Viggo and the Swans on Christmas Morn

the stand of trees at Cherry Street  beach

Viggo and the swans- a chance encounter makes for something special

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The Christmas Eve snowfall was so light that a bicycle ride down to Cherry Street beach was still on for Christmas Day  morning.  The one section I was extra-careful on was  the hill going down to the Riverdale Bridge from Broadview Avenue. I haven’t forgotten wiping out there one day last winter.  It had taken days for my body to feel normal again!  We walked down this time!

breaktime at our usual stop on the way to Cherry Street beach

breaktime at our usual stop on the way to Cherry Street beach- the CN Tower to the west of us

It was about 10 a.m. and it  the sun was nowhere to be seen.  After locking up the bike at the dog park entrance, I opened the gate to doggie heaven and in went Viggo.  Here is the first of many dogs he played with- this one a chow chow/border collie mix:

chow chow/border collie and 100% handsome

chow chow/border collie and 100% handsome

We did our customary walk to the western point of the dog park- the point where you can look over the narrow Eastern Gap to Ward’s island. On the way we walk through this stand of trees from the  gateway area I am looking back at in this picture-

the stand of trees at Cherry Street beach

the stand of trees at Cherry Street beach

The park is located about three kilometers to the southeast of the downtown area.  This is what downtown looks like from the park-

downtown T.O. from the Cherry beach dog park

downtown T.O. from the Cherry beach dog park

Finally we got the the point in the park the furthest from the gate-

the western point of the park

the western point of the park

And then it was to the water.  I’ll admit that this morning I did not toss the ball into the water as often as usual-and definitely not as deep.  (I have no doubt he would have been very happy to do some swimming in that icy cold water for that red ball of ours.) We were not the only ones on the water.  Viggo had the red ball- but he had some ducks to monitor too.

Viggo checking out the ducks

Viggo checking out the ducks

After this diversion it was back to work – getting that ball back to me so that I’d toss another delicious morsel of Roll-Over into the air for him to catch in his open mouth.

Viggo back on track- and bringing the ball back to his treat dispensing machine!

Viggo back on track- and bringing the ball back to his treat dispensing machine!

Every time he comes out of the water he does this shaking routine – first the front and then, as in this picture, the rear gets a supersonic shake-down and the droplets of water fly.

Viggo's rear is shake-down mode

Viggo’s rear in shake-down mode- it is a blur!

The beach area was very quiet – no other dogs  swimming or fetching balls from the water. But when we met the swans  Viggo had a job to do.  This video conveys some  of his fascination – and my panic as the swan got closer and closer to our precious! In my mind was Laila’s reminder about how vicious swans could be. Who knew! I did not want to see the damage.

We walked away from the beach and into the wooded area where the other dogs were playing and joined in on the action.  eventually we returned to the beach and walked into the swans again –

Charming, eh!  Over a minute of an Icelandic sheepdog barking the world into order. Funny how you get the biggest thrill from the smallest thing – in this case, an encounter with a couple of swans!  Viggo barked some more and then it was time to go, time to do our bike ride/run back up the valley. I also got to think about how bad the videos might be – after a lifetime of framing still photos, this video thing needs some work!

Viggo leaves his swan herding post

Viggo leaves his swan herding post

Viggo looking a bid reluctant to leave a job undone

Viggo looking somewhat reluctant to leave a job undone – no swan song yet!

Viggo make one last stand with the just-as-determined  swan

Viggo makes one last stand with a just-as-determined swan

And then- whew! close call-  he came back when I called him and we were off- past the pier with the cityscape behind it and all the way back to the bike.

The Tower and the Financial District  to the NW of the dog park

The Tower and the Financial District to the NW of the dog park

Within 35 minutes we made our way back to Riverdale where Laila was doing the preliminaries for the vegan Christmas feast we’d be having later that day.

all here for dinner- except for the cats!

all here for dinner- except for the cats!   Spot the icie(s)!

Laila's vegan take on an eastern European dinner- totally delectable!

Laila’s vegan take on an eastern European dinner- totally delectable! 

If you’d like to know more about our charming little hooligan, then click on the following – The Adventures of Viggo in Roverdale.  It will get you right up to speed in a flash!

map of route to the dog park at the bottom of Cherry Street from Riverdale via the Don Valey Bike Trail

map of route to the dog park at the bottom of Cherry Street  via the Don Valey Bike Trail

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