a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: 2020

Friday, July 03, 2020

Backfilling the last 4 weeks

SUMMARY: Capturing from when things were normal, through Chip's demise, to today.

Posted everything under their original Facebook posting dates and times--From June 10 through yesterday. They all have a red text tag indicating this. In some cases, I added more text or photos.

Just letting you know in case you want to revisit any of it, which Facebook makes hard.

Chip Photo Gallery

SUMMARY: Copied off Facebook

Backfill: Photos from FB post of June 17th.

I just copied the photos that I uploaded to Facebook for Chip's obituary on June 17. And put those Facebook photo copies onto my SmugMug photo site where they're easier to find, in Chip Photos for His Obituary.

Sadly, coming from FB, the photos retain zero info about when or where they were taken or what they were about. And not necessarily the same resolution.

And this is all because I couldn't be bothered (had a lot more on my mind), while I was finding them and posting them to facebook, to track where the original files are in my photo annals. 

You likely don't care about that.

I might or might not add captions sometime.

(Also adding this photo link to Goodbye Mr. Chip June 17th.)

Erasing 2

SUMMARY: Goodbye Chip part 2 -- what I'm doing, what needs to be done, quandaries, anger, sleep...
Update: Added some photos July 5. Will probably add more later.
Backfill: Written June 17 -19; posted July 3.

Written June 17-19 while wandering helplessly around the house and yard and crying.

The thoughts are the originals.  After the fact--early July--I realized that I probably had photos to match a lot of these, so started adding. So hard to go over this again. But I'd rather do it while he's fresh in my mind.

June 17

Don’t want to be reminded of the absence of a dog at every turn in every room. My initial reaction this morning was to load Zorro up into the car with me and go away somewhere for four days. Then I started realizing that, if I did that, I would be coming back to all the memories still right in front of me. It’s not that I want to erase him. I just want to reduce what I see.

So things to work on today:

Package and label the uncooked chicken that I bought for him. And put in the freezer. Package and label the cooked chicken that I made for him and put into the freezer. Wash all the pots and pans that I used to cook for him: rice (which he decided he liked for one meal only, and the rest I finally tossed), pasta (which he didn’t like at all by the time I offered it to him) (and which I will try to remember to feed to the other dog is a bonus in the next day or so). And to cook two different batches of chicken. Wash them all and put them away.

Liked rice with chicken for one meal the previous night.
This morning, likes only chicken.
This evening, he won't even eat the chicken if it has touched the rice.

Remove and wash the cover on the dog bed that I bought for him for his sixth birthday then put it back on its Styrofoam base and hide it somewhere. It’s a big bed so this will be a challenge. I just can’t look at it right now.

Pick up all the toys that I either got especially for him or that were his favorites. Hide the ones that are still in good condition. For a while. Hide the ones that were of interest only to him that were his favorites and that he would always bring me. I don’t know why, but I’m going to have trouble letting go. Maybe I can bring myself to toss the ones that are in not good condition but that I saved because he also liked those.

His most favorites.  Interestingly, of all the zillions of toys in this house, Braided Monkey and the RopeBone came  with him from his old home and are still among his top favorites--except that the 2 items next to Purple Hippo are his absolute favorites, and they're actually remnants from larger toys!

Pick up the two different kinds of bowls that I used for his food (see photo above), wash them, stash them in the cabinet in the garage.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the two elevated beds in the kitchen. For one dog, I don’t think that I need two, except that, depending on whether they want to be quiet and out-of-the-way, or if I’m eating, then they want to be under the table, but if they’re watching the yard, they might be wanting the one by the door. Anyway, I’m not sure where I would put the extra bed, though its legs do come off.

Bed under the kitchen table.

There are two crates in my bedroom. The one that I think I’ll keep there is the one that Chip liked and most of the time slept in. So I have to decide… I don’t know, Zorro has slept in that one as well from time to time when Chip decided he wanted the smaller one for some weird reason. So maybe I’ll take Chip's bedding out of the big one, move Zorro's bedding in from the smaller one, and put away the smaller one.

Crates in the bedroom.
Dogs are blurry because, as you can see from Zorro being halfway in the air,
they are playing a wild game of chase in and out and roundabout.  January 2020.

