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Licks and kisses, Tillie

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Itsa Starbucks kinda day!

September 8th 2012 4:09 pm
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I love Starbucks mornings! They don't happen very often, but when they do, they're lots of fun!

A Starbucks morning means Mom and me get to go for a morning walk about a mile away to a place that serves up delicious treats for doggies, and even their moms too! Today Dad and Joey went with us. We walked through the neighborhoods until we arrived at the place called Starbucks, and mom went in and got us our normal piece of pumpkin bread. It's so nice they make coffee drinks for the people too! Mom and dad had a frappydrink and shared some fruit and cheese (although dad snuck Joey and me a piece of cheese too, sshhh, don't tell mom!)

Then we went to a furniture store called With Garden Flair. They like dogs in there and always give treats! I did my very bestest smile and stare, and the man brought Joey and me a bucket of water. Joey liked the water, but I continued to smile and stare, because I wanted a cookie! Come on, I know you got 'em! And sure enough, the man brought Joey and me each a cookie too! Mom and dad shopped and Joey and I napped in the cool store.

Then we started walking back home, where mom got bit by a praying mantis she was trying to pick up off the sidewalk. I would have ate him! But mom put him in the grass nearby so he wouldn't get stepped on. I wondered what a praying mantis tastes like, but I left him alone.

I love my Starbucks mornings! Always so much fun.


I got to go to a HOCKEY GAME!!

March 28th 2010 10:26 pm
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Me and about 50 other pups got to go see a hockey game! How cool is that? Our local ECHL hockey team, the Stockton Thunder, had a PUCKS and PAWS game...and my PAWS were there! Us pups had our own special section all to ourselves, and they even let the moms and dads sit there with us.

I really liked watching the players skating on the ice, and I especially enjoyed when one player would hit another player into the glass...BOOOM!!!! I paid special attention when that happened! I even barked a couple of times for our team when they had an especially loud hit.

A local rescue was there with their doggies who are waiting for homes, and they were some of the nicest doggies at the game! I saw a tiny little chihuahua, and a GREAT BIG Irish Wolfhound! He was HUGE! I never saw a dog so big. He was even bigger than granpa's spring calves, but he didn't smell like a calf so I steered clear and showed my respect.

Also, my favorite store, Carter's Pet Mart, was there, giving away goodie bags to all us pups, and some nice people from Eukanuba gave away pretty bandanas! Except I took mine home to wear later, because I was wearing my special Stockton Thunder yellow and black bandana already. Hey, I've got to support the team that let us pups come into the game, right??

Every time our team scored, mom and I HIGH-FIVED! And then I got a cookie for helping to celebrate the score. That was really neat because we got to HIGH FIVE and celebrate SIX TIMES!!

AND, our team WON!!! Our team, the Stockton Thunder, defeated the Las Vegas Wranglers 6 - 5. It was so exciting! All the people were clapping and cheering, a siren was going off, lights were flashing, and I wagged my nubby tail and sniffed my congratulations to other pups as they walked by with their pawrents.

And the best part?? My picture was up on the big screen!! I was Pet Pic of the Game!!! Neat, huh?!


I am FIVE today!!

February 18th 2010 5:14 pm
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Today I watched as the age indicator on my page went from "4" to the magical number of "5"! I"M FIVE YEARS OLD!! I feel like celebrating! I hope mom gets me a special cookie from the pet food store. She promised she would...I hope she remembers!

I am so excited to be 5! Five is such a great number. It matches the number of toes on each of my front feet (if you include my fumbs!) It matches how many birthdays I've spent with mom! It's the number of times I've gone on backpacking trips with mom and dad. It's the same as the time of day mom gets to come home from work. I also have five leashes!

Five...what a great number! It feels really great to be FIVE!!



September 13th 2009 9:50 pm
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You know the Beggin Strips commercial? Where the yellow lab says, "BACON! BACON BACON...", etc? Well, exchange the word "Bacon" for "Camping", and that might explain a little about my excitement for our 10 day backpacking trip into the Emigrant Wilderness.

