The Krakens and a German Shepherd Puppy

Clover, Skye, and Raven.

My brother and mom came to visit today with my brother’s six-month old German Shepherd puppy, Skye. The puppy lives in a rural area and has not had much dog interaction outside of dog training. My brother was not sure how things would work out, but they worked out well. The collies and the puppy played continuously all afternoon. They ran through the house and lanai and we let them out in the yard to run free and they took advantage of the additional space. By the time we took video, they were starting to wear out a little.

Afterwards, the krakens became comatose and stayed that way all afternoon. Apparently, Skye, the German Shepherd puppy crashed when she got back to the house where they are staying. My friend Kim in Washington says “a tired dog is a good dog”. Yes!

Raven and Clover totally crashed after playing.

Yesterday, I asked my nearby friend if she would bring her dog, Hopper, to the powerlines where we would release the krakens. The dogs played well and the krakens slept through the night afterward. I will be calling my friend again.

Hopper taking a break during the playing. Hopper needed a brushing after this little play date.

Clover was in the ER

Clover and Raven at one year. They have perpetually dirty paws.

I took the dogs to a local dog park Wednesday morning. It is large and a place for the dogs to run, which they love to do. There is a skateboard park next to the dog park and some skateboarders showed up. Raven was so terrified that he bolted to the farthest part of the dog park and tried desperately to climb the fence. If I had not gotten to him, I think he would have succeeded. It was difficult getting him back to the car since we had to pass the skateboarders. I have some desensitizing work to do.

Not long after we got back to the house, a good friend visited. During her visit, Clover vomited and then started to urinate uncontrollably. She had difficulty walking and her eyes looked strange. I called the local emergency vet and they could not fit her in. They gave me the number of another local vet and no one answered the phone. The other number she gave me was for a vet that did not open for several hours. I called my old vet from when we lived in St. Augustine prior and they did not have a doctor on call until the afternoon. Based on my description, they recommended I get Clover to an emergency room right away and told me of two locations in Jacksonville. The first one I called said they would be ready for her when we got there. Regis drove us. Based on Clover’s symptoms and the results of a blood test ruling out some options, the vet diagnosed her with marijuana toxicity. He said he has been seeing cases about twice a week and has seen dogs die from it. He said that Clover improved since her arrival, so he thought she was going to be okay and it could take a few days to fully recover. She was lethargic the rest of the day. I tried to take her out before bed but only got half-way down the driveway before she laid down and did not want to get back up. I managed to get her back in the house. In the middle of the night, she woke me and I took both dogs out. When she got back to the house she drank so much water I thought she was going to drown. She was clearly feeling better.

A friend who lives less than a mile from me told me that she and her dog paddle boarded last Sunday and then ate lunch in a local park. When she got home, the dog could not walk straight and was having other issues. She took the dog to a local after-hours vet who told her the dog had marijuana toxicity.

While in Washington State, my vet warned me about not letting the dogs get any marijuana. He said that people will hide it in the woods in parks and the dogs could find it an ingest it. We never had a problem in Washington. I am in Florida a week and a half and my dog is high and so was a friend’s dog.

I am certain based on the timing of Clover showing symptoms that she found something in the dog park or parking lot. She is my cigarette butt girl. She loves her cigarette butts and chows them down as quickly as possible so it is gone before I can get the words “drop it” out of my mouth. It is not surprising she would find something and eat it, but it is disturbing that it was so easy for her to get into trouble without me seeing how it happened.

Not long after we arrived in our new home, I bathed both dogs. They were surprisingly clean in spite of all the dirt they got into on the way to Florida. I bathed Raven first and put his collar on the floor. By the time I was finished bathing him, Regis walked into the bathroom holding Raven’s chewed threw collar. Clover found it on the floor and chewed through it before I finished bathing Raven. I suggest buying stock in martingale collars based on the way things are going in our house.

Raven’s unusable collar after Clover chewed through it.

