Category Archives: Travels

Wordless Wednesday ~ January 16, 2019

Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 28, 2018

Nature Friday
Welcome to the last Friday of 2018. I have mixed feelings about this year but am always happy to join our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for this last Nature Friday blog hop of the year.

On a day where our temps will struggle to reach the 20’s, I thought we should go back to Mexico and warm up a bit.

Turtles are ubiquitous in Mexico and these little guys know how to enjoy the heat, sunning themselves on rocks but always close enough for a quick dip to cool off (or to escape from pesky tourists).

Turtles

While walking through the Old Town area on the way to a favorite gallery our family discovered, this noisy little guy was either greeting us or more likely, telling us in no uncertain terms to go away. The racket this little squirt made me nervous its owner might check to see if we were some sort of nefarious troublemakers. It never ceases to amaze me that the tiniest of dogs are the ones who raise the most cain, in the most aggressive way. I’m sure they have to wipe down the glass panels on the deck frequently as he gets frothed up with all passersby.

Tiny pups

Go. the. hell. away!

After scurrying past the 4-legged security alarm, I stumbled across this building that stood out against a cloud-dotted sky, a restaurant known as Café des Artistes.
Old Town

Check out this exquisite video I found on their website which is narrated by the founder and chef, Thierry Blouet.

Don’t know about you, but after seeing these images, I’m slightly warmer (and more determined to go back to this lovely place in nature!) and can now face the first of what will no doubt be frequent, but brief forays outside with the Knuckleheads. Stay warm this last Friday of the year and have a great weekend.

Live, love, bark!🐾

Wish I was There Wednesday ~ December 12, 2018

At my inner core, I think there’s must be a smidgen of gypsy DNA that gets aroused  after returning from a wonderful trip. As I’ve been organizing the Puerto Vallarta trip photos,I have gone down the rabbit-hole looking through other photos from trips longing for even more travels. So today should come as no surprise for the”Wish I Was There Wednesday” post which pays homage to one such trip. During a trip to Northern Germany, I spent a number of days visiting Germany’s fashion capitol, Düsseldorf. While some old seaport towns fall on hard times, Düsseldorf is a shiny example of vibrancy that captivates visitors with its display of old and new architecture.

The Rheinhafen centre of arts and the media consists of three contrasting building complexes and appears like a gigantic sculpture along the riverfront. Each one of the “Neuer Zollhof” buildings is made with different outer materials with the central building reflecting the buildings on its northern and southern side, creating a visual link between the three. It’s truly a fascinating view as one travels down the busy Rhine River. Created by the renown architect, Frank O. Gehry, these buildings were built in the late 1990’s and are a beautiful landmark in the city.

Have  pawtastic Hump Day. Now I must ‘jet off’ to West Pines to spread some holiday cheer among the residents. Catch up with you soon!

Düsseldorf Germany

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Therapy in Action-Mexican Style

Pirate coffee hutSince returning from Mexico I have been frequently thinking about the impact of pet therapy more than usual. While visiting south of the border, I witnessed first hand the absolute power of pet therapy on a spontaneous walk I took in the vicinity of our resort. My intention was to walk up the main roadway toward where the river flowed out into the bay. I knew from walking along the beach that near the confluence, a number of egret-like birds hung out. I was also told by a local person, crocodiles could also be found upstream. I planned on avoiding the later but hoped I could get some decent shots of the former.

Pirate coffee shopWhen it became clear no good shots of the birds could be had without climbing down a step river bank (umm, no thanks, no photo of a bird was worth a potential encounter with a croc sighting, thank you very much). Instead, serendipity arrived in the form of a little coffee stand in the shape of…a pirate ship. ‘Argh,’ I groaned but quickly realized this little hut and companion playground held potential for a few photo opportunities. The proprietor greeted me (that’s him waving in the first photo) and we exchanged limited greetings, he only spoke Spanish and beyond ‘Hola,’ I could only smile. But I wandered around hoping to catch some locals taking a break when I saw a small boy playing in the playground area, but realized there was something special about this little boy. The boy was chasing and being chased by a small puppy who constantly dashed after this blur of a child, and the two rambunctious dervishes chased and played with each other with pure abandon. After several minutes of watching the scene, a thin slip of a young woman with a beautiful smile waved and came over to chat. She was the boy’s mother and we began a long chat about the two bundles of energy. The puppy was a Pit/Lab mix, about 4-months old which she had obtained for her 4-year old autistic son. She had gotten the dog in hopes of giving her son a companion that he might be aided by the fur companion. She related how owning this little ball of energy had made a significant difference with her son. When I revealed Sam was a therapy dog, she began asking me a jillion questions about training the new addition while repeatedly re-directing the pair away from the busy road.

