Tag Archives: Preston-Snoqualmie Trail

Chloë Talks Turkey

Smokey looking abnormally  mellow, with Chloë and Pumpkin.

Thanksgiving at my country getaway was mellow compared to past visits. Smokey is four, finally old enough to know when he needs to take his nose out of my butt and leave me alone. Pumpkin and I have always been simpatico. And the feline Mr. Fuzz didn’t show his furry face downstairs except at night, when he snuck down when the rest of us were in the bedroom with the door closed. Smokey and Pumpkin, apparently more insecure than on our past visits, had their beds moved from the living room to the floor next to where Heather was sleeping. At least this ploy kept Smokey quiet all night, rather than barking every time a  car passed or the wind stirred outside.

Sniffing out Beaver Lake

Although it rained parts of every day we were there, we did get in some good walking, once at Beaver Lake Preserve in Sammamish and on both the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail, each about 10 minutes by car from the getaway. Pumpkin came with us once (she’d rather sleep) and Smokey a couple of times, until Heather got tired of him barking and lunging at every dog he sees. Smokey’s a big guy, and Heather’s arms were getting tired from yanking him back. The final straw came when Smokey tried to climb into the front seat while Heather was driving. It was a lot harder for Mike and Heather to push back Smokey than me, I’m sure, and Heather was screaming at him. After that incident, Smokey’s hiking days were over, at least for this visit.

Crossing a trestle on the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail.

Because we weren’t having Thanksgiving dinner at home, I had been concerned I might be shortchanged on my normally ample rations of Thanksgiving leftovers.  But I needn’t have worried. I got plenty of gravy-laden dishes and casseroles to lick on the big day, and the next day all the leftovers came back to Seattle with us. I will be feasting on chopped-up gizzard, cartilage, liver, skin and turkey meat mixed in with my kibble right through to Christmas. It’s that most wonderful time of the year.

Chloë Takes a Field Trip

Tiring day for Schatzi.

My pal Schatzi stayed with us last weekend, and this time was much more fun than the last. That’s when I was on “bed rest,” and Schatzi had to pretty much leave me alone. Now that I’m fully recovered (and as demanding as ever), this time we were allowed to tussle. So we did, at least until I growled to let her know when I had enough. Schatzi  has calmed down a little, but she’s still a bit more energetic than my recently recovered bones allow. She gets the message.

A weekend with Heather is good training for Schatzi.  (“Tully Obedience Camp” is what Schatzi’s owner Caroline calls it.)  Saturday was a big day for her. In the morning, my pal Penny and her pack came over to watch a Syracuse football game, which usually makes all the people grumpy. We girls just hung out on the couch, chatted and hoped some food would fall on the floor.

Schatzi, Chloë and Penny root on the Orange.

Reining in the girls on a misty afternoon.

Mercifully, the football game ended early in the day. After Penny left, Heather hustled Schatzi and me into the back seat of her car, and we drove all the way out to the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail on what turnd out to be a rain-free but misty afternoon. This being Schatzi’s first visit to these rural environs, we walked all the way from the Lake Alice Road parking lot to the north end of the trail, 1.8 miles each way. Schatzi admitted this was definitely the farthest she had ever walked in one day in her life, but she did OK. I didn’t have to worry about her pouncing on me when we got home, though. She was plum tuckered out.

Trail dogs.

On the drive home, Mike and Heather stopped briefly at my country “getaway” for instruction on some recently installed kitchen appliances. We will be returning here for a longer stay in the near future, but on this rapidly darkening afternoon Schatzi and I stayed in the car, swapping beds in the back seat and curling up for the ride back to Seattle. We both slept well that night.

Chloë Mentors Another Pup

Schatzi

The very day after I frolicked with Schatzi, we took off for my Getaway in the Cascade foothills. I normally have a great time out there, roaming free on woodsy walks and playing fetch on the lawn.

Smokey

This time, however, because of recent rabbit and cougar sightings, I was leashed at all times and forbidden from walking into the state forest land beyond the lawn. And that wasn’t even the worst part: Smokey, the Aussie puppy who somehow moved in when I wasn’t looking, had gotten bigger and more invasive than he was the last time we stayed out there.  He wasted no time in sticking his nose in my face (and other body parts). The first thing that came to mind was, “Schatzi, I miss you!” It’s a lot more fun fooling around with a puppy I can dominate.

