Thursday, December 25, 2014

Bella wishes you a Merry Christmas


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.


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. 


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. 


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.


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! 


Sunday, December 21, 2014

No middle ground

In September 


Kate sticking it to The Man 

Same signage and dock this morning 


No photo op today


Main marsh at Coyote Hills in September 

Main Marsh from Muskrat Trail 

And this morning


Yay! So full! And so green! 


Even the macro lawns are super green 


Water, water everywhere and lots of drops to drink 


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. 


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. 


Better than all the brown backgrounds. 

Not that there is anything wrong with brown… 


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sittin' on the dock of the bay

Not watching the tide roll away, though.


Just watching avocets and sandpipers across the way


Which I suppose rhymes, too. 

Possible dog song.


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.


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.


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. 


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… 


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. 


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


Pelly over Carmel. 


Belly over Carmel.


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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Great day for a walk

So, that’s what we did. 

After work, of course. I am off this week, so naturally, and in the most American way possible, I end up at the office. Not for long. Had dogs with. Also wearing sweats. So, not a real work day, but still. Vacation that does not include trip to Santa Clara would be lovely. At least the 49er’s were not playing. 

The good part it at least being at work puts us closer to the bay. We went the Palo Alto Baylands for a stroll. Soo many people out! Not sure if it was normal lunch strolls for folks? Everyone else off this week? I was not expecting to see more people than we do on a normal weekend.


So many birds to watch. Very busy out there. 


You normally see pelicans in a group. Funny to see a singleton. You really notice how freaking huge they are when they are surrounded by Shovelers and Coots instead of their own kind. 


Kate was not in a posing sort of mood today. Tired from office excitement, maybe. She just *knows* there is a tennis ball in the building somewhere and must…find…it. She didn't. It was lost. About two years ago. That Kate, not much into letting go. 


I had this brilliant idea for a little trip this week, but I got busy and/or lazy about firming up plans and when I decided to do so there were no dog-friendly hotels left. Boo. So, we are staycationing. I have a long list of things that I will feel mildly bad about not getting done. Dumb shit like car washing and haircuts and new glasses and dog bathing. The beach sounds a little better. Maybe we’ll fit that in between naps and cookies. 

Bendy chops! 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Frisbee catchers

I used to get weird breed guesses for my dogs a lot. People *swore* Bella had to have German Shorthair in her because of the ticking. Some agility folk loved to argue with me about Bella being pure bred Border Collie. No amount of explaining could change their minds. I have even been told that Kate is a pit bull. 

For whatever reason, this doesn’t happen much anymore. On our walk yesterday, though, a guy who was biking with his gf stopped to ask me if they were Jack Russells. I was so not expecting that. I said, “is who a Jack Russell?” He pointed at the girls. “Them.” “Oh, no, you’re about 20 pounds off. They are Border Collie mixes.” 

“Right, those are the ones that catch Frisbees.” 


I guess when discussing my dogs, that does about explain it. 

Though, I expect that the folk that need a working dog, the keepers of the usefulness, may be a little disheartened by that. 

But the sheep, they are soo big. 


Would rather watch ducks. 


And, I rarely take notice of this, but when I do it’s like I can’t stop seeing it… Kate has the biggest sticky outy thumbs ever. Like Even Cowgirls Get The Blues thumbs. 

Should have names her Sissy.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014


When I dropped the girls off last Friday I said,"Now, today is one of those days that someone might put a hat on you. Just be polite. There will be cookies, too."

Well, no hats, but a little more dog-friendly costuming. Best day care photo I have ever gotten. And that's 11 years worth of daycare holiday photos!

Just great!

Photo by some awesome employee at Downtown Dogs

Save the daylight

Worst day for dogs. That whole “fall back” thing is pretty hard. 



We actually hard rain this weekend, too! Like, real rain. The kind that gets things wet and leaves puddles. Not just the kind that puts dust spots on your car. Everything was thankful for the soak. Amazing how quickly things green up. 


I haven’t been to our morning park for a daytime walk in a while. We went yesterday to avoid dealing with Levi’s Stadium traffic, which we would have to skim on the way to any normal weekend destinations. The daytime park has apparently turned into pot central. Cars full of kids smoking. Every other picnic table, kids smoking. The park is a half mile long and really only open on both ends. It is sort of protected from traffic and animal control. One of the reason there is a fair amount of off-leash play there. I guess that sort of applies to the normal police, too. Now, I could care less what you smoke and, quite frankly, I would rather deal with stoners than drunks. You want to put something in your body that makes you stupid? Knock yourself out. However, not in public! That shit smells horrible! Cigarettes are not allowed in public parks, but this OK? 

Kate watching squirrels. Probably high. Who can tell? 


Clouds of smoke aside, it was a stunning day. Good for the girls, too. One of those bonus days when you are just going to go on a leash walk and happen upon a lost ball needing a throw. 


Excuse me, Bella’s lost ball.


Monday, October 27, 2014

NOLA sans dogs

Everybody has this shot, right? Kinda like that same picture of the Golden Gate everyone and their uncle has taken? 

Jackson Square 

Loved, loved, loved New Orleans.


I would move there in a heartbeat if there was something for me to do work-wise. Not heavy into the manufacturing there. They seem to prefer cooking over making. The Ritz on Canal. Not where I stayed.


Back in my yoot, oh about a hundred years ago, I drove a carriage in Chicago. Pay sucked. Weather really sucked. (Consider sitting on Michigan Ave for 10 hours in February. Brr doesn’t cover it.) However, 20+ years later and it is still the best job I have ever had. I sat in Jackson Square drinking badass coffee and contemplating whether a return to an outdoor job would be a good move. They seem to use mules there instead of horses. Not sure why. Could driving them be much different? Maybe I sort of retire at 44 and become a tourist schlepper? 

Jackson Brewery 

The people there are just great. It always seems to go to one extreme or the other with touristy places. Either the locals are assholes to you because you’re not from there or they are overly fake-nice like Disney-esque-no-one-is-really-that-happy nice. In New Orleans, nicely right in the middle. Friendly, happy to point you in the right direction, but not overly anything. They also love to point out that it is New Orleans…two words…not nawlins….not new orleeeeeeeens….just New Orleans. We have the same thing here. San Francisco is San Francisco. Or even just The City. Not San Fran. Certainly not Frisco. And if you want someone to know for sure that you are not from here please refer to California as Cali.


This about sums up New Orleans. Dru Hill, SWV, Alton Brown. 
Indeed. Haha. 

Saenger Theater