Mexican therapy dog

A brief  moment of stillness

I barely was able to catch the pair still enough to capture any photos (never did get one of the boy who was either blurry or where he looked away), but in the shot above, the little ‘therapist’ was catching his breath for a few seconds before resuming the chase with his human friend. Watching the two of them and talking with the mom, it really struck me, how often dogs manage to understand their role with their humans. They instinctively seem to know what we need and provide it willingly. The mom, a transplant from Alberta Canada, mentioned that day was to be the last one with the little dog officially. The landlord said no pets and was adamant about the rule. So like mom’s everywhere, she found a solution to comply without moving by paying a nearby neighbor a few dollars a month to care for the dog at night and bring him back to play with her son during the day. I can only hope this solution works well for them, the little boy was clearly attached to his pal and the little pooch was thrilled to have his ‘2-legged puppy’ companion with whom he could romp and play during the day.

I thought about that family when Sam went to West Pines last week. We visited with a number of folks who for a brief few minutes, came out of their shells to twirl their fingers around the soft fur of a loving Knucklehead. One woman in particular sat down and had Sam sit in front of her crossed legs. Her face lit up and her soft voice shared her story about adopting a pair of Potcake dogs (you can read about the breed here) and how much she missed them. I could tell this tender-hearted woman needed a few minutes with Sam and he was more than willing to let her gaze into his eyes and stroke his ears. A fellow resident who was far chattier and extroverted then took his turn with Sam who accommodated him with a totally different energy. I couldn’t help but think of the little Pit/Lab mixed puppy a 1000 miles away chasing the pant legs of a little boy while romping together and then smiling. It was then while I typed this post that I realized Sam had his head pressed against my thigh. Without consciously thinking I reached down and twirled the fur on his ears and he leaned in and then looked up at me. Yes, therapy dogs are the same no matter where they are and I couldn’t be more pleased about that fact.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 30, 2018

On this last day of November, let’s remember Nature Friday hosted by Rosy and her brothers with some photos from the recent Mexico trip. Today is a cool day in the Mile High so hopefully these images of nature will warm you up like they do me.

For some odd reason pirates are a big thing in PV. Seeing them in the Caribbean makes sense, but here on the Pacific, I just never did find a plausible explanation other than to entertain tourists willing to part with their pesos. The pirate ship in the marina at dusk tried compete with the evening’s sunset with a string of lights and no doubt, lots of libations. Umm, pass. I think I’d rather be mesmerized by Mother Nature’s  sunset, thank you very much.

Pirate Ship

During the daylight hours, it looked like this, making its way across the bay. Shiver me timbers!

Day Pirate Ship

This gorgeous fella decided to crash breakfast just as we were leaving. I literally nearly stepped on him and once I froze, he kept a keen eye out for any quick movement toward him, then hopped into a planter for whatever iguanas normally take-out for breakfast. He was a stunning specimen, nearly 2 feet long from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail. Iguana

Spending a couple of days in Old Town, I walked along cobbled streets marveling at the incredible arts scene. On those warm days, palm-lined streets provided much welcomed shade until you could catch the sea breeze to cool off.Old Town

Often during the day, I’d sit on the beach under the palapas people watching. Loads of assorted birds were always present.

Table 10 with Bird

When walking along the beach, I rarely went without some company. These white egrets generally hung out where the river flowed into the bay and were constantly scouring that vicinity for crustaceans.

PV Heron

A full-moon nightscape from the cell phone highlighted the ‘next door neighbors’ crib. They clearly live a tough existence in their ivory towers but man, what views. Moon Over Parador

So no matter where you go, nature beautifully shows itself off in subtle and no-so subtle ways if you just look. Here’s hoping you get out this weekend as you dash about making ready for the holidays and actually witness some of it. It’ll make the dashing part easier to handle. Happy weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Catch Up Tuesday

Returning from a wonderful vacation, I’m more behind than ever so this week may not see a lot of blog action but don’t be alarmed if I don’t comment on your posts. The WiFi situation (along my international data plan) were inadequate to keep fully on top of things but rest assured, I will read every blog post that arrived in my inbox, even if I don’t leave a comment.

Suffice to say the trip was worth every sun-filled moment. What’s not to enjoy and love when there’s good company, good food, and good drinks? Oh, and a gorgeous view that will remain in my memory banks for a good long time.

