Friday, March 30, 2007

I Want to Go THAT Way!

Today I wanted to go THAT way. Over there. THERE!! Why, Pabu, asked Alice. The white dog "Bark Jump, Bark Jump" behind the fence has a new black puppy. So we went! But I just got barked at. A lot. Bark Jump now has to protect not just his people and property but that puppy, too. Stress. Gotta learn to relax. Zen out. Enjoy the sun.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tule and Little League

Got a sunset walk today. Usually there are a lot of dogs at the local school that time of day. But not today. School yard covered with T-ball Boys Little League. One of the neighbor kids was playing. It seemed like the first time for all those kindergarteners. Parent to kid ratio was 1:1. The baseballs were green fuzzy tennis balls. Each kid got a "safety" talk and had to wear a helmet. Lots of practice fielding grounders. Several had major league baseball t-shirts. Oh my. That's how all those kids learn to play ball! (Alice forgot her camera, so here's a picture from a YMCA website.)

When Alice was that age, she was doing competitive figure skating. Hours and hours skating to Musak and classical music at an ice rink. She thought today - better to have done t-ball or skating then? She's glad she did skating... but.... in her day.... no little league for girls. She thinks she might have liked to do both, but would not have given up skating for t-ball. Alice today has real trouble with balls. She says it's lack of binocular vision. I think it's because she didn't do t-ball in kindergarten.

Met Tule, the eight month old lab neighbor. He is full of energy. And smart. Being trained as a duck gun dog. That's what retrievers are for. Not carrying around manky green fuzzy tennis balls. At least for the smart ones.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New 41 Cent Stamps

Alice checked out the new US Postal Service Star Wars Stamps announced today. Nice. But, she noticed not a word on the USPS website for these new stamps about how they are all 41 cent-ers, not the current 39 cent-ers. Hmmmm. Is this some Jedi mind trick to make us forget about the rise in rates of first class stamps? Hmmmmm. Hmmmmm. Tibetan spaniels are not so weak minded. Still. What fun. The website lets everyone over 18 vote on their favorite stamp from a large choice of Star Wars stamps to be issued on a special sheet in May. So far, the Darth Vadar one wins with 5,209 votes. I prefer the one with Leia and Artoo. The winner will be issued on extra separate sheets all by itself. Vote for Leia and Artoo!!! (But, I fear, thinking about Burma and such... the Dark Side has taken over in one too many places now. Dark Side idolatry. Hmmmmm.)

Preferring to think of whose footsteps might be on this beach. Alice has never seen Artoo tracks there. But she does know where an R5 is nearby!


Most people in the world have forgotten about the atrocities happening in Burma. Lots of talk about Dafur. Iraq. Afghanistan. Drug wars in Columbia. Bolivia. That very odd poisoning of a head of state in Ukraine. But scarcely a word about Burma.

Alice cares about Burma. She travelled there in 1985, just three years before the horrible clamp down on the people by a beyond-scary military junta. She remembers having her travel plans interrupted by what the government tourist bureau called "rebels". The day before she went to Taunggyi she was told a high military official had been shot at nearby. When she got there, everything seemed very calm. But she thought it very odd that just about anyone who spoke English begged her to send them second hand books in English to help them teach children English.
A year or so later she heard from a friend working at the World Bank that the new Burmese military government planned to export food for foreign currency since their own was collapsing - despite the well know fact that exporting as much food as they planned would cause serious famine. The famine happened.
Alice never saw anyone overweight there but for some high officials she saw on a YouTube video which mysteriously was removed from the YouTube website. (I wish you could hear my little huffing cough I do when I don't like something.)

She pulled out some of her old pictures from Burma tonight. The little puppies at a temple in the center of the country. A heartbreakingly beautiful scene at sunset by the Irrawady River outside Mandalay.
Oh! When will the world care about Burma again?

