Cleaning Up the Beach

Woof! Not good! Alert! Very messy people left heaps of garbage on our favorite beach. Yesterday we worked with Save Our Shores to help clean up the debris. It was like a treasure hunt for icky things and I did kind of get into it! It was fun (kind of). Of course, it’s more fun NOT to have to clean up the beach. It’s more fun when the beach is already clean. Then you can run on the beach, play, chase other dogs, dig a hole, roll on a dead seagull, maybe pee on drift wood. So it wasn’t the best best fun, but it was fun compared lying under a desk or driving too many miles in the back seat of a car. The humans seemed to get some satisfaction out of it, so that was good, and I was happy with them for making the place look nice again.

No one likes a dirty beach. Even the people who make a dirty beach don’t like a dirty beach. That’s ironic…or is it? Even slobs must be disappointed when they get to the beach and it’s covered with garbage. Hey, this place used to be nice!

Ranger and his pals help with a monthly clean up at Davenport Beach.

Ranger and his pals help with a monthly clean up at Davenport Beach.

Here is a photo of me (the handsome corgi on the lower right) with Jeff and Elise, and a guy and a dog, after the clean up. Wait a minute here’s a news flash from Kait: The “guy” on the left is Haig (a human and Master of Extreme Beach Cleanups. He’s there every weekend!!!) and Oden is the dog with his nose in the garbage. He is the unoffical Extreme Cleanup mascot, so I guess I won’t be. Oden is cool. My hackles didn’t go up at all around him. So, he’s okay with me. Save Our Shores does a weekly Extreme Cleanup of Davenport Main Beach from 9-11 every Sunday through the summer.  Kait says that “If we didn’t do a weekly cleanup, we’d be in some real trouble trying to remove what I can only imagine would be 1000+ pounds of trash..” Yup, I can only carry about a pound of hot dogs, so that means we’ll need more help…more people…and more dogs to get it done.

There were a few other clean up folks but they left before the photo was taken, Sage, Ed…and others. Sending a “woof” out to you all! Of course that’s Jeff hiding behind that beard and Elise hiding behind that hat..

Kait M. took this nice photo. That was after she helped pick up garbage. Then she organized all the trash and recyclables into different bags. Then took a photo. She’s so talented!

These are some of the things we found: beer cans and bottles, old salsa, tuperware, starbucks coffee cups, shredded or clumpy tissue paper, bottles of unfinished alcohol (bad flavors) “Red Hot Cinnamon Whiskey,” and “Blueberry Vodka” (blue). I guess the flavors were so bad that the people who chose them couldn’t even drink them. There was a axe handle and a plastic shovel; a tube of something from Victoria’s Secret called “Sexy Kim” and a homeless person’s blanket. There was a digital music recording for a greeting card (Copacabana? Probably had a dancing hamster on it). There was a mysterious zip lock bag with “Destiny” written on it. It was empty. There was a red rose; a green piece of chewing gum; a broken chair, a package of uneaten cream cheese (dang!); and more cigarette butts than you could shake a stick at (not that anyone tried). There was even a hotdog (I wanted to eat it but the humans snatched it away. They can be very greedy.)

This photo does not show how much work it was to clean up the beach. It doesn’t let you know how it smelled: stinky. All the trash and recycling weighted a total of 268 pounds! Yikes! There were 83 pounds of trash and 187 pounds of recycling. (Wait a minute, someone needs to check the math.) That makes 270 pounds. Don’t look at me. I can’t actually count up to more than “some” or “many.”

Thank you to anyone who ever helped clean up a beach ever in their life. And  Grrrr!!!Grrrr!!! ARfff!” to those who leave the trash. If you ever want to help clean up a beach just do it. Take a garbage bag to the beach and put trash in it. It’s easy. If you want to have company while you do it check out Save Our Shores. You can donate and/or volunteer. You can put that little paper token thing in the slot for them at New Leaf Market or go here and find out more:

Of course right after this photo was taken it was time to haul that stuff up the hill to the parking lot, to the garbage cans. Our stuff couldn’t even fit in a garbage can…well I’m sure that it was taken away somehow.

