Sunday, March 26, 2023

Donner 2011 - 2023

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Donner died this morning at 2:30. My heart is broken.  He went lame in his rear right leg 10 days ago, and we had been working hard for me to manage him as a lame dog.  I made the same commitment to him that I made to Sonntag and Leben, that he would not be put down just because he could not walk. I preparing to settle in for the long run with him.


It was a difficult 10 days, but we were managing. On Friday, I saw him perk up for the first time since he went lame, and thought we were out of woods.


Yesterday morning, he was extremely lethargic and threw up a few times. He had lost his appetite completely. I took him out in his stroller at about 6 pm, and introduced him to a few new dog friends. Boy, did he love dogs! We stopped in Starbucks, where he gave out a strange noise from his throat, as if he was trying to purge fluid from his body.  I looked up the side effects of a new pain killer his orthopedic vet started him on yesterday, and saw that they were similar to what he was showing. Instead of writing it off as a side effect, I took him to an emergency vet to be sure. The vet gave me a bleak report and told me to take him to an emergency vet in Virginia for immediate surgery. I rushed him there and they gave me an even bleaker report.  The vet said, he either has cancer that is speadfing throughout his body or a septic infection that perforated his abdomen and was spreading throughout his body. His belly and lungs were filling with fluid. The only next step was surgery, but the vet warned me that he would probably not come out of it. I had no choice but to let him go. He had lost his pleasant life.


I spent his last hour with him telling him the same thing I had told him more than 20,000 times, "Good dog." Those were the last words he heard. But he already knew that.


I have now had and lost six magnificent German shepherds, but this guy was so very special. I often wondered if he was purebred,  although it would not have made a difference if he was not. So, just 10 days ago I sent in a DNA test.  The results came back yesterday – 100.0% German shepherd.  I congratulated him, but he knew that all along, too.


I will forever cherish the day in 2015 when I saw his video on my Facebook page at 5:00 a.m. as I was getting ready to take the train to NYC to see some plays and operas. He was scheduled to be put down that night in a high-kill shelter after spending his first four years chained in several backyards.  I instinctively tossed the tickets to NY aside, got a ride to Dulles Airport, and caught the first plane to LA.  What a absolutely joyous eight years he gave me.  What an absolutely magnificent dog he was. Life will not be the same without him. He was my buddy.


Here is the link to Donner's (then, Thunder) video on Facebook that made me fly 3,000 miles to rescue him.


Tuesday, November 1, 2022

On The Road 12, episode 5, Shenandoah State Park , day 2, 7pm

The day is done, gone the sun. Time to retire to tent.

If a experienced a calmer day in my life, I cannot recall. Most of the day was spent under a nearly cloudless sky, watching the Shenandoah River lazily roll by. I am not good at doing nothing, but there is something to be said about it.

We are still alone in this camp. The solitude does something to the brain.

Tomorrow we head back to civilization, at least 2022's version of it. I will take a detour on the way home to visit Jeremy's Run one more time, to bring back some find memories of Montag, whose ashes were scattered in that valley 32 years ago.

Ed and Donner

Monday, October 31, 2022

On The Road 12, episode 5, day 1, 730, Shenandoah River State Park va

Donner absolutely loves his new bunking arrangement. He did not even glance at my cot and when straight for his. Now I am filled with guilt that I never thought of this for Montag, Sontag and Kessie, and Leben and Erde. But they never complained.

Setting up the tent in the light rain was not as onerous as I thought it was going to be. A couple of poles got disconnected in the tent sleeve that required sione patience to resolve. All in all, we met the challenge head on with both the tent and tarp and I must say we did a pretty good job. Donner played his part by giving me his company.

We are alone in the entire camp. I kept seeing a light through the woods in the distance, but it was my headlight reflecting on something.

