Monday, January 31, 2011

Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show

I was a good boy but despite that Ma left me for a whole day to go to the dog show! And for what? To check out the Welsh Terriers as a companion for me! Hrrrrrrrumph! To top it off, Pa cornered me in the garage and I had to stand still for almost an hour and a half for a haircut. When she got home in the evening, I let her know I missed her but she smelled like other dogs. Needless to say, I was nonplussed.

When she got there, the Welshies had all gone home! Ha!! Instead she ended up seeing these guys - Lakeland Terriers.
Huh? Where's the saddle?
Knee high in July? 
OK - there might be a vague resemblance to me.
Does she really want a dog she can pick up with one hand?
How undignified!
These guys caught her eye too! 
Give me a break - he looks like a senior citizen!
There we go! That's my kind.
Her name is Bunny and she's going to Westminster in two weeks.
Airedales acting like, well, Airedales.
I can't stay mad at Ma for too long and anyway, after $22 dollars and sore feet, she ended up spending time with the Airedales. Since I'm a bit large for my kind, they all suggested she get a conformation bred Airedale which are about 60 lbs maximum, and the ladies weigh less. After all, a Welsh is not an Airedale. They told her the Otterhound in the Airedales gives us a good nose and less of a terrier temperament. 

Whew! Disaster averted, I hope. Til my next misadventure, be good, stay slim and be loyal even though those humans are prone to straying. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Carnival Splendor comes to port

Carnival Splendor comes to San Francisco
I have been a good boy and today, Ma and I tore out of the house at the crack of dawn with a mission - to see the Carnival Splendor come to port. You know my Ma loves beautiful ships but because SF doesn't have a nice port for cruise ships, the only ones we get to see are those coming here for repairs! Oh, well. OK, once in a long while, we'll actually see one here on a cruise - the Queen Victoria was here about this time last year and in 2007, the QE2.

The sun was just coming up
Here she is, under her own power but with a tugboat escort.
You may remember, there was a fire in the engine room
last November and she sustained serious damage,
not to mention serious discomfort for those aboard.  
Why all the fuss over some flotsam.
I hate sharing the spotlight!
She's 951 ft long with 144 ft beam, 25 ft draft. She'll be at one of
the even numbered piers for repairs. 
This was definitely Ma's highlight of the day. Mine was a lack of bowel distress. I suffered some tummy tumult the last 2 days but today everything came out good, if you know what I mean. Ma took me off my usual diet and cooked up a nice dinner of rice and boiled chicken with some chicken stock and soy sauce for flavor. She also gave me my medicine: slippery elm and carob powder with honey. Who know why that works! So, all hands on deck to restore the Splendor! Til my next misadventure, be good, be safe and don't play with matches in the engine room. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Help Needed: NPA to restrict doggie access to recreation areas

I have been a very good dog, but apparently good doggies will not be rewarded for their good behavior. The National Park Service decided about ten years ago that they wanted to restrict dog access to recreation areas and single-mindedly hatched a plan to carry this out under the guise of a "study". The question they should have asked was: How can we preserve and protect the interests of wildlife, tourists, horseback riders and dogs in these RECREATION areas? Instead, they asked, how can we RESTRICT the access of dogs? Why do we think this? Because, they did not add any acreage for us doggies or even keep it constant by swapping some sites for others. Instead, they prefer a drastic reduction in areas where dogs can roam free (under voice control). The number of urban dogs has increased due to the fact that residents of the Bay Area really like dogs, there are more humans and because humans now understand dog psychology better so they are able to support a well-balanced dog, like me. They do this by hiring dog walkers and other caretakers who exercise us at these public places where there is land to RUN FREE (with pack supervision, of course). And, because of the increase in the number of urban dogs, the number of dog walkers/caretakers has increased. Despite all of the this, the NPS also wans to restrict the number of dogs a dog walker can walk at one time to three. Eh?? That would mean one of two things: either the cost would double or triple so only wealthy people could afford such services or dog walkers will cease to exist because they wouldn't be able to make a living. The NPS considers these economic impacts "negligible".


For me, I won't be able to explore Land's End without a leash. No more walking the walls of Sutro Baths. And, I won't be allowed to play in the pine forest in Ft. Miley even with a leash. I won't be able to hike around the dunes of Ft. Funston, either. And, I'll be restricted to a small strip of beach at Crissy Field, never mind Muir Beach, where I will be prohibited from enjoying, leash or no leash. I'm beginning to appreciate the New Hampshire State Motto: Live Free or Die. At Ocean Beach, I won't be allowed at all in the southern part of the beach which starts approximately at the end of where Golden Gate Park hits the Great Highway.