One day, while working on things in the house, our neighbor knocked on the door. She had Raven with her. We thought he was inside with us. After investigation, we found that he had jumped through the screen door on the lanai and went on a neighborhood exploration. Regis bought something to stop him from getting through the door and then placed the panels of the dog’s pens against the lanai screens. It would only be a matter of time before one or both dogs plowed through the screen.

I cannot buy a house without painting the inside whether it is new or old. I have been painting this house and love the new color. But, I have two furry collies. They both have paint on them. I do my best to vacuum the hair and keep them away from the wet stuff but it is impossible without a fenced yard. We will get through this. I am almost done painting.

We are celebrating the dogs birthday Thursday, March 9. They are one year old. I am giving them some cooked chicken. Clover has a sensitive stomach and vomits certain treats. Given that Dart also had a sensitive stomach and would usually vomit any dog treats I gave him for his birthday, I thought it best to stick with something simple they will love.

Mud Turtle

I have been taking the two dogs for a couple walks a day separately. They are difficult to handle together. Separately, they have been easy to walk. It would be nice if they could walk well together. I have been getting over 15,000 steps in a day walking them, so perhaps it is not all bad.

Today, Clover and I found a mud turtle.

Clover and Raven have been happy to have Regis around. They adore him.

Not only have we been seeing lots of wildlife, but today on a walk with Raven, I saw that someone on the next street has a pet pig.

We have been having difficulty getting all the furniture to fit and that is sad. We have an almost new sofa bed from Pottery Barn that has rarely been used. Regis has tried every way, including mostly dismantling the couch, and cannot fit it in one of the other two bedrooms. We have no place to fit it and it is a beautiful, high quality piece of furniture. It is a great bed for guests. Regis even tried to get it through the window but it is not happening. He does not give up easily, but he gave up today.

Well, it is what it is.

First Day

For our first full day in the new home, the dogs and I took a morning walk through the neighborhood and saw lots of birds and squirrels. The dogs are fascinated with the Muscovy Ducks. They waddle slowly so the dogs get the opportunity to get close. There were a lot of squirrels to present training opportunities of “leave it”. I am certain the dogs thought a walk was better than a car ride.

I brushed them and they look almost good enough to not need a bath. But, they need a bath. After brushing them and picking up the hair, I took a shower and forgot to pick their collars up. I was not gone long, but that is all it took for Clover to destroy one of the collars. Had I been gone a little longer, the other one would have been destroyed. It was laying on the lanai. I think she abandoned her prize when I started walking out of the bedroom.

We took the dogs for another walk this evening and we go a different way each time we walk. The walking is better than I expected with all the trails throughout the community. I love it. Regis was worried I would not like the house, but I love it too and I love that it is located so close to the water, a couple parks, a reserve, and all that St. Augustine has to offer.

Raven’s fur.
Clover’s fur. She may be smaller than Raven, but I got a lot more undercoat out of her.
Destroyed collar thanks to Clover.

Dan sent some pictures from when the dogs were in Seattle and I have a few favorites below.

Raven, king of the hill with his tongue out.
The dogs at Growlerz pub. While the dogs play, their guardians get to drink a brew.
Clover. This must be at the beginning of her visit because the house is too clean.
Raven and Clover.

Mobile to St. Augustine

Regis and the pups at a local park on the water less than a mile from our house.

Finally, we got to St. Augustine. That was a long trip. It was about 256 miles longer than my preferred route through Wyoming, but escaping the weather was more important.

The hotel last night was not a good place to stay. There were men running up and down the halls swapping rooms. I saw at least one woman dressed like a hooker. By midnight, it was clear I was not going to be able to sleep so I took a shower and prepared to start heading home. I told the desk person why I was leaving and she offered me another room on the first floor close to the front desk. That was the smarter move, so I took the room and got some sleep before heading home in the morning.

