Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Scottish Parade 2014

In 1669, Scottish immigrant John Alexander purchased a tract of land which would become the town of Alexandria in 1749. The men who eventually settled the town were also of Scottish descent and so it is only fitting that Old Town (Alexandria) celebrates its Scottish heritage with a wonderful Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend every first weekend in December.

This year’s celebrations include a parade on Saturday, 5 Dec at 11:00 am. The parade features:

Scottish Parade Santa
Santa on parade

Scottish Walk City of Alexandria drummer

Scottish Walk Shamrock and Thistle

Men in Kilts

Men in Kilts

Men in Kilts with Dogs

Men in Kilts with Dogs

Scottish Parade 4 fluffy dogs

...more dogs

…more dogs

and even more dogs...

and even more dogs…

There’re a lot more going on for the Scottish Walk Weekend than just the parade. Click here for more details. All proceeds from the events go to the Campagna Center’s core programs that help children and families.

If you’re coming to the parade with younger children, I recommend going to the starting point by 10:30 so you can see Santa and all the other participants getting ready for the parade. You might even be able to snag a photo with Santa.

The parade route will be:

Parade Route

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Once I got over the surprise of moving to Guam, I started researching the island and talking with anyone who had been here.  FM had spent a month on Guam back in 1999, so he knew a little about it and everyone we spoke with had only good things to say about the island. I also read the local newspaper daily as well as several Guam blogs to get a feel for island life.

Most of the advice we got were along the lines of get out and enjoy the island, don’t limit yourself to the base and, if you see something you like at the commissary or BX, buy it because it won’t be there for long.  All good advice that I would give to anyone moving here.

The biggest obstacle to our move was the transportation of our two dogs. We had to plan 120 days prior in order to be eligible for the 5-day quarantine as opposed to the 30 day or 3 month quarantine.  It was a complicated, frustrating and more than a little worrisome to move the dogs here. They ended up flying from Frankfurt, via Seoul, to Guam on Korean Airlines. I got more than my fair share of jokes about how Koreans love to eat dogs and my mom was nice enough to call the Korean Airlines cargo in Seoul to check on the dogs during their layover.  The cost was crazy but there was no way we were parting with two members of our family. 

As both dogs are curled up at my feet as I write this, it was so worth it! Needless to say, I’m already saving for our next move.  

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G.A.I.N. stands for Guam Animals in Need. It’s Guam’s animal shelter and I got a chance to volunteer there yesterday with FG. We went with a family who had already been there and they showed us around. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was very clean & organized.

I’m all about the dogs ~ getting them out of their kennels for a walk in the “park” which is located on the premises, making sure they have water, and cleaning their kennels. FG preferred to snuggle with the cats and kittens.

A woman who works there asked if I could foster a puppy but I think Ben & Sport (my old dogs) would be more than a little put out if I brought home a puppy.

For any animal lovers living on Guam, I would highly recommend volunteering at GAIN. It’s very satisfying to make a dog or cat a little more comfortable. And best of all, the shelter provides very reduced rates on spay and neutering which is the only way to combat the pet overpopulation problem plaguing the island.

FG already wants to go back and I have no doubt we will spend a lot of time there.

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Dog’s Eye View

Until now, we’ve always lived in homes with fenced yards. One positive aspect of a no-fence yard is I have to walk my two dogs several times a day. Besides the great exercise for all of us, I get to see a lot of the base that I would otherwise ignore if I were driving. Actually, I’ve become a reluctant voyeur. It’s hard not to observe things and some days the neighborhood feels like ‘All My Children’, others days like ‘Animal Kingdom‘ but most days like ‘Top Gun’ with all the fighter jets flying above.

It’s the dog’s eye view which gets me in touch with all the nature around us. Their keen sense of smell take me in different directions whether it be chasing a toad, shrew, bird or even a boonie dog who lives on base.

