Dear Julia,


Really and truly.

I know that you haven’t heard a gosh darn thing from me for an eternity and beyond.  The missives here have become infrequent.  My typist keeps giving me a whole host of, an entire slew of, a hoard, pile and mountain of excuses, reasons, explanations, you name it, for not posting.  All fish stories. Grand song and dance routines. Here we are months later, and I’ve had a million adventures and some misadventures, not to mention my first anniversary with Anne, a good Christmas, milestones, new friends, all things I’ve wanted to tell everyone about.  I have things to say, dagnabit.  To tell and yell.  I’m bursting with energy.  I zip about doing figure eights all over the house. I can unstuff a toy in an instant, turn the house into seeming snow piles, puffs and tufts of toy all over. (There should be a competition for this.)  I’ve even gotten in trouble a few times. (I’ve been eating bark out of the flower garden, and I enjoy crunching it in various places in the house, not to mention, well never mind.)  I’m been dying to shout it all out.   Sometimes I do around the house.  That’s right.  I shout it, share it, howl it out much to the chagrin of Ella, who spends most days in some sort of Zen napping position.

Recently I went on a great hike.  It was spectacular.  I didn’t get any breakfast before the hike, because I usually vomit in the car.  I guess this is a little messy to clean up, because I hear some grumblings.  So I carbo loaded the night before. I was rearing to go in the a.m.

Here I am on Stevens Trail near Colfax above the American River.  Gorgeous January day. Felt like spring.  Anne wished she had shorts on and not her jeans.  I was quite thirsty and thought I could just trot down this near vertical cliff for a sip of water and zip right back up, but I was stopped.  It really didn’t look that far down or too hard.

The air is so fresh here.  I just have to sit down and take it in. Where is she?  She is such a slowpoke! I wish I could have some nuts.  Maybe if I stare wistfully, they will share.I think I see a baby Nessie.Ella is pretending not to see the bear on the other side of the river.  I don’t know how she can be so calm at a time like this.

What a great day!  I am a happy and pooped pup.

So Julia, I promise I will try to get my typist to do more typing, because I miss sharing.









I love my flower garden.  Last fall I did a lot of digging to make it happen.  It was a patch of Bermuda grass with a large, random stump in the middle at the corner of the front yard.  A ho-hum average non-native, suburban grassy grassland in need of a makeover.  The stump was a former evergreen tree, possibly a Monterey Cypress, Cupressus macrocarpa, but maybe a spruce of some sort, according to a neighbor.  Whatever the case, it came down one day, cut down, and no one really knows why or quite remembers what it was other than an evergreen, but I smell cypress.  I dug and dug to get that stump out.  I love digging, especially down.  I threw that dirt, ahhhh, threw that dirt, like no tomorrow, no tomorrow.  I threw that dirt with the vigor of a digger, a digger much more than me.  Between my legs, goes that dirt, all that dirt.  I lose all focus on the job at hand and just dig, dig down.  Down I dig, da down, down, down.  Oooops. I should have gone around that stump.

The black hollyhocks we started from seed last year. Alcea Rosea Negra, now about seven feet tall.  They are gorgeous.  The poppies and cornflowers went in as seed this March.  There are blueberries, artichokes, and zucchini hidden amongst the saliva, nasturtium, hummingbird sage, and Zauschneria californica mexicana, California fuschia.  There are bees and ladybugs and hummingbirds.  We have our own little nature center in the front yard.  It is so lovely.  It makes other people happy although I wish all the dog walkers would stop their dogs from peeing on the flowers.  I lost two lavender plants that way.  Head to the Bermuda grass.  There is lots of it.  Have at it.

But I have to ask you about my hat.  Does it make me look jaunty?  Smart?  Silly?  Or just fat?








































I went to the river for the first time today. It was a smorgasbord of smells. Musty, sharp, decaying, pungent, sweet.

Something spooked me here. I didn’t know what I saw in the shadows of the trees. It was a ghost or a mouse or something blowing in the wind. I wasn’t sure.

Ella was confident and knew her way around, and so that made me feel much better. She is way cool.

I found the most beautiful feather.  I stuck it in my hat and felt quite dandy.

Galleries of Ollie photos and other dogs may be seen at