Friday, September 26, 2008

Are you starin' at ME?

Tomokee hates being stared at. This includes being stared at by inanimate objects which look like they are staring at him. In this case, the object is a stuffed bison that we encountered in downtown Jackson, WY. If we walk by quickly, he's okay, but if we pause, and he gets a chance to look at it, he goes berserk.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Tall Tale of Giraffe Boy

So, our stay at Salt Lake City's very pet-friendly Hotel Monoco (part of the Kimpton group of hotels) provided us with this very nice suite-sized room. When we first got there, we both noticed that the bathroom vanity was substantially higher than normal, but chalked it up as a fashion statement (and it kept Mr. Soap-Snaffler away from the hand soap).

We also discovered these two XXL-sized robes, in giraffe print, in the closet. Now I'm a little lost in mine (see the giraffe-boy photo below), but Betty looked like a 5-year-old in parents' clothing, trailing a giraffy train after her like Morticia Addams.

Betty asked Tage (a friendly bell-person who took a liking to T-dog and vice-versa) why they would only have stocked two such huge robes (and they had a teddy and a couple of pairs of subtrou for sale hung in the closet) and, by the giraffe-print description, he said we had been given one of a select number of "tall rooms" the hotel has for very tall people. Normal rooms get normally sized robes in leopard skin print.

That explained the very high door frames and why my feet didn't stick over the end of the bed.

If you get a chance, give this place a visit.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


On the last day of the great 2008 road trip, we did a little hiking on the Castle Peak trail near Truckee. We got as far as Castle Pass, where Tomokee is enjoying the view.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A walk in the park

Liberty Park in Salt Lake City is a lovely and large multi-use city park. Tomokee enjoyed a walk through the park when we passed through SLC on the great 2008 road trip. Here he is posing by the lake.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I left my lunch in Salt Lake City...

I don't think Tony Bennet's going to be recording that classic any time soon.

T-dog got a bit peckish, and snaffled the soap from the shower in Jackson. The soap and the excitement of the big city that's Salt Lake got the better of him as he wandered towards Main Street on his way to Temple Square (sadly, non service dogs aren't welcome in the compound).

The picture below captures the end result.

Note the red circle -- that's the soap that got him into this mess in the beginning. Note also that, despite a set of teeth that would make a great white jealous, he has inhaled, rather than chewed, various treats. As our friend Lisa would say (forming the VP-YMCA Y with her hands), "Yeesh!"

Pet-friendly accomodations

We're on the homeward bound leg of the great 2008 road trip and we're spending one night in Salt Lake City in the ever-so-chi-chi Hotel Monaco. This is a dog-friendly hotel located in downtown SLC. They have a welcome board welcoming the pets that are checking in for the night. Tomokee's name is written on the chalkboard.

The ever-so-stylish rooms are equipped with dog beds and bowls.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Art of the Deal

With apologies to the Donald for a great title...


On advice of counsel (Betty), I must point out that to the best of our knowledge, the good folks at McDonald's (their registered trademark, not mine, not used with permission or intent to confuse anybody, anyhow, anywhere) I state for the record that to the best of my extant knowledge, they (McDonald's) use no illicit addictive substances (by way of example and not limitation: heroin, crack cocaine or nicotine) in their products.


The dog has to ride in the back quarters of the Tardis and, especially after a long day's drive, it's not always easy to convince 65 pounds of wiggly hound-mix he wants to climb into the hound-zone. To that end, we used to be able to proffer a dog biscuit to get him to step back there without any auxiliary pushing and shoving. This failed after the first day's travel. We then had success with a human-grade-but-sold-for-dogs buffalo jerky treat product. Three days in, this was no longer a good inducement (the Donald learns quickly, so does the dog). We briefly had success with the remnants of a 9$ (really good) burger from Jakers in Twin Falls. After a couple of unethusiastic boardings (consumption of the proffered bribe is never a slow process), this too lost efficacy.

I told Betty that, in my experience, McDonald's food has an addictive (see Disclaimer, supra) quality that might work for the hound. She seemed dubious at my representation that the double cheeseburger (with which I'm familiar) would prove long-term irresistible.

Our first attempt was a double bust. We went to the McDonald's in West Yellowstone, only to discover that:

A) The staff (like much of the service staff in the whole city of West Yellowstone) was distant yet unfriendly.

