Stupid doodle

We get a lot of questions about Soleil’s breed, and despite having been genetically tested to determine her background, she is still a mystery, one admittedly with a trace of Yorkshire terrier.  Our neighbors have two labradoodles, those supposedly non-allergic ’boutique’ breeds.  By dint of their furlessness (they have hair, which supposedly means less shedding and allergies…) they are higher class mutts than our dog, even if they don’t come across as any more intelligent than Soleil.

So I’m now calling her our little stupid-doodle, the well meaning (if not most intelligent) dog who still sheds like a fiend and has a pretty strong case of ADHD and stick envy.

Attempts at Creativity

I’ve had many intentions of posting my latest cooking experiment, but the millet feta patties never quite ‘pattied’, and ended up a tasty but ugly mess.  And the balsamic reduction over grilled fruit wasn’t that pretty.  That and we’d finished it before I’d remembered the camera.

With my conference now over and a very slight lull before some other projects (and vacation planning), I’m at a loss for exciting adventures to post.  It’s settled into a routine again – work, play, eat, sleep – and I’m not inspired enough to make my characteristic cynical observations.  Maybe it’s the continued rain & clouds? I say I like the change from the incessant sunshine, but maybe the greyness is taking its toll.  In any case….

Our weekend was slightly stymied by the early onset of clouds & drizzle on Saturday, so we opted for a hike instead of a mountain bike ride.  We headed to the Desolation Wilderness to see how snowy the trail to Lake Aloha was.  It was mostly clear to the last half mile, and we would have explored further had the sleet and hail not hit us hard.  Since we had the dog with us, and she doesn’t have a rain jacket – oh the humanity – we turned back.  It was a little under 13 miles, which is a decent hike, but not one that should have wiped the mutt out like it did.

Living in a Doggie World

Lake Tahoe is very much a place akin to dog heaven.  Dog owners seem to outnumber the non-dog owners, and whether in pickup trucks or old subarus, dogs tend to accompany their humans everywhere – to work, to play, traveling, etc.  They have their run of anywhere non-paved, including local trails (snow-covered and not), the enormous swimming pool known as Lake Tahoe, and because of this, I think they tend to be mellower and better behaved than their urban cousins who live their lives leashed, tethered and not allowed to run free from time to time.

I was reminded of Tahoe’s unique pro-dog attitude twice today.  First when I stopped off at Alpen Sierra to grab a quick coffee, and happened to park next to a space occupied by a gorgeous, if graying, St. Bernard, who had pretty much taken up a parking space for himself (his human had tied him to a nearby newspaper kiosk).  Said St. Bernard was unflappable and completely at ease in his state of semi-consciousness as folks like me passed by and smiled.  Because who wouldn’t smile seeing such a gorgeous animal?  He was unperturbed by us admirers, and certainly wasn’t giving up his primo parking spot for anyone, including the driver of the large SUV that started pulling in – then changed her mind.

Then this evening I opened up the local free monthly newspaper (which has no editorial merits of its own, but features interesting ads from various businesses who won’t advertise in our formerly daily paper).   In it was a 1/3 page ad dedicated to a man’s dog who died in 1984 – 25 years ago.  While it was poorly written (not unusual here), it was obviously heartfelt, and I was strangely touched.  This guy hadn’t had a dog since this one died, and apparently the cat just wasn’t the same.

While I consider myself a dog lover, and very much understand the attitudes of most dog owners here (except for the stupid & irresponsible, but I’ve vented about that already), this was something I’m pretty sure I’ll never do.  For as much as I love Soleil the wonder ‘tard, I’m not sure I’d commemorate the silver anniversary of her eventual passing to the world.

But remind me of that when I entertain blogging about it, okay?


Canine Delayed Onset Adolescence?

Yesterday I noticed a small bump on the dog’s head, next to her right ear.  It seemed to have appeared suddenly, as that spot is an area where I tend to pet her, and hadn’t noticed it earlier.  A quick inspection showed it was indeed a skin bump (versus a tick or other sort of insect).  I did what I do when I have any sort of question – I went to Google.  According to a pet site that came up for ‘dog bumps on head’, Soleil either has acne, an abscess, a cyst – or cancer.

Dog acne?  I must admit that’s the first time I’ve heard of that.  And given Soleil’s 56 years old now, if indeed it’s nothing more than a zit, it’s arrived a bit late for her teenage years.


Heading to Higher Ground

The unseasonable and falsely happy high pressure system that kept us in blue skies and mild temps finally pissed off yesterday.  We’re now left with gray clouds, mist and some surprisingly clear snow here in South Lake Tahoe.  I appreciate the efforts of some to get me snow for my birthday, but this current system backfired slightly.  Though I’ve been told by many it’s supposed to cool off and snow levels may even drop to the elevation of our house.

While resorts are reporting new snow (between 3-7 inches depending on who is overstating), it’s wet enough here that we’re headed to Mammoth, where the higher base elevation (9,000 feet vs. 6,200 feet) should ensure we see snow and not rain on our skis.

Soleil’s stoked too, cause she’s got a Heavenly bed reserved at the Westin Monache, Mammoth’s only luxury hotel that just happens to be dog friendly.  It’ll compensate for her hanging out in the car while we play in the snow all day.


Giving Thanks

We spent most of Thanksgiving week up in Bellingham with my side of the family, leaving Soleil with some generous friends who are still charmed by her antics.  Halfway through the week they sent us this photo, which left no doubt that our dog was not missing us all that much.

Photo credit – ftp productions