Friday, February 26, 2010

Food is Love!



Our friend Lauren dropped like a rock.   Down she went with some virus. It knocked her flat. Her downfall has been my gain, however. It means that I get to see Shiprock first thing in the morning for a couple of days.  We prance around for the requisite 45 or 50 seconds just to make the neighbours think we are young and spry…then we slow to our crawl and take a walk together. How lovely it is  to see Shipper  twice in one week when we can really enjoy each other’s company.  Usually we meet on the fly!  Sorry Lauren that you are ill; thanks Shiprock for agreeing to go for a morning march to the Boomerang.

Owner feeds me the same food every single morning  and evening of my life.  P1050391 Recently she’s been kind and given me a couple bones to gnaw.  Of course I’ve broken teeth before and am one of the few dogs who has had to have a root canal to fix the damage. If she were smart she’d never give me a bone….but she’s kind and lovely and wonderP1050390ful and sweet so bones it is.   (there owner…do I get another one, I just talked you up so nicely).  My favourite thing to do is lie on my mat on the patio with a big bone between my paws and gnaw and savour for as long as I can  make it last.  Sometimes I can make that bone completely disappear. 


Understanding humans is not my forte. I know they don’t eat the same dried out food every day of their life…they enjoy VARIETY. (like I wouldn’t?) With curly haired away I sniff a lot of soups simmering on the stove.  I guess they are hearty and warming in this cold weather.  She has been known to put warm broth on my kibble but that is a rarity; it has to be darn cold for that to happen! However, I live for those moments.  Milk on my food is another delight.   It brings back tender memories of being with my mother eons ago--before I was thrown to the wolves, so to speak.

Ahhhh  maaaamaaaaa….where are you now?   Surely you have gone to greener pastures.    Just hearing the word reminds me of that El Divo song about Mama and regrets for words unsaid and actions undone.  Oh I feel a tear forming  behind my left eye.

Owner has gone on a tear.  She is cooking up a storm.  Curly haired is not so sure about all this baking taking place when he’s not around to eat it; P1050382but hey, isn’t he on a diet of some sorts?  Isn’t she? Oh right…all this food is heading out the door.   That cake does look good with its honey ginger icing but I’m not a sugar kind of dog.  Wait a minute, I get it now.  The one concession owner has been making re this diet is that she is allowed to have some Chai every day….she just found a way to turn it into a thickly iced cake!  Smart woman!!  She says it is going to book club tonight since they have an Indian themed meal planned.  How would she know?  She reads a lot but I never saw her crack open the book club book once. Hopefully Monica lets her stay when she sees the cake. (Did I mention that I’m kind of crazy about Monica…couldn’t keep from snuggling up to her when she came to movie night….she mustn’t have liked it because she never came back; in fact she left town!)

The chowder is for Lauren.  Everyone needs hot soup when they are feeling under the weather.  Owner always says you make your family where you find it.  We obviously never find ours very often P1050388 as they are scattered all over the globe.   Whenever we move we have to make a new family for holiday dinners and special events.  I guess being sick counts as a special event as owner plans to load our friend up with a big meal.  Even I could be talked into a bowl of crab chowder with shrimp.  Heck you don’t even have to talk me into the fresh bread…I will just snag some of that off the counter when she’s not looking.  Don taught me how. Making bread is a messy process but well worth it in the end.  Our condo sure smells good today.  Lying outside isn’t an option.  I prefer to lie here and think about my old family.  Not one clue exists as to where my brothers and sisters ended up.  Luckily Shipper, Zak, Eloise, Chloe, and Cowboy, when he’s around, were willing to let me into their dog pack when they got to know my stellar qualities.

P1050434 The oven is heating up.  The bread is going in. Now we can relax and just sit here salivating.  Oh right…nothing is for me.  Whatever,  I did have that bone.  If owner really wants to shed a few pounds she should go on my diet….same menu, same quantity every day of her life.  TapP1050435ing her thumbs to her palms would teach her how NOT to get into the pantry!  She’d be hard pressed to put  on any weight then.  I could market the process…..Casey’s Sure Fire Diet Plan.   Wonder if humans would go for it.

