Breaking: The San Francisco Bay Area East Bay region is home to two of the world’s most deadly mushrooms, the aptly named Death Cap and Western Destroying Angle.

Spring showers  may bring May flowers, but  Fall rain brings deadly pain.   Poison  mushrooms lethal to dogs all over East Bay Parks.


Please see the full article in The Livermore Patch here.

Klondike Causes Cardiac Arrest and Other, Less Scary, Walk Photos


What’s even better than a dip in the Pacific Ocean followed by a dirt bath on an unusually warm November’s day? Here’s an idea!!! Not falling off a 15-foot vertical drop onto rocks while doing it!!!  And yet again, Klondike’s recall training saved everyone from  a very bad day. Of course, Klondike utterly unaware of his close brush with gravity or mine with cardiac arrest.


And here’s some pure dogish joy on a Wag ‘n Trails hike in Wildcat Canyon. And this time without any major drama, though the rain left everyone muddy and soaked. The slender white dog you see to Kondike’s right is Barney, who is half Pyranese.


Klondike, Mieko (holding camera) and I heading out to Lake Merritt.

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Lake Merritt is not a bad way to walk a paved 3.5 miles. It’s beautiful, convenient, and is broken into sections, all feeling very different. Since it’s often crowded with people, bikes, skateboards, we don’t go very often, but our walk today was great.  That’s Mieko and Klondike underneath the sign for Fairyland. Built in the 1950s, Fairyland is a small amusement park located by the side of the lake and aimed exclusively at young kids. Apparently, when first built Fairyland had a small train that went around part of the lake.


This Klondike meeting Ken Houston, whose East Oakland Beautification Council is, in addition to removing graffiti and dumped trash throughout Oakland,  is refurbishing the historic geodesic dome at Lake Merrit.

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And of course, no blog entry is complete without a few shots from Tilden

Mr. Klondike Makes a new friend on the Curran Trail


With Lake Anza in The Background

IMG_3411-2.jpgThis is where the leash goes on, and we head back towards the parking lot

A Klondike Double Feature

As many of you are  aware, Mr. Klondike is the first Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd/Polar Bear Mix to have won an Emmy as their first major motion picture award and gone on the same year to win Academy Awards for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay. He’s taken those talents and used them to produce not one one, but two ninety second videos!

The first video is an exploration of his friendship with Kizzie, a Dutch Shepherd. Based on actual encounters, Klondike Kizzie Highly Video 2016 uses a montage of short interactions to tell the story. Mr. Klondike is expecting this video to win first place on at Sundance, Cannes and The Oscars. It has already been nominated for several Academy Awards including Best Use Of Snout, and Most Realistic Pausing Play To Get A Treat In A Documentary.


Today’s second feature is an expose on play between Mr. Klondike and a new friend, a Dane by the name of Bailey (no relationship to the WKRP character). Academy Awards expected include Best Play Growling and Most Realistic Collision of Two Hundred Plus Pounds of Dog.


Mr. Klondike in the news! 地元新聞に出ました


Klondike made Berkeleyside, our local paper! Just a little guest modeling as part of Night Out Against Crime.



Scroll down… and here he is. Actually, there I am, too.






Berkeley Kite Festival バークレー・カイト・フェスティバル

This weekend (7/30-7/31) one of Klondike’s usual off-leash playgrounds, Cesar Chavez Park, morphed into the annual Berkeley Kite Festival. Kites and the scent of fair food filled the air,  booths, people and well,  food, some of it dropped roasted meat, filled the sidewalk. I bet you can figure out Klondike’s focus.


Stopped by at a booth run by some friends from the Japanese community. They have incredible large format kites up every year. Klondike managed to sample their grilled chicken. He wonders if he could have some more, please.
日本の大型凧もあります(上がってる写真がなくてすみません…)。お友だちたくさん。焼きおにぎり、チキン、イカ、コーン、などなどごちそうさまでした〜! クロンダイクも落っこちてるチキンを味見。IMG_0114s

Klondike getting attention from new friends. Always. 新しいお友だちです。IMG_0131s

Shuttle bus back to the parking lot. We think this was Klondike’s first bus ride. He acted like he did it all the time. バスなんていつも乗ってるぜ、みたいな態度で特設駐車場まで行くクロンダイク。 IMG_9011s

Check out the Pyre on a pier! Just before leaving we walked out on an empty small boat launch near the remote parking lot.  What a beautiful day. 特設駐車場の隣のボート船着き場。いい日でした。IMG_9018s


Klondike enjoying his brand new Big Barker bed, a birthday gift from us. That’s a large bed; they also make a XL and a giant size.  疲れて昼寝。このベッドはつい先日のお誕生日のプレゼントでした。前のやつはぺしゃんこにへたってしまっていたので。IMG_0093s


Mr. Klondike Klomps a Racoon!

Mr Klondike and Dr. Yip

Mr Klondike was on routine patio nap patrol around noon yesterday when two racoons, probably a mother and child, appeared in the yard. Racoons that Mr. Klondike had politely asked previously to abstain from visits to his yard. A request that these racoons, probably lured by catfood that neighbours on both sides leave out, chose to ignore.

So severe was the rudeness of these racoons that Mr. Klondike got up from his nap, dashed to the fence and pinned the adult down using his jaws while the juvenile got over the fence.  According to Mieko, who saw the whole thing, Klondike held the adult for a few seconds then released it, and walked into the kitchen, seemingly very pleased with himself.

However… Mr Klondike’s front right pinkie toe was bleeding a little, and he was missing a small patch of fur on his left front foot. These injuries looked minor to me. But the notion of a racoon being active at noon also seemed odd. And I couldn’t tell where the injuries came from – had he been bitten? Scratched? Just slammed his toe into the fence or the planter in front of it? My friend the dog certainly didn’t seem in any distress, but his right front foot did seem very sensitive to touch.


