a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: No Fruit Dogs To Help In This Heat

Saturday, June 21, 2008

No Fruit Dogs To Help In This Heat

SUMMARY: Plums are ripe; where's Jake when you need him? Mighty hot for these here parts.

Yesterday the official South San Jose reading was 106 F (41 C). The forecast for today was cooler--105. Here's my indoor-outdoor thermometer as of noon today (plus you can enjoy the last bit of 1970-era wallpaper that I STILL haven't taken out of the kitchen):

Although the thermometer in the shade of my dying apple tree begs to differ (but it's still darned hot):

Tika followed me outside on the off chance that I might do something interesting, but then quickly schlumped into the little bit of shade against the house. Panting. But then, Tika always pants.

Boost, as always, grabbed the favorite yard toy on the off chance that someone might throw it for her, but then dodged into the little bit of shade against the Giant Shrubbery. Panting. And she does NOT always pant.

I also noted that my plum tree is shedding ripe fruit at a prodigious pace; some PLUMmetted to the ground as a I watched. But it was wayyy to hot to do anything about it. If Jake had been here, he'd have helped out by scarfing down every fallen plum no matter where it landed or how hard it was to get at. He was the consummate Fruit Dog.

But my current collection of four-footed vacuum cleaners are not so keen on fruit. In some ways, that's OK--plums have lots of sugar and so always made Jake fat, plus ingesting a million plums has an interesting--er--loosening effect, shall we say. But, still, all these plums giving their lives for nothing, and there their little PITiful corpses lie.

As of half an hour ago, the temperature dropped about 10 degrees in 15 minutes and a cloud cover rolled in. Said I to Renter Guy, If this weren't California, I'd say that it looks like thunderstorm weather.

Renter Guy dragged me away from the computer to go pick plums. At least there's someone in this house who's pretty avid about getting fruit off the trees. He does lemons and oranges, too; I'm just too lazy. But I really like plums, and they're available in my own yard for only about two weeks, so I went along with it.

Then, suddenly, big spattery raindrops and a big boom in the sky. Great, and there I am with my proverbial 10-foot pole, picking fruit out of a tree. Let's home that Mr. Lightning is more attracted to the chimney or antenna. Which incidentally will be totally worthless with the changeover to HDTV. So that now I will have TWO gigantic useless metal things on my room, as it joins the SETDA*-sized satellite dish that was obsolete long before I bought this house. Add those to my to-do list.
*Search for ExtraTerrestrial Dog Agility.

Meanwhile, this evening, I'll be dog-sitting a friend's friend's Siberian Husky. In this weather! Then I can do a side-by-side comparison of Tika's possible Husky ancestry.


  1. The shock of hearing about your 106 degree temps didn't hit me until I punched it into a Fahrenheit-Celsius converter. Ouch. Is it at least a dry heat?

    I am so jealous. Not only do you have stunning landscapes and views around there, but you can grow plum trees in your own backyard? A friend of mine moved to San Diego a few years ago. I'm coming to understand why she's not planning on moving back to Canada anytime soon.

  2. 1) OK, I added a Celsius conversion; should've done that first thing. Sorry!

    2) Dry. Yes. Hence really dangerous wildfires all over the place. (Read about the latest local fire at Team Small Dog.)

    3) OK, here's what I've got in my yard: Apple trees, orange trees, lemon trees, cherry tree (but has only ever had a couple of cherries), pear tree (ditto; these might be fertilization issues if the wrong kinds of related trees are around, or missing bees). Used to have a grapefruit tree but it had so many heavy grapefruit one winter that it keeled right over. In my previous yard, I also had a fig tree. Mmmm!