Also in my bedroom, in the back corner of the closet, is a dog camp bed (insulated flat one-layer sleeping bag or, like a flat down comforter) that I put back there after Chip's escape from the fireworks that first July, because that’s where he hid for a while before I came home and found him missing. (I know because the bed was soaked with what I think was panting saliva.) So I’ve left it there, and he has used it from time to time when he’s scared of something, or sometimes, I don’t know, maybe he just wanted to be away from Zorro. I’m not sure how easily that cleans, but I have to figure it out and put that away.  ... ...  He spent a lot of his last night curled up there in that corner, with his back to the door; when I got up in the morning, he didn't move and I thought he was already dead.

I know that I have a photo of him  hiding on the bed in the closet, but can't find it.
Meanwhile, there's the puffy tan camping bed in the back corner of the closet.

I need to sweep and vacuum like crazy to get all the pale dog hair out of everything. I need to change the sheets on my bed today because they’re covered with Chip's dog fur.

Call the vet's office and get the expiration dates for the medications that they gave me the day before he died. So I can stash them somewhere just in case they might be needed for someone else, although I am putting out messages to see whether anyone local wants them instead.

Try to avoid thinking too hard about the new dog toys that I just bought two of, two weeks ago. Maybe put one away in a closet.

I'll replace with photo of the actual 2 maybe tomorrow.

I don’t need two crates in the car. Need to take one out, find some place to put it, maybe it’s time to get rid of some of the other soft crates that I’m not using that aren’t in the best condition that I haven’t gotten rid of because, for example, the green one that Chip ripped a hole in the first time I used it at an agility trial, was brand new when he did that. And then there’s the big really ancient teal and purple one that Remington used that I loved, and I’ve not been able to get anything in those color combinations ever since, so that’s a huge souvenir that I really probably don’t need to keep, as part of it is ripped, also, and I would have to have it repaired, and then what: store them all again? I could use the space.

I need to clear out some of the extra leashes from my front hall, and the second harness.

I need to get rid of some of the extra tunnels that I got just last year from a couple of friends specifically to set up a bigger tunnel path throughout the yard, because he loved the tunnels so much and I wanted to give him some variety. I think I have four now that are in shape that someone could use in the backyard, but would need replacing in a year or two anyway.
Zorro doesn’t need six tunnels, I don’t need six tunnels. So I need to evaluate the ones that are in the worst shape to decide which to keep.

Another Chip tunnel game, August 2017

Another photo I remember taking--all the tunnels in the yard--that I am now not finding. Will have to retake.

June 18

I had a hard enough time this morning when I went out to use the hose sprayer to water some plants. He was there every time I wanted to do that the last six years and now he’s not going be there I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to get over that. I certainly can’t get rid of my hoses.

Is this *really* the only photo I ever took of him trying to grab the spray or hose?
When it was almost a daily occurrence for 6 years?
Now I am very sad.

The thunder shirt that I bought for him finally last year and intended to train him to use it when we were comfortable and relaxed, and never did, so now I will never be able to verify whether it helps with thundering and fireworks. The one time I put it on him before the evening started, it made no difference whatsoever.

Thundershirt first arrives. March 2019.

It was hard enough going outside this morning, because he would always go to the same spot in the yard to have his morning poop. Every day. First thing. And he wasn’t there.

March 1
March 5
March 9
Is it rude that I started taking photos of him doing that?
I'm glad that I took some-- back in March-- but kept forgetting to have a camera in hand
as he dashed out first thing, and then I'd miss the shot.  So I gave up after 3 times.

And then picking up the yard and there was no poop for two dogs just one. I can’t do anything about that either.

Picking up the pieces of half-eaten paper from under and behind things where they fell--Chip was, for some unknown reason, fond of eating paper. Later on, he'd sometimes bring it to me after he had chewed off only a corner and drop it at my feet like he would a toy, after I started giving him treat "Trade"s for them. It did teach me to pick up papers from the floor as soon as the fell or I dropped them if they were important. If nothing else were around, he might pull one off the pile to be shredded or out of the paper recycling bin. 

Found this under one of the dog beds after he died.

Piles of toys in my bedroom and at the top of the stairs (and often at the bottom of, or on, the stairs): Chip almost always carried a toy with him when he thought I was heading upstairs for a nap or for the night. Might drop it on the top landing, or just inside my bedroom door. Sometimes when going downstairs after a nap or first thing in the morning, he'd grab one and carry it down with him.