All over the housing area there are black birds who are very protective of their nests and, for some reason, go after runners in particular. I can be walking along with the dogs and not be bothered by them but the minute a runner comes by, the dive bombing commences. Very early this past Friday morning, the dogs and I came upon a man, wearing an orange safety vest, crouched behind the side of his car. He was shooting a .22 at the birds in the coconut tree. As you can imagine, I was not pleased to see someone shooting in a residential area & only 5 doors down from where I live. I stood and watched while he shot about 20 times and wounded one bird. Turns out he’s with the Wildlife Department 😦 Surely there is a better way to handle the birds.

Another ‘nuisance’ animal on Guam is the brown tree snake. Haven’t seen a live one yet but there are traps set everywhere for them. The other day the dogs pulled me in the direction of one of the cylinder snake traps tied to a tree. I saw a tiny & very cute white mouse inside. My first thought was he accidentally got in the trap, then I realized there was food in there for him and he was bait for the snake. Where’s PETA when you need them? Needless to say, I stay away from that particular trap ~ too sad for me to see the doomed mouse.

At night, we wander around mostly trying to avoid the tons of toads that are out and about. I never realized how amorous they are at night. I once went to a bar in Cave Creek, Arizona called the Horny Toad and it’s only now that I see how appropriate a name it is.

One thing is for sure though, no matter what route the dogs want to take in the morning, I always make sure we go to the end of my street which has a great view of the Pacific Ocean ~ no better way for me to start the day.

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I’m going way back on my flashback today. It was 17 years ago that my beloved dog, Cosby and I were staying at my sister’s in Memphis & getting ready to move to the island of Lanai in Hawaii. I had been offered and accepted a fantastic, too-good-to-turn-down job on a management team for a new resort called The Lodge at Koele. I sent all my goods to Lanai ~ which amounted to a whopping 5 boxes of mostly photo albums. I graduated from college the year before, lived in a furnished house and would be moving to a furnished house. Traveling light was easy then.

Life was good ~ moving to Hawaii and a great new job ~ what could be wrong? It seemed that whenever my professional life was going very well, my personal life was in some sort of turmoil.

The team in Lanai wanted me there in June but I put them off a few weeks because my sister was pregnant and due in early July. I really wanted to see her baby before I moved so far away. Unfortunately, my now-17 year old niece had other plans. I was scheduled to fly on 10 July at 6:00 a.m. Wouldn’t you know it, at about 1:30 in the morning on 10 July, my sister woke me up to tell me she couldn’t drive me to the airport because her water just broke. What crazy timing.

So while my sister was having a baby, my dog and I were jetting off to Hawaii. To this day, I wish the timing had been better. My sister understood why I wasn’t there for K.’s birth and, as for the resort in Hawaii, it was one of the best & most rewarding jobs I ever had!

Happy 17th Birthday, K. ~ sorry I’m not there once again to help celebrate but I’m thinking of you and hope you have a great time!

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Hooters Benefit a Bust!

I just read that the Los Angeles Animal Services is not going to accept money raised at a Hooters fundraiser called “Hooters for Neuters” ~ there was a lot of pressure put on the Director of Animal Services not to sully the good name of Los Angeles by being associated with Hooters. Personally, I have never stepped foot into a Hooters restaurant and don’t plan to anytime soon but FM assures me that they have great food. It must be good since I see multiple charges from Hooters on the credit card whenever he happens to be on TDY. Something about the ribs being good.

Back to the animal shelter…is it me or does this seem a little too “PC” ~ especially coming from L.A. where every other movie out of Hollywood objectifies or degrades women. Why don’t these “protesters” start with movies, TV and music videos rather than a fundraiser for animal services?! Seems a little sad that the animals suffer for a misguided attempt to be on the moral high ground. There are 19,500 animals killed by Animal Control of L.A. each year, so worrying about a bikini contest, when the women are willing participants and wearing about the same thing they wear to work, seems a little silly to me. My suggestion is throw in a couple of hunks in speedos and we’ll call it even.

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Favorite photo of Sport ~ enjoying a run during our Volksmarch.

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