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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Winter Dance

I thought we were getting a Golden Retriever but we got a bucking bronco, a race horse, and at times a bull in a china shop.  At least that’s how it’s seemed the past several days.  Kloe is the bull and the rest of us and the house is the china shop….

A recent series of much needed storms has grounded “Air Kloe”.  If we could somehow harness and store (externally) her unused energy it could potentially serve two good purposes.  First, we could sell the stored energy to power companies and make a few bucks while the energy was put to good use running power tools in a factory or local lumber mill.  It would probably last them weeks.  And two, and even more important, the energy would not be in her body (hence the reference to external storage) and our world would a much safer and saner place to ride out these storms.

Golden Kali’s last post was called Rain Delay.  And the rains have continued to delay and preclude Kloe from spending any significant time outside.  The Golden K has a lot of places for Kali and Kloe to roam and explore.  There are a series of gates, chain fences, and farm fences that connect our wrap around deck to several large areas that the girls can roam and run in.  Well Kloe can roam and run, Kali mostly just roams for a few minutes and then quickly lies down and enjoys the scenery.  The rain makes these areas, except for the deck that just gets icy, mud bowls.  We’ve learned a lot of things this first year at the Golden K and one of them is that we need better drainage throughout the areas the girls have access to.  There is definitely a Spring project or two having to do with grates, drains, and pipes in there somewhere…

Although Kloe is impervious to rain the house is not impervious to mud.

A decision to allow Succumbing to Kloe’s pretty brown eyes and relentless pleas to allow her outside in the wet and mud is usually followed by 30 or 45 minutes of getting her cleaned up and house worthy.  We’ll try to work in walks when it’s not raining too hard but this past series of storms has been very wet and walks have been few during the past week or so.

The girls have always had unlimmited in and out privileges so Kloe is very used to going out for a spell, coming in to see what’s up inside, and then asking to go back outside again.  She’ll do this several times throughout the day but when it’s wet and muddy, depending on what we’re doing at the time, it may not be practical for Holly or I to sign up for the clean up rotations.  We were talking about this the other day and were saying to each other that other dogs spend the day outside rain or shine and the owners are ok with.  Why aren’t we ok with it?  This in itself doesn’t make us good dog owners or make them bad dog owners.  Like us they love their pups.  In fact those dogs may be happier than Kloe (or our perception of her happiness?)…

But that’s not how we roll at the Golden K and that’s not the type of relationship we want to have with our pups.  They sleep next to us at night, lie under the table when we eat dinner, wrestle at our feet when we watch TV, and are lavished with treats (healthy treats of course!) throughout the day.

It finally stopped raining and things are drying out.  Kloe was able to spend significant time outside yesterday and will again today and tomorrow.  Clean up rotations will be much shorter and “the bull” will be happier outside the china shop where she can burn off some energy, chase a ball, do a little “Tazing”, and be able to take some long power naps when the energy is finally spent.

But alas, the rains will back again by Thursday and apparently in full force.  China will need to be protected in the shop and clean up rotations will be longer. Our 70 pound puppy bull will stare out the window, look at us with pleading eyes, and of course we’ll relent and let her out for a short while.

Rain, pleading stares, relent, clean up, and repeat.  This is the Winter dance we do at The Golden K.  We’re’OK with it.

Holly, the puppy bull, and the stare

OK with it.

Rain Delay

A series of storms over the next several days should deliver 7 to 10 inches of rain to the Sierra Nevada Foothills.  Great for combating the last several years of drought but not so great for one “little” 70 pound puppy named Kloe.

If Kali and Kloe were human children Kali would be the child who was content to stay indoors and read on her bed all day.  Kloe would be the hyper-active kid who had to be outside riding bikes, playing sports, or climbing trees.  The extra wet weather has made outdoors off limits except for taking care of “business” a few times a day.   This has been just fine for Kali.  For Kloe, not so much.

First thing in the morning after breakfast Kloe looks at the door and then looks back at me as if to say, “Go ahead.  Open it – I don’t mind the rain.  In fact I love the rain because it makes the dirt turn into mud and you know how much I love the mud!”  She eventually gives up and just lies in front of the windows facing the back yard and sulks.  Today, to add insult to injury, I spent much of the morning shoring up drains and doing various chores outside in the rain.  I see Kloe through window looking me and I’m sure she is thinking, “What’s up with that?  Dad gets to play in the rain and mud and I don’t?  Not fair!”

This afternoon Holly and I drove into town to run a few errands and spent about 50 dollars on new dog toys.  Yes they are spoiled but this is another form of “rainy day recess” to keep Kloe occupied and so that she can chew off a little energy.  Kali is content to read sleep but Kloe does a pretty good job of getting Kali to engage in tug-o-war and wrestling when new toys are brought out.  This is good for Kali otherwise she’d read the entire collection of Harry Potter in a day or two before coming up for air.

As the afternoon turns to evening Kali sleeps out of harms Kloe’s way and Kloe for the moment is content being inside.  But this rain delay may be more than Kloe can tolerate and at some point I suspect we will let her out to belly flop in the rain and mud.

Thank goodness we have an outdoor tub.