[Another heartache--I can't find any photos of these toy piles!
Surely I'd have taken some--wouldn't I have??]

 Sometimes when I was busy in the bedroom (dressing, cleaning, what-not), he'd select one of the toys and push it against the ground with his mouth while chewing on it, trying to tempt me to play (and/or to find a possible squeaker). Or drop it at my feet to point out that I needed to stop being dull and play with a dog.

He was so very gentle with toys on most occasions. If I gave him and Zorro identical new toys, Zorro would squeak away at it enthusiastically, while Chip would push slowly at it with his nose, or bite it gently and slowly, and when no noise came out, he'd stare at Zorro as if to wonder why Chip always got the defective one. If I picked it up and squeaked it, his whole face would perk up, eyes wide, and then he'd try again, sometimes more forcefully and sometimes not.

When, this past winter, I finally discovered a toy that was of the size he likes and squeaked very easily, i searched for it online and in April ordered a whole box of them. A whole box. Set out 2 so far. And there most of them still sit, and will continue to sit, as my plan was to dole them out as each died. Zorro's not much into small toys, but he'd love to squeak these a little and then tear their ears and legs off and that would be the immediate end to them. I just can't do that.

Just his size -- Original Li'l red dog toy that I now have a box full of new ones. January 2020.

In mid-March, I bought a beautiful brand new, expensive, red and silver name tag for his collar to replace the one where the lettering was wearing out. Its ring was difficult to work with, so I set it on the table for later. As too often happens, I didn't get back to it. Last Friday or Saturday when I trimmed their toenails, I did wipe down his old tag to clear the dirt and make sure it really needed replacing. I pulled the new tag out of the box on the table, and then he started not looking that healthy, and then -- so there it sits.

June 19

His hair is collected on the upholstered backs and the sides of the seats of all of my dining chairs where he rubbed against them going past. I have to get that all off, too. Zorro wasn't quite that tall.

Only one dog’s poop in the yard. Small amounts of poop in the poop bin. Just silly stuff.

Do I leave two crates in the car for a few trips for Zorro? Will it matter to him? I’m moving him into the crate that Chip used to be in. On Chip’s side of the car. He seemed unperturbed when I’ve done that yesterday.

Likewise, do I leave two crates in the bedroom for a while, just put him into the one that Chip used to have for a few more days? I was going to just leave the small collapsible crate up instead of the larger soft crate, because that’s what Boost used her whole life., And that’s where Zorro has slept most of the time when I’ve used the crates. And I think she was a couple inches taller at the shoulder than he is, but he is much more upright than she was, So he can’t stand up completely straight without pushing against the top, which does get very easily, but still…

It has been very hot the last couple of days, so even though I want to get more done, I get very hot and thirsty very quickly, just from, say, sweeping the kitchen and hall. Plus I have to stop and collect myself. Dictating or even writing is very hard about this.

The night he died, I thought I would never get to sleep. But then, somehow, I did, early in the morning, and then slept well over six hours, which is unusual for me. And I don’t remember waking at all during that time.

Last night it wasn’t quite as dramatic; I woke groggily a couple of times to use the restroom, but fell right back asleep. It did take me a long time to fall asleep, though. I read for a while, turned out the light, wept often on for a while, then turned the light back on and read some more. At some point I fell asleep and turned out the light, because when I did wake up, the light was off, and the book was still in the bed with me.

Fitbit shows I slept 6 1/2 hours Wednesday night (the day he died) and 5 1/2 last night. Also shows that Wednesday night, the first four hours were pretty ragged sleep, and then fairly solid after that. And last night, it was kind of up and down and up and down.

Chip has been blowing his coat like crazy. Maybe I notice it more because I rub and pet him more than I do the other dog, so I see it coming out everywhere in clouds. I have been threatening to come them both for a couple of weeks now, and yet never did. Around four today, I did a bunch of combing on Zorro. He’s also blowing his coat. But Chip liked the process; Zorro does it for the treats and gets bored quickly.

At least I did finally get around to trimming their toenails on Sunday. Before I had a clue.

I’m just so angry as well as heartbroken. It just shouldn’t keep happening. I don’t know how to stop it. I do donate a lot to Morris Animal Foundation cancer funds, maybe more than I should sometimes, but this is just awful.