We made good time and stopped twice in the morning for the dogs. I planned one more stop for the dogs, gas, lunch, and me. When I was getting ready to leave the second stop, the car would not start. I tried twice and there was no electricity. I was certain the battery was not dead, but there was an electrical problem. I called Regis for advice and as soon as he answered the phone, the car started. While heading to the last stop, I was concerned if I shut the car off, I would not be able to start it. I went to the stop and gassed up with the car running. The dogs and I had to wait until we arrived in St. Augustine to meet our needs. It was a long, lousy ride.

When we got home, the dogs were ecstatic to see Regis and my dear friend Paige had dropped off some food for me and some blow up mattresses. She is amazing. I was starving when I got home and it was awesome to have great food waiting. After we emptied the car, Regis and I took the dogs for a walk to the water. They will have to get used to this heat, but I think they will appreciate all the walking we will get in. When we got back, Regis checked out the car and found the battery cables were loose. Phew! I was concerned something bigger was wrong.

Longview to Mobile

Raven and Clover enjoying a romp at a Love’s dog park in Louisiana.

We drove over 500 miles today. The first couple hundred were a breeze. Things took a turn when the exit to I-10 was closed with no warning. There were no signs indicating it was closed until I put on my turn signal and saw the barriers blocking the exit ramp. All the places to take a U-turn after that were blocked for a few miles. I was concerned the other ramp was also blocked, but it was fine.

The dogs got two good dog park romps in before we had a long stretch with no parks. During that stretch, we had to go around New Orleans. We encountered one disabled truck, one disabled vehicle, a work zone, and another set of disabled vehicles causing such a backup that we probably lost at least an hour waiting in traffic. I was beginning to think we would be spending the night on the New Orleans freeway in stuck traffic. There were several disabled/abandoned vehicles on the side of the road making me think Louisiana is the disabled vehicle capitol of the world.

It was 85 degrees outside. By the time we got to the next dog park, it had dropped to 78 degrees. The dogs would not play. They stood and panted. I do not blame them. I loaded them in the car for our last 60 miles. There was a Love’s 5 miles before our hotel, but it was still hot and I was sure the dogs would not play. I walked them at the hotel. When we got inside, I called Regis and the dogs had cooled of just enough between the air-conditioned car and the room to start playing and making loud noises. I have been successful this entire trip not letting that happen by wearing them out before we got to the hotel. I found another dog park immediately.

By the time we got to the park the temperature had dropped a little bit more and there were lots of trees. With other dogs to play with, the dogs had a blast and forgot the heat. There was a good group of dogs there and they all played well and ran each other ragged. The krakens’ tongues were hanging to the ground when they were finished.

At the dog park, I got to chatting with a guy who warned me about the area I was staying. I will not go into the details, but I have seen enough at the hotel and in the parking lot that I will be getting out of here ASAP in the morning. Having two dogs with loud barks is my best asset. The one thing I will mention is when we came onto our floor after visiting the dog park, there was a man running down the hall holding his crotch. Raven let out a set of barks that scared the guy back into his room quickly. My dog barking is the least of this hotel’s problems. Yet another reason I prefer to travel in an RV. In at least six years of travels, the only issue I remember is our camping neighbors burning stuff in their campfire that made us have to shut all the windows in our RV before we died of smoke inhalation.

I can only imagine how many dogs have peed on this tree.

Clarendon to Longview

Clover at our favorite Love’s in Winona, Texas.

Still in Texas.

What a long day. We started off driving about 85 miles to the first Love’s with a dog park. The temperature was in the 20’s and windy. The dogs did not care and romped, but I froze. I have not been this cold in a long time. When I hit warm weather in Albuquerque, I swapped my boots for shoes. My feet went numb in the shoes. Once frost spite started to set in, I put the dogs in the car and hoped it would warm up as we headed south.

At the next Love’s dog park, the temperature was in the 30’s. It was still bitingly cold, so I swapped to my boots.

At the next Love’s dog park, it was in the 40’s and cold, but not painfully so. I was able to let the dogs stay longer. We have stopped at every Love’s dog park on our route since Colorado.

