Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Surprise Pictures

I've been trying to get myself organized before school starts up again next week, so today I was going through my email accounts to delete/organize my mail.  In the process I discovered a couple pictures that I had taken of Kobe with my phone and then emailed to myself.  I guess I had forgotten to save them to my computer, so I haven't seen them since I sent them to myself back at the beginning of December.  They are really poor quality, but it was just such a nice little surprise, like finding money in your pocket that you didn't know was there.

Big Boy Slide

Today on our walk we passed a small playground that wasn't being used by anyone so we decided to play on it so Levi could go down the slide.  When he was a puppy there was a little red slide that he and his siblings loved to slide down, but I hadn't had a chance to take him down a real slide yet.

He loved it, and was so excited and happy afterward.  He still needs to work on his form (he tried to just run down the last half of the slide instead of staying laid down and sliding), but there are plenty of playgrounds up in Davis for us to practice on.  Christine said that his auntie Lola can even go down the twisty slides.  He has a long way to go till he gets to that, but I'm just glad that he had fun and really seemed to enjoy the slide.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Souvenir from Maui

We got home from Maui late last night, and I went to pick up Levi this morning.  We went for a little hike at Carmel Meadows with Christine, Don, Ronan, and Thistle.  We also went for a walk along the beach there, and the dogs got to swim in a river/lagoon and fetch bumpers.

When we got home Levi got to get his souvenir that I brought him from Maui.  There is a long story behind the souvenir that all started when Kobe was young.  I don't remember when I started the tradition with Kobe, but it was several years ago when we had gone on a family vacation and I decided to get him a stuffed animal for a souvenir.  It started a tradition that every time I went somewhere and had to leave him behind I would pick out a stuffed animal souvenir for him.  I still have several of his souvenir toys (many with missing eyeballs since he liked to chew these off).

From left to right: Cabelas moose from my interview trip to Kansas, duck from Washington, moose from wildlife park in Washington, cow I think from Washington as well (all separate trips), giant head turtle (that you can't see very well in this picture) from Maui, dolphin from Maui, and Davis bear from my interview trip to Davis.

I decided to keep up the tradition with Levi, and I found him a really cute stuffed starfish with long legs.  It was baby blue with little designs on it, and it had big soft eyeballs that stuck out off the top.  Melissa named it Sebastian the Starfish.  It was really cute, and I'm sure Levi would have loved it but...I seemed to have dropped it in the parking garage when we were leaving the hotel.  I was able to get him a replacement souvenir at the airport that is a little whale, but it is nowhere near as cute as the starfish.  I'm still bummed I lost it.  We named the whale Sebastian the Second in memory of the lost starfish.

Levi seems to really like his souvenir, and I'm sure he wont mind me keeping the tradition going.

Happy 5 Month Birthday to Levi

Ok, I'm a couple days late but we were in Maui on his actual 5 month birthday so I couldn't write this post.

So, 5 things I love about Levi for his 5 month birthday:

1. His big, kissable face
2. He likes to follow me around
3. He looks for me when I leave the room
4. He is so bouncy and loves to jump on/off/over things (I think he's going to make an excellent agility dog)
5. He likes to jump up on me when I'm sitting on the floor, and puts his paws on my shoulder (this is actually bad behavior but I secretly love it because it's like he's giving me a giant hug)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dropping Off Levi

Today we are going to Hawaii so I had to drop Levi off with Christine and Don this morning. We met at Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove which was so beautiful. Levi got to play with Thistle and Ronan, two of his brothers, and then they all retrieved bumpers in the water. We then went for a little walk along the trails there, and the dogs got to climb on some of the large rocks and walk through the tide pools.

Levi, Thistle, and Ronan (L to R)

It was a beautiful day, and it was nice to be able to spend some time with Christine and Don before having to leave Levi with them. I hope he behaves himself!

