Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hitting the Trails

Running with the Uli is a pretty good time. He goes and goes and goes and then he likes to stop and sniff something. And then he likes to roll in stuff too. And sometimes he likes to bark at things - birds, dogs, squirrels, etc. He's getting a little slower than he used to be and so we're cutting back on his miles. And I recently found out that I should probably not count the miles I run with Uli towards my training miles because they are so slow. It takes us something like 30-35 minutes to cover 2 miles where I can do that in less than 20 on my own. So to improve the quality of my training runs, I have to do them without my buddy. But on my lower mile days, I still take him out for a spin around the neighborhood. And on the days with the longer miles, we get out for a walk where he gets to stop and sniff something. And roll in stuff too. And definitely bark at birds, dogs, squirrels and more. I miss running with my little buddy but after the marathon, we'll get back to our regular runs together.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


When Paul goes off to work, he wears the typical California business attire: slacks and a long-sleeved button down shirt. No jacket or tie. And from time to time, Uli and I will walk him to the bus stop in the morning. And sometimes we walk to the bus stop around the end of the day and walk home with him too. Which helped me understand why it is that Uli gets so excited when he sees other California businessmen walking around the neighborhood. He must think they're Paul coming home! If we are out taking a walk and we see a guy who looks like he is on his way home from work, Uli starts whining and pulling towards the guy and acting very excited. He must think it's Paul. And I think that is so super sweet. And soon I'll write about how Paul likes to pick Uli up in the air.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


On an early November morning a few years back both me and my four legged buddy were fast asleep in my bedroom when we were awoken by a ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom and it was coming from my roof. Uli started barking immediately and furiously and a very confused me just lay in bed wondering what the hell was on the roof. Next, we heard a few more ba-boom sounds and as I was looking out of the window, I saw the undercarriage of a young deer jumping from the roof to the back yard. I couldn't believe what I had just seen so I put some shoes on and ran outside and made sure Uli didn't follow me outside. And there was a beautiful deer at the top of my yard (which slopes uphill). I ran back inside and grabbed my camera and propped the fence open thinking that his only way out would be through the gate. How wrong I was. As I climbed the stairs to get to the area where the deer was, his front hooves were at the top of the 7 foot fence (not sure of exact height but it was a high fence). I thought, no way. No way are you going to jump that....where'd you go? He hopped once and didn't make it but then hopped a second time and cleared the fence. I couldn't believe it. I guess he was practicing his roof landings so that he could join Santa's team the following month.

PS, my neighbor's driveway was at a slope that made it an easy jump to get on my roof. I didn't get a photo of the deer so today's photo is of Uli riding in the car. He hates to get into the car but once he's there, he seems to not hate the ride.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wild Turkeys, Deer and a Cat Party

Now that little buddy's paw is feeling better, we've been out running again and it's been really fun to have him back at my side. We're also taking it easy as he eases his way back to runner dog status. We started out with 3 milers and have made our way to 4. Six used to be the standard but we'll work our way back to that when he's good and ready. And don't worry, we take a lot of breaks along the way. There are things to sniff, grassy yards to roll around in, even a few sidewalks that are good for a roll, sometimes he likes to lay down on a cool lawn and look around with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, and there are always dogs to bark at along the way. Sometimes we even see wild turkeys and deer. They always get a vocal greeting from the Uli. In fact, the other day we went out for an early walk and we saw a deer in our neighborhood and a cat party*

Back to running now. The other day, we were heading out for our first 4 miler in a while and that meant we had to climb a big hill. We walked the steep parts and he passed that time by grabbing mouthfuls of grass. And we did a bit of walking that day which means he did a lot of grass eating. When we got to the very top - he threw up. I told him that there are times when I huff and puff and push myself up a hill and feel like throwing up when I get to the top too. So we turned around, went home and saved the 4 miles for another day.

He is a little slower than he used to be but that is probably mostly because he hasn't been running much lately and it is also probably a little because he's seven years old. I'm guessing that in the next few months we'll see a slightly slimmer and faster Uli at my side.

My best friend Mary told me the other day how handsome Uli is and I have to admit, that made me so happy to know that Paul & I aren't the only ones who think he is so super handsome and funny and sweet and loving and adorable and fun and quirky and a real heart-warmer and ... oh wait, she didn't say all of that. But he is all that too. Thanks Mary!

