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August 12, 2008

Summer Camp

I've spent the last two weeks with Heidi and her family. Heidi is 11 and she takes care of me sometimes when Joan leaves town. The time went so fast with a family of 4 plus another dog and a bird. The last day we had a third dog with us, too! And I got along with everyone because all the dogs let me be the "alpha" dog which is what I like the best.

The best part was I got to sleep on the human beds. I could sleep in either of the kids' beds and sometimes I'd sleep a little bit on both of their beds. Of course, the night I got back to our house, Joan let me sleep on her bed. But then she realized that I was going up on the bed ALL THE TIME - like even when she went outside for a few minutes to turn the sprinkler on. (I didn't know she'd be back so soon!)

Anyway, no more Bosco on the bed it seems like. The door is shut and I'm back to my chair or my various beds. I'll keep my eyes peeled for bed opps, though, if Joan forget to close the door or anything!

June 7, 2008

Beach Stories!

Paw print in sand

Hello all --- I'm back to tell you about my vacation in Galveston, TX. We went down there a couple weeks ago and I could tell that something was happening because there was packing going on. Of course, when I saw Joan pack my bag with my bowls and food and then when my bed came out, I knew I was going with them! Yeah!!!!! The first chance I could, I escaped from the yard and got in the back of the car and just sat there. That way, they can't leave without me.

I really loved the beach. The only other time I was there was in California in San Luis Obispo, in Berkeley, and in Mendocino, CA. But I didn't spend that much time on the beach in California except for the dog park in Berkeley area.

In Galveston, we stayed in a nice house but I had to let the neighbors and their dogs and their friends know that I was now in town and to not bother us - I'm controlling the new territory. They seemed to listen.

We went on long walks and runs on the beach. I realized, as I told earlier, that it is not a good thing to drink the water even if you are thirsty because it makes you throw up later on in the day or night! Note in the picture below that my nose is almost all fixed up. I had to take 20 more days of strong antibiotics that cost Joan $4 each but it looks like it might have fixed me up.

Bosco in the waves, licking her chops

Well, it turns out one night Lee tried to burn our house down. (Not really, but almost.) I was really relaxing on the couch with Joan because she was tired and I was tired too!

Joan and Bosco on the couch

The next thing I knew, Joan said "what was that?" because there was a big flash. It turns out the oil that Lee was heating up caught on fire on the stove. Then he tried to carry it outside (with an ill-fitting lid on it) and everytime the lid moved, flames spewed out. Plus, did I tell you about the smoke?? Well, I ran away as fast I could out the house, down the stairs, and away from them! Joan was very concerned and kind of screaming about 911 or something. Plus, it was windy outside so then the wind just made it flame more. Then Joan made Lee move it down to the cement. Lee told Joan she better find ME because who knows where I went! But I was just down in the grass, not too far away, but you know I could have just run away from all this excitement. When Joan got me back up on the porch, I decided to hide under the bench. Inside the house, it was all smoky. Joan said her lungs were burning. Then they opened all the windows, turned the fans on etc. etc. It was lucky it was so windy that night because it helped clear the house out. Of course, this incident only set me back more in terms of me being comfortable in the house and eating my dinner and breakfast - I didn't eat much all week. They finally ate their dinner (Joan took over and sauteed the fish instead.)

This is a nice picture to show that the week was actually very relaxing rather than the turmoil of kitchen fires and throwing up!

Bosco walking in the water in moonlight

May 21, 2008

barf-o-rama

I found out that salt water is really bad for my stomach. The other night (at 1 AM Joan points out) I started barfing in the living room. I had finally eaten my food - which was unfortunate as you might imagine. It was pretty bad with at least 6 or 7 iterations.

Joan tries to get me to not drink the salt water and carries around a water drink thing for me now.

Still loving the beach!

May 19, 2008

Beach

I love the beach! I love the beach! I love the beach!
Swim, swim, swim. Fetch, fetch, fetch. Swim, swim swim.
Smell, smell, smell, smell, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, smell, smell, smell, pee, swim, swim, swim.

breathe.

Drink. Awwww, yuck, that water tastes really really bad. Salty!!!! What's the deal?!

April 6, 2008

McKinney State Park

Today, Joan took off on her bike early this morning and left me in the house. But Lee is visiting us, so he took me on a sorta short / long run/jog. It wasn't Joan's 6 mile run that I know she went on and that I have been on before with her, but I got out. Plus then I got to sit outside protecting my backyard against squirrels and walkers with dogs (the worst!).

This afternoon, we took a drive out on the highway and went to the park, McKinney State Park. By the time we got there, my nose was bleeding because I kept smooshing my nose under Joan's seatbelt to see what was going on, and then my scabs pulled off and then my nose was bleeding. I don't really care about this, but Joan seems to. She tried to wipe it off and then we got back in the car and continued down the road.

We went on a nice walk but it was really really hot out there! She said something like 85 or 87. HOT. I drank lots of water she brought for me, and one time I rolled around in the grass and then smooshed my nose in the grass, and guess what? pulled more scabs off and then my nose was positively totally bloody! I tasted it a bit when I licked my chops once or twice. They tried to put water on it but I move too fast for the humans. hee hee hee.

We finally made it back to the river and we set up downriver of the kids swimming etc. and I got to go in the river. I would just SOAK in there - boy was it nice. That's the way to cool d-o-w-n. In the process, I also cleaned off my bloody nose while swimming around.

Joan thinks my nose isn't any better. Well, it just looks different but still really bad. She keeps threatening the CONE HEAD. She said she's gonna talk to the vet about me pulling off all my scabs ....

Bosco's red nose

Close up of bosco's nose

Tonight I also couldn't help it and threw up a couple times in the dining room. I had eaten a bunch of grass on our park walk and my stomach didn't like it so much. OOPS. Joan didn't even find it right away.

March 17, 2008

Swimming in the pool

At Heidi's house they have a big pool in the back. So far, I didn't go in it. But then all the humans went into the small pool that has lots of water blowing in it and it is really loud. As much as I'd like to go in there, I decided I'd try the pool, so I stepped down on the first step into the pool. Oh, the water felt great! I didn't want to go any further, so I decided to just sit and roll around on the first step to get all nice and wet. I mean, the humans were all wet, so couldn't I do it, too?

Eating the Easter Bunny

Yep, I ate the easter bunny ... or at least a descendant, perhaps. I didn't really EAT him but I KILLED him, or at least that is what I was accused of over at Heidi's house. Here was the explanation to Joan:

"We found a dead bunny in the back. Bosco and Kona had definitely been chasing the bunnies around. We found the bunny dead; I'm sure it was one of the dogs and it wasn't Kona...."

So you are left with this riddle ... who did it?

NOT ME!

;-)

Renata, the mom, gave me pets and said I was a good dog, though. She said her plants thanked me! WOWO, good dog.

Thorny Mouse

Well, Joan did it again ... she left. Well, I did not actually see her leave but she packed ME up and drove me to Heidi's house a while back. She said she was going to Vegas and Minnesota again for work stuff. I know what Minnesota is but I don't know Vegas. Joan tells me now that I would HATE Vegas with a passion. In any case, Joan dropped me off a while back - I was fine oh fine with it. I like Kona, the beagle, and of course I like Heidi, my caretaker. (She lets me sleep on her bed ... I heard her tell Joan that they don't really need her to bring my bed over! Ha!)

Well I got into some trouble over at Heidi's house ... I'll tell you a bit about it. Here's the first story ...

Heidi would let Kona and me out the back gate into the greenbelt. There's a trail back there but we didn't walk anywhere but would sniff around and just explore a bit. Well, we sniffed out some mice. We were following them as they ran back to their "house." I went full tilt after them. I discovered they lived in a very thorny house which humans call a "cactus." It ends up I had lots of thorns in my face and around my snout. I didn't cry or anything but I did squirm around when the humans tried to take the thorns out of me.

Joan has found a few more thorns in me - one on my tummy and at least one near my ear. She hasn't yet been able to get me to cooperate for removal. They don't bother me, so I hope she forgets about it and just lets them fall out naturally.

November 27, 2007

Away from my computer

I have not forgotten all of my virtual friends (and real friends) who read my blog. I've been busy away from the computer with visitors, running around in forests, sniffing lots of stuff in the kitchen, more visitors etc. I will update you all soon. Right now I'm dealing with another new visitor who showed up at my house while I was here all alone ... I kinda remember her but it's been a long time. I had to hide behind the dining room table for a while but after she let me out and gave me a treat, I decided she was an okay person.

November 5, 2007

Long lost message

I forgot to post this message ... when Joan was gone for so long this summer and I was staying with Bosco #2's family, the daughter, Megan, left this message on the day that Joan picked me up (that was such a great day!).

Napkin that says: Already fed dogs. And don't them take Bosco. She told me she doesn't want to go to Texas. She said she loves me and wants to stay here. smiley face. Drawing of a Heart. Megan + Bosco

November 4, 2007

A GREAT Walk

This morning Joan got up and I really wanted to go on a walk, as usual. I was excited which gets my dog-cousin, Brandy, excited too. She doesn't get taken on walks normally so she knows that Joan is a super duper human and loves her. So we went into the garage and Joan was trying to put a collar on Brandy but Brandy was jumping with joy and barking really loudly - she was really misbehavin. Joan made her sit and finally got that collar and leash on. All that barking and jumping made me get excited too but finally we were all ready to go but we didn't go for a walk - we got into Joan's car. I let Brandy share the backseat with me. We went for a little bit of a drive on a curvy road I've never been on but then we stopped and got out and we off our leashes and went on a long walk through a forest with lots of other dogs, too. Here are our photos of the day. I really love my dog cousin - I just wish I could hang out with her more often but that other dog cousin, Bella, is a pest and gets in the way of good manners and behaviors (I hear Bella is at those horrible kennel places this weekend. Even though I don't like Bella all that much I feel kinda sorry for her to have to be there. If she was a good dog, she could have gone with us!).

Brandy went swimming today which turns out to be quite unusual. I will take credit for that as she probably saw how much fun I have swimming and decided to try it out. And I mean more than just walking through the river. She got in and started swimming with no coercion from either Joan or me. Some people in Austin are trying to not allow dogs on this trail anymore because of a bird.

That's for the birds!!!!!!!

Bosco and Brandy running on trail

Bosco sniffing grasses while Brandy walks

Bosco jumping out of river and cut off with a tree through her middle (visual illusion)

Bosco and Brandy in river together

Bosco running out of water

Bosco swimming in water hole

Brandy swimming!

