Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fun at Jane's

Jane really knows how to play!! One game is the Blue Ghost Cowboy. I'd play a ghost horse with my octopus as rider. Pelle would try to guess who it was. He was never sure until I shook off the ghost outfit. And then, we'd run and run around together.Sometimes we'd get so tired we would assume our favorite nap spots in the living room. Here we are: Pelle on the top of the couch ready to nibble Jane's hair. Me near the center of the couch. And, Patsy on the floor. She was very nice about being a temporary Number Three for my stay at Jane's.
Meanwhile, Alice was having fun soaking in the sun and doing very different games like reading lots of newspaper and books. In the Thanksgiving Day New York Times she found a drawing of a vine her family has where she was staying. Everyone had long wondered what it was. Now they know: Bengal Clock Vine.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Thanksgiving

The day started very early. And very worrisome. Alice had luggage in the living room. Was packing things inside. Saw her pack my own traveling bag, too. I knew I was going to spend some days and nights with Jane, Pelle and Patsy.... but I was not sure about the whole thing.
Alice drove me over to Jane's house right after dawn. Jane said Pelle and Patsy were very excited and knew I was coming. They got on her bed to look out her front window.
Alice had to get on an airplane quickly so Jane took me inside quickly. She told Alice I cried and shook for 10 minutes. I did! I just was not sure about anything that morning, But then, Jane put me down and I got to play and play and play with Pelle and Patsy. They know how to play.
Later I got to go to the house where Jane grew up. I knew everything would be wonderful as soon as we got near the house. I could smell Thanksgiving Day preparations. I decided then and there, Jane's Mom was GREAT!!!
Yes! I got some turkey!!!!!
Meanwhile, Alice was at the House with the Tile Shelf. She had turkey with some of her family and three good friends. One of them, Gail, does a lot of work with a group there helping the local dogs and cats without homes. Alice says she saw on this visit only two dogs without collars on the streets. Eighteen or more years ago when she first went there were packs of very thin dogs walking around. None now she says.
I've much to be thankful for. Lots of good food. Warm, safe places to sleep. Nice people to watch out for me. And, one more place on Earth where dogs (and cats) have better lives.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


We're off today for Thanksgiving adventures. I'm going to Jane's, Pelle's and Patsy's house to celebrate the holiday with them while Alice goes to the House with the Tile Shelf. I went there when I was a puppy. There is a shelf between two beds where I loved to stretch out to cool off and be higher than my first person and Alice. I could jump up there all by myself.
We saw these leaves yesterday on Addison Street. Alice took some pictures of the interesting houses nearby. I found a small yummy bone on Lincoln Street. More tasty than leaves!!! But Alice wasn't happy about that. She thinks it was part of a small bird's wing. Maybe she wanted some of it. I just don't know.Well, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, except the turkeys who will be giving their all today. I guess that's what their job is. To be tasty beyond belief and give dogs hours and hours of great oven smells. And, lots of handouts. And leftovers. For days and days while the people stay home all together and think about those they love who are not there.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mike and Marina's House

Alice takes me by Mike and Marina's house at least once a month. She likes to see the progress on the house. Mike is almost done building it. A big load of shingles to cover the outside walls has been delivered.
Alice met Mike and his family almost ten years ago after she first moved into the house we live in. Mike was trying to get approval to tear down a cute, but tiny and very cheaply built "Summer" cottage and replace it with a house big enough for his growing family. Well, long story short, he got approval to build the house he and his family wanted and needed after thousands of people in the City came to his help, including many walking streets before an election to get a law passed to allow more new houses to be built in our neighborhood where many think houses older than 50 years should never be remodeled much less ever torn down for any reason.
So, it's a very special house. Mike has been mostly building it himself. He's worked on other houses, too, but this is the one he's worked the most on.
I first saw a perfect little stick model of it he built by the front sidewalk before the new real foundation was poured. He also had by it for many months a matching model complete with walls like something for a toy railroad.
I wonder if he will have both models inside for a toy railroad one day? One of Alice's cousin has a toy railroad which runs around a Christmas tree. It's fun to watch it go round and round. But it's even more fun to see houses and the land they are on used and loved deeply like Mike's house will be. And the *best* is when there are interesting smells of life to sniff there.

