Thursday, May 11, 2017

Happy Tails Growing Up

Have not blogged recently and after a period of being off the keyboard catching up is difficult. My Galaxy S6 is full of recent dog pictures and MP4 files. Sorting them out can be difficult. Most dog owners take pictures of their dogs just like loving grandparents. I was at the local small grocery store here in San Pedro yesterday and the young woman that takes my money was showing be her new puppy pictures on her smart phone.
Not sure how old Happy Tails is. His papers did not get an actual birthday. At six months Shepherds loose their baby teeth and he has been doing that. Pups have 28 teeth and adults have 42 the more to bite you with.
My other dog Dede was a champion for going for rowboat rides whereas Happy needs more experience.
In between fitting his life jacket I had to add 4 inches for his chest growth. When you see a puppy or baby everyday you don't see the growth. We were weighing him using a fish scale attached to his harness but he exceed the 50 pounds the scale could measure. He used to love to sit in my lap but now it is becoming difficult. 
GSD are not known as bird dogs but herding animals. My old dog Dede loved to herd other dogs in park but right now Happy loves to chase birds or bark at them. In the 22nd Street Park where he plays there are many ground swallows that fly close to the grass in circle driving him nuts.
It is sad but the area around Cabrillo Beach and Whites Point are filled with feral cats that have been dumped. There are signs posted that feeding the feral cats are against the law.. Many cat lovers feed these feral packs and of course the plastic dishes all wind up being blown into the water. A morning dog walk on 22nd Street by the sea food eatery may want  you to puke from the cat shit in the bushes.
There are two feral cats that hang around our marina. At first they were living off the rats and mice but several divers that clean boat bottoms started feeding them. Eack morning this black cat in the tree waits for his Monday to Friday feedings. The cat actually follows the drivers in the morning when they walk for coffee. Happy gets there early before the divers and chases the cat. The cat goes up his tree and Happy can't (yet). Rin Tin Tin could climb trees and Happy is learning.
Most toys don't last too long with Happy and the Easter Bunny wasn't any different. 
Malibu Kayaks
I was given this dual kayak in pretty sad shape but I cleaned it and repaired two cracks in it and it is ready to go. Taking a dog out here next to the boat is risky because if he falls off he will have to swim and getting in back on the dock is a hell of a chore. I had a neighbor who was from Los Angeles Fire Department and a LAFD diver. He had a Lab that loved to jump off the dock and swim but it took two healthy firemen to get the lab out of the water. Happy needs to learn at the beach.
Happy has several two legged friends that find balls for him and there isn't any shortage of discarded ball if you walk or ride a bicycle. Recently I had to buy a battery for my Nissan so I could drive to LACMA.
The Magic Flute
I am not sure how long I have been without a car battery maybe 9 months or so. If I wanted to drive the Nissan I would take a battery out of my boat where there are 4 fully charged 12 volts each day by solar panels. My daughter was having a 


and I didn't have a reliable battery so smarty pants (as I often call her) sent me the money to buy a battery. Actually Frances sent enough money via PayPal to pay for parking, gas money and a six pack of beer plus chips for a dog sitter.
Happy Staying
After I got "Giant Butts" AKA Happy Tails on a rainy day where my Nissan's battery quit and "The Bean" had to bail me out Arlo (Grandson) was holding the baby puppy  and we took several trips to get the Nissan and dog food and a crying 5 pound puppy into a sailboat. That is when I started reading dog books and have probably twenty plus under my belt. I require a belt for my pants and shorts because the cost of dog food exceeds my normal diet cost. (Starving for a puppy love) .

With the addition of a battery to the Nissan the two of of could roam by car to various parks that were not within walking distance. Happy walks probably 5 miles a day with me everyday but now using the car we could go up the hill to or the local dog park. There are several great places in parks for dogs here:

The down side of our new mobility was somewhere shithead got fleas. The dog's name is "Happy Tails" but he has many other callings: Stinker, Butts, Butthead, Dede 2, Shithead

When you live on a sailboat and in the middle of the night your fucking dog starts to scratch banging his leg  the floor of the fiberglass boat like a bass drum it becomes impossible to sleep. 

So I waited until my SS check came in and we went up the hill to PetCo for some flea stuff. The last time I bought this for Dede was half the current price. So $76.00 later we went back to the car where I found my keys and my neck chain were not on my neck but in between the front seats and all the doors and windows up tight. My Nissan is not a coat hanger kind of car and needs a professional lock smith. So $85.00 later and thanks to the locksmith on 9th Street we were rolling again. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Puppy's Internal Clock is Broken

Most days someone who has not seen us in a week usually comment on the dog's growth. I am not quite sure when he will reach adulthood but he will not be a year old for another six months and I am guessing as the papers I have on him do not show an actual age.

