March 25, 2009

Spotty Dotty dog rides a bike

by winecountrydog

Have you ever seen Dotty Dalmation riding a bicycle? His viddy is a huge hit!

I admire how easily Dotty mounts his cool yellow and green bike, places his paws correctly on the pedals, and sit-stays comfurtably on the saddle. He then deftly pawsitions his front paws on the handlebars and pedals off nonchalantly.

Here is Dotty pedaling around a city street in Japan. This is actual film footage, not a stunt.

Furriends, pawleeze do not try this at home unless you're wearing a safety helmet.

I always paw-point out the safety angle. You know I'm the kind of dog who wears a seatbelt harness fur car travel.

Paw-note: None of the dog helmets I know of have been tested by human safety engineers. Sometimes some type of protection is better than none, but not always. Poorly made protective gear can create a false sense of security or be the cause of injury.

March 19, 2009

@twitchhiker in wine country

by winecountrydog

A beautiful day yesterday atop the hills in Sonoma Valley wine country.

special hill with a name you'll have to ask Jeff Kunde about
I was at dog-friendly Kunde Family Estate with @twitchhiker – aka Paul Smith. Here you see him taking a pic for twitpic.

twitchhiker taking a pic of the hill
Standing right in the middle of Kunde's Magnolia Lane Sauvignon Blanc vineyard, sommelier Chris Sawyer explains how humans open screw caps by magic. Winemaker Jeff Kunde looks on knowingly, holding a bottle of same.

Chris Sawyer showing screw cap bottle-opening trick
Next, twitchhiker does the screw cap bottle-opening trick brilliantly! Anastasia Schuster, aka @AccessInspirati, watches carefully. I bet she can now do the trick too!

twitchhiker doing screw cap opening trick as Anastasia watches
Does it make sense fur humans to drink right from the bottle? Below, sommelier Sawyer's obviously in favor of using a glass fur tastin' the next wine. Jeff Kunde pours his '05 Reserve Century Vines Zinfandel.

Jeff Kunde pours. Chris Sawyer cheers.
Humans look so yappy when winetasting. Makes me wish we dogs drank wine.

Twitchhiker apparently enjoys the old vine Zinfandel.

twitchhiker tasting Kunde old vine Zin
Having finished his Zin, twitchhiker takes a break to twitter.

Howl, just imagine: Paul's the first human to travel the globe by the good graces of twitterers!

twitchhiker twittering at a Kunde picnic table. behind him is the California Wine Tours van.
Twitchhiker looks cool in his new Kunde vest, below. He's the nicest human, really, and he's raising funds for safe drinking water in schools in developing nations.

me, @winecountrydog Tilin Corgi, and @twitchhiker Paul Smith
You can follow @twitchhiker on twitter. Pawleeze read his blog to learn about twitchhiking and helping charity: water.

Paw-note: I'll be goin' back to Kunde 'cuz it's a super dog-friendly winery. Check out their dog hikes and eco-hikes!

March 17, 2009

Pawtrait of the corgi as a young dog

by winecountrydog

Every dog is a work of art. A dream to wake up to.

As a tribute to us dogs and to the drinking holiday that humans call St. Patrick's Day, I give you this unique corgi pawtrait:

corgi portrait made out of beer cans
Woof thanks fur the pic to Shippie's Pub, Tasmania's famous watering hole, where they're pawtying every day.

Pawleeze pass the local Lagunitas. I can have 60 mL. Calms me hyper self.

March 13, 2009

Is wine going to the dogs?

by winecountrydog

Look at lovely Violet! She's a Pom/Chihuahua at the tender age of six months.

I meet Violet fur the first time.
"I met her on a Saturday and my heart stood still.
Da doo ron ron ron,
da doo ron ron.
Somebody told me that her name was Violet.
Da doo ron ron ron,
da doo ron ron."
You don't remember this song by The Crystals? Oh howl.

What a beautiful March day it was for seeking out dog-friendly wineries in the Russian River Valley. More than 120 wineries were on the map for the Wine Road barrel tasting event in the valleys of northwestern Sonoma wine country.

Battaglini Winery, with barrels set out for tasting
I warmed up my olfactory sensitivities in the midday sun at rustic Battaglini Estate Winery, a small family winery that makes Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah.

'Tis I here, below. And in the background is Jack "pawlitico" Corgi. The bottle of wine's not ours. Dogs don't drink wine. We socialize.