Hang on there owner…..what’s that big bone doing out beside the food going to Lauren. Food is love and I love Shipper.  Maybe I just like him.  When you just like someone you don’t give them bones.    He’s P1050436not sick.   This is a step above and beyond the call of duty.  Please rethink this.  If I could just find somewhere in this damn condo to dig a hole, I could bury the thing for later!  Gotta run.  See ya later.




Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Powder hounds and me.




With all the snow we have received in the last four days (36 inches) you probably think that this post will be an ode to powder.  Nope! What good is powder to me.  We have more fresh snow than I am tall!   I need scuba gear  to breathe as I walk through my neighbourhood. Sure it is wonderful  for you humans but powder simply means I get left at home more often and for longer periods of time.



We dropped by Ulli’s house the other day to practice some chorale music and I noticed her face was as brown as a berry.  She admitted she has a deep addiction, no pun intended, for  powder.  Her singing and teaching continued to be excellent even though she was exhausted from all her skiing on the mountain.  For me it was just heavenly lying in the sunshine under the piano bench as owner warbled and squeaked her way through a few songs.  When you leave things up to owner life falls apart.  She knew darn well I wanted photos of Ulli giving a music lesson but no…she had to go and forget the camera.

image  Anyway, while resting in the warm sunbeams I came to the conclusion that I need a summer respite, a vacation from winter, a foot-freezing free zone.  Luckily this coincides perfectly with owner’s quest for more winter up in Alaska next week. I’m heading South to the warmer climes of Dry Bones Basin.  I drifted off to Ulli and owner harmonising to What A Wonderful World. Visions of previous, or should I say precious, summer hikes drifted through my head as my bones warmed in the comfort of her welcoming home.

Thoughts of old hikes I’ve taken with owner aDSCF1608nd curly haired and Benj made me sift through some of our old photos.  David, our once  computer-game addicted boy, never wanted to hike with us.  He would tell us he was too tired to hike as he was weary from long on-line battles he had waged that afternoon.  In our minds he didn’tCIMG0088 know what he was missing, six foot flowers, raging waterfalls; in his mind we were crazy to want to go outside and just walk uphill for hours.  Fool! was the thought of both camps.


Susie Bear Creek 006

Blue Lakes Ridgway Trail 018

Angelic water fall (Bridal veil left chute)



We’ve hiked with snow on the ground and  snow bridges to cross. We’ve hiked when thunderstorms loom and we are racing as hard as wBlue Lakes Ridgway Trail 045e can to get home before lightning strikes. We’ve hiked by fabulous  waterfalls. We’ve hiked only to be told a bear is up ahead – never seen it/him yet but the humans sure start talking loudly. We’ve hiked and run out of water….oops! We’ve hiked and wished we had an extra dried out past its due date energy bar to share. We’ve hiked when the humans are happy; we’ve hiked when someone (usually owner) gets snarly. We’ve hiked with blisters;  we’ve hiked with sore toes; we’ve hiked with a broken shoe lace…you name it we’ve done it! OK, we don’t backpack….but get off our back! We’ve hiked and then the humans have talked and laughed about the day’s adventure overBlue Lakes Ridgway Trail 043 dinner…over and over and over again.  Every little tribulation we have overcome has made our hikeP1010183 more rewarding.  We have hiked with Yael wretching and vomiting for a large portion of the trail…but when it was over, even she indulged in a taco at the taco stand and said, “But we had fun, right!”. Yes, Yael, we did! 

For now dreams of hiking are all I have to sustain me through these chilly winter months.  I love snow; I do. however, sometimes my arthritis kicks in and I need to remember warm summer days.  My body is getting older and not as limber as it once was.  Every year the vet tells owner that perhaps I’m only good for a couple of miles.  Hopefully this summer I will still have the strength to hit the trails and enjoy what Telluride has to offer.  If not, memories, photos and pleasant dreams each evening of the wonderful times I’ve had out in the mountains will get me through my emotional trauma.  For now, I’ll simply sift through the powder and enjoy the remains of winter.