Awaiting dinner

Still, the good points about the latest stay more than outweighed Smokey’s antics: There was lots of grilling, which meant more meaty plates to lick. I pretty much ate like a pig, several times able to scarf up food from the bowls of Smokey, Pumpkin and the puffy black cat, Mr. Fuzz. And that cute little Pumpkin still does whatever I tell her to. Although I felt sorry for her whenever Smokey tried to harass her, I came to see where that the feisty little dog could take care of herself. She showed she knows the value of a low growl.

Sharing the front seat

 

The best part was taking Smokey and Pumpkin with us on our afternoon walks and having to drive to the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail to do it. Heather decided she didn’t want all three of us dogs in the back seat, so I got to sit in the front seat, restoring the True World Order I had enjoyed originally but have been deprived of in recent years, relegated to the back seat inside a padded sling and attached to clothesline harness, all in the name of safety and proper pet etiquette.  A pox on safety and etiquette, I say!

Chloë’s view

I got to sit in front for the whole week, alternating between dozing in Mike’s lap and sitting up to stare out the front windshield to see what fast-food or ice cream places were passing, although there were not many in this neck of the woods.

Beyond regaining the front seat (I have already been warned that this special privilege will not continue on our impending road trip), the other highlight of the week was luring the increasingly social Mr. Fuzz downstairs and getting a brief chance to sniff his butt. Big surprise: He smelled like a cat.

Mr. Fuzz

I must have  pissed him off, though, because the next day when I was asleep in my camp chair in the kitchen after supper, Mr. Fuzz snuck downstairs, creeped into the kitchen behind the large center island and leaped at me in a full frontal attack. Luckily, his claws only grazed my fabric chair, and when I let out my patented chasing-squirrels bark, he hightailed it back upstairs, where he belongs. I wasn’t about to let him sniff my butt.

Pumpkin rests along the trail.

Along the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail

Chloë Takes a Puppy to School

Mr. Fuzz

I was excited to to return to my mountain getaway in east King County last week. As soon as we exited I-90 and climbed into to the foothills, I knew where we were going, back to the palace of wall-to-wall carpet and lawns galore. It’s my absolutely favorite place to play fetch, 50 or more throws at each session. And I love being the undisputed leader of the pack with Pumpkin, the little dog who lives there, and the mysterious Mr. Fuzz, the bushy cat who mostly stays upstairs when I’m around. They know their place.

Smokey

Unfortunately, sometime after our last visit, Smokey showed up. About 8 months old when we arrived, Smokey is the successor to Tara, the brilliant Aussie who showed me the ropes out here when I was a but a wee pup. Supposedly it was my turn to pass some wisdom on to Smokey, except for one thing: Smokey just didn’t want to listen. Every single time he could, he just wanted to bite me on the ears or stick his nose up my butt, like I was going to smell different every time. Heather yelled, “Leave!” and “No” more than I’ve ever heard them yelled before, even in my own frolicking puppyhood. Heather was worn out after a week of grappling on the other end of a leash with Smokey, a strong and growing boy.

Chloe and Smokey rest on the trail.

Heather said Smokey hadn’t been out much beyond the grounds of his home property. He didn’t know anything about taking a walk, so we taught him how to do it, and we walked on the Preston-Snoqualmie and the Snoqualmie Valley trails. By the end of our time there, he was getting better at following the pack, although he kept trying to pick up large sticks at the end instead of in the middle, and he turned out to be a serial pooper, meaning he took several long strides between each deposit, so it was hard to know when he was done and harder to find those nuggets when he was. Heather needed a lot of bags. And she also had to teach Smokey about how to ride in the back of the car, although it took a lot of pushing and shoving from Heather and Mike in the front seat to keep him there. On the plus side, since Smokey had to be by himself in the back seat tied to my harness, I finally regained my rightful place in the front seat in Mike’s lap. Good timing, too; in this comfortable spot I could lay my head down, close my eyes, and not think about the twisty roads we were driving on, which make me queasy.

Chloë smugly watches Smokey suffer in Heather’s Boot Camp.

