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