CAMPING!!! CAMPING CAMPING CAMPING!!!!!!! I can't think of a better way to spend the rest of my doggie days. Living off the land, keeping the racing squirrels out of my food and mom and dad's backpacks. Licking the trout clean after Joey helps dad catch them. Keeping intruders out of our site! Helping to keep mom, dad, and Joey warm in the tent at night. Keeping my eyes, ears, and nose at the ready when the pawrents are laying on the granite looking at stars. (They don't see so good in the dark, and their ears and smellers are downright TERRIBLE!) I am a necessary and vital accessory to my pawrents' backpacking experience...a job that I thoroughly enjoy and think I should do on a full time basis, and not just one week or so per year.

It started out Wednesday, August 25. Mom got off work, and Dad already has Joey and I and all the stuff loaded up in the truck. Mom got home, and after some last minute stops for bug repellant and dinner, we were on our way!

Spent the night in a friend's cabin. I love that cabin! Nice place, no electricity, but warm blankeys and windows so I can see out in case someone is coming. Also close to the stream, so I can get a REAL drink, not some tap water like at home.

The next morning, we drove down to the trailhead. We stopped and picked up our permits at the Forest Service station, and then we were really on our way. CAMPING!!!! CAMPING!!!!

Mom, ever since I've known her, has wanted to see a place called Camp Yellowhammer. She says it's been even longer than that...since 1980 when Granpa went. It's a place about 16 miles into the wilderness that some old cowboy built in 1922, and if you don't know where it is, you aren't likely to find it. It consists of a cabin, a barn, a cookshack, a shower (a shower in the wilderness in 1922??!), a screened building to hang deer carcasses, and a corral for horses...all built out in the middle of nowhere in the Emigrant Wilderness in 1922, and visited by few over the years.

So we went. I couldn't be happier to get to a "wild" place; the smells, sounds, and sights of the wilderness bring great joy and happiness to make a great huntress like myself! We left Crabtree trailhead parking lot, loaded up and ready to go. Of course, I carried the vital Dog Food...but what need do I have of Dog Food in the wilderness?? Live off the land, I say! And I turned my nose away at that lowly bowl of Dog Food that first night in at Grouse Lake. YECCCKKKHHH!!! Dog Food. It's almost an insult. Joey ate his, and then mine. Mom and Dad had spaghetti. I held out for something better.

The next day, breakfast! Dog Food. Yuck. Joey ate his and mine again. Mom and Dad had oatmeal. I ate an ant that crawled on my foot. Can't wait to go do some hunting.

Day two, we are walking again. This time we started ascending up a steep granite pass. Mom put Joey's boots on to protect his feet. I don't have to wear boots, my paws are TOUGH! (I love it that a GUY has sensitive tootsies and has to wear boots, but ME, a GIRL...I could go all day without so much as a scratch on the old pads!) Up through that pass, and on through Groundhog Meadow...which really shouldn't be called a meadow at all...lots of dried up bushes if you ask me...and no grass. Up and up and up...and then down down down into Louse Canyon where we met up with Cherry Creek...which wasn't really much of a creek but a few ponds here and there. Joey and I got drinks here, and then we followed the canyon down a ways. And then the REAL climb started. Steep, steeper than I've ever done! Switchbacks back and forth, a 500 foot climb in about half a mile. Mom got out our dog water, put an electrolyte tablet in it, and Joey and I drank, and drank, and drank. We stopped a lot on this ascent. And then we were at the top! A short hike later, we were at the banks of pretty Rosasco Lake.

Someone had been there the night before, I could smell them. Mom noted that the ashes in the small fire ring where we camped were still warm. The pawrents decided after that near vertical climb, we would stop for the day (and night).

I kept growling at something. Joey was too tired to help me patrol the area, so I did my work alone. Mom and Dad can't hear or smell worth a gopher kidney, so it was up to me to see that the perimeter was secure. Something was out there, but my growling and alerts kept it at bay.

Dinner? Dog Food. Ugh. Mom is getting pretty angry with me by this time, I think mostly because she is carrying some of the food and would really like to lighten her 50 pound backpack. She caved. This time, my Dog Food was served on her camp plate with a few people food remnants left. I cleaned "my" plate.