So here’s my question: What happens next? Where does that trash go? How do you throw away a garbage can*?

—Ranger the Corgi

On a wind swept Point Reyes beach we free style collected this flotsam.

On a wind swept Point Reyes beach, years ago, we collected this flotsam. Most of the ickier stuff was not photographed but went straight into the dumpster.

*”how do you throw away a trash can”—Steven Wright

Get sheepies!

Or, how I earned my title: Ranger the Corgi, HT!

Ranger and his aherding ribbons

My first ribbon for sheep herding…now I’m Ranger the Corgi, HT!

July 4th, 2013, in extreme heat I earned my AKC “Herding Tested” title. I’m now qualified to herd sheep. Next I’ll get a LinkedIn account and get some professional gigs! If you have sheep, please consider having me. I know how to move ’em!

Click on the link below to enjoy my first action-packed video. Sorry about the dirt on the lens…I licked it, but it didn’t fix the problem.

This video is set, though unedited because as a dog I’m limited in my iMovie skills, to “Stink” a wonderful corgi-endorsed song by John Lurie from the movie, appropriately enough “Get Shorty.” (Yes, that was a run on sentence. I love those!)

Pappy Snack Pockets filmed me, and called the movie:

Ranger Earns His Title

Woo hoo, woof! I have a wonderful sense of accomplishment AND I endured the heat AND kept my focus. What can I say?! I rocked the barnyard! I shook the sheep world! I made my mark! (It’s on the fence post in the middle of the second stretch of the pen. When I made that mark, by the way, Elise yelled “no pee pee! no pee pee!” I stared at her, “you’ve got to be kidding! I have to pee here! It’s the law!” She describes me as defiant. I describe her as clueless!)

The best advise we’ve gotten for herding, by the way, is “KEEP ON WALKING.” If you stop and fuss or, ahem…try to fight your dog (me)…things can go wrong. Best to keep moving and things (sheep) fall into place. Your corgi will help see to that.

Remember, if you want things to go alright, just try not to be so uptight! Keep on walking!

Thank you to Clinton Abbott for being a good trainer. He’s training Elise, I already know what I’m doing.

Still shots from Vacaville CA, at Herding 4 Ewe ranch (get it? “Herding 4 Ewe?” I knew you would!):

I told her, "mom, you can't hypnotize them!" how embarrassing.

I told her, “mom, you can’t hypnotize them!” how embarrassing.

See, we did it!

See, we did it!

Relaxing with Jeff in the shade. LIfe is good!

Relaxing with Jeff in the shade. Life is good!

—Ranger the Corgi, HT

(“HT” for AKC Herding Tested! Baroo baroo, I did it!)

Take Only Memories

Little portrait of me, Ranger the Corgi, and the lupines at Fort Ord.  Photoshop "oil painting" of  handsome me and the lupines.<br />Pappy Snack Pockets, is that a biscuit you've got there?<br />(All photos and digital paintings on Ranger's blog by Elise Huffman.)

Little portrait of me. Photoshop “oil painting” of  handsome me and the lupines.
Pappy Snack Pockets, is that a biscuit you’ve got there?
(All photos and digital paintings on Ranger’s blog by Elise Huffman.)

If you go to Fort Ord National Monument in Monterey/Salinas, California remember to take your dog. He/she can be there. Yay! Remember to take along some water and a camera (with charged batteries) to capture and refresh your memories.

A picnic is also a good idea. Be extravagant. Buy handcrafted bread, boutique peppered jerky, and local wine,  some vegetables, maybe an avocado. Bring iced tea. A cookie. Bring some dog biscuits and some warm, smelly Camembert to share with your dog.

With 86 miles of trails and 7,200 acres this park is huge. But not many trees for shade. As a corgi, forced by nature to wear a black fur coat at all times, this is a consideration. If possible go when there’s some fog to cool things down, or a little breeze, or bring a little stroller with a sun umbrella for the corgi.

