Tag: San Francisco Bay Area

Dog tired!

Going to slip away for a few days.

I am taking a days off.

So will repeat some posts from a year ago.


6 Ways to Tire Out Your Dog Indoors

1396453-largeBy: Lisa Spector December 18, 2016

About Lisa

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and we’re in the midst of rainy season. It never let up today. It’s only the second time in the life of my dogs that I didn’t get them out for a walk. I tried, but they didn’t want to go. Particularly on days like today, it’s important that I find other indoor activities to keep them stimulated and tire them out. Here are a few of my rainy day tricks:

1. Train

Behaviorist, Dr. Ian Dunbar, says that mental activity tires a dog out more than physical exercise. Gina is a high-drive dog. I often joke that the more I exercise her, the better shape she’s in and the more she exercise she needs. Add some agility training to the mix, and she tires out much faster. Did you ever notice how tired you are when you’ve taxed your brain at work all day? It’s the same for dogs. Instead of doing one long training session, best to add in a few minutes of training frequently throughout the day.

impulsecontrol-443x3322. Teach Impulse Control

There is no better place to start teaching impulse control than indoors, where there are less distractions than outdoors. Tonight, I placed strips of sweet potato on Sanchez and Gina’s paws and had them wait for my cue to eat them. Gina is much better at “Look at me,” so that was added to the “leave it” cue. They waited, and waited, and waited… and were rewarded with a yummy sweet potato treat after I released them with “OK.”

sanchez-nose-work-443x3323. Nose work

K9 Nose Work defines this sport as “the fun search and scenting activity for virtually all dogs and people. This easy to learn activity and sport builds confidence and focus in many dogs, and provides a safe way to keep dogs fit and healthy through mental and physical exercise.”

I enrolled Sanchez in classes a couple of years ago, and now we play “find” games at home. I hide pieces of liver in boxes spread throughout the living room. He searches for the piece of liver and is rewarded with more liver in the box when he finds it. He LOVES this search game.

ginafoodpuzzle-443x2724. Work for food and treats

Instead of just placing down a food bowl, have your dog work for her food or treats. She’ll slow down her intake of dinner and treats while using her mental abilities when you use a food puzzle. Other choices are stuffing soft food, such as a banana and almond butter, in a kong and then freezing it.

5. Tug

Tugging is not a game of war. It is a game of play and is a way to bond with your dog. It’s commonly used to increase drive and focus before agility runs. Tugging is also a great training tool during high distraction environments, an opportunity to reinforce “that’s enough” (meaning “game over, release the toy”), and it’s helped Gina tremendously with dog distraction. Tugging has been a way of teaching her that the best things in life happen in reinforcement zone with me, not with the stranger dog running by. Rain or shine, this is part of our daily routine. But, when we can’t get outside for walks, we do more tugging indoors, as it really tires her out.

6. Retrieve

Even though I have two Labrador Retrievers, Sanchez no longer retrieves. He’s 13 1/2 and he’d prefer to lay on his dog bed and have me bring him his toy. However, I want to engage him when I play a fun game of retrieve with Gina. So, I toss her ball down the stairs. She retrieves it and while she’s running up the stairs to bring me back the ball for the next round, I toss treats to Sanchez down the stairs. He uses his nose to find them. Fun for all! We generally do this nightly, no matter the weather.


Lisa’s description of her Sanchez: “… he’d prefer to lay on his dog bed and have me bring him his toy.” sounds like my kind dog to me! 😉

Best wishes to you all.

The saga of Bummer Ck, part One!

The next couple of weeks are going to be ‘interesting’.

You will have been aware from my post last Saturday, The naming of creeks!, that heavy rains washed away the supports to the bridge that crosses Bummer Creek inside our property.

So apologies for taking a break from writing something more substantial for today but yesterday (I’m writing this at 5pm on the 6th, i.e. yesterday) the crew that will be repairing the damage arrived and got to work.  It has not been a normal day!

Three pictures to explain why!


This seriously large digger was delivered around 9am!


Then in what seemed a matter of moments, the bridge was no more!


Pharaoh, of course, was getting involved.  Let’s face it, even bridge construction people can always learn from dogs!

The naming of creeks!

Funny old world at times!

Last Thursday and yesterday have seen huge amounts of rainfall in this part of Southern Oregon.  In fact it was a swipe from the massive storm that was featured in a recent Climate Crocks article, from which one can read:

Meteorologist Paul Douglas has more:

I’m seeing some signs of a potentially historic storm for portions of the western USA between Friday and Wednesday of next week as a series of very moist storms push inland from the Pacific. I expect some flash flooding (and river flooding) for the San Francisco Bay Area, but the most severe flooding (and mountain snows) will take place from Marin county into the mountains of northern California and the Coastal/Cascade range of Oregon.

The ECMWF model, which seems to be doing the best job overall in this new weather-on-steroids environment, prints out some 16-20″ rainfall amounts over northern California and southern/western Oregon by Sunday; two surges: one Friday, a second front pushing in Sunday. WSI’s high-res RPM model confirms this as well, which increases my confidence level. The ECMWF model prints out 4-5” for San Francisco, but 8-10” for Marin county, just north of SFO.

The driveway from our road to the house, about a quarter-of-a-mile long, within 300 feet crosses a creek that flows right across our property.  Most of the time it’s a quiet, idyllic place for a dog to play.


But when the volume of water reaches the sorts of proportions that we have seen in the last 48 hours, it turns into a nasty torrent.


Not only that, the driveway across the creek relies on a bridge.  Rather, it did rely on a bridge. But Mother Nature, as always, had her say!

Most, if not all, the wooden support structure that held up the steel platform has been swept away.

So all the well-laid plans for the week-end now on hold as we play Marooned!  At least our dogs are taking an active interest …

Oh, Daddy, that looks expensive!
Oh, Daddy, that looks expensive!

And the name of the creek?


I kid you not!