Did I mention that Don taught me such great sniffing skills that I recently dug a discarded sandwich out of a snowbank…and ate it before owner could tear it from my death grip!  Guess powder ain’t’ so bad!  See ya later.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Got guests!


IMG_2787Winter Moon Dogsledding – Mark/Chantal Wood 970-729-0058

Telluride Nordic Centre – Town Park – 970-728-1144

What to do? What to do?  Two old friends of owner dropped by for a few days.  Between the two of them they’ve known owner for seventy five years…how the hell old is she anyway?  I know she hasn’t had plastic surgery…gee if she’s as old as all that she’s holding up not that badly.


They got to Telluride on Tuesday and I don’t think they were in town four hours before the wine bottle was open.  Pooh-poohing any worries about altitude they had that cork out, bubbly in the glass and down the hatch it went.  These are tough women….no one got a headache, no one fell asleep, and no one tripped going down the stairs.  Canadian women don’t waste their time when they get away on vacation. 

After a good sleep up they hopped. First they trekked out the River Trail to give me some well deserved freedom.  Heavenly to be out their with old friends…their laughter makes me laugh (on the inside of course.)  Next, Midnite was consulted at the Nordic Centre and both women were fitted for cross country skis.   Laurie kept


telling us she hadn’t done a lot of physical activity P1050298since her run in with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (which no one would want!)….but that didn’t hold her back.  She took off down the groomed track and didn’t look back for five miles.  Next we had to hear she was going to be in rough shape the next morning – LIAR – she was up first thing in the morning and ready for the next adventure.  Elaine headed out on the Valley Floor enjoying the beauty, the peace and quiet of no PATIENTS telling her about their symptoms.  She tried to get us to buy into the idea of her old cross country skis that were equipped with mohair strips….no takers.  No one knows she’s a doctor here  so nobody approaches her with questions re a diagnosis or medication.  She’s enjoying her time off in an idyllic location.



The best was yet to come.  Who doesn’t want to go dog sledding? Mark and Chantal Wood of Winter Moon Dog Sledding met us down near Sawpit on Thursday and we followed them out  Fall Creek Road to meet the pulling crew.  The dogs were psyched and couldn’t  wait to be hooked up to their tethers to pull the sleigh.  These are not petting dogs like me…these are working dogs and they live to run with those sleighs. 


Not only did we have wonderful CANADIAN Chantal to look P1050305 after us, but also her great children Lander (but you can call him Buddy)  and Teal were along for the ride.  These two children at only 11 and 8 have social skills and graces that many adults lack.  These youngsters made sure we were comfortable, offered us tea and cookies….just delightful.  Kids are always fun to be around but you can already see what amazing young people and adults they will be.  Kudos to great parenting Mark and Chantal!

Oh my goodness…..I never noticed how well owner can speak DOG!


Dog  sledding is like living a fantasy.   With a gentle snow falling periodically, the shushing of the sleigh,  the quiet padding of the dog’s feet keeping a gentle rhythm, and warm blankets….you could be lulled to sleep except you don’t want to miss a single moment of the experience and the view!  Owner has been out with these people before so we got treated to some of those marvellous Cindy Bread cookies and hot drinks while reclining on a blanket in the snow.  This is the stuff dreams are made of.  If you haven’t tried it….you must!  Just dress for warmth, bring your sunglasses and toss on some sun screen and you are set.


How on earth owner found dog sledding exhausting I have no idea.  What did she do?  Once in a while she stood on the back runner  and leaned to the left or the right to help steer the sleigh around a corner,  but how hard can that be?  Chantal is a teeny little thing and sometimes takes two groups out  in one day.  However, owner came home and crawled into the shower to warm up and then went to bed for an hour to sleep.  Oh well….we can’t all be tough.

