Monday, March 31, 2008

Off to New Office of the Red Chair

I shall be having a good inspection of the Office of the Red Chair for the next few days while Alice is off somewhere. She's been shuffling papers and clothes this evening. Says she will have some meetings and a chance to see some famous cherry blossoms. Well! What could be more famous that these we saw last week? Olson's very own. It reminds Alice of the place where she grew up surrounded by fruit orchards.
And, here is an evening picture of the Sta. Rita Akebono cherry. Alice says ones just like it are by Memorial Bridge along the Potomac River. She says I would like to sniff their trunks. You bet I would!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

94 v. 16 v. 45 Years

Most of my dog relatives live past 15 years. The humans last longer like the 94 years my first forever person had. So, they think - sometimes - in longer times about things then we dogs.
Like trees. I tend to think of trees just as convenient markers for pee-mail. I rarely stop to think about how they came to grow where they are.
Here is an old photo of four big old black walnut orchard trees. All are in the front yards of new houses. And some sticky so-small-not-worth-peeing-upon street trees. In the distance another big orchard of cherry trees.
Fast forward 45 years.
Here I am on that same street in almost the exact same spot. The walnuts are long gone save for perhaps one behind the oleander. The cherries gone, too. The new people did not know how an orchardman needed to take care of them. The street trees are bigger. Of serious interest to us dogs. Nice scene. But....
Alice preferred this cherry tree several blocks away on a corner. She said it must have been planted about the same time as those sticky street trees in the old photo. A person thought long and hard about what kind of tree to plant in that spot, Alice said.
I saw Alice last Fall help to plant a tree just like that big old flowering one. An Akebono cherry at Santa Rita. Here is its first flower this Spring. It was planted in a spot opened after a magnolia was removed to make room for a ginko tree which her Dad has always wanted there and a cherry which her Mom wanted. That magnolia was so big there is room not just for the cherry and ginko but also an Italian plum and a pistache tree.
See how small that plum tree is? Alice loves the smell of those flowers. She said Japanese call these "ume" blossoms and lots of time is spent admiring them, and the cherry blossoms, too. (I can't quite understand why....)
I will dream tonight about what these small trees will look like in 45 years long after I am gone from this life. Perhaps they will be as big as that now old cherry on the sunny corner?

Topical Insecticides, Clavamox, etc.

Got a dose of that monthly topical insecticide earlier this week. Ugh. Dreadful smell. I wish I could tell Alice what I really think of it when she tells me it will make the fleas and ticks not want to bite me.
I also don't like that antibiotic Clavamox. Makes my stomach upset. Turns me off food. The monthly heartworm tablet is fine, if it is crushed up and put on something nice to eat.
I wish someone would do for dog medicines what Cornelia has done for human vaccines. My first forever person didn't like to take medicine. She lived until age 94. Her last decade or so she refused to take a "blood thinner" medicine (Kumadin?) which made her feel awful, she said. She also knew all kinds of margarine are bad. She was a cook-it-yourself frm scratch kind of gal. Two veg, one starch and one meat for dinner or lunch every day.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Trio

Here I am on my weekend walk with Patsy and Pele. It's so great to walk with Patsy. She's so big, I feel very safe. And big, too, with Pele walking with us.
Isn't life grand? Too perfect for words? I always feel that way on every walk under the Sun.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dan....and Cecil !!!!!

What a fabulous day this has been. Got to see my old friends Dan and Cecil. Dan used to walk me almost every day when I lived with my first forever person after she had trouble walking me. Cecil and I used to run through lots and lots of ivy together in a safe backyard.... but that is another story.
Dan went away to school in SoCal to learn about photography, but he is now back in NorCal taking care of lots and lots of very lucky dogs, taking on photo assignments like one for Save the Bay, and - best news of all! - waiting for a small person of his own with his Miranda! But, I knew all about that special event already. Doggie ESP is infallable about human pregnancies.
Dan told Alice his new dog care service will be featured in a local newspaper soon. Can't wait to read about that! But, really, all one needs to know about Dan is he is the real deal. A person who truly loves us dogs. And we love him, too.

The Steamer!

Alice went to see a big house today which a family wants to sell. There was chicken there for the people and for me, too! Good stuff! Alice said there was a big spotted cat lounging on a cheetah-spotted bathroom rug who never opened his/her eyes despite all the people walking through. Mellow cat!
After eating in the car, Alice got on her cell phone and called a friend who'd said at the St. Pat's party that he was going to fire up his Stanley Steamer. He had already got it going and was driving nearby so he drove over to meet us. As he came around the corner he tooted the steamer a couple of times. Looked and sounded just like a steam engine on a train. Alice said it "is" a steam engine!
The car was built in 1926. Inside it smells just like the old Jag my first person had: all wood and leather smells. But there was something different -- the sound of the engine. Alice says it's like a Chitty-chitty bang-bang car since it sort of purrs like a cat while it cruises down the street.
A car with real character.
Like that cat on the rug and that old big house, too.
Everyone ought hear a steamer toot and to ride in one, too!!