(All these pictures were taken on my phone so they aren't the best quality)
Levi, Ronan, and Thistle

I thought this picture was funny with Levi closing his eyes and Ronan making a funny face on the right.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Case of the Missing Leash

Levi's leash had been missing for the past day or two, so today I decided that I needed to seriously try to find it.  I needed to take him to the dog park today to get some socialization and exercise, but more importantly I needed it because we are leaving for Maui in just two days and I need to send it with him for his puppy-sitter.  I spent 45 minutes this morning scouring over the whole house with no luck.  It made me so frustrated because I knew it had to be here somewhere; it couldn't have just disappeared.  I thought about giving up a few times, but then I was so mad that it just made me more determined to find it.

After 45 minutes it was starting to get a little bit warmer outside so I figured I better take Levi to the dog park with my flexi-leash (the extendable kind) before it got too hot out.  After the dog park we went to a local pet store to buy some chew toys and to look for a new leash.  I knew they wouldn't have exactly what I wanted (I hadn't been able to find a navy leash in any stores so I had ordered the ones I have now from online) but I figured that I could hopefully get something to use in the meantime.  I have a spare leash at my house in Davis, but that doesn't do me any good when I'm not living there.  I didn't like any of the leashes at that pet store or at Petco because they only had really thin or really thick ones.  I like the leashes that are 3/4" thick.  Am I a little too picky about my leashes?... Maybe.  I decided to search for the leash for another day and then if I still couldn't find it I would give in and buy a leash I didn't like from the pet store.

I waited to search more until my mom got home to see if she had seen it.  Unfortunately, she hadn't seen it around.  I proceeded to search for another 15 or 20 minutes, then called my dad at work to see if he had seen it.  Nope, he hadn't seen it either.   Agh!  I finally decided to give up and found a leather leash that my sister had for her dog several years ago that I could use while we were on vacation.  I then went online to the store that I bought his first two leashes from and ordered two more leashes. 

Then, as we were getting ready to eat dinner, my dad lifts up his new camera bag from the counter and guess what was sitting behind it....my leash!  (I'm sure you could have guessed that based on the theme of this post)  Needless to say, I was so happy and relieved that it was found!  I never thought I would get so upset about a lost leash.  I think it was just because I knew it had to be around here somewhere so I was frustrated that I couldn't find it. 

All is happy now, and Levi is getting all ready to see his brothers, mom, and aunties when he goes to Christine and Don's for puppy-sitting.  I know he will have a great time and be well cared for while we are in Hawaii. :-)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

6 Months

Today marks 6 month since Kobe's death.  It's been a long six months, and at the same time it often feels like it was just yesterday.  Having Levi is a nice distraction, and I love Levi, but he can't ever replace Kobe.  I wish I had blogged about Kobe's and my life together so I had written memories of all of his funny behaviors and our good times together.  One thing he did every time before I fed him as a puppy was what I called the lip quiver.  His mouth would open and close really quickly and his tongue would stick out a little.  Levi does it occasionally when I give him good treats and it reminds me of Kobe.  He loved food and would finish his meals in like 40 seconds (I timed him once).  He maybe chewed one or two of the kibbles in his bowl, and the rest he just gulped down.

He used to love lights and shadows (which made me frustrated sometimes) but it is part of what made him him.  He could stare at lights on the wall for hours.  I think it all started when we played with a laser pointer with him as a puppy, but maybe he would have developed that quirk no matter what, I'll never know.

He loved to have a toy in his mouth, and had to go find one before he could greet someone that came home.  If there wasn't one close by he looked so troubled because he really wanted to go say hi to the person coming in but he couldn't find a toy to carry.

That being said, he was always so good about knowing what were his toys and what wasn't.  He rarely took slippers or other items that weren't his.  One time I had brought home a stuffed moose from Washington that was supposed to be a souvenier for him but I decided I really liked it and wanted to put it on my bed.  He really wanted that moose but he knew that it wasn't his.  A few times when he was in a really playful mood he would grab the moose, but otherwise he left it completely alone.  He would sleep up against it, but he wouldn't ever chew on it.  After a few months I was ready to let him have the moose and he was so excited to finally get to play with it.

He loved riding in the car, and would go back and forth between the windows to look out at the world.  As he got older, he also would rest his head on my shoulder so I would pet him.  I still miss that.