Brandy swimming in water hole

November 2, 2007

A trip

Today when Joan got home, we went on a walk but then she started putting stuff in a bag and I got the sense that she was going somewhere. And I started to get really excited because I was hoping hoping hoping that I was going to get to go with her. I started following her around and jumping up and down. Don't leave me! Don't leave me!

I got my wish and we headed to the car, me too. We drove for only a little bit and ended up at a new house to me, but then I recognized Brandy, my Australian Shepherd dog cousin, and Michelle, Joan's niece. Bella, the not-so-nice Jack Russell Terrier dog, was no where to be found. Which is a good thing, I'd say. Brandy and I are great friends because she knows I'm boss. Except she was hanging out on my bed and then I stole her bone. Then Joan told me to give her the bone, and I thought about it and I did give it to her. She is the boss. She put it away from both of us and ten made Brandy go to her bed and told me to go on my bed. She said that was the ORDER here.

Joan's sister isn't here which is I think why we are here - to make sure no one gets into trouble. I might try my own kind of trouble ... like going into that big water hole in the backyard.

August 16, 2007

Saying goodbye & Travel to Austin, TX

Well, we had to say goodbye to one of my favorite friends in the world, Tim, the guy next door who gives me treats and lovin' all the time. He's never got his picture on here, but Joan took a picture of me with Tim and his mom, Doris, who is just as nice to me.

bosco_doris_tim.jpg

How to say goodbye? We just played like it was any old day (except for the pictures). Otherwise, it is so sad to go...!

That night I also go to see my other great friend, Roberta, who came over since Joan and I did not leave on Sunday like we had intended. Plus, she came home early from her solo camping trip. Joan was sooo tired that she forgot to take a picture of me with Roberta. Joan was literally falling asleep at 9pm while Roberta was talking with her. Geez. Joan says she has about 8 weeks of sleep to catch up on (don't even ask about England...).

The next morning, Joan started bringing things out to the garage. When I saw the box on wheels come out, I got concerned. But then Joan also brought out my bed, so then I started wagging my tail (yea, I'm going with her). I decided I better just get in the car right away, so I hopped in the backseat and just got comfy. Joan spent a long time getting things in the car - there was a lot of stuff! This is how we looked when we were ready to go at 11:30 AM. I called it quite a jungle in there.

bosco in back of car.jpg

I actually really liked having the ficus tree in the back - I would snuggle under it at times. We took off and like I said, we stopped at the dog park so I could stretch my legs before our long drive and because Joan thought someone might have found my tags and put them on the fence.

We took off and after Joan got a phone call from her realtor who said we had an offer on our house, Joan was on the phone ALL THE TIME practically! Boy, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas just fly by when you have an offer on the house and are figuring out what to do! We stopped every couple hours and it was just fine. Joan figured out that she should just keep the car running and lock the door and put a note that says the car and AC are on so no one breaks the window - this allowed her to run into go the bathroom and buy stuff without worrying about me.

The first night we stayed in (boy I've almost forgotten already) Wichita, Kansas at a Holiday Inn - kudos for Holiday Inns who allow canine friends to stay there with their humans! I'll tell you ONE THING - I do NOT LIKE the thing called an ELEVATOR. We had to go on it several times and it just freaked me out. It felt like the floor was dropping out and I crouched down immediately trying to hold on. Hold on for your dear life. Dog friends - beware! I know some canines in NY and other cities ride these things everyday - I don't know HOW they take it!

The next day we got the heck out of Wichita and headed SOUTH! It took a long time but we got to Texas but even after we got into Texas it took us another 4 hours or so before we got to AUSTIN, our new home. There was traffic in Ft. Worth, Texas (several accidents) including us almost getting into an accident when Joan adroitly drove around a ladder in the middle of our lane on the highway - what a mess!

We finally got to Austin and we arrived at Joan's sister's house - her name is Maura and she has one husband, one son, 2 daughters, and 2 dogs - so I have 2 dog cousins. One is Brandy, an Australian Shepherd, who is cool because she's pretty submissive and then there's Bella, a Jack Russell Terrier, who I honestly can say I do not like. She's really out of control, and they don't even let us get near each other because I'd probably tear her to pieces because she's really snippy - she even bites Brandy. I would never allow that to happen to me. That's all I'll say for now...more later...bark bark.

August 15, 2007

Wowa lots of change

I have a lot to tell you all....the computer has been kinda inaccessible along with almost all my other familiar things. I'll just say tonight that a couple weeks ago, these really nice guys came and they took all of our stuff out on the front lawn and sidewalk. Joan said that I became a free-range dog because she let me walk around everywhere - back yard, front yard, side yard, sidewalk, etc. All the doors were open so I just wandered around - well, Joan was usually nearby but every once in a while, she appeared kinda worried and called my name out. And well, when she did that, I was kinda drifting away from her and who knows if a squirrel might have caught my eye.

Well, then I went with Joan and these guys drove their big truck to Joan's office and took all her stuff there, too. Then we went home and there was barely anything left!!!!!! There was, though, my small bed, thank goodness. Joan left me for a while there all by myself and then returned and started cleaning the house until very late - 2 AM she says and then up at 6 to do more. She had to then take me away for several hours as people were coming to see it again. I don't mind because I get more Joan Time but I think she might not like it so much.

That night we slept at Chris' house - who has that dog, Mollie, who is okay. I stayed there a bit when Joan was gone for 37 days. We had a fun time with lots of people and then I got to sleep near Joan - you can't beat that.

We then went back to our empty house and Joan cleaned more - Eileen even came over and helped Joan with a few things. I just watched them work. :-)

After that night we went on a long trip and I'll tell more about that in a bit....

June 24, 2007

3 days and no return

Joan is still gone. Has not returned. It's been 3 days and I'm counting this time.

But I just found out some bad news for me, at least. Joan is in a place called England and it is very far away. I don't think she'll be taking me to the dog park tomorrow. The good news is she misses me! Just read this!

Dog bone in pocket!

June 23, 2007

Joan is gone ...

It all has been so weird. I can tell that things are not right with Joan. Despite having me around, her blood pressure, I'm sure is high. Probably all the cleaning of the house, constantly, and the strangers coming around.

On Thursday, I knew we were in for something. Joan moved my bed which recently has meant I am leaving with Joan to go somewhere for an hour or so. Sometimes it is a walk, sometimes it is to her work. This time though she put my bed in the car along with my food and other items and we drove to Rachel, Lew, and Will's house. I was very excited, wagging my tail, running around sniffing. Joan and Rachel talked while I paced around. I hadn't eaten my breakfast that day. Then Joan walked out the door and left me behind. I was whining at the door to remind her to take me with her but she drove away without me. Sadness. I paced around some more but kept hoping she'd return for me. When I tore myself away from the side door, I'd follow Rachel around. But I didn't feel like eating at all. :-(

Friday was a bit better. Rachel put egg in my food so I found it somewhat more palatable and irresistible so I ate it.

The news of the day is the jungle out in the backyard. First, I found a nest of small bunnies under the slide. You know, I'm not a fan of bunnies at all. They lurk around our yard (though they do leave yummy droppings) but still, it is my territory and I don't like to share it with others - especially squirrels and bunnies. So I started to push these bunnies around and a couple ran away, others were shreaking and wailing really loudly. Then Rachel started yelling which startled me - I never like it when humans yell - it worries me. Before I knew I was a by-stander standing in the porch while Rachel and Will rescued the animals and relocated them outside my new territory in the backyard!
The nest that smelled so good....
Nest of Bunnies

The bunny babies

They put them in a box and moved them.

When Rachel let me out of the porch, I ran over but no bunnies. The smell was still there so I sniffed a bit but the bunnies were gone. Oh well, I'll move onto other adventures. So then ... I found it.

A dead squirrel!

Rachel didn't like that either. She put me back in the porch and moved that too. This is a pretty interesting backyard if Rachel wouldn't keep putting me in the porch to take away the interesting wildlife. I mean, isn't it all about survival of the fittest?! I think I'm the fittest around this backyard but not if Rachel intervenes and gives them all another chance. Oh well. I think Joan might have done the same thing since the one time I actually got a squirrel in my mouth, she yelled like crazy until I dropped it.

One question remains: where o where is Joan? When will she come back? 2 days without her and counting...

April 17, 2007

Whirlwind Week

Joan left me last week. I can't believe she does that. Somehow she packed up her box on wheels and hid it outside without me seeing. BUT I saw it when the strange car drove up and took her away. I watched her wheel that thing out to the car. Then I knew she'd be gone. But for how long???
Everyday, I wonder, is that Joan? wag, wag, wag.
NO.
Is that Joan? wag, wag, wag.
NO.

Lucky for me, my friend, Izzy, came to take care of me. She'd come over and watch Disney Channel on that big black TV while I wagged, wagged, wagged and got pet, pet, pet.

Then one day, I heard a car and wondered, is it Joan? wag, wag, wag. YES!!!! I heard the key in the door and I jumped against the door closing it on Joan. When she finally got it open, I gave her lots of kisses and body wiggles. She tells me she was only gone for 4 days but it seemed like 40 to me!

The bad news is that this weekend, Joan put up a fence that now pretty much blocks off my entire yard from me! She was on her hands and knees digging up the dirt and throwing these little seeds all over and then spraying it was water from the long snake (I stayed away from that.) She keeps watering it every morning and I'm still not allowed to go over there even if there is a squirrel or bunny rabbit or other intruder on the other side. Now, I could easily jump over this plastic fence but I'm humoring Joan. UNTIL I DECIDE NOT TO. I'm sure there will be a day where I will HAVE to jump over the fence. She seems to blame me for the need for the fence. Something about mud and no grass because of me running around in the winter. Whatever. Squirrels just need to be chased. No arguments.

January 7, 2007

Silly blind Joan

Joan's asleep and I am stealing a few moments to tell you about how silly she is. I was out on my bed in the living room. I could hear her in the bathroom running water etc. She usually comes out to say goodnight and invite me upstairs (I don't always go up there especially lately because she has this cold water fan thing going and I don't like fans!). Anyway, tonight she came into the living room and pretty much, humans, unlike dogs, clearly can not see that well at night! She was talking to me but walking straight towards the stereo - not where I was. Ha ha. I was laughing inside. Then she must have remembered where the bed was and pivoted and then hit me in the head! Eeks. Then I could smell lotion on her hands (I love licking lotioned hands and body parts) and tried to lick her hands but she moved them away from me. Anyway, it is a hoot to watch her bounce around in the dark.