Next morning...oatmeal again for the pawrents, and this time that meant a little leftover oatmeal for me too! Mixed with (sigh), *delicious* dog food. The things I gotta do for a descent meal. Somebody let me catch a racing squirrel or a venison, willya??

Backpacks on, and we're on our way to Big Lake. After the pawrents stumbled around for awhile in the granite, fiddling with their silly GPS device trying to find the route, I put my nose to the ground and picked my way through the rocks to the trail. Mom and dad started following me, and we found our way to Pingree Lake.

Pingree Lake was a little busy. Horses highlined along the edge of the granite wall behind the lake. Several camps filled with empty backpacks and tents. No people; maybe they are all off hunting? No dogs either. We took a break here and then continued.

Climbing out of Pingree Lake, we met up with three men and a dog on foot coming the other way. They wore cowboy hats, (well, except their dog, who was a nice black labbie type), and mom found out they were with the horses highlined at Pingree. They said, "One hundred and fifty feet to a really great view!". So we continued on...and sure enough, the path opened up to the widest expanse of granite a dog ever laid eyes on! It looked like a HUGE bathtub, with some pine trees and a lake at the bottom. BIG LAKE. Only it didn't look so big from up there. It looked like a small pool of water at the bottom of a bathtub to me. We started to pick our way down the granite, with me leading the way...nose in the air this time. I was smelling rodents...specifically, RACING SQUIRRELS! About a half hour later, we were at the bottom of the bathtub...and that lake was now BIG.

Mom and Dad scouted out a good camping spot, and they found one in the trees. There was a nice sandy beach into the water, and lots and lots of trees. I couldn't hear the racing squirrels, but I knew they were there, studying me. I approved of the proposed spot, and the pawrents got busy unpacking and setting up the tent. They even considered hanging the food up in the tree! Silly pawrents! They think the bears are gonna come take it, but I can scare any old bear away. It's the squirrels ya gotta worry about...and if the food's in the tree, I can't protect it!

First night, food in the tree. After that, we left it near the tent. I could tell there hadn't been any bears in the area in a long time, and another hiker clued mom and dad into that little tidbit of info. So, no more food in the tree. Dad broke the rope anyway, so maybe that had something to do with that decision.

A couple of days later, and we took a day hike to Yellowhammer. Mom's longed for destination. More hiking up and over a granite saddle to the Northeast, dropping down into another granite bowl that houses Yellowhammer Lake and some trees and a meadow. No sign of any sort of "camp", but we followed the trail down the granite and into the trees...and then there was the hint of a gate. Logs and downed trees made a sort of gate. Mom stopped and took a picture. She was really happy now. A little further in, and the trees opened up a little...just enough to see a roof or two through the branches. Then the trail widened, the trees disappeared, and there it was, CAMP YELLOWHAMMER! Lots of great smells here, some faint, some fresh. Plus some creatures inhabit some of the buildings. There was a big cabin, this one had a lock on it. Next to that was the cook shack. A huge wood burning stove was in there. The heavy metal doors still swung freely, and if we wanted to, we could have used that big stove to make a HUGE meal. If we had brought anything to cook that is. On the other side of that building is a storage building with the Yellowhammer sign on it. Took a pic in front of that too, although a squirrel had run into this building and all I wanted to do was find it. I did NOT smile for the photo. Mom, let me HUNT!!

Then the shower. Still usable. Not my cup of tea. But the thing still worked, including the place on top to put water enclosed in tin let the sun heat the water. A barn in the middle of the corral looked like someone had been working on it. Faint horsey smells here, and some fresher ones when we head out to the meadow.

200 feet out into the meadow, and you can no longer see any hint of a camp. How would anyone ever find this place? Mom and Dad hiked down the little creek toward Yellowhammer Lake. Joey and I jumped over the creek a few times. The wind started blowing pretty good, and mom's Tilley hat (named after me of course) blew off her head and right into the water! She wouldn't get it...didn't want to get wet I guess who was instructed to rescue the hat from certain death from drowning??? ME. Of course I did it; I am certainly not one to shirk any duties assigned to me. So I jumped across the little creek, grabbed the hat that had drifted to the opposite side, and began the swim back. The hat made it nearly impossible, so I let go of it when I got to the bank. Mom could easily grab it from there, and she did, and put the soaking wet thing back on her head. Said it would dry quicker that way...and lo and behold, it did!

