Sunday, June 28, 2009

You know who--this is for you.

Could you please go to



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dusty Rhodes Dog Park in Ocean Beach O.B. San Diego

Some people love this little park, and some do not. It is right across the road from Robb Field in Ocean Beach. (Few people know that Robb Field, despite being located in Ocean Beach, is part of Mission Bay Park--or at least it is funded that way).

The dogs are not out of control as they often are at Dog Beach..just down the San Diego River.
From the sign, you can see that, since it is part of Ocean Beach, it needs funding, which is probably not going to come, unless someone from AIG has a dog on vacation here or something!!

Everyone here or almost everyone (never talk in absolutes), cleans up after his or her dog and keeps her or his dog under control. It is a very small dog park, but one that receives lots of use, considering how close Dog Beach is to it. It is a very small part of Dusty Rhodes park, who was a local person who used to do a lot with the OB Planning Board. Long ago, I used to attend meetings of this board, and I vaguely remember him.

Access (one way, in and out) is through Nimitz, and a little difficult to navigate. After you cross West Point Loma or turn right on Voltaire, you have gone too far. By the way, if you do cross West Point Loma, then on the left you will have the 3 baseball fields--one is actually named for my neighbor in upper Ocean Beach (now called Point Loma Heights)..since he has helped kids with baseball and helped maintain the fields for many, many years. I do not think he would appreciate his name posted here..although he never had the internet for many, many years.
He still has no heat..and no cable tv..(we gave in and have had cable tv for about 6 years now..and did not have it the previous 10, believe it or not.)

With no tv, no newspaper, no internet, and no heat can be as happy as a dog!!!

and you do not ever to worry about losing your hair..well Wendy sheds a lot.. I am saving her hair so I can eventually become a blonde!!! (Have you never heard the expresson.."that person is a Labrador blonde"???)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Getting "High" with your Dog in San Diego

Cowles Mountain is the place with the highest elevation in all of San Diego. Although correctly pronounced like Kohl's (you know--one of the mall retail chains that has NOT gone out of business), most people pronounce it Cow--ls.. I even met one young lady who, along with her friends, pronounced it as "Cow-less". And it is really true--you are never going to see any cows on Cowles mountain. You might see rabbits, an occasional snake (maybe more than occasional in the spring), lizards, birds, and other wildlife. And occasionally you will run into a park ranger, normally an unpaid volunteer.

Although not really a great height or anything, at less than even 2,000 feet, it does take a while to get up the hill. Although there are people that do run up the hill, ru
nning down it is a real problem, as the switchbacks have numerous loose rocks. Try to run down Cowles mountain enough time, and I can almost guarante you will eventually have a broken ankle.

The switchbacks on the ascent are pretty long, but not torturous if you are in fair to reasonable shape. I would suggest perhaps something a little more sturdy than tennis shoes or cross-country trainers, although that is what most people wear. If you have them, a pair of athletic hiking shoes are the best.

And guess what? --you and your dog or dogs are welcome here anytime. The best time would be early morning or late afternoon, as outside of those times, it does get hot. We are talking about only fall-through the spring, as summer is just too hot. Some people climb up Cowles mountain at every winter solstice, but nobody does the same for the summer solstice--just too hot

And your dogs probably get even hotter than you. This is one place that not only do you need a leash for your pooches, but you also need to carry water--perhaps for you also.

Wendy, Baggy, and I will see you soon atop Cowles mountain.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pioneer Park--Sharing San Diego Ghosts with Those Dogs of Yours

Pioneer Park is a small park nestled about the top of Washington Street--left at the top and back around. (You really will need to make U-turn and then do that--go back to Washington Street once the U-turn is made and then make a right before you go right back down Washington Street again). This park is open and accessible to dogs--ON LEASHES.

The park also includes a small cemetery of some of the original pioneers of San Diego from the 1800s. Recently the park was renovated, and the actual gravestones were moved and a clump of replica headstone and gravemarkers were put up together. The site of the actual graves is not just grass. Some were a little aghast--if this had been and Indian burial ground, this would never have been allowed to happen. If the ghosts of those pioneers are a ticked off at having their graves disturbed, maybe they might one day show their displeasure to you. (Ok..laugh about it. One time my family and I put a tent on the "King's Trail" on the Big Island of Hawaii, and at 2 AM the tent started shaking. The next morning someone asked about this and told us we were blocking the path of kings--well probably that guy was shaking our tent!!)

The wonderful frugal city of San Diego budgeted $400,000 to renovate this park, complete with a new playground for toddlers (no dogs around on the playground!!). Since the community group kept its eyes on the expenses, the actual cost was 1/4 of that amount. No wonder the city of San Diego is in financial trouble!!

You can take your dogs all around this park, and if it is not too wet, there is a trail that gets sort of bushy that will take you and your dogs down parallel to Washington Street. I only recommend this if you are the adventurous type--otherwise, stay at the top. Your dogs will love you either way!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fiesta Island: Leash-Free In San Diego Again

Fiesta Island, like Dog Beach in O.B., is another place you can take your dogs for them to enjoy being leash-free and frolicking in and out of the water. Fiesta Island is between Tecolote Canyon and Sea World. At one time, Fiesta Island had a tendency to smell pretty bad. This was because formerly it was used to dried out sludge (sewage waste) for all of the city of San Diego. Fortunately, that has been moved.

Over 2 weekends in July, Fiesta Island is the site of the world famous Over-The-Line Tournament--not really my thing with a mix of lecherous old men, over-the-top nasty team names, and a scarce few bikini-clad women (I cannot imagine any woman needs THAT much attention from men like that).

