DOG NAPPER, and other shots through the windshield . . .

It was starting to shower, big drops splattered on the Outback’s windshield. My camera sat in my lap, almost daring me to try and capture something while I waited for my husband to come out of RiteAid. OK, let’s see what you’ve got, I snickered to my old S5. Cars and people were impossible to avoid, but I think I captured a crime in progress. One woman went in with her little pup tucked and protected under her arm. Not long after, a person of interest merged with sort of a look-a-like. But with my poor eyesight, I didn’t want to report something that wasn’t really happening. At least the pups looked well-fed and cared for.

Finally, my hubby appeared through the rain and it’s more like some bizarre painting, but I thought it was a pretty good fake out. I slipped my old friend some new batteries and prepared for another day.


A Rising Tide . . .

One of our dog walking spots gave us quite a surprise as we ventured out with Max around 7AM today. It’s just a small strip of a beach which the locals call Dog Beach at the Agua Hedionda off Bayshore. A place where two-legged and four-legged critters romp, play catch and make new friends. This day, no beach –  no way. A 6.5 high tide washed over the sand and filled in the heron habitat.

dog beach

Weekend, the lagoons are calling.

It was 93 degrees here at the coast yesterday and the SantaAnna winds were blowing. Dust and sand were swirling around  the base camp for the kayakers who came to clean up trash from the shoreline of the Batiquitos  Lagoon. This event happens once a year– and is the only time kayaks are allowed on this lagoon. We were on the opposite side of the base camp, walking Max. At one point, the wind ripped up the black easy-up and tossed it down the beach. I didn’t have my teleconverter, so I couldn’t get as close to the camp as I would have liked. There were no kayaks in the water and very few walkers on the trail.

group two event tents

A couple with a little boy and a pit bull approached us. I had my camera and was a few feet away from hubby and Max. As soon as this pitbull saw Max, he lunged and started a ruckus. I was concerned that the man would not be able to hold onto the dog, and pleaded with the woman, who had an arm full of tattoos and was quite hefty. She said that’s what we are trying to do. The man struggled and told me he was just trying to socialize the dog! My guess, they just got this dog from a shelter with no idea of what to expect/ He should have had a muzzle on this pit bull, not a dog I would want around children. Fortunately, hubby got Max out of the way.Pitbull-leather-dog-muzzle-studded-best-muzzle_LRG

Even in this heat, a couple of runners steamed by us.

Fishing was on the mind of a few as we walked the side of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon closest to the ocean.

Early this morning the Floating Yogi’s were bringing in the boards for a class on the Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

Something light, wind in the pampas grass, along the fence and cool walking.

One lone survivor – while all the leaves are turning brown, a potted Nasturium hangs around to tease us.

Keep your eye on the ball . . .

My niece sent me a shot of her  taken at Laumeier Sculpture Park in St.Louis MO. Thought I take the pic on it’s own little journey.

Laumeier Sculpture Park is a place where some very creative ideas flourish – and is open to both humans and dogs.

laumeier parkcooper 004

Home Security – Cheap!


Max sleeps in my bed, and I try to keep him quiet as long as I can so as not to wake the world up before 6 A.M.  A few nights ago there were coyotes in the canyon below our deck, and maybe some two-legged people up late in the parking lot. Max was on high alert, only until about 2 A.M. I decided to close my bedroom door after we both finally conked out and he was snoring loudly.


At 6:30, the door opened and there was my husband letting me know what time it was. Why? Who cares?  I was not happy, and in my devious and groggy brain decided to make a sign to hang on the door if it was closed.  I don’t do well on 4 hours sleep.



Husband loved the sign so much he sent it to his friends. I have yet to hang it up.

Home Security





A Dog and A Cat Story




Bowser and Miss Kittymouser go to Lake Winsome

© AB-Kuhns 2012


Bowser and Miss Kittymouser were all packed. They had snacks, tasty treats and some fancy tins filled with surprises. There was plenty of sunscreen for their noses and lots of bug spray to keep away the critters in the woods. But best of all, Miss Kittymouser brought a bright yellow and purple blow-up raft for exploring. That would take some huffing and puffing, thought Bowser. Then there were those funny looking things called binoculars. Bowser had no idea what they were for, not yet anyway.imaginary-binocularschallenger_3_inflatable_boat

The sun was barely up over their tiny cottage in Buttonwillow when Miss Kittymouser woke up the pup. “Good morning, Bowser,” she said with great excitement. “it’s a fine day to begin our trip to Lake Winsome.”250px-Buttonwillow

Now Bowser was still sleepy-eyed. He’d stayed up all night thinking about this grand adventure, as Miss Kittymouser called it. Why, he’d never been house boating before. He’d never even seen this thing called a lake. At least until Miss Kittymouser showed him a little booklet with words he couldn’t read. It did have plenty of pictures he could dream about.

