Friday, June 30, 2006

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

One of my favorite experiences happened years ago while my husband, Rusty, and I were scuba diving. We both spotted an octopus at about the same time. It was safely tucked into one of the cavities of a small reef outcropping.

As I approached it for a better view, I could see its smooth, velvety flesh, which was rolled loosely into a ball and had a lovely rose-colored hue to it. A few minutes later, having grown tired of me staring at it, it darted out of its cubbyhole in Rusty's direction. As I swam toward Rusty, I lost sight of it. The octopus seemed to have vanished.

I indicated to Rusty that I had no idea where our eight-armed friend had gone. Meanwhile, Rusty pointed emphatically at part of a long reef about three feet away from me. Using my impressive body language, I shrugged my shoulders and lifted my hands, which clearly translated to, "What the heck are you pointing at?"


Rusty did his best octopus impression and pointed again. There, right in front of my eyes, was our tentacled friend, but it wasn't rose-colored anymore. For that matter, only a small ripple of smooth flesh remained underneath as it stretched itself thinly over the reef and disappeared.

Poof! No bells, no whistles, no clouds of dust. Just poof. Color, shape, texture, all transformed within less than a minute. What was smooth became gritty, coarse and bumpy. What was rose-colored was now reef-colored, mostly a shade of white with flecks of gray, brown and green. Its whole body blended seamlessly into the reef and became invisible.

This video gives you the unique opportunity to observe an octopus as it completely changes its color, texture and shape. They're awesome creatures!


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

On The Road Again

This is how one very tired --- but very happy --- pup dealt with Memorial Day weekend traffic. For clarification purposes, the pup is not driving the car.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

The Joy of Barking

Tess - Best Barker - Big Dog Parade & Canine Festival - June 3, 2006

Labradors [are] lousy watchdogs.
They usually bark when there is a stranger about,
but it is an expression of unmitigated joy
at the chance to meet somebody new, not a warning.
~Norman Strung~

Sometimes teaching your canine companion a few tricks can be truly rewarding!

Yesterday, Tess, my 2-year-old female Labrador retriever, courageously took center stage at the
Big Dog Parade & Canine Festival in Santa Barbara. After I asked her to warm up with a couple of whispers for everyone, she joyously produced three well-enunciated barks on command with her usual bright-eyed enthusiasm.

When it was announced that Tess was the winner of this year's Best Barker contest, she was invited to take center stage again and receive her award.

Not that Tess took note, but I was certainly more than a bit shocked to discover that her award was packaged in a rather large (much, much bigger than a breadbox) carton. It was definitely cumbersome and heavier than I could easily carry back to the car, especially if I had any intention of simultaneously walking Tess safely back to the car with me.

Add to the equation that I was already hauling my --- correction, make that our --- day pack, which was now overloaded with our allotted free Big Dog Parade goodies bag, my Big Dog Parade t-shirt and our other Big Dog Parade freebies along with the essential items in our pack.

Thankfully, it turned out that a very nice couple, Steve and Linda, looked kindly upon Tess and me. They helped haul Tess's prize back to my car in the bed of their pick-up truck, while Tess and I rode in the back seat in air-conditioned comfort.


In case you're wondering, there was a reason why the mystery carton weighed what it did. This is what Tess and I found inside:

  • Limited Edition Big Dogs leather bomber jacket
  • Limited Edition Cowboy Big Dogs plush
  • 100.00 gift certificate from Big Dogs
  • Custom Big Dog Parade & Canine Festival treats jar
  • Dogswell Mellow Mut, Happy Heart, & Vitality Dog Treats
    9 - 1 lb. bags of 100% Chicken Breast or 100% Beef Liver
  • One-year subscription to Wag Magazine
  • One-year membership to Fido Friendly Travel Club, including a one-year subscription to Fido Friendly Magazine