Earlier tonight we went over to visit Boli, the cat. Boli has been at home alone for a while so we go over and visit him every so often (another human is actually going over there every day but probably doesn't stay around a lot.) We go over and sit on the couch and get pet by Joan while she watches movies. She knows enough to do the double-pet (simultaneous petting me and Boli). I gave Boli lots of kisses. I can't believe I was ever mean to him and chasing him around when I stayed there once. Anyway, we are friends again.

November 1, 2006

Maybe a friend?

Last week, Joan had dinner at that guy, Chris' house. I was invited too :-)
Of course, that is more points for the guy, in my opinion. You gotta love ME!

Anyway, I entered this place and immediately knew there was another animal living here. I got a tour of the place, and there is an area where this animal relieves herself. GEEZ - can't they do it outside like me??? I guess not. There was also some yummy small food in a bowl and water but Joan told me to not eat the food. As appetizing as it was, I obeyed Joan (or at least until she leaves me here alone ....then I would eat it of course.)

There was this huge cushion that I got to lay on. Wow, this is something - it's even better of a bed than what is at Joan's house. So I was snoozing like a queen and then I heard and saw something move in the corner of the room. It was a creature whose name is Cocoa:

Picture of Cocoa the Cat

I immediately stood up and pointed at this creature. I know it is a CAT. Joan was a bit worried because of my chasing Boli the cat incident recently. Well, I laid down again and Cocoa walked by me and sniffed my tail. Then she walked by very snootily. Well, I guess it is her place, after all. Anyway, the night went on with these slow sniffings. I tolerated it. Even when Cocoa came up and sniffed my toes (right in front on my snout and my big teeth!). We didn't become best friends but we understand the pet hierarchy. Unfortunately, I am not in charge around here.

October 9, 2006

Trip last weekend

Last weekend (not this past one), Joan and I drove a long way to a place called Itasca State park. We've been there before but I forgot on the way. Here are some pictures of me there. Joan said we were there at "peak colors" whatever that means. What is color anyway?

Me at the headwaters of the Mississippi River --- this is the same river that runs by our house and the big dog park but it is WAY bigger by our house than here where it starts!

boscomissheadwaters.jpg

Our cabin:

itasca1.jpg

Hiking where no one else was:

itasca2.jpg

September 26, 2006

Weekend with the girls

Well, this weekend was strange. On Friday, Joan kept coming and going with that box on wheels. She left once to return soon after, take something from the laundry basket and then leave again. Then she returned again a couple hours later. Then she left way later with it again. Then the girls from across the street showed up (they showed up earlier but Joan was home and told them something about a cancelled flight). Anyway, they let me out at nighttime and then returned and gave me walks and food and water. They stayed and watched TV with me while I lounged on my bed. Joan really gave me the whole living room. She had both of my beds in there and she put a blanket on the couch and a sheet on the leather chair so I could bounce around the room and sleep wherever I wanted! I missed Joan but it wasn't that bad because I ate all my food so I wasn't that worried. I really like those kids!

Now Joan is back. This morning we went on a long walk and we saw a BLACK STANDARD POODLE. I walked by without incident though my ears were down and I was pulling on the leash and looking backwards, too, to see if it was going to attack me. It wasn't the attack poodle but STILL I've got to be careful from now on!

Yesterday Joan let me stay in the house without T-shirt. What freedom! But she realized I was licking my wound a bit so last night she put the t-shirt on again. When, when, when am I going to get to go to the dog park again? and swim in the Mississippi River? and run like a dog again?

Camp Bosco

Two weekends ago, Joan let me in the car and we drove to Camp Bosco at Martha and Miguel's. We sat outside because it was really nice weather and Boli, the cat, gave me a kiss on the nose with his paw. Unfortunately, then Joan drove away without me. hmmmmmmmmm. But that's okay, I got over it. The next day, Miguel gave me my food but I didn't want to eat it all so I left some. Then Boli decided to investigate it which is totally unacceptable. So I had to chase Boli away. And then that was kinda fun so I continued to chase Boli and one night Boli didn't even come home (sorry boli). I was just having fun but I guess it wasn't as friendly as I meant it to be. Still, I was serious a bit too, because no cats allowed near my food! I'm not sure I'll be invited back which is bad because I love Camp Bosco. Martha took me on the golf course for some hard, fast runs which was great. No swimming though.

Then one day, a car drove up and Joan got out! I was so happy to see her. She gathered my stuff and we left. But then we turned around and came back. She went inside again and came out with my bed! Then she decided to walk me around the neighborhood before driving back home - and we came open some barking dogs. I could tell Joan was scared and then we went a different way. One dog was on a tie-out and was lunging so that was the scariest.

When we got home, I checked the backyard for squirrels and cleared the path for Joan.

September 4, 2006

July 2: Theodore Roosevelt to Home!

We woke up early at least to no rain, but everything was wet. Joan didn't care and just pushed the tent and rainfly into its bag and packed up and headed out. Here's a picture of our CottonWood camp in the national park.

tr2.jpg

And another image of the park as we drove out at 7am:

tr3.jpg

These fields we covered with small animals called prairedogs. And even though they might be a dog - I wanted to kill them! They look like squirrels to me. I was dying to get out of the car and show them my might, but Joan didn't let me.

Today was boring. Hondacar started at 122,272. We drove and drove and drove. At one point, I started heaving in the backseat - I was going to vomit. Joan said, "Oh, no Bosco. Wait." Ha ha. too late. She exited the highway and cleaned up the backseat and gave me a ton of treats. She realized she had forgotten to give me any treats and I still was not eating regular food!

We drove across all of North Dakota and most of Minnesota. After a super duper long time (10 hours), I got really excited because I realized we were back home in our neighborhood! Cool! This picture is funny because we were both pretty tired after such a long haul. And you can see we came back to lots of raspberries in Joan's patch. Yum for her!

home.jpg

Thus, closes our Travels with Bosco/Joan escapade throughout the west at 122,850. It was kinda fun but I think I like staying at home. I'm not so worried and eat my food normally.

happy trails to you!

July 1: Beartooth to Theodore Roosevelt Nat Park

Today we woke up and set off early (as usual!). Hondacar was at 121,846 to start. It was another one of those couple raindrops in the morning that get Joan really moving fast. I didn't help much - I just hopped in the car and waited to leave while Joan did all the work. We continued to drive up in elevation from our 9,000 foot campsite and ended up at Beartooth Pass at 10,947 feet. If we had just come here, Joan would have had a headache but we were acclimated after our spot in Denver.

Beartooth Pass - the view.
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I got to run around at this pass. There was enough room for me to just sniff around on my own. Then we hopped back in and then stopped at a rest stop area where we could see from where we had come:

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The road here winds down to Red Lodge which is at 5,553 ft. So there was some winding to do. This was Joan's favorite, favorite highway (212) - it is only open in the summer. Also it was clear it was a favorite among the many motorcyclists as there were endless numbers of bikers. Beyond Red Lodge it was just a boring two-lane highway out to I-90 so I slept. Until we stopped at a reststop along I-94 in Montana. Joan was a bit concerned by this:

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But we ate lunch here anyway with our eyes out for snakes. A woman who sells dog food chatted with us - her car was packed with food and she gave me some treats.

We got back in the car (more sleeping) until we entered North Dakota and then exited to go to Theodore Roosevelt National Park - south unit. We got a great campsite and took a tour of the camp. Joan was going to let me go into the MIssouri River until she saw it was red silty muddy. So now swimming for me. After all, I have to sleep next to her in the tent. Joan sat around for a while, read a book, ate some munchies while I sat under a bush. Then we hopped back in the car to do a road tour of these badlands - but we saw this bad boy instead:

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I gave him a real talking to. Joan was trying to take photos and I was trying to show him who was boss from the backseat of a car! :-) I'm sure he listened to me.

When we got back to camp, it started to rain (rainfly was on, of course, - we had learned our lesson by now). And we immediately got into the tent and stayed there all night except for one jaunt out in a brief rain lull. Joan didn't even eat any dinner. But she had cell service so she chatted with her sister for a while before sleep came upon us.

August 15, 2006

June 30: Butte, MT to Beartooth Pass (MT & WY)

We do not like Butte. I think these pictures will suffice to explain why.

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Joan and I spent about an hour in the morning trying to find a park so I could get a nice walk instead of walking on the sidewalk on busy roads. These two parks both had "NO DOGS ALLOWED" signs up everywhere. Again, Joan was too law-abiding, and ultimately we walked along a road. Interestingly, we were walking along the park and one of the groundspeople said hello to Joan and asked her how she was. That was the wrong question!! Joan started telling him how we'd be a lot happier walking in the park than out on this dangerous road. He said that he thought we were the only people who actually read and obeyed the sign! Well, there you go! In any case, we still do not like Butte MT for their dog-unfriendliness.

We finally got on the road and Hondacar's mileage was at 121,660. We headed along I-90 and then got off onto Hwy 89 south towards Wyoming and Yellowstone. Yellowstone was a trip - we weren't staying there because we are pavement prisoners because it's a national park - but we had to drive through it to get to the Beartooth Mountains. When we came upon these fellows, I started to FREAK OUT, barking and jumping and crying. Joan had to roll up the window, and I think she started to understand why having dogs in any park with a lot of wildlife is maybe not a good idea.

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We drove through the north section of Yellowstone.
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Outside the park, we came upon more road repair and dirt road for many miles (lots of dust!). We stop at a campground for Joan to eat lunch. It was hot there and had a lot of bugs - all I wanted to do was be in the car to stay away from the bugs. We didn't really like this campground and kept driving. We stopped at another campground but there was no water there and Joan had not filled up our water jugs so we kept going - but it was very pretty was along the river.

We stopped at Colter Pass (8,066 ft.) for the vistas:
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Finally, we stop at Beartooth Lake Campground - this was it! Perfect. I didn't exactly help Joan out getting the camp set up.
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The camphost told us that the campground had just opened this very day! And, he said that bears had been sighted within the last 10 days in the campground. Eeks! Joan said she didn't have a whistle or any bear spray so we decided to stay close to camp though hiking would have been fantastic.

Here's our lake;
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Our campground is at about 9,000 ft. There were smells of pine and the sounds of wind rushing through the trees - very peaceful EXCEPT for the BUGS. Joan actually puts insect repellant on ME and I was very happy about that. We had a fire and were very peaceful and did not see any bears.

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Dark clouds flew overhead - rain loomed in the distance. It was cool here. I was happy to have my furry bed in the tent but would rather have slept in the car. Here, you have to put everything and I mean everything away in a locked box or in your trunk when you leave your campsite or the bears are gonna come getcha!


