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.

Monday, January 19, 2015


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 


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. 




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? 


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. 


And lots of stuff for Kate to sit on.

  Kate and some Coots 

And posing rocks.


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. 


Even the escapees willingly pose. 


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 


There was much frantic searching 


By Bella, anyway. 
Kate is no help at all 


She does not understand the seriousness of an MIA ball situation 


The product of a short-term memory issue. 

What are doing again? 


Thank goodness for The Saver of Days 


Such a handsome pair 


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


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!