Friday, August 13, 2010

Wildlife Adventure

Arnie here: sorry we've been so hit or miss lately, but summer is busy, busy, busy around here. The other day, mom AND dad left us alone the whole day. Dad's on vacation, and they planned an adventure with his sister and his nephew, and we weren't invited! There was a very good reason for that, though. They went to Safari West, and there are WILD ANIMALS there.

They got up at 3:30 in the morning, because of traffic. The park is in Napa, and it takes a long time to get there. They got there with time to spare, so they went to breakfast. They STILL had time to spare, so they walked around Safari West looking at the animals before their tour started.

First, they checked out the birds that just hang out, greeting visitors.

Then, before they knew it, they had to get on their "ride". These are the jeeps that took them around the park.

Mom, dad, sister and nephew got to ride on top first, and the first animals they saw were the giraffes. It worked out perfect, since the giraffes are the tallest animals there! These two boys were "neck-fighting". Mom and dad's jeep was in the enclosure, so they were really close to the

Uh oh......they've been spotted. Get it? Spotted? This guy eyeballed them as they drove past.

Just as they left the enclosure, they saw this little 4-month-old baby, just hanging out.

Next up - the Rhinos. In the wild, these guys would spend their days eating. But since they get room service at Safari West, they mostly sleep. Mom says these guys are crate trained.....and said something about "Arnie and Gracie learning a little something from them".

A little further along, they got to see the Zebras. Their guide said it had been days since a tour had seen them so close, so Mom and dad felt very lucky.

And, another baby, just as they were leaving the area.

For some reason, Mom loves Wildebeast. Here they are in the distance. Which I guess is a good thing, since they're pretty big. And wild.

The tour took about 2 hours, then they ate lunch overlooking the giraffe enclosure. Before they left, they said goodbye to the newest exhibit, the Flamingos. If you look behind the fence, you'll notice the big building. Those are the tents that you can stay in overnight. Mom and dad did that a few years ago, and had a good time then, too.

If you want to learn more about Safari West, or see more of the animals, check out their website:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The art of fish

Arnie here: I'm taking a break from the "dog" thing here, and want to tell you about mom's "other" passion. For as long as she can remember, she's been drawing. Pad after pad was filled with her artwork. Although she drew all sorts of things, animals were what she drew most. In school, she concentrated on art. In college, she studied Fine Art, but realized quickly that she wasn't a painter, but rather a graphic artist. Around that time, the first Mac came out, and mom got one. That started on a 25 year obsession with combining art and technology. Even though mom sucks at math (her words, not mine), she "gets" computers, and does virtually all of her drawing now on the computer.

Recently, she discovered a type of digital photo processing that creates paint-like effects to photos. She's started practicing the technique, and here's her first "real" result:

I think it's kind of cool, but I'm not sure if it's because I like the result, or the fact that I REALLY want to jump in and get the Koi.

I'll be showing you her artwork here and there, so you can enjoy it too.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Biker Chick

Gracie here: Everywhere I go, people comment on how "cute" I am. They call me "sweet", and "adorable". They go on and on about how soft my fur is, and how well-behaved I am. When I'm in public, I act that way, to make mom happy. But her and I know the deep, dark truth:

I'm really a Biker Chick!

When I'm away from my adoring crowd, I act like anything but a little lady. I belch, fart, drink beer, and beat up my doggy brothers and sister. I'm always on the lookout for my next victim. And when things don't go my way, I have a horrible temper.

This weekend I was able to channel my true self, and got to sit on a real motorcycle. I didn't get to ride on it because I didn't have a helmet, but I pretended to while I sat on the seat. In honor of being able to see a real, live motorcycle, mom got me a cute outfit. It's a patriotic number, with a bikini top and mini skirt. I look totally stylin' in it. Here's me on the bike, in my new outfit:

I don't have a picture showing off my outfit because I won't sit still with my back to mom for the picture. So that will have to wait until she gets someone to help her. But it will be worth the wait, I promise you.

Now I'm off to teach Arnie a lesson - he looked at me.