Monday, May 31, 2010

Fort Funston Vizsla Mayham

Steven Brooks took some great shots during this Vizsla Walk

Steven took some brilliant shots.  Here Bailey points, while Chloe gets ready to tackle the surf.

Look closely at the center of the above shot.  That is Chloe and Bailey.

For all the pictures taken by Steven Brooks on this great Sunday morning walk, go to:
The Dog Lover's Companion to the San Francisco Bay Area: The Inside Scoop on Where to Take Your Dog in the Bay Area & Beyond (Dog Lover's Companion Guides)The Dog Lover's Companion to the San Francisco Bay Area: The Inside Scoop on Where to Take Your Dog in the Bay Area & Beyond (Dog Lover's Companion Guides)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Vizslas attack San Francisco beach

Twenty red dogs ranging from a 5-month-old male pup to a lovely 13-year-old female with a beautiful white muzzle attacked the bluffs and then the sandy beach at the southern border of the City of San Francisco.
We all descended the hills above the beach at Fort Funston, San Francisco, on a perfect late May Sunday morning. Untethered Vizslas ran happily along the beach, climbed steep slopes,and swam in the surf of the Pacific Ocean.
Bailey and Chloe had a splendid time, as did all the four- and two- legged visitors to this little slice of heaven.

This was a walk arranged by Kay Ingle and was posted on the Yahoo group site : VizslaWalk.

Many friends of the redbird dog came and enjoyed the high energy and mayhem.
This is what Vizslas need. Not small urban dog parks.

Nikki, Bailey's sister, couldn't be happier. Can you tell?

This dog had heard of the healing effects of a mud bath in Woof Magazine.

Chloe loves the surf and will jump waves happily in search of a thrown green ball. She has learned to body surf the waves back to shore.

We shared the beach with a few other dogs and horses, but for the most part, it became Red Birddog Beach for a couple hours..
After the walk, Chole and Bailey look down at the activity still occuring on he beach from the cliffs above.

They sleep quietly now in the living room as I post this to their blog.
Another Happy trail.

Herr und Hund

My wife found this book: Bashan and I in the Harvard Bookstore in her trip to Boston last week. I have been reading it and it is a delightful read. The review of the book does better then I can so I just post it here. - Rod

Herr und Hund by Thomas Mann (1919) 144 pages.

Click on link to find out more about the book: Bashan and I (Pine Street Books)Bashan and I (Pine Street Books)
The English title of this little novella is Bashan and I and I can heartily recommend this book to both Thomas Mann fans and dog lovers. If you happen to be both, as I am, then you're in for a delight. Mann is a master of capturing thoughts and actions in elegant prose and – while he was often arrogant, clinical and distant in his writing and in person – the beauty of this book lies in the obvious love, joy and respect that exists between the man and his dog. The playful side of Thomas Mann is something one doesn't encounter very often (that said, some parts of The Magic Mountain make me weep with hilarity), but this is a great example of unadulterated and unashamed feeling, displayed for all to behold.

It is a masterclass in the art of observation and description. Mann succeeds in beautifully pinpointing the minute actions of his short-haired pointer in such a way to be familiar to all of you who, for example, have ever experienced the mad, dervish-like scramble of your dog as he runs to greet you – tongue hanging out, front paws on your chest, out of his mind with joy and excitement. There are scenes in which Bauschan (his German name) sniffs around after squirrels and rabbits, or examines twigs and leaves, or is just bored in the garden – all of which is very mundane, but not when described by Mann.

It's a charming and delightful little book that has often made me think of my own little dog, who was with me from my ninth to my 21st year. My thoughts have also very much been with two friends, each of whom has lost a beloved canine companion this week. While Thomas Mann never lets us forget how much separates humans and dogs, he has, at the same time, given us a timeless gift of prosaic affection and erected a wonderful monument to his noble and silly friend.