Some people say to give your dog an ultrasound at nine, but Chip's birthday was only a couple weeks ago. And it wouldn’t have helped by then. At Boost's ninth birthday probably nothing would’ve shown; hard to know, of course whether she’d been suffering for well over a year, but it seems unlikely. Unless you’re going to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars a year for tests for each of your dogs, I don’t see how that helps.

I have been busily washing all of Chip's bedding and then suddenly realized that maybe Zorro would want some of his scent still around. Cried for a while about that, but hadn't washed all of the bedding in the kitchen yet so I'm leaving that for some time later. How long is enough? I have no idea.

6:09 PM

I just saw that San Jose had a 3.4 earthquake Wednesday morning at 10:35 AM. That was me sitting with the vet and the internal hit that was my world falling apart again fuck

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Chip is Coming Home

SUMMARY: Heartache and a history of love.

Posted on Facebook, today, 11:07 AM.

This will be a weird day. Chip is coming home. May be in an hour or so. I am glad, and I’m not sure how I’ll hold it together.

It will be another tiny wooden kennel like the others. On my memories shelf. I need two shelves.

Added 12:04 PM on FB: Dr. Kuty dropped him off for me. We kept over 6' distance and she wore a mask (I would have, but I just stepped out of the door to open the cardboard box while she watched).

About the memorial shelf--
  • [only here, not on FB:]
  • Sam, my family's dog when I was a kid: the teal and brown tile on lower left shelf, I made that of her in Junior High art class.  Not too accurate: She was a longish-haired pale yellow collie/shepherd (guess) mix.
  • My first dog, Amber, constant companion: Mom was German Shepherd, dad was Golden Retriever (known facts). Next to Sam's tile--that was a gift to remind me of her.
  • Second dog, Sheba, a gray/white Siberian Husky. So easy to find things commercially of such a dog, although not always with blue eyes like hers. Still--there are 3 here in various places; two were gifts.
  • Then Remington, my first tricks and tracking and obedience and agility dog. The box on the right of the main shelf, with a tiny photo of him on top.
  • My friend Stephanie's dog Sparky, whom I spent a lot of time around and who died of cancer at about the same time that Rem did, is in a little round photo frame next to Rem's box.
  • Jake, my super-champion agility boy, in the box with the purple collar around it.  All the boxes have their dogs' collars around or near them.
  • Tika's and Boost's boxes are on the left; their photos are on top of Jake's box.
  • And Chip--  I might spend this weekend dusting and rearranging and trying to reduce my quantity of books again.
  • Also there are some sympathy cards and books, some of the very few "trophies" I ever won, paw prints of several of the dogs...


SUMMARY: Chip is complete--
Text mostly from Facebook posted July 2, 2020


You might work for years on a piece of art or a piece of writing, scribbling in the margins, sketching in the shape with pencil, trying little colors or different words. And then suddenly--sometimes without warning--you realize it’s done. So you erase all the extra pencil marks, print a fresh copy of the manuscript with no markup in the margins. Erasing.

So many pencil lines never completed, blank areas never filled
(No idea when I drew this. Intending to fill it in completely--and then suddenly stopped.)

That Monday morning that I took Chip in for his blood test and still didn’t know what was about to land on us, I got home to discover that his leash had dragged behind my car on the freeway at 65 mph for about 15 miles. I don’t recall that ever happening before. The handle became quite filthy. I don’t believe in omens, but clearly this was an omen. I didn't know it then. The next day I learned. I learned.

Two days later--the day after Chip left us--when I took Zorro out for a walk, looking at the leash, a knife of memory said, this leash belonged to Boost, who died early of cancer. And now it belongs to Chip, who died early of cancer. I love it, because I love blue and I love Paisley, but with that realization, it hurts every time I look at it. It is retiring. I will wash it and put it in a box with the other extra leashes for extra dogs. Maybe to use again someday. Or maybe I’ll never be able to resurrect that one.

I bought Zorro a brand new leash today that matches his coat. And that reflects light like joy.

Chip is a completed work of art now. I’ll erase all the bits I don’t want to see. That aren’t needed any more. That break my heart.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Looking Back -- Population and Freeways

SUMMARY: Silicon Valley then and now
From a FB discussion on my post about Spokane vs Coeur d'Alene, and about avoiding big cities. June 30 2020.