I hated driving through Texas. The state roads go through small towns which drops the speed limit to 35 or so. I began to crave an interstate. Regis was correct that I should have used the GPS in the glove compartment. I have been this route before and I do not remember it being this miserable. I do not remember driving into Dallas. We skirted it. The Jeep GPS is garbage and it was the one I was using. I should have thought about its inability to handle cities. As I was going through Dallas, it kept telling me to be in the right lane, no the left lane, no the right lane with many lanes and lots of traffic. I knew I was in trouble and had to unlock my phone while driving and get it to give me directions. It got us routed correctly. We managed to get out of Dallas and on our way.

Once out of Dallas, I got a call from the United driver moving our furniture. He will be delivering on Monday. Wahoo! After I hung up the phone, my phone went dark and I could barely see it. (I later fixed it in the hotel, but do not understand why that happend.)

After stopping at the next Love’s dog park, I went back to the Jeep GPS because it should have been straight forward at this point.

At our last dog park stop before the hotel, the temperature was warm, and the dog park was the cleanest I have seen for a Love’s dog park, and it had grass. I sat and soaked in the warmth while the dogs played.

Raven has exhibited a change in behavior today. This morning when I left the room to pick up breakfast, he whined. I am pretty sure it was him. I had to put the dogs in the car to get breakfast and bring it to the room. I retrieved the dogs and ate breakfast and then packed up to leave.

At the last dog park, Raven barked and whined when I went inside to the bathroom and to pick up something for dinner. He did it again at the hotel. I leave the dogs in the car while I check in and then retrieve them once I have the keys. We are in a routine, so I do not understand why he is suddenly whining and barking.

I picked up a spinach cranberry walnut salad at the last Love’s and when I got to the hotel, saw that it had no salad dressing. Bummer. I ate it the best I could, but salads taste better with dressing.

At the hotel, I jettisoned my winter coat and boots. It is nicely warm here.

I am tired of driving and I am certain the dogs would love a nice long walk, so I am splitting the difference in mileage to get back to Florida. That will leave two long driving days but one less hotel stay. We will be on interstates, so it could be doable if there are no accidents, roadwork, weather events, etc. I have my fingers crossed.

Raven. He sometimes gets in the front seat when I leave the car. I put a barrier up, but it is no barrier to him. The barrier has stopped him from trying while I am driving, but not when I am out of the car.

Meanwhile back in Florida

I have been puttering around the house doing odd jobs. Little things that just needed attention. Two big projects are getting the existing flooring removed and new flooring installed. ALL of it. Linda picked out a nice wide plank vinyl and found an installer to do the work. My job was to meet the contractor and get us to all agree to what’s needed to be done.


The existing flooring was a mix of carpet and ceramic tile. It all had to go and was going to be a dusty mess when all was done. The crew got started on a monday and everything was gone by the end of Tuesday. The installers moved in next. There was some concrete grinding to be done and some filling and leveling. By the end of Friday the flooring was in place.

The second project was to order a new washer and dryer. Linda again pick out a model and after I looked at it I got the next model down. We really don’t need a wifi enabled washer do we? Plus Linda’s phone is not working so good so what’s the point of having an app to wash clothes.

I did need to redo the wiring for the dryer. the outlet was not installed very well so I fixed it. Also need to replace the drain and supply for the washer. It was broken and flopping around.

Replacing the washer drain/supply. The large hole was not done by me!

A project popped up and it was bigger than I anticipated. With the flooring install came lots of concrete grinding. But the amount of dust was unbelievable. I vacuumed the house, then swiffered every surface both horizontal and vertical, every shelf in every cabinet, and then I vacuumed again. The forth round thru the house was to damp mop the new floor to pick up any fine dust left by the vacuum.

I am beat!

Boat projects continue. waiting on parts.