June 29: Idaho Springs to Butte, MT

Well, as I said my stomach growling woke Joan up around 4 AM and she gave me some treats. Since she was already awake, we got up before 6 AM. Joan decided we should go on a short hike so we could get some exercise before a day of driving. In the middle of our short hike (this time we didn't get lost), it started sprinkling. So we headed back to camp and Joan took down the tent and got us in our car ready to go in about 10 minutes. I think that was a record. Hondacar's mileage was at 121,222 to start our day.

Our morning was nice - meandering our way along Hwy 20 - there was a big forest fire here a few years ago so some parts had small regrowth. By 9 AM, Joan left me in the car (no pets allowed!) at the Kirkham Hotsprings. She put her bathing suit on (no nudity allowed either!) and went to soak in the hotsprings. The view is nice with the river rushing right next to it.

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By 10:30 we were at Stanley Lake - a nice place to camp but we were not staying here. We walked around a bit and took pictures of McGown Peak across the lake.

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We kept driving and got on Hwy 75 north that runs along the Salmon River. We passed the 45th Parallel (midway between North Pole and the equator) today. We also saw lots of signs for "Sportsman Access" - we thought it should not be so focused on MEN since both of us are women! It rained on and off during our drive. We stopped at an uninteresting campsite (the only person there was the host) to eat lunch. I also decided to eat about a cup of food. Joan was thrilled!

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From that point on, most of the rest of the day was rain, rain, rain. We did, though, stop at Big Hole National Battlefield, Nez Perce National Historic Park along Hwy 43. Joan had to leave me in the car since it was a national park but since it was cool and rainy, it was no problem except that the mosquitos got in the car because the windows were open and then we spent the next 30 min in the car trying to kill them while also driving. Joan took this picture at the battlefield. Also while we were there, two fighter jets zoomed by very close to the ground and it freaked us both out!

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While I was in the car and Joan was out walking a short trail, it started raining again. Before I knew it, Joan was back and we were driving again. It rained buckets after this. Plus, we ended up in a section of the road on Hwy 43 where the entire road was torn up and it was mud. Talk about a way to repave roads. No worries about old Hondacar - they assume everyone in Montana has a truck! We made it through the 10 miles or so of mud safely though our car was muddy. Still raining, raining, so luckily Joan decided to not camp tonight - and that's a good thing because even after we were in our hotel, it rained more overnight.

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I was so happy to be here that I ate another cup of food! We were in a place called Butte, MT. I'll tell you more about why we DON'T LIKE BUTTE in tomorrow's entry.


June 28: Bend to Idaho

Joan and I had a great time in Bend, though we wish we could have stayed longer. We fell in love with the place - I like it because it is dog-friendly and Joan likes it because it is bike-friendly and outdoorsy (I like that too). In fact, on Hwy 97 that goes through Bend, there are bike lanes on the highway!!

We woke up and got ready - Here are pictures of my new pal, Angus.

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And as is our habit, we took a "family photo" of everyone we visited which included, me, Joan, Glen, and Angus.
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Glen went to work. Angus stayed at home. Joan and I went downtown to a coffee shop and then walked along the Deschutes River through town near the Old Mill area. There are paths all along the river on both sides.

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In the background behind this bridge at Old Mill, there is an amphitheater and beyond that, the Three Sisters mountains.

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Most everyone here is into organic food, kayaking, biking, canoeing, fishing, boating, soaking on rafts down the river, etc. etc. If we had stayed longer, Joan and I would have never left!

So we had to leave via route 20 eastward towards Idaho. Hondacar's mileage was at 120,853. This is high desert area. All the trees and more trees of Bend area evolved into scrub brush with buttes abounding.

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At one point, we almost ran into a deer on the road - phew, that was close. Once again, we ran into the problem that dogs are not allowed in picnic areas in the eastern Oregon rest stops. Joan is grouchy again about this because where is she supposed to eat her lunch with me? It is extremely hot out here again so she can't leave me in the car. Joan smartly decides to start taking advantage of the city parks instead of rest stops. So we stopped in Vale, OR. It is a small quaint town and we stopped at Wadleigh Park and watched all the young people go into the city pool located there. We sat near a mural of the Oregon Trail Expedition that went through this area. The mural was painted by James R. Spurlock in 1999 and is named "Beginner's Luck." As you can see, Joan made me part of the action!

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At this park, Joan could use the bathroom, I could lounge around anywhere I wanted and walk through the park with no legal ramifications. Much more friendly than the rest stops!! So we headed out, eventually came to I-84 and headed south to Boise, ID. We drove through Boise's city center to get a look at the place and along Warm Springs Rd. to Hwy 21 that goes up through the Sawtooth Mountains. We even had a helmeted bicyclist ascending into the mountains behind Hondacar. We drove only a few miles up but it is a windy road and finally found the elusive Grayback Gulch campground which is nested within Ponderosa Pines. We chose campsite #14 which was farthest from the highway.

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After setting up the tent, Joan and I went walking along the Grayback Loop trail right near the camp. However, we get kinda lost on it, and returned to camp. It was good to stretch our legs despite Joan scraping her leg on a downed tree. Things got worse back at camp. It was really hot, so I just laid down on the ground. But then something bit me on both my ears, perhaps a mosquito perhaps something else. But all I know is that my ears got really hot and swollen. I also wouldn't eat any food (still). Joan said the mosquitos here were BIGGER than the ones in Minnesota which surprised her. One bite through her shirt made a big welt on her arm. At 9:20 PM, it was still light and bright out.

Around 4 AM, I guess my stomach woke Joan up. My stomach was growling really loudly. Joan got up and the next thing I knew, she brought lots of treats into the tent for me to eat, which I did. We again learned our lesson to always put the rainfly on the tent, which we had done. Early in the morning about 5 AM, it started to rain lightly. Since my stomach had woken Joan up and then it started raining, Joan wasn't really asleep, so we got up really early (5:55 AM).

August 13, 2006

June 27: Mendocino to Bend, OR

Today was a big travel day. We were in the car almost the whole day but the end destination was well worth it. We got up super early around 6am and Joan found a slug on our tent. Yuck. She went to the bathroom and broke down the tent and all that while I hung out in the car. I knew we were leaving again! Later she was eating her breakfast and had me on the long leash. I was quiet but right next to the big tent where Tom, Leslie, Patrick, and Margaret were sleeping.

Then, this guy - I think his name was Dave - walked toward us and I started barking at him really loudly! I don't trust him even though he was with us last night. He just gave me a bad vibe, so I felt I needed to protect Joan. In the meantime, OOPS, I'm sure I woke up the whole tent of people! I calmed down as Joan talked with him. Then we packed up our breakfast stuff, Joan wrote a note to Tom, and we left by 7 am!

As we left, Hondacar's mileage was at: 120,320. It was extremely foggy when we left, we couldn't even see the ocean, and Joan had her fleece on. We drove for 3 hours on windy (though pretty) roads all the way to a BIG road called I-5. Just before we got on that road, Joan stopped at a fruit stand. She opened the car door and we were slammed with heat! No need for that fleece anymore as it was at least 100 degrees. Joan bought some fruit (bing cherries, nectarines, avocado), went to the bathroom, walked me around to go to the bathroom and then we headed north.

Around noon, we stopped for gas in a place called Redding, CA where Joan's friend, Rebeca, grew up. Rebeca doesn't live there now but Joan reminsced about her visits up here during college - out on Shasta and Whiskeytown lake. Instead of a lake, we got gas and kept moving. Then we stopped at a rest stop so Joan could eat lunch. Joan was mad for several reasons:
1. There was a sign that said dogs can only go in the "dog area." The dog area, though, was just pebbles and rocks and no grass. Most dogs like to go the bathroom on rocks or dirt, not rocks. We walked around but I wouldn't go.
2. It said NO DOGS IN PICNIC area. Well, where was Joan supposed to eat her lunch then? She couldn't very well leave me in the car because it was well over 100 degrees here. So Joan decided to sit on the closest picnic table - but it was in the sun. Therefore, Joan started to pour sweat. In the short time we were there, her shirt was all wet when we got back in the car.

Later, we decided (with much emphasis on my part) that we should just break these rules. I mean, who is there to enforce them? And it's not like Joan doesn't pick up after me. And I deserve a shady spot - and so does Joan!

While we were at this rest stop, several fire trucks and fire fighters stopped. Later, we suspect they were heading north for what appeared to be a fire near Mount Shasta. (excuse the photography as Joan took it while driving.)

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We kept going and 5 or so hours later, after driving through the land of TREES, TREES, and more TREES (follow Hwy 97 to Bend, OR if you want to see TREES), we ended up in Bend, OR! We came here to visit with Glen, a friend of Joan's who went to Guatemala with her, and recently adopted a dog he named Angus, and who more recently move to Bend from Dallas, Texas!

Once we found Glen and went to his house for him to change and pick up Angus, we all headed to the Deschutes National Forest. As we hiked along the Deschutes River, we saw lava beds and beautiful trees. Here are the lava beds:
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Later on the trail, Angus and I got to play in the river.
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There was another dog there, too, who had a life vest on because he had been in a boat on the river. These guys were pulling out from the river.

Unlike my time with Ella, Angus and I got along pretty well. In fact, Joan and Glen left us in the big truck while they had drinks and dinner in Bend. When they returned, I had kinda made Angus go to the back, which he did, and I was in charge of the front area. But there was no blood or guts or anything - we got along fine with only an occasional growl. Joan reported that Bend was young, hip, and friendly and DOG-FRIENDLY! They have some beautiful bungalows like our house, located along the river. Speaking for myself, I would love to live here.

Glen's house was funny because there was nothing in it! It was cool because we could run around with no obstacles. Joan had brought Glen an abalone but unfortunately he couldn't cook it because the moving company still had all his stuff!! He was still a great host in that he had a blow-up bed for Joan. (He also had a blow up bed so it wasn't like he was living higher than Joan!) I slept fine on the carpeted floor.

June 26, Mendocino, CA

Joan decided to stay another day in Mendocino. Despite it being kind of cold here at times when the fog is in, I was happy about not driving in the car. Here's my day in pictures:

Tom (Joan's brother) and Mike (Leslie's dad) getting read to free dive for abalone.
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I'm watching!!
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Tom trying to get on shore - the Pacific is not so pacific!
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Family photo - see my favorite nephew, Patrick:
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Even Patrick's cousin, Caitlin, really liked me. I started to get really comfortable with everyone today. Patrick would run me around the campground, and I even let Tom take care of me when Joan left with her mom to go into town. And I was just fine hanging around camp.
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Joan said that Mendocino only has one public bathroom and it was incovenient for her. She should learn to go the bathroom like me-anywhere there is grass! We also went down the beach and I ran through the water and got all sandy.

