Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend Backpacking in Lake Chelan

For my very first Memorial Day weekend, my parents brought me to Lake Chelan, for a 3 day, 17.5 mile backpacking trip. Since I was still too young, they didn't let me carry my doggie backpack, but Mum says as soon as I am of the right size, she'll let me carry my own pack. Well, everyone had a pack, so why not me right? So Friday afternoon, Mum, Dad and me set off for our 4 hour car journey to Chelan. We joined Dad's colleague Lisa, her husband Todd and their son Zach and our first night was car camping in the 25 mile State park in Chelan. We set up our tent, and my parents got us some firewood to start the camp fire. The weather was awfully cold and wet, and boy, I was hoping the drizzle would stop, otherwise our weekend would be quite awful, to say the least.
Sitting at the nice warm campfire
Location: LakeShore Trail, Lake Chelan, WA
Distance: 17.5 mile
Time Needed: 3 days
Elevation Gain: abt 3500 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Camping Food for a RawFed Dog
Friday Dinner: Packed frozen Raw Meaty Bone Meal (cooler box in car)
Saturday Breakfast: Packed frozen Raw Meaty Bone Meal (cooler box in car)
Saturday Dinner: 1 packet of Vacuum sealed frozen raw chicken pieces
Sunday Breakfast: 1 packet of Vacuum sealed frozen raw chicken pieces
Sunday Dinner: 2 packets of Vacuum sealed frozen raw chicken pieces
Monday Breakfast: 2 Freeze Dried Beef patties, 4 large pieces of Buffalo jerky
Monday Dinner: Half a chicken (at home finally)
The Lady of the Lake II took us from Fields Point Landing to Prince Creek via a 2 hour journey by boat. It was my very first boat ride, and I fared really well.
Resting on the Trail
We arrived at our first campsite in Cascade Creek after 7 miles of hiking through coastal terrain, and passing several creeks and rushing streams. We had to climb and walk over some logs and bridges, and the Cascade Creek was the most challenging. The weather thus far was overcast and drizzling slightly, but my parents didn't seem to mind because the light sprinkle of rain was just what we needed to cool us off.

At the campsite, we met a grumpy couple that wanted to horde the entire campsite to themselves, including the table and communal fireplace. That wasn't alright by my folks, this isn't good trail and camping etiquette, but soon after we pitched our tents, they started packing up their stuff and left. We were so happy, Mum almost jumped for joy. We met some other really fine campers, and I met their dogs, Shadow, Molly and Marley (all Retrievers). Fortunately, I got along well with all of them, Marley was the other male, and being the elder male dog (3yo), I submitted to him and let him be the dog boss around camp. That meant that he was on duty to make sure there weren't any bad people or creatures coming around our camp. He barked at strange things. I sure felt safe with Marley around.

Dad getting dinner ready at our Cascade Creek Campsite

Mum started collecting firewood and logs, so I decided to help her out. I was quite good at carrying sticks around. This was really fun. We set up a nice cosy fire and the weather cleared up nicely, we even saw stars in the midnight blue skies.

The water in the lake was crystal blue and clear, it was very cold so I didn't swim, but I did dip my feet into the water and drank gulps of it. I loved to run along the shores and tread over the rocks.

Standing on a piece of large driftwood on the lake

By dusk, I got really curious about these large pieces of driftwood floating around in the lake. They moved very slowly, and I thought "What the??" I started growling and barking at it, but nothing happened. Mum didn't fuss either, so I lost interest and just went about enjoying camplife.

The views on the lakeshore trail make the trekking worth it. We hiked on the Eastern shore of the lake, overlooking craggy peaks and meadows on the western shore, on the other side of the lake. Day two was another 7 miles to Flick Creek campsite. This time, we hiked through some meadows and forest terrain, as well as climbing over several switchbacks, which were terribly tiring.

With mum and Zach. I'm eyeing Zach's plastic bag of trail mix, hoping he'd give me some, but Mum said, none for Kimi. I was supposed to wait for my own supply of treats.

Although there was a warning given that there were rattlesnakes on the trail, there were many many groups of people hiking during this weekend. So I think the snakes were all scared off by the hikers' footsteps and noisy chattering. The good thing about this is I get to hike offleash. On the first day, Mum put me on leash, to hike right behind her, so that I got into the rythm and also understood that she was Alpha, and she was the pace setter and I should follow her always. This kinda worked because I followed closely by her and never lagged behind or ran too far ahead. By the 2nd day, my parents felt that I was learning fast enough, to learn how to walk in a pack. I walked behind Mum (pack leader) and Dad walked behind me, to make sure I was ok and maintaining a steady pace.

We arrived at our 2nd campsite on Sunday evening after another 7 mile hike up and down the mountain side. Flick Creek was even more beautiful than Cascade Creek. It was slightly off the main trail and Mum was thankful she didn't have to hike too far to get to the campsite from the main trail. She was tired, and so was everyone. While the adults set up camp and prepared dinner, Zach and I chilled out playing with sticks at the deck.

Zach and me

Dad playing with me on the deck after a full day of hiking. He really is a great Daddy and pack leader, he's always so strong, calm and assertive. He never raises his voice, never reacts in an unbalanced way. Mum is the same, but dad is much stronger physically. So while Mum sits and gets trigger happy, Dad runs with me and plays.
You know when I am really tired, I just get so mellow and calm.
Pooped out on the rocks by the lakeshore, enjoying the breeze on my nose

Sitting in the evening sunlight at Flick Creek deck

Drinking lake water

With Mum at Flick Creek

Enjoing a moment with Mum by the lake

The view from our campsite

On Monday, the 3rd day, we hiked to our final destination - Stehekin. Stehekin was only 3.5 miles away so we leisurely trekked through forest trails after setting off at 10am from Flick Creek. Every now and then, the trail would bring us to outcrops and bluffs to allow us to soak in the views. It was truly rewarding to hike all that way, and the Lakeshore trail reminded us of it. Our ferry ride was at 2pm, and we were scheduled to sign in at 1.30pm. Mum and Dad were hiking toward a huge reward, Hamburgers. They had heard that they served the best Hamburgers and just wanted to treat themselves to delicious hamburgers and soda.