St Pat's Beef

The St. Patrick's party is really about beef for me. I go to the party, say hi and walk straight to the table with the beef. I wait. Wait some more. And eventually, Alice gave me a slice cut up into small pieces for me. And Carolyn gave me lots and lots of little bites all night long.
I do like seeing my friends there. Lots of attention and pats. But mind is always on that pile of beef.
Very distressing when everyone starts to leave and the food table is cleared off. Last plate to leave was the beef plate. Here I am watching it being carried to the kitchen. And here it is ready for the fridge. And here I am supervising the transfer of the beef to the fridge.
Have been getting a lot of beef and barley the last two days. Wonderful!
I loooooove St. Pat's.

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Pat's

Here's some green from home for today: Alice's favorite Japanese maple sprouting and the bamboo soaking up the rain the other night. Erin go deo!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dog People

Some humans are dog people. Others are definately not. Some, not so sure... Here are two men I know for sure are happy dog people. Dogs like to spend time with them. Sit on their feet. Look into their eyes. Hoping - and knowing - one will get lots of attention, long walks, and good things to eat.
As for the lady in white, not so sure about her. How can I tell without some serious sniffing or at least some ESP with any dogs who have crossed her path. She comes from a place where dogs are liked. Even appreciated. Must mediate on this. Very hard to know about her seeing only a busy-with-papers photo.
You know... when the people get distracted with papers the only thing for dogs to do is curl up on any that fall to the ground to let the people know we dogs do not want people fiddling with papers for too long. Takes about from walk time!
Now here is a man who every dog knows loved us. Loved the mountains, too. And, people. A very special guy. Do you know who he was? Here's a hint: we dogs called him "Ed".

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


The humans in the family have been listening to many news reports about the doings in a Washington DC hotel room between "Client 9" and someone named Kristen. It seems she got a train trip to DC with access to a "minbar" and/or "room service". That got Alice thinking about minibars, and me, too.
I've only heard about them, never seen one until today when Alice went looking for pictures of one online. I've stayed in hotel rooms before, but never had a minibar.
Well! From the pictures of ones for humans I an NOT IMPRESSED!
There need to be changes for us dogs. Look at it from our persepctive.
There must be a water bowl. A kibble bowl. At leasat 2 choices of kibble. Some nice frozen food like barley, chopped chicken and pureed carrots -- with a microwave in the room so no need to wait for Room Service. Greenies in several sizes. Liver treats for those who like them. A chew toy. A good tug of war toy with flopping legs like my Blue Octopus. Fresh deli meats: roast beef and chicken at least.
One can dream, no?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Stella's Buddy

'Tother day I noticed Stella had an extra dog bed on her porch. White. Smelling of her puggy buddy. Stella always seems happier when her buddy visits. Lets her take the lead to sniff at the fence line. But, I don't think the puggy buddy is thrilled that I can always mark that elephant ear bush by the gate and they can't.....

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Who Says Tibbies Can't Do Obedience?

On or off leash, we can do it. The walking-at-heel thingie. The stay. Waiting to jump over something until asked to jump. I really like the regal way the tibbie in the video takes the jump. Calm elegance, no?
But..... Alice has not convinced me (or herself) that I would truly enjoy all that heel work. I mean.... would that mean my days of sniff-fest walks would be over?
And it seems to involve a lot of awkward neck positions for the dog....
I am already quite good at The Stay while standing. Not good with the sit thing. That seems a come down.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Flowering Trees

Lately on our morning walks, Alice notices every single blooming tree. The tulip trees are popping. And even the cherries have started to blow off their petals in the strong winds this morning. I really don't know why people get so happy about flowers on trees and their petals falling on the ground. Some people like to put poems on the trees this time of year. Imagine that.
I certainly could get into some paw print poems about things I love. Cooked chicken, cut up fine. Liver gravy on soft and warm barley. Snugglng on cold mornings on a wool blanket. Tug of war with toy before the first walk of the day. But I would not take the time to write down such poems. ESP is better. ESP to the whole world like the prayers and poems printed on flags flapping in the Himalyas.
All those cherry trees blooming all over... Well. I think I may take the time to sniff a few of their trunks...