The Outdoor Tub (earlier this year)

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Hunkering Down

With the below freezing temperatures this past week it’s been a good time to hunker down by the fire and get cozy.  This is great for Kali because besides eating hunkering down is pretty much her favorite thing to do so long as it’s at my feet without her sister Kloe chewing on her or sticking a toy in her face trying to initiate a game of tug-o-war.

We’ve had a good drenching of rain the past few days, which of course is very welcome given the drought conditions the past several years.  We’re off to a good year of rainfall so far so keep it coming Mother Nature!

With the cold and wet I’m not outside very much but when I am I look up at the tree tops and they seem very happy, especially the 80 foot pines.  Kloe not so much!   She stares out the window and sees her normal playground of dirt, trees, and sticks turn into an even more fascinating wonderland of puddles and mud which she would love to be rolling and sliding in.  Kloe loves water and mud as much as Kali loves food.  As much as we’d love to let her out, and as hilarious as it would be to see her “Tazzing” * in the mud, she’d end up a 65 pound ball of red mud and it would take an hour get her clean.

*  Tazzing (for the Loony Toons Tasmanian Devil) is what we call it when Kloe does short sprints,  jumps and circles with no specific direction seemingly chasing imaginary squirrels, ghosts, or perhaps running away from these same imaginary playmates.   

Kloe’s playground during the storm

Fortunately we have a gated area underneath the deck that has concrete and rocks and is mostly dry during storms.  Although it’s not big enough for any Tazzing it’s a convenient place to let the girls out to do their business without having them come back wet and muddy.

The rain has stopped today and although the skies will be dry for a couple of days it takes many days for the ground to dry and the wet clay turn back to dirt.  Long walks only do so much to work off Kloe’s endless supply of energy so at some point today or tomorrow we’ll have to let her out to do some Tazzing.  She’d love to have Kloe join the wet and muddy craziness but Kali moves at a different speed than Kloe.  Kali is the rest of the world while Kloe is Neo from The Matrix.

But even Kloe, at the end of the day (literally), can hunker down with the best of us.   These new beds we got the girls and their makeshift camp shirt blankets is a great way to hunker down for a long winters night.

 

 

 

Rainy Day Recess and Bully Sticks

 

Holly is a pre-school teacher.  When it rains the kids can’t go outside for recess.   On those days she has to conduct “Rainy Day Recess” inside the classroom.   Miss Holly likes the rain so long as it is not on the days she works and during the hour that recess takes place.  I kid her with a play on words from the 1971 hit by The Carpenter’s, “Rainy Days and Mondays”.  I tell her that rainy days and recess always get her down. Miss Holly doesn’t think this is funny.

Kali however loves Rainy Day Recess.  On one hand Rainy Day Recess for Kali usually means no walk. My choice not hers.   On the other hand RDR usually means getting a Bully Stick. Something that keeps her occupied and happy for a long time.  It’s similar to putting on a video for my kids when they were toddlers and couldn’t go outside because of rain or some other reason.

My kids loved videos.  Remember videos?  Those big clunky things that were never rewound when you took them out of the Blockbuster case.  And the video players that were about as big as a microwave when they first went on the market.  Weren’t those cool!  How about 8 tracks?  Anyone remember them?  Sorry.  I digressed into nostalgia land when this post was supposed to be about Rainy Day Recess and Bully Sticks…

Yesterday Kali and I went to the pet store to stock up on various items. One of them was Bully Sticks.  She picked out three very nice looking sticks about 12 inches long and about an inch thick.  This size is perfect for Kali because she can’t just gobble them down like smaller chew toys.  She’ll work on one for as long as I allow her to methodically tearing off small pieces until the 12 inches becomes 11, and then 9 or 10, and then I usually stop her because too much of a good thing is not good.  Except for wine…

So this morning – even though it was not raining yet – I declared Rainy Day Recess.    I really felt like futzing in my office most of the morning so I made the declaration.  Holly was at Yoga and Kali was sleeping so this declaration was mostly in my mind.  And in this pee brain of a mind that I have there was a royal messenger that appeared in a uniform that would make Liberace blush with an open scroll in hand.  He hollered for all present in the town square to hear, “By a proclamation from the Gods themselves, today shall be a Rainy Day Recess without walks but with a full compliment of Bully Sticks.”  From the back of the crowd I see a small Oliver Twist looking tyke put up his hand and ask if he can watch a video instead.  Mr. Bumble appears and grabs the boy.  But wait, I digress again…

When Kali has a Bully Stick she looks at me with gratitude in her eyes. As she’s chewing if I call her she’ll look up with her big brown eyes and seem to say, “I love you so much; almost as much as this bully stick.  And by the way rainy days and recess never gets me down.  Can I go on chewing now?”

And so it was this morning. This Sunday morning with Rainy Day Recess and bully sticks.

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“BY PROCLAMATION TODAY SHALL BE A RAINY DAY RECESS”

 

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Got a light?  Just kidding – it’s a Bully Stick!

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Even Smokey enjoys a Rainy Day Recess one in a while

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“Hey Dad, you know what would be real cool?  If you put on a video of All Dogs Go To Heaven and I could watch it while I chew on this Bully Stick”