Monday, November 20, 2006


This morning, Alice had some guys to the the house to clean the windows. Came back home to find everything very clean and my water bowl in a new place. Sun much brighter in the house. And, a few new chemical smells. Kitchen floor looks shiny. All the photos with Pika's people got moved to more prominent places. I think the guys like Pika's people. A lot.
Meanwhile, Alice and I stopped at Sta. Rita to see how the pool removal is going. The hole is almost full of dirt. The people plan to keep a smaller hole for something they call a "spa".

Out front, my stepsister has planted primroses for the holidays. My first person liked primroses, too, for Winter. And, Alice has some yellow and pink ones year round in her yard.
But, really, ivy is best. So fun to lean in and smell what can be smelled there. At least until Alice says. "Aaaargh, no ivy-diving!"
I never did dive in the Sta. Rita pool. Like, I said, ivy is better than pool water.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Dogs Sleep A Lot

Pika's person said dogs sleep a lot before I came to live with Alice. Alice didn't really believe that then. She believes it now.
Had a bath yesterday. Am all fluffy again. The people like to pat me a lot. Maybe I am now as fluffy as Princess Sophie Fluffybutt?But now I just want to sleep. Go recover. Getting a bath and a blow dry is hard work. It's very stressfull wondering if Alice will get water on my nose, too much water on my ears. She won't let me shake until I've been toweled off What a waste of towels when I can shake off lots of water myself. I shake nose to tail. Do any dogs do it the other way around, tail to nose? When I was a puppy, Alice sometimes came over to my first person's house to give me baths in the tub. With a sprayer. How well I can recall the first time. She would not let me escape the tub during a bath. She is tough about not-getting-out-until-done at baths. What stress! Must recover. Zzzzzzz. Zzzzzzz. Zzzzzzz.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My Backyard

The birch and Japanese maples are well into their fall colors. They are starting to match the colors in the Tibetan prayer flags Pika and her person sent me last Summer when I had surgery to remove a cycst.
I like my backyard. Lots of sunny spots for soaking. A lawn to lounge on waiting for bugs to bite and eat out of the air. Sometimes there are cats to chase out IMMEDIATELY.
But for now, I prefer a post-lunch snooze in a warm cozy spot indoors. Sort of chilly today. And the days are still getting shorter.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Stella's Place

A block away from my home is Stella's home. She is a beagle or, as Alice sometimes says, a "beagl-ly-beagl-ly. She has a dog bed on her people's front porch. Her job, I guess, is to bark and bark in a big pack of beagles running after foxes and rabbits. In the City of Palo Alto, behind a white picket fence, she is out of luck on her primary job.
So, instead, she watches her fence closely whenever she is outside. She has the ability to smell one a house or two away and then when one walks by her fence, she charges barking very loudly.
Her people are sometimes embarassed by this, such as at Halloween when one of her human kids at Trick Or Trick said to Alice, "I'm from Stella, the beagle's house.... sorry about all her barking" before Alice said anything. She doesn't mind Stella's barking, That's her job as a beagle! But, I have to admit, it can be unnerving when one has forgotten Stella might be outside
From a couple of weeks ago, Stella has been joined by a pug named Budgie (Pudgie? spelling?). When Stella is out, Budgie joins in the charge and bark work load. But, once when Stella was not outside, Budgie didn't come near the fence line to say hello. Instead she stayed back and just gave some muffed half barks.
I always worry if I do not see - and hear - Stella when I walk by her fence. I look and sniff for her. And, if able, try to leave a hello message for her.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hooray Sun!!!

