Saturday, January 26, 2013

Camping Again!

What do we like to do with our spare time around here?  Camping is certainly right up there on the list.  Well we only had one free day this weekend but we decided to spend it out in the wilderness.  I wanted to try out a new campsite that I had heard about but it proved impossible to find.  Or just the directions we had were bad but either way we were driving around lost and decided it would be best to just go back to Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness.  We were half way there anyway so it wasn't a big detour.  To make things even more dull for regular blog readers we went back to the exact same campsite as last time!  It was getting late and after being unable to locate the first place we had lost all creativity.

I know this is a dog blog not a cooking blog but who doesn't love a little food porn (FYI food porn is a term that I stole from my grandmother recently- it seems to refer to pictures of delicious foods).  I love to cook and am always at the farmers market picking out fresh local veggies and making new recipes with them.  I recently got a cookbook full of recipes for dutch ovens over the campfire but it was really disappointing.  Everything involved either a can of barbecue sauce or a packet of ranch dressing- not exactly fresh and delicious.  Well I found a recipe for pulled pork in one of my favorite catalogs from my favorite spice company Penzeys Spices.  Everyone should check them out if you are in need of good spices and spice mixes, they are amazing.  I took the dry rub and sauce recipe from them and combined it with cooking directions and some other stuff from the dutch oven cookbook.  It turned out really good.  I am also proud of my packing job with it.  I dry rubbed the pork the night before and put it in the fridge in a plastic bag.  Then I made the liquid marinade and put it in a jar and the morning before we left I cut up the onion.  I packed everything IN the dutch oven that I had chilled in the refrigerator and packed it with an ice pack.  When we were out camping all I had to do was dump the contents in the oven in the right order and voilla!  I didn't even have to touch any raw meat in the wilderness AND I saved space by packing it all in the oven.

Copley demonstrates in this picture that camping can and should be dirty!  Mostly when we are out on BLM land I let Copley run around off leash but as it got more towards the evening we could hear people at a campsite a ways away shooting.  Out of an abundance of caution I tied him up but not before he got some good rolling in the dirt time in.
Kerrigan decided to become a lumber jack.  I fully support her decision.

 Observe Ben setting up the tent.  The only reason I am not helping is because it is a new tent and he "wanted to see if one person could put it up without help."  It turns out one person can.

The dogs LOVED cuddling up by the fire but Kerri is not crazy about the smoke coming from it.  Observe in the picture above Kerri hiding from smoke behind Ben's feet.  Now observe the photo series below of her turning from a chihuahua into a parrot.  When the wind changed Kerri crawled on Ben's shoulder in an effort to escape the smoke, it was adorable.  Unfortunately for her after we got the picture we put her down on the ground to escape the smoke in other means because we don't want our dogs to think people are jungle gyms.
Look at that beautiful Joshua Tree sunset!  We had such a great time camping.  It was a small group again with just our family and another couple.  The dogs LOVE the outdoors and Kerri is absolutely obsessed with our friends who came with us (I think it is because her cuteness is irresistible and when she gives them big puppy eyes they pick her up).  If I had all the time in the world I would go camping every weekend, being out in the wilderness and getting fresh air is so refreshing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bark Back

Recently a friend on Facebook alerted me to a campaign being run by our friend Arbor at Go Vegas Dog to bring awareness to a recent epidemic of police shooting dogs in their own backyards.  To bring awareness to this issue Arbor is asking for a little help from all her friends.  Here is what she has to say about it:

Woof friends! The unnecessary and unjust killing of our family pets by law enforcement must stop. It has become an epidemic in our country occurring in our homes, back yards and front yards at an alarming rate. I know it's a big task for just one dog to tackle, but if we bark together I know we can make a difference! I'm putting together a video to bring awareness to this very problem and I need YOUR help. I'm looking for pictures of your four-legged family members with signs civilly protesting puppycide. Give your pets a voice, be creative!

