Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Beautiful Day in Pacific Grove

Ever since I first moved from the LA area to Pacific Grove (next door to the more well-known Carmel, Calif), I have said that, on a beautiful day there is no place prettier than Pacific Grove.

Yesterday was one of those days.  The temperature was about 72 degrees F.  It was a Saturday in February and the hiking/biking trail was peopled with tourists and hometowners out for a walk/ride.  The PG portion of the trail was built on the old Southern Pacific Rail right of way, with construction beginning in 1986.  See more about the trail here.

I had been walking my dog in this area since moving to PG in the late 1970's.  I lived a block and a half from the coast.  The little town of PG was so quiet that I rarely had to wait for a car to cross the street on my way to the beach.  At that time, I usually shared the walk only with an occasional gentleman with his liquid refreshment in a paper bag. 

I still have mixed feelings about this addition to the larger Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.  The trail begins in Castroville, 18 miles to the north.  The PG section was one of the last to be developed.  Now that area that I had mostly to myself is busy most of the time and there are rules (pick up poop, keep dog on leash, walk to the right, don't walk on the paved bike trail - this one is the most problemmatic as the paved part is also much better for baby buggies).

Local dog walkers (including me) had to protest at City Council meetings because as soon as they had "improved" the trail by levelling it and taking out the railroad tracks, they put up "No Dogs" signs!  That was the most politically active I have ever been.  We got rules, but at least we still have the right to walk out dogs there...

Anyway, here are a few pictures I took with my Droid.

The tide was in.  There are narrow beaches along here when the tide is out.

Lovers Point Beach.  Please excuse the finger in the upper left.  Notice that there is at least one brave person in the water.  At two points along the coast, at more secluded beaches, scuba divers were suiting up by their trucks, preparing for a dive.  Lovers Point Park is the only place along this trail that is off-limits to dogs.

This was my home in PG for more than 20 years.  It was built in 1913 and added on to several times.  I added the second story.  The property consists of three 30'X60' tent lots.  This is a really big lot for PG, which is filled with lovely little (and some big) Victorian homes.

The town was originally a Methodist Retreat where people came in the summer and stayed in tents.  PG has a wonderfully rich history.  I have been searching websites, but many links are broken or the photos don't show.  I will continue to look for a good website to link to.  The Pacific Grove Heritage Society has a nice site, but lots of the links and photos aren't working so it is frustrating to view.  Here is one picture of these tent homes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Thought I would show you some of the great dogs I have walked lately.  Most of the photos are less than perfect as the dogs were interested in smells, sights and sounds instead of posing prettily.

This is Jill, the first dog I walked at the Monterey SPCA.

A few weeks ago we received a slew of Great Danes.  The breeder decided she couldn't manage them any more.  This was the mom who came in with a litter.  I didn't get to see the puppies. :(

Continuing with the B&W theme is this lovely guy.

Here's his face.

This is one of the daughters of the Great Dane mom above.  Also very sweet.  Danes are so easy to walk, at least that was my experience with these girls.

This lovely brindle Pittie was interested in each sound and sight.  A very sweet boy.

Isn't she a little sweetie?  She is a Wire Haired Fox Terrier.
When she walks, she looks like she floats above the ground - just beautiful.

There have been so many more.  But my job is to walk them, not to take their pictures.  The little ones (there are so many) are even harder to photograph. 

There is a little boy named Lucky (there are quite a few "Luckys" on any day).  He is a mix of Chihuahua and something black and tan.  He has those dots of light brown above his eyes that I associate with Rotties - but surely not!  He has a deformed front leg and paw that you don't notice for quite a while because he is so friendly and cute.  I guess it is why he is still with us.

It is interesting to me how my attitude has changed about the animals at the SPCA or other rescue organization.  There was a time that I couldn't even consider going to see the animals because I would feel so sorry for them.  Now I know that these are the lucky ones.  They will get a loving home, and while they are here, they are surrounded by people who want the best for them. 

Living in a kennel with lots of other unknown dogs is not the best life, but in most cases it will lead to a forever home with a good, caring family.  Meanwhile they will be comfortable.  They are well - fed and any physical problems will be addressed.  If they have psychological scars, these will be addressed too, by the animal behaviorist and other caring staff and volunteers.