Today was ski day.  Of course a blizzard was raging but everyone had fun out on the hill.  Good old Eric came through at Telluride Sports Camel Gardens with the perfect boots and skis for Elaine to use. She had on her Canadian Olympics gloves and never once complained about frozen hands.  She gets two days to ski every year or so and she managed to utilise her time well and get in as many runs as possible.  The snow blew  hard into  everyone’s faces but the snow carpet created for us to ski through was fantastic.  It was like skiing on velvet. There was a small break taken in the hut at the top of 12.  Apparently Elaine thought the hut was a cat walk because she seems to be modelling the latest ski wear in this photo.  She’s not shy, is she!


What will tomorrow bring? Who knows.  I have a feeling that it will be something athletic and demanding but then these ladies seem to enjoy that.  Laughs have been shared, wine has been drunk, great meals have been enjoyed, and there have  been many trips down memory lane.  They may be older but they still feel young on the inside…OK, Laurie says she feels 102 but no one pays any attention to that nonsense.  See ya later. 


Winter Moon Dogsledding – Mark/Chantal Wood 970-729-0058

Telluride Nordic Centre – Town Park – 970-728-1144

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Canada, their home and native land.


Before I move forward, let me announce that Don Juan (the lover) found a forever home on Valentine’s Day.  How appropriate is that?  Owner received a nice note from his new owner.  I saw tears.


Because you care I’ll share that I got some wet dog food to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Loved it.

Benj came home to ski  with us this week and it was a long trip to get him here so I’ve just been hanging out with him and not doing blog plotting.  Then we had two old friends of owner show up for most of the week so that held me up again.  Also it is the Winter Olympics in owner and curly-haired’s home country so I couldn’t even get on the computer – they are trying to stream CTV live so they can have the Canadian commentators – no offence everyone.  They just like it that way.


Today you get a special treat.  A friend, Canadian of course, forwarded  a newspaper article to us about Canada.  Owner thought it was cute and thought you might all enjoy it so begged me to bend my rules.   I wish I had written this but I have never lived in Canada, so I would have no idea what to say.  I’m a Texas born dog who is delighted to be living in Colorado…that’s as far as it goes.  This Rick Reilly with ESPN Magazine…is a funny guy. Wish we had some Timbits  and a double double to go with the article. I’d share them with you. (all photos and extra comments are ours, you’ll know).

Oh, Canada

A guide to thriving in Vancouver, one smile at a time

Email Print Share

By Rick Reilly
ESPN The Magazine

Crazy Canadians need to be treated kindly, too.

It's always so cute when Canada hosts an Olympics. Canadians try so hard. This comes from living next to America and having an inferiority complex worse than Tito Jackson's.

For instance, it's rained every day I've been in Vancouver, athletes are starting to withdraw because of pruny fingers, and Canadians feel terrible. They're always saying "Gee, sore-ee about the rain, eh?" Do you realize they've been helicoptering snow up to the mountain venues? Who does that?

These people are nice. Preposterously nice. Aunt Bee in mukluks nice. This is a country that has human-chomping grizzlies on every corner and yet chose the furry beaver for its national animal.

polite cartoons, polite cartoon, polite picture, polite pictures, polite image, polite images, polite illustration, polite illustrations

Here's how nice: Twice already, Canadian mogul star Jenn Heil's bus has broken down on the drive up from Vancouver to Cypress Mountain. And both buses were from California! Peter Judge of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association was quoted as saying after the second time: "It was a bit of a concern." A "bit of a concern"? If it had happened to an American star, they'd have made everybody responsible stand against a wall in front of a running 2010 Prius.

Anyway, I think Americans who come to these Winter Olympics should try to be nice back. You can't be nicer than Canadians, but you can try. Here's how:

• Do not talk about hockey. A Canadian team has not won the Stanley Cup in 17 years. This is possibly because there are no more Canadian hockey teams left. OK, that's not true. Still, if Canada doesn't win the gold in men's hockey this time -- something it's only done once since 1952 -- fans here might all throw themselves under stampeding moose.

• Use the "organics" recycling container in your hotel room. This is one of 14 recycling containers you'll find there. The mind recoils as to what you're supposed to put in the "organics" can in a hotel room, but the little sign says to put "meat, poultry, fish, plants and flowers." That's weird. I always leave my poultry in a gift bag for the maid.

