’t always worrying about whether he’ll escape his pen & destroy something, life with Odin seems pretty laid back. I love looking back on those early posts so much though. It doesn’t hurt that he was an incredibly adorable ball of fur!

It may just be that it’s been a chilly winter, but every month Odin gets a little more cuddly. He loves a good snuggle with mom & dad now. He still loves his space from time to time too, & will always let us know when he’s done & needs his space. I love watching him around toddlers lately. He’s so fascinated by them, but also a little wary. He’s so sweet with them & mostly just wants to sniff their butts & give them kisses. They’re not always quite as keen on that.

We’ve spent so much time at the off leash dog park at Southland this month. We’re planning a hike once he’s a year old so I’ve been trying to get some longer walks under our belt & it’s the perfect spot for that. His recall is actually pretty good, so I recently took him off leash at the bluff. It’s such a beautiful place to take a walk & I’m glad I can give him a little more freedom without too much worry!

He still sleeps in his kennel at night, but every morning we let him up on our bed for a little snuggle before we start our day. He seems to really love it & burrows into a spot close beside us for a few more minutes of sleep. It’s easy to see why people keep telling us we’ll eventually let him sleep in our bed. So far we’re sticking with the kennel overnight though. I try to remind myself that come summer we will not want a furry heat pack next to us in bed.

Odin’s also been joining me for morning workouts with November Project. He’s a little crazy sometimes, but everyone seems to love him & I think it tires him out a bit more than just a walk. One of the amazing ladies at NP actually made him (& one of the other dogs) these NP bandanas, so he’s a real member of the tribe. I love the paw print on the YYC logo! Thanks, Michelle!

Mom, I really need a haircut!

We took a couple updated family photos on Valentine’s day. Odin still isn’t that into posing, but they turned out pretty cute anyway.

The photos below are probably my favourite from this month. With N moving to California for work, he took every advantage for extra cuddles with our little bit. These two love each other so much & it melts my heart.

So that’s Odin at 11 months. Once again I’ve got a little video from this month. I took quite a few videos at the dog park. I just love watching him run around & play with other pups.

Happy Monday! We love you, Odin,

Mom & Dad


Odin \\ 10 months

Odin Report - 10 months

Sometimes it seems like we’ve had Odin for such a long time now – he’s become such a big part of our lives. Other times, it seems like he was a teeny pup just yesterday.

Christmas out at the lake was fantastic, as expected. We went on lots of long walks, played in the snow, & spoiled Odin completely. I’m not sure he understood why he got to open a bunch of fun new toys, but he did figure out how to open them all.


Odin + the tree

He loved his little namesake ornament

Puppy + Couch

Odin’s favourite couch cushion when he escapes his pen

Odin Snuggles

January started out tough for Odin with both of us back at work full time. He managed to finally figure out how to escape his 3 foot pen, while we were at a movie. We replaced it with a 4 foot pen. It lasted a week before he also found a way out of that one. His favourite thing to do when he escapes? Unzip a couch cushion & chew its insides. Now we’re keeping him in his travel kennel during the day.

Southland off leash dog park Southland off leash dog park Southland off leash dog park Southland off leash dog park

This month we took him to Southland off-leash dog park for the first time & I think we’re hooked now. Odin is so good at circling back & checking in with us & plays so nice with the other dogs. We’re working up to 6 km in preparation for a birthday hike in April.

Odin cuddles Odin cuddles Odin walk Odin cuddles Odin cuddles

Speaking of Birthdays, we also hosted my sister in law’s this month. Odin’s always so good when we host parties, & this time was no exception. As usual, he put himself to bed when he got tired around 11 pm. Smart pup, we were up significantly later.

Sarah's Birthday

Sarah’s Birthday Party

Sar's Birthday

Kisses for the pup

Odin Love


As usual, I have a little video to recap his 10th month. I didn’t remember to save as many videos off snapchat this time around, so it’s a little shorter. Enjoy!

Love you, little guy! xx

Odin \\ 9 months

I’m a little behind on this month’s Odin update. His 9 month “birthday” happened to fall on Christmas Eve, & I thought I’d have time to pull together a video & edit some photos while I was out at the lake, but we spent time playing games, going for walks, skating, hot tubbing, skiing, & eating instead. No complaints.

Odin & Jake watching football


Sunny naps

December was a particularly great month for Odin, since N was home for pretty much the entire month. Hanging out & playing with dad everyday? No pen time? I think it was pretty amazing.

