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:

Welcome to The Golden K




Since the week we brought Kali home a little over two years ago our walks along the creek trail and neighborhood was a special time for her and I.  Our bonding time.  Our golden  one on one time.  A time to talk about world events, to argue, and to simply appreciate one another’s company.

Since moving to the mountains the routine is different and I miss the walks.  I think Kali does too.

Don’t get me wrong.  We love our new home, the rural surroundings, the mountain air (for me) new smells (for Kali), the wildlife, and the slower pace of life.  But we miss our walks.

It’s not for lack of a trail or roads to walk that has kept us from our ritual.  Up here in the mountains the roads go on forever and sometimes there is nothing except trees and wildlife as far as the eye can see.  And dogs.  Off leash dogs.  Dogs protecting their land and owners.  This makes sense and is normal for a rural area like ours but it’s new ground for us “city folk”.

Back in the big city of Livemore (population 85,000 compared to Tuolumne population 1,780)  we almost never encountered an off leash dog.  So even with Kali’s anxiety with dogs I knew the situation would be under control between myself and the dog’s owner during our frequent encounters along the old creek trail.  In most cases Kali had become quite comfortable and uninterested as we passed other dogs walking as we passed without incident or a woof.

As things began settling down after our move I decided it was time to get back to our daily walks.  Kali and I headed off our property to a road that goes pretty much straight up hill.  OK, that’s good exercise for both of us I thought.  “Let’s go Kali”, and off we went.  When we got to the top of the hill I looked back and there was a big dog (who I had shoo’d off  our property a couple of times and he had run off timidly).   He or she was sitting at the bend watching us from about a city block away.  I watched the dog and he watched us.  Kali sniffed and smelled enjoying herself.  I waited to see if he would follow us. He didn’t.   This big black spotted dog just sat there and watched us as I contemplated what would happen when we headed back and had an encounter.  Would he sniff Kali hello?  Would Kali get anxious and bark or lunge?  Kali and I walked on and the dog sat watching us walk away.

We went farther up another steep road enjoying the scenery looking forward to the walk back home which would be presumably all down hill.  We hadn’t gone very far but for our first exploration it was good enough and we would be able to find our way back home without having to call Holly for a search and rescue.

As we turned a bend there was that dog still sitting and waiting for us.  Kali was oblivious but I was concerned about an encounter where even if the this dog was friendly he might react if Kali barked (which was highly likely given her new surroundings).  But this time when the dog saw Kali walk in his direction he ran off timidly as he done when I shoo’d him from our property.  Kali and I walked on down the hill and within another minute or two I heard barking come from the front of a house set back from the road.  This time the dog ran out towards us.  I kept walking and braced myself for an encounter.  The dog stopped short of the road, barked a few more times, and watched us move along.  I guess he or she had done their job protecting their pack and making sure no intruders stepped onto the property.   It was interesting that Kali was not fazed by the dog’s barking; in fact I don’t think she noticed because she was too interested in all the new smells around her.

So us city folk will have to adjust to the fact that most of the dogs in this area are free to roam on their properties without the oversight of their owners.  In fact Kali does too so what am I worrying about.  While Kali doesn’t wonder our 5 acres alone I have given her the freedom to be off leash when I’m out and about tending to outside household business.  We’re far off the road and Kali tends to stay close to me and around the house which gives me confidence that she is learning her limits and is uninterested in exploring beyond her safe zone.  Our backyard has expanded immensely and Kali has for the most part complied with the limits I’ve set for her and enjoys wondering within my sight and following me around.  So I guess were not much different than the dogs and owners.

I’ve never seen a dog on the main road that turns onto our little road so its seems these dogs know their boundaries, are certainly not strays, and are just used to living in the mountains where they can enjoy more freedom.  And because their dogs I’m sure most if not all are just as loving and friendly as Kali.   Maybe Kali and can bake some biscuits and take them to the “neighborhood” dogs, introduce ourselves, and put dad’s concerns to rest.



That was one steep hill! Hey who’s that dog way back there watching us?

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