Alberta Park off-leash

Barley and I finally wandered over to Alberta Park this morning in hopes that they would have some place he could run a little. He’s been getting walks at least daily, but he’s also been developing crazy eyes that he focuses on us in the evenings. Running helps with “the crazy eyes,” so we headed out.

Imagine our luck – Alberta Park has an off-leash area, and it’s open 5am to midnight. Barley ran like crazy with a Rhodesian and a Poodle for a while until he and the Rhodesian rolled and Barley hurt his hip – which he apparently blamed on the Rhodesian. Barley has gotten in to the nasty habit of playing like crazy until he hurts his hip, then he snaps and bites the dog(s) closest. It’s a really nasty habit and I’m not sure how to stop it. I’d quit going to Gabriel park because of it, and I’d hate to think he’s just turning in to an asshole dog.

Barley’s Brother

Michelle, Barley and I walked to pick up a few groceries for dinner last night. On the walk back, we passed the always crowded Binks and Michelle heard someone exclaim “Hey, there goes my dog’s brother!” Sure enough, it was Hank‘s owner. We’d discovered Hank on Dogster a while back and were startled by the similarities. We meant to meet to let the dogs play, but never got a chance too.

Oddly enough, they now lives in the area, so we’ll probably be encountering him at the dog park. Clam chowda.

Second Movement

Sometimes I wish we’d named our dog/child after a great composer. Why? So I could refer to his bowel movements as if they were musical masterpieces.

a: “did you witness Beethoven’s Second?”
b: “yes, it was a stirring second movement”

as of yet all I have to work with is deuce-deuce. Wha? Lets just say it’s his second second.

First Dogwash of the year

Drying the dog
After a brilliant morning walk that ended with coffee and a cinnamon roll, Michelle and I decided to give Barley the first outdoors bath of the year. Its unbelievably nice out lately and dogface was seriously ready for a bath. (no, its not his first bath of the year, just the first outside)

In order to make it fun, we got out his kiddy pool and used the sprayer to taunt him around the yard. He’s a bit of a freak when he gets wet. And its further evidence that he might be part greyhound if you ignore the horrid joint issues.

Finally the fun came to an end and we had to dry the dog off. Its easily everyone’s least favorite part of the job. Barley loathes getting toweled, and used to growl before finally submitting to fate. Besides a load of water, a mess of hair came off with the drying. Despite all the hair we left outside, there will probably be small colonies of it on the floor again by tomorrow.

Anyway, here’s a shot of poor Barley getting toweled off on the deck.

Like flying a retarded kite

I took Barley and Mollie for a walk to the park yesterday. The challenge of walking two very different dogs with different olfactory interests, waste schedules and leashes is like flying a retarded kite.

Barley’s new friend

Barley is in heaven playing with Kathy’s dog Mollie. Despite being 1/5 the size, she is quite brave, and easily keeps up with the big goof.

Mollie taking Barley to task

Mollie isn’t really as evil as the picture makes her look, but she’s so small that Barley has trouble keeping her away. He can get his paws around her, but to little avail.

Proposed Off-Leash Rules

The rules at Portland’s city parks and off-leash areas are easy to find, read, and abide by. Sadly, the scoop law gets ignored quite frequently. Its a big issue, but the following are not, which I propose as additional guidelines for off-leash area use:

  • Try to keep your dog from barking constantly unless your own attempts to quiet it become more annoying than the barking.
  • Don’t point out my dog’s frailty.
  • Hump something else
  • Don’t lock your knees
  • If you have to laugh, don’t point and laugh
  • Even though you get cell phone reception, that doesn’t mean you have to use it.
  • Don’t take your dog to the off leash area if you aren’t going to take the dog off leash. – From soctt Scott

I’m sure there are more. Any glaring omissions? I’ll add ’em.

Dog Daze of Summer 2004

Because we’re absurd parents, we took Barley to Clackamas County’s Dog Daze of Summer. Its the last day of operation when the county lets dogs play in the pools before they get cleaned out for the winter.

Barley at Dog Daze 2004

There were several sessions, and we were able to get Roo over for the last session at 6pm. The parking lot was packed with large sporting dogs – more retrievers than anything, but lots of others who had no idea what was going on, and why there were so many dogs in one place.

Once they were let in (with a suggested last minute walk around the park), chaos met it’s match. Dogs were running everywhere, splashing jubilantly, barking happily, and getting really wet. Barley took a quick few laps into the wave pool then ran with a pack to the upper level, where he jumped up into an empty hot tub, falling 5 feet into the basin. Our hearts stopped until his dopey grin appeared over the edge again, just as freaking happy as ever. He continued playing in multiple pools, fetching other dogs’ toys, feeling important, and getting people wet.

Eventually we coaxed him off the ledge into the deep pool where he started chasing a spaniel rather aggressively for a ball he felt was his. He continued to harass the spaniel for a bit until we decided he’d had enough. Its better to leave while he still works. I’m not sure if he was just in a good mood, or was thankful, or what, but he was rather gracious about getting a bath afterwards.


Michelle, Barley and I went to Manzanita yesterday to relax on the beach. The public beach is quite nice, and you don’t have to pay the day use permits like at State Parks. Plus, no one is checking to make sure dogface is on a leash.

The town seems to have changed quite a bit since last year. There are several new businesses, some missing, and it seems to have fallen to the Portland crowd. This is too bad, because previously we thought we could afford a place here. Shame.

Barley had a blast in the water. He always does. He was less enthusiastic about sitting in the sand while we read, but he’d had plenty of fun.

The water was cold – too cold to bother putting on a swimsuit. Michelle just avoided the water and I waded out to throw Roo’s ball for him. Its actually a tennis-ball like ring, but we call all his toys “ball” to avoid confusing him. He’s not dull or anything, we just keep some things simple.

Now that the Bar is over, we’re hoping to enjoy summer a bit more.