Friday, July 28, 2006

Office of the Red Chair

Here is my preferred spot at the Office of the Red Chair. It's great for snoozing and watching the door of the office. There is a matching chair for the humans and an ottoman. Long ago the chairs were covered in fabric with a red poppy design, then a blue iris pattern. They've been in El Paso, Texas, and four different towns in the San Francisco Bay area. They have a history these chairs. Nice to be able to add it it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sailing & Dreaming

Last week, Alice went sailing in the San Juan Islands. Here is a picture she took of Gretel II sailing in the San Juan Channel towards Shaw Island last Wednesday. Meanwhile, I had lots of walks in the early mornings with Ben, at lunch time with his Mom, with him and his many friends again in the afternoon, and once more in the evenings! Both sailing and walking are hard work. But so fun! Must snooze a lot to recover.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Holding On

Alice has been telling me about Timberline Lodge. A nice place I'll never get to go to since only two dogs are allowed there: mascot St Bernards, Heidi and Bruno. (However, a staffer at the Lodge's restuarant told her they no longer come so often since too many children have no manners around them. Imagine! Fur-pulling and poking!!)
Speaking of manners..... here I am with my favorite toy. Favorite it is, but I let any other person or dog touch it, even play with it. That's manners. Besides, I have a whole basket of other toys!
Alice has been reading some books she got at Timberline. She was quite sad to read about some serious thievery going on there for years. Many things made lovingly by craftsmen in the Great Depression have "walked off" from pottery flower pots to original watercolor paintings. Here is part of one in the room Alice had for a night. It was painted by Karl Feurer, by all accounts a very nice man who loved doing his paintings based on plants native to the Lodge's area.
People even took blankets off beds! The leaseholder in the early 1950's walked off with cartons of dishes and bedding!! The Lodge is still having to cope with such insults to basic manners from visitors. One can only hope they've some good housekeepers to notice what goes missing and when, and try to get it back.
Me? I wouldn't want a stolen toy from any other dog. It would be no fun at all. I'd think of the other dog missing it like I would miss my blue octopus.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Alice Was There

Last night, Alice came back. I did my "indignado" bark at her and then danced all around, even on my hind legs. (That's not so easy to do for short legged, long backed dogs like me.)
She took this photo yesterday at Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood. It's a carved linoleum panel from 1938 of a lady in a green kilt walking a happy dog. They demonstrate the ever important dog to human eye contact. It's called, "A Walk in the Spring".

It used to be in the fast food place at the Lodge for skiers, had many rough cleanings having been behind a food prep area, then got stored under mattresses for many years. Re-discovered in the late 1970's. The artist, Douglas Lynch, was asked to restore it but he preferred it to be just cleaned. The colors have faded so the dog is almost just a ghost, but it certainly stopped Alice in her tracks. Made her remember me! And, think of green kilts and walks in cooler weather.
Mt Hood this past weekend had plenty of skiers, but temps have been in the 80's, so the snow is getting a bit thin and the Lodge's staff is praying for cooler weather. As many told Alice, the cool is why they like to live and work there. More on the past week later.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Off for Vacations

Here I am dozing on Alice's shoulder on a short car trip. She says she is going on a trip that is too far for me to go comfortably (little does she know I can do hours and hours in cars....) so I'm going to have some stays at the Office of the Red Chair, the Office of the Leather Couch, the House by Lucy & Holly, and the place where I get an early bedtime and story hour with my very special young friend, Ben. I should have some things to report in a week or so.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Real Estating

I've been thinking a lot about that overly stressed out contractor's dog. I've come to the conclusion his person just has not explained some basic facts about real estate manners. One must realize that if one's person has a job like being an electrician, contractor, mover, or doing real estate transactions, it's an extreme privilege for a dog to get to go to so many houses and have the chance of walking in so many different places. If so, one must constantly remember one is only a guest. Guest manners must be observed. Etiquette reduces stress and thus prolongs life.
Here I am with Lefty, a friend I met while my person had to spend lots of time at a house she was helping to get sold. Lefty was a neighbor of the house to be sold. We always made a point of wagging tails and sniffing around together. Sometimes on very rainy days, my person would leave me somewhere dry, such as inside the house, and Lefty would bark at her asking where I was. "Was I OK?" He'd always stop barking when she said I as OK.
Another thing about "real estating" manners is one must not be unnerved by seeing houses' furniture being moved around or removed altogether. Some dogs can't handle that sort of pressure. I'm glad I can. That way I can be around to use my nose and ears to protect my person while she "real estates".