TrinityWyntoonResortSkiing-1Bowser thought about the little boats chained to people whooshing through the water. He looked at the happy faces of families on the big boats. He liked the little rubber rafts bobbing gently on the lake. There were hills so high that the snow couldn’t get off the tops and come down to play. And he’d never seen so many trees in all his young life. This was going to be heaven. Oh yes, this made his stubby tail wag.

“Bowser,” shouted Miss Kittymouser as she pulled the covers off and gave him a good wake-up shake. “My goodness, you are such a sleepyhead.

“I can’t see daylight yet,” woofed Bowser. He scrambled out of his comfy dog bed and padded into the kitchen for breakfast cakes and tea with sweet sugar and thick white cream. Sometimes Bowser wished mean-dog-4a junkyard  dog had rescued him from the garbage truck instead of Miss Kittymouser. Breakfast would be juicy red meat on a big bone that would take all day to chew. And all night bury someplace safe. But, Miss Kittymouser saved his life and took very, very good care of him.

Outside the cottage a fire-engine red, one wheel drive tricycle with a peppermint-striped sidecar stood waiting. Bundles and bags were tied on with brown string and springy cords. There was barely enough room in the peppermint-striped sidecar for Bowser and his two-way canine radio.

Miss Kittymouser checked all the pockets, pouches and sticky tabs before she strapped on her green, lumpy backpack. It was bursting at the seams and gave Miss Kittymouser a slight backwards tilt as she headed for the door.

“There’s one more thing we have to do before we leave Buttonwillow. Hurry along now, Bowser,” called Miss Kittymouser

Bowser licked up the gooey icing from his paws, remembered to put his teacup in the sink and headed quick as he could out the door. “A sidecar,” he yelped as he skidded to a stop.

“What’s the matter, Bowser? Haven’t you ever seen a tricycle with a sidecar before?” Miss Kittymouser couldn’t help but grin at Bowser’s confusion.bicycle-side-carlake

“No, ma’am, I sure haven’t,” grumbled Bowser. But then Bowser had an idea. “If it fits you, then it’s plenty swell enough for me,” said Bowser as he climbed aboard the tricycle. But Miss Kittymouser would have none of that.

“Oh no, Bowser. You’re too young to drive and your paws would never reach the pedals,” she said as she gently pushed the stubby-tailed pup into the peppermint-striped sidecar and handed him a nifty looking pair of goggle. “Now buckle your seat belt and we’ll be off,” she meowed.

steampunk_goggles_rusty_brown_leather_brass_gears__by_ambassadormann-d4wa89qBowser placed the goggles over his eyes and hoped that no one would recognize him. Miss Kittymouser put her paws to the pedals and they rolled forward. The sun winked at them and the bluejays squawked their goodbyes. Pretty soon the houses and the pretty green lawns of Buttonwillow passed by. And Bowser didn’t see one person laughing or pointing a finger at him. That made him happy.

Just when Bowser thought it was safe to look around, Miss Kittymouser whipped the fire-engine-red, one wheel drive tricycle into the parking lot of a motorcycle shop. Bowser nearly jumped for joy, now this was more like it, he thought. The sun sparkled off the chrome pipes of a big Harley Davidson motorcycle. Black flames danced on a gleaming red gas tank. 1942_Harley_WLA_Flathead_Gas_Tank_468x324-1The low rumble of motorcycles approaching was heart-stopping. Bowser was in love!

“Okay, Bowser, this is our last stop in Buttonwillow.  Now hop out,” instructed Miss Kitymouser.

“Yes, yes, yes,” woofed Bowser as he leaped out of the peppermint-striped sidecar and nearly got run over. Bowser was a mutt, but he puffed up his chest as he trotted into the shop. Miss Kittymouser was right behind him, shaking her furry head.

A big man with some strange hair on his face stood behind the counter arranging shiny gold belt buckles when Miss Kittymouser spoke up. “Young man, we’d like to see some helmets if you don’t mind.”bald-headed-haircut

The man looked over the counter and blinked his eyes a few times and then came out from behind the counter to get a better look.

“We are in a bit of a hurry, you see we are going to Lake Winsome to go house boating. And we’d like two helmets, if you please.”

