Tag Archives: walking

Happy Holidays!

 

The three of us taking a stroll on Thompson Ave. in Alameda, CA. Klondike encountered a real polar bear, probably for the first time. Happy Holidays!
クリスマスの飾り付けに熱心な住宅街を見にうちから車で20分くらいの場所へ。シロクマは本物のシロクマと対面。みなさん今年も一年ありがとうございました。

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Everyday’s An Awesome Day

A few snapshots of Mr. Klondike and his friends at the Albany Bulb, one of Klondike’s favorite walk spots.

The pictures were taken around noon by Cynthia, Mr. Klondike’s dog walker.

Before setting out with Cynthia, Klondike enjoyed a delicious egg breakfast, then an early morning walk with Mieko. Then to get his energy back for his noon walk he took a post-after-breakfast-walk nap. After hanging with Cynthia and his pals he came home and got a bone, which he explained was necessary to get into the right frame of mind for his mind afternoon nap. Of course, Klondike quickly demolished the bone and took his afternoon nap. After the afternoon nap, it was time to refresh his strength with dinner, and then set out on an evening patrol of the neighborhood with Bill.

 

 

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20170201_121611Klondike kicking back with a stick and his best friend, Max

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.

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.

シロクマ通信です。毎年恒例の防犯防災の夕べ。アメリカ全土でご近所さんが集まって町内会的防犯防災の話をするイベントです。宴会化するところもあるらしいですが、うちのは健康的に住民の手作りアイスクリームと、近所のスーパーからの差し入れのケーキとスナックです。

http://www.berkeleyside.com/2016/08/04/photo-gallery-berkeley-celebrates-national-night-out/

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

犬の写真に気をとられて、私も出てたのに気づきませんでした。ハハハ。

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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.
シロクマ通信です。毎年恒例の凧揚げ大会。いつも登場する犬が走り回っているのと同じ海際の公園ですが、この週末はこんなことに。百聞は一見にしかずということで写真でお見せします。
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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

それではまた〜!

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.

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!

Walk Report: Tilden Park Inspiration Point Loop – Orinda, CA

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Resting on the Meadow Canyon Trail

The Inspiration Point loop at Tilden Park is one of my favorite walks. Despite being less than 15 minutes from downtown Berkeley, it feels like the middle of the wilderness. It’s a nice but not super-difficult 90 minute walk. There are usually enough other dogs on the trail to allow for some socialization but never does it feel crowded.

The Inspiration Point Loop at Tilden Park is Great

  • A  moderate 60-90 minutes,  easy enough to be accessible for most people and dogs.
  • Beautiful trail with sweeping panoramic views of the park
  • Easy to navigate – only three turns and they are clearly marked (see below)
  • Dogs allowed off leash
  • There are enough other people and dogs around to feel safe and provide some four footed socializing, but never does it feel crowded
  • Water is available Lone Oak, a little before the half way point of this short-ish walk, so you shouldn’t need to carry any (unless of course you start at Lone Oak, and then on a really hot day you might want some)
  • Cell phone reception on some parts of the trail
  • Parking is not an issue

Of Course, It’s Not Perfect

  • Beautiful though it is, the Inspiration Point loop doesn’t have some of the amazing city views available elsewhere in the park
  • Bicycles are allowed on most of the trail. Typically they aren’t moving very fast and I’ve never had an issue, but would still prefer they weren’t there

Klondike Walk Score: 87%

The loop at Inspiration Point doesn’t have the incredible variety of Roberts Recreation Area or the views of Strawberry Canyon but it’s beautiful, immersive, convenient, a good walk for the person and a wonderful place for a dog to enjoy being a dog. If it weren’t for the (rare) bicycle the score would be at least five points higher.

About The Park

Tilden, part of the East Bay Regional Park District, is a large (2079 acres, to be precise) slice of wilderness, running from the Berkeley Hills area to above  Albany, El Cerrito and even East Richmond.

Tilden is truly an amazing place with fantastic views of San Francisco and Mount Diablo, the Anaza River, in which swimming is allowed, tons of trails for hiking, horseback riding and bicycling,  a golf course, miniature railroad, Merry-Go-Round, two botanical gardens, one belonging to the park, and the other just down the road belonging to UC Berkeley. Not all of these views are available on the trail, but you can get most of them by stopping at scenic view areas on your way to or from the walk.