Happy 90th birthday Vizslas

Diana Boggs posted the below post today on the Yahoo group: Vizsla Talk. Diana has this incredible love and knowledge of the Vizsla. She should be in the Vizsla owner's hall of fame.

"Today is THE single most important date of the Vizsla.

HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY !!!!! "

The below write-up is from Diana's very informative website article on the birth of the offical Vizsla and how it came about May 29t, 1920:

Now Bailey and I are off for a Vizsla Walk at Fort Funston in San Francisco. Perfect weather.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Poor city dogs

Bailey and Chloe get out into the open spaces like those below at least four days a week.
Walked down to a local school sports fields tonight . There were a dozen "city" dogs that were brought to the school yard to socialize and exercise.
Most of the dogs just stood around their owners as the owners talked about this and that.
I have found out that Bailey and Chloe have a bit too much energy for some of these dogs and their owners.
I had given up going to city dog parks more than a year ago. Too many neurotic dog owners and their pent up charges. Bailey, with his "bits" hanging down, and city dog owners don't seem to mix well.
Bailey had been mugged more than once at these caged dog enclosures.
Bailey happens to be a strong and well-built Vizsla that has a lot of energy and is a high-powered hunting dog.

These are pictures are from this morning's walk out in the open spaces.

Continental sporting dogs are not regular pets like my neighbors' dogs. They have a drive and a passion that make it sometimes uncomfortable around others.

I found myself laughing to myself as I left the local school yard tonight with Bailey and Chloe on leash. My dogs have too much energy and passion for most suburban folk.
But these are the exact traits that were the main reasons we got our Vizslas in the first place. We have had "city dogs" before.

So, I guess we will be banished to spaces like the ones pictured above and below with friends that love the passion and drive of a good hunting dog.

Darn, I guess I can live with that.
Happy trails and trials.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bailey and Chloe meet Tom the Turkey

Just had to get out today. It is great walking weather. We took off from the parking area on Springhill Road in Lafayette and took the Buckeye Ranch Trail and then the Ridge Trail and finally Sunrise Trail for a 5-mile loop.
Just after taking some video footage (at the end of this post) from the top of Ridge Trail, I was reviewing the video and happened to look up. I saw Bailey "on point" in the middle of a field 20 yards away. Chloe was 10 feet away "honoring."

Ten seconds later, just a few feet from Bailey, out of the 2-foot tall grass flys a wild turkey. As the turkey took flight, Bailey jumped forward and up. Not sure if he could have caught this large bird in his mouth as this must have been a 20-pound bird.
I do think I saw him bump that bird in the air with his head.

Wild turkeys can actually fly fairly well when they have to. This tom turkey had to.

Bailey and Chloe gave chase for about a minute until they realized the bird had flown into the trees down in the canyon below.

They both came back with that "Dad, that was good, huh?" look. Their tails were wagging 300 beats a minute.

to expand screen to full size - click on box ( bottom right corner of screen) that has the four arrows facing the corners.

Busy city street walks

During late spring and then all summer, I take Bailey and Chloe downtown at least once a week. Usually we walk from the house around 5pm, and by 5:30 we are walking along the busy roads and sidewalks of Walnut Creek. Rush hour. I first head to the Post Office, which is about a mile away. Then it's off to the business and shopping district for another half-mile walk.

There is a great little pub downtown, Crogan's Pub and Grill.

We head in for a cold beer for me and dog snacks and water for Bailey and Chloe. We sit on the deck and the local patrons look forward to seeing the dogs.

After one beer, it is back along the roads back home.
Sometimes we stop by the Ace Hardware in town for small items I might need.
The staff love Bailey and Chloe and always have a dog snack for the red dogs.

Usually these walks are about 5 miles long.

Noisy trucks, trains, lots of people, bicycles, other dogs on leash, sirens.

Over the last couple years, the dogs can walk calmly among the hustle and bustle of busy city life.

And then 24 hours later...
they get to run free along the Carquinez Scenic Road and swim and play in a wide- open field.

A very different 5-mile walk.

Not a bad life for a dog.