• Speak Canadian. ATMs are ABMs. Street hockey is "shinny." Butt is "arse." Beer is "brew." Stuff is "whatnot." Newfoundlanders are "Newfies." Never say the "g" in "ing." And yay is not a cheer, it's a measurement, as in: "I'm lookin' for my malamute, about yay big and yay long?"

• Call Vancouver "Van City" or even "The Van" but do not call it the name it hates: "No Fun City." It IS a fun city, except that a lot of the bars close at 11. In the morning.

• And it apparently NEVER STOPS RAINING.Canada Flag Umbrella Clip Art

• Use abbreviated words whenever possible. For instance, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police becomes the "RCMP," which becomes "the Armsee," as in the sentence: "I sure hope Bode Miller doesn't get pinched by the Armsees this Olympics. I got 10 Loonies on him."

• Abbreviate your new friends' names, too. Hamilton becomes "Hams." If your friend's name is already short, add "er" to it. This is how you get a sentence like, "Let's go play some shinny, eh? You be Gretz and I'll be Nasher."

• Compliment their national anthem. It's way better than ours.

• Pretend that you have to plug in your engine block at night to keep it from freezing, too. Makes them feel better.

• Go to Tim's (short for "Tim Hortons") and have a double-double (two creams, two sugars) and some Timbits (donut holes) and stand around and talk about curling. This will be a welcome topic. The Canadians are still great at curling.
You: The boys oughta do priddy good, eh?
Him: Oh, sure. The sweeps are beauties.
You: You thinkin' they might be winnin' and whatnot, eh?
Him: Boy, would that ever be neat!

(just an aside here but owner’s dad, Bill Grozelle represented Northern Ontario in the Canadian curling championships (Labatt’s Brier at that time) in 1967 and 1968 – she’s very proud.)

Curling Club

• When referring to Elvis, be sure its Stojko not Presley. If you're talking about acting, don't forget the god of all Canadian thespians -- Lorne Greene from "Bonanza." If your birthday is August 9, always look at the ground, shake your head and add, "The day Wayne was traded."

• Never say "said." Say "goes," as in: "So Lindsey goes, 'I'm freezin' way up here in just a bikini.' And I go, 'Linds, it's a bitchin' career move!' And she goes, 'K, but it's colder 'n a Newfie's arse up here!'"

• If you're a snowboarder and you snap your neck in three places doing your Double Fakie Ollie Grab and they're putting you in the ambulance, smile and go, "It's fine! Canada's got free health care!"

But if those bastards say anything about their dollar being worth more than ours, slam them in the nose with your organics can.

 Alexandre Bilodeau

Alexandre Bilodeau --  Gold Melalist – Men’s Moguls (that’s AlexanDRE by the way, not DER!)

Canadian freestyle skier Jennifer Heil wins silver medal at Vancouver Olympics

Jen Heil – Silver Medalist Women’s Moguls

Now…you are all free to roam about the cabin as you zoom up to Vancouver….a city of incredible beauty, British accents, and the best Asian food you will find outside of Asia.  Check it out….you’re goin to love it now that you have the lingo down.  It’s fine to brown nose so you use the proper expressions and as soon as you can  say Bob’syeruncle….you’ll be mistaken for a Canajun!  Happy Olympics!  See ya later.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Urgent! Learn to Fetch!



Before I even get started today I have to share a scary photo a friend passed our way.  Owner thought it was hilarious but she doesn’t really understand that  most dogs do not have my talents; very few dogs are literate.   Someone saw this truck in Montrose and forwarded the picture on with the sad sad caption “Oops wrong truck.” Imagine this poor dog’s fear when he realises where he’s going!





Really, what kind of sadistic person would find this funny?  And I thought I knew owner so well.  Just had to get that off my chest.