Jeff and Ranger under the California Oaks at Fort Ord, some welcome shade.

Under the California Oaks at Fort Ord, some welcome shade.

Attention humans!: 1. Don’t walk too fast. 2. Don’t jerk on the leash. 3. Stop for overheated corgi breaks. This may require waiting while your corgi digs a shallow hole to lie in. Be patient. You need a rest too, especially after that wine you had with your picnic.

“Take only memories, (and photos and of course those dog poo bags)
Leave only footprints. (and wee.)”—Ranger the Corgi.

Lupines on the hillside at Fort Ord National Park.

Lupines on the hillside in the foreground.

There are millions of lupines here. Lupines smell wonderful and sweet. A little too sweet for my liking. Far better sprinkled with a little corgi pee.

Fort Ord hillside with a dusting of lupines.

Dusting of lupines in the distance. Yes, it’s Photoshopped. When the photos aren’t so great and you only have a few, it’s time for Photoshop.

Cattle dogs, mutts, humans, mountain bikes, horses carrying lazy humans, me, and “nature enthusiasts” were on the trails.

When horses pass by stand off to the side. Dogs should sit so they don’t frighten the horses. Humans should not sit or crouch, it frightens the horses. Horses are easily frightened so we have to make accommodations for them. Don’t get too enthusiastic! Woof!

More horses. I forgot to sit down while they passed. But at least I didn't bark at them.

More horses. I forgot to sit while they passed. But at least I didn’t bark at them.

Ranger sits on the side of the trail at Fort Ord while a horse passes by. When horses pass you on a trail sit down and wait. They're nervous creatures and must be accommodated.

When horses pass you on a trail sit down and wait. They’re nervous ninnies.
Photoshop painting by Elise.

The camera’s battery died, about 20 minutes into our hike. Poop. My mom tried to use her crappy cell phone camera, because the real camera was dead. She said “I don’t know why but I’m going to try and use the cell phone camera.” Later she was cursing the thing. “These phone cameras really suck,” she said. Jeff responded with “That’s probably why you said “I’m going to try and use the cell phone, I don’t know why.” “Right,” she said, but continued to try to edit and rotate some little image of me for another ten painful minutes.

Always bring water for your dog. Be patient while he sits in the shade to catch his breath.

Always bring water for your dog. Be patient while he sits in the shade to catch his breath.

We were at the top of a hill (sheep in the distance) and there were four bars on the cell phone! This was supposedly some kind of miracle. Elise called her sister to share “Wow, wish you were here! The cell phone coverage is amazing!”

Hillsides with lupines Fort Ord National Monument.

Hillsides with lupines Fort Ord National Monument. See the lavender color in the distance?

We walked on a narrow trail over grassland hills, lupine, through oak woodlands and chaparral. We saw a snake. We saw a dead star-nosed mole. I sniffed at him and was just about to roll on him when my humans jerked me away. Dang, why are they always doing that!?

We left, after hours of hiking, south on Hwy 68. Near Toro Park nature enthusiasts were snapping photos of a pasture full of purple lupines. They didn’t even have to get out of their cars.  We had no camera, so we could take only memories.

Keep sniffing, keep rolling, keep aiming high.—Ranger the Corgi

“The digital camera is a great invention because it allows us to reminisce. Instantly.”Demetri Martin

“I bought a new camera. It’s very advanced. You don’t even need it.”Steven Wright

Ranger the (Scratchboard) Corgi

Woof my friends, woof.Ranger the Corgi as Art (1 of 1)

Well, here I am again. This does sort of “capture me”, though I’m sort of “scratchy” looking. Not itchy, scratchy, as in scratch board. I’m liking this look. It’s a sort of a digital scratch board effect. My mom likes it too.

It’s late and I have to go see how my livestock are doing. I need to “worry” them a bit. It’s my job. Worry them and feed my horse. Sniff around. Say hi to Chloe the Border Collie. Pee on the fence posts. Check the neighboring pasture for cows.

