Category Archives: Dogs

Holly’s First Trip to the Dog Park

Image:  photo of golden retriever sitting in the sun panting.

With her friends Quince

Image: photo of coon hound mix, sitting in the sun.


and Mocho

Image:  photo of muddy havanese dog with tennis ball in his mouth.


And my attempts to coax her to swim.  (Thanks for the photos, Cara!)

“Come, Holly! Come on! Here! Give it a try.”


Image:  photo of woman in yellow fleece and khaki shorts standing in a pond trying to coax a golden retriever into the water.


“Aw, geez. You’re a retriever for Pete’s sake.”


Image:  photo of woman in yellow fleece and khaki shorts standing in water with her arms outstretched.


“See:  all these other dogs like the water! [And the treats I was trying to bribe you with.]”


Image:  photo of woman in yellow fleece and khaki shorts standing in water, surrounded by a large grey great dane, a smaller golden-doodle, and the coon hound; the golden retriever watches from the shore.


“Let’s try this pond . . . and a leash.”


Image:  photo of woman in yellow fleece and khaki shorts standing in water holding the leash of a golden retreiver, attempting to urge the dog to come in the water.


“Good dog!”


Image:  photo of woman in yellow fleece and khaki shorts standing in water now up to her knees, coaxing the golden retriever to come in up to her haunches.  The havanese happily swims in the lower part of the photo.


Image:  close up of the golden retriever, on her leash, standing in the water up to her haunches.


Image: photo of golden retriever running toward the camera with her tongue out.



Image:  photo of the backside of a coon hound.

Thinking Holly should try out for the position of Cornerback.

I hear the Broncos could use some help with their pass defense. 


Paging John Fox!  John Elway!

This next play results in an incomplete pass — possibly the quarterback’s fault — but lots of cute puppy interaction!

Veterinary euphemism.

Last week, our sweet little puppy, Holly,

Image: photo of golden retriever puppy's face, close up.

hunted down, killed, and partially consumed a bird.  So while that photo may look cute, it’s really a MUG SHOT.  This has predictably caused stomach problems of the kind that has me running after her with a roll of paper towels and a bottle of Nature’s Miracle.*  The problems became serious enough by yesterday (I’ll spare you why) that we took her to the vet, who asked, “how long has it been since her dietary indiscretion?

Which means, apparently, “how long since she ate weird shit.”

But I love the new terminology!  Here, I’ll use it in a sentence:  “No, I didn’t eat the entire bag of potato chips.  I merely committed a dietary indiscretion.

The term could be especially useful for Tim, who regularly commits dietary indiscretions by pouring A1 sauce — often followed by hot sauce and salad dressing — on random food:  pasta; salad; cereal.  (Love you!)

So while few of us are indiscreet enough to prey on innocent but apparently disease-ridden birds, I thought the term was useful enough to escape its veterinary origins for wider application.

Holly  is now on the mend on antibiotics and a “bland diet” which is vet-speak for “foul-smelling glop in a can.”**


* While this may sound like something that cures cancer or allows humans to fly, it is in fact just a cleaning fluid that removes dog poop stains and odors, which is, indeed, sort of miraculous when you have a puppy.

** Originally typo-ed “fowl,” which would send Holly all the wrong messages in this situation!


Puppy action photo

In trying to get this photo

Image:  photo of golden retriever puppy with yogurt on her nose

I got this one first, which I was going to discard but which I’ve decided I sort of like:


Image:  blurry photo of golden retriever puppy trying to lick yogurt off her nose.



This is just so wrong.

In a Denver Post article entitled “Book lovers rejoice! How to coexist peacefully with your collection,” — by a woman who claims to be a “book lover” in search of “suggestions of how best to display [her] book collection” — we find the following appalling advice, passed along uncritically:

Amy Trager, a certified professional organizer based in Chicago, suggested flipping the books around so the pages are facing out, instead of the spine, to cut down on the visual clutter of the books’ different colors and sizes.

This caused in me a reaction of disgust and aversion not unlike my reaction to [the prospect of ever being exposed to] the brain-eating scene in a zombie movie.  The article goes on to explain, helpfully:

That only works, of course, if you don’t need to quickly access specific books, but it’s a great way to add texture and a neutral, toned-down feeling to your space, Trager said.