Dark is coming early these days. I had to use my headlamp outside at 630. We were in the tent by 654, which means I will get a lot of reading done or another 10 hours of sleep. It is drizzling lightly outside so that will be conducive to a good night"s sleep. The temperature is cooperating with us during this episode unlike in Blackwater Fslls, where the temperature was 25 all three nights.

The plan for tomorrow is simple. Up at 7, take Donner for a walk, and sir outside my front door testing as the Shenandoah lazily rolls along, as it has got so may eons and much history.

Ed and Donner, from the road.

Just arrived in Shenandoah River State Park, 2 PM

The weather was fairly nice for the entire drive of two hours until I hit front Royal. Then the rain started. It is raining slightly now, but the chance of rain increases from 83% to 93% over the course of the next three hours, so I have no choice but to go out there and set up the tent now. Interestingly enough, of the hundreds of times I have pitched my camp, I can recall only two times where we actually had to set up the tent in the rain. It is not a pleasant task to do, but once complete, and once the inside the tent and is dried out, it is pretty cozy inside .

We have the camp all to ourselves for the next two days, so if it is isolation I am looking for, it is certainly here.

Since there is no place around the campsite to set up a tarp, my guess is dinner will be served in the pavilion in the park down the road a bit.

Sent from my iPad

OTR 12, episode five

Donner and I are all packed and ready to shovel four episode five of OTR 12. I decided to stay close to home and return to the Shenandoah River State Park, where I was able to reserve site number five, which is right on the river. This is symbolic because my very first road camping trip was to the banks of the Shenandoah river in 1969, the year humans first reach the moon.

The good news about these Monday to Thursday trip says that there's very little preparation and packing that I have to do. And track, I did very little until this morning and it only took me about two hours to go through the routine of getting ready and showing off. I have a feeling that this is going to be a regular routine for me starting like next May

Time to turn on "this land is your land" and get on the road.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Blackwater Falls State Park WV day 4

On the way home from cold snowy Blackwater Falls State Park WV. Taking in the view on route 48 listening to John Denver singing Tske Me Hime Oountry Road.absolutely beautiful day today, no clouds, 35 degrees. Sure could use more of these days.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Blackwater Falls State Park WV day 3, 330pm

After stopping at the Lodge for a treat for Donner. We drove to the Nordic center, whe I found an off-road trail for 4x4 vehicles only. See photo. After driving about a half mile, I turned around. I had not check out the winch, we were alone on the trial, there was no cell phone service, and Donner cannot walk far. It was a pretty rough trail.

After that, we drive into town and gassed up. I then discovered J and D automotive where Josh topped off my differential oil. There has been a persistent leak that needs to get fixed.

We are now at the nature center enjoying the view on the lake before heading back to camp for dinner, the plan is to head in tent at 530 and get a good night's sleep before the long drive back tomorrow,

Driving the narrow winding snow covered roads through the forest brought back a lot of good memories of past journeys with all my dogs. How pleasant it is that those journeys took place and still burned onto my retrievable memory.

Blackwater Falls State Park WV day 3 1135

Snowing and cold 29°, Instead of staying in the tent all day and reading, I decided to drive around to different stops in the park. Right now we are sitting outside the lodge waiting for a hamburger for Donner. Got to do something to stay warm and avoid ennui,
The snow is expected to last all day so it looks like I will be packing up tomorrow with several inches of snow. I think the last time that I had to pitch in break camp in the snow was in 2016 when Stephanie and die camped at the Arctic Circle in Alaska for a couple of nights. Not pleasant, but doable

Blackwater Falls State Park WV day 3

I was expecting this, prepared for it, but not acclimated to it. Everything was nice and cozy in the tent last night (all 12 hours of sleep) but it is cold cold cold outside, 25 degrees. I will have to decide where to make breakfast, outside, in the vestibule of the tent, or in the defender. While I always opt for the most difficult option in all I do, I might make an exception today. But the marginal degree of difficulty among the three options is negligible.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Blackwater Falls State Park WV day 2 1330