Heather tried valiantly to teach Smokey better manners, but even a week in Heather’s infamous Boot Camp could not make much difference. Hopefully Smokey will grow out of his rambunctiousness and be a nice guy to be around, but at this time he’s still a work in progress. While we were in the house, he mostly had to stay in his exercise pen in the living room, just to keep him out of everyone’s face and give Pumpkin and I some respite from his constant advances. We all felt sorry for Pumpkin, because when no one is around to tell Smokey “no,” he will hound her constantly and drive her into her crate or onto seats of chairs that are pushed in under the dining room table, where she crawls up in her little lair and hopes he doesn’t find her.

Status reclaimed.

Anyway, I missed out on the other Big Excitement of our week at the getaway. I was inside the house with Mike in the middle of the afternoon when Heather took Pumpkin and Smokey outside for some exercise. She threw the ball for Smokey (and he was making some progress on bringing it back!) while Pumpkin ran unleashed in in the horse ring until Heather saw a cougar standing at the edge of the property, on a trail that goes into the state forest land out back. She yanked on Smokey’s leash, called Pumpkin to come and hightailed it with them to the house, while the cougar hightailed it in the opposite direction.

It was a good thing that I didn’t happen to be out there fetching my ball on the back lawn when that big cat appeared. Everyone knows how much I love to chase cats. It could have been good practice for the Bartons’ cats down the street., and no one doubts I would have been deterred by its size.

Chloe on Preston-Snoqualmie Trail

Although I missed that opportunity, and sometimes Smokey got to be a bit intimidating, it was a worthwhile time out there. It made Heather appreciate much more just what a good dog I am. And as I always like to say, better him than me.

 

Chloë Parties Hearty

Along the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail.

Last Saturday turned into my red-letter day from my standpoint. Heather left the house early and Mike was in charge, which usually turns out well for me. First he took me on a short walk in the park and then we drove out into the country, way past the rock yard,  for a hike on the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail. We’ve been there before, but this time we took a spur trail to the east and kept on going, past the bridge over the creek where we turned around last time. The trail eventually led to a park in the Snoqualmie Ridge development, where a kiosk had a map of the area and trail system. Mike started talking to me as he looked at the map, telling me this means there will be a lot of new trails to explore in the future. I hope this trail system doesn’t get popular; we’ve yet to see another person or dog on these trails yet, but there’s evidence mountain bikers use them, and Mike says that’s never good news for dog walking.

Rather than going home, on the way back we stopped at my sometime-weekend getaway, where Heather was already waiting for us. But instead of staying there overnight by ourselves, we just stayed for the afternoon, and a lot of other people were there, including Cindy. It was a party for all the people who work with Cindy and Heather, and I’ve met most of them at their office. But these people all brought along their spouses and kids, so there were lots of scary strangers. What might have been a formula for disaster was dissipated by the familiar locale. Whenever I felt hemmed in, I could visit the barn, dig in the field or throw around Tara’s toys. So if there were a few new people and kids around, I could have cared less. I had plenty of other stuff to do, and besides: When it came to the menu, they put out a pretty good spread. I did lots of undercover grazing.

Chloë gets a little nuts after a few drinks.

Even so, the guests were universally lavish in their praise of my behavior, making Heather very proud. Mike, on the other hand, was prouder of his black-eyed pea salad (Texas Caviar).  Men!

Personally, I think I did pretty well at this party, considering there were lots of kids and other dogs around, each of them larger than me. I didn’t go “puppy crazy” or act weird even once. True, I may have left a “stay” a little early once or twice, but heck, nobody’s perfect. Especially with so much food lying around.

And when it came to eating, I did myself proud. After a while I made sure no one was watching me and went inside the house, walked across the family room and nudged open the folding door to the closet where I knew Tara’s open food container would be. In seconds, there I was, head in container, crunching merrily… along until Cindy heard me.

Heather thanks Chloë for being a good girl.

Hey, it wasn’t like I ate every piece of kibble in there! And a good thing, too, since later my new dog friends Sheila and Jaeger and I (but not the ditzy Tara, who never stopped running around the pool and barking at the people in it)  got to split some huge chunks of salmon skin that had just come off the grill. Boy, it was gooooood, but I wolfed down as much as Mike might cut up and mix into my dry food for a month.

Little did I know at the time that I would pay for my wonton overindulgence of Tara’s food and the salmon.  Starting the next morning, my poops doubled in size for several days, and there were lots of them. Mike wasn’t too happy about this, but I’ll go on record right now that I’m always glad to sacrifice a little irregularity for an unexpected feast, no RSVP necessary.