Dogs are allowed in most areas of the park and on most trails. Exception: Dogs aren’t allowed in the botanical gardens, and in most of the officially designated Nature Area, marked below on the official Tilden map with a rectangular box. Dogs are allowed off-leash more than 200 from trailheads. Here is a full set of dog rules covering Tilden and all other parks in the East Bay Regional Park District.

Tilden map
Click For Full Sized Map

 

Getting There

Inspiration Point is located on Wildcat Canyon Road. Here is a google link.

Depending on where you are coming from, I urge you to take Centenial or Marin Avenue. Some GPS’s may try to route you via other, smaller streets in the Berkeley Hills. These streets can be extremely narrow and often have cars parked on them forcing you into the left hand lane on blind curves. I’ve done it, but it’s not fun.

The Walk: Inspiration Point Loop

Inspiration Point Loop

What we call the Inspiration Point Loop starts in the Inspiration Point Parking lot, goes down the Meadows Canyon Trail, at the Lone Oak Picnic Area you go onto Wildcat George Trail and then back up to the Inspiration Point parking area on the Curran Trail. Total length is just under three miles. Meadows Canyon is a (mostly) very gentle downhill and Curran Trail is a steady, but not too steep, 1.4 mile climb up. The total walk, with a little time for sniffing, is just about 90 minutes.

I think just about anyone capable of walking three miles can do this walk. My only caution would be after rains parts of it can get pretty muddy and even a bit slippery.

Inspiratin Point Parking Lot
This is the entrance to the Inspiration Point parking lot. If the parking lot is full it’s OK to park on the street to either side of the entrance.  Inspiration point has bathrooms but, surprisingly, no drinking water. There is a large map in the middle of the parking area with a box at the bottom containing trail maps.

 

Trailhead (1)
Here’s the entrance to the trailhead. The paved path on the right is the Nimitz Trail. It’s  four miles  and ends right above El Sobrante. Not a bad walk. The good news is that  it’s paved the whole way so there is no mud. the bad news is that since it’s paved there are a fair number of bikes, often going pretty fast. Not what we’re doing today.
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Klondike and I take a hard left after the gate, which will bring us down a little hill and before long to this fork…
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This is a close-up of the fork above. A right turn here puts us on the Meadows Canyon Trail, setting us up for the counterclockwise route we usually take. However, you could also go straight and get on the Curran Trail, doing the same loop clockwise. We prefer going down Meadows Canyon and up Curran since Curran is a little steeper and, especially when there’s mud, easier to slip on.
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And speaking of mud, this is Meadow Canyon about a week after a rain storm. Klondike didn’t seem to mind, but my boots got caked.

 

Of course, one of the greatest things about any of these hikes is making new friends. This is Klondike and his new trail buddy Tango.

While Tango and Klondike played, Tango’s person told me about finding a severed deer leg not too much further down the trail. Probably ripped off by a mountain lion, who ate the rest of the deer elsewhere. Ouch.I’ve also heard of coyote sightings on the trail.

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In maybe thirty minutes of walking you’ll hit the Lone Oak parking lot/picnic area.
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You’ll find restrooms and water at Lone Oak
Currant Trail sign
With your back to the parking lot, you’ll see the trail making a 180 degree left hand turn. That’s where it becomes Wildcat Gorge Trail.
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Like I say, Wildcat Gorge Trail is well marked, you won’t have a problem, and you’ll see the creek on your right
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Really, well marked
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Klondike laughing at No Dogs In Creek sign. But in a respectful way.
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On the Wildcat Canyon trail
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Wildcat Canyon Trail Mud
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I guess wet weather isn’t all bad…
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This is the only place where it’s even remotely tricky. You want to turn left onto the Curran Trail. 

 

Currant Trail
The Curran Trail left turn is clearly marked, but I still managed to miss it the first time I did this walk. I blame global warming. Or possibly the Silver Surfer.
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This is a shot of the Curran Trail and the steepest climb of the walk. It’s not nearly as bad as it looks.
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Taking a break on the Curran Trail
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Nearing the end of the walk
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And we are back at the Inspiration Point trailhead, the parking lot is a 2-3 minute walk on our right

Klondike’s Christmas Trip

A thousand miles, nine days, six dog parks, three beaches, one wonderful mother/mother-in-law/grandma and one first visit (for Klon)  to where I grew up. Lots of wagging, sniffing, trotting, napping and (especially right after the trip) deeply exhausted Klon sleep.