At home, I never have the chance to do nothing. I cannot walk three feet around my condo without hearing the silent screams of one cluster of things begging for me to pay some attention. If I were to count the different categories of these clusters, there would be tens. The books cluster would be divided into tens, and then in each of them there would be tens upon tens of unfinished or unstated books. On The Road it is the same way. There is always something that needs to be done, things that are not easily avoided. Even my forced layover of five weeks in the Yukon back in 2016 was no time for leisure. After the quotidian chores of the day were behind me, my days were spent working on plans A, B, and C. (For those who do not read my 2016 blog, plan a was to stay in the Yukon and drive the defender home; Plan B was to Paul the defender down to Skagway, onto the ferry, from the ferry, and then to someone who could install the motor in Seattle; plan C was to leave the defender behind and then return sometime in the future to retrieve it. There was no plan D, abandon the defender, and plan a was the one finally executed, albeit until we got to Salina Utah.)

These Monday to Thursday local on the road camping trips or something different. Outside of the myriad quotidian tasks of the day when I am staying put in a camp, there are only three things begging for my attention: reading and writing, walking, or doing nothing. I think this must be the first time in my life that I have ever experienced the option of the latter. I what I am learning is that there is something to be said about that.

It is snowing on and off. The temperature reached 29°, the highest for the day. I drove around the park to get some fuel for the lay of the land, and realized that I had been here once before in the fall of 1994 or 1995 for a land rover off-road event In the Monongahela national forest.

Sent from my iPad

Black waterfalls, date to

The temperature dropped to 25° last night. Even though I was in my winter sleeping bag, the temperature in the tent was slightly intolerable, so I pulled out my summer sleep bag and doubled up for a cozy sleep for the rest of the night.

Ashley snow this morning. My first of the season. I think today that I will just drive around to the different sites. It's too cold to read outside, so I will read in the Defender and in the tent. Thank goodness that I filled up my gas tank the last opportunity I could. Except for my stays in Denali In the Yukon,I'm not used to staying in one place when the temperature drops below freezing.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Victory for Donner

As good luck would have it, our only next-door neighbor at Blackwater Falls happened to be a handsome 10-year-old dachshund named Thor, which means thunder, as does Donner. Thanks to Thor's guardians, Jana and Patrick from Texas, Thor and Donner had an opportunity for some quality Face Time,literally. As you can see from Thors eyes, he was a little wary of his greeter.

OTR 12, episode four, Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia

Donner and I are now embarked on episode four of OTR 12, and are now camped at lovely Blackwater Falls State Park West Virginia. Although the threat of rain and snow never appeared, the cold did. The temperature when we arrived here was in the mid 30s, and promises to drop to the 20s tonight. We arrived at the camp at 4 PM, had the camp set up by 5:19, and finished the outside chores at precisely 7 PM, just as usual daylight disappeared.

We are alone in the entire camp, in a tent, except for one other camper who is comfortably situated in a large Ivett RV. Anticipating the cold, I brought along daughters cozy bed so there is no incentive to try to squat on my bed until I throw him off. As you can see in the bottom photo, he is all set for the cold tonight, with his winter coat And a cozy red blanket covering him.

I think I will keep these posts short so I can get some reading done. In the last three weeks I have gotten more reading done then and all of my road trips, cumulatively.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

On The Road 12 - Episodes 1 to 3

I apologize for being negligent with my blogging this year. It is my hope that next week I will be able to catch up. The trip so far this year has consisted of the following:


  1. Four cold but wonderful, days at Lewis Mountain campground in the Shenandoah National Park;
  2. Four absolutely beautiful days at Loft Mountain Campground at the south end of  the Shenandoah National Park; and
  3. Four absolutely terrific days at the Shenandoah River State Park in Virginia, where we camped right on that famous river.