June 25: Berkeley to Mendocino

On Sunday morning, we all went to the dog park again - by the bay! I got to stretch my legs and I didn't even go in the water - that made Joan happy, I guess. We headed back to the car. Joan said goodbye to her good friend, Gina, but I did NOT say goodbye to Ella. I was relieved we were parting ways. I'm sure I used up my good graces with Gina because we dogs did not get along.

We were off again in the car for several hours. Hondacar's mileage was at: 120,148 when we left Berkeley. Joan stopped in a place called Healdsburg where she left me in the car and returned with tea and a scone for herself. We walked to the center square where she sat down and ate/drank. It was a little weird because there were no other of my kind in the square. No dogs. Maybe we broke the law! Joan walked me around the square for bathroom break and then we headed back to the car and got back on the fast road.

We drove on windy roads. At one point, I yelped really loudly at Joan. She pulled over and let me walk on the side of the road. I just wanted to get out for good and stop winding around. On windy roads, I have to stand up and see what's going on. There were a lot of tall redwood trees and occasionally we got stuck behind a big vehicle Joan called a RV. Joan is a good mountain driver and these other people were not. They were slowing us down.

Eventually we ended up back at the Pacific Ocean! However, it was kind of foggy there. We pulled into a campground called Van Damme State Park. Joan talked to the lady in the hut who was expecting us. We drove on and parked behind a big truck, and there was a guy, Tom, there that Joan was friendly with. It turns out he is her brother! Later on, Tom and Judy (whose house I was at in Arroyo Grande) showed up! I was sooooo happy to see them because they were a friendly face. I got to know Tom's kids - Patrick and Margaret. Patrick, mostly because he loved me. Margaret doesn't like dogs so she never got near me. That makes me sad. There was a huge group of people there and they were diving for abalone and then eating it for dinner. The first day I was a little shy.

We went with Tom and Leslie (his wife) in his big truck out to the coast and walked along some trails.

Here are pics from Sunday:

Joan and me on the coast:
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View of Mendocino:
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The coast:
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It was super duper cold in this place. Joan had on about 5 layers she said. Good thing she had that sleeping bag! I wanted to sleep in the car but she made me go in the tent.

July 20, 2006

June 23: Berkeley/Oakland, CA

So on Friday, June 23rd in the afternoon, Joan and I got in the car and everyone wished us well. Everyone was Tom, Judy, Deidre, Chris (her husband), Frances and Annie, my dog cousin. Our car was packed up with a couple extra things - a big straw hat of Joan's that's been at her parent's house for 15 years (good for gardening she says), some knives for Eileen, some Chinese artwork of Eileen's, and an electric hedge trimmer that Tom's friend, Austin, gave to Joan because he got a new one. We had less of my food with us because I had been eating it but I think more human food this time around. We waved goodbye and got on Hwy 101 north.

We drove for about 4 hours and ended up in El Cerrito or Oakland, CA. Joan planned it so we would avoid traffic, but we did end up in traffic on 880 - this is the area where Joan grew up, she told me. Well, not exactly Oakland but when Hwy 880 becomes Hwy 17 and goes into the Santa Cruz Mountains - that is where she grew up! We ended up at her grad school friend's house - her name is Gina and she had a dog named Ella and we did NOT get along despite doing the dog whisperer's introduction techniques of taking us on walks together. The thing is Ella wanted to play, and I did not. So we kind of had to tip toe around each other, and I unfortunately, ended up in my crate on several occasions.

On Saturday morning they left us to go to breakfast with Joan's childhood friend, Craig. My crate was in the bedroom with me in it and the door shut. In the evening, they left again to go have dinner with Joan and Gina's graduate adviser, David and his wife. That time I was in the crate but Joan also turned on the radio so music was playing - I think so I did not have to listen to Ella outside the door huffing and wishing she could come in and devour me. I was pretty dang scared of her! Though, it wasn't like I was shy about demonstrating my feelings!

Here are pictures of us at the dog park. That is the great thing about Oakland and San Francisco in general is that they are VERY dog friendly! We got to run along the bay - in one photo I'm looking off at San Francisco and the Bay Bridge is behind me.

We look like we are friends here:
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and here:
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Looking longingly across the bay:
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We couldn't do our usual "family photo" of everyone because Ella would not allow me to go near Gina because I did not pass her "play with me" test first. So I never got to really even say hi to Gina.
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Arroyo Grande, CA

It's about time I get back to our big trip out west. These pictures tell a bit about my time at Tom and Judy's (Joan's parents). I really loved it there because we were not in the car very much. Especially after the tick infestation, Joan stopped taking me on hikes with her. I didn't want to end up sleeping in the laundry room again for days on end!

We did go up to this big park up the street. Judy and I watched Joan and Tom play something called horseshoes. They throw this thing across the dirt. In this picture, Joan was excited because she got a "ringer" - all I know is that she made a loud sound with that horseshoe. There were also some nice kids up there watching them play and they tried to make friends with me. I let them get to know me a bit but I'm always worried about those teenage boys!
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This is pretty much how I spent my time outside on the patio. I loved it out there. I also was a very good dog because I never tried to run away down the hill or around the house to the street. Of course, if no one was out there with me, they tied me up but that was okay because I could still move around quite a bit.
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Rosemarie and that little boy, Ian, and another older guy Craig came to visit. Lucky for me, the dogs (Tabasco and Nestle) did not come, so I had peace to lie around. They called this day "father's day". I wonder = when is dog's day? Maybe everyday!!!
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A few days later another dog cousin and Joan's sister's (Deidre) family came to visit (Joan seems to have an unending supply of sisters!). This is Frances on my tail. She was a good girl - I liked her. However, my dog cousin, Annie, well, I wasn't so into her except they kind of kept us away from each other because Annie had been sick with a mysterious illness.
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And Joan joined us:
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We didn't get to visit too long. I could tell that Joan was packing us up and I didn't want to miss out on my ride. So I stuck to Joan. Judy and Tom gave up trying to keep me in the kitchen because I was so distressed!

July 4, 2006

Home sweet home

We're back home in Minneapolis - yeah! I started to recognize our neighborhood and started to go crazy in the backseat, despite being tethered to the seatbelt. I'm happy to be home and am sleeping a lot and I've also started to eat more food which makes Joan happy. In the coming days, I'll tell more about my adventures in CA and our trip back across 2/3 of this place called the United States.

~Bosco

June 16, 2006

Tick, tick, tick

They are calling me "Misstick" and I'm getting tired of it. But I guess they are too. I'll tell you what happened.

American Dog Tick on the tile floor (hint hint)
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So on Wednesday, Joan wanted to go on a hike - great! We went to El Chorro Regional Park near San Luis Obispo - it had an easy 3 mile trail for my people (Joan and her parents - Tom and Judy) and it also, bonus, had a dog park! So I ran around the dog park and went in the dog pools that were there (pretty tiny compared to my usual swimming hole, the Mississippi River!) and then we were ready for our hike. Joan and her mom chose this because it said it did not have poison oak - that dreaded plant. However, we started hiking and there was poison oak on either side of the trail so Joan kept me tight on the leash so we would stay on trail.

But then - Tom saw some ticks on her Judy's pants. Judy was the only one who wore pants. It wasn't so bad - they brushed them off. Well, we went up to a vista point and then continued on the trail loop but it had tall grasses. Joan pointed out the ticks on the ends of the grass just waiting for us! Then the trail got really narrow and had TONS of poison oak, so we turned around. Well, we got back to the car and Joan pulled two ticks off of my ear and head. We got back to the house and Joan made me go outside. She then took off my collar and started looking through my fur - super slowly. And then, every once in a while, she'd pull some of my fur out! I did not like that, but she kept doing it. One time Tom came out and asked Joan if she wanted an evening cocktail and Joan said something about needing a lot to drink after this was done. We were out there for at least an hour and half and Joan told her parents she removed and killed (smashed with a rock and then flushed down the toilet) 51 ticks. They are American dog ticks, as illustrated above. So that was 53 ticks with the ones at the car. You would think that would be all but NO. For the last two days, Joan has found more ticks on me and also many of them fall off me because Joan puts this funny stuff on my back every month that kills ticks. So we are easily up to over 100 ticks that have come off of me. They all stopped counting after they were in the 70s. Just right now, they came back from lunch and found 9 ticks on the floor. Joan has not let me sleep in her bedroom either, so I've had to sleep in the laundry room for the past two nights. Bummer for me. Here's a picture of me in my kitchen kingdom - can't go into that room with wood on the floor:
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Here's a picture of us at the scene of the tick crime:
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Tom started called me "Miss Tick" or misstick. When will I lose it? Probably never. Now, Joan isn't going to take me on any hikes that are in the grassy hills around here. She's sticking to sidewalks. Joan thought there were a lot of ticks in Minnesota, but this place has way more!

We did go on a short walk in a place called Shell Beach. It was so COOOOL. They had a drinking fountain for me! I loved it and drank a lot.
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Here's a picture of Joan and me at this park - it is beautiful there (and no ticks!).
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Joan and Judy left me yesterday with Tom while they went to a farmer's market in San Luis. Joan returned with this funny photo - if you know anything about CA, it is that it is smoke-free. No smoking anywhere, practically. And sure enough, you can't even smoke in the parking ramp!
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All I have to close with is: Dogs - Don't go to El Chorro Regional Park unless you want to have hundreds of ticks on you!


June 14, 2006

June 13: The Other Human

I woke up Joan at 7:10 AM - that's my time to get up! Today she leashed me up and we went running. There were lots of new things to smell but Joan realized that there is a danger to us going running or hiking here - it is something called "poison oak." Of course, do you think Joan is worried about me? No, the poison oak won't hurt me, but it can touch me and my fur and then if Joan or someone else pets my fur, they can get this itchy rash from poison oak. I guess this poison oak grows like a weed around here. Shucks-I bet she's not going to let me off leash anytime soon. We had a nice run and returned to the back patio to find - another human! It was Joan's mom who I also remember from visiting me in Minnesota. (I did not eat her cookie from the countertop.) I had just rolled around on someone's wet lawn and she was in her bathrobe so you can imagine that she wasn't super into petting me, but I tried my best to get over to her.