Now Bowser was really getting excited. Maybe getting the helmets first was a good idea. Maybe he should ask Miss Kittymouser if he should unpack the fire-engine-red, one wheel drive tricycle and the peppermint-striped sidecar. Bowser sniffed around the shop, the smell of motor oil got under his skin. He could see the two of them riding like the wind as people stared and ran for cover. Rumble, rumble, rumble rang in his ears and sent little tingles up his back.

product_thumb.php“Bowser, come and try on this helmet,” coaxed Miss Kittymouser who was wearing a sparkling  helmet with stars and stripes. She held out something that looked like a bowling ball for Bowser to try on.

“Ugh,” said Bowser. “That can’t be for me.” He padded over to the shelf, climbed up and found a helmet at the very top that looked just perfect.

“That’s a German Helmutt, is that what you are looking for?” The big man had more strange drawings than Bowser had ever seen in his life, even some on his bald head. Ouch, thought Bowser.

Chrome_German_Spike_L“Yes sir,” yipped Bowser. “The one that looks like a turtle shell with a spike on top.”

Bowser jumped up and down, his stubby tail wagging with joy. He could hardly wait for the man to plop that Helmutt on his head and over his ears. It was a perfect fit.

“My goodness,” was all that Miss Kittymouser could say as she paid the big man for the helmets.

Bowser took the cash register receipt and spiked it right on top of his Helmutt. From that time on, Bowser was in charge of all the paperwork. He was one proud pup!

“Let’s go,” said Miss Kittymouser. “We want to get to Lake Winsome before dark,” she meowed.

What, no motorcycle, thought Bowser as he bounced out the door with his brand new, turtle-shaped Helmutt with that pointy spike on top. I guess this will do just fine, at least for now he mumbled to himself.

The big man from the shop watched in amazement as Miss Kittymouser climbed onto the fire-engine-red, one wheel drive tricycle and Bowser leaped into the peppermint-striped sidecar.

Miss Kitty put her paws on the pedals and they spun out of the parking lot with gravel flying. Bowser grinning from ear to ear.

Ooh gosh, thought Bowser as Miss Kittymouser left the main highway and headed up a curvy mountain road. She checked the map and she never pedaled faster than the speed limit. “We must be getting pretty close,” Bowser yelled to Miss Kittymouser who nodded her head and pedaled a little harder. A Log-Truck-Accident-Injury-Lawsuitbig truck full of logs nearly blew them off the road as it thundered down the mountain. It scared Bowser as it tooted a giant horn at them. The road went around and around and up and up until it stopped at a and dirt trail.

“We’ll have to roll the tricycle down to the lake,” said Miss Kittymouser as she got off and stretched her legs. ”It’s too steep to pedal.

Down the trail they went. Bowser could hardly stand the excitement. His tail waged and waged until he thought it would fall off. At the end of the trail was what they had been hoping for, Lake Winsome. It was more beautiful than all the pictures they had seen in the little booklet Miss Kittymouser had left by his bed.  More beautiful than the it was in all his dreams.lake T snapshotjpg.axd

They moved the tricycle onto the dock and Bowser began to look and look at everything. He looked at the little houses bobbing up and down on the water. “I wonder which one is ours,”Miss Kittymouser.” Can we get going, can we, can we,” he whined.

Two smiling men came over to greet Bowser and Miss Kittymouser and help them get started on their adventure. “The Widget’s your houseboat, ma’am. She’s a fine old boat and I’m sure you’ll have no trouble with her,” said one of the men.pontoon-houseboat-maintenance-how-often-to-coal-tar-epoxy-the-pontoons-21290713

“Just watch out for the bears, they like blueberries,” said the man with the keys in his hand.

Bowser hoped they didn’t pack anything bears liked, especially blueberries. He didn’t really like blueberries anyway. He watched and listened as the men gave Miss Kittymouser instructions. She took the receipt from one smiling man and spiked it on Bowser’s German Helmutt.

Miss Kittymouser quickly packed things in cupboards and drawers while Bowser ran back and forth as fast as he could. Little yelps of excitement could be heard as Miss Kittymouser turned the shiny key and started the Widget. The motor went burble, burble, burble in the lake water.

The smiling men untied the rope holding the boat to the dock and threw it to Bowser. “Good dog,” the men said as Bowser caught the rope in his teeth and gave it a good shake.

Ever so slowly the Widget backed away from the dock and headed out onto Lake Winsome. Little by little the dock faded from sight as they motored along. The sun began to slip behind the tall pines as purple and orange filled the sky.