Odin & Rudolph

Hanging with a reindeer

Someone’s got a new haircut!

Bed hangs

Unfortunately, we did run into a couple little setbacks because of this. For one, he had more access to his stuffed toys than he normally would, so Molly, Garth, & Ned all bit the dust despite my attempts to sew them back together.

Christmas Parties

Bring your dog to work day! 😉

Please play with me, Akela.

Playing with Rosie

Family Photo

He also got used to being out of his pen all day so going back is an adjustment. That’s a story for next month though because December was all about playtime, cuddles, & relaxing.

Storm Mountain naps

a fluffy new toy

Odin’s favourite things this month include: walks, ear scratches, belly rubs, aggressively chewing his toys, playing, making new friends (humans or otherwise), snow.

Odin’s dislikes: when mom & dad leave him, jumping into the back of the car, puppy teeth.

Of course, I also have a little video compilation from Odin’s 9 month of life. Unfortunately, the original had some issues, so the We Edit free logo is on this version. You can still see his cute face though. 😉

Welcome to 2017, bud!


Mom & Dad

Odin \\ eight months

Odin Report Eight Months

Eight months! Man, eight-month-old Odin is a trip.

His personality has really started to shine over the last month. He’s also become so much more protective of me lately. He alerts me to every noise & is much more keen to snuggle on the couch. N has been away a bit longer this rotation which makes me wonder what he thinks is going on there – maybe that he’s the little man of the house.

Majestic Odin

Odin at the office

Majestic Odin

Odin Naps

Odin Cuddles

Majestic Odin

Odin Snuggles

Majestic Odin

Lately, he’s been doing really well while I’m away at work so I’ve been leaving him longer all the time. Unfortunately, we jumped the gun a little & paid the price for giving him too much freedom last week. We’ve now got some couch cushions to patch. He’s back in the ex pen during the day this week & that seems to be going well. I feel a little bad leaving him with such limited space, but it gets easier as he handles it better.

Odin Halloween

Odin & Adam at Halloween

Odin & Adam at Halloween

Odin getting some snuggles

Odin getting some snuggles

A walk along the bluff

A walk along the bluff

Majestic Odin

Majestic Odin

Recycling makes great toys for puppies & babies

Recycling makes great toys for puppies & babies

Majestic Odin

Barking at the head on the mantle (“protecting me”)

I splurged this month & bought us a little pre-christmas gift. Pajamas! They are better than I could have ever expected. I love matching Odin so much. He seems fine with them too. I’m pretty excited that he doesn’t try to chew them like he does his harness!

Odin Christmas

Odin Christmas

a very comfy watchdog

Odin Christmas

Only slightly embarrassed to be matching with mommy

Once again, I’ve got a little a video. This time I compiled it on my computer so it’s a little bit better quality. I can’t believe how much he’s grown since we got him. Looking back at photos from when we first got him is surreal.

Love you, little guy!

Odin \\ seven months

odin-2As I type this, Odin is snuggled against my legs on the couch. He’s becoming so much more cuddly lately & we are enjoying it so much. There’s nothing better than settling in to relax for the evening & having him join us. I just love it.





odin-seven-months-5 odin-seven-months
I had thought his growth had totally slowed, but I saw a few recent photos of him in my arms & he’s definitely still growing. I’m so curious how big he’ll end up being. This month, he’s almost spent more time with my parents. He’s behaved himself so well, which they attribute to how hard we’ve been working on his training. I think we’ve also gotten really lucky with his personality. He’s a pretty chill guy after he says his hellos (I mean, for a puppy). He’s also so friendly & happy. It’s so great.




Odin & Mommy


Playing with a new toy


We’re still working on him going full days on his own. It’s been hard to completely doggy proof his area of the house, so even though we have a doggy gate, he hangs out in his ex pen when we’re away. I know we have to pull the trigger eventually, but he’s been going through a bit of a digging phase lately. He also chews his soft toys to death so I’m curious if he’d go for other things when we’re away. I’m going to start trying to leave him in the back of the house for short periods this week. We’re hoping he’ll have an easier time being alone if he has a little more space. Fingers crossed.


Car Rides


Playing with friends


New furrrrniture


with Daddy’s shoes, for scale.

Right now Odin loves snuggles, his family, playing with friends, digging up paving stones, chewing the faces off squishy toys, canned dog food, shoe laces, kisses, belly rubs, & long walks.