Left front foot. A little fur loss but zero breaks in the skin




Left Front foot. It’s hard to see in this photo, but there are two small wounds at 12 and 3 0’clock. Tiny scratches? Penetration wounds? Even the vet couldn’t be totally sure


I called his regular (and most excellent) health care providers at  Kensington Animal Hospital, sent them a few pictures and they agreed he should probably come in, and had an appointment at 2:30. Klondike was seen by Dr. Yip. Dr. Yip also couldn’t be sure of the source of the wound, even after shaving around the toes, but in an abundance of caution gave him

  • Rabies booster
  • Antibiotic & pain med
  • Anti-inflammatories


Also, since he was just about due anyway, Klondike  bonus scored
  • Heartworm prevention meds
  • Flea and tick prevention medicine
  • Lepto Vaccine


Here’s a short video of Klondike and his good friend Kizzy from the dog park yesterday evening. I’d say his foot fine.


PS: Just received the following  from a super smart and well informed (not to mention well organized, kind and involved) neighbor. Too useful for anyone with a dog west of the Mississippi not to share:

w name


Happy Birthday, Klondike! 犬の誕生日



Happy 2nd Birthday (with us) Klondike! From today, he is going to be “between 3 and 4.” As has become our tradition, dinner was shared for this special occasion. He had two of these beautiful lamb shoulder blade chops (1 lb total) raw, of course. Disappeared in about 30 seconds for each piece. Our dinner, smaller pieces cooked medium rare and some veggies.


Klondike Conquers Briones Regional Park With Wag ‘n Trails


A pile of Klondike paws, attached to a deeply zonked out post-walk Klondike


Saturday Mr. Klondike and I joined Wag ‘n Tails, an excellent and very active  based group dedicated to hiking with dogs, on an 8-mile jaunt through Briones Regional Park in Martinez California, about 30 minutes from Berkeley.

It was a great walk with a great group of people and dogs. A full report is coming, but in the meantime, some pics to enjoy. Click to see full size.



Jumping for joy at the end fo the walk


Klondike vs. Willie Highlights


Klondike and Willie, an 18-month-old Black Lab/Great Dane mix, pull out the stops at Cesar Chavez dog park this evening. Let’s just say we had an exhausted dog when we got home.

The vocalizations you hear in this video are entirely real, not edited in or enhanced. And they aren’t threatening. But they are a great reminder of just how scary and aggressive play growls can sound to the uninitiated (and even experienced) human ear.

PetTech Pet CPR & First Aid Class

Our Instructor, Payton Wong, RN, demonstrates CPR on one of our patients for the day, a stuffed dog named, I believe, Hilton. Payton is, among other things,  a trauma nurse, ski patrol medic and a trainer and foster parent for service dogs.

The PetTech Pet CPR & First Aid Class can’t protect your four-footed friend from sickness or injury, but it gives you the tools to deal with either effectively, and reduce the chances that something bad turns into something tragic. I can not recommend this class highly enough.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the skills you will learn in this five-hour, $90 class:

  • How to manage an injury/accident scene. For example… Your dog has just been hit by a car. Or bitten by a snake. Or has fallen unconscious for no obvious reason.What do you do? It will always be situational, but this class will help you find the best answer.
  • How to perform pet CPR. CPR can buy you the time you need to get your pet to the doctor. And in some cases, like choking, it can immediately save a life. PetSavers will have you doing it competently in 15 minutes or less. Learn this skill!
  • How to give first aid for bleeding, broken (or suspect broken) limbs, snake bites, insect/spider bites, impalement, accidental amputation, poisoning, heatstroke and frostbite.
  • How to do a regular, mindful assessment of your pet so you’ll know if something is changing
  • How to put together a first aid kit – large for home, smaller for car and smallest to carry when hiking. I had put together a hiking first kit I was pretty pleased with last year, but based on what I learned I completely redid it and now have something much better, and fully suited to person and animal use

The above list sounds like a lot, but it was presented in a very common sense way so I’m pretty sure most of it will stick. And for what doesn’t, we were given handy-dandy cheat sheets for our first aid kit.

PetTech offers classes in or near just about every major city in the US. This link will let you find one near you.

PetTech offers two classes, the five-hour Pet CPR and First Aid class I took; and PetSavers, an eight-hour class that covers the same material but also includes dental health, and elder animal differences and care. Instructors are free to set their own prices, but the $120 for the eight-hour class and $90 for the five-hour class seems pretty standard, at least for the Bay Area.


The biggest takeaway: Your most import first aid tools are your phone and your car keys. The first aid you’ll do is simply to help your pet hold it together until he can get to the hospital. Put your vet’s info, the local vet ER’s info and poison control’s info (855-764-7661) at the very top of favorites in your phone. PetTech  offers a free app which, among other things, can direct you to the nearest veterinary ER. Hint on using your phone: On iOS go to a contact and check Add to Favorites to add to favorites, but to sort the Favorites menu so your vet, animal ER, and poison control are on top, go to Favorites and hit Edit.

The PetTech website is incomplete, ugly and a bit frustrating and the main office in Carlsbad is slow to respond to either phone messages or email. But don’t let that that stop you. PetTech is about an excellent curriculum and, if Mr. Wong is any indication, a network of excellent instructors who, I understand, bring their different backgrounds to the class.

Contact an instructor near you (see link at top) and register for a class. The little bit of time and money you spend will be one of the best investments you could ever make.

[6-17-16 updated to correctly explain the differences between PetSavers and Pet CPR and First Aid classes and point out that pricing is instructor set. Thank you, Payton Wong!]