This was just the beginning of Bowser and Miss Kittymouser’s grand adventures. Miss Kittymouser -Bookspromised herself she would someday write a book about the two of them. Bowser hoped that Miss Kittymouser would someday trade-in that fire-engine-red, one wheel drive tricycle with the peppermint-striped sidecar.  He knew just the place back in Buttonwillow to buy a shiny new Harley that went rumble, rumble, rumble.





– The End –






This little story came about after my husband and I took a trip to Trinity Lake  to go house boating.

Do you have a pup or kitty who might look like Bowser and Miss Kitty Mouser? Or, sketch one and send me the link, please.








Weekly Photo Challenge – HAPPY

Puppies in front of my camera – makes me a happy girl.  From Toy to Titanic, gotta love these guys.

Can you guess which one is our MAX?

The 100 Pound Pitbull – and other bulls

One of the offices I visit has three women with bulls, two Pits and an American Bully Dog. Now Pits are beloved of some and hated by others. If you’ve had a bad experience with one or the other, then you are probably not a fan of these dogs. With the exception of Cali, one sweet Pitbull puppy who comes to the dog park, I admit, I tread carefully around these dogs. Picture is of Cali.

Max was mauled, nearly a year ago by American Bully Dog, that’s when the women in the office started telling me about their dogs. Over the months their concerns grew and they related some issues which, in my opinion really need to be dealt with.

The one-hundred-pound Pitbull is fearful of many things, from riding in the car to walking on the bare floor in the hallway. At three-years-old, she has anxiety problems which need immediate attention. Hard on the dog and the owners. I recommended that she find someone who can help the dog overcome her fears. The young woman emailed me a picture of herself and Ruby – I created something artsy for her which she now uses as her screen saver. I am hoping things improve for that family and Ruby.

Next, a young woman who has a two-year-old child who likes to put her face right in the their Pitbull’s face – and tease the dog. RED LIGHT! I wanted to tell her to make a choice now before something very bad happens. I think it was her husband her wanted this breed – now the mother is worried – and so am I. The most lovable dog, when pushed to its limits can turn on a dime.

Finally, a woman with an American Bully dog . Over the last year her dog has become somewhat aggressive and even took a bite out of one of the other dogs mentioned. Walking the dog has become a problem. Again, she needs to get help for her sake and the sake of others.

I do know that dogs who are kept inside all day while owners work get frustrated and anxious. Exercise is a key element for any dog, it provides both physical and mental health rewards. I don’t have the answers to the problems these women face, but finding the best solution, and finding it now may save them future trouble. They can ask their vets for information, search online and start to make a change for the better.

While Max is a rescue, a stray brought into the shelter who was adopted and returned, we have no idea of his background. Is he perfect, heck no. He has his quirks, like barking at skateboarders and gardener’s trucks pulling trailers. If he really likes you,he’ll lick your toes. He’s part German Shepherd, that part makes him hyper-alert us when a stranger comes on the property, and he is very protective when I walk him – sometimes too protective. He’s also part Beagle, and for that reason he can never be off leash on a trail – he would be gone in 30 seconds after some rabbit and not come back. They say if you don’t train a beagle to recall when they are a puppy, the best thing you can do is make sure they are micro-chipped. Max goes to the Dog Park daily and runs for about 40 minutes, he goes to Big Dog camp once week where he has a play date with dogs twice his size. And, he gets about 4 other walks daily. We are live in a condo, second floor and are retired, so all this exercise is not a problem for us as it can be for owners who work.
Dogs hold a special place in our hearts, they deserve the best we can give them. Agree?

Morning at the Lagoon

Sunday morning, feed the dog, plug in the percolator, get dressed, leash up Max and we are off.  First stop, count out the quarters and feed the machine – hoping it will open. Gather up the news, with all those inserts and drive about two miles to the lagoon.

Now that summer is over, even if it did reach 90 degrees here today, the crowds have died down. At 7AM a few souls, two-legged and four-legged meander over the short trail which winds around the lagoon. No paddleboarders or kayaks this morning. Just some lingering fog.

A few shots, a little conversation with a local and life is good. Coffee is still hot, the coupons and funnies are waiting. Life is good.

Two ways to backpack . . .


A  Sunday walk along the  batiquitos lagoon  trail in Carlsbad is always a pleasure. On this day a man and his son were wearing some cross-country type backpacks, perhaps testing out their equipment and its weight before heading off on an adventurous trek.

Then there was another style of backpacking . . . which I am sure the youngster enjoyed. These two were not far behind the pros.

Very few dogs on the trail today, but these two were happy to be there.

I did find a video on Youtube to give you an idea of this lagoon. Wide trails are well-maintained. If only the sound and fury of the I5 Freeway didn’t spoil this area which has been disturbed by what some call progress.