As some of you now know, a family dog named Bubba in my hometown of Las Vegas was unjustly shot and killed in his own back yard by a poorly trained police officer. It is in his honor, and the many others who have senselessly lost their lives, that I am making this video. Would you please join my campaign?

Please submit pictures by January 28th. Captioned photos are welcome too, but I prefer physical signs. Get your family and friends involved too, the more pets we having barking (or meowing) back the louder our message will be! Send pics via Facebook (Go Vegas Dog) or e-mail them to:

Thanks and big licks!

So blog readers (I get google stats, I know there are hundreds of you coming here every day, so don't pretend you don't exist)- I don't usually ask a lot of you guys but today please share this campaign, participate by taking some pics of your pups and talk to your friends about it!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Camp in the Desert

This week me, Ben, Copley, Kerrigan and some friends went camping at the Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness.  To tell you the truth I almost lied about where we went.  I feel about Wee Thump the same way my Dad feels about his favorite fishing hole.  It is only really good because no one else knows about it.  We have been out there 5 or 6 times and have never ran into another hiker on a trail or had to pass a car on the road.  Every once in a while one of the campsites has an RV in it but that's it.  To me that is the best kind of camping.  BLM land with no one else around, no amenities, just the hundreds of pounds of gear we cram into our vehicles to make ourselves comfortable.  Since moving out to the desert where there are no bears or alligators I have really gotten to love this whole undeveloped dispersed camping thing.  BLM land is nice because unlike national parks the dogs have a lot more legal freedom and the likelihood of you seeing another human being in a BLM wilderness camping area is pretty much zero.

Here is a shot of our campsite.  The weather was really nice during the day, I was even in a t-shirt in the afternoon.  At night it got a little bit chilly but the dogs figured out the whole laying by the fire thing really quickly.  In fact Kerri only had to wear her little sweater because she was so toasty by the fire.  It was nice for her because her overcoat is a little bit bulky even though it is really warm.  Copley also got a new coat for the night and it worked out really well.  He didn't need it by the fire but once we went to bed I put it on him.  Kerri crawled into my sleeping bag and slept next to me with her little nose sticking out the top.  It was adorable and she was probably warmer than she normally is at my house!  Poor Copley didn't fit in a sleeping bag but he managed to bundle up in a fleece blanket in the tent.

So we put out this crate mat and unloaded the cooking stuff onto it because it was clean and we didn't want it to get dusty.  Of course Copley decided to rest on the tiny corner of bed that was still exposed.  Silly dog.

Copley was off leash during the day at the campsite but with birds of pray literally circling overhead we had to keep Kerri on a leash.  I have a lightweight 30 foot leash that I attach to a pet in place.  The pet in place is such a simple thing but it has totally revolutionized our camping experience.  Because it is just a sandbag there is nothing on it to get a leash wrapped around like attaching to a tree or a picnic table.  Believe me, they still get themselves wrapped around stuff, but it is much better.  

 Here is Copley showing off his new coat.

Whats going on there?  Well Copley of course immediately found some animal poop to roll in.  It was either burrow or horse so it didn't smell THAT bad but still.  He had to get a baby wipe bath because we didn't want to be cuddling with a dog who smelled like a barn.

There is some campfire before and after for you.  Don't worry we brought the palm leaves with us, we weren't burning any animals habitats by hacking off bits of native trees.

You may be wondering where Nova and foster dog George were while I was out on this trip.  Well George is really cool but I am not entirely sure I trust him not to go crazy in the tent and unzip it in the night and run off never to be found again.  Since I don't really want to loose a dog that belongs to someone else he got boarded for the night.  Nova had a kind friend come over to our house and hang out with her.  It is going to be a good long while before she can go camping.  Right now she is too scared to even leave the living room.  I will leave you all with one more good shot of Wee Thump.  Joshua Trees are so cool!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


I appear to have accidentally deleted two recent posts...  One on ID tags and one on Nova.  Is it possible to blame the dogs?  Enjoy this picture of Kerrigan eating a bully stick that is entirely disproportional to her size while I spend the time I would have spent writing a blog post trying to figure out blogger.