Oliver and Snow Meet a Cocker Spaniel Named Allie, Go for a Drive and Later Enjoy Looking Out the Boat Window

May 31, 2012

On our morning walk, we met a 10-year-old Cocker Spaniel named Allie, a former stray who wandered into the current owner's friend's print shop. I didn't have my camera with me, so I didn't get pics of how much Oliver loved meeting Allie. Even Snow was friendly with Allie!

Oliver and Snow had a blast and look a bit tired after driving around to run errands:

Oliver and Snow regained their energy, and enjoyed their favorite spot (on the sofa, looking out the window, where they can see and bark at the dogs on shore):



Oliver has a Yogurt Beard, and Oliver and Snow Enjoy Pre-Bedtime Grooming

May 30, 2012

Oliver and Snow enjoy a bit of Greek yogurt for breakfast, and Oliver gets much of it on his beard (and somehow on his ears, not visible in the pic):

Oliver and Snow love to groom before bedtime. Snow continued to groom in front of the camera, but Oliver stopped and looked at me like "what are you doing with that camera? Can't you see I'm grooming here?":



Oliver and Snow Watch the Waves, and Oliver Chases a Least Tern after Snow Hurts her Foot

May 29, 2012

While walking on the shore along the bay, a Coast Guard vessel generated a wake that fascinated both Oliver and Snow:

Snow stepped on something that hurt her foot, so I carried her back to the boat. I couldn't see what the problem was, but I cleaned her foot when we got back and wrapped it in a towel with baking soda paste. She was good as new within the hour. While walking back to the boat, Oliver saw a Least Tern playing in the water, and had a blast chasing after it!

Least Tern Chased by Oliver:



Oliver and Snow Perform RV Maintenance and Continue Boat Maintenance

May 28, 2012

Oliver, Snow and I planned to attend the Laguna Hills 10K with the Bonita Road Runners (I was going to run, Oliver and Snow were going to rest in the RV), but the RV's Fantastic Vent fan, which keeps the pups cool, somehow crapped out a few days ago. I checked both fuses and they were fine. As I wasn't willing to leave the pups in the boat all day while I raced in OC, we spent the day at home doing RV and boat maintenance. Someone on an RV forum posted their problem with the vent sensor, and described where it was located and how to fix it (a pump-type sensor that can get stuck in the off position…just needs to get unstuck and lubed). Disassembled the fan, found the stuck sensor, gave it some bicycle Tri-flow lube, and it was good as new.

So Oliver and Snow enjoyed lots of walks, helped with RV and boat maintenance, and enjoyed a special dinner of kibble (their usual wheat/corn/soy free Science Diet) and preservative-free sausage!

Oliver and Snow nap while I figure out how to fully restore the boat steps, now that they are structurally sound. I removed the pet gate separating the galley from the salon (with Arrow and Snow, I had to close the gate when I was at work - with Oliver and Snow, it wasn't necessary):

Passed out on our new floor after yet another walk:

Dining on deck - Memorial Day kibble and sausage:



Oliver and Snow Play in the Park and Supervise More Boat Maintenance

May 27, 2012

Oliver and Snow enjoy one of several nice morning walks at the marina park...:

…followed by a nap on the new floor as they supervised me rebuilding the steps into the galley. After I removed the carpet from the steps, I saw the carpet was "structural" (i.e. holding the steps together). Note to gentleman who was previous owner of boat and was so proud of his "upgrades": um, well, a woman and a couple of dogs know that carpet isn't structural. Just sayin':

The million layers of carpet apparently restrained us from falling into the abyss, where the generator is located (this is the "before" pic). I re-drilled and re-attached the step framing, and used countersunk screws to fasten the step. The previous owner apparently didn't know what a countersunk screw is - everything here is 3M taped, glued, or fastened with a million nails - ugh! I hope Oliver and Snow are patient with me while I continue to fix everything "done" by the previous owner!



Oliver and Snow Relax After Lots of Walks and Helping with Boat Maintenance

May 26, 2012

After a full day of walks, sunshine and boat maintenance, Oliver decides to enhance the look of our new bamboo floor by becoming a bear rug:

…while Snow sits on the back of the sofa (also one of Oliver's favorite spots) so she can look out the window and bark at another dog on the dock:

Oliver and Snow Play Ball in Grandma's Yard, Supervised by Gloria the Cat

May 25, 2012

Oliver and Snow enjoyed playing ball in their Grandma's yard, while Gloria the cat supervised from the safety of her lounging table!

Oliver with ball:

Oliver doesn't realize that Gloria the cat, whom Oliver loves to chase, is watching him!

Snow smelling the flowers:



Oliver and Snow Install Bamboo Flooring on the Boat

May 24, 2012

Oliver and Snow helped to install dog-friendly bamboo flooring in the salon. Looks much nicer than that old junky carpet and the plywood sub-floor!