Ten days ago my son Dylan visited us and we went sailing together. Happy Tails or Trails as Dylan calls the dog went for his first sail on the Ericson. If the pup started to whine we put him down below in the cabin and he was quiet. After a while I put Happy back up in the cockpit. When in the dock Happy wanders around the deck and loves to play hide and seek. Also at the dock he jumps down off the boat but can't jump back on yet. Picking him up is getting to be a chore.

The YouTube video of sailing with son and pup needs a little explanation about the start of our adventure. My normal push off is very simple I disconnect all the dock lines put the tiller to the side and walk down the starboard side and push the boat out pushing the stern south and get on mid way put the tranny in reverse back out and when clear switch to forward an motor down the channel.

Well best plans are sometimes altered. My grill was next to the dock step, The old Schwinn was locked to the dock step and my sabot was sitting on the dock finger end so there wasn't any way for me to push clear and Dylan was in the cockpit on the tiller. After I got on board the wind had already turned us part way around and we were getting ready to play bumper boats. The video doesn't show everything but we didn't hit anything and Dylan was filming while dodging.
One of my pets

Happy is not that happy when he has to wear a life jacket and Dylan said he would jump in a save the dog if he fell overboard. My boarding ladder in a rope version and that would have been quite a chore to get the dog back on the deck without an overhead winch.

After 4 years of drought the rain started and this made walking the pup a wet operation but he didn't seem to care. With the sun shine we have started walking several times a day and we probably put in an easy 5 miles a day. Or night because he has not learned how to tell time.
Last night I was up at 2 AM but it could be 10:30 PM or a 4:30 AM wake up.

A neighbor gave the dog a new toss toy that he destroyed and in my dock box I have a collection of torn or broken toys. There are always plenty of sticks to find while out walking and after the rains there is lots of bamboo in the water and they make great chewables.

He has started to chase birds. There are lots of pigeons on the sidewalks and he loves to send to a flight. There are several Blue Herons that visit and one night Happy started barking at the Heron and he also took flight. There are two feral cats that were hunting mice and rats on the rocks but three bottom cleaner/divers started feeding the two cats in the parking lot where the drivers suit up so Happy likes to chase the two cats when the divers are not there. 

When out walking he loves most everyone, people or dogs, in the dark he will bark at strangers. After our sailing adventure Dylan and I rode bikes and Happy chased up. A day later I tried it by myself and the dog refused to cooperate. 

Dog proofing a sailboat is an ongoing chore. He loves the black wires that go to my solar panel regulator. Several covers after being installed usually last only a day. He has not started counter surfing and only eats from his dish but he likes to pick up his dinner bowl and chew on it.

I have a fold down dinner table that I use for my laptop. Today Happy has been very nice and allowed me to use it without a paw in my lap.

My dear and departed First Mate DeDe was not afraid of pit bulls and was attacked twice when we lived in Lake Forest. In fact DeDe used to boss a large male pit around here on the dock. Happy is five months going on six months and is already larger that most Pits we see. Yesterday we met a lady riding a bicycle with a Pit in tow. The Pit's name was Lucky. Lucky and Happy became instant friends. 

I am not sure about my opinion about people riding bikes with a dog on a leash. In San Pedro there are several marinas that get visits from dog walkers and several have dog/bicycle combinations. More on that later.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hating Face Book Again

Several years ago I started a Facebook account. It seemed a valid reason for connecting to friends and family. I started blogging before FB. I was racing speedway motorcycles and began reporting my races on my blog and posting each new blog on FB.

Then my FB friends started getting hacked and my Yahoo Email contacts started getting spam.

Early on when the ads on FB became a pain in the ass you could block them and of course FB figured out how to stop that.

The ads got me madder as they kept pointing to Dating Russian women or similar scams. So I changed my birthday to a teenager.

Then ads were aimed at selling me something in my living area. So I changed my location to a remote island.

One day while riding around the Rose Bowl on my road bike I saw all these tailgaters before a football game. Several had portable outhouses aside their RVs. When I gone back I did a search on Google about these portables then  saw the product on Amazon and clicked that. The next day my FB sidebar is full of portables.

FB kept changing the rules and procedures and the hackers kept on hacking.