Odin doesn’t like when mommy leaves for the day, when daddy has to go back to work, jumping into the car, having his teeth brushed, the blender, & the vacuum.


Odin & Garth, best buddies


Once again, I have a little video compilation from his last month. I love looking back on these so much. I’m a little late with this seven month check in, but I know I’ll enjoy looking back on these as he continues to grow.

We love you, Odin!


Mom & Dad

Odin \\ six months


Happy Half Birthday, Odin! Our little buddy officially reached the six month milestone on Saturday. I’ve been looking back at photos & it’s so unreal how much he’s grown & changed since we first brought him home in May. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still very much a puppy, but he’s calmed significantly & learned so much. He’s also grown substantially. I mean, look at this progression here:

odin-8.16.26 weeks

8 wks, 16 wks, & 26 weeks

odin-16 & 26 wks

16 wks & 26 wks

He reliably sits, shakes, & lays down for us now, so I think I’ll be able to more easily get photos that show his growth better. For a while, I was just happy to get one without him moving! The most recent photos in that little collage were taken last week, & he’s so shaggy right now. We’re getting him groomed this week since he can barely see at this point. It’s adorable, but he’s run into N’s legs a couple times. They play pretty intensely.


Loves his Kong & his mat


Belly rubs


Cuddles after a trip. This lasted like three seconds.


Cuddles generally last under 5 minutes


Really, really into paper


Bye bye baby teeth!


Cuddles with daddy


Cuddles & crazy eyes

He’s still not that into cuddles, but he’s started to seek them out from time to time. It’s generally short lived, but I’m totally relishing it.  He’s also really into paper & destroyed a whole bunch of bills one day. I’m not sure how he managed to get to them, but hasn’t jumped out of his pen, but I won’t complain. We just can’t leave any paper around him. He even ate the label off the front of his kennel! He seems to have lost most, if not all, of his baby teeth at this point. He seemed to have a rough go of teething, so we’re pretty stoked to be out of that phase & back to eating normally.

He’s been such a gem around kids too. I’m so glad to have some friends with toddlers so he could be exposed to them early. He’s always been really gentle. I took him to some Beakerhead stuff & there were so many kids. He never got rough with them & let them manhandle him without complaint. I was so impressed. He was also great with my coworker’s young son when I brought him in to the office. It’s such a relief to not have to worry about him around kids, especially as more of our friends start having them!


Leading the way through a maze of bottles!


He was a bigger hit than the bunnies at nibbles!


A fuzzy pup in a fuzzy car! (Taste of That Thing in the Desert)


Sharing her pumpkins with O


Charming the Beakerhead volunteers


A very tired doodle after a night at Taste of That Thing in the Desert. I belted him in to stop my passenger warning from beeping.


& being his charming self with my coworkers

N is still working a lot up North, so I took him out the BC on my own for September long. The weather wasn’t amazing, but we made lots of time for some nice walks. I think he really loves being out there. There’s so much for him to explore. He can’t quite go on hikes yet, but we’ve been taking him on longer & longer walks when we have the time. I love taking him down to the river & exploring around St Patrick’s Island or Prince’s Island Park.


“Hikes” at the lake


Just the sweetest little face


Not such a little guy anymore




Working on being a water dog!


My boys!

Once again, I’ve overloaded this post with photos. I really can’t help it though – he’s so darned cute! We love him so much! I also put together a little video for YouTube. It’s pretty low quality, but I still really enjoy documenting his growth on video.

& is anyone really gonna complain about puppy videos? I didn’t think so.


We love you Odin!


Mom (& Dad)

Odin \\ 20 weeks

ODIN (2)

I’m a little bit behind on this month’s post, & honestly, it’s mostly going to be photos. I figure that probably isn’t an issue though. Who doesn’t like puppy photos?!

Odin Stampede

Stampede Puppy Party

O & N

Penny & Odin

Penny & Odin

Penny & Odin, BFFs

Odin Cuddles

This month was a busy one for us, & Odin spent some time with his “cousin”, Penny. Those two can play for hours. Penny really holds her own too, even though she’s a fraction of the size. Developmentally, I’m noticing the biggest leaps in the way Odin plays with others. At 16 weeks, he was much more aloof & didn’t really know how to mouth them gently. He is still nippier than an older dog, but he’s learning!

