Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dougie's Day Out

Are we having fun yet?

Dougal went to his monthly doxie Meet-up at Pine Lake dog park. There were about 40 dogs and owners there, but it wasn't as much fun as it usually is. Let me elaborate: there were new peeps there with new doxies. One man had two long-haired dachsies, very cute, and one of them very nasty. This dog felt it his right to bark and snap at all comers, including large dogs that didn't appreciate his "assertive" personality. My beef with this hot dog was that when Dougal approached to sniff and be sniffed, this little monster snapped at Dougal and nipped him in the face. Actually, Dougal handled himself with grace, and didn't freak out. The brain-dead owner just looked on benignly at his darling doggies. I was incensed, obviously. That incident was emblematic of the un-cool vibe of that particular meet-up. We didn't see any of our faves, like babies Max and Ogi. Still, there were other lovely specimens to look at. Here are some pictures from Dougal's day out.

Dougal makes a new friend

Dougal in profile

A pretty long-hair

Sniff and be sniffed

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Family Matters

Recently, I had the privilege to meet with my Rivero family to honor my father's sister, Anita Miller, who died after a very long and meaningful life. I was there with Pop, Elaine and John, and Pheme. It was such a pleasure to see all my cousins, young and not so young, who have had so many different life experiences, but who have in common with me our membership in the Rivero family. It was great to meet with the lovely and gracious Rockie, the warm and funny Andrea, and so many others. Pop is the last of his siblings still alive, and it was fun to see "Uncle Marky" being greeted by his many nieces and nephews. We're a pretty far flung group, with Jeanette,Julie and Martin holding down the fort for the family on the East Coast, and my sister JoAnn representing from the Northwest. I was impressed with the warmth and welcoming nature of the cousins, even though we don't get to see each other very often. It was a beautiful day in San Franciso, and my cousin Maria gets a big thank you for hosting the shindig at her sailing club. I'm sorry some faves like Auntie Dot, Dona and Linda couldn't attend, but I was thrilled to see my cousin Greg, whom I haven't seen since we were kids, catching lizards in the back yard. All in all, a lovely event, and I appreciated the opportunity to talk about our common memories of Grandma and Grandpa Rivero, the homestead in the Sunset, and all the aunts uncles and cousins. yes, family does matter.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

There are no bad dogs, only stupid owners or Dougal goes to the dog park

So, we went to the Dachshund meetup last Saturday. Overall, a fun event. There were tons of people and doxies there, the sun was shining and warm. The dark cloud was the numerous moronic dog owners with big pit bull type dogs, who were not under control and were allowed to run around off lead. No wonder Dougal is a neurotic mess. Actually, he wasn't involved in any of the dust ups, because he spent most of the time glued to my side. Still, he met a lovely black and tan mini male smooth named Giotto (his owner Christie is an artist). He and Giotto seemed of one mind about all the commotion, and stayed out of it.

Here is a sampling of the many dogs that showed up. Notice that Dougal is introducing himself to a large wire-haired dog named Fritz. Fritz was there with 5 other relatives who looked identical. The owners breed and show these hairy beauties. Fritz was a particularly mellow guy who was calm with the adorable wire puppy, Ogi (you'll see them below).

This blonde wire is named Hank. The first time we met Hank he was shoulders deep digging after a gopher at Chrissy Field.

This is Jane, the owner of the adorable Max, who is 5 months old. He is a really sweet, friendly little dog.

Look at that face! Cesar Millan feels sorry for dogs like Dougal who don't enjoy the society of other dogs. We're working on that.

Here is Dougal getting to know Giotto. They were quite simpatico.

This is Fritz interacting with the adorable Ogi. Ogi is about 4 months old, and so cute. He seems to have boundless energy, and loves everyone. He also seems to be fearless.

Here are Dougal and Fritz. This is how it is done in the dog world. Dougal needs to spend more time around dogs like Fritz and Giotto.

I can't wait until next month to see how Dougal's socialization continues to develop. After reading Cesar Millan, I realize I have an obligation to the poor little dog. I'm trying to help him be "balanced" as Cesar stresses. I guess I may be undermining my own efforts when I do things like I did yesterday: put Dougal on the treadmill for a half hour (it was raining outside). It took him a while to figure out that he had to keep moving, or he would choke to death. Liberal treats were administered, and seemed to go a long way to get Dougal stepping lively. On the other hand, it might just be easier to dry him off after walking in the rain.