Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dog Key for Dog House

The new house key

It has been almost a year since we moved to our new house. A couple days ago I stopped by The Home Depot to make a copy of a key for work. While I was waiting, I saw all the custom keys they have for sale. One particular key got my attention - the dog with a bone key. I got it for my house key. It is the only appropriate key since there are more dogs living in this house than human. 

Cracus and Kelsey at Pt. Isabel

My dog sitting business through is doing quite well. There are more demands than I can take on. Today I have the most number of dogs on one day - 5 including my own 2 dogs.  Two of them will be picked up this evening.

I have several repeat customers now and many requests for day care, which unfortunately, I am not yet able to provide with my day job.

Cracus and Charlie napping after their Pt. Isabel outing

On weekends, I love sitting in my little backyard with my morning coffee watching the dogs play. They can run through the dog run on the side of the house, jump through the dog door in the garage, then run through the house and come out from the backdoor into the yard again and repeat. It's fun watching them run in a pack and loop around the house.

I have learned how to feed 4 dogs at the same time without them fighting each other. I have also walked 4 dogs at the same time although it wasn't as graceful as it should. It's all been a very fun and interesting experience.

Charlie demonstrates puppy yoga while Cracus and Buddy observe

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Te Anau, New Zealand

It's very cold in the early morning

I have originally intended to spend a couple night near Milford Sound; however, the accommodations for Milford Sound are rather limited. After doing further research around Fiordland, I decided to visit Te Anau and take a cruise through Doubtful Sound instead. There are many choices for accommodation in Te Anau. I was able to get a single room at YHA Te Anau for a very good price. While I could share a room with others to save even more money, my dormitory days were long ago. I much prefer to get my own room unless I am only transiting.   

Te Anau is very small. There is one street called "Town Center," and that IS the town center. Many stores and restaurants are closed for winter. There are 2 major grocery stores, Four Square and Fresh Choice, Both stores are just a few blocks away from YHA. It was nice to be able to prepare my meals in the spacious YHA kitchen and save money for bigger cities that I will be visiting.

I booked an 8-hour Wilderness Cruise with Real Journeys. It involved getting on a bus, getting on a small ferry, getting on a bigger bus, and then getting on a bigger cruise. On the way back, we got back on the bus again. It was a long journey, so people started to connect with each other to exchange travel stories. The views were incredible, and it was a plus to have good companies.

The weather was nice once we sailed out in the open. We were told that it had been 30 days since the sun was out and the sky was blue. We all felt really lucky! We departed for the cruise at 8:45 a.m. By the time we return back to Te Anau, it was about 6 pm and completely dark. I went sleep early.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Arriving Middle Earth Again

aerial view of Queenstown

After more than 20 hours of traveling - from BART to SFO to Auckland and finally Queenstown, I have finally begun my second journey to Middle Earth on July 4th, 2015. I have not stopped thinking about coming back here ever since my last visit in July 2014. I wanted to visit more of The Lord of the Rings locations and just to see more of this beautiful green country. It was however difficult for me to leave Kelsey and Cracus for more than two week especially since this would be the first time I am away from Cracus since he was adopted on November 1st, 2014.

Lake Wakatipu

I stayed at YHA Queenstown Lakefront for my first stop. My home for the first two nights faces beautiful Lake Wakatipu. It involves a 10-minute walk into town, but it's a good way to start the day. This is where people come to ski, snowboard, and do bungy jump. I don't do any of those. I am here to see the beautiful scenery and to unwind from the hectic life of an elementary school administrator. The air is cold there, but I rarely feel cold when I am traveling. I am on foot for most of my journey, and it keeps my blood pumping.

Lake Wakatipu

There are many shops in the small area of Queenstown city center. As soon as I got off the bus, the display in the store window caught my attention.  It's a set of The Hobbit rings and necklaces. This is definitely Middle Earth. Tomorrow I will join a Safari of the Rings tour.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Quail Eggs

It's been a month since Dusty passed away. He's been buried next to the kiwi vines. I have hosed the cage with water to make it as clean as possible. I wasn't sure what to do with it. It's a well built cage, so I certainly didn't want it to go to the landfill. I finally decided to post it on Craigslist's free section today. I got the cage from Craigslist nine years ago but paid a small amount of money for it. I was surprised to see this cage is made in Italy!  I don't know exactly how old this cage is, but as we know, almost everything is made in China these days.

It's a very well made cage with two openings, one in the front and one on the side. The bottom panel isn't made of wire, so it's better for the pet's paws or feet. I posted it as "first come, first serve" but someone emailed me a number and requested for a call back. He wanted the cage for his quails and would bring me some fresh quail eggs. That's more than what I expected. It was smart of him to make sure that I still had the cage before driving all the way over from San Pablo. I was happy that someone wanted it for other animals instead of taking it for scrap metal.  I brought the cage back into the driveway and waited for the quail guy to come. I am happy that the cage will be put into good use for many more years to come.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

R.I.P. Dusty ~2006-April 27, 2015

I adopted Dusty on May 13, 2006 from a family in San Rafael. He was just a few months old at the time. The photo above was the first picture I saw of him. It was love at first sight for me. At the time I lived in Mountain View. I have since moved twice more, and Dusty had been with me all this time. It had been almost nine years. I knew Dusty was getting old and slow. A few days ago he had stopped eating and drinking. I knew the time was getting close. In the last two days, he was not able to sit up anymore. I came home from work today, and he was still alive. A couple hours later he had taken his last breath. I will miss him and all the years we spent together.