On a less happy note, just a week shy of being six-months seizure free, Elsa had a small seizure last night. She’s fine and back to her normal self and resting right now. While I was gone, she apparently learned how to amp up the motor that controls her tail wag speed because when I walked in, I had never seen it wag so fast. It fills my heart with such joy to see this once shut-down precious Ninja expressing canine glee. In looking back over her seizure log last night, I noted this has been the longest period of time she hadn’t had an episode which I attribute it to the switching of CBD oil brands to Black Dog Botanicals (which can be found in the e-shop here in both canine and human strength). Her blood values will be screened sometime over the next couple of weeks and I should have a better sense of her progress then. The vet said if we could limit her to a couple a month, she’d be happy, so I’m sure this will merit some pawsitive note in Elsa’s medical file.

Sam, Elsa and I  send our very best Happy Thanksgiving greeting to you and yours. We’ll see you soon!

Live, love, bark!🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 9, 2018

Even though a number of you guessed various locations of where I  might be headed to, no one accurately guessed so for the inaugural of Rosy and the Boys’ Nature Friday blog hop, I thought I’d share another clue. Be sure to visit the other blogs for some terrific shots of nature.

Have a great Friday and an even better weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

Lighthouses

Today is National Lighthouse Day and while the landlubber Ranch hands don’t live anywhere near a lighthouse, I am a big fan of the Heceta Head Lighthouse near Florence,  Oregon where I visited a couple of years ago when my daughter still lived in the area. Living in a land locked state, I originally thought I’d have to draw or paint a lighthouse to participate in this blog hop hosted by Rosy and her brothers and then realized in the middle of the night I might actually have a photo from that trip. Voilá!

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Obviously Colorado has no lighthouses, so it seemed somewhat fitting to use this particular image which is more like a hint of one because you can only see a smidge of the house (far right) and its beacon at dusk. I’ve visited it twice now, viewing it only from the beach below.

Built in 1894, the 56-foot tall lighthouse shines a visible beam for 21 nautical miles (around 39 km/24 mi.), making it the strongest beacon along the Oregon Coast. It was named after Spanish explorer Bruno de Heceta, who explored the region in the late 18th century. It had been used as a fishing and hunting area used by native tribes who hunted sea lions and gathered sea-bird eggs among the shoreline rocks. Legend has it area tribes built a great stone wall (which is now the cliffs) and tricked the Grizzly Bear brothers to their deaths there. White settlers moved to the region around 1888 claiming the surrounding land and the US Lighthouse Service approving the building a lighthouse the same year with construction beginning in 1892. Stones were brought from the nearby Clackamas River with bricks coming from San Francisco. The entire project consisting of lighthouse, a light keeper’s house and a couple of kerosene oil storage buildings were completed in August 1893 for a cost of $80,000. Heceta Head Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 for their architectural and engineering significance. The lighthouse is located at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint, a state park.

Both times that I visited this area, the coastline was shrouded in clouds and somewhat eery (even when I visited it during the day before digital cameras were popular, thus explaining no clearer image from that trip). It seems natural that a lighthouse was built to guide ships along Oregon’s rocky and cloudy coastline.

View looking away from the lighthouse at sunset

Heceta Head Lighthouse and Keeper’s House

Happy National Lighthouse Day. We hope all your travels are well-lit with no crashing into rocks.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wish I Was There Wednesday

After two days of pleasant temps in the 80’s, we’re back to the scorching mid-90’s temperatures along with single digit humidity for the rest of the week. The dogs and I don’t do so well in the heat so we’re gonna huddle comfortably in the air-conditioned house for the better part of each day and recall cooler days on a trip to Southern Germany. On the plus side, it’s mid-week, only a couple of days until “Favorite Friday.” Enjoy a nice cool spot in Bad Rippolsau where I wish I was today.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

And she’s off…

Hi guys, it’s Elsa. I’ve been a busy girl this morning getting under foot while mom is running around putting things in a box with a handle and wheels. She keeps muttering to her self…”don’t forget to bring…” I’m not sure what’s going on but I think it’s something epic. My brother is rolling his eyes at me just as he steps in front of mom. He says we need to keep doing this because I won’t like what this means. I’m not sure if he’s on the level with me or trying to psyche me out. Brothers are kind of like that, always trying to get in your head and freak you out about something. I heard him say mom was leaving us but I don’t know what that means. I mean we are the bestest poodles in the world…how (but more importantly, WHY) is she leaving us?

Anyway, it remains to be seen what this all means but hopefully it’s nothing serious or permanent. Have a great weekend. We’ll catch you on the flip side!

Lie, love, bark 🐾