B) Betty reported there was no such thing as a "dollar menu" at this McDonald's location.

C) It was too early for any burger products (ca. 1000 hours local time).

D) The lowest priced available item was a disgustingly wilted sausage product on a cardboard (?) bun/biscuit thingie.

This tragically fetid, yet costly (3+$) product didn't work out of the box.

Undaunted, we moved on to Jackson, WY. While the dollar menu at the Jackson McDonald's has changed of recent (see, for example this article), there's still a cheeseburger (not the traditional 1$ double favoured by the hung-over set) for $1.09 with that scent that stimulates some bizarre serotonin-like brain chemistry in humans, at least.

With this new bait in hand, we proffer a small segment of burger to the recalcitrant hound only to be chuffed as he loaded himself handily in the Tardis for takeoff. Subsequent events have only reenforced the observed addictive qualities. Now, whenever the hound sees Betty near the cooler in the back, he pulls for the back of the Rav4 with impressive force. He now jumps in without even being told to do so.

We're happy, the good folks at McDonald's should be happy they're selling product and that dogs are evidencing the same cravings for their products they've engineered for humans. As the Donald might say, were such tiny amounts worthy of his attention, we gots us a win-win here.

The view

We enjoyed another morning of hiking in the Bridger-Teton National forest today, which has several trail heads located right in Jackson, WY. Here, Tomokee is enjoying the view overlooking the town from the sink-or-swim trail.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

On the trail with a happy dog

Here are Betty and Tomokee headed down the Cache Creek Trail with stunning skies and mountains as a backdrop. At this point we're at about 7000' elevation.

The trail winds along a nice creek. Here, T-dog goes splashing around where he and a new-found buddy named Freddy had been frolicking before. His tail is in full scorpion mode.

Note that the hound is without leash. This is permitted in National Forests during the summer, but not in National Parks. He's pretty good about being off leash unless he finds another very active buddy (T-dog's 2.5 years old, new buddy Freddy's a 3-year old).

A good time had by all.

Travels with Tomokee

Here's Tomokee in the back of the Tardis, a/k/a the RAV4 (said vehicle being laden with not just the dog, but the dog's luggage (!!), Betty's steamer trunks and my bag, hike pack and computer case). Note that he has a jowl structure reminiscent of the late Senator Sam Ervin of Watergate hearing fame. Here he's getting ready for a day hike to the Cache Creek Trail (not related to the gambling facility of the same name in California) in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fishing Bridge photo-op

Tomokee is enjoying the view of the Yellowstone river from the Fishing Bridge.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

T-dog in Yellowstone

So, when in Yellowstone, what's the standard thing you hafta-hafta do? See Old Faithful, of course!

Here's T-dog watching from a ranger-free distance just as O.F. starts the spritz-biz. Note the normally floppy, down-hanging ears now disposed closely on the top of the head for safety.

Here's T-dog and Betty looking at a rustic facility that reminds me of that creepy place from The Shining. Just around the corner was a herd of elk...

These two are representative of the about 12 beasts lounging. It explains all the mega-size deer-like pellets we had to keep the dog from snaffling.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hmm... what is this then?

Tomokee is studying one of the 25 fiberglass bison scattered throughout West Yellowstone, Montana. We can only let him look at the rear end of the bison. If he stares too hard at the other business end, he goes berserk and barks frantically.

Friday, September 5, 2008

And a very nice trail it is

Tomokee is standing in front of the plaque at the start of the canyon rim trail at the top of Shoshone Falls, near Twin Falls, Idaho. This very nice paved trail was built to commemorate the centennial of Twin Falls in 2004. We enjoyed a very nice hike on this trail, which goes along the rim of the snake river canyon.
Here's a view of the river from the trail.

Roadtrip fun

We made good time to Winnemucca yesterday, but nothing there was particularly photogenic.

Today had more good photo ops -- Betty and T-dog trying out the swings in Elko's Main City Park:
Later, we went to Shoshone Falls Park and hiked the Snake River ridge trail. Whilst trekking, T-dog found this sign:

Friend Rob called us wimps for reading & heeding this one. He's right.

On to Pocatello, a knitting shop in Idaho Falls. & West Jellystone tomorrow