Monday, March 2, 2009

Grizzley Island Hunt Test Weekend

With all the depressing news that's out there, it's great to have my canine companions to realize what is important. Having fun can be so simple really. I am grateful to have them in my life to remind me.

Okay, enough of that. This last weekend I entered Sasa, Grady, and Duna in a hunt test. Sasa doesn't have her junior hunter title yet. She was too busy getting her conformation championship. Now that that is finished, I wanted to get the junior hunter title too. Sasa is from my second breeding of Mik and Sara. I don't own Sasa. She is owned by Eddie and Susan. Susan gets a little nervous in the field so she asked me to handle her which I gladly did. It is always fun to watch these guys do what they were bred to do. Amazing really...Sasa didn't disappoint. Our biggest fear was that she would make a mad dash back to her people. Thankfully, she is comfortable enough with me (and in love with finding birds) that she stayed with me. She is very birdy and hunted liked a champ. She passed both days with good scores. Two more passes and a new junior hunter will be added to the Red Dawn Clan. Both boys also had really good runs. They both have their junior hunter titles but aren't quite ready for the next level. But given how well they both did, they are not far off.

Above are a picture of Eddie and Sasa, Walter and Rusty (friends of the Red Dawn Clan) and the pups on a run after the test.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Baseball-America's Past Time-What a Sad Statement

I remember as a kid, watching ballgames with my grandfather. What a time that was. The game seemed to have an innocence about it. It reminded me of summertime and playing catch with my friends. Now what do we think about when the word baseball comes up? Steroids, tainted records, and frauds. Now don't get me wrong. I am not naive enough to think that the stars of yesteryear were saints. Baseball players mirrored society as a whole. They ranged the whole spectrum. Today's baseball players (probably can be stated about all pro athletes) represented all that is bad about our society; greed, cheating, and selfishness. There was probably some of this decades ago but because the money is so great now, there are more kids (and kids' parents) who want to make it big like there favorite stars and will do whatever it takes to make it. What kind of role models are these guys? I know, many of these athletes say they don't want to or shouldn't be considered role models. They are right. But if they truly don't want to be role models, then don't sell your jerseys or likeness. Hearing that Alex Rodriguez took steroids was the final straw for me. As far as I am concern, none of these guys are clean. All I know is that I am angry that these guys (owners, management, and players) took some of my fondest childhood memories away from me. Greedy bastards, I wash my hands of you!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Grizzley Island Wildlife Preserve

Grizzley Island Wildlife Preserve is made up of approximately 84,000 acres. It is the largest continuous estuary in the U.S. It is a beautiful place that where you can see all kinds of wildlife. It is also a place that allows the dogs to run and their owners to bird train them. Today, I took the opportunity to do just that. I was to meet friends of mine at 10 to work on training Grady for his next level of hunt test. I actually got out there at about 8:30 this morning to run the dogs a bit before hand. While we were out there, we saw a group of Tule Elk (they are a protected species) and the above pictures series are the show Dixy reaction when she first notices them.

It was interesting to watch these animals. In the top picture, you can see that there is one elk in particular that appears to be the head guy. We they took off after, he stayed back to make sure we weren't going to come any closer. Nature is really an interesting thing. Something I wasn't aware of, these animals lose their antlers. The dogs found one on the way back. It was huge and heavy. If the dogs had their way, they would have used it as a chew bone.

After all the running and treasure finding, we started our bird training. Below are a couple of pictures of Grady on point. As you can see from the second picture, I was a bit of a distance away from him. He held until I got there. All-in-all, his training day went pretty well.

Also, all-in-all, it was another great day in the bay/delta area.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Devoted to Our Canine Companions

It's has been a while since I have posted anything. Perhaps because I have been lazy or lacking in anything meaningful to say. Today, however, I felt compelled to write because I was saddened by a story I read about a woman losing her beloved dog, Paco. After reading the story, I was moved by the obvious devotion this woman had to her dog and the devastating pain she is feeling from losing him. I don't even know this woman but do know that I would like her a lot because of the love she exhibited to Paco. So devoted and loving in fact that she named her business after him and he is the image on her website. One thing I can say, I gave extra hugs to each of my pups and realized how grateful I am that they are in my life. The thing about pups is that they love you unconditionally. I love that about them. They are safe creatures to give love to because you know they won't take advantage of it. We truly are lucky to have them in our world. And I hope when the day comes that I lose one of mine, I can reflect on all the good things they brought me.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hard to Believe it is Winter

