Monday, January 19, 2015

Socal

Over the holidays I met my mom down in Socal for a little adventure. I’m still not done picture sorting. 

 We were down there right before the big “snow” event, so at least driving was good. No fog in the central valley, no snow through the Grapevine. The weather was perfect for the dogs, too. Their kind of road trip weather. 

We started at the Salton Sea. 

Salton Sea 

Quite a magical place, really. Had I known it was going to be so cool I would have planned more time there. Birds galore. 

A threesome 

And Bella thought it was fantastic that they had dog treats EVERYWHERE 

DSC_7930

I guess Tilapia in southern California prefer sunbathing to swimming? 

After that was Joshua Tree National Park. Another place that was way too cool for a day trip. That would be a great place to spend a few days. They variety of landscape in the park is pretty remarkable. 

DSC_7998 

DSC_7995 

DSC_7965 

Although, national parks are not the bestest place for dogs since they are really not allowed. In camp grounds and within 100 feet of the road. I understand most people’s dogs are assholes, but really? 

Booooo. 

Bella though Joshua Tree was only good for naps. 

Bored Bell 

The rest of the time we spent on the ocean side. No LA, but close enough. They have quite a lot of lovely parks. 

DSC_8260 

And lots of stuff for Kate to sit on.

  Kate and some Coots 

And posing rocks.

  DSC_8258 

For cormorants, too. 

Pelagic post breakfast 

I really like Socal. I can’t really put my finger on why. The overabundance of palm trees? Holy cow, they love those palm trees down there! Maybe it’s the lack of Silicon Valley D-bags? They better weather? Maybe it’s just because it’s different and I’m in need to a scenery change? Dunno. 

They do have really accommodating birds, though. 

DSC_8054 

Even the escapees willingly pose. 

DSC_8129 

Everybody’s looking for deal. :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A new years romp

Not in our normal New Year’s park. I would like to be able to say I switched it up this year for some meaningful reason. Like, last year was just full of suckage. Different start to this year? Hopefully a better one? Not really. I just got on 880 instead of 280 and ended up going somewhere else. We have a lot of 80’s in the Bay Area….80, 280, 680, 880, 580….it’s all very confusing. By the time I realized my road choice error I didn’t feel like correcting it. 

It was a really beautiful day out today. With all the freeze warnings and doom and gloom weather reports I was expecting worse. Just a lovely and normal January afternoon. 

he rain we have been getting caused us to deal with something we have not had to in quite some time… 

Balls lost in tall grass 

DSC_8301 

There was much frantic searching 

DSC_8298 

By Bella, anyway. 
Kate is no help at all 

DSC_8302 

She does not understand the seriousness of an MIA ball situation 

DSC_8306 

The product of a short-term memory issue. 

What are doing again? 

DSC_8300 

Thank goodness for The Saver of Days 

DSC_8303 

Such a handsome pair 

DSC_8295

Hope you all had a safe New Years. We are the staying in type as I am not a fan of the alcohol and fireworks holidays. I don't care for either of those things on their own. Together? No thanks.

Bella has been getting more and more bothered by fireworks as she ages. Really just the past few years. She doesn't bark or freak or have a panic attack, but is clearly no longer a fan. Last night was the first night that she actually shook. I gave them both 1.5 mg of melatonin and they were out cold in 20 minutes. 

At midnight we had a little bit of this...


And a little bit of this...


Yay for that. 

They both looked so refreshed this morning. Slept like logs. 

Good to know I have something that works.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Bella wishes you a Merry Christmas

600_6973

Kate, however, only got a Tale of Woe in her stocking and refuses to wish anyone a merry anything until these stupid holidays stop requiring things be stuck on her head.

600_6968

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Her whites are whiter

We will be headed down to SoCal for little adventure on Friday. Since it is always nice to travel with clean dogs and it had been who-knows-when since they were last bathed, we had a groomer come out. This is someone my house mate has used before and her dogs were due, too, so four in a row. 

Kate was her normal, agreeable self. Even if she is not a fan of something, her protests consist of just standing there quietly and calling you names in her head. 

DSC_7809 

Bella did way better than I thought she would. My dogs, being the smooth-coated and generally self-cleaning didn’t go a groomer until about 3 years ago. I always thought it was a bit silly (and perhaps lazy) to pay someone to wash your dog. I decided to try it because I was on a trip and dogs were boarding. I had to go back to work the day after I returned and didn’t feel like dealing with post-board dog bathing. I was amazed at how different they felt. Even with my easy-peasy coated two, the difference was huge. No way you can get as much hair out at home as they do with the power wash and blow drying. Months after if they were out in the rain I could still smell the shampoo. I asked how they did and was told it must have gone OK as the front desk folks usually only hear if something hoes poorly. 

Great. Sold. 