Me, Tilin, and Jack, hanging out.
Young Violet, very vigilant, alerted Andrea to the fact that her wine glass was empty.

Violet points the way toward the wine barrels.
Sometimes a canine wine tourist would like a chew. We're entitled.

Violet loves to chew on tasty sticks.
I get distracted by all the socializing. That's how I furgot to point out the old Zinfandel vines to Violet.

old Zinfandel vines
It'd be arfully nice if Violet were to come back and visit so we can talk about chewin' on things next year!

March 8, 2009

One bird saved!

by pawlitico

My feathery furriend Scrubby is on the fence beyond my window. She's jreeing hello.

Scrubby, aka Ms. Jay, chose not to disappear after dog-ma released her. I guess she'd like us to put a door in the window so she can come in fur meals. I think she's going to have babies, judging from how big and round she is.

Too bad Ms. Jay couldn't eat her special meal while she was staying with us. Dog-ma made exactly what veterinarian Dr. Jona Jordan suggested.

But Scrubby was in too much shock to eat. Last evening, she nearly suffered a horrible death, hung upside down by her leg, swinging from a tree branch. A tangled bracelet of fish-net plastic around her left ankle had become a lethal handcuff.

Thank dogness that, just before dark, a pair of anxious birds nearby caught our attention with their frantic cries. Tilin Corgi and I hailed dog-ma, who came running with a tall ladder.

We watched dog-ma lean the ladder against the tree, pull on a pair of gloves, and turn on a flashlight. She climbed quickly.

We held our breath as she stretched out her hands to the Scrub Jay. She embraced the bird with her right hand, holding her fairly immobile as she broke off branches around the bird's leg with her left hand. We hated seeing how twisted the Jay's leg was. What a long, tense minute. We feared the leg would crumple or pop out of the hip socket.

Suddenly dog-ma was descending with Scrubby safe in hand. I noticed that Scrubby had put the bite on dog-ma's right index finger and wasn't lettin' go. Smart bird. We followed them into the house. Dog-ma closed the home office door behind her to talk to Scrubby in private.

Ms. Jay, in shock and disheveled
I heard dog-ma gently whisper, "Hold on, Scrubby. Just a bit more. Argh, that horrible plastic is hard to cut. . . . Okay, you're free now."

the lethal fish-net plastic that was wrapped around Scrubby's ankle
After a while I heard fluttering — the sounds of Scrubby flyin' around the room till she settled on a pawsition on top of the bookshelf, a good place to hide and roost.

Scrubby on her roost, finally able to fall peacefully asleep
Dog-ma came out of the room and told us that our new furriend was resting. Off to the kitchen shuffled dog-ma, sadly wailing something about cruelty to animals.

We took comfort in what Dr. Jordan had said about The Bird Rescue Center being a good place fur Ms. Jay to get well. Dog-ma planned to take her there, and to ask the rescuers if we could release our furriend back home here when she was well.

Pawsitive thoughts allowed us to sleep through the night.

We were awakened at 7 o'clock by our Siamese, who jumped up in the air with surprise. We saw that she was listening hard to something — a repeating thumping sound.

We all jumped out of bed and ran to the office room. Dog-ma opened the door slightly and the sound got louder. She slipped into the room, closing the door behind her.

Sitting outside, I smiled. I could tell that Scrubby was awake and energized. The sounds were comin' from her attempts to break through the glass window to freedom!

Scrubby on the windowsill, jumping at the window to break free.
In a low voice, dog-ma exclaimed, "You, you can stand on both legs! . . . How could this be possible?"

Scrubby just continued jumping at the window.

After a couple of minutes, dog-ma declared, "Dear sweet amazing bird, I'm going to set you free!"

And so she did.

March 3, 2009

NY and CA dog riders on the storm

by winecountrydog

Does anybody know this beautiful NY sheepdog whose pic has become popular?

NY dog gets a ride from mum
. . . A lucky dog! His or her human carried him or her through the snow on the Upper East Side of New York on March 2 — the day that the East Coast of the U.S. had a big, big snow, wind, and rain storm.

The very same day we had a big, big rain, wind, and snow storm here on the West Coast.

Me, Tilin Corgi, riding in our car
It was so wet that we northern California Corgis rode in the car and only popped out fur a mini-walkie.

Jack Corgi and I used up extra towels in the backseat fur dryin' off.

Jack Corgi, riding with me in our car
We don't mind the rain. But we'd like to see some snow down here.

We do mind high winds. Hope they're done makin' those arful scary noises.