Albuquerque to Clarendon

It was windy the first time I took the dogs out last night. I took them out again at 2:30 in spite of saying I would not take them out in the middle of the night. It was dead calm and warm. While walking, the dogs found droppings (probably rabbit) and ate them like candy. I was not able to spot the goodies faster than them. I have dog dogs. There are high class dogs, uppity dogs, etc. but my dogs like to wallow in the dirt, get stinky, eat crap, etc. Then, I woke up to another weather alert. It was a high wind warning. I took the dogs out and nearly froze even though the temperature was not that cold. It was very windy.

By the way, I learned if you do not want a wet dog nose waking you up, sleep in the middle of a queen or king bed. The nose cannot reach you.

I took the dogs back to the North Dominga Baca Dog Park first thing and no one was there. It was very windy but the dogs were hyped and ignored it until they were pretty worn out. After that, we headed east and hoped we could get away from the wind.

We stopped in Tucumcari at a Love’s Travel Center for a dog park romp. I planned to stay a half hour, but after 20 minutes we were getting too much dirt in our eyes and I loaded the dogs up to move on. I was still hopeful to get away from the wind. The wind increased and stuff started blowing across the highway. At one point, about 8 tumbleweeds blew across and my first thought was that it was a pack of animals and it scared me. Just tumbleweeds. We were not impacted much by the wind while driving but it was clear that the trucks were having issues staying in their lane.

The temperature was in the high 50’s to low 60’s. In the car we were toasty and I turned on the air conditioner for the dogs. Outside was a different story. I found myself wearing a sweater and my winter coat to remain warm enough outside with the wind.

On the way to Amarillo, we saw miles of wind turbines and they were spinning. We have often seen wind turbines on our trips during the summer and they seem to be lazily turning or stopped. Almost all the turbines I saw west of Amarillo were working it.

At one point, both dogs were laying down in the back. That’s unusual because Raven is usually sitting up looking out the back window. We passed a large feedlot packed with cows. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw two dogs sitting upright staring out the back window. I have never seen the two of them do this before. When Clover turned her head to the side as she panned, her nostrils were going full speed.

We stopped in Amarillo at a Love’s dog park and it was still crazy windy. My precious little Clover found something to eat and I made her drop it and it was a cigarette butt. This girl loves cigarette butts. At one hotel, we entered through the side entrance and there was a bucket outside the entrance where folks smoking would drop their butts. It was always a hassle to get through that door with Clover because she wanted those butts. She is nuts. At the Bremerton Dog Park, my favorite people we help me scoop up the butts in the park before she got to them.

The windblown look.
Clover loves cigarette butts. If it did not make her sick, I could hire her out to clean up butts in any location.

We arrived at a beautiful Best Western in Clarendon, Texas. This is my favorite place so far. I usually put the dogs water bowl down first when we arrive in a hotel but returned to the car for a few items. When I got back to the room, I heard Raven drinking out of the toilet. Not long after, Clover had a white thing in her mouth she was playing with. It was the cover for the screw on the toilet. Sometimes I feel like I am playing a game of whack-a-mole trying to keep up with the two of them.

Best Western hotel room with Clover photo bombing.

Because I have had a lot of trouble with my phone and the Jeep GPS is terrible, Regis told me he thought there was another GPS in the glove compartment. I told him I could not open the glove compartment. He was puzzled how it broke. I said “no, no, no..I would have to empty the car to get to the glove compartment.” I sent him this picture. Whenever the glove compartment is accessible, I cannot seem to remember to get the GPS.

Fruita to Albuquerque

A significant snowy event is hitting Colorado and I needed to head south again to try to outrun it. There were signs everywhere telling people to be prepared for a winter weather event. The skies were clear and blue when I left Grand Junction, so it was hard to realize what was coming.