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Property Check

Property is very important to dogs. It is our home. Our territory. It's where our people and we live. It must be protected. Not sure why I feel such a strong urge to protect where we live, but I do. I think all dogs do. Here I am doing a check of my front yard.
On the first walk today, I simply had to cross the street to demonstrate to a large yellow dog that I'm not afraid of him, to show him he is in my extended home territory. That he really does not belong here on a regular basis.
He is the dog of a contractor who has been working on a house going up for sale this weekend. The first time he saw me, he growled at me. From across the street! Ever since, I simply have to show him I am not afraid of him. Today, he tried to prevent me from walking on the sidewalk by "his" house. He will be gone soon, likely never to return. He really needs to learn to relax while visiting places where he does not live.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Greenies, Ah! Wonderful Greenies

Here I am enjoying a Greenie today. Teenie size. Just right. My vet, Dr. Whitaker, recommended to my people I should have them for my teeth and my enjoyment. I've always savored them. Eating them at a deliberate speed. Never gulping. Thoughtful chewing. That's the best way for lots of reasons. A short while ago a US TV show made quite a fuss when some dogs with no patience or sense at all tore them into large chunks and at least one died when such a chunk went down a bad way. Well. I mourn for those dogs, but what were they thinking? Were they so hungry they were ravenous and thus ate too fast? Perhaps I will never know. Life is short. Best to savor as much as one can.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Qilin in Sacramento

I've spent a couple of days ensuring things are well at the Office of the Red Chair in Los Altos, while Alice went to Sacramento where she saw a Qilin. She took a picture through a glass window. (She is still learning how to do that properly.)

"Qilin"?, you think? Clink on the link and read all about them. Note how much I look like one. There is a reason my tail often falls into five clumps..... Meditate on that!

Friday, July 07, 2006

My Friends Pelle & Patsy

Here I am at Foothills Park with fellow Palo Altans Pelle and Pasty with their person, Jane. Pelle is the curly white one, small like me, and Patsy is a big black one with a very smart white vest. (Yes, I've a white vest, too. My first person called it my ruffly shirt-front.)

We all enjoyed some Village Cheese House roast beef near the deer meadow - except for Jane who prefers Havarti cheese. Afterwards, we went for a loooooong walk around the lake with a perimeter check of the lake's island. Pasty jumped in the water five times! I can't imagine how hot she must get on hot days like this with that black fur coat she has. We saw many bright red and blue dragonflies, a coot couple paddling in the lake, and a little grey and red lobster climbing out of the lake. I wonder what else is in there.

Pelle had to be carried for much of the walk. He has such short legs. When we trot, he practically has to gallop. But he has gone places. He's had adventures in the Balkans where some people actually fear white dogs. Imagine that!

Foothills Park does not allow dogs on weekends. Where is the ACLU for dogs when you need it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Every dog has at least one job. Some have not yet figured out their job. Retrievers must retrieve -- if only to "retrieve" and carry around a mankey tennis ball. (I see at least one lost tennis ball on each long daily walk.) Most terriers dig. Shepards are good at herding things, if only their person's children and other pets.

Me? My forebearers were bred down from Tibetan mastiffs to be compact companion dogs to monks. We are expected to sit quietly for hours on end while the monks meditate and study. We are expected to be bedwarmers and all-around companions for our people. We are not guard dogs or watchdogs per se because we are too small to attack much of anything. Instead, one of our key jobs is to use our ears and noses to make sure our people (who have not-so-good ears and noses) know when something needs to be investigated like a stranger coming to the door or a ringing telephone.

My people have discovered that I also can detect strokes and heart attacks in people before they can do so themselves. I can do lots of other things but they just haven't noticed yet.

Here I am doing one of my jobs: quietly keeping my person company while she is on a computer. Beats listening to the gongs and chanting of 100 monks. But, I could do without the odd noises computers make which people can't hear.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Being an Airedale

Today, we went to Bryon Airport. It's just over the hills to the east of home. Rather quiet on a Wednesday. Only one other plane landed while we were there.

It was very windy. I liked to run around in the wind. Most often with my face to the wind. You can smell a lot of things by doing that. The smokey smell of burned grass nearby. Very odd smells from the open hanger with at least four Soviet jets getting overhauled. They are part of an acrobatic demonstration team. Ruskie jets in the California Central Valley. That just seems right. Everyone and everything should have a chance to bask in the California sun.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Favorite Toy

Yes, I've a favorite toy. It's the Blue Octopus. A couple of times a week I pick it out of the toy pile and bring it to my person. She'll throw it and I'll run and grab it. Sometimes I bring it back to her to do the fetch-routine again, but more often I like her to chase me around the house and do tug-of-war growlings at each other.

Not been interested in Greenies lately. Sort of a fast. There's one sitting in the back yard I won't touch because neighbor dog, Sasha, touched it. I can be very particular about when to eat Greenies.