Seasons Of Love

Today is the three anniversary of when Kali arrived from Taiwan and rescued me. This is a re-post from two years ago after our first 365 days together.. Happy Anniversary Kali – I can’t remember or even imagine life without you!

Golden Kali

12 Months, 52 weeks, 365 Days, 525,600 Minutes.  They all add up to one year. And what a year it’s been!

Exactly a year ago at this time we were anxiously awaiting our Golden Kali who was on a plane with 23 other rescues heading to America from Taiwan.  It had been about two months since we saw pictures of dogs “coming soon” on the Rescued Love From Taiwan Facebook page.   We immediately called the local rescue group organizer to express our interest in Kali.  I’m a fatalist and I believe this match was meant to be.

The picture that instantly won our hearts! The picture that instantly won our hearts!

Our love affair with Kali started the moment we saw that photo and here I am a year later reflecting on the anticipation, the greeting at the airport, the first few days home, how Kali and I instantly bonded and how she immediately became part of our family as soon as…

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Merging The K’s

As some followers of Golden Kali know I have another blog called The Golden K.  The Golden Kali blog began the day after Kali arrived from Taiwan and joined our pack.  The Golden K blog started shortly after relocating to the mountains a year ago.

The lines between the two blog sites have blurred because we wouldn’t have The Golden K without our Golden Kali and her sister Kloe.  The tag line for the Golden Kali blog used to be “Kali’s new life in America”.  When we moved to the mountains the tag line changed to, “Kali’s new life in the mountains.  The tag line (I’m a big fan of tag lines) for The Golden K is, “A romantic perspective of life at 3100 feet”.

I can’t think of Kali and Kloe without thinking about how lucky they are, we all are, to be living on five acres of paradise in the mountains.  And I can’t think of the Golden K without thinking about Kali and Kloe and how the Golden K would not be so Golden without them and it certainly would not be called the Golden K.  Maybe the Iron Ranch, or Silver Spurs, but not the Golden K.

So I now succumb to the obvious and will merge the two blogs because they are really the same.  I hope regular followers of Golden Kali will enjoy an occasional post about The Golden K located in the Sierra Nevada Gold Country town called Tuolumne.  And I hope followers of The Golden K will get to know Kali and Kloe, the inspiration for the Golden K.

Followers of Golden Kali can read the first post from a year ago for more context about The Golden K here:   https://goldenk.net/2016/06/22/the-golden-k-begins-now/.

Welcome to The Golden K

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Kloe Time

From Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge, truth, wisdom.  And all for free).

Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.  Blah blah blababdy blah…

OK , I added the blababdy blah part but whatever….

I mean after all, isn’t time somewhat arbitrary?   I imagine, and can only imagine -because my ADD impatience keeps me from reading more than the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article and even then only some of the words – that there are scientific and logical arguments that prove time to be something other than arbitrary.  If I force myself to look farther down the Wiki page I see words like “physical qualities” and “temporal measurement”.  Huh?…

The article began to catch my interest and as I read further I saw that J.M. E. McTaggart’s 1908 The Unreality of Time argues that, since every event has the characteristic of being both present and not present (i.e., future or past), that time is a self-contradictory idea.  Apparently old J.M.E. was a deep thinker and something called an Idealist Metaphysician.  Cool title but how much could that job pay, right??

“But wait Mike”, you might say.  “I follow this blog to read about Golden Kali, and her little sister Kloe, and to see all those cute pictures of their antics and sweetness.  If I want to read science and hear fact-based philosophical arguments I’ll get that info like everyone else does by turning to social media and reviewing the seemingly endless stream of memes that monopolizes my feed”.

OK, fair point.  So on to the real purpose of this post.

One year ago today we brought a nine-week 15 pound puppy home that we named Kloe.  Kloe doesn’t give a woof about time except if it’s time to eat, or time to walk, or time to play, or time to cuddle.  Those are concepts of time Kloe can relate to.   Kloe time.  But, in “the continued progress of existence and events” it is has been a year, and now at one year and nine-weeks old, Kloe is still very much the same exactly the same pup she was one year ago.  Except now she is 65 pounds heavier and a few feet  longer.

One year, one pup, and one heck of a lot of love and fun this sweet girl has brought into our life.  I might have remembered anyway but in the spirit of full disclosure here is the real reason I knew that it was one year ago today that we brought Kloe home:

Yep – it was in my Facebook feed: “One Year Ago  – see your memories”.  And there were two pictures of Kloe the day she came home.  I smiled, paused for a few moments to reflect, and then scrolled down through the endless stream of memes looking for fake news.

Thank you Facebook for bringing a very special piece of the time continuum to my news feed. 

(1) On This Day 2017-05-07 09-32-59

Thank you Kloe for all the licks, laughs, and love during the past year.

 

What is hip?

There’s a favorite song of mine by Tower Of Power called What Is Hip?  Tower of Power was a very successful soul band in the seventies and eighties and continue to tour and play their brand of soul with the same enthusiasm and “hipness” that they did when I was a teen going to their concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Unfortunately Kali’s version of the song is “what is hip dysplasia?

