Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Very First Clamming

On Monday, the tide was extremely low for the month of April, and Rob decided it would be a good day for Mum and I to have our very first clamming experience.
We took a shovel, some small spades and a bucket, hoping that we'd get lucky on the beach at Penrose Pt. Normally the tide was high, and we couldn't walk out to sea, but since the tide was low, a long stretch of high sands and rocks were exposed and we practically walked on the seabed for at least 2 miles out.
It was mucky and it smelled like the ocean, and there were all kinds of things on the seabed. Lots of wormies, clammies, broken shells, shrimpies, fishies and even crabs. It was so interesting for me, because I was smelling all sorts of things for the first time in my life. I was set off leash, and at first I stayed close to Rob and Mum, but after a little bit, I explored on my own, while keeping an eye on the humans, to make sure I wasn't losing them.
Hi Mum, I'm really enjoying myself out on the smelly beach. Count your lucky stars, I'm not rolling in the seaweed or on the mucky worms.
Then shock of all shocks, I saw a crab hiding under some seaweed. I barked at it, sniffed at it, and before I could play with it, Mum got so happy, she took it and put it in the pail. She said it's for dinner. Crabs are Mum's favorite food.
Then I saw this huge bird, it was a stork or heron of some sorts. It was fishing too. Looks like the low tide provides food for humans and birds alike. I saw it grab a medium sized fish in its beak, and it was very happy with itself. I tried getting close to it, but it would fly away before I got close. I wanted to say hi to Mr Birdie.
Watching Rob dig holes looking for clams.

When the tide was low, the seaweed seems so plenty. Mum and I wade into the water to get water for the clams in our pail. I took the chance to get my feet wet and stinky.

It was a lovely day for clamming, lots of sunshine, and no rain. Ok, can we play ball now? Who's going to chuck it for me?
Following Rob while we search for clam spurts.
There seems to be a technique to their hunting for clams. Look for a water spurt, dig in the spot as fast as possible, collect clam in bucket. I'm normally good at digging, and this clamming thing should come naturally to me, but I suck at digging in this area. It was wet, mucky and rocky. Not too fun for me to dig.
Then we chanced upon a 2nd crab. I wasn't going to let this one get off so easy. I was very intrigued by this creature. Mum said I should look at it carefully and play with it. So I did. I got close and it stuck out both its claws and the battle between Airedale and crab began.
I sniffed at it, and it moved. It clicked around and waved the claws around trying to get my nose. I was careful not too get too close. I barked at it, and even pawed at it too.
It was fun. He was clawing, and I was pawing.
He got close enough to grab my beard, but I was quick in my withdrawal. Those claws were too big and clumsy. I was swift and moved too fast for it to grab my beard. This crab has real courage to fight me.
The crab that would soon be dinner, clawing at me. What a brave fight!
After Mum thought I had enough fun, she put the crab into the bucket and the humans seemed really happy with themselves. They found 8 horse clams, and 2 crabs for dinner. Mum said I wasn't going to get any seafood.
All in all, I'd say that the clamming experience was a huge success. The humans got some food, and I got to play with so many strange things. Wading around the shallow coast was very fun, and to soak myself in the stinky sea was the best perfume experience for me too.

I hope we get to go clamming again real soon. When will we go to the real ocean Mum? We could have lots of fun at the ocean.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ruffian's Official Show Photo

Here is Ruffian, my half brother, posing after his big win, Best of Winners at the Sacramento Specialty. Doesn't he look smashing?

Go Ruffian, we're all cheering for you, and can't wait for you to get your CH. We're all very proud of you.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gardening Veges

Being an Airedale means that I have to be involved in EVERY single thing that the humans in my pack are doing. So if they are out on the property planting in our veges for the year, I've got to stick my nose into every hole to make sure everything is right.
Rob took out the rotor tiller, and all the rakes, spades, dung, and tools, and again, it was such an awesome fun day for me, sticking my nose here, there, and everywhere. So many new sights and sounds, even though it was right here at home. The rotor tiller made a loud noise but I wasn't scared at all. I just stayed right next to it even when it was going.
I think Spring is finally here. It was sunny, warm, breezy and a perfect day to watch the humans slog it out, getting the earth ready for the seedlings. They had to toil the earth, weed the whole vege patch, and prepare the plots to put in the nice plants. They say that we're going to be eating them throughout this year.
Mum said I had to pose in the wheel barrow.... is this really necessary?
I just could not be kept away. I just had to be RIGHT there in the thick of it. Rob and Bruce kept saying I had to stay away from lying on the baby plants, and I did try to stay on the soil bits...I may have laid flat one basil plant...shhh
Bruce and Sarah were also busy helping to plant our food. Mum was also busy, but she also had to act as photographer, so she's hardly in any of the pictures. I had to make sure Sarah and Bruce were digging the holes right. It was quite amazing that I didn't feel compelled to dig any holes. I just left it to the humans to dig. They sometimes didn't do a good job, as I would have. But Mum and Rob didn't ask for my help, so I didn't offer to dig for them either. I could have done an excellent job, after all, I'm a terrier!!
Watching Rob dig a hole, mix in chicken dung, and plant in a pretty marigold.
Speaking about dung, in the middle of our field, Mum came across my own dung. She wanted to include this into my blog because this is good evidence of what happens to raw fed dogs' poop. It turns white, crumbly and powdery, and disintegrates with time, and Mum lets nature do the work. She hardly ever has to pick my poop up because it returns to dust.
Sarah and I both take turns, examining the rows we're digging.
After 4 and a half hours, the humans were still toiling and hard at work. Evening came upon us, but they were still slogging away. I was starting to get a bit drowsy.
So I laid my head down to rest for a little bit, and dreamy sleeps swept over me.
I didn't mind sleeping on the chicken poop mixed in with the earth, I loved the fragrance enveloping me. I made myself quite comfortable as you can see.
Hi Mum, I'm not scared of the noisy machine called the rotor tiller. Are you proud of me?
I took another nap right next to the noisy machine. But don't worry, it was turned off while I was napping, so nothing was disturbing me while I dreamed.
I had a great time hanging with my pack, trying to pretend I was busy. Living on acreage in the Northwest is great. I get to watch over my humans and every single seedling that went into the earth. Very soon, they'll grow big and tall, and we'll have food to eat. I'll have to patrol my veggie plots everyday, to make sure no critters and gophers eat our veggies.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Haight Ashbury (San Francisco)