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Driving from our house in Berkeley to my mom’s in La Jolla is eight to ten hours, pretty much the entire length of California. Seemed like a bit much for us and way too much for Klon, who had never been in a car for more than 90 minutes (at least since he joined our household).

So we decided to spend a night in Santa Barbara, a beautiful, charming placed located a little more than halfway to San Diego in distance, a little less (depending on LA traffic) than halfway in time.

We took a ton of pictures. Here are some of our favorites.

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Checking in at The Goodland in Santa Barbara. The Good Land is part of the Kimpton hotel chain, and like all Kimpton hotels allow dogs of all sizes to stay for no additional cost. Klondike immediately decided it was a good place when offered treats at the check-in counter. We came to agree with Klon for people reasons – a great staff, wonderful restaurant and bar, reasonable cost. All in all the perfect California casual luxury experience.

https://www.kimptonhotels.com/stay/the-goodland-santa-barbara

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Board in The Good Land lobby showing general weather and surf conditions, and of course the names of all the dogs staying that evening. We staid at two Kimptons during the trip, and they were both great for person and dog.

https://www.kimptonhotels.com/

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After checking in we walked with Klondike, who wasted no time in discovering Lemos Feed and Pet Supply. As you can see, Klondike somehow managed to overcome his shyness and go behind the counter to request a treat.

 

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Klondike and me looking very pleased.

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Would love to see what Klondike sniffs. I think there is a whole world of smells out there that people just can’t imagine.

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Klondike at the Del Mar dog beach. Due to high waves the larger dog beach was closed. However, this was mostly a people issue and Klondike was perfectly happy to visit the adjacent, slightly smaller dog beach.

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On the road grooming stop. Mieko took off enough fur to make a medium sized sweater, which is pretty typical for a Klondike grooming session.

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Klondike and I enjoy some synchronous yawning.

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Klondike relaxing during his first visit to my mom’s home. My mom has a cat, Parker, who was kept locked up in the large playroom upstairs during our visits. This was a win for us, as we didn’t need to worry about unhappy encounters, and for Klondike who at least twice, over the course of maybe five visits, managed to raid the cat’s food dish. Snap snap yum yum.

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Klonbeast makes himself at home, chillaxing in the kitchen.

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The Audrey, Klondike’s grandma, bought him three really nice and meaty lamb femurs. Here he is enjoying one of them.

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Klondike, Mieko and I enjoyed walks on and around La Jolla Cove several times during the trip.

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Still at La Jolla Cove, Klondike checks out the pelicans and sea lions.

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This picture was shot inside Warwicks, a very beautiful and well curated  book and stationery store. Warwicks has been a great, and very dog friendly, place to walk around from as far back as I can remember (I was probably five or six when I made my first visit there), and still is. http://www.warwicks.com/

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Ears flapping, nose sniffing, Klondike is on his game.

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At the Douglas Family Preserve, a beautiful 70 acre park in Santa Barbara over Arroyo Beach (with a trail going down). Off leash dog walking is allowed in parts of the park.

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The beast is exhausted from his dog parking and deeply asleep in the back of the car.

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At the mission church in San Luis Obispo, our last stop on the way back before home.

All in all a fantastic trip. Mieko and I had fun and seems like Klondike had a blast, though it wiped him out – he pretty much crashed for two full days after we returned home. But he is entirely back now, and if anything more alert and more insistent  that his pack stay together than ever.

 

Fall colors = more pizza – Klondike’s food blog

IMG_7474Mr. Klondike has generously taken time out of his busy schedule to personally write the following entry:

I have eaten two full slices of pizza last week, just because I was sniffing. People can’t see the pizza slices on the sidewalk because the scattered leaves work as camouflage.

I go on a walk with my person,  sniff, find the pizza piece, start eating. My people only realize what’s going on after the entire piece has gone into my mouth. I swallow. Score!

I am closer to the ground, but that’s not really why. It’s incredible that people seem to rely on their sight when scanning for food on the sidewalk. That’s dumb. They should use their noses.

Rating: ★★★★★

Comment: More!