Likely gibberish to folks who haven't lived here, or maybe not.

I said:
My current big city [San Jose aka Silicon Valley aka Santa Clara County aka South Bay Area--overlapping multiple city and county boundaries] grew up around me. I know that there have been traffic issues always, but they build more freeways and more lanes and that just encourages more cars and more people. When I moved here (with family), the county held about a million people. About 1.2 million when I moved out on my own and joined the work world. Now it holds about 2 million. It's overwhelming at times. Not just the traffic, but the smog--which got much better for a while--is getting worse again. Construction is infilling everything, and usually higher (no more 1-story office buildings).
I've actually been threatening to move elsewhere since 1976 or so. Colorado was on my radar at the time. [Note: But that was more because I wanted to move around like we always had as a family. We can see how well that worked out.]

Friend who recently moved to Victoria BC said:

when my parents brought me to Sunnyvale in 1962 there were still orchards everywhere, I-280 didn't exist, US-101 was still the Bayshore Freeway, and CA-237 was still a 2-lane country road.
As you know, we decided to bail out for someplace less metropolitan. It helps being retired because I don't have to care about finding a well-paying job

Then I responded:
Yeah, the job thing for sure. 
I think that things weren't too different in 1968. Going to friends' houses, I'd bike past orchards in our neighborhood. Horse riders very occasionally came down our street from the stables 2 blocks away. Friends in high school cut apricots nearby for summer jobs. I-280 between San Jose and CA-85 wasn't completed until some time after we moved here, and the section going north to SF still went along Cañada Road (I remember the awful traffic on the annual high school honor society bus trip up and back). 
CA-237, yes, when we'd drive north on this 2-lane road for whatever reason (probably off to go camping), during the winter it was very clear that it ran through wetlands: water and ponds along both sides of the road in the fields. And plenty of time to look when stopped at all the stoplights. All hint of that is long gone. A real detriment to the Pacific Flyway. [Now almost all commercial.]
For many years, I made an annual trip from Campbell to Visalia, which meant north on CA-17 to I-280 to US-101 south where it was still Monterey Road aka Blood Alley for several miles, talk about traffic... Then eventually that section of US-101 was finished, and it shortened our trip by at least half an hour; then 85 went in from Cupertino to south San Jose, which shortened it by at least another half hour but increased the traffic noise at our house by a lot. Somewhere in there also CA-152 past Casa de Fruta was upgraded to a 4-lane freeway, which took care of the traffic jam there, so even a shorter trip. 
OK, this is fun. Really have things I need to do.
"When I was a kid, we really had it hard..."

  • Wikipedia discusses US-101's history going back even further than its fame as El Camino Real with the Spanish missions built starting in the last 1600s.
  • I love Casa de Fruta. My photos of one visit. ... And of another visit. (See captions: Hover cursor over image viewed smaller or larger.)
  • Map of expected Santa Clara County land use from this Army Corps of Engineers document written in 1959 (page D-3):
  • I haven't compared to current reality of industrial vs residential and commercial
    (I've tried for an hour to find a current land-use map; this old one shows more the Santa Clara city area--
    CA-237 angling up to the right, US-101 angling down to the right),
    but the former is now likely much lower than the latter.
    You can see that the SF Bay has vanished by their 2020 vision (even then some of the wetlands and/or the bay had been converted to salt ponds).
    True story.
  • CA-152: One of the few major routes out of the south bay. Once you're on it, you're stuck for about 25 miles. So if there's a major accident, you're stuck big time. On one trip, a semi caught fire. We were stopped, then slowly crept, for maybe an hour. Everyone herded past it on the very slanted center divide--watching semis drive on that was scary!

  • Construction ev-ry-where 24/7/365. I don't think it has stopped in 10 years. (in early 2000s, with the dot com bust, it slowed for a while). Often replacing "older" buildings of only one story.

  • Traffic. Not always 24/7/365, but sometimes seems that way.  This section always has brake lights and stopped traffic during commute hours and often just any daylight hours.

  • Looking down on my family's neighborhood, 1969. Almost everything in view built within the previous 1-10 years I'd say. One orchard off to the right (winter so trees are bare); chunks of empty green on the lower left (flat). None of that there now. And the smog, OMG THE SMOG! Many days you couldn't see those mountains at all!

