Keeper is getting good at her tricks. She has the basics down: Sit, Down, Spin, Spin the other way, Give paw, Give other paw. She also has “Go get it” and “Bring it back”. She’s getting good at catching the frisbee and prefers it over the ball most times. Jack likes to stand behind me and do all the tricks at the same time as I’m training Keeper, like “Oh, I know this!”. He’s learned if he does them he gets a treat or ball toss too. Smart little dudes.
It’s nice to have our evenings back. I’m looking forward to walks at night with the pups and strolling down to the old school theater and patch of restaurants a few streets over with Trey. I’m a spring/summer person through and through. I appreciate snow and cold weather, but prefer warmth and sun over the cold any day. When I was choosing where to go to grad school, I chose sunny San Diego because of the heat, and when I was deciding which animal to study, I chose rare beaked whales in a remote part of the Caribbean because of the turquoise blue waters (well, and these crazy critters). My grandmother used to say it was the mediterranean blood in me, but whatever it is, the sun makes me feel just a little more alive.
So, yesterday we took advantage of a short work day and extra hour of sunlight and took the pups to the park. Keeper is 13 weeks now and huge. She is sweet as can be. Her favorite things right now are Jack, chasing Mila (our cat), skateboards, and people. This week she mastered “give paw…other paw”. Little girl was so tired after chasing Jack at the park. We dropped her off at home and went and got Nepalese food, and when we got back she was still sleeping. Puppies are basically the cutest things ever.
John Steinbeck had Charley. Alfred Hitchcock had a Terrier named Sarah. James Dean had his beloved border collie and Audrey Hepburn had a york terrier named Mr. Famous. Charles Dickens had a shepherd mix named Turk. Johnny Cash had a wirehound named Sandy and Billie Holiday had a pit bull named Mister. David Bowie had a dachshund named Doxie. Norman Rockwell brought his dog to work with him every single day and Pablo Picasso’s dog ‘Lump’ appeared in 54 of his works. Some of the greatest minds of our time have accredited their dogs as not only being their best friends, but biggest muses.
And they weren’t the only ones. Dogs and humans have had a long history together. From what we know, early dogs (wolves) likely began approaching human camps to scavenge on food scraps the humans had discarded. And early humans recognized it would be beneficial to have the dogs around to guard the camps and help them hunt. From there, a mutually beneficial relationship was formed and over the course of thousands of years, the wild wolves that once approached human camps hoping to score a free meal became the domesticated version of the dogs we know and love today (that’s really oversimplifying, but you get the jist). Dogs now play an integral part in the culture and lives of humans around the world. Their intelligence and ability to adapt to the needs of the people they live with make them the perfect workers, guardians, companions and more.
The other day when I was out with my dog, Jack, someone said something to me that made me think. If you have a dog, you’ve likely heard it before too. A young guy bent down to pet Jack and Jack started licking his hand excitedly. “Sorry! He’s friendly” I said, almost involuntarily at this point. “No worries”, he responded back to me, “I’m a dog person”. My encounter with the guy got me thinking. What does it really mean to be a dog person? Is there anything all dog people have in common besides a love for dogs? What does a dog person look like? To get a better sense of this, I’ll be profiling people I meet with their dogs and posting their photos and answers to a few questions here. They may be people I encounter on the street, or someone I come across on a road trip, they could be a fellow blogger or someone I see on Instagram, or even people we meet during our travels to other countries.
I have some great people lined up and I can’t wait to share their stories!
(Psst: for more about paintings like the Norman Rockwell one up there (and other artists), check out Artsy’s Normal Rockwell page covering his life and works. Pretty neat!)
- A place to hang yo’ hat and bandana
- Big enough to jump on the couch now
- 11 weeks mark
- Feelin’ clay pots, wooden bowls and rocks lately
- I felt pretty after using this mask
- Bye-bye dry wintery skin (even in California)
- Lola, in ink
- Play fighting. All day, errday.
- Fav old school photo of Trey, taken by a friend when he was sixteen
- Shacka Brah! (a weird brain child drawing by Trey)
This is a video I put together from our trip to Pismo Beach a couple weeks ago. I thought I’d share it here. Here’s to it being Friday and hoping you all have a stellar weekend.
Keep is such a rad little pup. She’s 10 weeks and learning fast. She’s got these floppy ears that are trying their best to stand up, but they end up leaning over to the left like there’s a strong wind coming from the east most of the time. She probably won’t be able to fit under the couch next week, which is sort of bittersweet because when we first brought her home she was scared and found shelter under there. Now she likes to pop out from under the couch and sneak attack Jack for fun. They play all day, it’s the best thing. To think I was ever afraid of introducing another dog into Jack’s life! She knows how to sit, give paw, lay down, and spin on command. We’re working on roll over. I’ll post a video of that soon. She’s house trained and likes to play fetch. Border collies and herding dogs in general (Jack is one too) are so impressive. They are so loyal and smart. It’s really fun having her.
Also, Trey and I got a kick out of the last photo…look at that glamour shot, with her little Cindy Crawford beauty spot on her face. Get ready Vogue…or should I say Dogue? Work it!
I’ve been called a tomboy for most of my life. I grew up with an older brother, loved exploring the woods behind my house and was always relatively athletic. In college, I lived with two guys and found myself on the porch drinking beer with guys while they worked on their bikes most nights. Then I became a biologist in a predominately male field. I used to loathe the word “tomboy”. I thought it was an unfair classification of females who happened to like things our society had classified as being “boyish”. Why did driving a manual vehicle and liking the outdoors have to be considered “boy-like” instead of just a girl’s personal preference? Why did the word boy even have to be involved? I also wasn’t a fan of being seen only as a guy’s girl when I was most definitely a girl’s girl too. But, lately I’ve come around to the word, seeing it used more and more as a term to describe a certain style that celebrates independent females who blur the lines between traditional masculine and feminine styles. Women who rebel against the norm and embrace the general badassery that comes along with it. I like having a style that reflects that part of my personality. Lately I’ve been inspired by the tomboy aesthetic, especially the late sixties/early seventies era styles with the classic vintage shirts, a good pair of blue jeans and plain cotton tees with that perfectly worn-in look to them.
We drove down to Pismo Beach for the long weekend. Pismo is a cool spot about half way in between San Francisco and LA. You can drive out on the beach and camp, have fires, and play on the dunes. It was Keep’s first camping trip. When Jack was her age we took him to Lake Tahoe and it was a great experience, so we thought it was time we got her out and let her start experiencing our way of life outside of the house. I loved everything about this trip. The way we drove out on the beach and slept in the back of our old truck with the pups between us. How we stood side by side looking out at the setting sun while Keeper chewed on sand dollars on the beach. How the sky looked like it was on fire from the layers of red and pinks streaks. Waking up to the smell of salt water in our hair and dog breath in our faces. How we drove home up the 1 and stopped along the way to sit on the cliffs that fell into the sea below. The sounds of the elephant seals in the rookery. Looking over and seeing Jack’s head out of the back window, his face silhouetted by the sun shining on the Pacific. How Lola, our Land Cruiser, got a new fan belt and air compressor once we got back to the Bay. How it reminds me that we’ll be building fires on beaches and chasing horizons until the sun goes down on us for good.