Monday, November 22, 2010

Camden Ponds

Down in South Bay, near the Los Gatos and Campbell border there is a little piece of doggie heaven called Camden Percolation Ponds. It is roughly here. There's an open field, and a creek, and some ponds to swim in and seasonally ducks and geese, and even some fall colors. Polly would like to live there. Even Tony likes it because lots of other dogs leave lots of pee-mail for him to read. We've been going there for about two years, ever since I googled "dogs swim south bay" one day after Polly informed me that unless regular swimming is provided for her amusement, she will chew a hole in every wall of my house. Thankfully, this little place came up as a search result, because I seriously considered driving back to Livermore and telling her breeder to take her crazy dog back.

Here's Polly at a tender age of six months going for her first Camden Ponds outing in February of 2008.

Yes, my head is, in fact, too small for my body.
And my tail is too long. I am a puppy, ok?

And my ears are huge. I is bat-dog. At least I am not eating
your drywall. So be thankful, ok?

When I went on maternity leave last May, we came here a lot also, since the main path is flat. Important when you are carrying an extra 30 lbs.
Tony: I like this place. I can pee on things!
Polly: We can still come here when you have the baby, right?
Because that drywall is looking pretty tasty to me.

The ponds get pretty gunky in the summer and the grassy areas grow foxtails, so we haven't been back there until last week. Polly was starting to make vague comments about how eating drywall would fit into her diet and exercise program, so I got the message. We went once last week, and again today. Last week it was 75 degrees and sunny. Today it was 55 and we got rained on. California weather...

The most challenging part of the whole exercise was figuring out how to pack the car. We needed to fit: one baby in car seat, two dogs, one large jogging stroller. First attempt was dogs in trunk, stroller in back seat next to baby. That technically worked, but fitting a BOB stroller into the back seat of a Subaru Forrester in a way that will not make it unfold and break the baby is not easy. And if the stroller wheels are even a little muddy, both the entire back area and you get dirty. The working configuration ended up being: stroller in trunk, Tony in back seat next to baby, Polly on the floor on the front passenger side. This works for two reasons:
  1.  Tony is the best dog ever and is safe to have loose next to the baby. In fact he spent the entire drive with his head resting on the edge of Nick's car seat. 
  2.  Polly is trained to ride on the passenger side floor and knows that if she moves from there she will be Dead Dog (TM).
From now on, I officially rename the Subaru into Traveling Circus Mobile.
The boys in the back seat. I think I will use this
picture when people ask me if labradors are good
with children.

Nick in NTS2 on the main path. Another nice thing about
this place is that the road is smooth and wide enough
to accommodate the stroller.

Looking towards Mount Hamilton. This is from last week's sunny day.

Today we got rained on. The dogs got wet, I got wet, the baby got
(a little) wet. But we saw a rainbow!

Nick likes hikes in the stroller. He is happy to sit there and watch
nature pass by for hours. This is his serious face.Sometimes if he sees
something particularly awesome, he says "goo".

Same facial expression, more clothes today.
Polly is very excited to see Nick hold a Chuck-it, but
unfortunately I had to take it away because he tried to
lick it. Sorry, Polly, he still hasn't figured out how
BALL works.


Birds! Thankfully Tony is too lazy to chase them and
Polly is too fixated on BALL.

This is not East Coast, but we get some fall colors in CA.

That was an excellent outing, can we come again? (last week)

Yes, Polly, we can come again!
I think my drywall is safe for now!

Obligatory public service announcement: if you go, remember that this place is technically on-leash. Leash the dogs when you see non-dog people or when you see other people whose dogs are on leash (there's probably a reason, like the dogs are reactive and won't appreciate your dogs coming up to them to "just say hi"). Carry poop bags, there are trash cans along the way. Also, apparently the ranger comes by at 2:30 every day. Avoid the ranger.

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