Besides our run, today was not super exciting because Joan was doing what her goal is for this trip: relaxing. She was reading a book in the backyard and then napping (thus, I napped too). Later on, she left with her mom, and when they returned, I was outside with her dad for cocktail hour, which I guess is a time for the humans to drink and eat on the patio while I watch. But, as long as I get to be there, I'm happy.
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June 12: The "Ocean"

Well, it seems we might be here for a while because Joan took a bunch of stuff into a room and took all her clothes out of the backpack she brought etc. But who knows?? We are driving so much, I'll be ready at any point.

This morning that cold cloud thing called "fog" was still here. Later in the day, I went to something called an "ocean" - it has the special name of Pacific Ocean. It is a lot of noisy water. I really loved walking on it, but I was a bit sensitive to the water. When you are near it, all of the sudden, water is coming up on top of you when you happen to be looking the other way. For that reason, I didn't run around in the water too much - which is pretty hard to believe given my love for all things H2O.

Grover Beach to Pismo Beach
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I found this really smelly plant on the beach everywhere. I smelled it and it was glorious because it had so many smells. I had to leave my mark on it, of course.

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When we returned home, Joan gave me a bath in the front of the house. How embarassing, though I know I was pretty dirty after lying in all the campgrounds we went to. Then we sat in the back of the house while I dried. Joan brushed me and then came out with scissors and cut some of my fur off. She said I had something called "sap" in it and no matter what, it would not come out. I don't think it is a big deal - I'm sure my fur will return and I seem to have plenty of it.

My allergies are back and Joan has started to give me my peanut butter pill since I'm eating my food again.

Trip West Summary

Here are our collective statistics about driving west.

Saw people from 34 states and 1 Canadian province (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, New Jersey, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Michigan, California, Washington, Louisiana, Vermont, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, South Carolina, Quebec, Montana, Alabama)

Drove 2,510 miles in Hondacar.
Used 78.842 gallons of gas.
Paid as low as 2.61/gallon (Iowa) and as high as 3.49/gallon (CA).

Favorite highways included:
Utah 128 between Cisco and Moab;
Utah 24 between Hanksville and Torrey;
Utah 12 between Torrey and Hwy 89;
Utah 14 between Long Valley Junction and Cedar City.

Favorite park was Kodachrome State Park in Utah.
Joan's favorite day was June 8.
Bosco's favorite day was June 4.
Joan and Bosco's favorite rest stop: Colorado on I-76 near Julesburg (no rules about where I can go to the bathroom or walk around and they had neat Teepee.)

June 11: Bakersfield to Arroyo Grande, CA

Today, miraculously, Joan and I slept in until 8:00 AM - that's our latest so far on the trip! I guess all that swmming tired me out. Rosemarie and Ian were already awake and Ian likes to play with me.

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They put me in the kennel again and left me in the house for awhile. I still don't like it, but I laid there fine for the hour or so they were gone. When they returned, they were eating food from a bag that had that same yellow arrow and "In 'N out burger" on it. They didn't give any to me, though.

We tried to take a picture of this family, dogs and all, and this was the best we could do. I'm not even visible because I was behind Nestle. Joan says there is another guy (dad) in this family but he wasn't here while we were here.
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We got in the car - I was very excited as I love my spot in the car! We drove a couple hours through some mountains - and we saw the fog - I guess that means cold clouds, Joan says. Bakersfield was hot but where we were going had this white cool fog.
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I was whining a bit but we very quickly ended up at another house! We got out and this guy came out that I remember visited us in Minnesota (I ate his cookie from the countertop, as I recall!!). I was so happy to see a friendly face. But then Joan put me out in the backyard patio on my leash and left me there. I felt like it was forever, but really it was only 5 minutes. But in that 5 minutes, I was so concerned about Joan not being with me and me being at this new place, that I threw up. As usual, Joan says. We are at our final destination - most westerly location - it is called Arroyo Grande - that's Spanish for "Big Ditch" Joan says. This is the patio in the back - something called the ocean is about a mile away but it was getting dark so we didn't go there or see it really.
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When Joan came and got me from the back, we went into the kitchen with the tile floor. It's a big room and I spent some time sniffing every nook and cranny though it seems these people are pretty clean - didn't find any good things to eat. Then I saw another room and started to step in there, but Joan said "No, Back" and I went back into the kitchen and then she said "Good girl." We did this a few times and I got the sense that they don't want me in that other room, so I have to lie on the tile or my bed in the kitchen. It's not so bad!

June 10: Bakersfield, CA

I woke up early – at 5:30 CA time, Joan said. She let me out and then went back to bed. I snuck up on her bed – I knew it wasn’t allowed so I just stayed on the bottom edge until I saw Joan look at me, so I went up near her, but she told me to get off. There was this loud screaming and we went out to find out Rosemarie was feeding a baby, Ian, who was making that loud noise! Later, I found out he crawls on the ground a lot. Joan tried to get me to meet the dogs again but we still don’t really get along that well.

Later on, out came the dog kennel – hmmm….I kinda knew what was up. Joan put me in it along with a toy and a treat and they left me in there and left. I lay down and was okay but I really don’t like being in there.
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When Joan returned, she put a new collar on me! It is also red but has reflective paw prints on it. She also got a new name tag made for me with her cell phone number on it – especially if I got lost here in California! My other tag was unreadable because I’ve had it so long. So now, I’m clothed again with a new collar.

We hung outside for a while. But there are two of those flying blade type things on the ceiling of the outdoor patio. Ughh! They are everywhere here! I was tolerating Nestle, the taller dog, and we would have been fine if it hadn't been for Tabasco. Everytime I laid down, he'd come over and sniff my you know what and I'd growl and get up. Then Tabasco and Nestle would follow me around incessantly. I was getting a little tired of it - actually a lot tired of it - I couldn't relax. It was like they were "it" and I never got to pursue them but only be the pursued. I just wanted to go inside to get away from them! Following are photos of us across the day. Bonus - I got to go swimming in that water hole! However, I should warn other dogs to not go in these water holes because there is no way to get out unless your human is there to show you the way out!

Bosco, Nestle, and Tabasco
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Bosco and Nestle (and my new collar!)
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Swimming in the water hole

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June 12, 2006

June 9: Kodachrome to Bakersfield, CA

We woke up early and went immediately on a hike through the panorama of Kodachrome State Park. We saw lots of jackrabbits and lizards while we walked. This park is known for their rock spires.
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Back at camp, Joan was drinking her tea when I ran after these birds that encroach upon my campsite empire. I ran so fast after them that the plastic latch on my collar broke when the long leash tightened up, and I was free! No collar or being tied up! Joan called me back and I went obediently to lie down in the shade but then she was a bit mystified about what to do with a collarless dog! Then, to my dismay, she put on the seatbelt harness and I was back to being tied up.

Joan packed everything up, and I could see we were on the move again! I got in the car, and we were off. Hondacar was at 119,110 when we started. I stayed awake because it was very pretty country.
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We drove by Bryce Canyon National Park and near to Zion National Park (Joan’s been there before) but again, we boycott those parks because we can’t walk around them except on roads. I was lobbying Joan to go near Kanab because the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is located there – it is a sanctuary like the place were Joan got me – Animal Ark in Minnesota. They never kill animals like lots of the other shelters do, so we like them a lot! Also, they helped out in New Orleans last year rescuing all sorts of animals. Someone said they have nearly 1800 animals at their sanctuary! But, we did not drive that way but drove up into the forest – we even saw these very interesting lava flows that reminded Joan of Bend, Oregon area, but we were in Utah! We went on a hike at the summit of Hwy. 14 in a Bristlecone forest – it was a short walk but smelled fantastic! We could see all the way to Zion National Park.
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We saw snow - it was weird to see snow again. We were up at 10,000 feet, though.
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We also had lunch (both of us – I am finally eating a bit) in a campground that has beautiful aspen trees and wildflowers.
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Back in the car, and I slept for quite a long time until we got to Las Vegas, NV. I don’t want to miss any of the big towns. I couldn’t forget this one because we were in traffic – bumper to bumper – and we also almost got into an accident since a ladder was in the middle of our lane, and Joan had to swerve around it, just like the big truck did in front of us. That was exciting. There also was this big yellow arrow and all the sudden, Joan yelled “In-N-Out Burger?!

We kept driving and driving and driving and I was sleeping, sleeping, sleeping. Finally, after about 11 hours, we ended up in a place called Bakersfield, California at Joan’s sister’s house – her name is Rosemarie and I was scared of her at first, as usual, but then became friends. However, I am not friends with her dogs: Tabasco, a small yipper dog, and Nestle, a hound of some sort. Let’s just say teeth have been shown and growls heard! I just feel like they are ganging up on me. I did spy a big water hole in the backyard behind a fence. I hope I get to go in it! In the kitchen - actually almost in every room - there are those flying blades on the ceiling. I do not like them but sometimes I can go under the table and then I can't see them. I also discovered a new type of animal - it is kind of like those lizards in Utah but they are bigger and don't really move, at least not when I am near them. Joan said they are called "frogs" and they were all over the backyard at nighttime. I sniffed them but didn't do much else to them.

Today we went through 4 states: Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and finally California. Arizona was the "Grand Canyon State," Nevada just said, Nevada - it must not be known for anything, and somehow we missed the sign into California - but maybe it's the "Golden State" - perhaps for the plants that turn golden in the summer, or the Gold Rush in 1849, or the golden sun - who knows?!

We added two more states from license plate game to our list: Montana and Alabama.

June 8: Calf Creek to Kodachrome Park

We slept okay but Joan got up in the middle of the night to put the second cover on the tent because there was some rain on us. I went outside and drank some water. In the morning, Joan let me out and while she put her shoes on, I heard some dogs and went to investigate, and there were a couple coming down the road but then Joan called me back and put me on the leash. Joan cleaned up camp and we left. Hondacar was at 119,039 this morning.

I thought you might like to know what is in my backseat area: on the floor on one side is a big bag of my food. I don’t really go into that – in fact, I’ve not been very hungry on our trip. In the middle floor, there are some containers of water. On the other side is a bag of my toys, dog treats, leashes, and under the seat are my bowls of food (that I’m not eating) and a dish for water. Up on the backseat is another bag that has more of my stuff, like ear cleaning solution – that Joan used once on me already – and then there’s a towel that she uses to dry me off if I go into a river or something. The whole rest of the backseat is mine to lie down on or stand up – at least as far as my seatbelt harness lets me go.