Kali arrived in the U.S. with hip dysplasia, a common ailment with Golden Retrievers.  Also common for Golden’s is not to complain about much of anything.  So while she has always been a little slow going up the stairs and can’t jump she has gotten along pretty well.   Until recently…

Over the past few months I’ve noticed Kali slowing down.  I attributed this mostly to her getting older – she was approximately five when she arrived and is now eight.  But my overall observations and instincts suggested that it was more than that and the obvious reason was her hips.  It became really evident when she was laying on one side and wanted to turn to the other side.  She moved slow, grunted a bit, and was clearly uncomfortable making this move.

We’ve had her on Dasaquin since day one and we her dry food includes glucosamine.   While these supplements may have helped for a while it became very evident that she needed something else.

A week and a half ago Kali’s vet did a thorough check of her hips and prescribed a newly approved medicine for dogs called Galiprant.  After just a couple of doses there was striking evidence of improvement.  Kali has always pranced but now when we head out for walks she is very animated and jogs down to the edge of our property where she waits to be leashed for our walk.  She seems genuinely happy to be stretching her limbs.  What a joy this is!

So is Galiprant a miracle drug?  It may be too soon to say, and I certainly don’t want to jinx anything, but for now “what is hip dysplasia” has become “What Is Hip?” and Kali and I are both feeling a lot younger as she gallops freely around the Golden K and I reminisce about Tower Of Power.

What is hip?
Tell me, tell me if you think you know
What is hip?
If you was really hip
The passing years would show
You into a hip trip
Maybe hipper than hip
But what is hip?

Tower of Power

Kali at home 1

Kali almost three years ago the day after coming home forever

Too much of a good thing is just about right…

Having two Golden Retrievers I understand the exponential affect of more than one fur kid in and around the house.  One plus one does not always equal two but instead some greater number.  The key word in the last sentence is greater. There is a greater amount of work and a greater amount of patience required.  There is a greater amount of expense and there is a greater amount of… poop.

But mostly there is a greater amount of love.

  • “All things in moderation”.
  • “Too much of a good thing [is not always good]”.
  • “Too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the broth”.

These quotes are all sound, logical and practical.  But they may don’t not apply to Golden Retrievers.   You cannot have too many Goldens in one place at the same time because you cannot ever have too much love.

And so it was yesterday at an event hosted by True Love Rescue.  This is the rescue group that brought both Kali and Kloe to us.  And for that I am forever indebted to them.  This group of caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable volunteers do wonderful work that has had a positive affect on hundreds of dogs and families over the years.  This annual event is “advertised” as a play day and reunion for many of the Goldens, like Kali, who came from Taiwan.  But in a large way this event is also a celebration of the great work of the rescue group.

The Pack at large

And so there we were on Saturday watching dozens of Goldens romp around on a beautiful Spring day in the sun.  They barked, wrestled, fetched, jumped in and out of the kiddie pools, rolled in the dirt and then came back around for more.  But mostly they loved.  Because this is what Goldens (all dogs really) do best:  they love.

On this sunny day the exponential impact of having forty plus Golden Retrievers in one place was palpable. The love and positive vibe wafting through the light breeze was evident in the beaming faces of the proud parents as they watched their fur kids run around amongst the pack.  I especially like seeing first time attendees smiling like little kids as they watch experience all these Golden Retrievers, all in the same place, all at the same time.  If you’re an aging Baby Boomer like me think Summer of Love without the sex and drugs…  I also get a kick out of parents struggling at times to pick their dog out of the pack because many are so similar in looks.  “OK, there he is, no wait that’s not him.  I should put a scarf on him…”.

Besides all the dogs there’s all the parents.   People who may have different political views, who may come from different walks of life, and perhaps with varying socioeconomic backgrounds.  But in spite of diversity there is one overriding factor that each has in common:  a deep love, bond, and devotion for dogs.

  • “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”  – Mae West
  • “Too much of anything is bad, but too much whiskey is barely enough.” – Mark Twain
  • “Too much of a good thing is just about right.”  – Jerry Garcia

I like these quotes better than those at the top of the post.  Especially if “too much” is a Golden Retriever.

My Girls Kloe (red scarf) and Golden Kali

 

Leading The Way Around The Golden K

It’s been satisfying to see Kali get more and more comfortable around the five acres that comprises The Golden K.  For Kali’s followers that are not familiar, The Golden K is what what we call our home in the mountains where we moved to almost a year ago.     Kali now freely romps and explores as I am out and about doing various chores or just exploring and appreciating the change of seasons and the beauty of “the hill”. She never strays too far and always comes running to me if I call.

Actually, Kali has always been comfortable and her behavior has not changed. She’s always been trust worthy and attentive to my calls if she has wandered too far away or into a neighboring property.

But if I’m honest with myself I know that It’s been me – the suburban transplant and worry wort – who hasn’t wanted to loosen my purse strings and allow Kali to roam freely due to my aforementioned “worry-wortiness”.

But maybe Kali felt a bit over confident as we headed out for chores today as she settled in the tractor trailer as a passenger and spectator versus an active participant in the activities.

