Tag Archives: Great Pyrenees

クリスマスパレードに出ます!

緊急お知らせ。
サンタクルーズのクリスマスパレードにクロンダイクが出ます! それも、たっくさんの白くてふわふわしたお友達と一緒に。 Santa Cruz Christmas Parade は12月3日、朝10時から正午ごろまで。

きっと涼しいと思うので暖かく着込むのをお忘れなく。当日見学できないみなさんのために、写真を沢山撮りますのでお楽しみに〜。
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Mr. Klondike Klomps a Racoon!

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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.

 

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

 

 

 

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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

 

Klondike Gives Back With Sing, A Comedic Short

 

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One of Many Promotional Items From The Promotional Campaign For Sing

In his astronomical rise from Bakersfield agricultural security guard to Berkeley liberal arts scholar and world renowned star of stage and screen, Mr. Klondike  benefited from the unfailing love and support of the Berkeley creative community. So when approached by a group of aspiring Berkeley filmmakers he of course jumped at the chance to help return something to community. And get snacks.

The result of this unusual collaboration is Sing, a comedic short subject.

Enjoy!

(note: the first few seconds are silent, so your volume control is probably OK, though the film is a bit on the quiet side)

 

Walk Report: Fernandez Ranch

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There is a MeetUp based dog hiking group calls Wags n Trails Klondike and I have been wanting to join. This past Sunday morning Klondike was able to make some time and we joined Wags n Trails for one of their easier walks, a 3.72 mile, 105 minute medium paced loop through Fernandez Ranch, a public recreation area maintained by John Muir Land Trust, between Hercules and Martinez, roughly 25 miles north east of  Berkeley.

 A Good Walk

  • It was great to be out walking with a ten other devoted dog owners and their well cared for, well trained, much loved dogs
  • At less than two hours and just under four miles, this was a nice, medium sized hike accessible to most people and their dogs
  • There was a serene quiet and sense of space hard to get at even the best walks closer to the city
  • Lots of flora and fauna and a good mixture of environments – open plains, hills (nothing too outrageous), switchbacks  and swimming opportunities, which of course Mr. Klondike did not waste. The park brochure promises:

Breathtaking views await at the top of the Whipsnake Trail and kids can have a giggle rambling the hills and meadows looking for a variety of bugs, beetles and animal tracks. You may even catch a glimpse of a rare animal or two, including the endangered Alameda whipsnake, the California red-legged frog and maybe an American badger. But keep a keen eye out for the whipsnake — despite the two bright yellow stripes on its back, it is shy and hard to spot.

At dawn and dusk, the meadows at Fernandez Ranch come alive! Deer emerge from the woods and coyotes howl to one another. Oak-studded slopes and freshwater wetlands give way to Rodeo Creek, whose banks are cloaked in Coast live oak. In the springtime, poppies, lupine and the threatened Mount Diablo sunflower — which only grows in Contra Costa County — blanket the ranch in vibrant color.

  • Dogs officially allowed off leash
  • Trails are well marked – you shouldn’t get lost
  • Parking is not an issue

Of Course, It’s Not Perfect

  • The flora and fauna include lots of ticks, and we saw a rattlesnake. Neither was a problem – the rattlesnake was happy to get away from us and, probably due to his thick fur, Klondike only got one tick which was easily removed. Still, you definitely want to be aware of both. For ticks, by the way, consensus on the trail was that this is the product to get.
  • With traffic on a weekday, Fernandez Ranch can be 90 minutes from Berkeley, and possibly as much as two and a half hours from San Francisco. Without traffic it’s just 25 minutes from Berkeley. On a weekday, I’d skip the drive and head for the more accessible Inspiration Point , Strawberry Canyon,  or the always awesome Roberts Recreation Area. On a weekend, absolutely, yes, worth it.
  • Bicycles and horses are allowed on the trail, though we didn’t see any
  • Little or no cell phone reception except in the parking lot

Klondike Walk Score: 84%

Important Notes

Water is not available on the trail, there is no trash disposal on the trail and there are no restrooms on the trail. I would absolutely suggest bringing water for you and your dog. We went on a fairly cool morning (low 70’s) and really wanted it.

Printed maps weren’t available so I’d definitely suggest downloading the map below and printing out. Thanks Jenny B for pointing this out!