Art’s fun but the work at the barn is my real job. I’m a cowboy.

I’m always short. But, today I’m short on words. My word for the day is “woof,” that’s it. Woof.

“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.”— Oscar Wilde

Enjoy this nice art of me.
—Ranger the (Photogenic) Corgi

Ranger the Corgi, as Art (3 of 3)

wacky filter on corgi face

Ranger with wacky rainbow filter on photo. “Is this art yet?” he asks. “Maybe not…maybe just try drawing with a pencil?”

Corgi face, Ranger the Corgi face altered by "mirror filter" in iPad Photo Booth.

Ranger tests out an iPad Photo Booth feature “mirror” filter. It was “oil painted” in Photoshop later…Ranger says “I think you’ve captured my scary wild (fearsomely symmetrical) wolf-like face.”

Ranger as Art 1

It’s a special bunch of filters and messing around in Photoshop that helped to make this lovely picture of me (directly above. My Pappy Snack Pockets, aka Jeff, took this photo. My mom messed with it.) The other images above are just some play with Photo Booth and Photo filters…but I think my mom might want to try a portrait in pencil. You know, like in the old days, using a real pencil. So, stay tuned for that…um, give her a day or two.

Two Paws Down

Ranger the Corgi at the Apple Store.

Ranger visits the Apple Store. He’s under impressed and under the table.

This last weekend we visited the Apple Store in Los Gatos, California.

My humans seem to think this place is so much fun. But I have to give it two paws down.

I guess it just depends on your perspective. I’m here, on the floor, it’s a nice floor…but I’m just not “feeling it.” There’s a lack of quality smell in here. The area is barren and there are no benches or couches. Nothing growing. There are no food scraps and no urine markings!

Dust bunnies, if there are any, are not fun. They’re not real bunnies.

People pat me a little bit here, say “hello, are you a corgi?” and then lose interest in me pretty fast. They wander off to stare into boxes of light.

So, if you go to an Apple Store, and you’re a corgi. Don’t expect much. When you go down the street take a left. There’s a store, just a half a block down, giving away dog biscuits!

Is it weird in here, or is it just me? —Steven Wright

Keeping it short. Over and out—Ranger the Corgi

Corgi Quotes

Ranger the Corgi and three sheep, his "mom" is tying to learn herding.

Ranger and his sheeps…and one of his peeps.
Cell phone snap shot by Martha Deihl.

The Lord can give, and the Lord can take away. I might be herding sheep next year.
—Elvis Presley

I brought a Border Collie back home to Vancouver from Wales—where some of my ancestors are from—and needed to challenge him in other ways than just being my pet. So I investigated sheep herding and took a few lessons, and decided I was probably learning more than my dog!
—Jane Siberry

The sheep will go in the direction that their ears point.
—Ranger the Corgi (Elise please pay attention, this is important information. Woof!)

Walking the Trail with Pappy Snack Pockets


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.–Margaret Atwood

Yes, exactly. You should smell like dirt, pee, grass, and death. Dirt: from shredding the ground in your mark-ups. Pee: from your brushes with interesting social postings. Grass: just nuances as a reminder of nature. Death: as a reminder of life, just a whisper of death, a desiccated worm found flattened on the trail, or something a coyote digested, though not well. Human’s call this “disgusting” but I don’t know the meaning of that word.

It’s basically spring here already and it’s been here since about February 14, the day I didn’t get chocolate.

Acacia blossoms dotted the Carmel trail. They’re a very yellow, sneezy flower.

Acacia blossoms dotted the Carmel trail. They’re a very yellow, sneezy flower.

For corgis most of the best smells are conveniently located at nose level and right along the trail, often in the tall grass…

For corgis most of the best smells are conveniently located at nose level and right along the trail, often in the tall grass…

Umm, nice. Corgi sniffs along the spring trail's tall grass.

Umm, nice. The world has gotten green and luxurious for me.