He also loved to swim in the pool.  Once he learned how to swim we couldn't keep him out of it.  He didn't care if he was the only one in the pool, he would just jump in and start swimming around.  He liked to go in and out of the water, taking lots of water out with him each time.  He was so happy though so no one minded (except Melissa who was usually getting water shaken on her while she read her magazine or book).

I remember when he was around 6 months old I started letting him sleep outside of his crate at night.  This was also when I started allowing him on my bed.  I was sleeping in a twin bed and he would take up the whole bed so I would squish myself into a tiny ball so I didn't disturb him.  Shortly after this I got a queen bed because we both just couldn't fit on the twin.  I thought that with all that extra room I could sleep normally.  I thought wrong.  He just realized that there was more room for him to stretch out so I ended up sleeping sideways or crooked most of the time.  Sometimes it got so bad that I had to scoot him over in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep.

He always had plenty of energy if I took him out for a walk or hiking, but if I didn't have time to take him out for a couple days he was still perfectly behaved and would just sleep.  He definitely loved to sleep.  He would often sleep with his back legs stretched out behind him like a frog.

Another favorite position was upside down on his back.  He had some of the most unique sleeping positions.

He also loved it when I played the guitar.  When he heard the case open he would run into the room.  I think he really just liked to look at the lights that shined off of it, but I like to think he was my biggest fan.

Ok, I guess that's all the memories for tonight.  Most of my pictures of Kobe are on my external hard-drive back in Davis so I had to re-use pictures from other posts or take them from my facebook album.

From the beginning to the end, you were my best friend.  I love you Kobe and I miss you.

Just Another Day in the Life of Kristen and Levi

This morning we went to the dog park again.  Levi has been having some great experiences there which makes me really happy because he had been a little bit shy around other dogs a few weeks ago.  He seems to have gained a lot of confidence in the past couple weeks and really enjoys running and playing with the other dogs.  Today there were only a couple dogs there, including another golden retriever named Kona that he met last week and a dog named Goldie that he really liked.

They liked to play keep away

Levi and Kona playing on the ground (it was hard to get a good picture of this, but it was really cute to watch).

Then this afternoon we went for a short hike at Stadium Park near our house.  I let Levi be off-leash for a little while and he did great.

Such a happy puppy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our Day in SLO

Today we went to Laguna Lake Park in San Luis Obispo where we did some retrieving and worked on our obedience work before walking on the trails around the lake.  There were also lots of ducks and geese which Levi thought were very interesting.

We then spent awhile walking around downtown San Luis before I got my hair cut.  We took some pictures together when we got home but it was a little windy.  Oh well, I thought they were still cute.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hiking in Santa Margarita

Levi and I went out to Santa Margarita Lake to go hiking today (unfortunately they don't allow swimming in the lake because it is used for drinking water).  I wasn't very impressed with the way the lake was set up, mostly due to a lack of signs telling you where to park or where the trails are.  It was a nice hike though and it probably wore Levi out for a couple hours.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Levi Swims in the Pool!

Today was the day Levi finally swam in the swimming pool!  

For the whole summer so far he has only been getting onto the top step in the pool.

This past weekend he accidentally went down to the second step just for a second and he could touch the bottom without having to swim.  Then yesterday he went down to the second step a couple times on his own to try to fetch the pool thermometer (it looks like a yellow rubber ducky).  He was still very cautious though and didn't want to be off of the first step for very long.  Today he walked all around on the second step and was retrieving his bumper from there.  One time I threw the bumper past the second step and he ended up having to swim.  I think it scared him for just a second and he turned around to come back, but then he went back and swam out and got the bumper.  He really liked following me around too if I was swimming. 

And a video (mostly of retrieving on the second step) of his first few swims.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fun at the Dog Park

Today Levi got to go to the dog park to play with some other doggies.  He had a great time and made a few friends while he was there.

He really liked playing chase with these two brothers.

His favorite dog to play with though was this larger mixed breed dog named Joe.  He loved this dog and would follow him all around.