My trip to California was capped off with a climatic visit to Haight Ashbury. The infamous land of beautiful gentle people, with flowers in their hair. Rob used to live on Haight St for years, so he knew this place well. Rob and Mum both feel that San Francisco is a wonderful place (although too expensive to live in), and Haight Ashbury is for the hippies. But they feel very at home with the hippies and the freaks, because I suspect they are oddities themselves.
Emmm... Mum, I'm really not too sure about standing next to this wooden shaped person with colors all over him and the peace sign!
Walking along Haight St is cool. There are lots of things to see, things to smell, and just be overwhelmed with. The sounds of traffic, and people playing some instruments on the sidewalk are just all over. Mum even put a tie-dye bandana on me because she said I was a hippie dog. I had to blend in.. so I did.
Homeless people and their dogs (on the left and right)
The amazing thing was that there were tonnes of street people, I guess they are homeless cos I see them sleeping on the sidewalk, or on street benches. Many of them have dogs too. I was so amazed to see the dogs at almost every street corner. They were just chill.
Then there are some people who sit with signs asking for money. We hardly ever see them back home in Seattle, but I guess maybe hippies need money too.

When Mum or Rob needs to go in a store, I get to wait at the door. They tie me close to the entrance so that they can keep an eye on me, I know Mum doesn't want me to get stolen ever. Her heart would be broken, and she'd never forgive herself. In this instance, she tied me literally at the door, not bothering whether I was blocking anyone else's way. Then she put me on a down stay on the inside so she could keep an eye on me, and I could watch her too.
After a while, we met this interesting dog with grizzle all over his body. His owner said he was a Belgian Shepherd, a cousin of the German Shepherd. He was sleek and beautiful, a little bit resembling the Belgian Malinois, from my old dog school. My old school had tonnes of Malinois.

Sometimes, Mum would wait with me outside while Rob visits a store. I get to chill with the homeless people, like those in the background (picture above)

San Francisco is notorious for difficult parking. Look over there Mum, a person is going to get a $50 parking ticket because it expired in the spot. The parking officer even smiled and said hi to me when I looked at him.
From Haight St, we walked over to the very famous Golden Gate Park. It was huge. I was let off leash for a bit to play chase with Rob. In this photo, it looks like I'm an expert in Schutzhund. Looks like I'm biting off Rob's arm. But no, I'm only playing..
The Arboretum was very white and intricately designed. There was a huge dome in the center and there were exotic plants stored in there. Rob and Mum have stayed in the tropics so it wasn't a big deal to see those plants, but walking around the gardens was really nice.
When Mum and I tried to take photos, suddenly a horde of children came over and said hi to me. They rubbed me, patted me and was so interested in me. They wanted to take pictures with me too, and I felt like a star.
It was really beautiful to lay between the flowers. I liked San Francisco weather. It was sunny and warm. I hope we get spring weather at home soon.
If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair...
There are so many dogs out and about in San Francisco. I love it here cos I meet so many of my own kind. Even the homeless have dogs. This Australian cattle dog of some kind reminds me of my dog friends back in my dog school.

Woaw!! The wind is blowing my ear away!!
The not so awesome thing about roadtrips?
Staying in the car and trying to sleep my boredom away. We stop many times to stretch and walk, pee and poop, but its still quite boring for me. But I stay really calm, quiet and relaxed. I know Mum and Rob aren't having the easiest time driving and focussing on keeping us safe on the roads. And I really do appreciate all the stops and the night over in Oregon. It'd be too tough driving all the way back in 1 go, and I definitely appreciate getting to run in that field in Medford.

Hey Mum, are we home yet?