How to take action.

  • The entire GGNRA Draft Dog Management document is on-line. Read the Executive Summary (third document down the list).
  • Study the proposed preferred and proposed alternatives for each of your favorite areas. 
  • Comment on-line to the NPS by April 14th, 2011 (11:59 pm Mountain Time). This and snail mail are the only ways to address your concerns as phone, email or faxes will not be considered. 
  • Attend one of the public open-house meetings held in the first week of March.
No more packs greater than THREE.

No more running up and down the dunes at FF.

No plan to restrict these scavengers who  will happily raid
snowy plover nests since they won't have ME to chase them away!
Yipes! I also just found out that a man was found dead on Ocean Beach on New Year's Eve. Ma and I were there that day - exactly when he was found around 11:30 AM. You might remember it was kind of a dreary day. 
Maybe I was distracted by that foamy crab....
but, I don't remember a dead guy!
Well, maybe he was waaay south of where we were. In any case, if you live in the Bay Area and own a human, have them speak for you or, as they said in an Examiner article, speak now or forever hold your leash.
Be good, be safe and til my next misadventure, what say we rename the NPS, No Park Service.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Brachyuraphobia

I have been a good dog and I must correct my Ma - I suffer from  kabourophobia, not brachyuraphobia.  She made that word up and it's wrong. Eh, you say? What the heck is that wacky dog talking about? That's a fear of crabs...and not the disease, silly - the sea creature.You know I got my lip bitten by one of those Dungeness crabs on the beach so now when I see one of these guys, I bark my head off.

My nemesis.
There were two of them on the beach that day.
The Silence of the Crabs
video

Once you eat them, they come back to earth as one of these, ha ha.
As we walked north on the beach at Fort Funston, we saw this. 
A mile of trash strewn along the tide line, cigarette butts prominently
represented, but all of it non-burnable and non-compostable. 
Ma got very depressed and she didn't want me to step in something dangerous so we headed back.
How am I going to cheer her up?
How about a dog joke?
How do you find your dog if he's lost in the woods?
Put your ear up to a tree and listen for the bark !
Woo hoo hoo! Hee hee! Well, OK. I found it online and it's a little lame but you can't blame a canine for trying. I'm not much of a stand up comedian - more of a crash and burn type like Steve Martin. So, 'til my next misadventure - be good, be safe, don't smoke and take your best friend for a romp.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year!

Last year was my first full year on Earth and I was a very good dog! On the last day of 2010, I went to Ocean Beach with Ma.

It was a cool morning but the rain held up.
Me - running to Ma.
This is where I learned the COOOOOME command.
The endangered Snowy Plovers -
these critters may restrict my access to
my favorite place, Ocean Beach.
I wish they would run with scissors and restrict themselves.
Me - running with the plovers.
My beach, Ocean Beach (called the Esplanade), is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service (NPS), even though it is the western border of San Francisco. So is Sutro Park, Ft Miley and Ft Funston (Daly City), my next favorite places, as well as Lands End, Crissy Field and Ft Mason in the Marina District of SF. They are all part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). You might have heard about some of these places in Ken Burns' documentary on PBS, The National Parks: America's Best Idea. So, even though SF is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country, we are at the mercy of the NPS when it comes to my access and Ma is convinced I will be required to be on a leash in all of these places, soon. Sorry to be a buzz killer. Ma says we can expound on this some other time, but you can read about it in this SF Chronicle piece.

My first big trip of the year was to South Lake Tahoe.

Note my bright, new, safety collar -
a Christmas present from Ma.
We took a drive around Lake Tahoe. The snow was so high, we could barely see over it to Emerald Bay. I couldn't believe how frigid it was compared to how it was this summer.
The teahouse. You can walk to it from the beach.
The lake is very deep so it doesn't freeze.
Ma and Pa went skiing at Kirkwood.

This mountain doesn't attract big crowds.
Some great ungroomed terrain.
  
Pa telemarks

Ma alpines
Ma and Pa were going to take me cross-country skiing but they noticed I was having trouble with my paws since it was 13 degrees out. So, they decided it would be better to wait for a warmer day for me and shop for doggie shoes. Hrrrrrrumph!. It sounds very Poodle to me, but we'll see.

Looking forward to a great year!
Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year in 2011. Be good and be safe, 'til my next misadventure, have fun!