Puppy Party

Puppy Party

Puppy Party

Odin Odin


Adorable bandana from Bark YYC. Thanks Jan!!

He also had a couple opportunities to play with Willow, my friend D’s three-legged rescue. She’s an incredible dog, but the first time they played, Odin was so young & had no idea how to handle her play style. Now they chase each other around & roll & jump. It’s so fun to watch him figure it out. She has this absolutely lovely backyard right behind Nosehill park that I suspect we’ll be frequenting pretty often for puppy playdates.


Reppin’ FFPK



New Mat Odin

new mat

He also did some swimming this month. First in a pool at daycare & then in the lake. I wish I had saved the snapchat videos I made, but I totally dropped the ball on that one. I do have some pretty cute photos of him in the water with me though. We managed to get him to jump off the back of the boat twice on his own before he got scared. To be fair, it did seem pretty high for him, so I’m quite proud of him for being so brave! (I tried to group all the little swimming photos together, cuz I can’t choose which to post!) He was a total gem out at the lake & we had a great weekend with my parents!

Odin Swimming

Swimming Lessons

Odin Doggy Paddlin'

Doggy Paddlin’


Always watching us in the water

O & N

My Boys


Dad & Odin


Odin sleeps

Tired, wet pup

Odin still doesn’t love being left alone, but he deals with it much better. A couple weeks ago, I decided to take away his puppy pad since he was just eating them & the idea of him ingesting the weird absorbent goo bothered me, & he’s had relatively few “accidents”. I still bike him every day at lunch to let him out & give him some lunch, but he’s doing a great job at making it for four hours.

Odin & Adam

Odin & Adam

Watchdog Odin

Watch Dawg


On Your Mat

On our mats! 😉


We still tend to go through a rough patch after N leaves. I think his schedule really confuses Odin. It’s tough going from having your buddy home all day to never seeing him. Poor guy is probably so confused. That rough patch seems so far behind us now though. We’ve moved on to a new one: eating. At first, I thought he was just teething, but we went to the vet & he might actually have some worms. We’ve got some antibiotics so he should be on the mend now. I’m hoping that’s the solution. I miss my happy little eater!

Odin's Gift

Our friends got N a lovely little gift!

Odin & Vi

Odin & Vi are the sweetest together!




Odin spoons monkey

Spooning Garth

I’ve tried to narrow down the photos on this post. When I first uploaded them, there were 75. It’s tough though with an adorable mug like Odin’s. Everyone thinks their pup is the cutest, & I am certainly no exception.

Happy 5 month birthday, Odin! You’re almost half a year. I love watching you grow & going on adventures. I can’t wait for everything in store in the coming months!


Mom (& Dad)

Odin \\ 16 weeks

Odin 16 wks

Our little buddy reached the four-month mark last week! It’s really cool watching him grow & seeing more of his personality coming out. Since I last updated, he’s gotten a haircut & is almost finished his 6 weeks at puppy school.

He’s been spending some time with my in-laws lately. They also have a new puppy, Penny, & they are getting along so well! She’s a teeny tiny Bichon Yorkie, but she totally holds her own with him. It’s really cute watching them interact together.










So tired after playing in the water!

Penny Odin

Meeting Penny for the first time!



Can you even see, Odin?


He’s definitely grown a lot since we first got him, but it’s even more apparent since his first haircut. All of a sudden he looks a lot more like a lanky teenager than a tiny fluffy puppy. He’s lost a couple of teeth in the last week so we’re gearing up for some fun teething times. He’s also had a little bit more teenage attitude lately, but we’re working through it with time outs.

Odin's first haircut

After his adorable little haircut!

Odin's first haircut

Odin's first haircut

Chillin’ with Garth


Odin's first haircut

This little face! <3


Odin loves any toy with a squeaker (Snakey Snake, Garth, & Ned), Beef Liver Treats, long walks, cuddles on the couch when he’s really tired, his kennel, the spot beside the couch (he’s a little too big for under it now), & pretty much any person he meets.

Odin doesn’t like to do anything he doesn’t want to do, being left alone for too long, antibiotics, having his feet wiped after a pee, & saying goodbye to Penny before he’s ready.




Odin's first haircut

Sitting like a good pup

Once again, I’ve got a little video on YouTube. It’s mostly a compilation from Snapchat & not the greatest quality, but it’s fun to make these little videos & look back Odas he grows. He’s changing so much every month!

We love you so much, little lion! xo

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