There are 2 influences that have shaped my life. The first is my love of learning – whether it is with a teacher/mentor, in a group with a formal class setting, or self taught. Learning something new has been both enriching and rewarding. Travel fills that need to learn.
The equally important influence are my pug dogs,without whom this travel blog would not exist.
Greta is 8 years old and my most recent adoption. She was in a cage in a shed most of her life so has a fear of people. She has bonded with me and feels safe.
Eve is 10 years old and I adopted her 2 years ago. She has a fear of being petted by other people. She has come to know and trust a few people who give her snacks to make her feel safe.
Raisin is 14 years old. I adopted her when she was 7. She is the social butterfly of the group. She loves people and will convince them to pet her for hours. She was in a high kill shelter in Detroit and she came to me. Once I held her, I knew she was home.
Dublin was my first pug. He was a rescue that I adopted when he was 5 months. He journeyed with me on our first East Coast road trip. We went exploring Montreal. He then came canoeing up in Algonquin Park at age 14. He passed on at age 16 from natural causes, quietly breathing his last beside me.
A Love of Learning
In high school I joined the Drama Club. It turned out I had a knack for acting. I decided to learn more about theatre
I studied for my BA in Theatre at York University. I moved from Hamilton, where I was born, to Toronto to attend York. I had to wait and enroll as a mature student, worked as a waiter and apply for student loans. I graduated but decided not to pursue a career in film & theatre.
One day, as I was turning around, a big flash of pain went up my back. I was laid out for 3 days. My physiotherapist suggested doing yoga. It worked. I decided to learn more about this discipline and earned my Advanced Yoga Teacher training. Practicing the poses, along with the breath work and meditation has kept me in good physical and mental health
I became interested in language and discourse – how people communicate through words. I decided to study Teaching English As a Second Language at Centennial College. It was part time and included 2 practicums. I really enjoyed planning lessons and taking the students through their exercises.
I enrolled in a Kayaking course at Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre. I’ve kayaked the Toronto Islands as well as San Francisco, Marin County, CA and Saint John, NB
From 2005 to 2020 I studied public speaking with Toastmasters International. I have written and presented about 40 speeches, competed in 3 contests and have mentored numerous new members.
My current path is the culinary world. I have finished the Culinary Arts program at George Brown. Cooking, like travel, opens up the world to a person. I am currently taking Indian Vegetarian Cooking and Pizza 1.
Pugalug Pug Rescue
The other major influence in my life. In 2002 I started a pug meetup group in Trinity Bellwoods park called Pugalug. Over time the organization became a non-profit. Then, in 2005 I founded Pugalug Pug Rescue – a canine rescue charity. I was its President for 7 years. I am still a volunteer as a foster dad. I have fostered over 25 pugs. My area of expertise is dealing with pugs who have behavioural issues, especially fear. More than anything else, this activity has taught me patience and understanding.
Larry St Aubin