I had two parakeets and got them a Facebook account. It was a great way to see pictures of other pet owners. Then FB closed the account because my birds were not potential buyers.

So I deactivate the account. I waited a while then deleted everything.

My blogging slowed when I moved on to my sailboat to live full time because the WIFI connection was a total waste. It worked some days but most often not.

For a time I lived with my daughter on shore and she had DSL so I blogged a little but not motorcycles. I had been using Goodreads for several years then one day it required my FB account to login. So without a FB account my Goodreads account was blocked. So I emailed them and two weeks later they allowed me to sign on without the FB bullshit.

By accident I discovered N.Y. Bike Snob and his blog. Here was a bicycle guy making money off of his blog.

Then just before Christmas my daughter got me a German Shepard puppy. It is hard not to take pictures of him.

 I use Instagram

 but several of my old FB friends don't so I thought about trying FB again to show my puppy to old friends and republish my old speedway blogs.

I created a new Gmail address and login to FB as a new user. Then the notifications started (more BS).

Then the find a friend (more BS). I added a few old friends and family and posted each new blog on FB. The FB app was deleted on my Samsung Phone right after I bought it. Three days ago I restarted the app so I could post my puppy pictures directly on to FB.

This morning FB will not allow me to sign on without posting detail personal information (more total BS).

So much for this crap so I try to delete account but I can't sign in because they are blocking me until I give them personal info (so Fuck them)

Catch 22 (I read the book) places me in FB Purgatory whereas I am unable to sign in to delete.

Many others have faced this problem and the web offers many solutions but most point you to the three dots on the FB page to delete the account. After many years I can't fight back because I don't have a 3 dot rating.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Puppy Update

Almost a month of sleepless nights as today marks the 28th day since my Christmas present was delivered in the pouring rain (raining cats and dogs).
I have not counted the days of rain we have had the last month but after several years of drought is is surely welcome. Several people here have been grousing about the rain and now the temperature has dropped down into the high thirties. Where we live we are surrounded by walkways that surround the marina. Lots of dog walker are here all day log. Many dogs have rain coats or sweaters but Happy Tails only has his life jacket with a handle on it.
At first he didn't want to wear it but yesterday he accepted the jacket without complaining. When I row I face the stern of the sabot and my old first mate Dede had learned to sit in the bow whereas Happy has to sit in the stern where I can keep an eye on him until he learns about rowing.
Dede actually enjoyed going out for a row. She did not like sailing in the big boat but was alright in the sabot with the sail up.
Our routine of puppy and getting off and on the boat is still pickup and carry. He is learning how to jump off ledges and climb stairs but is not ready to jump on or off the sailboat. He has a shore spot he likes to poop at so we must get off the boat in the dark while it is raining and I use the dock steps at the starboard side of my sailboat. There is a small solar powered led light on the step but it isn't that bright as the sun is still in winter.
Dede could jump from the dock into the boat with one good leap and get off without any problems. When the sailboat was in Wilmington she would sneak off on her own and wander around outside the marina gated entry by simply crawling under it. 
During the past week we had a visitor from space. The SpaceX  Falcon 9 returned on its drone barge and it could be seen from the boat. I have been following the barge and SpaceX because the barge is on by walking or bike riding route. The first stage was here yesterday but is no longer upright today as it is being transported. 

As I see the pup 24/7 I don't realize the day to day changes but people who see any on the weekend always comment on how much he has grown. Most say that I am going to need a bigger boat.
Yesterday he met his first Great Dane and Large Poodle. Happy went running with them but could not keep up with pack. 

When Happy was at the adoption clinic awaiting a new home the other puppies chewed on his tail tip. Today the hair has grown back in and looks great. The hair on his back is starting to change from puppy fur to shiny black teenager hair. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Another Puppy Week

Friday the 13th came and went yesterday. The Thursday before I received a text message from Frances my daughter telling me that the pup needed to get another one of his puppy shots and it was best to go early. The clinic is located on Gaffey in the 900 block north. We live just south of 22nd Street so the trip is about two miles during the morning rush hour. We don't do much rushing these days, the we being the puppy and me. He has only ridden in his carrier in the rear of my Nissan three times and that was for less than a mile because he was crying too much.
Inside clinic

In the morning in San Pedro all the traffic is headed north to get on the freeways and the cross streets around schools are clogged with parents letting their kids off at school. I made a mistake of going up to Gaffey past a elementary school and after the recent rainy spell it looked like walking school just wasn't happening.
Monster Paws

We finally got to SNP|LA (spay neuter project of los angeles) after a few minutes of driving that seemed like hours. The grass around the parking lot was wet and the hill across the street was bright with the fresh grass.

