Monday, December 30, 2013

More vacation

Greetings from high atop the lovely Fremont!  

Wish you were here!  

Possibly to protect us!  

‘Cause ... you know ... East Bay! 

Bella’s Raider Nation look  

And a kinglet, just because it was the only so-so bird pic of the whole morning.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Those little faces

Gah! Could you not just bite that little face right off?  

Sometime I can’t believe how much I lucked out.

I think we lucked out in the coat department, too. It just keeps getting crazier and crazier. I suspect if she were rough coated she would have that woolly mammoth hanging down to her knees thing going on by now.  

Still short, just….backwards. Less aerodynamic .  

And then the other face. She kills me when she tries to act like a collie.

We know better, don’t we?  

We are not even half way through vacay and I am already over it. I HATE time off to just stay home. That whole “stay-cation” thing is just dumb. Most folks would be thrilled to have 12 days off. Not me. Not without a plan. I don’t travel over the holidays because a) I don’t like boarding the dogs when they are crazy-busy over there and b) because they are crazy-busy you need to make reservation in, like, July. My place of employment can never seem to decide sooner than 2 days before what actual days we will have off. Knowing six months ahead is just not going to happen.

 So, I polished off all my Dexter episodes, been running every day, taking the East Bay Parks tour since dogs are not allowed off leash in the commie South Bay in which we live, and trying not to eat 5000 calories a day out of boredom. 

This is from my run this morning. This is the main marsh at Coyote Hills RP. Marsh. Yes, as in should be filled with water and migrating birds.

 Not a damn drop!  

Holy moly, are we dry. Driest year on record, I think. 

Even though we are dry, it is still grazing time in the parks. Not much for the cattle to eat, but apparently enough for them to….you know…  

Second only to sheep poop!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


It's about baby making time for these little guys. Lots of yelling and showing off and sparing.
5 grams of tough guy.
Match your tree
 Anna's Hummingbird - backyard

You're in my sun

With age comes the desire to bask. I am not quite there yet. She is, though.
Sun on all sides 
Content to watch the kids at the park. From a distance, of course.
Still, there are some things that one cannot resist



Friday, December 6, 2013

Winter is here


And, yes, I know we live in California. And, yes, I know we have no right to complain about “cold.” 

27°F, though? That’s a complain-able temp even for here. Of course, that’s only at 6 AM. Sure. It’ll be 50-something soon enough. I actually like it like that. Cold enough in the morning that the natives say inside and we have the park to ourselves. Warm enough during the day to not be miserable. And, no snow. At least not the involuntary kind. I can drive to it soon enough if the mood strikes. It rarely does. Thinking about it, I haven’t seen snow in years. As someone who grew up in IL and spent 10 years in NH, that’s weird. Maybe a Tahoe run this winter. 

Kate should be used to it. Maybe been near the bay too long? She’s a mountain girl. Well, foothills anyway. She came from Murphys, CA. You know Murphys? On the way to Stanislaus National Forest, just beyond Glory Hole Recreation Area. 

Damn, that makes me laugh every time I see it. 

One would think a place called Glory Hole Recreation Area would be *IN* the bay area, yes? 

Poor Kate. 

The desert dog likes it even less. During sleepy time, anyway. Loves to be HOT at night now. 


The more blankets the better. I concur. 

She could stop aging any time now. That would be good. Fingers crossed that we have years left together, but she is starting to show that she is not a young-un’ anymore. I love it and hate it at the same time. Nothing beats an old dog. They’re just so…comfortable. However, being reminded that this will not be here forever totally sucks…


I think Kate will live for another ten years.

Just to be annoying.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Who gets bored tugging?

This one, apparently. She looks like she’d rather be at the dentist.
Not this one, though
Always have time for the tugging
I found the first appearance of this particular disc in the pic archives. It was July 2004. It’s almost the same age as Bella. Go Ruff Wear! Other than needing a shower it is in great shape. Nary a stitch out of place. Even with nine years of being smashed into the ground because someone has decided the correct way to pick up a disc is in the middle. Middle. She will catch it normally, put it down, then mush it into the ground while trying to pick it up in the center. Frisbee taco.
That could be why this happens?
I don’t know how she walks in a straight line.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Two things to be thankful for

They really are my saving grace of late. I remember last year around this time lots of folks were saying they couldn’t wait for 2012 to be over with. It was pretty good for me. 2013? Worst year in, well, years. I cannot wait for this shit to be over. Now, of course, a turn of a calendar page will not fix anything, but for some reason not writing “2013” anymore is going to feel good.
On a positive holiday note, ‘cause who needs bitching on a day off, you should make a New Year’s resolution to get yourself a red dog. Everyone should have a little red dog at some point in their lives.
 They really are the bestest.
The bendy face seems to be a RD thing.
Other dog, not so bendy
She does make this face a lot, though, so she’s got that going for her
We hope you are enjoying your day however you are spending it!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Actual Work Conversation

Me: I'm hungry
Kid: You should have said something. You could have had some of those Frito's I just finished.
Me: I don't eat things that smell like dog feet
Kid: What?
Me: Dog feet. Google it...."frito feet"
Kid: type...type...type, Oh wow, I had no idea
Me: Gross, right? I can bring a dog in tomorrow if you don't believe the internet.