Did some fishing at the lake, and mom and dad both caught some trout for dinner. Joey is an avid fisherdog, so he kept trying to catch mom's lure. Not a good plan Joe! We all had to watch him pretty close so he wouldn't get hooked. Fortunately, after the first trout was caught, Joey lost all interest in the lures. Big fish are lots more fun! Plus they smell better.

After 5 trout, plenty enough for dinner, we headed back to camp. Great dinner tonight, a little of the dreaded Dog Food, mixed with some Beef Stroganoff and TROUT! Cleaned the plate.

That night, and almost every night thereafter, we all hiked up the granite face behind our camp to watch stars. Well, the pawrents watched the sky, Joey snoozed, and I kept my eyes, ears, and nose open for new scents and possible threats.

For the next glorius week, we camped at Big Lake and did some walks over to Yellowhammer Lake and other nearby places. When we weren't hiking, I was patrolling the area for racing squirrels and making sure they couldn't come down out of those trees. Oh how they wanted to! They chattered and yelled at me, but as soon as I spotted one in the tree, I layed down right there, and it couldn't come down. One tried, and he was almost "lunch". But I was snoozin a little bit that time, and my normally catlike reflexes a little slow.

One venison and her fawn paid us a visit. The venison did not like that I was there at all, and they went the other way when they saw us. But in the mornings, I could smell that they'd been around. Plus they left those little tracks in the sandy beach when they dropped by for a drink of water.

All too soon, it was time to pack on and move out. I was bummed out. I was beginning to think this was a permanant move to the high country! But we all put on our backpacks and headed down the trail. All our packs were a lot lighter now, and we moved pretty fast. Up the granite face toward Pingree lake, and then we cut off on a new trail. Cross country to Koll Lake, then Leighton Lake, and after that Coyote Lake, all in rapid succession. At Coyote Lake, we took the packs off for awhile. There had been no trail after Pingree Lake, and the pawrents consulted their GPS toy A LOT. Even I had trouble sniffing out the trail here, and there were no sign of people anywhere. I picked up faint horsey smells, but nothing fresh. No one had been on our particular "trail" in a while.

Finally, following the outlet of Coyote Lake, we found the main trail. A deep rut cut into the ground by many years of hikers and horse packers, and there was no losing the trail again. The pawrents kept the GPS thingy out just in case.

Moved on up and across some granite again to get on a different trail, which we followed to Gem Lake, and then on to Piute Lake. We had done about 8 hard miles by then and we were all tired. Camped for the night. Still plenty of Dog Food left, so guess what was for dinner! That and a little lasagna. If I wasn't already Australian, I'd volunteer to be Italian! Do they have Italian Cattle Dogs? Those Italians sure know how to make a good meal. I bet it's better without the Dog Food mixed in though.

8 a.m. and we are up and eating again! It seems like if we aren't hiking, we're eating. Eating all the time, but mom is still cinching up her belt, and my backpack too. Dad's got his backpack tightened as far as it will go on his waste, and he's mumbling something about getting a smaller size pack. Mom's mumbling about having a steak when she gets home, and why hasn't someone come up with a way to freeze dry beer or wine? I agree on the steak part, and if someone DOES find a way to freeze dry beer, I think I wouldn't mind tasting that. I like beer.

An hour or so later, we are loaded up and on our way again. Up and down canyons, three of them maybe, each with windy switchbacks, granite steps, and DUST. I need a bandana for this kind of trail. Mom put Joey's boots on him to protect his feet, and he BIT HER HAND! He is such a cranky old fart sometimes. Mom calls him a grumpy old man. He needs the boots, but he hates them. Mom very calmly asked dad for the first aid kit, and some alcohol swabs and a bandaid later, we are back on our way.