*2 cats hanging out on the sidewalk. Probably up to no good.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

He Smelled Me!

Last year, our dear friends came all the way from Amsterdam to spend a week with us and we made the difficult decision to put Uli in his favorite kennel for that time because he is not used to being around children and they were staying with us (with their kids). So we looked at it as sending him away to summer camp. He likes being at Canine Cove because he can run around with dogs all day long and the staff plays ball with him out in the yard and rather than sleeping in crates, the dogs sleep together in one big room. He gets a lot more exercise than a normal day so we like it when he comes home absolutely exhausted. He has stayed at the Cove plenty of times in the past when we've gone out of town and sometimes just for doggie daycare. But he has never spent the night there when we were in town so I had to continuously remind myself that he was having a very good time. During that week, I was in the Cove's neighborhood so I decided to stop by to see him but I didn't want him to see me because I thought that would be mean. I've never dropped him off and then seen him and not brought him home. So the people who work at the place told me that he was in a side yard and I could look through a door that had a window looking into the yard. The window was built for a tall person so I had to stand on my tippy toes to see out of it. I was looking and looking and then I saw the most amazing thing. Uli had been off to the side but he came into view with his nose high in the air and I swear that I am not making this up that he walked right up to the door where I was standing. He must have smelled me.

And speaking of smelling, imagine just how great he smelled after this roll in the dead weeds on the side of the road.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

He Thinks I'm Trying to Poison Him

My dear dog who I have fed and loved and cared for and played ball with and taken for long and short walks and to beaches and on beautiful hikes and for runs in the hills and out in nature so he can smell things like cows and roll in wet grass and bark at squirrels and dogs and cats and play with red lobster toys and brown bull toys and black and white cow toys and tiny hamster toys and randomly shaped thing that squeak and this same dog who has not one but two super comfy beds in the house so he can choose to sleep in our bedroom or in the living room or on the rug in the second bedroom or on the cool floor when it's warm outside thinks that I am trying to kill him.

His dew claw was injured and then it got infected so I gave him antibiotics twice a day and that upset his stomach and he threw up quite a few times and now, he won't take even the most delicious treats from me. No beef flavored treats, no peanut buttered treats, no chicken flavored treats. But he did recently enjoy peppered turkey breast with a smear of Boursin cheese on the inside so I suppose there is hope.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Point & Potty

I am not kidding when I say that a few weeks ago Paul & I saw Uli doing a Point & Potty. It looked like this photo of another beautiful pup except that one of his back legs was slightly cocked and he had a ball in his mouth. And he was a little lower to the ground. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen him do.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Not Again!

Puppy Dog, seriously? Another day of post-ball play paw licking and paw lifting. It has been weeks, probably 4 since Uli has been out for a ball session so we decided that since he did so well on Thursday morning's run, we would take him out to play ball today. The vet told me that he would be ok to get out and run as long as he wasn't in hilly/rocky areas. So Thursday's run was all sidewalks and roads. And he didn't have any issues from that excursion. His first run in quite some time. So we decided to take him out to the park to play ball since he hasn't done that in so long and since he loves it so very much. So off we went, Paul picked him up and put him in his truck and he reacted as usual: severely fearful shaking with his tail tucked under. But once we start driving, he settles down and stops shaking. At the park he ran and ran and ran and ran and chased and jumped and caught and returned that ball. We tired him out and then we all came home for waffles. An hour or two after we got home, we noticed that the little fella was holding his paw up and licking and licking it. So we took a close look and saw that his dew claw is red and swollen and it looks infected. We put neosporin on it and wrapped it up and will be taking him to the vet again tomorrow. I have no idea what happened. Could it have been from the ball session? If so, how did it get swollen and red so quickly? And what caused it? His most recent dew claw injury was a sprain or a tendon issue, not an infection. Why is that dew claw so problematic? Poor little fella.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Morning Shadow

This little fella follows me around every step I take every morning Mondays through Fridays. On the weekends, it is a little bit up in the air because Paul doesn't wake up as early as he does during the week when Uli enjoys sleeping until the sun comes up (and so do I). I am lucky enough to be able to work from home and the day starts off with either a run or a walk with my shadow. Then we come home, have breakfast and then it's time to start working. He is a great assistant most of the time. He pretty much sleeps all day long and wakes up from his nap when I get up. Sometimes he follows me around, other times, he just watches me from his napping spot. And by the end of the day when Paul gets home, he becomes Paul's shadow. Funny little fella. He gets SO EXCITED when Paul comes home but that's fair enough, I've had him all to myself all day long.