  • From the same hilltop 40 years later. Can't see anything for all the trees (not complaining about trees...).  Above the bush in the previous photo is a yellowish-green field with 2-story buildings to its  upper left. That's the high school.  Here it's zoomed in 40 years later--above the shrub on the right side of the photo. You can see the buildings but barely see the field. (Smog is much better. After it has rained, it is often even clearer.)

  • And in the 1969 photo, above the people, there's another (closer) green rectangle; that's the junior high.  Here it's zoomed in from the same hill -- you can barely see the field (center right, with a line of evergreens along its far side). The arrow is our house.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Erasing: The Tag

SUMMARY: Someone needs to get some  use from this.

Backfill: Posted July 2. Parts from Facebook originally, June 29.

I splurged on this beautiful, solid, steel ID tag for Chip’s red collar a month or so ago. To replace the cheap one that was wearing out. I didn’t get around to adding it. 

I can't bear to keep seeing it sitting there on the table, where I almost got around to adding it to Chip's collar that previous weekend while the collar was off so I could comb him a bit. He was blowing his coat like crazy. But he liked the feel of combing/petting/caressing. An easy dog to groom.

It does not have the dog’s name on it, so I’ve added it to Zorro’s collar. Even though it doesn’t match.

It is harder than I thought it would be to admit that Chip won’t be needing it.

Sunday, June 28, 2020


SUMMARY: Random Chip. Because. So many things to remember.

Backfill: Originally posted on FB 6/28. Posted here July 2.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Zorro the Might Hunter

SUMMARY: No! Dead! Rodents! In! House! Please!
Backfill: From June 26  and 27 on Facebook. Posted here July 2.

June 26, 7:14 PM:

Day 3 of the Vermin Killer: Mongo gopher got taken down today. Zorro nearly killed himself in the process--fortunately I was home and went looking for him. When I finally yelled sternly, Zorro, Come!, I heard a sound near the hot wooden shed in the side yard. Or... IN the shed. He pushed through the crappy doors into the shed apparently to finalize the transaction, but they don't push out. Still clutching the monster in his jaws. Seemed happy to see me.

Dork. Must find a solution for those doors.

P.S. I don't know which are gophers and which are ground squirrels--I don't actually look that closely usually. "big furry dead thing that's not a cat." ;-) My soil is also highly clay and bakes like rock in the summer, however, I do water during the summer usually, and that probably helps them, no matter which they are.

June 27 12:07 PM:

Yesterday the mighty hunter was so desperately hot on a hot day--after spending quite a long time digging a mongo hole** under my waterfall-that-has-never-worked and then chasing the very large squirrel or gopher into the shed--that when I freed him from the shed, he brought the corpus delicti inside and dropped it on my front-hall rug. After I chased him outside with it, he came back in and dropped it on the rug in the downstairs bathroom. I chased him out again and when he brought it back in and dropped it on the kitchen rug, I started tossing cookies into the hallway while I extirpated the unwelcome "visitor". ("In a bag in the trash" = "destroyed completely")

Revisiting the scenes of the crime. Now you know, when you come to visit, which carpets to not rub your face on.

** Begging the question of who is really doing more damage to my backyard…

The bathroom carpet where Zorro's catch briefly resided.
(When the guy came to strip the wallpaper, fix the water damage, and paint the walls and ceiling, I said, don't bother painting the vanity; I want to do it!
In April 2019. The paint is waiting for me...)

My beautiful hall carpet. Probably the one that I like the best in my house at this time. Not that it has a lot of competition, but I love the colors. (which, incidentally, are a rich deep red, and a wonderful navy blue, and kind of an ivory yellow.)And he dropped a giant corpse on it!

The “kitchen” carpet. It’s really just something to wipe feet on, and for the dogs to land on when they come through the dog door with their muddy feet. But, still...
Side note I commented in Facebook:  The gophers are active enough this spring that I have been able to collect the dirt that they shove out their back door and use it to fill all the previous pits of peril created mostly by Chip but sometimes Zorro and rarely by gophers. I also am very good at finding all of those by stepping on what I think is solid grass and twisting my ankle. I have actually run out of places to put those mounds of dirt and am stacking it on my patio for future needs! Sheesh.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

A truly lovely evening.

