Monday, October 29, 2012

From Lake Como into Switzerland - Part One

It is possible to hike from the shores of Lake Como over the mountains all the way into Switzerland! Dad did that on a gorgeous Sunday in late February. After traveling to Como by train, he continued by boat on to the coastal hamlet of Moltrasio.

I was back in Idaho with Mom, but I learned about Dad's plan thanks to a doggy-gram sent by Pirillo, who was hanging out in front of a cafe in Moltrasio when Dad walked by.

From Moltrasio, a well-maintained mule track winds its way up the mountainside, providing the only transportation link to a few car-free hamlets. One such hamlet is Monti di Liscione, where Scooby Doo's family owns property they enjoy hiking up to almost every weekend.

Sally, instead, was on her way down with her dad, who was hauling firewood down the hill.

Across the lake, Torno and Montepiatto reminded my dad of a very special hike that he loves to do with Mom from Torno to Montepiatto and on to Brunate.

Not everyone chooses to walk. You can't drive a car up the mule track, but you can drive other things, like this oversized ATV.

There are also people who ride dirt bikes up the mule track. Luckily, you can hear them well in advance. Kester recommends you get the heck out of the way when you hear a dirt bike.

All things considered, Kester thinks Monti di Liscione is a great place to be a fufu dog.

The trail eventually leads to Rifugio Murelli, a former Italian border patrol station.

Stay tuned for Part Two!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jet-Lagged Dachshund

Oh, jet lag.

I wake at 3am in Switzerland, which is 6pm in Idaho. Mom is awake. I wake at 1pm in Switzerland, which is 4am in Idaho. Mom is asleep. To be sure, she suffers from jet lag more than I do.

Still, I suffer: I always think it's breakfast time when it's dinner time and dinner time when it's breakfast time. It's snack time all the time. Mom says, "That's not a jet lag problem, my squiggly wiggly druid."

Oh, jet lag.

Because the time is essentially flipped with a nine-hour difference, when my body thinks it should be light, it's dark, and when my body thinks is should be dark, it's light.

Oh, the problems of little dogs.

But I'm not complaining! I'm not barking! During commute times--our commute between Idaho and Switzerland--when jet lag is ruff, I manage. I burrow. I nap. I dream.

My secret skill?

I pretend I'm a dachshund druid with special powers to resist jet lag.

I love to cuddle, so I cuddle up to poor Mom. Since she works online, she just works when she wakes. In the middle of the night, or was it day?, she watched BBC's streaming video of the second U.S. Presidential debate. Mom says jet lag is cute on a low-down dog. She says it's not cute on a high-up human.

Do you think I should teach Mom how to pretend she's a dachshund druid with special powers to embrace jet lag?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Doggy Signage / Segnaletica per Cani

Near the Herman Hesse Footpath in Montagnola, Switzerland 
[Fur Note: I am obeying the sign; my leash is on!]

Monday, October 15, 2012

How to make room on a crowded train

Mom and I made it back to Switzerland and are now reunited with Dachshund Daddy.

It took 24 hours door to door via Spokane, Minneapolis, and Amsterdam. Dachshund Daddy picked us up at the Zurich Airport and took us home on a spiffy Swiss train.

As usual, I traveled in my airline-approved transcontinental home. It's very comfy, but it doesn't prevent jet lag.

I love Dachshund Daddy because he lets me lick his face, especially on Swiss trains. As soon as I start, some people always move away, and we end up with more room to ourselves. Mom is generally too embarrassed to take photos, and this time was no exception.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Lance Olsen!

Dear Lance Olsen,

Happy birthday from your fans!

We love your books!

Mom uses "Architectures of Possibility" to teach. And you know her favorite novel by you is "anxious pleasures," but it's also hard, and not fair, to pick a favorite among so many wotten waven books you've written.

"Calendar of Regrets" and "Head in Flames" are missing from the bookshelf. But Mom's review of "Head in Flames" in "The Brooklyn Rail" can be read here. And our birthday wishes to you last year, when we just started the blog, can be read here. (So many links, so little time.)

Maybe the blog birthday bash should become a tradition?!


P.s. Hi Remedios-the-Beauty and Andi!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Switzerland Here We Come!

Mom's travel is all wrapped up; she had a super time giving readings and speaking to high school classes and college courses in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The students were inspiring. And earlier in September, she had a swell time at the Equality State Book Festival in Casper, Wyoming.

Grandpa did a wonderful job of caring for me. Thank you, Grandpa.

I've hugged and humped Truffle. We've walked the land. And now off we go to Switzerland. Cows: get ready to moo!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Leadbetter Point

Located at the north end of the Long Beach peninsula in southwestern Washington, Leadbetter Point State Park is a great place to walk along the Pacific Ocean.

There are miles and miles of unspoiled coastline..

and roaring waves to bark at.

Though the state park signs invite you to share the beach, the beach is roughly 1.5 miles from the parking lot and most human visitors remain within 150 yards of the parking lot.

Canine visitors, however, welcome the walkie, especially when it's muddy. Here are my friends Jen and Barry with their wotten waven doggy packs!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Do you have a 401(k-9)?

As most of you probably know, Switzerland offers a type of retirement savings account known as 401(k-9). It essentially has the same benefits as an American 401(k), but it's designed for dogs.

At age 12, Milo is enjoying his retirement in Delémont, Western Switzerland. During his career as an international doggy fashion model, his 401(k-9) allowed Milo to build a solid financial future, especially because his various employers always matched his 401(k-9) contributions.

In spite of his glamorous life, Milo always made a point of paying his credit card bills on time. Milo agrees with Albert Einstein: "Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe. Make sure it works for you and not against you."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More on Swiss Signage

Being a moron is no excuse for getting lost in Switzerland.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dangerous Doggies

On a recent bike tour in the Jura region of western Switzerland, Dachshund Daddy came across this hilarious doggy sign outside of the town of Réclère:

According to the sign, the resident dog has claimed the lives of 13 mailmen, 7 burglars, 17 car tires, and 11 cats. Dachshund Daddy, however, reports that there were no dogs within sight.

Just across the border, in the French town of Abbévillers, Dachshund Daddy also saw this sign:

"I am on guard! Trespass at your own risk." Just as Dad was starting to smile and think this was just an empty threat, Rodolphe started barking away.

Rodolphe definitely takes his job seriously!

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