I know, we’re on this trail in Carmel, and it’s spring and lovely. But, I must stop for a moment and address an important concern. It came to my attention that Jeff didn’t really like his nick name “Uncle Snack Pockets.” I apologize for my thoughtlessness. I love this guy (alot) I don’t want to hurt his feelings. From now on I’ll be calling “Uncle Snack”  the more respectable name of “Pappy Snack Pockets.”

We like to kid around and make up names. Elise is “The Queen.” Jeff is “Pappy Snack Pockets.” I’m called many names: “Mr Begoobecurs,” “Rainboo,” “Stranger,” “Hoover,” and “Whyyoulittlemonkey.” We all have a bunch of little knick names. However, these names should be somewhat respectful. No one ever calls me “Junior Poopy Bum,” for instance, and I appreciate that. Sometimes our nicknames are not nice ones. For instance Jeff is also “Possum Socks” and Elise also goes by “Sheewawipoo,” her “Indian name.”

How did they get these names? Jeff’s socks were once stolen by a possum. Elise often carries my poo bag around for multiple uses, so “She Walks with Poop” became “Sheewawipoo.”

Of course a full psychological work up could be done on the names we’ve made up for each other. Elise says “maybe some passive aggressive thing going on?” I say “huh!?” The main thing is no matter what anyone calls you you must know that your true name is not any of those names.

So, back to my story. A few weeks ago I hit the trail with “Pappy Snack Pockets.” (Try saying that 10 times fast! “Pappy Snack Pockets, Snappy Pap Hockets, Snacky Hot Pockets, Hoppy Pick Pockets”…grrrrr!) Our “Dog Lover’s Companion to California” recommended Mission Trail Park on Rio Road, Carmel, California, with 5 miles of hiking trails for dogs, off leash! It’s right across from the Mission.

Ranger running on trail, big smile

Can you tell that I’m happy? Woo hoo….running off leash…

Wooo hooo, off leash!

…and running back again!

Ah ha! I know you're up there Nutty McNutkins! I mean Mr. Gray Squirrel.

Ah ha! I know you’re up there Chirpy McNutkins! Ahem, I mean Mr. Gray Squirrel.

It's wonderful me on a wonderful trail.

It’s wonderful me on a wonderful trail.

Here’s a guy I met I’ll call “Random White Guy,” I could also call him “Little Guy Like Me”
I said “I’ll be with you in just a second. I’ve got to figure out this scent.” When I looked up he’d been dragged away by his humans. Hey, wasn’t this an “Off Leash Trail”?

I liked this trail immediately, because I was just really happy to get out of the car. I would have been happy to get out of the car pretty much anywhere. Anyplace not moving will do.

I also liked that we had never been to this place before, and it was not too hot, not too cold, not too steep, too urban or too sterile. Lots of dogs had peed there. (Yay!)

You’ll have to visit this place yourself, if you’re ever in the area. The trail winds around. It goes by creeks and ravines, even a view or two. It has a little bit of manicuring to its natural beauty. I give it two paws up!

Here I am with my most excellent human, Jeff, aka “Pappy Snack Pockets.” Make sure when you hit the trail that you have a human along with deep snack pockets! But find your own, this Snack Pocket is mine.

Here I am with my most excellent human, Jeff, aka “Pappy Snack Pockets.” Make sure when you hit the trail that you have a human along with deep snack pockets! But find your own, this Snack Pocket is mine.

Here we are again, back at the car. Carmel Mission Trail on the right...park on side of road.

Here we are again, back at the car. We’d walked a big circle. Carmel Mission Trail on the right…park on side of road.

Remember not to shake off the dirt before you get in the car. Don’t let them wash that stink off of you!—Ranger the Corgi.