Tomorrow, we head off to West Virginia where we will camp for four days at the beautiful Blackwater Falls State Park. For better or for worse the weather will be cold and snow and rain are forecast for most of the time. To compensate for the weather, I am bringing along one of Donner's more comfortable beds so he can head directly for that rather than trying to squat on my cot (see below). But if he decides to squat on my bed, well, I will be most happy to be relegated to his bed.


Although I will surely disappointed that I had to cancel our trip along the Donner Party Trail this year, it has worked out extremely well. Not only have I lost 10 pounds in the three weeks since I started this, most of my pandemic weight, these short local trips have given me a chance to come back for physical therapy, Pilates training, and to take Donner swimming on Fridays and Sundays, his favorite treat. Most of the rest of the time at home is spent preparing for the upcoming trip. My hope is to take at least one or two more camping trips after this week, then perhaps rent a cabin for a few more weeks.


Monday, September 19, 2022

OTR 12 behind...and then ends

OTR-12 begins

After changing plans and four days of non-stop preparation, I got a good night's sleep last night, probably my last in four nights. It took just about the same amount of time to load the Defender this morning as for a long journey, and we shoved off at 11:00.  

The drive out of DC was probably one of the worst I have experienced on all my road trips: traffic, construction,  complex highways. Interstate 66 is not a straight shot out of the city. The highway twists and turns, ascends and descends faster than the eye can keep up.  After 26 miles of intense driving, we broke out onto the open highway. 

Donner, who usually positions himself in his front seat facing towards me with his legs straddling the gear shifts, had positioned himself facing towards the rear of the Defender, the position he takes on our long journeys. Somehow he knew we were setting off  on a long journey.

As soon as I was free of any significant traffic, I broke out my ipad and new Beats Studio 3 headphones. When I put the head[hones on, the Defender went silent. Wow, they sure block out all noise.   For the next 40 mile I listened to Pete Seeger's rendition of Oh Shenandoah to put me in the right mood.   The detritus of life that I was leaving behind ---albeit for just a few days --- was quickly jettisoned from the Defender as I made plans for the next three days.  Which campground would I settle in? How would I spend the next three days?  What kind of shape would I be in to deal with the camp chores?  What if my new cot  did not fit in the tent?

About 40 miles up the road, I removed the headphones.  The noise from the Defender was almost deafening.  I had no idea that it made so much noise.  But something did not sound right.  As I accelerated, it sounded as if my muffler had come off.  The stick shift was vibrating like I had never seen it vibrate before.  Something is wrong. I continued on the highway, thinking that I just was not used to silence in the Defender (with these new  headphones on) and then suddenly hearing the noise in its full volume.


At 1:30, I made the left turn onto Skyline Drive, the highway that wends its way along the Shenandoah National Park.  Then, just as I passed the  entrance sign, the engine choked and the check engine light popped on. Ooops. Huston, we have a problem.  I could not get much acclelation above 40 mph.  The last time that happened was on the Alaskan Highway when I lost an engine.  At the entrance kiosk, I pulled off to the side of the road and turned the engine off.  Usually, when the check engine light comes on inexplicably, when I stop and then restart the engine it turns off and all is okay.  It did not, once, twice, three times.  I sat in the Defender on the shoulder of the road for 10 minutes trying to decide what to do.  One option was to continue with my plans  and accept what happened.  Another option was to turn the Defender around and head for home to have the vehicle taken care of right way.  I decided to continue with my plans. But just a few meters up a hill  I could not get any acceleration, so I made a U-turn and headed back into DC.  About 30 miles into the trip home the engine choked,   but that turned off the check engine light and it kept moving. 


I took as many side roads as I coud to get home because I did want  the Defender breaking down on a highway. Fortunately , we made it home without further incident by 5:00.  I will take the vehicle to my mechanic tomorrow with the hope that they can figure out what the problem is.  This could be one of those problems that will be hard to track down.  Whenever it is back on the road, I will set out again. Fortunately, all the packing is done so I will only have to spend 30 minutes loading the  Defender the next time. 

