Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Top of San Diego - Part One

Cowles Mountain is the highest point within the city limits of San Diego, California and the first place Dachshund Daddy visited after he landed. Here's the view from the top due southwest, with Lake Murray in the foreground and the mist-covered bay in the distance.

Ben, who frequently hikes up Cowles Mountain with his parents, loves the view from the summit, located 1593 feet or 486 meters above sea level.

The hike can be very hot unless you go first thing in the morning. Nick likes to bring plenty of water and carries it in his wotten waven yellow doggie pack.

There's a doggie bowl with water right at the top just in case someone needs an extra sip. While the fire road to the summit is called "Barker Way," all the dogs in this post used the hiking trail from Golfcrest Drive.

"I love hiking up Cowles in the morning," says Larry, "though it's definitely not the place to go for solitude." Indeed, Cowles mountain is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the US!

Stay tuned for Part Two, where you'll get to meet more fur-friends as well as another animal who doesn't make a very good hiking companion.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Nurse Tootsie

Mom recently had dental surgery, and I've been taking care of her.

Meet Nurse Tootsie in her Hug-A-Dog uniform.

Nurse Tootsie takes her job very seriously.

Nurse Tootsie is responsible for the supervision of Mom's meals.

It's a lot of work for Nurse Tootsie, but luckily Nurse Truffle is around to help.

Get well soon, Mom!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Dachshund Daddy was recently sighted at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in San Diego County. Roger and Gerald saw him ride his bike up the fire road to Cuyamaca Peak.

Sally confirmed the DD sighting in her doggygram earlier today.

DD sent me this photo of the view from nearby Stonewall Peak, which apparently is off limits to dogs.

I was upset to hear that. Mountain lions are allowed on those trails; how come dogs aren't? Any thoughts, dear readers?

And here's what Cuyamaca Rancho State Park looks like from the air -- DD took this photo on his flight out of San Diego.

Friday, March 22, 2013

DIY: Dog Fence

This post is underwritten by our partner Dog Fence DIY, the most affordable resource for wireless dog fencing.

Mom was contacted by Dog Fence DIY and asked if we might participate in a blog campaign for this neat company by sharing our thoughts about “How Your Dog Makes a Difference in Your Family.”

Since I’m a dog, I’m giving the blog over to Mom—just for today—so Mom can write about me.

Dear Tootsie,

Thanks for letting me take over your blog to tell you how you make a difference in our family. In the interest of transparency, for this post, we will receive a gift-card to Amazon from Gayla Baer, a media specialist, on behalf of her client Dog Fence DIY. Thank you, Gayla and Dog Fence DIY!

(Amazon has lots of doggy items, Tootsie; just let me know what you might enjoy.)

How do you—our miniature dachshund—make a difference in our family? Oh, let me count the ways! The difference you make in our lives is infinite; I’ll name a few.

1. Because you are down low you see things in a low-down way. You are our little reality check.

You are always able to change our perspective and our perspective is always changing when we bend far over to say hello. For example, the other day, you were burrowed under a blanket. I could not find you. You helped me get some exercise bending up and down and looking for your latest burrow.

But searching for your latest burrow is not the only exercise we get. Dachshund Daddy and I walk all the time because of you.

And exercise is the least of it, right? You with your little legs, which carry you far; Dachshund Daddy and I with our big legs that can only try to keep up with you...

2. Because you are funny, you make us laugh.

You are always able to waddle forward through life. No matter how high the couch or how high the bed or how high the aspiration, you always leap. No matter how unsuccessful, you always leap again. We’re forever catching you and stopping you before you jump … to keep your long back safe and our nerves intact. You're our little munchkin.

I’ve never known a dog who looked less dog but was more dog than you. Yes, you have a snout and paws and floppy ears and a tail but you’re something more than dog, too. You look very small when placed next to the big dog Truffle. It’s amazing you were shrink-wrapped from a big dog to live this life in a little dog body.

3. You make Dachshund Daddy’s heart explode with happiness.

4. You make Grandpa’s heart explode with happiness.

5. You make my heart explode with happiness.

We love you. We cannot imagine life before or after you. There is only now in Tootsie time.

Thank you,  Dog Fence DIY, for this opportunity to express our Tootsie love.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Avalanche Rescue Dog Training

Dachshund Daddy met a very special fur-friend.

Meet Myra, a 3 month old puppy who will soon enroll in avalanche rescue dog training. In a few weeks, Myra and her dad will start taking classes, for a total of 8 hours a week.

In November, they will have to spend a full month in the mountains of Engadine and train together every single day.

Myra can already find treats hidden by her dad under 5 feet of snow.