Five miles from the truck, and suddenly we are BOMBARDED with people, dogs, horses, more people, dogs. So many groups one after another. The first group said they were headed for Deer Lake. The second group said Deer Lake. So did the third group. I've been to Deer Lake, last year, and it's a medium sized lake. An okay place to go in my book, not my first choice though. Mom asked the fourth group if they were going to Deer Lake, and they said YES. Mom said, "you won't be alone!" In all, there must have been 6 groups of people, maybe 40 people or more, all going to Deer Lake. That is gonna be one crowded place! Glad we're headed the other direction!

The last lake on this little trek was Camp Lake. Another crowded place, and as soon as we past it, we started passing more groups that were headed THERE. I don't know where those people are gonna camp, there's no place left! I guess they'll get it all figured out. I think they scared all the squirrels away, because I didn't hone in on one single scent.

A few miles later, the parking lot and the truck was in site. Now I know for sure, we are heading home. Joey is happy because he knows he has a big house and a nice pillow bed waiting for him. Mom is happy because she is going to have a steak and a beer for dinner. Dad is happy because he also is going to have a steak and beer for dinner. The only depressed one in the group is ME. No more racing squirrels, no more fun smells and tracking. No more living outside and rolling in the dirt and watching for intruders. Tap water...yuck! Fenced yard...yuck! Dog Food...yuck! Town...yuck! Mailman...yu...well, maybe that part is okay. I can go back to hunting the mailman, the UPS truck, the gas meter guy, and I think granpa has some more irrigation to do, so that means gopher dinners...well maybe home isn't so bad!


Hope is missing

November 6th 2008 12:29 pm
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The black dog with the airplane ears from Tennessee who captured all of our hearts is missing. She mysteriously disappeared from her home on Halloween day and is lost. Her enclosure appears to have been tampered with.

Hope is the "gas station dog", who eluded capture for a year while KM worked so hard to gain her trust. If you are not familiar with Hope and would love to read a heartwarmer, please read the thread, (and soap opera!), Very elusive stray pup.

Our hearts are breaking here over this sad news. Her family continues to look for her. Please pray that she is found soon!


A Very Long Overdue Thank You!!

August 10th 2008 6:34 pm
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Some time ago, a doggie pal of mine had a birthday...even got to blow out his own birthday candle!! I thought I'd give my pal Redford a birthday gift, and soon he was an anonymous recipient of a Dogster Plus subscription.

But, he is a cattle dogs, and us ACDs are known for our smarts...and he figured out that it was me who was the culprit.

A short time later, a very heavy, wonderfully fragrant box arrived at my house. A lovingly put together care package from New Mexico!! Things for me, things for Joey, things for Cleo, and even mom received some gifts!!

Redford and his mom and family had put together a box filled to the brim with wonderful things! She made Joey and I some beautiful personalized bandanas adorned with chili peppers, and toys and goodies! Cleo has some new collars, some home made catnip toys, and yummy cat treats, and mom received a colorful Albuquerque, NM shirt, (which she is wearing as she types this), and a lovely wind chime with dolphins, which the delta breezes here help to create some very pleasing music as it is right now. There are personalized magnets and a many other nice things.

Discovering Dogster has been a fun experience...but the cultivation of such friendships on Dogster has been most rewarding. Finding caring and generous people who begin by only knowing each other by the names and stories of beloved pets, which then in turn develops into friendships between humans.

Thank you so much, Redford and family, for the gift box, and especially for your friendship. We will treasure and value it always.


Cold wet white stuff!

May 19th 2008 12:03 am
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Today mom, dad, Joey, and I got in my new truck and went to the mountains for a day hike. It's been so long since we got a good off leash hike up in the high country! Mom put Joey's and my harnesses on, and we got in the back of my truck and headed up the road and out of the flats.

We found out our favorite trail was still under snow. As a matter of fact, the cold white stuff was everywhere! We were surprised; it's been so hot lately. Oh well, lucky for us! So, mom parked my truck at a safe place and we got to get out and play in it!

For those of you who have never experienced snow...let me tell you, snow is WONDERFUL!! It is THE perfect substance. You can run in it, play in it, dig in it, eat it, roll in it, and it makes this wonderful crunchy sound under your feet. It flies up into the air behind you as you run, sorta like dust, only it doesn't get you dirty. Mom even made snowballs for us to chase. FUN!!!!