Photo is from Clipper Beach a few years ago.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Beware of Tennis Balls!

This dog absolutely loves to play ball. He loves to jump in the air and catch it in his mouth. He loves to run really far in pursuit of one. He is as good at catching it when it is high in the sky as he is at chasing it down when it is rolling quickly along the lawn. And each time he brings the ball back for the next throw, he chews it - you see his mouth going up and down, up and down. And this is where my warning comes in. Please be sure that you're not letting your dog play with a regular tennis ball if he is as obsessed with the ball as Uli is. For the first 5 years of his life, I played mostly with regular tennis balls and then I found out that the reason that his teeth are so ground down is most likely because of his constant chewing on (abrasive) tennis balls. He's only 7 years old and most of his teeth in the back of his mouth are pretty much ground down to the gumline. Yikes. He had a full set of X-rays of his teeth taken today (expensive!) and we were happy to find out that his roots are looking good. The vet was worried that he may need to pull teeth or even do a root canal. Lucky for us, he's in good shape! For now, at least. So, be warned good people. Rubber balls are fine, just avoid abrasive tennis balls. Later!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Running Buddy is Getting a little Porky

I've been told that my running buddy is getting fat but I don't see it. But if he is, I can tell you that it's because we've had a super rainy past few months. January has been pretty wonderful but 2010 was an El Nino year and they say that is why it rained so much. That said, 2011 is going to be a year full of running and fun-having. On our typical morning run, we do a 6 miler where we start off from home, run about a mile in the flats and then climb a hill to the Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Open Space. The first mile is stop and go because he needs to go to the bathroom and sniff everything he comes across, roll on his back and then sniff some more. The second mile is slow going because we're going uphill and I need to stop and catch my breath from time to time. The final mile before our turnaround is fun and rolling hills ending at the top of a short but steep climb. And then we turn around and run fast fast fast all the way down. The one exception to the fast fast fast is when we get to the end of the open space. There is about a 2 foot drop and the Uli likes to stop, look around and maybe catch his breath. After about a minute of that, he'll jump to the street and I have him sit. He gets a kiss on the face and I usually get one in return. And after a few moments of rest, it's off to run fast fast fast down the hill. These photos are in the Open Space part of our run. By the way, what's up with the I've on it's own? weird.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

7 years of Uli

Today we celebrate 7 years of Uli. When I found him they told me that he was born "sometime around the first of the year" so January 1 became the day to celebrate the dog who spends most of his day napping. The plan was to take him to the park early in the morning to play ball until he had enough but we woke up to heavy rain and decided to distract him with an extra delicious breakfast. I tried to keep him up until midnight last night but when I realized it was 12:05 and he was fast asleep, I gently scratched him behind the ears and when he woke up, I wished him a very happy birthday. He yawned, stretched and then went back to sleep. A little bit happier, I think.

It's kind of shocking to see him tire out while playing ball. I never, ever thought that he would ever want to take a break. As we discussed earlier, he loves loves loves to play ball. Even on the super hot days of his youth he would take a break in the shade and then bring the ball back into play after a short break. These days, he will go for 10 maybe 15 minutes and then he will flop down and pant. He'll get back up for more but he takes lots of breaks and it's probably best to call it after a few self-imposed breaks. You can tell when he's about to flop down because the first thing he does is to take the long way back to the ball-throwers, and he'll look around to see what else is going on in the park and then he'll stop about 20 feet away rather than the standard 5 foot ball-dropping distance. Flop!

These aren't his birthday photos (rain, rain) but they are from a few weeks ago. Happy Birthday Uli!

By the way, I am trying to figure out what is going on with the font in these postings. I hope to achieve font continuity for all posts.