Sub-floor with junky carpet removed:

Oliver and Snow help unbox the bamboo: We had 3 cartons of 6 planks, each plank measuring 6 feet in length and weighing 10lbs. I had to carry them from the van to the boat 4 at a time.

Hey, nice floor!!! Well done, Oliver and Snow!!



Oliver and Snow Practice "Leave It"

May 23, 2012

We're taking a 2-week break before the next 8 sessions of PetSmart private training begin, so we can practice what we've learned (sit, stay, down, leave it, proper leash walking, proper boat exiting, high 5, and roll-over/play dead).

Oliver and Snow demonstrate "leave-it":



Oliver Knows the Importance of Clean Feet

May 22, 2012

Many of Oliver and Snow's walks are on trails, so I clean their feet after every walk. Oliver *loves* having his feet cleaned, while Snow doesn't even like for me to *look* at her feet…but I clean hers anyway. We also do a "sticker check" where I remove anything from their fur that I didn't catch while we were walking. Snow will stop and extract the stickers from her feet as we walk, and I remove the ones that get stuck in her beard. Oliver never seems to notice having a ride-along sticker or two, so I'm extra-observant with him.

Oliver enjoying his feet-cleaning and sticker check:

…and this afternoon we removed the junky carpet from the downstairs galley (excluding the area under the dinette), where this morning's pic was taken, so there thankfully will be fewer pics showing the junky carpet!

This morning, Oliver picked up between his toes each of the most common: cockleburs, foxtail, and stork's-bill seed: (no, he didn't pick up the quarter ;-)



Oliver and Snow Supervise the (beginnings of the) New Floor Install!

May 21, 2012

Prep for installing new bamboo flooring: Gotta get rid of the old junky carpet left by the previous owner. He left 3 layers of carpet, and I got rid of 2, leaving only the top layer until our new bamboo flooring arrived. It arrived, so I rolled up the last remaining junky layer of carpet in the salon. Oliver and Snow kept asking, "Maybe you should have installed the flooring before bringing in the new sofa and all those bikes? Oh, and that fabulous tiki bar that you converted into bike accessory storage?" And I continued to respond, "Yes, you are all correct on that!"



Oliver and Snow (Safely) Watch the Annular Solar Eclipse!

May 20, 2012

Watching the Annular Solar Eclipse via the SLOOH Telescope: An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the Sun's light. SLOOH is an online astronomy platform with live-views from a global network of telescopes. Oliver and Snow check it out!



Oliver and Snow Race the Chula Vista Community 5K at the United States Olympic Training Center

May 19, 2012

As far as I know, this was Oliver's first 5K! Snow runs this race each year and finishes first or second dog, depending on who is competing. This year we had fun just bopping along, taking lots of water breaks, taking pictures, and checking out the facility. Our finish time was 39:15 - the slowest 5K Snow and I have ever done, but the fastest 5K for Oliver :-) It was definitely **the most fun 5K** we have done!!!!!!

Arriving at the Olympic Training Center: Oliver and Snow have their race bibs on, ready to run!



Hanging out pre-race:




We took *lots* of photo and water stops:




The water stop at the track became "oh, let's just relax on this nice lawn for a bit":




OK, ready to run again!:


Are we done yet? Nope, 2K more to go!:


Oliver wasn't too sure about this tunnel!:



Congratulations Oliver and Snow!!!!: Oliver and Snow smile at each other as we approach the finish! "Yay, we did it!!!!"




Heading for home: Scooped up Snow so she could ride in my lap, while Oliver stretched out and slept in the passenger seat (living dangerously - no seat belts!)




Oliver and Snow Pick Up Their Chula Vista Community 5K Bib Numbers at City Hall, then Visit Unleashed by Petco to Get Oliver's Racing Harness

May 18, 2012

Oliver and Snow stroll around City Hall, then pick up their bib numbers for tomorrow's 5K. Oliver seemed more interested in figuring out how to get access to the Council Chambers. We then headed over to Unleashed by Petco to pick out a racing harness.

Race Packet Pickup at City Hall: "Team Smithey checking in." The guy gives me one bib number and one shirt. Me: "I'm fine with the one shirt, but your list shows Team Smithey as Rachael, Oliver and Snow. We each paid for our own registration, so we need 3 bibs." The guy: "I thought you were joking." Me: "No joke - Snow finished first dog 3 years ago, and second dog last year (Carlos and Tiny beat us!)." The guy is very apologetic and insists that I try on the youth size T-shirts for Oliver and Snow. Me: "I think they're OK just wearing fur, so thanks anyway."




Oliver Outside City Council Chambers: "Excuse me, is Mayor Cox in? There's a young man named Oliver who would like to speak with her." She wasn't in.