This is my first real snow trip. We got to play in it once before, but it was melting and more mud than snow. This time the snow was deep, and it was all over the place. Joey and I ran and played in it for an hour before it was time to go! I think of how lucky those sled dogs are that get to run and run in the snow all the time. How pawsome is that to have that for a JOB??? If only I was a little bigger!

As Sergeant Preston used to say, "On King! On you huskies!"

Just call me, "YUKON Tillie"!


Soon to be a TRUCK DOG!

May 3rd 2008 2:54 pm
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Guess what!! Mom's buyin' me a TRUCK!! Granpa is selling his ranch truck, and it's gonna be all MINE! WOOHOO!!!! I can't wait! I've ridden in the back of this truck with the ranch dogs many times, and now it's going to be MY truck. I can't wait to get my little white dog hairs all over it!! Maybe a little mud in the back, a few teeth marks in the bedliner, some pawprints on the tailgate. Oh, and the rush of the wind in my hair as we travel down the highway! WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What's that?? We're getting a camper shell?? WHA?? No wind in my hair?? No leaning my head over the side with my tongue hanging out?? How am I supposed to stare down the drivers next to us, huh??? TOTAL BUMMER MOM!!!!!

Well, it's still gonna be MY truck! And I'M hiding the keys!


Second hand dogs make FIRST CLASS PETS!

April 12th 2008 3:24 pm
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I was just a part of the most wonderful thing today!

Mom adopted me from the San Joaquin Animal Shelter on 12/24/05, and Joey from the Oakdale Animal Shelter on 12/23/06. Oakdale has a rodeo parade every year, and this year their shelter volunteers organized a parade group full of dogs that had been rescued from shelters, to promote that good dogs CAN and ARE found at the pound...and WE were invited to participate! What a wonderful, exciting thing to be a part of! We had 30 people and 20 former shelter dogs, all happy, smiling, tails wagging, walk down the street. The pups that knew some tricks got to perform for the crowds. All the pawrents carried a sign with their pup's picture on it and the year they were adopted. The local pet food place, Oakdale Pet Station donated patriotic bandandas for the dogs, and T-shirts for the people to wear, that said, "Oakdale Animal Shelter Alumni Team - Second hand animals make first class pets!" The response from the crowd was awesome. We got cheers and waves, kids were pointing out their favorite dogs and reading their names on the sign out loud. And our group was awarded a second place prize!

Our announcement at the grandstands made a point to say that every dog participating was either rescued from a shelter or is available for adoption. We also had a big dinosaur on our float that held a sign that said, "Don't be prehistoric, spay and neuter your pets."

This was the group's first year participating, and I hope that they make it an annual event. Next year we may pass out flyers to interested people with information on dogs and cats available at the local shelter.

We had a blast! Looking forward to next year!


I've Been Tagged!

April 5th 2008 10:11 am
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I was tagged by Max!

Name 4 jobs that you have
1. Catching and eating gophers at Granpa's ranch.
2. Keeping the mailman away from our house.
3. Being cute and entertaining for the people at the Concerts in the Park.
4. Making sure the cats stay out of the bedroom.

Name 4 places you have lived at (or stayed at):
1. The Stockton, CA Animal Shelter :(
2. HOME! My little house with the big yard in Stockton, CA.
3. Granpa's ranch in Oakdale, CA
4. Kennedy Lake, our weeklong hiking/camping trip into the Emigrant Wilderness, Stanislaus National Forest.

Name 4 places that you have been:
1. Ocean Beach in San Francisco.
2. The top of Big Sam, a 10,825 peak in the Stanislaus National Forest
3. Inside Hollywood Video while it was being robbed at gunpoint. (And I thought it was time to play!)
4. I took the roundhouse tour at Railtown 1897 in Jamestown, CA.

Name 4 places you'd rather be:
1. Hunting at Granpa's ranch
2. Hiking and camping in the wilderness FOREVER!
3. Offleash at the beach.
4. In the car with mom going on a roadtrip with the windows down.

Name 4 furiends you wish to tag:
1. Z
2. Alfie
3. Cordelia B.
4. Buddy

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