Sun is back out again! Went for a long walk with Alice up and down Kinsley and Lincoln streets. She likes to see the progress on all the construction and remodeling projects and I like to sniff EVERYTHING.
Last night, human stepsister's friend Gay took me for a "walk". She said it was more like a sniff fest. Duh! Also last night, Alice saw two black and white tibetan spaniels in a new hardcover book about Tibet at a local bookstore. One was a very small puppy, naturally safe on the lap of a silk robed man in a palace garden in Lhasa. The bigger dog was between the person's feet. They looked glossy and happy on a sunny day in Tibet.
The ginko trees on Ramona between Kingsley and Lincoln are starting to loose their leaves. Sometimes the leaves get so thick on the ground there you can't see any of the pavement or grass. Alice loves the shape and color of those leaves. To me.... they are different than all other leaves. They are smooth with no scratchy bits. Alice says that's because they are an old or primitive plant. More like palm trees or lilies than oaks or sycamores. A tree that would have been there when dinosaurs were on Earth.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dreaming of Summer Days

Oh, where did Summer go? So many wet leaves on the ground. Muddy ground. Cold sky. Can't get warm outside not even in the middle of the street in the full sun. I keep thinking of the hot, hot concrete by the old Sta. Rita pool. Facing the sun. Warm fur. Warm paws. Sharp shadows. Flowers blooming as in this old picture of me.
Time to curl up on a warm blanket.
Furry ones who hibernate have the right idea.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Goodbye Pool

The pool is being removed at Sta. Rita. The water was pumped out last week. Holes are being punched through the bottom in several places. Dirt and debris from other pool jobs is being brought in to fill the hole. More grass to bask on! And more places for the people to sit outside and enjoy the sun. They say there might be an outdoor fireplace so I expect the people to spend more time outside, even in Winter. Change. I can deal with that.
But I will miss seeing mallard duck couples swim in the pool. Checking it out until they realize it has too much chlorine. And the way the sun sparkled on the water.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Mick Jagger

Yesterday, I was invited to Jane's house for a visit with her Patsy and Pele plus a walk around their neighborhood. Lots and lots of new smells. It was great!
Outside a neighbor's house I got to meet some other dogs: Shadow and a very big Malumuke puppy. I did not get to meet Cooper though. He is a favorite of Patsy since they are similar sizes and love to romp and play together. All she coould do was watch his front door waiting for him.
Cooper was the subject of much talk by the people. Last week, on a Friday, he was with one of his people up at the San Francisco Presidio Park. Cooper for some reason does not like anyone who looks like a loiterer. He will charge and bark at them. At the Presidio were two men who looked like they might be homeless so Conrad charged up at them.... but without barking... surprising his person.
Then something even more extraordinary happened. Cooper stopped well short of one of the men. Sat down very politely and cocked his head as his person came up to "rescue" the men from Cooper.... in time to hear one of the men say, "Sorry luv, I've nothing for you."
It was Mick Jagger. It seems he is not just a rock star, but a dog person and an alpha creature with enough charisma to impress Cooper.
So! Jane has lots of friends all over, including Serbia where there are a lot of Mr. Jagger's fans. She reports this morning, "...the story of Mick is getting around. I told Velja who is a HUGE Stones fan. He was at a party last night in Belgrade and Boris Tadic (the president of Serbia) was there and they were talking. Velja told Tadic (who also likes the Stones) who ALSO got a big laugh out of the whole episode!! So there you go...stories really do bring humanity together! Or is it our best friend, the dog?"
Well, I can definately say it's the dog.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Jason, Sophie and Dreams

Steve sent Alice more pictures of his dad's dogs, Jason and Sophie. Her formal name is Princess Sophie Fluffybutt. Yes...we tibetan spaniels have fluffy butts.
My first person really liked that characteristic. When my hair got very long in that area, she would say I was a Dutch Boy with pantaloons. But.... it can be a mess when the pantaloons get very long....
Steve Dad told Alice the other day that he talked through the Internet with my Ruth D. who was my very first, first person, before I had my first forever person. I bet Ruth D. knows where my sisters are. I've often wondered how they are doing. And my Mom...
Alice notices when I have dreams. Sometimes I run. My paws twitching in a trot. Sometimes I bark. Muffled and choked barks. And many times I am nursing my Mom. Regular little sucking sounds and motions. I was the biggest in my litter. I liked to nurse. A lot. Lots and lots and lots.
Once I had a screaming dream and Alice woke me up. It took me several seconds to calm down. It's great to have a person to look after me.