Any other time of the year, Fiesta Island is much less used, although as jet-skiing has become more and more popular, it is the place for launching a jet-ski. I am not into jet skis or powerboats myself, as the noise bothers me (did you know running a jet ski in the ocean in Santa Barbara County is actually illegal). One time, I was snorkeling off of Sunset Cliffs on one of the 3 days or less per year when we have 100 foot diving visibility, and all of a sudden, I heard the obnoxious buzz of jet skis, coming way to close. Those were actually policemen, who ride them from San Diego Bay to Mission Bay on one of those rare days. It sort of ruins your tranquility as you watch a moray eel or octopus and then hear the cacophonous roar of a jet ski.

Fiesta Island is also a great place to launch a sailboat. I used to have several catamarans, and that was the place to go. I do not know if I will ever get another, but I am sure that Wendy, the lab, would enjoy sailing. What don't labs enjoy? Seems labs have something to teach humans.

At any rate, anytime of day or night, any part of the year, you can take your dogs to be off-leash at Fiesta Island. Probably best to avoid the traffic at certain times, like morning rush hour, or "Saturday In the Park" (Sunday is actually worse), when the adjacent park for children at Mission Bay Park is crammed with parents, kids, students, rollerskaters and the like.

But your dogs will never mind the crowds. They will not mind bad weather. They will not mind if it is too cold or too hot. They just want to get out. You know---Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This photo was taken by my 15 year old..not by his 28 year old half-brother who has a burning interest in photography. My 15 year old did not even want to get out of the car because of the cast on his foot--which had been there since he put his foot through the glass window in his room--completely obliterating his Achilles tendon..and he is not even an athlete.

He was on school vacation with nothing to do and nowhere to go..this was only 1 or 2 days I could get him to do anything!!! and Wendy got over the inside mound at the Island..and ran and ran..we circled the island 3 times looking for her. She appeared exactly where she had left us!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dog Beach in Ocean Beach

Feelings among dog owners about Dog Beach are extremely mixed. As a day-and-night leash-free area for dogs, the beach receives tremendous use. Unfortunately, a few irresponsible dog owners can ruin an outing for everyone. For some dog owners, it seems just too much for them to clean up after their own dogs.

Some people find Dog Beach just too polluted, since all the run-off from San Diego flows down the San Diego river (the river is really more run-off than water) flows into the Pacific at that point. The water can smell pretty bad, and sometimes, there is pile of brown foam (which actually has nothing to do with the dogs, but has to to do with the ocean itself).

Dog Beach separates Mission Beach from Ocean Beach. A very, very long time ago (before I was born, so my son would say this is correfct), Ocean Beach and Mission Beach were actually connected by a footbridge. Most people in OB are glad this no longer exists.

As far as the polluted water, unfortunately, it is probably from the dogs. Someone I knew once checked the water a mile upstream, and it was completely clean. The water at Dog Beach is full of bacteria from the dogs. Could you get sick from being exposed to this? Possibly, but in fact, did you know it is really hard to pick up something like that from a dog.

My own son actually learned to swim at Dog Beach, despite the nagging protests from his mother. It is very protected, and a safe place to swim. Since I DETEST chlorine and swimming pools, I much prefer that children learn to swim here.

We used this beach long before we ever had a dog. But if you have a lab, as we do, who gets somewhat distracted from chasing a ball--here is a little hint. Make a mudball and throw it where your lab got distracted from chasing the ball. The mudball will disappear of course (magic to the dog), but then your dog can find the ball he or she just lost. Just a suggestion.

God I am fat now!!!! I have been on various combinations of pills and infusions for almost 6 years, and my weight has varied from 165 to 220!!! mostly because of the steroids that are part of each and every single therapy!!! and that I have to have constant blood usually it is just very hard to exercise..walking a block can leave me exhausted..oh well..Just glad I am still alive and hanging in there.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park & Your Dogs

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is a great place to take your dog or dogs. Although officially the rules say that you can only have your dogs there from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. in the winter months and from
9 A.M. to 6 P.M. in the summer months, these rules are rarely, if ever enforced by the local police. Of course, this is assuming you keep your dog or dogs on a leash, and they do not cause problems.

There are several pocket beaches along the way, including Bermuda (Ave) Beach, No-Surf Beach,Garbage (Reef) Beach, Ab Beach, and so on. Usually, but not always, you can let your dogs off the leash early in the morning or late in the afternoon without any trouble. However, sometimes police do enforce the law if you insist on letting your dogs off the leash at other times of day. It depends on if your dog or dogs cause anyone trouble.

At one time, it was not a problem, but I can specifically remember when one particular former neighbor insisted on taking her large problem dog to one of these beaches and letting the dog off the leash during the middle of the day. The dog caused problems to other dogs and everyone on the beach. For this reason, the police had no choice but to start writing people tickets for both
having their dogs off the leash and on the beach at the wrong time of day. Enforcement now is spotty and sporadic, but early in the morning it rarely happens.

If you have an aggressive pit bull or another dog of this ilk, I would let him or her off the leash if other dogs are around. The best thing to do is to be a responsible dog owner.

I will have to post a photo or several photos of me and my dogs later at a few places along Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Although officially a part of Point Loma, most people see it as more an extension of Ocean Beach, a rather offbeat community of San Diego (a once very popular bumper sticker used to say "U.S. Out of Ocean Beach"