Most dog lovers are probably familiar with the story about Hachi (Hachicko), the Akita who would accompany his owner to the train station each morning as the owner went off to work.  Hachi would hang around the town and towards the end of the day return to the train station to greet his owner upon his return.  One day the owner passed away from a cerebral hemorrhage and never made the return trip.  The dedication, loyalty, and bond was so incredibly strong that for the rest of his life the dog made his way back to the train station and waited for the return of his owner.  When the owner didn’t return the dog would return home and repeat the routine the next day.

I was reminded of this story last weekend.  Holly and I were helping my daughter move to her new apartment.  We pulled out of our house about 11:00 AM and as I found out later  in my haste to get on the road after the truck was loaded I had left the front door ajar.

Around 1:30 I received a call on my cell phone from my neighbor directly across the street from me.  He says, “Mike – are you home?”  I told him I wasn’t and asked why he was inquiring.  He chuckled and said that he noticed the front door was open and Kali was sitting on the front porch.  Kali is never left alone in front of the house so my neighbor knew something was not right.  My neighbor, on his cell phone, now begins to walk across the street and Kali stands up to greet him.  He walks in the house and Kali follows.  Smokey was inside and they both took a sit in front my neighbor, now standing in my living room, as we talked on the phone.  He chuckled again and secured the house with both dogs safely inside.

Holly says, “what’s up, who called you?”.  When I told he what happened she says, “yeah, whenever you leave Kali always waits by the door that you left from.  She’s like that dog Hachi.  She would have probably waited on the porch all day until we got home”.

I was grateful that Kali was safe in spite of my mistake.  But I was also a little bit proud that “my dog” would venture out the open front door, lie down, and camp out waiting for my return.

Our bond is strong.  It always has been.  And it always will be.  My Golden Kali and I!

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“The Porch”


Toast Of The Town

The town is the kitchen and the Toast is really just a piece of bread….

It all started over a year ago when Kali had a minor medical issue that required daily pills for a week or so.  Kali is not the most discerning diner in the world Kali will eat just about anything.  So I thought I could just give her the pills and she would gulp them down as she does with anything that comes from the kitchen and out of my hand.

I was surprised when Kali spit the pill out of her mouth.  Being a resourceful and evolved human being I quickly figured out that if I wrapped the pill in a piece of bread that Kali would gulp down the pill wrapped in bread and be none the wiser for the experience.

This routine went on for the week without incident.

  • Get up in the morning
  • Get the medicine
  • Go to the cabinet and get a piece of bread
  • Wrap the pill in the bread
  • Ask Kali to sit a reasonable distance away from the kitchen
  • Bring the bread wrapped pill to Kali
  • Boom – Kali gets her medicine and as far as she is concerned she got some people food from the (people) cabinet

The evolved human being wins as usual.  Right?  Well, maybe…

Dogs love to be trained.  They love the interaction,  mental stimulation, and rewards that follow successful execution of the command, trick, or show of obedience.  When Kali followed me into the kitchen in the morning and I sent her out and followed that with a piece of bread that happened to have a pill inside she was trained.  Trained to know that when I go near the cabinet where the bread lives there is a good chance that she will get a piece of bread.  She’s believes it because since then I follow the same routine; because (duh!) I a very trainable….

Since that period of time when Kali had the meds and I wrapped them in bread there is the morning time routine – that occurs right after her formal breakfast of kibble – of me fixing my breakfast which almost always includes the bread cabinet.

Kali, and now Smokey too, will immediately “assume the position” on the edge of the kitchen and wait for their piece of bread; their “toast” as I now refer to it as.

It’s great to be trained.  It’s liberating.  I love the interaction and mental stimulation I get when Kali shows me what I need to do to make her happy.  I really like the rewards of licks and tail wags I get when I do something right.  And best of all, Kali loves it when i am obedient.


Kali and Smokey waiting for their toast from their all trained Dad





Kali’s New Life In The Mountains

“There’s gold in them thar hills”.  Gold as in Golden Kali…

It was the evening of May 24, 2014 when we  picked Kali up at SFO and drove her home to begin her new life America. Her new home and what had been our’s for the past 20 years in Livermore CA.  She had flown 14 hours with 23 other Golden Retrievers from Taiwan.  They all of had been rescued locally by Taiwan Pawprint Dog-Friendly Society (TPDS) and were tended to by the loving hands of Jade Lo for three months, longer for some,  before being ready for travel and adoption.  I fell in love with Kali as soon as I saw her picture on Rescued Love From Taiwan‘s Facebook page. Holly and I were thrilled and blessed to be able to adopt Kali.  Two years later I cannot fathom the thought of living without her.

The morning after Kali arrived – the Sunday of Memorial Weekend – I sat in the yard watching Kali explore.  It was a glorious warm morning with the yard in full bloom displaying the fruits of my earl Spring gardening efforts.  This weekend and the following days and weeks were reserved for Kali several weeks in advance so that we could be close at hand to help her with adjusting to her new life in America.  The adjustment period was pretty much a non-event.  By the end of the second day she was eating side-by-side with her lil’ brother Smokey (the 10 pound Maltese/Yorky mix), sleeping through the night at the side of my bed, and had quickly adapted to the routine of the household.

Kali at home 1

The morning after arriving

So as I sat there watching Kali and surfing on my laptop I decided to start a blog.  A blog about this dog I had fallen in love with and, by all accounts so far, seemed to love me too.  It was striking how quickly Kali and I bonded.  From the first night home she wouldn’t leave my side and to this day we are rarely apart while in and around the house.  Now after two years I still endure the (good natured) teasing from family and friends about Kali and my dedication to one another.

So what do I call this blog I thought?  “Golden Kali” immediately came to mind and so it was.  What is this blog about?  What is the context I asked myself.  I looked over at Kali sporting her American flag scarf that was placed around her neck at SFO the night before and it was obvious: the blog is about Kali’s new life in America.

Since the day our Bailey passed away (now seven years ago) I had dreamed of the day another dog like him would join our family. Kali was and is that dream come true.

But now after two years we’re going to expand on the dream just a bit.  Because another dream of mine has been to live in the mountains….

Last Fall Holly and I began exploring the possibility of moving to the mountains.  In parallel I discussed that possibility with Holly and  suggested that the time was right to make this move.  As we always do, Holly and I got on the same page, explored the dream together, and considered what was best for our family.  We decided to “head for the hills”.  We purchased a home in Tuolumne, CA which is located in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.  Our property sits on five acres at an elevation of 3100 feet  covered with pines, cedar, and oak trees and a wonderful home that is best described as “rustic elegance”.  We’re thrilled to be making this move into the next phase of our life.

So here we go.  Over the next several weeks Holly, Kali, and I will begin transitioning to our new mountain home.

The process of buying and selling homes is cumbersome and takes time. And oh yeah, theres also the process of organizing and packing 20 plus years of Livermore.   I haven’t posted much during this period and it may be hit and miss for a while and until we are settled.  In the meantime Kali and I will keep you “posted” as much as possible with updates and pictures as we begin reporting on this new chapter about Kali’s new life in the mountains.   


Kali’s explores during her first trip to our new property