When will it care about Tibet?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Alex and Gracie

A person on Alice's curling team sent her a link to photos of his cats. I used to hate cats. But, not after I spent time with Jane and Jane's cat Piglet. They explained some useful facts of life to me. Cats are not to be feared. Chased. Or hated. They just have their own "ways" of doing things that most dogs and people will consider "different"... to put it politely.
Here are Gracie and Alex at their curler's home. As he writes, "As soon as they moved in they decided they own the coffee table. I let them have it. (Except when I'm eating.) " See what I mean by "different"? I always ask permission with my eyes before jumping up on anything if people are around. I know there are certain places one should not go. Most times.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Last night Alice left me for curling. Again. I got a long walk from Diego before he soaked in the spa. Then I had fun napping on the den couch, the living room couch and the Queen Anne chair. Got to spread out wherever I wanted. Life is good.
Alice told me her curling team did very well last night. They were down 2-6 in the final end but then got 5 and won the game. Apparently it's tough to get that many points in one end. I wouldn't know. Her team has three regular players plus three spares to fill in when the others are away at bonspiels. What I do know about is the friendly competition we neighborhood dogs have got going. Who leaves "messages" where and how high. Saki, the buff cairn terrier a couple of blocks away, has it very tough. His people recently put in three rows of bushes. He has to check them out every day. Each one! I can't resist about three very special and particular bushes over there. But Alice won't let me mark the smallest saying those small box plants can't stand much p-mail. Saki is quite the competitor. He always does the Spanish toro ground pawing after every mark he makes. His people must go nuts replacing all the gorilla grass he kicks out of the way.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Tulip, Irises, and Congee

While waiting for Alice to thaw out my turkey, carrot and congee lunch she had the gall - the nerve! - to walk out of the house to take photos of the garden. Focus Alice! Meal time. Me!!!

What could possibly be more important than my main meal of the day?!
She wanted to take a photo of the first tulip blooming in the garden. She knows what it is since she saved the label from the bulbs she planted last year. Tuplia Apricot Beauty, single early, from Langeveld Bulb Company in Holland, via the East Palo Alto Home Depot. Why she bothers with tulips beats me. Not cold enough over Winter here for them to do well.
And, around in the side yard the purple irises are doing well, too, she says. By the time she finished with that my meal was ready.

She learned the word "congee" yesterday from her Mother. It's overcooked rice. Alice thought it was just a bad accident when she cooked some rice a couple of days ago thinking it was barley which needs an hour to cook.... Turns out it's great for delicate digestions and is a classic Chinese dish. I lap it all up. With some turkey.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Small Things

The bonsai'd red Japanese maple out back has started to put out leaves again. Alice has been thinking it really ought to be in a bigger pot or in the ground. It just does not seem happy to be small. Roots stuffed into that pretty pale blue pot...
Being small. Well! I am HUGE inside despite being small outside compared to some creatures. I've a lot of talents packed into my small package. Lots.
R2-D2 is happy being small. He certainly has a lot packed inside him. Small can be very convenient as a reader of this blog hints at in this link he provided about Artoo.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


The rhododendrons started blooming in my yard a couple of weeks ago. First, the short pale pink dwarf in front. Then the bigger ones behind. Azaleas were already out. Most of them were potted indoors plants that have won the Anti-Darwin Award outside. One big rhodie is very Californian. On its own schedule. Months behind - or ahead -depending on your point of view.

Rhodies make Alice think of the Himalayas and the Scottish Highlands. That's where she says she's seen the most beautiful. Miles of them along the railways in the Highlands. Trees of them around Darjeeling.

This year, "mine" were especially nice. So, today, Alice took some glamour shots of me with them. I love to spread out on the sidewalk and watch the world. Rhodies and azaleas included.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Me and R2

Alice posted something for her sister at the local Post Office. I got stuck in the car until she was done. But then she let me sniff around the lawn by the Post Office. She seemed very interested in the new coverings on the postbox there. It looks like R2-D2. 400 mail boxes are to get those special coverings to introduce a new US stamp honoring Star Wars' thirtieth anniversary coming soon.

I think I've seen all the Star Wars movies. I've decided R2 is really a dog. He is loyal. Brave. Better senses of smell and sight than all the humans and is always there to protect his people. He saved Queen Amidala when her ship was attacked. He helped young Anakin survive a space battle. He rescued Queen Amidala from molten metal in a factory. He dragged her off a lava planet to safety in a space ship. He was the postman of all postmen getting a message from Princess Leia to Obi-wan through a space battle, a desert, a droidnapping, and worse.... Yes, I like R2.

"My" local R2 is positioned to watch over my town with the help from a little fisherman nearby who has managed to get his line stuck in a window. I bet those two will have some adventures at night. Maybe with the help from some local racoons who live in the sewers. (Or will the racoons be the thugs in that story? Hmmmm. Must meditate on this, as Yoda would say.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

More St Pat's

A St. Pat's guest (thanks Ray!) sent Alice some pictures of us in our matching Mayo rigs. Nice.... but.... Ooooo... how tough it was to sit still for pictures within 4 feet of the mound, yes mound!, of beef filet.

