Thursday, August 30, 2007

Highland Games

It's that time of year again. Scottish people and their pals get together for Scot things. Dancing. Harping. Piping. Drumming. Herding sheep. Tossing the caber. Patting Highland cattle.
Me? I prefer in this hot weather to stay near a cool stone patio at all times. Easy access to a water bowl if I care for the occassional sunsoak.
Can't understand at all why some people like to toss a telephone pole at these games. "Games"? For me the prime games are tug the stuffed toy, carry the toy around the house while Alice chases me, wrapping my leash around trees, and watching Alice try to find me while I watch her in silence.
I guess everyone has a different idea of what games are fun for them.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Goodbye Hurricane Dean

Alice got stuck in the remnant of Hurricane Dean when it met the Summer SoCal monsoon. All sorts of fulltime weather forecasters thought Dean would blow up in northern San Diego County this past Saturday evening. But they were 16 hours off. It blew up on Sunday moring and afternoon. Lightning on the Pacific Ocean beaches. Arroyos which hardly ever get any rain in years filled to the brim. Mountain passes slammed shut with clouds; the coast, too from San Diego to the LA Basin. Thunderstorm tops over 45,000' -- too high even for most airline jets.
Here is how Dean looked early Sunday morning.
Alice thinks Robert Krier had the best report when he said the US government forecasters themselves say they ate humble pie for Sunday brunch.
Naturally, they could have just asked us dogs. Forecasting weather? It's a snap. Sniff the air and ESP with all the other sniffers.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Picadou Guest-Blogging Here: Viva Los Tibbies!

Picadou Zapote C., aka Minky Chica, aka Princesita Mexicana, hears that Alice got stranded by the storms near Mexicali. We hope she got some Chinese food out of that! Now, so that Pabs doesn't feel too bad, here are Picadou's five favorite Tibbie-relevant links!
#1. The wiki
#2. Dalai Lama
#3. Tibetan Spaniel Club of America
#4. Tibetan Spanish Network's List of Tibetan Spaniel Books
#5. This here Alice and Pabu blog, of course!
(P.S. Picadou's portrait with the monarch butterflies is by Julie Feingold.)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hedgehog Croquet

Lots of talk at Sta. Rita about playing croquet with hedgehogs for balls. Rather concerned about this.... until I saw a ball up close tonight. It's just a *painted* hedgehog. Glad to know real live hedgehogs are safe.
Speaking of those furry round creatures, Alice got word a friend of ours who lives in Singapore is making an appearance in a play called "The Happy Hedgehog". If he sends me a photo I'll post it! I've watched that kid go from being held always by parents, to being pushed in a stroller, to pushing toy strollers himself to running up and down the sidewalk like a train. Whish!! Whoooo-whoooooo!
Well... Alice is off on another flying thingamajig. Says I can't go. Too hot. Pavement there hotter than 120F. Egads. I wonder where she is going?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

Here I am a couple of weeks ago in a favorite spot: hot rocks by the cool patio of Sta. Rita. I watched Manuel as he inspected the new lawn there. He used a big roller on it, smoothing it out. It looks perfect now. Alice added some small tuffs of all sorts of thyme in the spaces between the rocks. People brush against them and it smells. Sorta interesting. Not as wonderful as the smells in the front yard lawn. Hmmmm. Eau de skunk. Racoon. Dead pigeon. Hmmmmm. Chicken.... I like to day dream Summer along.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Garden Party and Holly

Garden Party over at Sta. Rita today. Just about all the neighbors came over, including Holly the Corgi. We both got a little bit of the ham from the sandwiches. And we watched the croquet. I got to be very close to the action laying out near Alice's green croquet ball. Alice said I looked like the referee while she played. Holly liked to dash all over. She really likes to herd the people into staying putin one place which they don't do during croquet. How awful when Holly got "pinned" to the stake.
She is a working field dog. Imagine this: just a few weeks ago the first time she'd ever seen chickens in her life - she needed just 12 seconds flat to round them up, herd them into their pen and sit down guarding them. Like I said. A working field dog.
Me? I suppose I could herd chickens if I wanted to, but I've different jobs. Like calmly watching life from the comfort of a polished wood floor. Or soft grass. Or on a lap of someone I really like.
And, playing with my new foxy toy after Holly left!! Tug of war with Alice. Flying leaps to catch it. I like parties and visitors, but I'm really happiest when I have Alice's 100% attention. No distractions from other dogs, thank you very much.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Miss Pika