Access

Here is a Google link for driving directions. The official address is 1081 Christie Road, Martinez, CA, 94553. For those of your who enjoy such things, here‘s the Google Earth satellite view

Chris Road Exit
You will take this exit from Highway 4 to Christie Road. Note it is right before the rusty bridge and easy to miss.
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Entrance to the park is also a bit easy to miss. It is the third opportunity to turn right, the first two being a gate to a private house and what looks like a gated private road. It is 0.6 miles from where you leave the freeway.

 

Route And Pictures

FINAL MAP FOR WRITE-UP
Route is shown in orange highlighter. Click here for PDF map.
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Klondike happily trots across the bridge connecting parking and picnic area with trailhead
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Over the bridge and officially on the Windmill trail!
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This shady, covered area is right near the trailhead and where the walk offically began
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Along the Windmill trail
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The group in line. Don’t worry – it’s cool to open the cattle gates, just close them again
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More Windmill
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Whipsnake hits Windmill here
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Klondike reminds you: Fork to the left to take Whipsnake for just a little bit before hitting Woodrat. He also reminds you: the word is Whipsnake, a reptile, much as your eye wants to read the sign as Whisper. People language is so hard.
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And… we turn from Whipsnake onto Woodrat
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Klondike did not go into the pond on the left, unlike another dog, but did available himself of a swim opportunity a little further down the trail.
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Fork to the left, over the bridge, and you are back on Whipsnake and heading up toward the trailhead. Klondike has warned me to keep my lens cleaner. Sorry Mr. Klondike.
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This is one of a few switchbacks on Whipsnake. A well named trail.
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Another cattle gate. Just open and close as you go through
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Whipsnake pretty much turns into Black Phobes
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From Black Phobes it’s less than 10 minutes to the trailhead
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Klondike chilling in the shade, adjacent to the parking lot,  with his water bowl (after a tick check)
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Thanks Fernandez Ranch! It was nice meeting you, we’ll be back!

That Dog!

 

 

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Scene of the crime caught on camera! Found this picture at chickpeaphotographystudio.com

Set the Way Back Machine to July 19, 2014. The began like any other Saturday. Except I’d seen a sign for a large animal adoption event (35 rescue groups, 300+ animals) at Jack London Square in Oakland, not too far from our house and right next to my gym. And when I told Mieko about it, she said she’d come with me.

We arrived at the event an hour before it ended. Think of a good sized street festival made up of animal rescue organizations with some vendors (everything from  pet supplies, doggie day care centers, and carpet cleaners to insurance companies) thrown in for good measure.

Walking through the event, Mieko looked towards the Rocket Dog Rescue display, pointed at a large, white pile of fur and said “That dog. We need to adopt that dog.” I was dumbstruck. My wife, who had spent the last 12 years coming up with reasons not to get a dog, had fallen in love from fifteen feet. To quote Blaise Pascal: The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.

In any case, fifteen minutes later we were taking That Dog on a trial walk. And fifteen minutes after that I was being as charming as I knew how to the adoption counselor (there was another couple milling about, showing dangerous interest in That Dog), and signing papers.

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After that we got That Dog loaded into the car, somehow. Note large bald patch, one of several, probably due to stress and malnutrition. On That Dog. My wife does not have a bald patch.

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Mieko wanted me to explain why she looks miserable in this photo when she should look elated. The scared dog had just migrated to the front seat, probably seeking human comfort, and was nervously drooling all over Mieko’s shoulder and chest, leaving her chilled from the evaporation, not to mention dealing with a 90 pound  lapdog.

 

On the way home we made the first and largest of what would turn out to be many, many, many Pet Food Express stops

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You’d be amazed how fast dog supplies add up when starting from zero…

Realized that That Dog needed a checkup. And a name.

The name was easy. Thinking about the commitment we’d made, the “What would you do for a Klondike Bar” jingle popped into my head, and That Dog became Klondike.

Picking a vet for the checkup was a bit more involved.

To be continued!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congrats to Talent 3 Graduates

 

 

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Graduates, from Left to Right:  Anita (standing) and Isabella; Bill, Klondike (seated, in white) and Mieko; Heather, Harley (seated in white, red and black) and Chris;  Jean (in black) and Brian; Susan and Sassy (seated)

May 5, 2016 marked the graduation of Bravo!Pup’s Talent 3 advanced performance class. Taught by the amazing Sandi Thompson,  the class wasn’t primarily about learning new tricks. Not that new material wasn’t taught, it was just that  everyone in that class walked in with a pretty good repertoire, so the focus was on polishing performance behaviors until they shined.

