Sunday, July 24, 2011

Playdate with Angus

Paco had an impromptu playdate on Saturday with my father-in-law's West Highland Terrier, Angus. He's a 5-year-old who took Paco's harassment in stride. You see, when Paco wants to play with another dog, he doesn't just do the usual play bow and see what happens. He barks at them incessantly in the hopes that they will respond.

In spite of Paco's nuttiness, Angus was happy to play as much as he could before he got all tuckered out. I didn't exactly realize how fast Paco was until we had him off-leash in our backyard, where he'll tear around like a madman scooting around a racetrack. In fact, he was so speedy on Sunday morning that he managed to catch a bird that had just landed on the ground.

Anyway, it was Paco's first time playing with another dog in our backyard. I'm not sure the chickens were too enthused as they kept getting freaked out and were banging around in the run when they got a little too close (they are used to Paco, but not this new dog).

We had a similar experience when Paco's met other dogs. I'm not sure why he thinks barking at the other dog will inspire them to play, but they do respond, that's for sure.

Even so, a good time was had by all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dog hiking in Carkeek Park

We love Carkeek Park for a number of reasons. Not only does it have a great beach, a cool playground, wonderful tidepools when the tide is low and salmon watching in the fall, but it also has miles of trails throughout the park.

The trails vary from tight switchbacks leading to expansive views of Puget Sound to flat trails that meander next to Piper's Creek and alongside a 100+ year old orchard that still contains apple, pear and other fruit trees. And everywhere you look there are salmonberry bushes.

Since we live about 5 minutes from Carkeek, we've already taken Paco a couple times for some short hikes. We like to hike on the trail that begins on the south side of the park and leads you along Piper's Creek and through the orchard.

The trail, called Piper's Creek Trail, starts with a sharp decline and flattens out, crossing over Piper's Creek a number of times on wide bridges. This is a relatively quiet part of the park and on a slow day you'll hear numerous songbirds serenading you through the forest.

This trail opens up at the Lower Meadow and eventually connects up to the Wetland Trail, where you can watch the salmon coming back to spawn.

Dogs are allowed on all the trails, as long as they are on a leash (although we saw several dogs off-leash but under voice command), but not on the beach. There are dog poop bags available at the south trail entrance as well as water fountains. Be forewarned, however, the poop bags are big enough to accommodate elephant scat, so if you have a tiny dog like Paco, they might be overkill and you'll want to bring something a tad more dainty.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Who's Paco?

Hello, this is Paco. He's about 10 months old and is lucky to be alive.

We adopted Paco last month from a no-kill shelter here in Washington state. Paco (formerly "Elmer") was 24 hours away from being euthanized in a Los Angeles County shelter. He was found as a stray, given some basic shots and was neutered. His time ran out and K9 Northwest ended up taking him on.

Paco is a Chihuahua mix and weighs about 9 pounds although he's still really skinny but not as bad as when we first got him. His ribs are no longer sticking out. He has a few health issues from being a stray (mostly skin and some gut problems) but he's otherwise really healthy.

It's unimaginable that such a sweet dog, who must have been somebody's pet, was so close to being killed. But there are such limited funds for most shelters that it's not unusual for many to have kill rates as high as 60%.

The purpose of this blog is to share the amazing adventures that Paco is having in his "new" life in Seattle. It will also be a place to share recipes and dog products that are eco-friendly and non-toxic.