Diego was also in his fine tartan rig. His Mom is a Robertson just a generation or two away from the Highlands. People are often very surprised to find out Mexico has so many immigrants from around the world. For a long, long, time, the Spanish Crown officially only let Spanish Catholic subjects emmigrate there. But after Mexican Independence, the doors opened. Lots of Europeans came to escape the 1800s wars - especially after 1848. Lots of Lebanese came after the Ottoman Empire fell. (One of them is now the third richest person in the world having created the telephone company monopoly there called Telmex. His first name is Slim, but he is not slim.) Same all over South America and Latin America. Nikki's family came to Peru from Europe and then came to the USA in the 1960s when a military coup took away her family's farm. It's an agricultural college now.

So, a tibetan spaniel wearing an Irish County District tartan on St Pat's in the USA isn't so odd after all especially since my full name is Pabu Mayo of Lindenwood.

It's comforting to remember St. Patrick himself was an immigrant to Ireland. Or should I say a settled expat instead? Just like the family of Man Who Smokes Cigars. All his great-great grandparents - every single one! - came from Ireland.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Patrick's

I was invited to the family St. Patrick's party. Got two plates of beef filet and then parked myself under the table with the beef. Lots of pats. Not as much beef as I would have liked. Alice and I wore our matching Irish County Mayo tartan kits. But, I'd had a bath earlier in the day. So fluffy, hard for anyone to see my Mayo green.
Alice left the party a bit early to go curling. Her team has been doing well in their local league championships. She liked seeing fellow curling club members wearing green. TC had a great big green hat.
Alice's team has two skips, Barry and Gabrielle. Gabrielle has been playing less than a year and has already gone to the national ladies competition where she skipped the team representing the Mountain-Pacific "MoPac" Region. Barry has been teaching her everything he knows. Nikki and Mason have been playing on Barry, Gabrielle, and Alice's team this year as spares more often than not. But last night Nikki played on another team. Here she is delivering a stone with a fellow team player showing some Celtic pride for the night.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Perros Todosantanos

Alice took this photo last month at the Centro Cultural in Todo Santos, Baja del Sur. She saw these two dogs and thought of me. Catherine was with her and thought of Pika, Tito, Foo, and Randy. Jane, too, who thought of Pelle and Pasty. And they all thought about Catherine's chat with Professor Nestor Agundez who more than anyone was responsible for making sure those two dogs did not get lost. The Profe. saved the building from complete destruction and opened the cultural center pretty much all by himself. That's why it's now named after him. He is a big fan of Don Quixote. Most dogs are, too. It's all about patience, loyalty and faith.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Apricot Blossoms

The apricot tree out front burst into bloom with the recent heat. Alice likes the way it smells. I much prefer today two spots on the grass at the local elementary school where I love to rub my face and roll on my shoulder.... when Alice lets me.
Fruit tree and tulip tree blossoms all over the sidewalks. Soon walks will get shorter with the Summer heat. I hope I blow my winter fur coat before the serious heat arrives.
Alice says we don't have enough working local bees for the apricot to produce much fruit. I know where the bees are. In the rosemary bushes. Lots in there.
She tells me about how this area used to be covered with blooming fruit trees before the tilt-up slab buildings of Silly Valley sprouted. Canneries, small school kids "cutting the 'cots" for drying, orchard supplies at the Orchard Supply Hardware ("OSH") in the middle of the cherry tree orchards in Sunnyvale, the constantly busy canning factories. Now all the orchard families who did not become land developers have moved to the Central Valley and face competition from growers all over the world. Apricots from Turkey. Blueberries from Uruguay. Whoever has a bumper crop wins each year. Or whoever is diversified.
One year, Alice's apricot tree will have a bumper crop and then she and her neighbors won't know what to do with all that fruit! (Alice says, "Chutney, Pabs!!!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring Clip

Big day for me yesterday. Alice clipped my slippers off for Spring. Here's a half-way photo. And another of me recovering. Clipping is very stressful. I'm so afraid of skin being pinched or worse. I scream if I feel the hint of a pinch. Alice was very careful. No blood drawn.

Lots of screaming last night in Merida, Mexico. Some people were very upset about a visit by Barney and Miss Beasley's people. So upset, some even threw slabs -- slabs!!- of concrete at their hotel. And tried to ram down big metal walls that made the town rather like being in Berlin in the Cold War.