Unleashed at Petco: Oliver picked out a racing harness (identical to Snow's, amazingly) while Snow waited in the van.



Oliver and Snow Enjoy Tuna for Breakfast and Relax in Prep for the Chula Vista Community 5K this Weekend

May 17, 2012

Oliver and Snow are really good about dining together. Oliver eats much faster than Snow, and when he's finished he tends to look over at Snow as she continues to eat. In this clip, Oliver nudges his bowl closer and closer to Snow's bowl.

Oliver naps in the small dog bed that is actually a cat bed (my previous Spaniel, Arrow, loved sleeping there as well):

…while smiling Snow works on her nylabone:



Oliver and Snow Help with RV Electrical Troubleshooting, and Oliver Tries to Play with a Woolly Bear Caterpillar

May 16, 2012

RV Troubleshooting: Oliver checks for faulty fuses (problem solved!) while Snow hangs out in the driver's seat.

Woolly Bear Caterpillars!: …are all over the place, and Oliver gets a close-up look (while Snow is out of the frame, barking at another dog).


Oliver and Snow Enjoy Lunch (Tuna!) on Deck, and Take an Afternoon Snooze

May 15, 2012

Tuna on Deck! Oliver and Snow enjoy a lunch of Science Diet Wheat/Corn/Soy Free (same old, same old) but this time with TUNA!!! Spectacularly gorgeous weather, so they enjoyed dining outside on the pee/poop grass that neither of them want to pee/poop on (we're always out walking every few hours, so they really don't have a need…)

Post-Lunch Snooze: After lots of exercise, fresh air and sunshine on this **gorgeous** day, Oliver and Snow enjoy a nap - first apart, then together. I really want to convert the dinette into bicycle storage, but it's become their own little clubhouse! So I think I'll be converting the v-berth instead.

Oliver Snoozing under the Dinette:


Snow Snoozing in the Sunshine on the Stairs (briefly, because the two of them are…):


…Inseparable!



Oliver and Snow Enjoy the Sea Breeze, Hike Local Trails, and Attend Class at PetSmart

May 14, 2012

Enjoying the sea breeze: Oliver and Snow enjoy the strong sea breeze at the park, as they overlook the bay. Oliver turns his back to the wind (to keep his ears from blowing around) and appears to hold onto Snow's leash. Snow faces the wind head-on, letting her small ears fly around. The audio track is the wind noise.

Hiking local trails: As we arrived early for class after running errands, we took a hike at a park near PetSmart. We enjoyed hiking up a nice hill, only to find that it ended at a power line.

PetSmart private training: Before class at PetSmart, where Oliver and Snow continued to work on how to properly exit the boat (last thing any of us wants is "dog overboard"), they did a bit of shopping. Oliver is the bargain-hunter!



Oliver and Snow (Again) Watch the Great Blue Heron, Then Take a Walk to the Bayshore Bikeway

May 13, 2012

Oliver and Snow (again) see the Great Blue Heron taking a walk in the field - lots of barking going on!

Taking a break near the Bayshore Bikeway:
On March 24, 2012, construction was completed on a new 1.8-mile segment of the Bayshore Bikeway between H and Palomar streets in Chula Vista. This pic was taken just south of J Street.



Oliver and Snow Watch the Great Blue Heron, Then Play at Grandma's for Early Mother's Day

May 12, 2012

Oliver and Snow see the Great Blue Heron strolling in the field, then…liftoff!

Playing in Grandma's Yard:
Sunday is a work day, so we celebrated an early Mother's Day at Oliver and Snow's Grandma's house, playing in the yard (each with his/her own tennis ball):




Oliver and Snow Bark at a Baby Skunk in the Morning and Meet Oliver's Twin in the Evening

May 11, 2012

On our morning walk we were surprised to encounter a small baby skunk. I have been sprayed by a skunk (many years ago while picking up my leashed Scottish Terrier, who thought it would be fun to go after a skunk), so we kept our distance from the little guy.

Oliver Meets His Twin, Named "Buck"
Buck, adopted from the South County Animal Shelter, is at left. Oliver is on the right. Buck was found wandering alone in Ensenada and was brought to the shelter here. He was adopted by Terri in January 2012, and she is thrilled to have him. She had been checking the SDSR site to adopt a dog, and was happily surprised to find Buck at the shelter.


In addition to Buck, Terri also has Ms. Snickers who, at age 15, prefers to enjoy her long walks riding in the jogger.



Oliver and Snow Check Out the Kayaks and the Wildlife at the Marina

May 10, 2012

Oliver and Snow enjoy checking out the kayaks, ducks playing in the sprinklers, a feral cat, and a great blue heron.

Snow checks out the kayaks…("Hey, the owner stepped away - let's hop in!")

