Again this year, Klondike, Mieko, and Bill made the drive from Berkeley to San Diego to spend Christmas with The Audrey, Klondike’s honorary grandma.
The trip was a leisurely nine days from start to finish, leaving Berkeley for La Jolla on December 22, stopping in Santa Barbara both coming and going, and finally returning home on December 30th.
The weather was great the entire time. We hit some moderate rain in Southern California on the 30th, but other than that, the only other rain was late at night, when we are all safely indoors. Klondike was also better used to long drives so while of course we did walks and park explorations, we didn’t feel the need to give him a break every few hours.
Here are some trip highlights, in very roughly chronological order
Most people don’t know it, but science has proven that Pyrenees are mammal-reptile hybrids, created by mixing wolf and dinosaur DNA. We stopped at Dinosaur Caves Park at Pismo Beach and in their dinosaur-themed playground Klondike was able to reenact his own hatching from a life-like Pyrenees egg.
And speaking of Dinosaur Caves Park at Pismo Beach, the three of us at sunset.
No Velociraptors emerged but had they done so I’m sure Klondike would have protected us. Unless said Velociraptors offered him cheese, in which case Klondike would need to give the situation some serious thought.
Klondike immediately recognized The Goodlands, the dog-friendly Santa Barbara hotel we stayed in last year, and immediately headed to the reception desk to ask about
a welcoming bouquet treats. The receptionist is honored but just a little surprised.
Still at The Goodlands and…
Where’s Klondike!! Anyone seen Klondike?
Klondike isn’t allowed on our bed at home (up until recently, he wasn’t even allowed in our bedroom), so the above is very much a vacation treat. Which he seems have thoroughly enjoyed.
We’re in La Jolla now. Here’s Mieko and Klondike on Christmas morning, right next to Scripps pier at the La Jolla Shores, a few miles down the hill from where I grew up.
Later on, Christmas morning, opening presents at my mom’s house.
Klondike is taking a break while waiting his turn to open a gift, but not too exhausted to spend time near The Audrey, his grandmother. The Audrey’s house is usually occupied by Parker, a cat. However, to accommodate Mr. Klondike, Parker was kind enough to spend his Christmas at a hotel, the absolutely incredible Helen Woodward Club Pet Boarding Center to be specific. We are grateful to The Audrey for the accommodation and apologize to Parker for any inconvenience.
Klondike posing with one of his gifts, cow ears. He usually gets much smaller pig and sheep ears, so these are a great treat.
Klondike got into the holiday spirit by generating his own snow. We’re talking massive shed. To avoid just carpeting my mom’s house, we were brushing him 2-3 times a day. What you see above was a pretty typical yield from any of the daily brushings.
This is the once clean back of the car looked after about a week.
The black and white strap you see above, attached to the shoulder belt in the top right, is attached to a yellow and black carabiner, which then clips to a shoulder harness we put on Klondike when driving. I figure in case of a sudden stop, a hundred pounds of Klon flying through the cabin would be bad for everyone.
Another shot at the La Jolla Shores. Beautiful dog, beautiful ocean, beautiful beach, not so sure about the restricted hours notice or my Santa hat.
The La Jolla Cove, one of the most beautiful places on earth. Too bad about all the regulations…
Regulations that do not overly impress Klondike. Apparently, these rules have been in place for years and years, but I just noticed them for the first time on this trip.
Unleashed at La Jolla Village Center. Klondike figures pet supply store + counter = treats on demand. He’s pretty much right. Note that Klondike seals the deal with a double handshake.
Meet The Real Pyre Paws of Orange County, our Pyre peers and their pyres. A great chance to vibe with our tribe.This shot is from the Irvine Spectrum Center, a huge and beautiful outdoor shopping center where we had dinner. Klondike is the one with the short fur, next to the
This shot is from the Irvine Spectrum Center, a huge and beautiful outdoor shopping center where we had dinner. Klondike is the amused looking dog with the short fur, next to the hunkalicious gentleman in gray.
Through Facebook, we’d gotten to friends with a member of the group and then got to know the group itself. Since Orange County was right on the way back to Berkeley our friend set up a dinner for us and the group. It was great. Wonderful people, wonderful hospitality, wonderful dogs, lots for people to talk about, and for dogs to sniff at.
Of course, being in the middle of a busy shopping mall we were surrounded by Paparazzi. “Can I pet your dog?” “What kind of dog is that?” “What a huge lab!” and so on. But I think no one minded, and some of our friends, like Klondike, enjoyed the attention.
And that, ladies and gentleman, was our 2016 Christmas trip.
Last year when we did this trip Klondike was wiped out for two days after returning, but this time he was a little sleepy for a day or so and then back to full power. I think he’s getting the hang of car trips.
Stay tuned for a summary review of dog parks visited during the trip, and have a wonderful 2017.
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 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.
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
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:
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.
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:
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!]
Mr. Klondike and his assistant, Bill, during rehearsal of their new show.
シロクマみたいな大きな犬の名前は簡単でした。♪ What would you do for a Klondike Bar? ♪ というアイスクリームのコマーシャルソングを思い出し、この日の出費と今後この命を預かることに対する責任の重さを想像したら♪クロンダイクのために何をする♪という歌はぴったり。名前はクロンダイクに決まりです。ロゴのシロクマに似てますし。クロンダイクというのは地名でもあり、カナダの北西部、アラスカとの境の近くにある場所です。行ったことないんでわかりませんが、ウェブで写真を見る限り自然の豊かなところのようですよ。
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.
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.
On the way home we made the first and largest of what would turn out to be many, many, many Pet Food Express stops
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!
5月5日は卒業式でした。クロンダイクがまたもやクラスを終了したのです。毎度お馴染みBravo!Pup Talent 3という、上級者向けのパフォーマンスのコースです。クラスメートはクロンダイクの他に4組いて、みんな頑張りました。仲良しになったので名残惜しく、早速みんなで集まって遊ぶ約束をしたほどでした。