Stuff happens.  But I am baffled about why the Defender has not acted up since I returned home from my trip in 2020, and then breaks down on the first day of this trip.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Day minus 3, Friday, Sept 16

If all goes well, which often does not happen, I will be on the road on Monday. Not to the Donner Party Trail, but on the trail with Donner. The plan is to take perhaps five 4-day journeys to campgrounds within a day's drive of DC. I will start with the Shenandoah Valley, where I shall return to my roots, literally and figuratively. The plan is to be away from Monday to Thursday on each of these trips, and return to DC for three days to resupply, continue my physical theraphy, take Donner swimming for his own theraphy. And, frankly, I want to see if I still have both the passion and stamina for these journeys.  But the Monday-to-Thursday window is somewhat symbolic given that Monday and Thursday in German are Montag and Donnerstag, and so this trip will allow to reminisce about all my dogs from Montag to Donner, bookends to Sonntag and Kessie, and Leben and Erde in between. Forty-nine years this week I have spent with those six magnificent days.

The logistic planning and preparation is not much different than that for my usual planned long road journeys, except that I have to cut down the 12- page To Take list to one page. What I want to avoid is having to spend four hours loading the Defender before I leave and then another four unloading when I return, since I will only have three days at home.

One thing I will have to acclimate myself to on these trips is how to spend my days. Usually, I stay in a campsite only overnight, and then move on the next day to some distant venue. My road trips are not for rest and relaxation. Perhaps I will take one book with me each time with the hope that I can complete them. I think I will start off with Precipice, a new book about the risk facing Earth. And if the word has not yet gotten out, we are indeed standing at a precipice on some many fronts these days. The two questions we all should be asking ourselves are, first, what should we do to prepare if these risks materialize, and, second, what role can we play to avert them?

One of the tasks that I was hoping to get done before I left for any trip this year was to set up my new iMac computer and then download all of my music and cherished photos onto my new iPad. The problem is, my Dell-Microsoft computer started to go on the blink a few months ago and I have not had a chance to set up my new iMac. (By the way, after 40 years, I have finally abandoned Microsoft. I am sick and tired of losing an hour a day waiting for Microsoft this or Microsoft that to respond to simple commands.) But not one to five up so easily, I got online to the Apple iTunes store and purchased copies of what I call my On the Road music.  I also was able to send my favorite photos from my desktop to myself, and then opened them on my iPad and save them so I could call them up without the internet. There's a solution for every problem. worth solving.

Every trip I take I usually add one new improvement. The improvement this year is a low-rise (4") cot. Those who followed OTR-8 will recall that I brought along a standard height (12") cot on that trip, only to find out 1000 miles later that it didn't fit in my tent. Although the usable space for a cot in the tent is 85 inches, and the cots are 76 inches long, that would work for a cot that was one inch high since the tent walls slope inward. So, without pulling out my old geometry books, or taking the time to set up the tent now and try out the new cot, I am hoping that it will fit. If not, it's back to the ground for me. My cot is 30 inches wide and Donner's 29, so the two should fit perfectly in the 59-width shown on the below diagram of the tent, below. The good news is that the weather will be such that I will be able to have some of the cot hanging out into the vestibule.

If there is one goal I have for this trip it will be to visit the site  where I spread Montag's ashes in 1990 along Jeremey's Run Trail.  Although I will not be able to make the 5-mile trek to get to that site, there is an overlook from the road, so will I park the Defender at the Overlook, and then let my mind wander down the valley and back across those 14 wonderful years I spent with that magnificent dog, starting back 49 years ago.



Wednesday, September 14, 2022

OTR 12 is on, sort of


I cannot believe that it has been 10 months since I last posted. Time flies.


