Monday, September 24, 2012

Cima di Fojorina

In early March, while I was having some quiet time in Idaho with Truffle and Grandpa and Mom was giving readings from Body of a Dancer in Chicago, Dachshund Daddy (back in Switzerland) biked-and-hiked to a wotten waven mountain called Cima di Fojorina.

The trailhead is in Cimadera, the highest willage in the Lugano area. Free bicycle parking is available by the Swisscom cell tower.

Late that Saturday night, Truffle and I got a doggygram from Toby. Toby was on his morning walkies when he met Dad near the trailhead.

The hike is easy and scenic. The summit area has lots of fascinating rocky outcroppings.

It was very hazy and the view from the top wasn't great, but what makes this particular hike memorable is the higher-than-average number of doggy encounters. Here are the Fluffaroos!

And here is Macchia, who walks like a little black bear.

Macchia was hanging out with her fur-brother John.

And here is Alaska!

Alaska is a puppy and really wanted to play with Dad, as she wrote in the doggy-gram she sent me.

Unfortunately, early March days are short and Trusty Steed 2 had to get Dad home before dark.

On the way home, in the town of Signora, this lovely creature started barking like crazy at Dad. We're going to call her Ms. Barker!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cougar Alert

Here's a set of helpful tips on what to do if you meet a cougar, courtesy of the United States Furest Service (USFS).

Face the animal, stand upright. I can try to balance on my rear paws, but it's bad for my spine and I doubt it would impress the cougar.

I keep hearing that size doesn't matter, but I still think it may come in handy, especially with cougars. In fact, the USFS recommends that you do all you can to appear larger. I guess they didn't write this one with dachshunds in mind.

In any case, during a cougar attack, it is essential to keep your priorities straight. Pick up small children immediately. But pick up your fur-children first!

Most cougars will avoid a confrontation, but you may meet one cougar who doesn't like to follow mass trends. What can you do in that case? The USFS recommends that you fight back if it attacks you. I wonder whether getting hump hugged by a spayed dachshund would freak out a cougar.

Keep in mind that a cougar is basically a mean large cat who wants to play hide and seek with her own set of rules. Normally, you don't stand a chance, but if things do work out for you, please remember to pack it out!

Because at the end of the day, great outdoor manners are all that matters, as all cougars would agree.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Alpe Nimi

Nestled in the Alps of Southern Switzerland, Alpe Nimi operates as a rural dairy farm and provides food and basic mile-high accommodation to hikers.

Most notably, it is home to a multicultural ensemble of goats and pigs, who happily share their land with a horse and a donkey.

The goats were very excited to see Dachshund Daddy and his sweaty, salty backpack. Yummy!

Can you see the piggies milling about among the goats?

I hope I'll get to hike to Alpe Nimi with Dad at some point!

Dachshund Daddy's note: Alpe Nimi can be reached on foot from the towns of Gordevio and Maggia in the Maggia Valley. It takes 4-5 hours of hard work, but it's so worth it!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Halo, Purely for Pets Gift Package: Thank You!

Remember when our blog was a Finalist for Blog Paws 2012? Because of this, I won a gift pack from HALO, Purely for Pets. Wotten waven!

The box contained Spot's Stew dry kibble, treats, and canned soft stew. Halo's food is all natural, and it is yummy yummy yummy.

Truffle took all the canned food. He loves the canned Spot's Stew, and it smells great, too.

But I took my "Healthsome" treats to my transcontinental house. I don't want to share; move away from my treats!

Thank you HALO, Purely for Pets and thank you Caroline for sending our gift package! And thank you Blog Paws for the honor!

The same day, I received a snail mail card from my human cousin in New Zealand. I'm not sure if you can see it, but the doggie on the card is holding up the hoop, which the human is jumping through. Thank you, Brenda. I wish we lived closer to each other, because we have so much to share. I promise I'd share a HALO treat with you. I would. Really.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Equality State Book Festival

Dear Grandpa and Truffle,

Thank you for taking care of me while Mom gives a talk and a reading at the Equality State Book Festival in Casper, Wyoming. I wanted to go with her, but remember how I barked through the entire last reading? (Mom is really excited about the Festival and says "thank you, Holly & Laurie!")

Grandpa, as you know, Mom is of the nervous dachshund mommy variety, so she helped me prepare a reminder list for my care.

1. Please remember to shut all the doors to the house all the time.
  • I, Tootsie, do declare: you know this will help! If I go outside off leash, I follow my nose.
2. Please remember to keep the makeshift gate across the stairs to the loft. The stairs are really, really steep (um, those stairs look kind of grungy, Grandpa).

  • I, Tootsie, do declare: I don't want to fall down those stairs again and thump in a lump at the bottom. Here's a sign on the makeshift gate.