Corn chippy goodness

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


So the trip down south was good. OC peeps are very friendly! Not just the agility folks, either. Starbucks, TJ’s, the gas stations, even rush hour traffic people. No one pulled a gun on me. For that I am grateful. A guy that used to work at my current job had someone wave a gun at him during L.A. rush hour traffic. He was from Vermont. I don’t think that happens a lot there.
And that L.A. traffic?! Woo doggy! All kinds of cray-cray. There may be a lot of fake stuff in L.A. but all the stories about the traffic are totally true. The first 300 miles of the trip from San Jose to Santa Barbara-ish took the same amount of time as the last 100 miles from there to Fountain Valley. I can’t believe people do that every day!
The trial was fun. Nice group of folks. Lots of fun, fast dogs. I didn’t see a single dog that I thought perhaps should have been retired 2 years ago or a lame one or any who just acted like they didn’t want to be there. No one being dragged through a course. Too much of that at home. It’s depressing really. None of that there, though. Really nice park, too! The agility portion had phenomenal shade and a great grass surface. Not all lumpy and business. The rest of the park was so cool. In northern California, our agility sites are usually lots of dirt and freight trains and cows. Not in The OC. Oh no, they have water features!
With ducks and fountains and shit!
Rocks for posing
(they are watching a professional photographer shoot people models. Bella is probably being judge-y)
Lovely place to take a break from the barking
Hunt some ducks
Duck hunting
Just act like the old fart she is turning into
Happy park dog
I am thinking that this may have been our last trial. She has slowed down but still seems to really enjoy running.
Non-traditional JP run on Saturday. She is having a good time. It was double points for anything taken after a tunnel. I know it makes no sense to watch.
Saturday night, though? Soooooo beat!
I am not sure if it was the travel and humidity (really sticky, got to me, too!). She seemed to enjoy her runs, but was really over being at the trial site. She is also much more cautious on the dog walk. Not that hers has ever been a warp speed one, but still, seems like she is thinking about it more. Age? Equipment she hasn’t been on before? I am just being paranoid? Dunno.
Maybe we’ll try one more local and see how she does? Maybe we’ll not and just get on with retirement?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

That's What You Get Or Don't Get, I Guess

We have a bug going through the house. Bugs and four dog asses do not make for good times.
Even Bella, who has an ass of steel, had an accident in the house today. Ever thoughtful, she was kind enough to poop on hardwood instead of bed, carpet, rug, like some other dogs.
However, Bella is not feeling bad in general terms and would really like to have some dinner if that would be OK?
It would not.
Bella has a hungry sad. Grumblies in her tumblies!
She has been looking at me like this since I got home. She can't believe that I would have magically forgotten to feed her. She not going to like missing her bully stick tonight either.
Suck it up poopy pants!
We leave on Thursday to go down south for a trial. Have not been trialing much. We sort of decided to be fair weather agility people and going to the central valley heat in the summer is just not appealing anymore.
I am looking forward to different people and different dogs and coast weather. It is clear that these folks don't do a lot of CPE. AKC crowd, maybe? On Saturday, Bella is the only 20" level C dog! Sunday we have one other. I have never seen that before. Good thing I don't care about competing, I guess. Would be disappointed travelling all that way to run against myself! However, regardless of what happens, there will be 5 first places on Saturday.  HAHA!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bella and Me

Bella and me :)
Living room art. :-)

Friday, September 6, 2013

In The Dark

Photographing dogs at 6AM is not cool. Not a high ISO fan here. They just end up looking creepy as hell. Pupils all hugenormous since it’s actually dark.
She looks like she should be on a Saw poster.
And do not put Kate under a lamp to see if that helps because it totally does not help.
Sees dead people.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Since The Dog Park Incident of 2013, we have resorted to law breaking. We are hanging out in the mornings at the non-dog park end of the same park. Out of eyesight, out of earshot. Mornings are peaceful. Running the grass greatly preferred.
Faces of criminals
As far as I can tell Animal Control is not up at 6AM. The lady who cleans the park bathroom is, though. She’s cool with our law breaking. We helped her pick up a bunch of garbage one morning that some jackass had left behind. Who cleans out their car at a public park and dumps stuff in the parking lot that is 10 feet from a garbage can? Eh, anyway, if you happen to have a dog that will help by picking newspaper up cleaning ladies will totally ignore the fact that it is happening off-leash.
We occasionally have to dodge sprinklers. Those huge park soaking sprinklers? The kind that will lift a Kate off the ground if she is standing over one when it comes on. We know this from personal experience.
Sparkling clean underparts
And on a non-dog related note, I am not one to be bothered by age. I’m 43, who gives a shit? I do, however, find it weird when I am reminded of my age. Maybe because it’s not something I generally think about. Perhaps because I don’t have kids I don’t have that constant generation gap reminder? Anywho, I have a 21 year old working for me. We spent a good portion of yesterday cleaning out an old computer junk cabinet. Let me just say there were lots of 5-1/4” floppy disks and I totally work for a hoarder. I actually found Lotus 1-2-3 disks…?!?! 
Anyway, while we are toss, toss, tossing, he holds up a stack of color slides and says, “What are these?” I look at him with a combination of shock and horror and wait for a smile.
“What? … Wait…. Really? You don’t know what those are?”
There is a tremendous amount of kidding around that goes on and I was unsure, hoping actually, that my leg was being pulled. Wasn’t. He had never seen a slide. Never used a film camera.
Holy shitballs! I mean, I have a dog that has used a film camera.
Just, wow.