Alice went to Berlin in 1987. She saw both sides of the Brandenburg Gate. On the west, on a cold gray day she thought about President Reagan saying so loudly and firmly, "Tear down this wall!" She thought of her day before, walking around East Berlin. Seeing the bullet holes in the old buildings on Unter den Linden. The one flavor of ice cream available in the main square. The Russian style uniform shirts - and worst B.O. ever - of the East German guards at the U-Bahn stations. She stood there the next day on the western side weeping.

Oh! Why are there any walls in the world? I guess there are just not enough TMs and Tibbies to teach the people basic manners.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


So.... Tibetan Mastiffs. TMs. Alice has yet to meet one. But she did meet a lady in Los Altos who has some and who has met me. I was the first Tibetan Spaniel she'd ever met. At that fancy dog store in downtown Los Altos.
We Tibetans.... still pretty rare around here.
The lady told Alice how the TMs and Tibbies work in Tibet. The TMs sleep and lounge a lot. (The TM website has pages of photos of coach potato TMs.) We Tibbies keep more alert. We like to patrol high walls and property perimeters. A lot.
When possible danger happens like approaching strangers, if the TMs don't wake up, we Tibbies will pull on their ears until they get up and do something, the lady said. The "something" is normally just standing up and intimidating with size. TMs by nature aren't supposed to attack. Size should do it. A a few barks with serious eye contact to let strangers know they are not to step foot on the property until our person returns.
If the TMs get overwhelmed, we Tibbies have the duty to go and get the armed men. (A rather nasty joke - but a bit true, the lady also said - is we do that by dashing through the courtyards trying not to trip over the sleeping ShihTzu dogs.) We Tibbies are good watch dogs and team players. But we don't do the attack and bite much if all all. Others do that better when needed.
And Cooper's person wondered why Cooper didn't think of me as some fufu little nervous dog deserving a "corrective" lesson. Heritage bucko!!! We Tibbies are just the more concentrated version of TMs.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Cooper and Patsy

Alice finally met the famous Cooper who made the lickety-split aura analysis of Mick Jaeger last year. Here are Cooper and Pasty playing in a park while Alice, I and Jane watched from a safe distance. I'm not too keen on big-dog wrestling. Or Frisbee catching. Besides, Cooper's person told her Cooper did not like small dogs period. Often attacks them just for being small. Well! I decided to Zen out.
After the wrestling and chasing big-dog show, a nose sniff, and a walk all together, Cooper decided I am OK. Richard said perhaps it was because I am not really a small dog inside. Duh! I'm just a vertically challenged Tibetan Mastiff as we say here in the P.C. Land of Shake n' Bake.
PS Richard carries the most wonderful chicken jerky. Lots to share.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Alice's Garden

The clematis on the fence next to Sasha's house is going gangbusters. Alice *dragged* me over there yesterday before the first walk of the day. She must get her priorities straight! She also took a picture of a camelia tree she planted. I lost it. Walk time! Now!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Back to Normal

My Peet's Coffee Compadre came home. Goodbye to hospital and the helicopters. I gave him a Tibbie Scan. All clear. Maybe this means more sitting on the front lawn watching and sniffing the world?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Hospital Visits

Alice has been going to the hospital a lot. To and fro-ing. Me, too, sometimes. Here I am by the fountain entrance of the hospital. And here is the yellow bush Alice picked out for me and her to give her Dad. As a fellow guy, I know he'll need a bush for Number One-ing. I can tell inside that building there are not a lot of trees and bushes for sniffing. He won't get to leave for another couple of days so he'll need that little yellow bush.

The window in her Dad's room has a great view of the helipad. Yesterday, two helos landed at about the same time. The local city makes a lot of money on fuel tax selling jet fuel to those helos. More tax money, makes for more green lawns at city parks for us dogs. Good deal! Chop chop, chop.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Hospital News

Alice and I just got word the Man Who Smokes Cigars, Who Takes Me on Walks, and The Peet's Coffee Compadre is out of surgery. I suppose he now has an IV stuck in an arm and feels very groggy. I've been there. Done that last year when I broke my foot. No fun. Nope, not at all. Only good thing about these hospital stays and recovery time is one gets lots of attention. Sometimes not the sort one wants. Getting woken up for "vitals" at all odd hours.... But this is life.