I have been purposely silent on my plans for this year because I was afraid that I would set my expectations too high. The truth is, I was hopeful and planning to get back onto the Donner Party Trail again this year, setting out this past Sunday.  That did not happen, primarily because of several unplanned interruptions in my condo, where I remain as president.  But because I have to get back on the road, my plan now is to head out to where my love of nature was rejuvenated from when I grew up on banks of the Hudson River in the foothills of the Catskills, the Shenandoah Valley.  Montag and I used to backpack in that beautiful valley most every fall weekend we could for about eight years and had some extraordinary experiences there.  If that bond between a man and his dog best set in anywhere, it is on a camping trip. The last time I was there was back in the early 1990s when I hiked the Appalachian Trail to a place called Jeremy's Run, where I scattered Montag's ashes, with Sonntag and Kessie by my side. Ten years later, Leben and Erde were by my side on the North Slope of Alaska as I scattered Sonntag's and Kessie's ashes there. Whenever I hear mention of those places, my mind goes back to those magnificent dogs.


My plan is to head out to valley over the next five weeks on Monday (i.e. Montag) mornings and stay till Thursday (i.e., Donnerstag), when I will head back into DC for four days. Unfortunately, there is no internet in the park so there will no blog, so to speak. But I will start this one (OTR-12) and maybe post once at end of each week.  But if there were a blog, it would be rather boring to read, but not to experience.


For better or for worse, there will be no backpacking on the schedule during these trips.  The National Park runs four campgrounds, and so that's where we will be pitching our tent. 


Although this was at first a hard decision, it is all for the better since I am going through physical thereby for a pesky walking problem I have been experiencing.  I will do what therapy I can in the camp and return to DCfor a session with my therapist on Fridays, and to take Donner swimming on Fridays and Sundays. He needs to do some recovering too, and he gets half the votes on where we go.  My guess is that if he could talk, he would probably agree with this plan.  I will try to keep up this routine for as long as I can until the end of October, when the campgrounds close for the winter.


Preparing for a four-day retreat on the road into nature in not the same thing as preparing for a six-week retreat for one reason: sometime those six-week retreats run on for as many as 14 weeks, albeit unplanned. And if the Defender gives out on this journey, a 160-mile tow is not the same thing as its breaking down in the Yukon just as the winter snows hit, 4100 miles from home.


Although this trip is Donner's, my mind will undoubtedly be on that magnificent German shepherd Montag, who was my shadow side for 14 years.  Our own road trips only took us to Vermont a few times, but I can assure you he was with me on all my road trips, along with Sonntag, Kessie, Leben and Erde.  And if in whatever afterlife there is only one dog at a time is permitted, Montag would be the first, so that I could give him the benefit of all the lessons on what it takes to be a good guardian for a dog that I learned with his successors.


Click here to read a piece I wrote about Montag the day after he was put down 35 years ago.  He is still on my mind every single day.


ED and Donner

Monday, September 12, 2022


 This blog is dedicated to...

Montag, 1973-1987, my first dog.  He never took a long road trip with me, but his spirit was with me on every trip I took.  What a magnificent companion he was.

This photo was taken by an AP photographer near the White House in February 1979 on the day that two feet of snow fell, and it appeared around the world

Click here to read a piece I wrote about Montag the day he was put down.