Like using your oven to store your shoes only works if you don’t need to bake.*  WTF?

Trager had another client who needed to keep her books in the living room but hated the way they looked. She created covers for each of her recessed shelves out of thin paperboard. When she wanted a particular book, she could pull the covers down, but when they were up, it looked like a solid colored wall, fading into the background.

The only answer here is to arrest this woman and force her to donate her books to the local public library.

I realize that, as a dog lover who bought a light-colored, linen-upholstered sofa and as the proud owner of a gray formica kitchen counter, I should not be giving design advice, but I feel very strongly that there is only one good way to display books: out and proud.

Image:  white bookshelves, filled with largely paperback books, in front of which are photos and mementos such as a pair of baseballs, a large piece of driftwood, an inlaid metal box, and an American flag.)


*This, on the other hand, is not totally out of the question as a design solution in our house.

Holly and Amy’s Big Adventure

I got to do one of my favorite things on Friday:  talk about the ADA to a bunch of disability rights advocates.  Even better:  the advocates were with the Southwest Center for Independence, and were in Durango, Colorado.  I had the choice of six* hours of driving (each way) through the amazing Colorado countryside, or an hour (each way) bouncing over the mountains in a regional jet.  I chose the drive without a second thought.

Denver to Durango

So Friday morning early, I lit out for Durango and because Holly still isn’t fully house-trained, and thus can’t stay alone with Tim, I brought her along for the ride.



It’s almost as if I bought the CRV with the dogs in mind!  Oh, right.  Turns out it has an added feature I hadn’t even known about.  For those awkward moments when she poops in the middle of a scenic overlook that lacks a trashcan:


Always pack out your trash!

Anyway, I chose the southeastern route in the map above — down I25 and across Route 160 — because I’m not a big fan of pass driving.  Google Maps helpfully sets out various routes, and then lets you choose your mode of transportation:  car; bus; on foot.  To accurately calculate our time, however, they need another option:  traveling with puppy.


Google maps composite

We stopped every hour and a half to two hours to find Holly a grassy spot.  Besides that slight inconvenience, though, she was the perfect traveling companion.

Driving in Colorado:  breathtakingly beautiful.


Breathtakingly scary:



Breathtakingly . . . obvious?



Got to Durango without a minute to spare before the talk.  That is, though I didn’t have any minutes to spare, I spared a couple, and ended up about 5 minutes late.   It was my favorite kind of talk:  with interested advocates who had great ideas and great questions.

After the talk, Holly and I set out to explore Durango a bit, and found a path by the river that was perfect for a post-driving-trip stroll.




Obligatory “Holly Posing Because She Knows Just How Cute She Is” photo:


Dinner was yak stew — a first for me! — and lamb dumplings at The Himalayan Kitchen, then back to the hotel, where Holly checked out the accommodations.


For the drive back to Denver, I chose the more direct route — in blue in the map above — that took me on Route 160 as far as Del Norte, and then Route 285 northeast through the mountains.  There were a couple more passes, but either they were relatively easy passes or I’m finally getting use to pass driving.  Or possibly exchanging the 1988 Accord for a 2013 CRV just makes the whole thing feel safer.  But I also took the time to stop for photos.  These first four were processed in HDR:








AR056492_3_4_tonemapped b&w







Colorado life!





Uh oh!   Better behave myself!***



I arrived home, tired and happy, yesterday afternoon, very grateful to live in a state of overwhelming natural beauty and kick-ass disability advocates.


* Actually, I have to confess, when I first learned I would be going to Durango, I thought, “it’s in the same state; how far can that be?”  Having grown up out east**, I assumed that anywhere you had to go within a single state couldn’t be more than a couple of hours’ drive.  Soooooo it turns out they make states bigger out here.  So the six-hour drive was a bit of a surprise, but ultimately a pleasant one.

** I’ve been overthinking the phrases “back east” and “out west” recently.  I use the phrases mostly because they reflect my path.  I started life on the east coast, and I’ve migrated out west.  But it occurs to me that these common phrases are not only sort of east-coast-centric, but also reflect a European-American-centric path (my peeps mostly entered the U.S. from the east coast and headed west) as opposed to an Asian-American path, as many Asians entered the U.S. from the west coast.  So I thought I’d try “out east” for a while and see how it sounded.

*** Tim’s uncle Pete Palmer is sheriff!