We’ve been living in Telluride full time for over a year and a half now.  All in all I’d say we are settling in just fine.  It has reached the point that occasionally downtown we run into people who recognise us.   Perhaps we even have an appointment with them later in the week.  This makes us feel quite special.  One time Jesse  leaned out of an upstairs window and yelled, Hey Shasha. Unfortunately he usually thinks my name is Coco but hey I like the guy so I’ll forgive him.  Red letter day though…somebody knew we were local. This all took time but it has been so worth it. There are occasions when  I walk by the liquid signature of another dog and don’t even bother to sniff… it gets to be so “been there done that” because I already know who left it out in the open for me to notice.

Personally, dogs get to know each other much more quickly than humans do.  I bet in the first three months I pretty much had the lay of the land.  Owner on the other hand found it tough.  Humans have a huge rigamarole to get through before they make friends.   Her book club was a lifesaver.  Now the book club has also turned into a movie club.  Some members of the movie club may even join up with the “Ladies Who Think They Can Cook Even While They  Drink A  Martini” Cooking Club.  I’m not so sure how well the food will turn out but they are all bound to have a whale of a good time. They are all pretty good cooks so they better watch they don’t turn INTO whales.  However, if it keeps her happy I’m all for it.

Kathy - Spinning  She has joined one club I’m not so sure about.  I’ve tried to catch curly haired’s attention so that he knows she has a weekly assignation of which he is not aware.  He never seems to be in town on Wednesday nights. She gets all excited and wasDSCF0898hes her hair and puts on a little makeup every single time the middle of the week rolls around.   She  even exchanges her gymn clothes for  some reasonably nice clothes – not her Texas nice but nice nevertheless.

But, let’s get back to this strange routine she has developed.  She always has a cup of hot tea before she leaves the house….. apparently it relaxes her and helps her do it better.   Hmmph! Loosens her up, eh? the last thing we need is a loose woman around this joint.  Curly haired I beg you….open your eyes, she’s not behaving like herself and she’s drinking so she can  cut loose.  This behaviour is out of control.

OK….so she heads out looking pretty good for owner.  She always carries a special black binder with her.  I haven’t looked inside it yet but it makes her happy and she starts humming little ditties when she looks at it.  She hums, and then she deedle deedle doo’s, and then she snaps a finger or waggles her foot.  She flips through some pages, marks it up in red… is the colour of love you know….suspicious, right?   She lets out a few squawks  and heads out the door. She seems to believe she is singing; trust me…when I sing the  world stops turning just to listen.  When she sings—well, to be honest, I’m just glad she’s on her way out the door.

bad singer cartoons, bad singer cartoon, bad singer picture, bad singer pictures, bad singer image, bad singer images, bad singer illustration, bad singer illustrations


Curious about me and my weekly abandonment?   Week after week it has been the same story.  I’m just left in the dark – literally!  What the hell is going on?  Eyes in the dark

If I thought she was squawking when she left the condo, you  should hear her when she returns.   She’s really got it going on by then.   She’s merrily dancing  through that binder, smiling, lah dee dahing, oooh oooohing and looking foolish. Who has she been  meeting up with?  Who has this power over her? One night while eavesdropping I heard her say,  “I’m getting better at it with altos.  Yikes!  She has NEVER headed out alone at night to meet up with Altos  and I’ve lived with her for nine years now.  Frightening scenarios flash through my brain.  Hey wait a minute, aren’t those mints? 

Tonight  is Wednesday (yes, I had to put this down in writing while it was fresh in my mind) and she came home happy as usual and singing to herself. I heard her say she must call Ulli and arrange sP1050271ome time for them to be alone together.    Who is Ulli?  What is an Ulli?  This is so much more serious than I thought. Oh my God, I just realised  she’s making the appointment for Monday –  oh Lord is this before curly haired gets back into town. I have to think of some way to warn him about what is going on.  I am the Guardian of the Household….self appointed but Guardian nonetheless. 

I’ve got it.   Fetching!  Practicing fetching must be on my “to do list” before Tuesday when he returnBreaking the Glasss.   As soon as I see him sit on the chesterfield I’m going to fetch that little black binder and drop it in his lap. I can’t get more direct than that.


  Wish me luck.  Hope they stay married when he figures out what she’s been up to.  See ya later.