During the class, Klondike improved as performer, and had a great deal of fun. In fact, we are thinking about changing his name to The Thump because of the non-stop, super strength, full contact tail wagging he’s started. I think this happiness came from a combination of training treats, attention, the strengthened bond that comes from working closely with your best friend during training/rehearsal, the class’s location inside a Pet Food Express store (a favorite Klondike destination) and the positive energy in the room. But whatever the reason, we’re grateful for the experience.

It was also a blast for the bipedal participants, who greatly enjoyed spending time around their own kind (human and dog) and exercising a shared passion for dog training.

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Klondike, Harley and Brian take a well deserved bow while Isabella and Sassy wait their turn
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While details of our performance are still confidential, I was able to get Mr. Klondike to agree to release this one shot

Talent 3 Diploma 5-5-16

猛獣ショー、仕込み中

 

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シロクマ通信です。

えーさて。またもや学校へ行っています。これが多分6つ目のクラスです。今回のクラスは去年に続いてパフォーマンス。上級コースです。上級ったってやることがそんなに違うわけではありません。猛獣のほうはひとつひとつの動作をきれいに大きくすることが目標で、猛獣使いのほうは猛獣から離れた場所からでも芸ができるようにボイスコマンドの比重を増やす工夫をします。

先生は前回と同じBravoPup! のサンディさんで、ヒッジョーに辛抱強く優秀な方です。演劇を勉強していたこともあるのだとかで魅せかたの工夫も上手。1時間のクラスは楽しくて、毎回あっという間に過ぎていきます。

さてさて。それで、です。

前回は優等生だったシロクマ、今回はおくれを取っております。「華がある」のに頼ってしまい、技術をみがいていないからです。自己流ってんですか、好きなように動いて、それでもファンのみなさんに喜ばれてるのでいいじゃないか、という尊大な態度。一時輝いていても流れ星のように芸能界からいつのまにか消えてしまう、スター生命が短い人たちにそういうのいそうな気がしませんか。

というか、ピレネー犬の血がまずいんですね、おそらく。

ピレネー犬(グレート・ピレニーズ)っていうのは、前にも書きましたが家畜の番犬で、飼い主の指示を待たず、広い牧場で独立自営の精神で仕事をするようにできています。そう書くとカッコイイですけど、今回のような場面では、言うこときかない困った犬なわけです。

「お座り」と言われたことは理解しているのに、本当にすわっていいものかじっくり考えてから独自の判断で座ったり座らなかったりするのです。世の中には飼い主さんの言うことを聞くのが無上の喜びだっていう犬がたくさんいるのに、全くめんどくさいことです。

下の図はビルがどっかから見つけてきたピレネー犬の「芸」を見せているインフォグラフィックス。何を言っても全然耳に入らない様子。シロクマはここまでひどくはありませんが、こういう傾向は間違いなくあります。

Great Pyrenees Tricks

同級生たちは素晴らしいです。反応速度の速さ、動作のきびきびしていること、ほれぼれします。心底うらやましいです。

5週間みっちり訓練したら、少しはマシになるでしょうか。夏までに去年の防災シンポジウムよりいいショーを作り上げようと計画しているのですが…。

ではまた。

It Begins: Performance Three

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Last week marked the first meeting of Performance Three from BravoPup! The class is about learning more tricks, and polishing the current repertoire, getting the behaviors bigger, better, crisper and (most importantly) controllable at a distance so the trainer can reliably work with the dog  while staying behind the camera or off stage. The class is taught by Sandi Thomas, who as master dog trainer and former professional actress, truly understands what it takes to perform successfully.

The first day of class was largely about going over basic behaviors (sit, wave, hoop jump and weave, roll-over, play dead, bow and a few others).  Mr. Klondike, secure in his super-star status, didn’t see a need to focus on technical perfection and instead chose  a looser, more interpretive, perhaps more Pyrenees, approach to these mandatory events. Looked a little bit like this

Great Pyrenees Tricks

The other dogs in the class, Harley, Isabella, Brian and Sassy, had the technical skills of an Olympic figure skater, just nailing their behaviors perfectly. I’m pretty sure Mr. Klondike can get there, or at least get close, but we sure have our work cut out for us!