Back to routine. Been thinking a lot. I started to realize life got a bit boring after all the travel. After Pika left for points south. I sorta miss her. When she is around, the family gets together in bigger groups. Lots more sitting around lawns. More food. She does add something to the daily scene. Snuffles. Snorts. Grunts. Clickety, click of her toes. Maybe I didn't show it when we were together like on those lawns on the meadows above Carmel Valley last month. It was fun sitting there thinking about all the horses and wild boar who used to roam around there. The deer. Visitors like Robert Louis Stevenson having adventures of his own.... I wonder if Pika misses me?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ercko, Eduardo, and the Kiowa

Last month down in Baja, Alice met Erko's person, Eduardo. Erko was a Catalonian shepard dog. He lived a good life in Hermosillo, Mexico guarding his family until the awful day he got a very bad and very sudden case of tuberculosis. Eduardo told Alice about how great Erko was at this beach. He is still missing Erko. I know he was thinking about him as he struck a pose like the Kiowa statue. Thinking about life. Special friends. Places he'd been like all over India on a motorcycle. Places he will go to. Things he will do. Life in general.
As a Buddhist, I know people and dogs are reborn many times. That's why I'm always so interested in other dogs. Who are they? Who have they been? Anybody I know?
Isn't it nice just to freeze a few moments once in a while like Eduardo and look to the horizon thinking things?

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Lake

I hear lots about "The Lake". But, different people mean different things by "The Lake." It seems many people have a special one their family goes to. Why can't they be specific? Lake Michigan. Crystal Lake. Lake George. Lake Saranac. Lake Tahoe. Lake Take-yer-pick.
I really don't like lakes. I'm happy to curl up next to a person on a blanket on the shore, but water? Ugh. I'm not meant to get wet. Not me or any in my dog family. Really! We are from Tibet!! Dunking in water there is death!!!
Alice went out on boats at Tahoe. Sophie, the sleek-furred dog, went out on one, too. She likes to watch her people waterski and jumps in the water (!) over and over again (!!) when the boat stops to change skiers. Lucky for her the kids in her family cuddle with her under towels when she starts trembling from the cold water. Alice went out on another much larger boat where dogs are not allowed. The boat had recently had all its woodwork redone so dogs' nails are not welcome. Not a loss for me! I stayed cozy at home keeping a human friend company who was recovering from a nasty bout of vertigo. Then everyone came home and had meatloaf sandwiches on the sunny porch. Terrific handouts for the dog!!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Rescue Dogs

At the top of Squaw's cable car, I had a short walk to the hang-out place of the local avalanche rescue dogs. I could sniff out people trapped in avalanches, but I would have some challenges given my dwarf-short legs. Better for me to stick with Alice when she goes out on emergency aircraft and boat beacon hunts in urban areas. Cruising around in a car and then walking around on foot and paw. Heated cars are great things!
Once the sun goes down, it gets cold up there outside the Ski Patrol hut. I sat there for a while with Alice while we looked up at the bowl where lots of avalanches have happened. Thinking about the searches for trapped people. How exciting and fun it is to find someone alive. And how awful it is to find someone dead.
I've met nose to nose two search dogs: Geiger and Zen. They loooooove to play and be with their search person. Zen was raised by Tibetan Spaniels, but he's not so calm. He's got more than enough energy to run all over a search area until the people are falling down dead with exhaustion. I bet the Squaw dogs have that much energy, too.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Squaw Valley

I drove out to Squaw Valley for Yappy Hour on a Friday Summer evening. A pet shop throws it for an hour with music, free dog beer and dog ice cream. Funny it's called "Yappy" hour because I only heard one bark the entire time despite there being more than twenty of us. We dogs just rarely bark on neutral grounds. Here I am on the lap of human step-sister, Care, sitting in the green chair. She got me a small serving of vanilla ice cream from Ben and Jerry's. (I just can't stand that doggie ice cream....)
Alice got me a Squaw Pet Pass which looks just like the ski passes the humans have. It's really just a "novelty" pass - not good for anything but a discount at the local pet store - but having one means my person gave donations to the local humane society and the local avalanche rescue dog group. On Monday, we took the cable car up to see where the avalanche dogs work in Winter. I have to admit I trembled a bit on the way up. The view right before the first tower where it looks like one might slam into the rocks is a bit scary. But, after that, I was fine and on the way down I did not tremble a bit.

Summer Vacations

Alice and I are back from our Summer vacation together to Lake Tahoe. I'm so exhausted now. So many new smells, sights and thoughts to file away in the brain. Must sleep a lot to dream and get it all loaded in properly.
While I am dreaming on the daybed in the sunroom, Alice is back to her computer checking e-mail and the phone starts ringing again. And back to meetings out of the house.
Summer is a funny time. Routine is over. Some people are on vacation, some are not. So far, I've left home twice: for Carmel and Tahoe. When I was a puppy and could fit under airline seats, I went to Baja California. I could fly down there in a small plane but then she said I might have to wear Mutt Muffs for that so I'm not sure I'd really want to go to Baja....