Eight today, he's getting a tiny bit white around the eyes and on his face, and he doesn't jump the backyard terraces quite as much, but Charlie's still the same goofy lovable going-on-2 golden guy.
His special Aunt Karen called with birthday wishes, and we all sang him Happy Birthday together (he joined in). We have some special pink-frosted carob treats from Vancouver Island to celebrate with, and we'll take a special walk, maybe even go for a ride in the car. Then something special for dinner and a brushing - his favorite way to relax in front of the tv.
Happy Birthday, Charlie! I hope you have a ton of fun today!!
Last week we took Charlie to Vancouver Island, BC. I carefully researched how to get him into Canada and back into the US (which our vet said was harder) and had his signed rabies certificate and recent health exam records. It turned out to be a total non-event, however. All anyone ever said was "Beautiful dog" and "Woah, don't eat me!!".
Charlie is a good traveler. He loves to ride in a car (or in this case the "Chuckwagon", his RV), loves to walk, and never seems to get out of sorts.
Charlie waiting for the ferry
We took the Blackball Ferry, M.V. Coho, from Port Angeles, WA over to Victoria because dogs are allowed both up on deck and in some of the observation lounges. The WA state and BC ferries, on the other hand, seem to restrict pets to the car deck, where it's noisy, smelly & hard to see anything except cars & trucks. This worked out great! Charlie could walk out on deck and, more importantly, sit inside and troll for passersby who needed a dog fix.
Charlie on deck
Looking at the big lines
One passenger was really focused on Charlie, but playing it cool. After we'd been sitting in the lounge awhile, I realized a little boy in an orange fleece had been walking by a lot. When I paid attention, I noticed he was watching Charlie as he walked by. After a little while (and quite a few more trips past us), I saw him reach down and just barely touch Charlie's fur as he went by. On subsequent trips, he got bolder and patted Charlie on the head. Finally, on one trip past he reached down, put his face close, and ruffled Charlie's ears with both hands. I had to smile, it was so sweet and funny.
After arriving, we spent a little time in Victoria (the capital of BC) and then headed to Nanaimo and then on to Ucluelet, a small rustic community on the opposite side of the island.
At Swan's in Victoria
At Maffeo-Sutton Park in Nanaimo
On the road to Ucluelet
We stayed in Ucluelet for 2 days, hiking and seeing the area.
Wild Pacific trail, Ucluelet
Wild Pacific trail
Wild Pacific trail
Then back across the island and down to Victoria to catch the ferry home. Along the way we stopped at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park and hiked a bit.
Headed to Lower Falls
In Victoria, waiting for the ferry back, we had more time to explore. Charlie saw horses, and puppies, and even met a group of students who attend Victoria University and wanted to have their picture taken with him.
With VU students
We walked through Chinatown and down Fan Tail Alley...
At the gate to Chinatown
Down Fan Tan Alley
... and everywhere Charlie made new friends.
Getting petted in Chinatown
Invited into a pet store in Dragon Alley
Making friends with the motorcycle crowd
What a great trip -- Charie's first adventure outside the US! Can't wait to do it again.
The weather finally turned warm in Portland, so we went to the Lucky Lab today and spent a pleasant afternoon. It's a dog-friendly brewpub, so Charlie (of course) came along. There were treats to eat, people to be petted by and beg from, and other dogs to meet and greet.
Charlie usually ignores Pouncer, although sometimes he follows her around sniffing her backside, and occasionally he will chase her around trying to splat her with his paw. But this was new! I think he wanted her to play "Chase Charlie" with him!
Pouncer, however, wasn't having any of it. She hid until he lost interest.
Charlie & I sympathize with those who want to fight internet piracy, but we believe that the bills currently before the US Congress (SOPA in the House & PIPA in the Senate) are the wrong way to go about it. So, for today, we're joining hundreds of other sites in raising awareness of these bills.
The best discussion of SOPA & PIPA I've found are on Wikipedia: Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act . Take a read and see what you think. (Nominally, Wikipedia is going dark today in protest of the bills, but I was able to get to these articles.)
Then, if you live in the US and want to join in asking Congress to vote "NO" on Internet censorship, follow this link to Google and add your name to the petition there: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/. Time is of the essence -- voting on these bills starts Jan. 24 -- so don't delay in informing yourself!