Monday, July 29, 2013

All Good

Kate is doing well. Getting back to normal. As normal as Kate can be, anyway.
She still sees dead people, so that’s good.
And, hey, if I’m being honest, she wasn’t all there to begin with so what’s a few racing stripes of missing hair on her back?
Bella is totally over the whole thing and wishes that I would just shut my pie hole about it, already.
It has been an adjustment in the mornings as we are not going back to that park since the lovely owners of that shepherd insist that their dog is not an issue and they will not stop bringing her to the park, thankyouverymuch.
We all hate change. Disrupted routines are a pain, but it will all be normal again soon.
I never got around to trial talk from a few weeks ago, either. We only did one day. I was going to skip that trial all together, but I cannot pass up two gambles and a snooker all in one day. Bella was having a blast. Ran really well. I wish we could have entire weekends that were nothing but jackpot and snooker. Loves me some games! Well, except colors. Colors is just stupid. But, I really love the thinking, planning and timing. You can keep your stupid standard courses with their just-do-what-you’re-told mess. Boo.
The bestest part of the trial was Emmy’s birthday. Trying to get everyone looking in the same direction was hysterical. This is so much easier with a picnic table!
Oh sure, I finally get the blind dogs attention and lose everyone else!
Do I know you?
And my little brown photobomber!
Every pic of Willie has at least one brown ear in it.
What? I'm funny.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I Hate When I Have Failed My Dogs

Kate got attacked this morning.
I am mostly pissed at myself because I knew this was going to happen. In fact, I was just talking to my housemate about this exact scenario three days ago.
For starters, Kate lost a lot of hair and is very bruised and sore, but I was unable to find any puncture wounds on her this morning. I guess that’s good. I am going to go check her over again at lunch time since punctures often don’t bleed – at least not right away – and are generally hard to find on a dog with any length of coat. Other than her purple back, she seems OK. Hopefully, she will still be OK at lunch.
I have not liked this dog since they first started bringing it. Call it a gut feeling. Even as a puppy I was weary of it. She seemed like a problem in the making. Very high prey drive shepherd and the owners are clueless. The dog has no dog manners, no training, and a short fuse. Every time they show up I leave. This morning I was busy talking with another person and didn’t seem them pull up until it was too late. My two were already on leash and ready to go. I figured if we just waited we could get past while the other dogs were doing their “someone new” dance. The shepherd came in very excited and ran straight up to Kate and over her head. Kate air snapped at the dog. Kate is not a fighter at all. Her correction, in normal dog terms, was warranted and appropriate… off dog. However, the shepherd took issue with it and went after Kate. Kate will not defend herself. She has no interest in fighting. She was just telling a young, exuberant dog to watch itself. Since the dog is not trained, the owners couldn’t get a hold of it. We end up playing ring around the rosie as I am trying to keep myself between that dog and Kate until Kate finally gets away and is pinned in the corner up against the fence.
This was my exact convo with the housemate. I have no issues with dogs communicating. Dogs that I know are sensible and stable, anyway. For example, Kate is not exactly known for looking where she is going. If she happens to bump into or step on another dog in the house, which she does on the regular, she will probably get grumbled at. “Watch it, dummy.” Never an issue. The dogs have the right to request that other dogs don’t stand on their rib cage. However, I generally avoid situations where my dogs may feel the need to correct another dog that I don’t know for this very reason. Unmannerly dogs can certainly take a correction as an invitation to fight. This one certainly did.
I hate that I knew this. I hate that I failed her this morning. I should have walked out the far end.
Should have protected my dog.
Poor Kate.
I can feel a bit better knowing that it was Kate. Bella would guilt tripped me for years.
Seeing as Kate is a little goldfish-esque…
Oh, look, a castle!
Oh, look, another castle!
Oooo, so many castles!!
She has probably forgotten about it already.
Trying to look like a badass
Or, she's out getting a tattoo.