Mr. Klondike’s Excellent Christmas ’17

For the third year, Mr. Klondike packed his bowls and treats and then jumped into the Klonmobile for twelve days of sight sniffing, family time, and of course snacking as we head down the coast of California from Berkeley to visit my mom in San Diego.

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There are people who think constant, compulsive picture taking of their dog is insane. They are probably right. In fact, here’s some proof…

At San Diego’s Fiesta Island.

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Klondike is too sexy for Milan, New York or Japan but he’s crushing it here at San Diego’s Del Mar North Beach.

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Mr. Klondike models his car vest, a Kurgo brand crash-tested safety harness, at beautiful La Jolla Cove. The vest hooks to the seatbelts in the Klonmobile. We’d all rather the force of a sudden stop be absorbed by the seat belt and then spread out evenly over Klondike’s chest, not throw him through the windshield or into other occupants.  Note: hidden in the rocks is a member of Mr. Klondike’s talent management team, protecting him from spies looking to steal his health and safety technology.

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Mr. Klondike inside a dinosaur egg at Pismo Beach. Yes, we shared a very similar picture last year, but he looks so happy we had to share this one too.

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Our friend the furry citizen seems to love the water. He doesn’t love swimming as much as some dogs (though he’s happy to swim, especially if hot) but getting wet, shaking with full force and then rolling in mud or sand is a favorite pastime. We learned long ago that you could have a happy dog or a clean car but not both. And of course, nothing beats having a happy dog.

This is what Mr. Klondike looked like as we passed through the agricultural Central Coast. The window was cracked (and often down) so Klondike could sniff.

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We frequently describe Klondike as having retired from agricultural security at age one to pursue liberal arts in Berkeley. It’s a bit silly (of course), but it’s also essentially true.

Klondike came to the Bay Area thanks to the good graces of Rocket Dog Rescue.  Rocket Dog rescued him from a shelter in Bakersfield, an agricultural community that probably smelled much like those we are passing through above. We understand that he was in the shelter with another dog believed to be his brother. How they came to the shelter is less clear, but we are pretty sure Klondike’s first year or so was spent as an outdoor ranch dog. Before reaching the shelter he probably lived with other dogs like himself, likely including his parents and siblings. Does he remember that life? Does he miss it? Does he miss them?

Looking at Klondike’s face it easy to imagine that he is in a pensive, melancholy mood thinking about his previous life, maybe even his original family.

He’s very healthy. We think he’s happy and aware that he’s much loved.  But a tiny part of us will always wonder if there is more we can do for him.

 


Some Miscellaneous Trip Pics

Klondike’s cousin Tommy. Tommy arrived in San Diego with his brother and dad a few days after us. And being a young man of great taste, he walked in the door wearing his Klondike T-Shirt.

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This is the front of the T-shirt. We made a bunch of these in various sizes as part of the flurry of excitement that marked Klondike’s first year with us. However, over the years we’ve either used or given away many of the shirts. Probably time for a new design and printing run!

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This is Tommy’s older brother Henry with the ultimate blend of East and West, a nearly perfect rendition of a traditional Japanese bento boxed lunch but made with candy.  The gift was scored by Mieko in Tsukiji on her last trip to Tokyo and earned a coveted “So Cool!” rating from Henry.

This my brother Matt, Henry and Tommy’s father and Klondike’s uncle. My late father was an anthropologist. Here Matt is unloading the 19 boxes of anthropology books our mom donated to the San Diego Public Library from my father’ collection.

 

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Here’s a shot of the some of the boxes as we get the books ready for donation.

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Below Mieko is helping my mom downsize her spice collection. Mieko started the project figuring that a lot of the bottles held the same things so she could easily get rid of the 2/3s of them. Nope. My mom is incredible. There was zero redundancy. In the end, Mieko was able to reduce the collection about 20% by targeting older stuff that had lost its punch.

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Did some cleanup in my old room. Among the artifacts that surfaced was a subscription to The National Lampoon I received as a Christmas gift in 7th grade. It was a life-changing introduction to adult humor. Thanks mom and dad – love you!

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Two more treasures from junior high and high school. My beloved Daisy BB pistol, bought during a trip to South Africa, and one of several boxes of electrical/electronic parts

 

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Tommy, Klondike, and my mom. In the background are items ready to depart the house as part our early Spring Cleaning.


During this year’s trip, we visited three new dog parks. More Mesa in Santa Barbara, Carlsbad Lagoon Dog Beach in San Diego and Fiesta Island Dog Park in San Diego. They were all great. Here’s a quick summary –

More Mesa Beach is a narrow beach hidden away below the bluffs of More Mesa Park in Santa Barbara. To get there you’ll go through a ridiculously narrow trail, pass a whole bunch of private property warnings before coming to barren plain.  Go over the plain towards the ocean and you’ll find a steep set of steps to the beach. It’s quiet and Klondike had a wonderful time running up and down. But between the bad access and the lack of anything but a narrow beach, we’d suggest spending time at the nearby Douglas Family Reserve (a pic or two from a previous trip here).

Klondike at the top of the More Mesa steps

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The steps look broken but they were fine to walk on

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Klondike tearing around More Mesa

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Fiesta Island Dog Beach is a large, open slice of Fiesta Island, an artificial island in San Diego’s Mission Bay. Even bigger than the Bay Area’s Point Isabel (if not quite as pretty), it’s a wonderful place for dogs to run, swim, sniff, and socialize. We made it there twice during our visit and if we lived in San Diego we’d absolutely be regulars.  http://diegodoggies.com/fiesta-island/

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Carlsbad Lagoon Dog Beach is the small, undistinguished strip of beach facing Carlsbad Lagoon (also known as Agua Hedionda lagoon). The lagoon is very popular with kayakers, paddle boarders and the like. The “dog beach” name aside, leashes are required (though Klondike may or may not have been able to read that sign) and dogs are not allowed in the water. However, it is less than a mile from the freeway (Exit 49 from I5 in Carlsbad) and not a bad place to stretch your legs (all four of them) if you are heading towards San Diego and have been in the car a few hours. Sorry- no pics.   https://goo.gl/maps/gECghvxGCjq

 


And to wind the post up, a few shots from Santa Barbara’s dog-friendly The Goodlands Hotel  where we stayed (again) on our trip back to the Bay Area.

When we got back from dinner, we found our white sheets decorated with the below. Usually we are good about paw washing, but looks like it didn’t happen this time. Needless to say, we tipped the maid extra well.

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At home we are strict about not allowing Klondike on furniture and he’s good about not getting up. But… we allow it on vacation and Mr. Klondike seems to enjoy being on the same level as his humans.

This is January 1, first morning of 2018.

 

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A Happy New Year!

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Thank you for reading this far!

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