Here it is, January 18th, and the weather is like a spring day. It was a little cool when we first went out (arrived at 7:30) but nothing like it should be for a winter day. By the time we left, it was sunny and 61 degrees. It felt like a spring day. I love this weather but can't help but worry about why it is this nice. We desperately need rain and are way behind our normal rainfall totals for this time of the year. January and February are supposed to be our rainy months. I don't think we have had more than half an inch during this time. This is the second year in a row. If we don't get some soon, it will be water rationing time. Oh well, in the short term, I will just have to enjoy it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another Industry's Hand is Out for the Bail Out

I was reading through the CNN website and saw the headline, Porn industry seeks federal bailout. The first thing I did was check to see that I was not diverted to another website such as "the". Nope, I was at CNN alright. So the next thing I did was read the article. No way this could be serious. I wanted to see what the joke was. Well, the joke was on me (or us taxpayers). Larry Flint (Hustler) and Joe Francis (Girls Gone Wild videos) were trying to make the case of how important the porn industry actually is to the US and of course they should be bailed out. That made me doubt the article that much more. How could they actually go to Congress with a straight face and ask for the money. Then it occurred to me...they have to have pictures on many of the members. How else could they possibly bring this up? Further commentary by Campbell Brown said it best, Leave it to Joe Francis and Larry Flynt to show the absurdity of the bailout. Let me just say this, if they get it, I am going next. I would require far less to get me through this tough time and once I am through it, I will be a strong contributor to the economy again.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Did My Civic Duty-Jury Summons Has Been Completed

So today I fulfilled my civic duty by standing by for jury duty all day. This is only the second time I have been summoned since living in California (1991). Was not selected to even sit in the box to be questioned but did get to sit in the courtroom watching the jury selection process. Quite interesting really. Not only the questions asked of each potential juror but also the variety of folks who are summoned. The group was definitely a microcosm of society as a whole. Some of the folks really impressed me with there thoughtfulness and their desire to do the right thing. These folks seemed to truly want to do the right thing and give the individual a fair trial. Then, of course, there was the folks on the other end of the spectrum. I would hate to have any of these folks sitting on any jury that would be judging me. Fortunately, the folks that probably didn't represent the best and the brightest were excused by the attorneys. It really was an interesting process. Wow....

Sunday, January 4, 2009

7:30am...37 degrees..Yea, Let's Go to the Beach!

Everyone else was busy today so it was the dogs and me off for a walk. I am an early bird. I was up and out of the house by 6:20am. It was cold here in Antioch. The thermometer read 33 degrees. Brrr! I could not find my gloves anywhere. No worries, my mind said. It will be much warmer at the beach. Well you can see from the title of the post, not by much. But I am stubborn. We went on the walk anyway (I got no resistance from the dogs by the way.). The tide was going out so plenty of shore to walk on. I couldn't imagine getting caught in the tide today. It actually was a beautiful day. The sky was clear, the sun did not hit the water directly so the lighting was soft. I had the chuckit and tennis ball knowing Dixy would pester me the whole way if I hadn't brought it so there was plenty of ball throwing and Dixy running. Unusual, I know. Dixy does have the occasional dilemna. She asks herself, am I a tennis ball chaser or a bird dog. The above picture shows her trying to sort this question out. She is focused on the birds but hasn't quite committed to the task and still has the ball in her home.
Finally, instinct takes over. She drops the ball and it is off to chase the birds. I do believe she chased these birds for a good half mile before she returned. But not before she picked of the tennis ball from where she left it.I took this picture of the seagull because I really like how the bird was perched on the rock and the rock was surrounded by water. The bird was able to soak up the sun yet was set away from the dogs.
Here you can see Grady was not as deterred by the water as the bird my have thought. He is doing his best at sneaking up on the bird.
In addition to all this, I was able to find a bunch of really cool sea glass. Not only did I find great shapes but I also found some really cool, unusual colors. Again, it was another of those days where I am just so grateful to be in the bay area.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Went on a 6 mile hike today with Tanya and her dog Malbec. Within the first quarter of a mile, Grady found the most disgusting stuff to roll in. He covered the entire half top and sides of his back. I could smell him from 100 feet away. Anyone who has met Grady knows what a forcefully affection dog he is so after he rolled in whatever it was, he regularly attempted to get hugs and pets from both Tanya and me. It was a chore to keep him off. I had hoped by him running through the tall, wet grass it would take some of the stuff off. Well if it did, it didn't make much of a difference. Halfway through the walk we came to a water trough. So I picked him up and threw him in. It barely made a dent in the smell. Once we finished the walk, I pulled a gallon of water out of the truck, poured it on him, and then attempted to towel dry it off him. Again, helped a little but not enough. Finally got home and washed him with soap and water. Can you believe the scent is STILL lingering on him. Wow...I don't know how he can be in his own body. I guess it smells good to him. :-)