Cody's Place

On a walk this week, Alice took me to see the progress on the new house being built at Cody's old place. The bottom of the basement got concrete a couple of days ago and the construction crew is now putting up the wood forms for the walls of the basement. They want to "beat the rain" they said to Alice.
Cody was a black and white border collie kind of dog with pale blue eyes. The first time he saw me, he charged at his wood and wire fence with a loud bark, a type of bark my person had never heard before. She did not know then Cody is half wolf which she found out later from a neighbor.
Cody almost always was outside. On rainy or cold days he would nestle in his den, a cozy spot under the back wooden steps with a wooden lattice on the side making it dark. He would patrol back and forth along his fence line where this photo of me was taken. In winter his grass and weeds would grow tall, but his patrol path and his path to his wooden den was always bare earth. Sometimes his paths got muddy and then he would go inside his people's house.
When the construction workers put up the cyclone fences to protect the trees and keep people out of the construction site, they fenced in a small bit by his old front door capturing his water bowl along with one of the City's recycling trash cans for the house. I wonder who will use the bowl when it might ever be cleaned out.
I don't miss Cody. He could be slightly frightening. I don't think his next life will be fun. Not to be a human soon like Kate. Maybe a cat. With lots and lots of kittens to feed. If I see a black and white stray cat with pale blue eyes with a mean attitude, I will know.


Alice and I got word this week Kate passed away the day after our siesta soak Sunday last. Oh, Kate. I will miss you. I know you were having a tough time. Getting slower every day. More and more shaky on the back legs. I know you just wanted to sleep and sleep in a warm place like you were in this photo from Sunday last.
Well, we Tibetans are Buddhists. In Bhutan where Alice first saw tibetan spaniels, the people believe before they can be born a human, they must first live as a dog. So, Kate, in your next life, I am sure you will be a human. Certainly a long legged female who runs very fast. Perhaps you might win an Olympic medal. And, having been such a good dog, you will get to live in another warm place with lots of good food like California.
I always take a *great* interest in any dogs I see outside my house or outside any car I am being driven in. My person now knows I am checking to see "who" it is. Anyone I know from a former life?
Kate. Katie, as your people often called you.... like the greyhounds in the picture book "Once I Ate a Pie"....
"....We are RUNNERS.
"....We are kings...
....We are queens...."

Monday, November 06, 2006

My Relations in Maine

At a BBQ out at the local airport last Summer when I still had my splint, I met Steve whose Dad takes care of some of my distant relations. His Dad has two tibetan spaniels. Steve sent pix of them to Alice to show how they live back there. Burrrrr. It looks cold. All that snow!! I hope they have lots of sunny spots inside their house to get warm.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Gray Day

Cloudy today. The humans are on a sugar blue low after Halloween. I try to find sunspots for soaking, but no luck today. Just warm laps. Heat vents. Dreaming of last week soaking at the local school. Sniffing all the other dogs...

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Got a very long walk this morning. Now so tired, am sacked out sleeping. Nope.... curled up in a warm spot and looking out a window now that Alice is updating this dog blog.
Speaking of windows...Alice has been enjoying watching a new house being built a few doors away. It's got lots of windows. Me? I care more about a special clump of grass by the Porta-Potty there for the construction workers... and the fact off-limits curb areas are now open for dog inspection after the cyclone fences protecting the street trees were removed recently.Alice says the house is very important because it's the first here to be built from styrofoam and plywood sandwiches. It will be toasty in winter and cool in Summer with all that polymer insulation.
I still think interesting smells on grass clumps and newly fallen leaves are much more important.