3. As you know, I'm on a strict Swiss-German diet. I receive just under 1/3 a cup of kibble in the morning and just under 1/3 a cup of kibble in the evening. With H2O. I also eat one fish oil in the morning and one fish oil in the evening.
  • I, Tootsie, do declare: You know I'll tell you otherwise!
4. Please feel free to give me lots of treats: carrots, green beans, and peeled sweet potatoes.
  • I, Tootsie, do declare: Yummy!
5. Please make sure I sleep on the floor mat with my brown-and-cream colored snuggle blankie. If you cannot resist my begging, please make sure you lift me up onto the bed. Do not let me jump off the bed!
  • I, Tootsie, do declare: It's too far for me to jump down from your bed. And, besides, Truffle sleeps there. I understand. (I don't. Mom says I have to write that I understand. I don't understand.)
6. Please keep me on leash at all times. I'm not supposed to go outside until I hear "okay." (See #1.)
  • I, Tootsie, do declare: Remember that time I followed my nose and Mom screamed like a crazy cougar woman and Dachshund Daddy ran up and down the hills and found me snuffling round?

7. Please be sure that Truffle eats all of his arthritis medicine in his mouth and that the pill doesn't fall on the floor as it would be an overdose for me to eat it.
  • I, Tootsie, do declare: Enough said. We all remember the Aleve fiasco. Thank you, Dr. Ward, for my blessed recovery. Like my friend Scrappy, I have become a dog-of-faith.
8. Truffle offered to take care of me, but would you help him out when I hump hug him too much? Truffle says he'll let you know by squeaking.
  • I, Tootsie, do declare: I love to air hump!

9. Thank you for taking care of me! I'll cuddle and snuggle and burrow and wag and walk, and I promise I won't put on my brakes on our walkies. (My Dachshund Delights Hug-a-Dog Harness is hanging by the back door.) I'm gonna hunt pack wats. I'm gonna hunt mice.

I love you, Grandpa. Love, Tootsie

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Giving Currency

Another postcard from Pog for Truffle and me!

Dear Tootsie and Truffle,

Check this out, Dog Lake! I telepogted myself over here after Dad refused to increase my allowance. I just spent the whole afternoon at the Alberta/British Columbia provincial border dressed as a cop, pulling people over and getting them to change their Canadian Dollars to British Pounds. It's British Columbia, right? I charged no commission fees, but applied a creative exchange rate of ten pence to a Loonie. I think I made enough money to buy enough ginger candy for the rest of 2012. The real cops did eventually show up, but I don't have a body in the human sense, so... no body of evidence!

Poggy wishes,

P.S.: Not having a body also comes in handy when the grizzly bears are looking for dinner :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In Fine Feather

Tootsie at the former Damon Point State Park
in Ocean Shores, Washington.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grandma's Moon Garden

Grandma's Moon Garden is a special place.

My human mom has really been missing her human mom, so she decided to spend the day working in the Moon Garden. Grandma (Mom's Mom) strategically designed the garden where the moonlight first glows on our Idaho pasture on her August birthday. But when Mom took me out to the Moon Garden during the recent Blue Moon, we couldn't see the moonlight shining on the rocks. There were too many weeds.

While working in the Moon Garden, Mom found a special guitar pick that her older brother used. She found a dream weaver. She found a little moon man and a bigger moon man. She thought about Neil Armstrong and his passing. She thought about her mom and her passing. She thought about how her mom used to say, "Oh, honey. Be easier on yourself. It's all just learning."

People who don't know say to move forward, or to move on, after the death of a loved one, but I don't think that is how it works. I think you walk with your loved one forever more. Every beloved pet that you've ever had is walking with you now. Every beloved person is there, too. It's just that now, instead of the being walking beside you, physically, the being walks beside you, spiritually. But it's even more than that. You contain those beloved beings who have gone before; each one lives within you. It's an honor. A responsibility. A comfort.

But sometimes it doesn't feel like that. Sometimes you just need to touch a rock that your mom touched. You need to touch and to water rocks that your mom placed in her Moon Garden.

While my mom weeded, I sat nearby. And then I started barking. Little yips. High yips. They weren't food yips or upset yips. I couldn't help myself. Mom said, "Oh, Tootsie! You don't let me get oh-so melancholy, do you?"

Mom took me inside the house, and I spent the rest of the afternoon slowly and steadily humping my fur brother Truffle.

I licked his ear and nibbled it all over. And then I air humped Truff some more.

My humpy business just made Truffle squeak, but I think he might have liked it when I licked his eyes and ears.

Mom says that Grandma would have loved me. I love her, too.

Snoopy's Dog Blog

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Locking Horns

Here's some mountaintop action captured by Dachshund Daddy. A word of caution: this video contains explicit footage and is intended for a mature doggy and kitty audience.

This footage was shot at the top of Monte Zucchero (literally, Sugar Mountain) in Southern Switzerland.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tim Guthrie's Wotten-Waven Great Art Giveaway

Mom has an artist friend named Tim Guthrie who has been giving away art, and our art has arrived. Wotten waven!

Mom was able to choose the piece she wanted (on Facebook), and then the artist Tim Guthrie mailed it to her. Earlier this summer, Tim also had an art gallery showing of all his wotten-waven giveaway art, and local Nebraska people were able to come and claim their art in person the next day.

Tim Guthrie estimates that he will give away over six hundred pieces of art by the end of this year.

Tim has a doggy named Gozer, which is beside the point, except that I really like that name so I wanted to mention it here. I think Gozer and I might be BFF if we were able to sniff each other where it matters.

So... do we take our art to Switzerland? Mom says, "Yes; definitely!" What do you think?

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