Pooped out Mum and me on the ferry ride home

By the time we drove home, it was 9pm. Mum gave me a shower and a quick dry and I fell into deep sleep. Everyone was tired but it was such a wonderful weekend. Today, my whole body aches and my muscles are sore. I know because I'm moving slowly and limping slightly because my muscles are so sore. Dad and Mum said its time for me to rest and recuperate over the next few days. No more playing and rough housing. Oh boy, I sure want to rest and do nothing else.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A New Fear of Plastic

Something happened to me the other day. Mum bought new phones for the house, and I was sitting right next to her, curious as usual, about what's happening. I poked my nose right where the action is, and then "Bam". She dropped these large transparent things called plastic, and they were quite stiff, so they made this loud noise when they fell onto the hardwood floors. I got a shock of my life, and scooted out of the study with my tail between my legs. "What was that?" Then mum laughed at me, and put the scary plastic in the centre of the room for me to figure out what was making the noise.
How can something that looks so plain and simple make such loud scary noises?
I take a closer look and a closer sniff. But Mum won't give up, she rattles the plastic right in front of my nose, as if to tease me to come nearer, she kept saying "this is a toy, my sayang boy", as if there was nothing to afraid of. She was almost nonchalent, how could she be so nonchalent about the scary noisy plastic?

After that, mum put the boxes in my living room, and ignored me, so that I could do my own exploring at my own pace and face my fears. As you can see, I am really trying to ignore the stuff, and make believe it isn't there. I don't want anything to do with plastic.
Mum, do I really need to face the plastic monster?

After a while, Mum quietly puts my favorite freesbie on the plastic, and then drops treats on the plastic too. I love treats so no way am I going to let some silly plastic get in my way of the delicious treats, so slowly, I crept up to the monster and stuck my nose around, stretching my tongue long so that I can reach the treats.

Before long, I was stepping all over the plastic casing and I was no longer afraid of the noise it made. I realized that every step I made, caused a sound, and it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. It was similar to the time when I was scared and unsure about the balloons, Mum made it into a game, and then I started playing, and ended up destroying all the balloons. What's there to be scared of? I'm not a pussy cat.
Chilling out after playing with the noisy plastic monster.

My Eating Schedule

Mum is a very smart woman. She thought about it for a while, and decided to clear up any misunderstanding about how I eat Raw Meaty Bones. When she mentioned that I eat 70% meat, and 10% bones, etc, it doesn't apply for each meal, it is actually for the month, or in general.
Well you see, for Raw food, there is no need to worry about balancing all the ingredients in a meal. For eg, I eat only chicken for a whole week at every meal, and then switch to beef for another whole week or whatever is handy. Mum doesn't worry "oh, I must measure the amount to be 70% chicken, 10% organs, 10% carrots." No, she doesn't do that. She takes out the packet of chicken from the fridge, and then cuts it up into pieces, and the pieces go straight into my mouth for crunching.
I don't even wait for the packet of meat to get to room temperature. I just eat right out from the fridge, cold. The type of food I eat is not fixed, especially not per meal. For eg, next week, when mum cooks something and have spare carrots or brocoli, I get some, but nothing is ever pre-arranged. This is what she means by 70% this, 10% that... and so forth. The percentages are in terms of overall month percentage. Not per meal. If it was per meal, it would be too troublesome to feed me. I hardly ever eats veggies, in the wild, (coyotes don't eat corn or carrots) most of the time I am fed only raw meaty bones. When mum and dad eat fruits, they share some with me, but that's maybe once or twice per week.

Also, the best part about how I am fed is best suited for busy people like my parents. I am not fed at fixed times or fixed intervals. Ever since I was about 12 weeks old, I've been fed at irregular hours, and never the same amounts at each meal. For eg, today brunch is at 11am, dinner at 5pm, tomorrow lunch is at 2pm, and dinner at 8pm. It depends on what we're doing, and whether we are at home. Mum chooses to vary my feeding times so that I don't get the habit of expecting meals at a specific time. This is very useful because we're very busy and we do so many things and have so many plans.

Remember that mother nature is very forgiving. Think about it this way, even humans do not eat balanced meals at every meal. How many would count how much carbs or protein or veggies are included at every meal? the nutrients we take in is spread over the weeks and months, depending on what we eat, and our bodies adjust to that. So, now you know, I don't eat a "balanced" meal every day, I only get one type of meat per day and sometimes even per week, and I'm thriving.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My Chillout Day at Aunty Alice's home

While my parents were out watching and grooving to the beats of the Black Eyed Peas in concert, I was hanging out with my buddy Alice the Queen Airedale and Aunty Lydia at their Seattle home. I love visiting Alice, because this means I get to romp and explore in her big back yard. Her human mum, Aunty Lydia keeps it well maintained for our romping pleasure, and there are toys everywhere.
Here are my pictures for the day I spent at their house.

Getting a lesson from Alice on how to catch mice

Open the gate, we want to catch mice

Did someone call my name?

Can we have some treats please?

That's a big ball, don't think I can fit it into my mouth

Not fair, Alice's bone is bigger than mine. I want that one.