Anyway, off we went and I was awake, looking at all the rock formations and red earth along the way.
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At one viewpoint, we stopped and Joan’s phone started beeping – she then stopped there and called a bunch of people – she also let me out to walk around. Then we kept going and added to the roadkill situation. There are a lot of dead animals on the road and then Joan ran over a ground squirrel – way to go, Joan!!! She’s helping the world be rid of those bad squirrels that I hate. She didn’t seem as happy as I was about it.

We got to our next stop pretty early in the day and a short ride. Joan made lunch for herself and took out a few things – like my bed but I didn’t lie on it. Next thing I knew, we drove to a hike and started walking around a big red outcropping with an arch.
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But bad weather was coming.
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I was really thirsty and tired but Joan, in a very worried voice, told me to keep going – we were almost running as I heard thunder above us and the trail ran atop the red outcropping. I kept going because Joan insisted, but I really wanted to rest and drink water. But overall, it was wise because we saw a huge bolt of lightning and heard thunder and then it started raining hard. We were in the car, and I couldn’t believe how fast Joan could drive on the dirt road. Back at the campsite, my bed was all wet, and we stayed in the car while Joan ate her picnic lunch, and it rained on us.

The rain stopped and finally Joan let me out of the car. She set the tent up and then we had to go into the tent.
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I did not want to go in at all. It is a windowless cave, as far as I’m concerned and I can’t see anything, which makes me very concerned. She pushed me in and it immediately started raining again – but worse – it was thundering right on top of us! I hate thunder – really, really hate it. We were in that tent for 2.5 hours while it rained the entire time. Joan fell asleep but I was up, concerned, but not enough to pant incessantly and drool. It did stop and we heard voices, and Joan let me out of the tent! Joan left me at our camp for a little bit, and when she returned, she smelled really good and had wet hair!

That night, we went on an evening hike to the top of the rock ridge.
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Joan started a fire when we returned to camp. She made me sleep in that tent again that night, but no rain – it was okay.

June 7: Arches to Dead Horse to Calf Creek

Hondacar started the day at 118,775. Joan and I both were pretty tired because of some nighttime antics, on my part. We went to bed around 10pm, and I was in the tent with Joan. The last time I was in a tent was when I went backpacking along Lake Superior with Joan about 3 years ago. That went fine BUT there was no wind or people that time. Last night, there were people and wind. First, we got in the tent and since the sky was threatening with lightning etc., Joan had the extra cover over the tent which made it kinda hot inside and I could see out only in one spot. So, then I started hearing people making all sorts of noises, and I, out of respect and protection for Joan, wanted to investigate and was concerned. So I started panting and standing up. When dogs like me pant, we also drip saliva all over. THAT was a problem for Joan, I guess. I kept dripping saliva on her and she was not too happy about it! Especially since she was already hot in there, too. Around 11, the noise died down and I snuggled – not on my bed – but between Joan and the tent side – kinda on top of her. For a while, I had my head and my paw on her leg. But I stopped panting and went to sleep somewhat. THEN, about an hour and half later, I jumped up and started being concerned again because the tent started making all sorts of noises – Joan said this was the wind, but I still was concerned and resumed my panting/saliva dripping/standing routine but this time I was standing near her head so I was dripping saliva on her head or arm, and she really did not like that! Joan wanted to get up at 5:20 AM and it was already nearly 1:00 AM – Joan let me outside the tent and I went over and laid down near the tree where we had hung out during the day. Joan said I could not stay there because there are lions that could come in the night and eat me. So, instead, she got up, put me in the car, opened the windows, and returned to her tent. I loved that – finally a familiar spot that is comfortable. This morning at 5:30, she poked her head out the tent, and I was there waiting for her, sitting in the backseat in my spot. The problem is Joan didn’t sleep very much because she was concerned about me!

So we started our day and I was a happy camper (no pun intended) on my long leash at the site while Joan packed things up. I wouldn’t eat any breakfast though except my peanut butter pill. Then just before we left, I threw up. Oh well! Joan plied me with treats because I eat those. I’m just so out of sorts and hot, I haven’t been eating very much this week.

We headed out and arrived at a place called “Dead Horse Point State Park.? Here are pictures of our long walk there. It runs atop the Colorado River - Joan thought it was just as good as the Grand Canyon (note - that's another national park that we won't go to!!)

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We got back to the car around 11:30, and during the last part of our walk, we stopped often and Joan gave me water.
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It was very hot! Then Joan ate lunch and we headed off again in the Hondacar. I slept a bit, but then I woke up when we went through Capitol Reef National Park – we just drove through but it has spectacular scenery (but it’s a national park and we are boycotting those for dog reasons).
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The scenery just kept getting better and better – we went up into a windy and cool forest with lots of aspen trees. Then we went down in elevation and went through more spectacular rock formations and ended up at Calf Creek Recreation area where we got the very last campsite at 4 PM. Phew – we were lucky!
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Joan set up the tent while I waited, and then we went on another hike – this one was to a waterfall and was 6 miles roundtrip and I pulled the entire way. I had lots of energy after sitting in the car for 4 hours. I got to cool off in the creek several times.
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I’m really exhausted now, back at camp. I hope tonight we all get some sleep!


June 11, 2006

June 6: Arches National Park, Utah

Hondacar started at 118, 685 miles. We woke up early at our sub-1-star hotel so we could hike when it was cool. I was lucky in that Joan let me sleep on the bed next to her all night. She had to pay $10 for me, so she decided bed was okay! I snuggled next to her.

We drove out to this trail a guy told us about and these other people had their dogs off leash and the sign said to have your dogs “in control? so Joan let me off leash. Yeah! We walked up through this canyon along a river. Yeah Yeah! So, as you can imagine – I spent a lot of time in the water.
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I am very adept with my legs and paws on all the rocks – Joan was just concerned when I got too close to what appeared to be a cliff – then she’d yell at me to come back, and I would. We went as far as a small waterfall - since we did not have a map and she had an agenda for the day. So we turned back and at one point, she saw a man coming up the trail and she called my name and I turned around, saw the man, and barked. The man got scared and almost had a heart attack! He talked with her after that anyway – he and his wife were heading up the way we had just come. We returned to the car by 8:10 AM.

Joan was on the phone trying to figure out the best place to camp, and she decided on Arches National Park even though it is a national park that relegates my kind to only go on the street – where cars go! (Despite their policies, the nice lady at the entrance gave me some treats – I liked her.) This park would give us a spot immediately as opposed to the state park where you had to wait for someone to check out.

Did I mention it was hot? It was hot – like you can’t imagine. We drove around Arches looking at things we could see from where cars can go – some pictures:

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Then we set up camp at a spot that had a shrub tree (for shade). Joan ate lunch and we tried to take a nap in the tent, but I was too hot and wanted to be outside. So we went and sat in the shade and Joan read her book. We sat there for hours. I huffed and puffed forever. This is our spot:
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I also was introduced to a new animal in this area almost as prevalent as squirrels in my backyard – and that animal is: a lizard. I tried to run after them, but they would run fast. At 4:00, Joan had had enough and we decide to trek out of the park (it takes about 40 minutes to drive out). She did this, in the end, nearly 100% for me. We drove out to the Colorado River and she let me dunk my body in the river and cool off. Phew. Then she went and got herself a cold Coke. She had intended on taking an evening hike but as we descended out of Arches, we saw all the bad weather and when we were in Moab to get the Coke, we could see lightning bolts striking down. So we hurried back to our camp and watched the weather there – there were gray clouds off in the distance and it was windy. Joan made dinner and then we went for a walk around the campground, and we saw a forest fire off in the distance – no doubt made by lightning. Joan read her book a bit and then we went on another walk (on the pavement) to Devil’s Garden at sunset (we wouldn’t be able to go earlier because the pavement would have been too hot for my feet. Then we went to bed!

Devil's Garden at Sunset
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New license plates for this day include:
Idaho, South Carolina, Quebec

June 5: Denver to Moab, Utah

Before we left Littleton, we took a family photo of our families – Berkeley and me.

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Hondacar started at 118313.

Joan and I left Denver, and she made a wrong turn and did not go on I-70. It was funny and she said, it’s vacation, it doesn’t matter. So we turned around and headed up the mountain. As compared with our drive on Saturday to Denver, when I slept the whole time, today I was awake almost the entire day because the scenery was so grand. There was so much to look at. Our first stop was a scenery stop but Joan realized she had to go to the bathroom so we continued on to the Vail Pass rest stop. Joan told me she biked up to this spot last summer. Here is a photo of it:

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Then we went to the Vail Dog Park. It wasn’t that big (nothing like Minnehaha dog park in Minneapolis) but it got me out and about.
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Then we went to a restaurant at Vail – Bart & Yeti’s. There was tons of construction going on, so I was FREAKING out, as you might imagine.
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We continued on through Colorado to Utah to go to Dead Horse Park. Utah's entry sign just had something about the Olympic Games - we thought it could have been better. We took the scenic route (meaning that I was fully awake to watch everything) - and twisted our way through rock canyons along with the Colorado River.
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We got to Moab and almost started driving to the park, but Joan realized we needed gas, so we went back to Moab to get gas, and Joan called the park and found out they were full. In the end, we stayed at a motel of sorts. We got our key and then drove out to do an evening hike.
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Back at the room, I was FREAKED me out until I got to sleep on the bed with Joan. Someone knocked on the door (it turned out it was the door next to ours) but I barked super loudly at that! I definitely kept Joan safe in there.

We added a few more states to our license plate game today. They include:
Washington, Louisiana, Vermont, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon, Utah

June 4, 2006

June 4: Littleton, CO

Today was fabulous. We stayed in Littleton because we needed a rest after so much driving and, of course, the elevation is still bothering Joan. Kristen and Rob are the parents at this house and the kids are Patrick and Megan. I’m just going to show you a bunch of pictures of what we did today.

Bosco and Berkeley
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The main story is … bones are a bone of contention between Berkeley and me. Berkeley just doesn’t want me to have my own bone. Everytime I get a bone, she comes over and growls at me. Even when I leave the bone and let her have it and then go and get the other bone (there were at least 2 bones around), she’d still growl at me. Joan called it a dog dance, as we kept circling around everyone at the table outside and even under the table between chairs etc. After our second run-in with snarling, bare teeth and growls, Joan took away my bones, and I heard them say “no more bones!? So we don’t have any more bones around.

The Bone of Contention
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But as you can tell, I’m having a good time with the kids even if Berkeley and I don’t always get along. Several people have told us that I am a mini-Berkeley.

