Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gloom and doom

Last week Southern California was a dreary patchwork of gray skies and rain. Everyone used to sunshine had to put up with wet grass and slick streets for a few days. Poor Chuy had to stay outside last Tuesday and was freezing his little tail off. He snuggled inside our room once we came home and slept like a log for the rest of the night. It’s tough being a dog.

To make up for making Chuy stay outside in the rain, Rene and I brought him to the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden last Saturday for a visit. We had visited the garden last summer and were pleased to learn that dogs were allowed (on leash, of course). We had hoped that the gloominess didn’t extend out to Santa Barbara and that it wouldn’t rain while we walked around the gardens.

We got to Santa Barbara exactly an hour after we stopped at the gas station and Western Bagels. On our way to Santa Barbara we were worried that someone was going to get impatient and start crying in the car (that’s you Chuy), so we took the dog for a walk around our old neighborhood park in Woodland Hills before we started the drive. There were these two yappy little dogs at the park without a leash (which I really hate – all dogs should be leashed unless you are visiting an off-leash park. It’s for their and other dogs’ safety), nipping and barking at Chuy. Their owners thought it was *so cute* but I made sure to give them the stink eye; I don’t think it’s cute when little dogs approach bigger dogs like Chuy because there’s a chance the bigger dog might want to hurt the little dog. My dog Princess, bless her soul, was unfriendly with other dogs and would’ve put these two in her mouth if they approached her. The little dogs then become my problem because their irresponsible owners can’t keep them on a leash, and I have to drag my dog away to prevent them from getting eaten. Luckily for us, Chuy was very nonchalant about the whole thing – he didn’t show any interest in the little yappers and kept walking as if they didn’t exist. It was funny, really; I could imagine Chuy saying "whatever" to the little dogs and continuing to do his thing. He almost sprayed one of them with golden showers because they were practically under him before he unleashed a stream of pee on a tree trunk. They didn’t bother him too much after that.

Even though it was overcast during our drive to Santa Barbara, I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful scenery. With all the rain we’ve been having lately a lot of the wildflowers are starting to bloom, and the hillsides are full of lovely greenery. Even the garden, which is filled with native California plants and succulents, was in full bloom.

We walked around the main garden and on paths that led to the dam and the redwood trees. We didn’t see anything new from last time, except for poison oak, which Chuy loved to brush up against. I keep tugging on his least to keep him away but he loved those plants. People we met on the path mentioned that we should give Chuy a bath afterwards because we could get poison oak by touching him. We didn’t touch him for the rest of the day after that, but didn’t give him a bath either, but we were fine the next day. Besides, I really hate giving Chuy a bath on rainy days – the cleanliness would last until Chuy decides to go outside. After that he becomes a dirty smelly dog all over again.

When it finally rained, we were already on our way out. We made it home exactly an hour after we left Santa Barbara and settled in for a nap afterwards. I couldn’t imagine a better Saturday – a little bit of sightseeing, hanging out with my two boys Rene and Chuy, and napping.


Genevieve said...

I think Princess liked yappy dog sandwiches. Ken and I were walking Chuy, and a small white dog just wouldn't stop yapping at him. Stupid little dogs. But most of the time Chuy doesn't even care.

mylablog said...

Good to know about dogs being allowed at the Garden. We took our little guy to SB last time we went and walked with him on the beach (with a leash and a very similar non-leash experience - hate that!). But aside from the very annoying non-leashed dog, my little, water-fearing dog loved it!

By the way, you made killer time! Our last trip there (for the Norah Jones show) took nearly 3 hours!!! Crazy Friday traffic. Yes, we'll never do that again!