We signed in with Happy Tails and was greeted with cheery faces that remember him. They remarked about his growth and his tail tip. Early at the shelter the other puppies had decided that his tail was a chewing bone treat and the tail end looked like a rat tail. I see his hair growing back on his tail tip but his size increase is less apparent because he is with me 24/7 but picking him up is becoming a chore.
self feeding

On December 8 the clinic records show him weighing 5 lbs. and 8 oz. 36 days later he weighs in at a new fighting weight of 22 lbs. (ready for the ring) which is close to 1/2 pound a day increase.
He continues to like all humans large or small but is still shy with other dogs that are larger that him.

Happy is not interested in the morning skunks we have seen during a 5 AM wake up walk or the black feral cat that hangs out in the parking lot where the divers (boat cleaners) park feed the negro gato during the week. The cat actually follows the divers in the morning when they walk over to the tackle shop to get coffee.

Happy is climbing around the boat top side which my former first mate didn't. He has been on two other sail boats when their crews come back in from a sail.

My son Dylan keeps nagging me about borrowing the pup but I don't think the pup is ready yet, he has never been in a house or apartment before (the pup not Dylan). In the video below you can see Hucker riding the trails with his dog. Dylan has plans to do this too.

 His head habits (boats don't have toilets) are improving and it is much easier to get him outside with it is not pouring down rain. I refer to the morning routine as a Chinese Fire Drill when before 5 AM he starts making noises under my V-Berth. The race is to get dressed and bundled up so he can pee on the shore. We don't have any doggie-door but drop boards that must be removed and hatch opened, a ladder to be climbed up and a cockpit to cross, dock steps to manage then a dock ramp to climb and gate unlocked. This was getting too much not to have my morning coffee before setting out so I stopped drinking coffee (cold turkey) and placed my Mr. Coffee in one of my shore lockers.
Happy Happy

Everyday something has to be removed or relocated to prevent chewing or him getting into the trash. He has two stuffed toys, a small reindeer from the adoption shelter (with matching reindeer blanket) and a stuffed dog that is now missing a nose.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

14 Days 14 Nights Raising Puppy

My daughter Frances picked up the puppy at spay neuter project of Los Angeles December 22 on a rainy here in San Pedro. Today is the 14th day of the puppy living on my sailboat. I guess it could be considered our sailboat.

For those aware of boats this might sound stupid but sailboats and powerboats have different shapes as their function vary. And getting on and off a boat can be easy or part of a climbing experience.

Dylan and Happy Tails

The interior cabin is accessed by removing three drop board from the forward entrance and climbing down the interior ladder which has 4 steps. When it warm and not raining the drop boards are stored but when it is cold and wet as it has been the boards are in place.

Going to poor house one bag at a time

Potty training requires that the pup get out of the cabin, get off the boat and be carried to a pot of dirt next to a tree in the parking lot. This requires a Chinese fire drill if any learning is too take place. The dog is rewarded vocally when he starts to pee and this may be startling if anyone is out at 5 AM and see us.

Chewing on his bowl

As I write here and wander about with the keyboard dog reports may not be in order. After Frances got the dog and helped me replace the battery in my car we drove to Centre Street Market to get some puppy chow. The pup liked it and the small bag did not last long. My next visit was to Vons here but they had stopped sticking puppy chow so  had to get a bag of food for small dogs. That kibble had to be smashed with my hammer in to smaller pieces he could handle.

On my last trip to Vons I found a large bag of puppy chow. When the puppy is in the cabin he currently can not climb out but if he is in the boat's cockpit he must be watched. He can climb over the sideboards into the cockpit but can't climb out yet. I need to get him a harness or life jacket with a handle so if he falls in I can use a boat hook to pull him out. For now he is always watched around the water.


After he has learned to sit and stay he can go out in our sabot rowing and maybe try riding the stand up paddle. He can walk with the leash and his tug of war is getting better. He loves strangers and follows people walking around the sidewalk. Pup has got for several car rides and visited several parks. He is growing quickly and will probably out grow his any harness or vest I would buy today.

Dylan brought him a new doggy bed as the cardboard box was being chewed up.

There was some debate about naming him and at present he is "Happy Tails"

Or just "Happy" and not to be confused with Happy from Space Patrol and those 15 minute afternoon live black and white TV shows in the afternoon on Channel 7 in Los Angeles when I was a kid.