...while Oliver is more interested in a low-flying pelican:

Snow and Oliver notice (in the distance) ducks playing in the sprinklers and a feral cat:

Oliver and Snow relax on the grass...

…while a great blue heron watches from the tree top:



Oliver and Snow Go Geocaching!

May 9, 2012

Looking for the geocache:
Geocaching is an outdoor sport where participants use navigation techniques and tools (such as GPS) to hide and seek containers (geocaches). Snow has extensive geocaching experience, but this is likely Oliver's first time. We didn't (yet) find geocache GC2X79F, but had a blast looking! We got a bit distracted, playing at the playground.

Location of geocache GC2X79F:

Oliver and Snow examine the coordinates of geocache GC2X79F and plot our route:

It's over that way!:

Oooh, never mind the geocache - let's play on the slide!:



Oliver and Snow Redecorate the Boat

May 8, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new:
Hired 1-800-Got-Junk to haul off the old furniture left by the previous owner of the boat. "Farewell futon sofa, swivel chair and captain's chair!" Oliver and Snow then went for a drive to the UPS store to pick up and say "Hello Foamiture sofa and tiki bar-to-be-converted-into-bike-storage."

Wow, empty room to play!

The 40lb. Foamiture sofa in this little box will amazingly expand...

…when it is removed from its shrink wrap and exposed to air:

Oliver and Snow relax on the new sofa, and check out the tiki bar-to-be-converted-into-bike-storage:

Tiki bar becomes bike storage:

Mission accomplished, thanks to Oliver and Snow!

Nap time!!!!

Next project for Oliver and Snow - installing bamboo flooring!

Oliver and Snow Attend Class at PetSmart

May 7, 2012

Seat belts on and ready to drive to class:
Oliver and Snow have their seat belts on - off to school we go!

Oliver rides an elevator in class:
We worked on proper exiting of the boat, sitting behind/beside me, and learning to apply "leave it" to items beyond just treats on the floor (e.g. the marina neighbor's cat ;-) Learning to ride in an elevator was an unintentional part of the training. Oliver explored the upstairs area of the store, then decided to check out the elevator.



Oliver and Snow Enjoy Their Morning Walk at the Marina

May 6, 2012

Smiling pups:
Oliver and Snow enjoy a 3 mile walk at the marina and show off their happy smiles!



Oliver and Snow Attend BRR Canopy Day and San Diego Cocker Spaniel Meetup

May 5, 2012

BRR Canopy Day:
Oliver and Snow enjoy a 3 mile walk at Rohr Park and attend the Bonita Road Runners' Canopy Day (Oliver's first official event as a Bonita Road Runner!).

Oliver with some of his BRR teammates:


Oliver with Isabel (Oliver looks like he's demonstrating a sword-swallowing trick):


Oliver with Susan:


Snow wearing her BRR colors:

San Diego Cocker Spaniel Meetup:
After a short nap on the boat, Oliver takes a drive to Doyle Dog Park to play with his fellow Cocker Spaniels at the San Diego Cocker Spaniel Meetup. Snow happily snoozed in the van at the park, as she's not particularly social with dogs (other than Oliver).

Oliver playing with his prior-to-Marie-France foster mom, Patty, and Patty's current foster Cocker Spaniel "Murray":


Cocker Spaniels (including Oliver) having a blast, trying to gang up on a big dog that is safely outside the fence:



Oliver Visits the Vet for a Recheck and Enjoys Organic Chicken Broth with Snow

May 4, 2012

Oliver visits the vet for a recheck of his eye infection (we're continuing the drops for the next few days).

Brave Oliver at South Bay Veterinary Hospital:

Oliver and Snow enjoy drinking organic chicken broth (I had each of them stop to come up for air after 10 seconds ;-)

Drinking organic chicken broth:



Oliver and Snow Enjoy Organic, Free-Range Vegetarian-Fed Chicken for Lunch

May 3, 2012

Oliver and Snow love their organic chicken! After a nice long walk at the marina, they patiently waited for and enjoyed their lunch.

Checking out what's for lunch (at left) and patiently waiting as their lunch is prepared (at right):

Dining on deck (at left) and crashed out afterwards in the galley (at right):



Oliver Mails His Adoption Paperwork to SDSR

May 2, 2012

Oliver and Snow took a drive to the grocery store and stopped at the post office (our van is in the background) to mail Oliver's adoption papers, tag, and a donation to San Diego Spaniel Rescue :-)

Oliver mails his adoption paperwork:



Oliver Tries to Fly and Admires the Ducks

May 1, 2012

Oliver and Snow watch the birds on our morning walk, and Oliver looks like he's about to take flight!

Airplane ears:

Oliver and Snow admire the ducks on our evening walk. The ducks are usually relaxing in the small powerboat tied to the end dock next to us, but tonight they were in the Zodiac boat farther down the dock

Watching ducks: