Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hat, Spike's, Portland

Here I am without my hat. I look great with or without it. I like wearing it and I like not wearing it. But the Companion puts it on me for a reason: to help me know what is going to happen. If I am wearing the hat, I am getting in the contraption. If I am not wearing the hat, we are not. He said that once we find a home, I'll wear the hat just every now and then, on special occasions. Basset Waddles that sort of thing.

The companion has done things to help me feel stable on this trip. I am a rescue hound, and sometimes we get scared when we move around. The hotels have no secure smell, nothing I can lock on as "permanent" as "living here". And it gets me nervous. Then I bark.

The hat is one of the ways he helps me to know what is going to happen, and for me to feel secure.

We've been hanging out at Spike's. It's a cafe that we walk to almost daily. The companion loves it, really loves it. And there are lots of dogs around. We are always introduced! It feels good to be recognized as new and helped out.

What the companion likes there is the coffee and the people. He was talking on the light before this light with some of the guys. They were talking about Portland. Portland is our next place that we are going.

But the companion says; "we are going to living in Portland."

Portland is our going to be our new home. And all the guys at Spike's had such wonderful things to say about Portland. Beautiful. Modern. Young. Bike Friendly, and Dog friendly!

Sounds good to me!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sunny San Fran

Today started out cloudy but then got beautifuly sunny. We went to Alamo Park to meet with Amelia. She has a blog about dog in the city called Tails in the City. I've linked in my blogs box. But we arrived and waited for her, sitting on these steps and feeling the sun! I loved the sun! Plus there were plenty of dogs walking around and I could smell so many!

We are going to be in the bay area for another week. So here is a typical street in San Fran. See the hills. This is a nice one because it is long and not too steep. But it is steep. And when we turned off it we went straight up! Coming down them is a bit scary, I feel like I'm going to fall forward and out of the contraption. Thank Goodness (see grandmom I remembered) I had the belt!

The companion is a bit nervous about these hills I can tell. He bikes with the breaks and we go slowly down the hill. And he goes back and forth. I like that it helps me feel better.

We received this picture today. It is when we arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge. Look the companion looks so haggard!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sofa, An Announcement

We are currently staying with The companion's friends Sam and Rusty. They are both nice guys and Sam will take me out for a walk when the Companion is out. The sofa used to belong to Sam, but now it's mine. This is Sam and my sofa. Poor Sam, sad because he knows I won.

I like the feel of the sofa. I can lay around on it for hours. Sometimes I lay on the floor just to remind me how much I love that sofa. I've always been a fan of a sofa. Even bad sofas are likable. The companion is always worried about where we are going to live and a job.

I don't care where we live really. As long as there is a sofa. A sofa must be in the top ten, top three things in everyone's life.

It has been a few days since we arrived in San Francisco. A lovely, lovely city. So many dogs around and all so friendly. So much for me to smell in one or two city blocks. It was never like this in Chicago. I like the city and so does the Companion.

He was thinking yesterday about staying. Its so nice here why not? But after the debate, he realized that it would be a distraction from the goal and dream he has of living in the Pacific Northwest.

So while we might try to stay as long as we can, we will not be staying forever, and we will be going to Oregon or Washington soon.

I am now announcing that the blog and adventure is still going. We made to the Pacific and reached that goal! But now we have to find a home, and the companion has to find a job. A different goal, and one I still will blog about!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Arriving at Golden Gate Bridge, New Music

I want to tell you about arriving at the Golden Gate Bridge some. Last night I was so excited to tell everyone we made it, and to celebrate it! I feel really blessed and so thankful for the companion I have!

The biking was in cool temps, with fog hanging over us. We went up some hills and down some hills, and some were steep and some were not. There was little or no wind so the companion maintained good spirits. We were on the road for a long while, and unlike when we biked in Chicago, the cars were polite.

In fact everyone is friendly here. Such a nice place….more on that later.

The road to the Bridge had to cross a mountain first and the companion pushed the bike a lot. He was nervous, and hopefully that someone in the media would call and want to interview us, catch us as we arrived at the bridge. But no such luck.

I was so proud to hear him say: Antigone the neglect of the media does not take away the success of this journey for us! We did it! We did it!

I think he is starting to hear me more.

San Francisco is city, and forest. So much so it’s hard to remember at times that you are in a city, with cars, and trucks, and houses, and people. And this trail is an example of the forest. No cars near by, sounds of the woods, smells of animals all over.

One thing I am smelling a lot, and this makes me really happy, is The Smell of a dog with a companion. All over the place I can smell where a lucky dog and companion have been walking. And I see dogs and their companions all over the place.

We arrived at the bridge, but didn’t cross it because of the fog. Joining us were Jon and Amanda. John learned about us yesterday as we were coming into town from an email from Golden Gate Basset Rescue. John was involved with Guardian Angel Basset Rescue years ago ! Small world

Amanda is the companion to Puglet and Dutch, fun dogs both. She is also working on a project bringing awareness for rescue dogs and advocating for us! We need more people like her! Here we are: Puglet, and Dutch and me. You’ll notice that Puglet is sitting on me. He is a total ham.

But I’m the star!

Today I noticed that the companion has turned the TV, and put on music. This means he is doing something like writing or working on a project, and he uses the music to help him think. Most of the time it is classical. Today is no exception. But what has happened is he has changed the piece he listens to most of the time on the trip.

He’s been listening to “Our Town” because he says we are visiting the American Town on our journey. We are seeing what is America. Today he’s put in something else, that I’ve never heard. And he will play it over and over and over. It will be on working the magic it does, and pull him into some emotion or memory.

The piece is somber, meditative, quiet, at times joyous. But mournful.

Amada had a talk with him yesterday about getting depressed at the end of the journey. This is the second time he’s had that talk. Mark in Fresno did the same. The companion mention when he finished his first novella. How he was so excited for a few days and then felt empty in side, because he didn’t know if he could ever poor himself into another novella.

When the mournful melody starts, he looks out the window or walks out on the balcony and looks down at the bay, the city, and just thinks.

Then he comes back, winks at me, pets me on the head, and gets to work again. But before he does he says: thank you.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Pacific!

We saw it! It was so huge! And I love it. I can’t talk much right now because it was so exciting to see the ocean, and to see the bridge.

But the fog kept us from seeing much of the bridge, it was still magnificent.

Not like the Pacific. Which we saw for the first time today!

Here we are: The Companion and me with the Pacific behind us! Champions! Pioneers! Frontiersman! Frontiersdog!

We took the picture and he started petting me the way he does when he’s emotional! He pulls me to him and puts our foreheads together.

He says: We made it! Can you believe it! You survived it! We did it!

We did do it and we loved it the whole trip.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Next Light We See the Pacific!

Today is Wednesday, and the companion is in good spirits, but I know him, and he is nervous.

This is our last dark on the journey. While it is true we will be biking more, this is the official ending. And with any ending there is nervousness and sadness. I want to be close to him more today than I normally do

The companion I think doesn’t recognize his own abilities: his ability to face danger to face a challenge and over come it. And I think this journey shows that. And should convince him of it.

But I know him, and I know how he thinks. He will think not about the 3300 miles he did pedal, but feel guilty bout the 300 miles he accepted a ride. I’ve got to get him to change his thinking and to realize that what we have done has been great.

It is something I would have never had done on my own. It is something that was outside of my dreams. An adventure so amazing to me that without the companion I would not have thought about it.

Tonight as we sit in San Bruno waiting for the morning, I am thinking of my own history. Where I started and now here I am with the companion about to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time in either of our lives. Who would have ever dreamed!

Born and raised in a puppy mill. That was my life, the only life I ever knew before the companion. It is the life I put in the past and forget about.

Who would have ever thought that I would see so much of America. When I was in the puppy mill, all I ever saw was the cage. Sometimes we were let out, but not often. At that time it was a dream to lay in the grass in the sunshine. That was a far away dream, and now I get to do it a lot!

And now, I’ve been and seen so many places and things. I’ve been loved on by so many people. I feel so fortunate so happy. So thankful for groups like Guardian Angel Basset Rescue, for foster parents, and for companions who adopt us, and take us on a journey many humans wish they could do.

And along the way, I’ve been come a star!

When I was in the puppy mill, all of us dogs wanted a human. Humans would only feed us and take our babies away. We were not loved on, we were not taken to the vet, we were not recognized for what we can do.

I knew this before we started this journey, but I know it stronger now: I have a companion!

When the companion first started this crazy idea of going to the Pacific, I didn’t understand, I didn’t know what it would mean. But as we stand at the last day, I think it means this.

Not worrying about the rain
Overcoming Steep hills
Enjoying the smells that just come
The Sun helps

I can’t wait to see the Pacific in the morning. I hear it is huge! I’m so excited I might get wet. But don’t count on it!

The plan is to cross over to the Pacific side and ride along side of it and look and see it, then get to Crissy Field. We hope to be there around 1pm (but I bet we are late.)

I can’t wait to finish and meet the other dogs who are going to try to meet us at Crissy field.

And I’m excited to see the Golden Gate Bridge, and watch the Companion.

Animal Shelters, Ducks

We passed through Palo Alto on our way to Belmont, CA. As we were biking along we spotted a sign about low cost spay and neutered services. So the companion turns in to get a look at the place.

What it is an animal shelter. And not like one of those where a dog has a deadline to find a home or they will be put down. No this one doesn't do that! So I loved it.

I support basset rescues, and all rescues. And I support Shelters like this one! If you are thinking about a dog, always go rescue! And shelters like this one are also good ideas. These dogs are sometimes strays, or abused in some way. Other times, they are abandoned for reasons like work, or children, or a new apartment that doesn't allow dogs. These are great dogs, and all of them need a home.

We then continued on, and of course got lost a few times. The companion was getting frustrated but I just relaxed cause there were some interesting smells.

Then here was a sign for Ducks.


Really? Really? We really need a sign for ducks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Help, Mayor, Torture

We biked again in green, and warm sunshine. It was so much fun, and the companion was loving it! The road was mostly downhill. While we were in town, Pleasanton, we biked with a nice woman. She was worried that the road we were going to take was dangerous. The road was curvy and narrow, lots of blind turns. But the companion assured her that we were going to get a ride in a truck down that road. And Golden Gate Basset Rescue picked us up right there at the intersection and got us to safety.

Addy and Steve drove out to help us, and take the companion to lunch. I know he had a good time talking with the because it was non stop chit chat! I slept on Addy’s lap so she and Steve could pet me. They were lots of fun, and showed us the sights around the area. But to the companions dismay, not one roadside attraction in the lot.

One point of interest to me was Sunol. In Sunol, Bosco the black dog was elected mayor in 1981. Mayor! It’s about time! I’m sure there were changes in that town for the best! These humans got it right. Would have been better if he were a basset, but still great times! They have a statue in his honor, and Addy and Steve took us to see it. Cool!

Then we arrived at Don and Lee’s house, where I was subjected to torture. The companion said I need it. He said: you need a bath Antigone. I said: you need a bath. And then I tried to escape. I’m not like other dogs that run away fast. No, I quietly walk away and ignore it. It will go away. But not today.

I don’t favor baths.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Green, a Strange Song, Eyes Lifted!

Today we started out in Tracy. First: the companion puts me next to this tree, not a roadside attraction, to get my picture. He gets almost as excited about trees as he does roadside attractions. Look a Joshua Tree! But it's not a Joshua Tree.

I sigh.

Then off we went for a 20 to 30 mile bike ride today, across some mountains. The companion found us a motel in Livermore (20 miles) and one in Pleasanton (30). He said: if we get to Livermore with time to get Pleasanton we will go on more. He was worried about the hills.

The companion was ready for a hard day. However, he rested yesterday and he was stronger, and the mountains here in California are not the Rockies. The hills were rolling and pretty but not steep. There were some steep ones but not badly.

But what was nice was the hills! They are so green! All of them green, like spring. There was no wind, and the day was quiet. So quiet that we could hear the birds singing, and the frogs with a bass! The companion joined in with some strange song “And did those feet in ancient times walk upon England’s mountains green.”


And that is all he knew. Soon he became quiet. And he climbed a hill or two, and let his thoughts relax. While he let his thoughts relax, and looked at the hills of green, I focused on the animals that were around or had passed recently. The smells were so clean, and clear. Oh boy, I had a good time today on those hills.

Then he stopped the bike and looked at me and said: today Livermore, then Monday in San Jose, Tuesday San Bruno, Wednesday San Fran, and Thursday our triumphant finish. We are four days away from doing something I never thought I would have been able to do. We are going to finish in just four days.

He was filled with so much hope and optimism! I was so happy to hear him like this today. And he wrote a lovely caption for this picture: “The hills are green with the greenness of spring: it is a fresh green, a new green, a green filled with the promise of good things to come: it is a green that fills your soul, it pushes out the deadness of winter, the darkness of depression, and leaves you looking up to the blue sky, highlighted with clouds.”

Amen: let’s lift our eyes up to the sky!

See what having a dog can do for you!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Merced, Mike, Merlin, and Companion

We stayed an extra day in Merced because the Companion’s friend Mike invited us to stay with him. Merced is a lovely town, and we really enjoyed it there. The day before was rainy, and the news paper met us for an interview. The paper came out the day we were in Merced for fun. And many people noticed us and talked to the Companion.

I got lots of attention and lots of love!

We stayed with Mike for the night. Mike and Merlin, the evil cat that stalks me. In the middle of the night, Merlin jumps on the bed to see what I’m doing. Sleeping. Sniffs me some, then hisses and off he goes! Merlin! Cats!

Thanks Mike for a lovely time in Merced. And to Merced the town for being so friendly and reading your newspaper!

Now the companion. He’s odd again. And I know what it is. We are going to finish this bike tour in a few days. Less than a week.

And then?

That’s what makes him nervous. And I’m watching him closely. And I don’t know why. You know he’s pulled me this whole time. He’s biked up hills and down them. He’s fought head winds and rain. He’s pushed himself a lot! I get tired watching him!

I’ve got to tell him to stop panicking and getting nervous. To stop thinking about what will happen in a few days. And remember how many times on this trip he has panicked and everything worked out.

He’s going to be fine, but I need him to believe in himself some more.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rain, PInk, Rainbows, Mark

We biked in rain today. The companion was excited because he got to finally wear his rain gear. I think it’s too big for him, and too blue. He looked like a big blueberry. I kept calling him Violet Beauregarde! And he would sing: umpa umpa umpa de do!

He did a lot of singing this day. Some say looooooooooooove it is a river! His voice was nice and I could hear him. I like it when he sings like that, long melodic lines, and his voice is clear and deep. The companion was in a good mood even in the rain.

He might be growing up!

Rain came. Stopped. Came again. And stopped. We are out in the country again, and not in the desert. There were new smells for me. I was enjoying the day, even with the rain. The companion’s brother called and they talked for a while. During that time, we were chased by about ten dogs at various times. So the Companion would have to say: hold on! And he would sprint. He gets worried about the dogs cause they do get a little close to me.

I don’t understand why people don’t keep their dogs in the house. Then they can keep them safe, and others safe.

I did what I do to all barking dogs barking at me: stared at them.
The area we are biking is called a valley, and it is flat! And the road are straight. And there are orchards, and farms, and cows, and all kinds of things on each side. The trees are still in their winter sleep. Except for these cherry trees that are just waking up. The dark sky behind them caught up to us, and left us wet. But right here we were able to get his cute shot.

As he was talking to his mom, the companion found a rainbow! Oh the rainbow was so pretty. We stopped and looked at it for a while. I love the brightness of it! And how big it was stretched across the sky! His mom wanted the picture, but the Companion didn’t think he could get a good shot. But his mom told him to take a picture anyway! Well it worked.

The day was moving forward, and we were late. So Mark came to find us and get us to his house safely. We stayed the night with Mark and his wife Connie, and their son Bob, and their dogs Bug and Max (Max was cool, and Bug was a sweet lady), and their bird Franklin, and the cat, Cowboy. They were all very kind to us, and made both of us feel so welcome. Thank you Mark and family for your hospitality!

Bakersfield, Rescue Ladies

Bakersfield, this is a sign in the middle of the town kind of out of the way. Not where you'd expect it to be. But the companion was crazy about it. He just loved it. Not as much as if he said: road side attraction, but he loved it anyway.

And what he really loved is listening to the ladies talk about the sign. He loves hearing stories about things.

This is Jill and Diane from Golden Empire Basset Rescue. They come to the room to see us and to check on my wound. I've not talked about this because it's nothing really, but the companion worries enough for two!

So Jill, Diane, and her husband took the companion to lunch because he needs food. They gave me some nice food too. And Diane only ate a part of her steak and gave me the rest--yummmmm!

Thank you Golden Empire for you hospitality, and the basset you save!

Friday, February 5, 2010


Well the companion is excited about this!

Chicago Sphere writer has read and reviewed my blog. Thank you Mike Doyle for this wonderful review. I've added Mike's website and blog to my links!

To read it follow the link!

Thanks Mike for your review!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wind Farms, Hills, Tehachapi

Today the companion was awesome! He woke up at 7am, got the bike ready to go, had breakfast, and got moving before 9am!

The goodness of the start changed. The companion couldn’t seem to get going this morning. I couldn’t get any speed even on flat or declines. Then he looked at the back break and realized that it was holding the wheel. So today turned into a struggle for the companion.

He did it without complaint and I was happy for him.

We passed by these huge wind farms. These big huge massive windmills. They line the mountain side in Mojave, CA. And in Tehachapi too. The companion loves them. He thinks they are like giants that silently guard everyone. But as we got closer we noticed they sometimes make a Woooshing sound Woooosh! Wooooosh! Woooooosh! Kind of nice though. The companion’s thoughts needed a distraction from his struggle to pedal today.

He turned to me and said: “When you focus on the struggle, you struggle more, and time goes by slowly.”

We were told by another man on a bike that we would go up hill for about 20 miles then head downward. The road was heading up and the companion was doing well. But then it went down. He turns to me and said: “No way we’ve gone 20 miles. Could it be that that guy was wrong?”

I didn’t think the man was wrong and neither did the companion And he wasn’t. The road turned up and went up for a long long time. It was so steep the trucks were having trouble going up them. So he pushed up the steep hills, and told me what he was dreaming for his life.

“I’d like to go visit mom and dad once a year, at least. I’d like to have a job. I’d like to teach college again, or even try writing for a small town newspaper. I’d like to live in a small town, or a medium sized town. Just a place to live where I can grow some tomatoes this summer. Oh look there’s a Joshua Tree. (I did not bite him as I promised I would.) This is the biggest one we’ve seen. Tomato plants, that’s one of my goals for this year: have some tomato plants! I’d like to be published.”

Then he got quiet for a little. Then said: “I just want to find us a home, and be happy.”

It’s the high desert. The desert does things to you when you are in it for days.

Then we headed down hill, for miles! The companion kept yelling: looking you go flying girl.

He was making fun of my ears.

Well we reached Tehachapi and took a break. The town is really cute and if we didn’t want to get to Bakersfield tonight, we would have stayed.

So we are in Bakersfield, CA now. And the companion has announced: we are now out of the high desert! Well thank goodness! I don’t know how much more introspection I can take! I need smells!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Klaus, High Desert, Memories

The other day I met a friend of the companions named Tom. Tom loves animals and rescues dogs and horses. The horses were cool. The dogs were sweet. Well except for Klaus the beagle. I love beagles, and Klaus was cute.

But he was all paws! All paws!

He kept trying to mate with me, but I don't do that anymore. No more having puppies.

So today we were in the high desert again. It seems like we've been in the desert for a while. First it was the Colorado Desert, now we are in the Mojave Desert.

This is typical of the high desert. There is a lot of brown sand. Some brush that spots it around. Joshua trees all over. I swear if the companion yells "oh look a Joshua Tree," one more time I'll bite him.

But I think the desert plays with you, it plays with your mind, and it brings you back to things you forgot, things you don't want to remember. But the desert makes you stronger and the way you look at the past changes.

So we are biking along in the high desert today. The companion found us several routes today that were with little or no traffic. And I liked that. So I sat in the contraption and looked out to the desert, and let the smells come to me, and let my mind go where it wanted to. And I thought of Klaus and his frisky playing. Which lead me to thinking about where I had my pupples.

It's a place and time I don't think about--ever! I think back to when the Companion picked me up. But today, in the desert, I went back further.

Back futher to where I was a mother. All of us where kept in small areas. I didn't get out side for walks. I never saw a vet. We were feed unhealthy food. I had litters, and the pupples were taken away and sold to stores. I never saw them with their humans.

It was a place where dogs were used to make puppies so the humans would make money.

We had very little contact with humans, but we wanted it. And I would stick my nose out every time they walked by to get some loving. Mostly not.

The place is called a Puppy Mill. And according to the companion there are puppy mills all over the country.

But my memories of this place were gone until today, today they came back. I don't know how to end puppy mills. But I know that I was take from it. I was taken, with other dogs, by the animal police, and they took me to a shelter. There I was taken to Guardian Angel basset rescue. From there I was put in a foster home. Then the companion come and got me.

How lucky was I to be taken by the rescue. I ask all of you to adopt dogs from rescues. Support them, foster with them. And you can help end puppy mills.

I looked up and saw the companion bicycling down the road. And I wondered what he was thinking about, was he thinking about his past too. What was the desert doing to him?

Well we arrived in Mojave. And it is the gateway to space! Fine, let's go!