 

 

[Credit for cartoon: No idea, found it via a Google Images search. But whoever made it, thanks!]

ネイルサロンには行かない

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シロクマ通信です。

市民犬クロンダイクはネイルサロンには行かず自宅で手入れをする派です。どうも世の中自宅で犬の爪を切らない人のほうが多いみたいなのですよ。ちょっと驚きです。うちでは絶対プロの手は借りないというわけではなく普通は自宅で簡単に済ませる、というレベルです。上の写真はうちで使っているネイルクリッパー。深爪しないよう刃先にガードがついています。

実のところクロンダイクの爪はほとんど切る必要がありません。毎日の散歩だけですり減って短くなるからです。写真に見える切り落とし分は普通の爪ではなくて、歩いているときに地面に触れないのでじりじり長くなる狼爪、いわゆる犬の親指の爪を切ったものです。ピレネー犬は狼爪が余分に生えていて(二重狼爪って言うんだそうです)クロンダイクの後ろ足にはチェックすべき爪が片側に6本ずつあります。そのうち4本はまず手入れ不要で、あとの2本は年に数回はちょいと切らねばならない。あまり長くなると爪がカーブして足の皮膚に食い込んだりするのだそうです。ほんとかしら。

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これです。後ろ足にふたつずつ狼爪。爪だけじゃなくて小さな親指もちゃんと余分についてます。独立した骨はないみたいで、余分な部分はぶらんぶらん。こういうの発見すると切除したがる獣医さんがいるそうですが、不要なことはしなくていいです。不要なものはなくていい、じゃなくて。困ってないのに指切り落とすなんてとんでもないです。

犬や猫の爪を切るときの大問題、爪の中の血管がどこまで来ているか、どのあたりを切れば血を出さずに済むのか。悩みませんか、これ。血が出てもあんまり痛そうではないので深爪しちゃってもたいして問題ないのかもしれないけれど、たかが爪切りで流血しちゃいかんと思うのですよ。血が出ると犬はびっくりしますし。

http://thehydrantblog.com/2012/02/08/the-chart-dog-nail-clipping/

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このブログによれば、こまめに切ってる場合は血の通っている部分も短いけれど、爪が長くなると血管も先のほうまで出てくるのである、と。図の中でKWIKと書いてあるグレーの部分が血が通ってる場所です。

やっぱりそうなのか! こうやって図示してもらえるとわかりやすくて助かります。ガッテンガッテン。

というわけでシロクマの狼爪も日頃からなるべく短くしておかなきゃねと決意を新たにしました。上の写真の長さは普段の姿。これからもう少し短くしてみます。

また書きます。

Mr. Klonbeast Is Too Excited To Sleep!

In exactly one week, seven days from now, Klondike starts BravoPup’s invitation only advanced performance (tricks) workshop, Performance Three. And what to do? As Summer performance season rapidly approaches, should we polish up last year’s show, Klondike’s Fire and Earthquake Safety Symposium ? Do something  totally new? Klondike has always wanted to record a collection of his acoustic numbers with the London Philharmonic. He could start practising for that.

But whatever the workshop turns into, we’ll be sitting in grand style, because the Klondike performance  stool has been upgraded.

The old stool  worked fine but… to keep it stable when Klondike jumped on, jumped off or stood up on it I had to stand on the piece of plywood screwed to the bottom. Functional, yes, elegant no.

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Using My Left Foot To Stabilize

And, even worse, the stool wouldn’t fit into the trunk of my new car

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Too big for the trunk, and not entirely safe to put in the back with Klondike

After a couple of dead ends, Klondike and I reached out to Jan Saeger, local furniture maker extraordinaire

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Klondike Just Finishing His Inspection Of Jan’s Workshop

Jan then brought in Ian, the friendly machinist (and retired Red Cross rescue supervisor) next door, and vola! The new Klondike stool!

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The New Klondike Stool! Stable, Strong, With Easy Disassembly

The new stool features an extra heavy base for stability (no more using my foot!) and quickly disassembles at both base and platform for easy transportation.

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Klondike Shows Off HIs New Stool with Ian and Jan