I headed south to go through the mountains around Ouray. I love this area but had never seen it in winter. I had forgotten how many little towns there are between Grand Junction and Ouray. The going was very slow. Just before we got to Ouray, I saw a park and headed in to see if I could let the dogs run. There was not much going on except one other car. I let the dogs out off-leash and the other car was letting their dog off-leash. While the three dogs played, I had a nice chat with the owner of the other rambunctious pup. The pup was about a month older than the collies. Every time the collies went too far, the gentleman and I would shout and the collies headed back at full speed. There was lots of ice, so heading back at full speed was treacherous. No one broke a leg and I got the dogs back in the car to head through the mountains.

I had forgotten how scary the road is through these mountains. When my brother and his wife brought our motorhome to Washington from Pensacola, Florida, I told them they had to go this route because it was so beautiful. As I was driving it today, I do not know why they are still speaking to me. OMG. Thankfully, the road was dry, but I still gripped the steering wheel so hard my hands hurt. It was a long drive through several mountain summits/passes and I began to hate the mountains toward the end.

Just south of Ouray. I stopped in the middle of the road to take this picture. There were no cars. The road it cut into the side of the mountain straight ahead and you can see the sheer drop off with no guard rails.

When we finally got to Durango, I wanted to grab a bite and let the dogs out. The place was extremely congested and every retail parking lot appeared to be full. I was wondering what was up with that in the middle of the week, when I noticed a sign about the upcoming bad weather. I wondered if everyone was out buying milk and toilet paper. I pulled into a fast-food drive through with four cars ahead of me. Since no car moved after 5 minutes, I turned around and left.

I did not get food until we hit Aztec, New Mexico. I felt so sorry for the dogs, I bought them both hamburgers which they quickly devoured. I walked them briefly, but we had to hit the road to beat the bad weather. About this time, the clouds started to roll in very quickly and they looked terrible. Regis told me Albuquerque should be fine, so I had to get out from under this as fast as possible.

I was on a road that went from 70 to 35 regularly. Between little towns, 70 was the speed limit. If you went through a town or passed something with a driveway, the speed limit dropped. It was excruciating. The weather continued to look worse. I saw the temperature starting to drop.

We finally got to an interstate and made progress south when raindrops occasionally fell. I wanted to find a dog park for the dogs to run but that was not likely to happen until I hit the city. If it was going to dump stuff on us, I wanted the dogs to be able to run first. As I was closing in on Albuquerque, I watched the mountain in front of me go from black to white. It was one of the more interesting things I have seen. By the time I got to Bernalillo, the stuff up in those clouds started falling on us and it was weird. There were lots of tiny sprinkles mixed with large splashes of slush that melted immediately after hitting the windshield.

It is hard to see the mountain ahead in this picture, but when I first looked at it, there was no snow on it. It got progressively whiter as we headed south.
This is the same mountain with all those clouds spitting rain. I tried to take pictures of what was hitting the windshield but they were not acceptable. In this picture, I was at the stop light. I hit every single stop light in Bernalillo and Albuequerque.

Once we got into Albuquerque, the precipitation stopped. When Regis told me Albuquerque was going to be fine, I did not realize it was fine once you hit the city limits. At this point, I was darn tired of driving and I am sure the dogs wanted to be released. I drove to the destination on my cell phone and the hotel was not there. I looked up the hotel and found it was 10 miles back. I passed it. I have no idea how this happened and it was particularly frustrating today because I was done.

When I got to the hotel, I asked if there was a local dog park. The gentleman at the desk directed me to one of few miles away. Long story short, it was a park where you could walk your dog. I started walking the dogs and Clover started jumping on Raven. They needed space.

I found another dog park not far away. It was large. It was the cleanest dog park I have ever seen. I let the dogs romp until after the sun set. They had a great time.

We are staying at a Drury and I had forgotten that Drury’s have happy hours with substantial eats. I thought the guy told me it started at 7. I went a few minutes after 7 and they were packing up. It ends at 7. They let me grab some food off the tray. Whew! I am glad I did not wait longer.

I was told there is a major windstorm coming this way and I should get going quickly tomorrow because I should not drive through it. Really? At least I have been fortunate in getting ahead of the weather, but my luck may run out.