All Dressed Up
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I am a PlayToy
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Licking Patrick
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Swimming
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June 3: NE to CO

Hondacar’s odometer was at 117,813 when we left Nebraska. To be honest, I can’t say much about our drive from Lincoln, NE to Littleton, CO because this is what I was doing the whole day in the car:

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(Joan needs to learn to take better pictures while driving.)

We did stop at a gas station and a woman from WI pet me while I was in the car with my head out the window, and later, after more sleeping, we stopped in Colorado that they welcome us into as “colorful Colorado.? Here’s a picture Joan took of me at the rest stop on I-76, which by the way is the most boring highway ever. It was just flat, brown hay with very little traffic.

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I did ask Joan to keep track of license plates since I was sleeping so much and here’s our new plates: Colorado, Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, New Jersey, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Michigan, and California!

When we got to Denver, I got up because I could sense there was a lot going on around. I stood up and watched the city while we drove to Littleton, where Joan’s friend from high school lives. When we got there, Joan ushered me to the backyard and then she disappeared into the bathroom. Meanwhile, a really big dog was barking really loudly and I started shaking in the backyard. Then Joan reappeared and I was introduced to Berkeley, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, who is 10 years old. Then I got dinner and we went on a walk later on. Joan had a headache so we went to bed kinda early. She says the elevation is bad for her, and she feels like a dagger is stabbing her through her eye. I'm okay with it, though.

June 2: MN to NE

Joan spent a lot of time getting stuff together in the morning, trips to the car and back. I decided to camp out in the garage and just waited by the open trunk so that I could get in the car with easy access. When I saw her pull out my bed, I knew for sure I was going with her. She put that funny harness thing on me and attached it to the seatbelt. I found out it restrains me. It was okay. I could still stand up and lay down. I can’t hang out the window, but the windows were closed anyway. Here’s the picture in the driveway as we set to leave at 11:30 AM – much later than I think Joan intended! Hondacar’s odometer was at: 117,363.

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Her neighbor is going to use the guest bedroom as she has all her sons and wives and granddaughters in town now. So our house won’t be lonely. And, of course, Eileen will come over, too, to watch movies, use whatever she needs, and mow the lawn for Joan etc. It makes me feel good that Eileen will be around our house.

We set off in Minneapolis and drove past the dog park – I really wanted to go there but we didn’t. Then we kept driving forever. At one point, I barked really loudly in Joan’s ear and she knew it was time to stop. We got out in a place called Iowa that has “fields of opportunities? as it said on the sign going into that state. We walked around and I went to the bathroom and then Joan tied me to a picnic bench and asked this boy to watch me while she ran into the bathroom, and she was back in about 30 seconds. It was really hot so I couldn’t stay in the car. Then I drank about 1 ½ bowls of water – I was really thirsty after all that panting because I was unsure what we were doing. I felt much better after that!! We got back in the car – meanwhile we were playing the license plate game – well, I slept some, so I told Joan to keep it up for me while I was sleeping – here are the plates we’ve seen along the way, generally in the order of appearance.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana.

We stopped another time at a gas station. That time, Joan left me in the car with the windows (in the shade) while she went into the gas station store. Then she took me for a short walk to go the bathroom. I guess it is hard for her to go to the bathroom, herself, and keep me safe. We kept driving really fast then and I slept most of the way. Joan took a couple pictures from the car. We liked Iowa – it was rolling hills and lots of green.

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She also captured me in my backseat kingdom.

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Then we drove through a place called Council Bluffs and Omaha – I stood up for that as there was a lot going on, including traffic. Then we crossed the Missouri River and into a place called Nebraska!

We ended up in Lincoln, NE at a place I’ve already been to two years ago! The dog, Cleo, lives there with Loukia and Jim. Loukia is Joan’s friend from something called graduate school. Here’s a picture of everyone. I like Cleo okay – better when we are alone together. When everyone is outside with us, I tried to show off and be the alpha dog. One time, I stared down Cleo, kind of like I do with squirrels back home, and Cleo decided to stay on the grass while I had reign of the wood deck with all the people. Actually, Loukia’s dad said he was happy about it because Cleo I guess jumps on them and bugs them. Cleo is younger than I am and she really barked at me to get me to play with her, but it kind of bugged me, so I had to growl a few times at her.

I slept in a room with Joan but I was very anxious and was huffing and puffing quite a bit. Then, I woke up early and starting pacing on the wood floor – tap, tap, tap, tap – with my nails. Finally, Joan got up and let me outside – then a bit later, Jim got up and started making breakfast for the humans.

Joan, Loukia, Sef, Cleo and I went on a walk but it was a really slow walk because we went at Sef’s pace. We ended up at a park where Cleo caught and injured a mole of some sort – way to go, Cleo! When we got back to the house, we took a photo with Loukia's family and then Joan packed up and we left in the car….

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May 24, 2006

Home Alone

For the past 5 days, I've been living at home alone. It's been the first time I've slept in our house at night alone. Wooooooooooo. Joan left really really early on Saturday - she got up at 4am - despite that, I was totally open to going for a walk but she didn't take me on one. She left in one of those cars that have kind of a light on top of the roof. I saw the box on wheels the night before and knew it! In any case, Eileen came over later that day and walked me and then she returned that night and walked me more, and we watched a movie.

Then Doris and Tim started to let me out in the morning and at night before bed. Between then, EIleen would visit me, feed me, and walk me. I had a nice time, but I was waiting for Joan to return. When Doris let me out, I would always check for the smell of Joan on the path to the garage but couldn't smell her. :-(

Today I heard a noise and looked up from my spot sitting on the leather chair near the window, and to my pleasant surprise, I saw Joan walking with that box on wheels!!!!! I immediately ran to the front door and started jumping up on the door and squealing with joy. Joan finally opened the door, and I jumped up and gave her a big kiss and a hug. And then a few more and a few more. We went on a walk as expected and I had dinner, too. Then I collapsed. I've been a bit anxious since Joan left, so now I can finally relax and I've been falling into some major deep sleeps! Even though Joan was gone, staying alone in my house was so much better than going to THAT kennel where I lost 10% of my bodyweight because I was so scared.

I'll tell more tomorrow about a dog-cousin I found out I have in Texas!

March 21, 2006

Joan Gone Again

Joan left again! I couldn't believe it since she had just been gone. I started to get worried as I saw her laying clothes on a bed and getting bags out etc. but then she didn't actually leave. One night I was really worried and gave her long, forelorn looks. But then, I did not realize she was leaving and before I knew it, Roberta showed up at the house! Joan must have distracted me while her bags were taken out of the house! I was with Roberta for about 10 days, and I was really happy because I got to stay in my house. And then, Bonus, it snowed a ton and I LOVE playing in the snow. The only thing was that I did not get to blog at all because Roberta was using the computer a lot because she is in school to become a nurse.

Joan returned a couple days ago really late at night. I did not know it was her because it was a strange car so I stared barking at her. But then she opened the door and I saw and smelled her and got really excited. I jumped up and gave her a kiss on the lips and anything else I could reach. Wag, wag, wag.

Joan told me she went to Guatemala and also told me that it is a land of dogs. One Guatemalan told her he thought they had more dogs than people living there - that would mean about 13 million dogs. There, dogs get to roam free without leashes (or at least leashes are rarer). However, most dogs are really skinny and almost all the females, like me, are pregnant or lactating. Imagine, having puppies all the time. That's some hard work. I've never done it, but I've heard from other dogs. Joan told me she wanted to do "dogs of Guatemala" and started taking pictures of dogs there but soon realized that it was too sad and that no one would buy her imaginary coffee table book. Despite the dogs, she told me she had a fabulous time and loved the country and the people she met there. I would hope that was the case since she gave away 10 days of being with me for going there. It better be good!!!

March 4, 2006

No Kennel This Time

So, Joan left town again but this time I did not go to THAT kennel where I lost 5 pounds and looked like a starving dog upon return. What happened was that Joan put me in the car last Sunday. I thought we were going to the dog park - again - since we had just gone there that morning. But we didn't drive that way. I guess I should have known more because my bed was in the car. We drove up to Rachel, Lew, and Will's house. I went there one other time and Will who is a little boy left lots of food on the ground for me. They also have a really big backyard.

So we entered into the house and Lew was there and Joan was talking to him and then Joan left! I was a bit worried and ran to the front of the house to check and I saw her car drive away. I soon got over my worry because later on Rachel showed up and also the little boy, Will, woke up and he lets me lick him a lot and loves it!

I had some great days at their house. We went in the backyard a lot and played fetch. One time I even stole a stick out of WIll's hand. I'm glad I did not knock him over, like I have done (unintentionally) in the past. Rachel would throw my purple bone toy or a stick for me, and I would run for it. However, Rachel learned that playing with me was no "relaxing, coffee sipping" matter. Ha! She brought her coffee out the first morning but I showed her that I'm very enthusiastic about playing. No coffee allowed! I started to "own" the backyard and when dogs walked by on a little trail next to my yard, I would sometimes bark at them, letting them know that this was now my territory. In terms of territory, I also considered the house my territory and the first morning I was there, someone drove up the drive really early (it wasn't light yet) and threw something at the house. I was not going to let that go, so I started barking really loudly to let Rachel or Lew know something was going on. They did not seem that concerned about what was going on outside - and the next morning, I couldn't see because they closed the blinds. I heard that the same thing happened though.

We also had visitors - one woman came and I could tell she did not like dogs that much, so I just stayed out of her way. If people don't like my kind, then I don't see it to be worth the effort to show them that dogs are great. I'd rather focus on Will because he seems to really enjoy me. Speaking of him, he continued to drop lots of food on the floor for me which I happily took care of cleaning up.

Then one day, Joan drove up and came into the house. I was really happy to see her and, despite having a nice time at Rachel and Lew's, I wanted to hurry home to see what had happened in my other backyard and if the squirrels were taking over. Joan decided to chat with Rachel for TOOOO long, so I kept whining more and more to say "let's go!". We did leave, finally, and I whined all the way home because I was so excited to see our house. The house was the same but sure enough, as we came out of the garage, I saw a squirrel near the house - on the ground - and I quickly chased him up the oak tree! Those squirrels just think they can go anywhere. I suspected that was happening in my absence. Once inside the house, I realized that I was absolutely exhausted, so I napped all afternoon and all evening, too. At Rachel's, I did not get my usual 8 hours of napping on and off while Joan is at work - because usually someone is home at Rachel's - especially Will who loved to play with me. So you can understand that I was feeling a little tired.
Overall, it was fabulous and I cannot even start to say how much better it was than THAT kennel. Ughh!