SUMMARY: Good thing it was a good *#&;%^@# evening otherwise--

Backfill: From Facebook June 25. Trying to ease my mind of Chip's absence. Posted here July 2.

It was a really lovely evening. Zorro and I drove up to Milpitas to walk with my sister and her dog Abby, and they mostly ignored each other which was wayyyyy better than my concerns.

Temperature was great for strolling and looking at the hills. Saw a little smoke but didn't seem to be up in the hills, so that was good.

Found a beautiful piece of fractured glass.

Sister and her husband barbecued dinner and brought it down to my place and we had a lovely picnic on my patio, with a gorgeous sunset to top it off. (We have all been almost exclusively at home, very cautious when shopping, and have no symptoms...)

Oh, and then I remembered that I found a package on my front porch when I got home, so I took it out to the picnic and opened it and discovered that we could have a huge box of See's chocolates for dessert, thanks to another sister thinking of me and Chip. All together delightful.

Mostly. Just that one little thing...

Nice walk in Milpitas.

A little smoke in the hills but didn't see where it was coming from. Hope it was minor.

*#%&@&$@ 🤬

A beautiful piece of distressed glass!

Picnic in my back yard! Thanks to Chef Paul and my seester!

A surprise on my front porch in a big package marked
 "Perishable". Thanks, sister Ann!
Oh, my, I'll have to do a lot more walks now!

I didn't know who had sent it when I opened the box.
Didn't find out until a bit later.
Heartfelt message and I will certainly enjoy.

Picnic on my patio, with Zorro keeping us honest, and a lovely pink sunset.
(Well, it was pink in real life... I'll have to play with the editing sometime. Maybe.)


SUMMARY: Things one doesn't expect to hurt so bad.

Backfill: From Facebook originally June 25. Posted here July 2.

I dread getting out of the shower now. Every shower for 6 years, and now--nothing.

Zorro Has A Lot Going On

SUMMARY: He is keeping Human Mom busy.

Backfill: From Facebook June 25; posted here July 2

We’ve been working on weave poles – – first time in a very long time that I’ve felt like actually doing agility training in my yard. We haven’t been working on the dogwalk, but that’s OK, because Zorro takes it all by himself.

The hunting business is hopping.  Yesterday he caught a ground squirrel, last night or this morning, two small rats. (And the next day there'll be a gopher or squirrel, and the next day another squirrel.)

We’ve been going for a walk once or twice every day, which is the first time in a long time that I’ve felt like making that effort.

There’s always the shower to lick out after Human Mom squeegees it.

This morning, Human Mom did her best to play the game he and Chip would play: bitey face and then tuck tail and chase each other frantically back-and-forth in the upstairs hall and bedroom;
Zorro got fully into it, and mom used her hand as the bitey face, rolled around on the bed with him doing it, and then back-and-forth excitedly up and down the hallway.

And lots and lots of massaging of the neck and back and legs, and just snuggling.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

When Chip First Came Home--

SUMMARY: Remembering Chip. Rejects the World Sleeping Order.
Backfill: From Facebook June 23; posted here July 2

When Chip first came home, age 3, Tika and Boost were already sleeping on my bed. I wanted to (a) let the dogs become accustomed to each other's presence, (b) let Chip know that he didn't always get to sleep on the bed, and (c) confine him at night until I knew how well house-trained he was.
He scratched and bit at the softcrate, so I set up the x-pen next to my bed.

He'd have none of it. Repeatedly levitated from there onto my bed (no running needed, no floor required in between). I decided that (1) he definitely had the chops for agility and (2) I give up, he wins, I just wanted to sleep.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Martial Cottle Park mini-hike During COVID

SUMMARY: Zorro doesn't mind.
Backfill: From Facebook June 22; posted here July 2. Trying to catch up on my life here instead of lost on Facebook.

I’ve been avoiding walking in the park behind my house: Too many people mostly without masks these days. So we headed out about 6:20; cold air; strong chilling breeze that kept my hair blown over my eyes; overcast. I figured, all the wimps will be at home.

Hmmm—In the days of SIP **, apparently nobody is a wimp.

** Shelter In Place -- it has been just over 3 months now

And my mask broke.

But Zorro got to explore many, many, many gopher holes.

And we got about a mile in, fourth day in a row.