This will be the post vacay routine now. Sure, a bit pricy, but for an occasional thing? Going for it. Then the following year. I got back from wherever I was to a clean Kate and unbathed Bella. I was told she freaked out so bad that they thought she would hurt herself so they quit. That was the end of that. 

DSC_7807 

Bella hates the vet. Passionately. Anytime someone starts doing anything remotely clinical she gets all “hell no!” If they react to the “hell no” by trying to physically force her it’s really over. Four people cannot keep her still. I am amazed at how many dog “professionals” have absolutely zero understanding of pressure. When to apply, when not to. How to read how the dog is reacting to you. Maybe more dog people need to work with large animals? Spend some time with horses? Cattle? Work some sheep with or without a dog? You learn pretty quickly that your upper body strength means nothing.

 Bella was at the vet a few months back to have an eye checked. I always tell them, “don’t clamp.” Let her go and just ask her to do whatever you need her to. The vet said she was in a complete panic (being held by several techs). They let her go to give her a break and let her settle. She said, “One tech just put her hands out and Bella put her head in them and just stayed there. Let us do what we needed to do as long as no one touched her body.” Ding, ding, ding! 

Guide, yes. Force, no.

  DSC_7813 

So, I was not sure how she would do with new groomer. I was able to be with her the whole time. She was not a fan, but tolerated the bath well. Just stood there for the most part with the typical mopey bath face. Not even to pacey. 

She was really not a fan of the dryer. I think this is probably what she remembered her second time that lead to the refusal. She stayed on the table. Shaking like a leaf, but stayed there. I think she probably shook off a pound in the time it took to dry her, but no major theatrics. 

 We will try this arrangement again. She did protest in her own little way. We went for a little hike the day after. She was looking for this opportunity. 


 Little turd. 

But, nice shiny bitches ready for a little travel adventure. Fingers crossed for no snow on The Grapevine! 

DSC_7804

Sunday, December 21, 2014

No middle ground

In September 

DSCF2146 

Kate sticking it to The Man 

Same signage and dock this morning 

600_6923 

No photo op today

  600_6925 

Main marsh at Coyote Hills in September 

Main Marsh from Muskrat Trail 

And this morning

  600_6878 

Yay! So full! And so green! 

600_6910 

Even the macro lawns are super green 

600_6908 

Water, water everywhere and lots of drops to drink 

600_6919 

And along with that water, mushrooms everywhere! Carpets of them. There are an amazing amount of teeny creatures on mushrooms. They are their own little worlds. 

600_6884 

The rain is, of course, very welcome. Bit much maybe to get 3 years’ worth in 2 weeks? Too soon to complain? We really are never satisfied, right? Always “too” something. 

Not too green for Kate. 

600_6951 

Better than all the brown backgrounds. 

Not that there is anything wrong with brown… 

600_6956

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sittin' on the dock of the bay

Not watching the tide roll away, though.

DSCF2492

Just watching avocets and sandpipers across the way

DSCF2502

Which I suppose rhymes, too. 

Possible dog song.

DSCF2488

We managed to miss the rain today, which is actually a bummer. It was coming down so hard this morning it woke me up. Stopped dead about quarter after 7. Nothing since, but a few teasing clouds.

DSCF2506

We may get another round later this afternoon. That will be ball in the back yard time. I have been dying for a good soaking rain. Yeah, yeah, drought and all, sure, but really it's just because it's the bestest dog wash ever. First, requires no effort or clean up on my part. Second, not stressful on the dogs (I have yet to figure out why water in a tub is bad and water outside a tub OK, but whatever). And last and thirdly, they are just the softest after a rain bath. Way better than any shampoo or rinse. Bunny soft!

Fingers crossed that wasn't the last rain for another 6 months!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Beach day

I would love the beach so much if it didn’t have sand. Lord, how I hate that stuff. You know, it wouldn’t be so bad if it were at all possible to leave it there. I guess if you live there you just get used to it? It’s traveling properties are remarkable. I had a chapstick in the car. Opened it to use it on my drive home. IT HAD SAND IN IT. Never left the car. WTH?

 Speaking of sand, this one will be pooping sand castles in a few hours.

  DSC_7679 

I don’t know how many face plants one needs to do before on realizes that slowing down a bit may be beneficial. She did not reach that magic number today. 

DSC_7680 

And this camera juggling thing is a pain. Maybe going back to just one body is the best? I’m not sure how I am doing it but I keep accidentally adjusting the exposure bias. I didn't check when I started shooting this morning. My bad, I know. So all the really funny pictures where they are getting their willies out look like this… 

DSC_7652 

I guess we just call it “art” and run with it? 

It was a stunning day today. Perfect dog temperature, too. I didn't get some extended sillies. 

DSC_7672 

But just the tail end. More old lady posing after energy drain. 

DSC_7689

Pelly over Carmel. 

DSC_7742 

Belly over Carmel.

  DSC_7716 

After she cleaned her face off by ingesting a half pound of sand. Certain bits will be very clean tomorrow!