Your’e Like Me, I Like You

“Friendship is born at that moment when one dog says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
― modified from a C.S. Lewis quote by Ranger

The beautiful Gwinny

The Beautiful Gwinny, a digital painting by Ranger the Corgi Esq.
(zoom in to see the corgi paw work)

I thought I was the only one. After hours as the only dog in the house I often lose track of my connection to my true kin. Though I was born to a litter of 6 (or so) I eventually became an only child in the suburbs, weird how that works. I must constantly reconnect with my species.

I’m reliant on my people for this. They control my very destiny. They have the keys to the car and the exit doors. Usually there are dogs to be found, at the duck pond, on the side walk, on the beach or the sheep ranch, it’s a crap shoot as to who you’ll meet, but the careful sniffing of their urine keeps me in touch with those present in spirit, if not in the flesh.

Luckily for me I know many girls, yes, I’m bragging. Here are a few: Hope, Ziva, Valentine, Daisy, Bet, Chloe, Sienna, and Gwinny, Jellybeans (who I haven’t actually met yet) and Beryl (a FB friend who may not be real). I see them for a while and then they’re gone. Just like that they’re pulled away on their leashes and stuffed in cars. I leave extensive notes for them to know my smell. So that they can find me again. I say to them, quietly, next time you smell my note just stay here until I return. If I can’t return then I’m sorry to make you wait. Many girls won’t speak to me anymore, they may have waited too long. With so many distractions and no keys to go places it’s no wonder I can’t faithfully return. It’s not that I don’t want to, I just can’t. I know, it’s sounds like some crap, but it’s true.

Ranger and Gwin the corgis, on their first date. Marking time and the barn corner at Oak Hills Ranch. Good times!

Ranger and Gwin the corgis, on their first date. Marking time and the barn corner at Oak Hills Ranch. Good times! (zoom in, by clicking, to see the corgi paw painting strokes)

I have been told that I’m a natural therapy dog. But my Uncle Snack Pockets says maybe I’m really a therapypee dog. Funny Uncle Snack Pockets, he comes up with the best jokes. Here’s a pee pee, theresapeepee…ooops, I digress….


Place your postings here. I’ll check later and leave you a message. We’ll stay in touch.
No, well I didn’t call you, I lost your number. I can’t drive. I can’t visit. All I can do is leave you some messages. I love you, Ranger.

I wrote a song, my first, for my newest girlfriend, the lovely Gwinny.
You’ll have to just imagine my vocalization of this, with coyote chorus backup. I title this Hey, hey Gwinny.

Hey, hey Gwinny Dear, How I wish you were here
I can remember the barn corner we both peed on, like it was just last week.
Because it was just last week.

Hey, hey Gwinny Dear, maybe we could go and have a beer,
then find some sheep and try to herd ‘em, or chase a cow that’s not absurb, um…

Baroooo, baroooo, baroooo!

Let’s dig some holes and find some voles
Let’s romp and run until we’re done
Let’s corgi on and party too, until the sun is done and through
Let’s sing with coyote all through the night,
until the sun is up and bright.
I’ll share my couch and my bed too,
Because, my Gwinny, I’m in love with you.

Baroooo, baroooo, baroooo!

Hey, Hey Gwinny Dear, things you should know about me, they’re here:
I’m from the burbs, I have a pony, I’m real you see, there’s nothing phony.

You see, my Gwinny, I’ve marked this tree with a love note for all to see,
it says, you can sniff it, that you’re my love, sent from the Corgi God above.

Barooo barooo, barooooooo!

xoxo I’ve got to go, Your ahem, sometimes, somewhat faithful, Ranger Boy

The lovely Gwinny, Ranger's corgi girlfriend, herding sheep.

Gwinny and I have a shared passion. This is a good thing in a relationship.

I painted these photos of Gwinny in Photoshop.

A joke I ‘d like to share with all my friends:

“Windchimes are for stupid people so they know when there’s a breeze.”—Steven Wright

Near Oak Hills where Ranger herds sheep, a landscape painting by me, Ranger

Near Oak Hills where I herd sheep, a landscape painting, zoom in to see the fine corgi paw brushing details. There are no sheep here, they’re all across the road, in their pens.