Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Life is hard

Still not adjusted to the time change.



Monday, March 23, 2015


Bella’s favorite pastime

  Armchair sheepdog 

Watching sheepdogs do their thing. 

Sonoma Wine Country SDT 

I think that’s her only regret in life. That she was, at least, not owned by someone who let her watch sheep for a living. 

Sonoma Wine Country SDT 

Not work herself, mind you, just stand around and let everyone else know what they are doing wrong. 

Sonoma Wine Country SDT 

And look at this guy. So damn handsome! 

Sonoma Wine Country SDT 

Striking dog. 

Sonoma Wine Country SDT 

Yes, I know, it’s not what matters. Don’t breed for looks and color. Got it. 

A girl can have preference, though, right? 

Sonoma Wine Country SDT 

Something is wrong with you if you don’t love a red dog. 

Sonoma Wine Country SDT :) 

I made a huge mistake on our way home yesterday afternoon. I decided to hit the Marin Headlands while I was up there. I rarely go north. Since I stopped trialing, I pretty much never go that way. I have also never been there on a weekend day. Holy cow. Now, I have lived plenty of places where you have, at least, a tourist season. I try to be understanding. People drive or walk slower because they are not familiar, they are looking for something or just gawking. Out of towners are not going to understand that even though there is a stop there no one actually does. Just relax. No need to honk. I also enjoy going places different and I don’t want people treating me poorly just because I don’t live there. That being said, I couldn’t believe the driving behavior I saw. This is a winding road often paralleling a cliff. People passing on turns, parking behind people and blocking them in, there were even a few who actually just stopped in the middle of the lane turned theirs cars off and just got out. Left their car parked on the street on a curvy, crazy-busy road just to get a picture. It’s a bridge, people, just a big red bridge! The post card in your hotel lobby probably has a much better photo of it than you will get with your phone anyway! 


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

California snow

Our coastal version of the white stuff

Birthday Girl and her ever-present shadow

Tuesday, February 24, 2015



Time is so weird. 12 years! Seems like just yesterday I got this brown blob of 5 pounds. Also, though, like she's been here forever.

She's still got it.


It just doesn't last as long any more. :)


And, if you are child of the 70's and would like a Time Machine ride or you're not a child of the 70's and would just like to know exactly how BAD ASS Sesame Street was...


 You're welcome for the ear worm.

We're off for the beach. 

Sorry, Rest Of The Country.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

12 years of waiting

If the collie-types are good at anything it's waiting. Self control may need to a youngster, but the stand and stare thing is there already. Bella's 12 years of waiting do pretty accurately describe her life.














Cookies, squirrels, summer, hummers, ball, ball, ball, dignity, ball, ball, dignity, dignity, nap.

In a nut shell? Yup. :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Such a dork

I don't know why watching dogs play is so entertaining, but it is.

It looks like they are in the Old Fart Room today. Crappy screen grab, I know, but it so "them."

Bella in the upper right, partaking in the Coffee Clutch, surrounded by four dogs.

Kate, on the left, partaking in the movie playing in her head, surrounded by four balls.


"So, I'm thinking maybe someone could kick one these? If not now, that's OK. Maybe later? I'll just sit right here, just in case."

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Out of practice

We have been having some rain, glorious rain! At least February won’t go down in the record books as a totally dry month like our dear friend, January, did. 

I thought I had a nice window for a run this morning, only it started pouring like mad the last half mile. Now, I actually like being out I the rain, what I hate is getting back in the car when you’re soaked. I don’t know why it feels so gross to sit in a car in wet clothes, but it does. 

I didn't feel like dealing with wet and possibly muddy dogs in the car today, so I had the brill idea to get a cup of coffee, open the back door, and throw the ball from there.

 Some were a tad judgmental about my idea. 


And then there’s the Good Dog who has no opinions about anything. 


What I didn't take into consideration was the fact that the back yard, while looking all lovely and green, is really just a big ol' mud puddle at this point. 


Their lower bits were way beyond wiping off with towel, so I ended up out in the wet again to hose them off before coming in. Best laid plans, and all. 


At least they’re back to being all fluffy and soft. That rain water is the bestest.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The best days are never at work

I took the day off and drove down to San Simeon to the Elephant Seal rookery. They are at the breeding bit of their winter cycle. I guess it goes: boys come up first, lots of fighting, girls come up, have babies, after 3-4 weeks of nursing ready for baby making again. 

Or not… 


Look at the baby's face after mom told the big guy to shove off. Junior’s first swear word! Haha.


There is lots of noise and a fair amount of biting but surprisingly little violence considering the density of the population. 

There were a handful of dead pups, likely from getting crushed. Keeping other seals from running over your kid is a full time job. 


One that requires an exclamation point be added to the end of your conversation. 


And, sometimes the beginning. 


There was much more posturing than actual fighting between the males. I suppose at this point the lines have been drawn in the sand and everyone is a wee bit tired. They are in the enforcing stage, not the establishing stage. They all seem to go out of their way to not waste energy. 

 “Is this a good spot?” 


“No? I was just leaving” 


And the males. 

Amazing how a creature can go from this scary, ugly thing… 


To all cute and innocent looking with a slight change in head position. I would buy a car from that face!


Ellies in the mist 

Two boys 

If the babies can keep from getting crushed, this is a pretty good time in life. 
Eat, sleep, sun bathe. 

Careful where you sleep 

The pups gain about 10 pounds per day eating the incredibly fat-rich milk. The milkfat is over 50%. For comparison, human's is about 4%. 

Growing is hard work. 


I’m not sure how normal this is, but this female on the left (that’s her pup in the middle) allowed the other (seems to be full grown) seal on the right to feed. 


The pup moved right out of the way. The mother looked at the other adult and just put her head back down.

  Milk fountain 


Although, I guess there is a lot of that going around. 


And, just because, Pelicans. 


And a bridge.

  Not Bixby Bridge 

I need to figure out how to make my job Driving Around California Photographing Shit. 


Or, maybe that’s just what makes days off special?

Monday, January 26, 2015


We has it. 

I guess that’s just how things go. Since we have no more training and trialing and weekend traveling we have just gotten comfy with the daily doings. I am enjoying it. We have been doing a lot of this. 


The girls seem to be pretty happy just being out and about. There is not quite as much need to be DOING. Watching is now OK. 


If watching involves the car being surrounded by pigeons and seagulls….even better! 


We did nose work a few years back. I stopped taking classes for 2 reasons: 1) no one had classes on a weeknight and I was trialing a lot then and 2) that organization is a little off-putting to me. Very controlling and secretive and there was no way in hell I was signing that ridiculous release that they had to trial. Maybe that’s changed, dunno, but anywho, they started offering classes at the place my house mate teaches agility. It is something the dogs really enjoy, but a class? Nah. I think I am just done with the formal anything with these guys. We are all content to just hang and explore and play ball. 

I guess we are in the coasting stage? 


They have taken up a new hobby. 

They are now bringing home art projects from school. 

I am now "that person."

Although, I'm sure it was more voluntary with Kate. Getting your feet dirty is way more up her alley than Bell's. Plus, she would totally rock a beret.


At least I didn't put them on the fridge.