Thursday, September 28, 2006

Charlie and the Postman

Charlie has a love-hate relationship with the postman.

Our mail carrier has gone to great lengths to curry Charlie's favor. When a package is handed in, it's usually accompanied by a treat or two. And Charlie sometimes barges outside to be fed extras.

In fact once, when we were gone for the daily mail delivery, we returned home to find a package with the requisite treat on top.

Still, every morning when he hears the familiar *snap* of the mail slot, Charlie launches into fiercely protective barking. You'd think he'd at least not want to scare the treats away!

Monday, September 25, 2006

I'll be watching you.

As I got the RV ready for our recent trip, I noticed a constant observer, moving from window to window.

...Every breath you take

Every move you make...

...Every step you take

I'll be watching you!

Friday, September 22, 2006

5 Things that Make a True Doggie Friend

A true doggie friend...

1. is always eager to see you

2. likes to roughhouse, but eases up when you cry 'uncle'

3. steals the chew, but lets you steal it back sometimes, too

4. doesn't care if you slobber on them

5. shares the water bowl

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Episode 4: Orcas Island, Dances with Deer

Well, not exactly "dances". More like "runs". And in the opposite direction...

All the islands, but especially Orcas, were covered in deer. They were everywhere! So I should have known better than to take Charlie out for a final night's walk to an isolated part of the campground. And then shine a flashlight into the dark.

There were 2 deer, not very far away, caught in the glare of the flashlight. They looked at us. And we looked at them. And then two things happened almost simultaneously - - the deer gracefully leaped into the air and bounded off... and my arm was nearly separated from my shoulder, as this 80 lb golden retriever tried to get as far away from the deer as quickly as possible. I don't know who was startled more - - Charlie or the deer or me!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Episode 3: San Juan Island Sightseer

- - Arriving in Friday Harbor on the ferry.

American Camp at San Juan Island National Historical Park - where the US & Great Britain almost went to war over a pig. - -

- - Watching for whales.

Hiking at Lime Kiln State Park - -

- - Back home at last in the RV, exhausted!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Episode 2: Lopez Island Beachcomber Dog

Charlie adjusted easily to this, his second RV camping trip.

And, true to his golden retriever nature, he turned out to be exceptionally interested in the WATER!

At first he was a little wary.

But he quickly warmed up to it, and soon he was splashing around in the water, exploring.

By the time we were done, he was ready and eager to plunge in further and try some ocean swimming. Only the prospect of a big wet salty dog in the RV caused discretion to win out.

As it was, though, Charlie had a splashing great time!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Travels with Charlie - The San Juan Islands. Episode 1: Charlie Rides the Ferry

We're going where in the RV?

In that? I don't think so...

Are you sure this thing is safe? We're awfully close to the edge of the boat!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Holding Paws

Charlie loves to hold paws. In fact he demands it!

He'll come up and put a paw out for you to take. And forget ignoring it. Ignoring is not an option, unless you want to experience escalation in action.

No, your best choice is to take the paw and hold it. And hold it. And hold it. And hold it.

Eventually he will become tired and lie down. But you're not out of the woods yet. Oh no...

Even when lying down, he wants to hold paws. So you can count on doing so until he falls asleep. Eventually.

Then you can let go. Maybe. If he's sound asleep. And he doesn't wake up.

It will happen. It must...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Fun with Tomo

Charlie's California friend, Tomo, recently came to visit, along with his parents. Charlie had a great time following him around and doing tricks for treats. He even showed Tomo one of his best ones -- catching treats right out of the air.

He can't wait for a return visit soon!

Monday, September 04, 2006

And then there are the ears...

Charlie may get his squinty smile from his dad. But that beautiful coat and those shaggy flyaway ears seem to be all mom!

No matter how much you brush Charlie's ears, they always look windblown and in need of combing. And no matter how much you neglect it, the rest of his coat stays shiny and beautiful!

Above is Mom with 10-day-old Charlie & company, and below/right is almost 2-year-old Charlie.

Like Father, Like Son

I came across this picture of Charlie's Indiana dad (above) and was struck by how much adult Charlie (below) looks like him!

The same profile. That same squinty smile. Even the way he holds his nose up in the air, just rocking with excitement, looking happy, when someone he likes approaches.

I'd know that dog anywhere!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Guarding the Chew

The other night Charlie and Gabbie were chewing chews in the backyard. They each treat this as a somewhat dangerous and competitive endeavor, requiring constant vigilance and care, and sometimes even growling, lest the other make a play for and steal away a coveted morsel, let alone the whole chew.

When dinner was over and the plates ready to lick, Gabbie stayed outside chewing, but Charlie arrived in the kitchen in a heartbeat. With his chew, of course. Which he carefully placed on the plate so he could protect it, while taking care of business. What a dog!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Thanks, Everybody!

Pssst! Gabbie!! Guess what!!???

You gotta go look at Dogs with Blogs right away!

Me and Ranger and Sam I Am are featured there this month! And there are tons of other great dogs with blogs there too. Not to mention my role model Charlie the Big Dog and his sister Opy who kinda run the place.

Anyway, check it out real soon!