Kessie, 1987-1999.  Three weeks after Montag was put down, I responded to a small ad in the Washington Post announcing "Four 12-week-old German shepherd puppies for sale" by a German breeder of shepherds. I arrived " by about noon. There were three females and one male, Karlos.  There had been eight in the liter, four males and four females. Karlos was passed up becasue his ears were not popping up straight like the other males, and his testicles were not dropping. Fifteen minutes after I arrived, a young couple from Virginia, Al and Judy Phillips, and their two kids, 13-year-old Shane and 11-year-old Mindy, showed up, hoping to get the only male puppy left. Since I had gone out there to get the only male, Al and Judy decided to wait until I made my choice. Looking for every excuse to avoid making another long commitment, I didn’t make my decision until five. As soon as I adopted Karlos, I rename him Sonntag, Sunday in German for the day on which he was born. Immediately, the Phillips adopted Kessie. I asked them how they made their mind up so fast. They told me that she had been the one female most engaging with Sonntag the whole five hours.  So, we made a commitment to keep the two dogs together as much as we could, and we did.  Several times a month for the next two years I drove out 11-year-old to the Phillips home and watched those two pups romp around as puppies do.  Then, on July 31, 1989, I received a call. Al, Judy and Mindy had been killed in a plane crash the night before on their way back from Atlantic City.  Since I was the only one who knew Kessie (Shane was in Germany), I immediately drove out to their home and the police let me take Kessie, until Shane returned him from Germany, where he was attending school. Shane had to leave his school in Germany and kept Kessie until he finished high school two years later.  I would often visit him and take Kessie with me from time to time on my backpacking trips with Sonntag. Then, when he announced that he was going to have to give Kessie away as he went off to college, I immediately adopted her.  She was with us for eight years.  What a delight she was, she was my sweetheart.  She took several trips with me to Canada to ski at Mont Tremblant, but she too was with me on all my road trips. Just writing these words makes me miss her as if he left me just yesterday.  She had to be put down in 1999 after a deep inner ear infection ravished her balance system. After I scattered Sonntag's and Kessie's ashes over the tundra in the North Slope, in 2001 I kept some. and scattered them over Al, Judy and Mindy's grave in Colorado.  In the dust on the gravestone I added, "and their dogs, Kessie and Sonntag."



Addi, 2010-2022. On July 7 this year, my sister Kathleen wrote me that she had to put down her beloved 12-year-old rescued dog, Addi. "Her little angel," she wrote.  It is not my place to write words about Addi, but I am sure the intensity of the love Kathleen felt for that sweet dog would be at least as great as mine.  And the extra joy she must have felt that she was able to give Addi a second chance at life when she rescued her.


Pippa and Eli.  

In August, as Donner and my ex-wife, Connie, and I dined at Donner's favorite restaurant in DC, we were approached (seized upon, is the better choice of words), by a young woman named Anna from Nashville. While I have witnessed many dog lovers dote over Donner, Anna outdid all of them.  But then she explained, and I understood. Her story about her German shepherd named Pippa is much like Donner's: abused, broken, and about to be killed at the shelter. She adopted Pippa two years ago. Below is a picture of Pippa with Anna's first rescue GSD, Eli, who died last year. "He was an amazing companion to me," Anna wrote, to which she added, "dogs are the best part of life."  (You can say that again, Anna.) Although Pippa is still very much here, both she and Eli deserve to be on this dedication page as rescued dogs who were given second chances, and I can only imagine how lucky both of them were to end up with Anna, if how she doted over a stranger's dog at a restaurant in Washington is any indication of the love and attention they got. Just look at those happy dogs!

Thursday, September 1, 2022

About this blog


About this blog

As I have written 11 times before, if a reader of my blog is in search of profound observations or thoughts, you will not find them here. It’s not that I’m incapable of such thoughts, and then turning them into words, it’s just that there’s no time for me to transform my musings of the day in pithy pearls of wisdom. So, if writings can range on a scale of 0 to 10 in terms of profundity, mine hover around between 1 and 2, and principally record the events of the day, and other various and sundry things that occupied my time. For instance, grizzly bears walking down the highway beside my Defender; an engine failing on the Alaskan highway in the Yukon in frigid weather, 250 miles from the nearest garage; the Defender's transmission breaking down in a snowstorm crossing the plains of Kansas, my dog Leben becoming paralyzed 1500 miles from home, etc.

As for the writings in the blog, I dictate them without notes, and so they are replete with errors of one sort or another which I do not have the time, patience or battery to correct all. So, please ignore the obvious errors, and try to make some sense of any words or phrases that just don't look like they fit in. In other words, read the blog in a holistic sense and not on word-to-word basis.