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She sat still long enough for the photo but it wasn’t long before Kali was back on her feet and leading the way around The Golden K.

 

Return of the Black Tailed Deer

Spring is in the air and the deer seem to know it.

We got to know “our” black tailed deer during the past year.  We enjoyed their visits each morning and evening as we became accustomed to mountain life and our new surroundings.  We got to know the regulars – three bucks we named Scratcher, Kicker, and Chester – and the occasional doe who would follow behind in an appropriate amount of distance based on pecking order.

In early summer we gushed when a spotted fawn accompanied a doe and the three bucks down for breakfast.  We watched in awe as the bucks antlers grew and made these mature males look all the more powerful and glorious.  We mourned the loss of Gimpy, the buck with a broken leg, who we found him dead on our property in early Fall not far from our driveway.  He was an older buck who hobbled along on a three legs for at least a few years (per the previous property owners) and apparently died of old age and not because of his injury that he seemed to manage relatively well given the circumstances.

In Fall hunting season is followed by rutting which drive the deer away from the Golden K with only an occasional visit by a stray buck.  The mostly absence of deer throughout Winter was striking and I missed them.  I wondered where they went, how they were doing, and if they would return back to the Golden K.

And then they did. Last weekend our black tailed beauties returned home in full force.

There were antler-less bucks with foreheads sporting only sockets where their magnificent antlers once were but fell off in the last month or so.  There were does, skinny and hungry and presumably preparing for birth later this spring or early summer.  And there were the yearlings.  Small and skinny but healthy “kids” who survived the winter when the majority of their peers have perished.  Fawn mortality rate runs between 50% and 70%.

So as Spring begins friends of the Golden K have returned much to our joy and anticipation.  Anticipation of more fawns, more grand buck antlers, and continued health and prosperity that all  creatures- man or beast – hope to experience and be blessed upon by Mother Nature.

It’s been almost a year since we arrived at the Golden K.  The return of the black Tailed have Deer reinforced the circle of life and most notably my romantic perspective of life at 3100 feet.

 

Toasty Time (for four)

Kali and Kloe have guests.  Jaynee and Sadie will be here for the week while their parents and our good friends Marty and Jen vacation in Hawaii with their human kids.

Sadie and Jaynee are quick studies.  They quickly and effortlessly adapted to a morning ritual I have with Kali and Kloe.

My breakfast usually includes toast.  A long time ago, and before Kloe was born, Kali and I established a morning ritual where I give her  a corner (or two) of a piece of bread while I cook my breakfast.  I call it Toasty Time.  When Kloe joined the pack she eagerly adapted to the ritual.

This morning, the first morning that Jaynee and Sadie were with us, they didn’t miss a beat.  As I announced Toasty Time they got into position for their corner of bread as though they had been doing it for years.

Toasty Time For Four

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Zero to seventy five in a year

As I write I look over and see a puppy sleeping very soundly under the kitchen table.   Her older sister lies not too far away on her day bed also asleep but not quite as soundly.  Instinctively, and from 10 months of first hand experience, big sister knows that at any moment the puppy could wake up and launch an all-out surprise attack with a soggy cloth toy or a plastic chew toy and almost certainly with attitude and unbridled enthusiasm.

Kloe the “puppy” turned one year old this weekend.  Yes, it took a whole weekend for this to happen because when you go from zero to 75 pounds in one year it takes a few days to make the transition from puppyhood to, well more puppyhood.  That’s how it is with Goldens.  They start out as puppies and sometimes never grow out of it and if they do it takes at least a few years.  So much to her big sissy Kali’s chagrin Kloe will continue chewing on Kali’s legs, smashing toys in her face, and making countless surprise attacks initiating marathon wrestle-mania  bouts for at least another couple of years.

A little over a year ago as Holly and I began packing up 25 plus years of suburban life to move to the mountains we brought a puppy home.  There were many who said we were crazy to add a puppy to our family during such a hectic and transitional time in our lives.  They were right.  The moment we met Kloe – just 15 pounds at the time- we were crazy in love with her.  And I’m pretty sure Kali was too.

So zero to 75 in one year.  Wow!  We think she has stopped growing.  Kali prays for the same.  Meanwhile, all of us remain crazy in love with our giant golden red puppy we call Kloe.

Happy Birthday Sweets. It’s been one heck of a first year.  I love you!

 

 

Neither Snow Nor Rain….

The unofficial motto of the U.S. Postal Service is, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

With the seemingly endless storm systems continuing to deliver massive snow and rain to California it’s been a heck of a first winter to be a Golden Retriever puppy!   Kloe’s unbridled enthusiasm for completing her mission regardless of the elements would make her a great postal carrier.  Except in Kloe’s case the motto would be slightly amended to say completion of her appointed play time.

She seems to revel in the wet and mud.   It’s hard to keep a good pup down and in Kloe’s case that means who cares if it’s pouring rain outside. Open the barn door and let this race horse out!

Evidenced here in a photo taken by a friend on a recent rainy day when Kloe went to visit her friend Jaynee.

 

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