Last week, Myra's 5-year-old fur-brother lost his battle against bone cancer. Myra continues to look for him all over because his smell sticks to the snow. She keeps wondering where he's hiding.

He's not hiding, dear Myra. He's watching over you as he runs free across that great meadow in the sky.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ester is recovering!

Dear Hearts and Kindred Spirits,

My special collie cousin Ester is recovering! She's eating and drinking on her own, and she can get up on her hind legs and walk, though she still wobbles a bit.

She seems to be improving rapidly, and she's well enough to participate in Black and White Sunday.

Thanks so much for the Power of the Paw and for keeping Ester in your thoughts and prayers.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Power of the Paw for Sweet Ester

Dear Souls and Kindred Spirits,

My Collie cousin Ester is very sick and needs you to keep her in your thoughts.

Please send lots of healing vibes and magic juju her way so she can walk on the beach again soon.

Here we are on our Christmas day walkie. Ester has been having trouble walking for quite some time. She just turned 13, but she still has the heart of a puppy.

Ester, please get well soon.

Burrow: Part II of IV

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Barbapapas

Barbapapa is a pink pear-shaped creature who lives with his wife Barbamama, their seven children, and their dog Lolita. Originally from France, they're very popular in Switzerland, and here's a German language Barbapapa book by the title of "A Day with the Barbapapa Family".

Here's Barbapapa with his wife Barbamama. The scruffy black creature between Barbamama and Lolita is Barbabeau.

Born in Paris in 1970 from the imagination of Annette Tison and her American husband Talus Taylor, the Barbapapas owe their name to the French idiom for cotton candy, barbe à papa, literally daddy's beard. Here's Lolita with Barbabelle. On the left, you can see Barbalib in the water.

Finally, here's Lolita playing with Barbazoo. The blue creature is Barbabright.

To learn more about the Barbapapa family, check out their website!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fat Cat Initiative

Yesterday, Swiss voters chose to back tough curbs on unreasonable exec payouts. From now on, shareholders will have a veto right over salaries and bonuses at top Swiss companies. Dachshund Daddy asked Swiss dogs to give us more insight about what has been dubbed as the "fat cat initiative".

"We're sick of top execs getting a bonus both when they do well and when they screw up," explains Margaret.

Trimmis agrees with Margaret and the majority of Swiss voters. "Look at the big Swiss banks, like UBS and Credit Suisse. When their execs really mess up, like in 2008, the banks get bailed out by the Government, and the execs still get their crazy bonuses. It's time for common sense to prevail."

"We believe in capitalism and the free market and all that, but when the head honcho of a pharmaceutical company is offered over $75 million to step down and NOT work for the competition, how's that a free market?," FURther explains Gerald, formerly the CEO of a FURtune 500 company.

Dear Readers, what do YOU think?

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Leaves...a lot to the imagination.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

William Tell and Rossini

Inspired by yesterday's post about William Tell's Chapel, Grandpa wrote a new limerick:

Since long ago when I was weenie
I confused William Tell with Rossini
I felt sweet, swinging bliss
When I learned he was Swiss
And his dogs were all fans of Puccini.

Did you notice that the dog in the fresco is steering the boat?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Did William Tell rescue dogs?

On the shores of Lake Lucerne, just south of the village of Sisikon, lies a chapel dedicated to William Tell, Switzerland's quintessential folk hero.

The Chapel marks the spot where William Tell jumped off the boat of his captors as it was getting ravaged by a storm, as shown in one of the four frescos by the Swiss painter Ernst Stückelberg that are inside the Chapel.

I hope William also rescued the dog on the boat.

William's captors worked for Gessler, the Austrian overlord who had forced William Tell to hit an apple placed on the head of his own son with a single shot. After William's success, Gessler noticed a second arrow in William's hand. "You were supposed to hit the apple with a single arrow. Why did you need two arrows?", Gessler asked. "If I had killed my son, you would have been next", was William's honest reply.

Gessler got very upset, visibly riling up his dog.

Enraged by William's words, Gessler had him arrested and ordered his men to take him to his castle across the lake. As a massive storm broke out, the crew freaked out and unchained William so he could steer the boat to safety. That's how William managed to jump off the boat and, I hope, save the dog.

Note that the dog on the boat is different from the dog in the apple-shot scene.

Dachshund Daddy's travel note: the Tellskapelle, or Tell's Chapel, can be reached with a quick scamper from the Axenstrasse between Sisikon and Flüelen. You'll most likely use the Axenstrasse if you ever drive across Switzerland north to south. A much better way to visit the Chapel is to use the lakeside trail from the village of Sisikon. You can also take a ferry from Flüelen or Lucerne to the landing dock right by the Chapel...but check the weather forecast first and be sure no storms are expected.
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