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Through Charlie Gorichanaz’s Eyes

Yosemite Valley with Natt, Beam, Chris

Posted at age 35.

This week Monday I went back to Yosemite for a night, with Beam, Natt and Chris. It was a quick trip, but we got one good day hike in up to Glacier Point. I saw my first rattlesnake, a few other creatures, and many beautiful views. I definitely need to get back and do some more hikes!

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

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Tilden Regional Park plant naming with Vera

Posted at age 35.

Sunday was our last opportunity for a hike while Vera was staying with us for a couple of weeks. Alan suggested Berkeley, so I made a plan to hike up to Wildcat Peak and also to check out an old missile launch site in the Berkeley Hills. Because we hiked near there with Remi before, I didn’t think to confirm whether dogs were allowed. Needless to say, we found “No dogs” signs upon entering Tilden Nature Preserve, which is the subset of Tilden Regional Park we hoped to hike through. We thus diverted back to the Meadows Canyon Trail we hiked a year or two before with Ricky, and had a fine time. I attempted to take some photos of plants while we were there. I need to practice more.

View of the San Francisco Bay from Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley.

View of the San Francisco Bay from Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley.

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A loft bed fit for a king

Posted at age 35.

In an effort to make the best use of my fairly small master bedroom, I designed and built a king size loft bed. It was a few months in the making and took far longer to build and puzzle together than I expected, but I’m glad I did it. The original need was to accommodate two dog crates underneath, and while I was at it I wanted to make space for a small couch to allow for a few more people to watch a movie if the opportunity arises. Maybe some day there will be space for media viewing in the living room, but right now it is full of plants!

Final assembly

Final assembly

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Etsy won’t allow reviews, so here’s my subpar experience

Posted at age 35.

Our lovely Remi who recently passed away had a rolled leather collar and leather leash. Despite them being “cheap,” they were still in great condition after 10 years. So about four months ago, I decided to get a similar set for Ruffie. I found many on Amazon that would have set me back about a third of what I ended up paying. I decided to get something “high quality” and picked a shop on Etsy with all 5 star reviews. I have now learned why Etsy reviews are so high, and it’s not because of product quality. It’s because Etsy doesn’t allow reviews after a reasonable amount of time has passed.

Update: Thankfully in this case I was able to make contact with the merchant and get the issue resolved, so I am happy for that. It doesn’t change any of the points here, and I urge Etsy to allow for writing reviews longer after the item was received to instill confidence the items are durable enough to consider purchasing.

Fraying products from CleverWithLeatherKY

Fraying products from CleverWithLeatherKY

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Ruffie: Month 4

Posted at age 35.

We basically stopped our training sessions over the past two months. We were already less regimented after the Wisconsin road trip in July, and then August quickly became all about poor Remi. After he passed away, I couldn’t bring myself to resume training Ruffie right away. He’s well …

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Single night at Deafy Glade in Mendocino National Forest

Posted at age 35.

For the first time in a decade, I went backpacking. It was a short trip back up to the Mendocino National Forest, but it was fun. I hope it spurs me to do more soon. I just wish Remi could have been there!

I had been wanting to go camping more for years, but hadn’t quite made the time. This past weekend was a three day one, and I decided the week before to just go somewhere. I thought it’d be just me and Ruffie, as Alan had a music thing and might not want to go anyway. But he ended up going, too, if we could do a single night Sunday to Monday. I hope he’ll want to come on the next one!

Hiking on the Deafy Glade Trail, 8W26, in Mendocino National Forest.

Hiking on the Deafy Glade Trail, 8W26, in Mendocino National Forest.

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Remi, the sweetest dog, returns home

Posted at age 35.

I wish I could erase the past two weeks. Alan’s beautiful Remi was healthy and active, especially for a dog of 12 years. He came into my life four years ago. We were together nearly every hour since, through the pandemic and several moves. Those years were challenging for me personally, and he helped me cope when I was struggling, which was often. I loved going on adventures with him. I loved taking care of him. I love him.

But the day after our last 6 mile hike, I gave him Frontline Plus per the directions. Two days later, Remi stopped voluntarily eating, and his muscles stiffened to the point he could barely walk. The next week was desperate attempts to diagnose, to feed, to comfort. The final hours, of trying to raise his body temperature and then rush to the hospital as my beloved Alan administered rescue breathing and CPR in the back of the Jeep, are hours I hope to never endure again. They are hours I nonetheless cannot stop reliving in my mind.

As I reflect on Remi’s life and my culpability in its end, I am only comforted that he was always a happy dog, and as far as I could tell was not in any pain through his last moments, when I am sure he heard Alan and me both telling him we love him.

Our sweet Remi, on a hike in May 2023.

Our sweet Remi, on a hike in May 2023.

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Family trip to Door County, Wisconsin

Posted at age 35.

Planning trips with my large family is difficult, and I understand why it stresses my mom and everyone out. We’ve been trying to get dates nailed down for a trip to Door County, a few hours north of my mom’s house, for many months. Right up till the week before, we still didn’t know who all was going. But I at least knew I was, both for the mini trip up north and to hopefully also spend some time with my dad, who was turning 77.

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Ruffie: Week 9

Posted at age 35.

We did a road trip to Wisconsin for about 2 weeks of the past 3. That provided some great new experiences for Ruffie, but it also broke some of my training consistency. I’ve been shifting focus as I’ve been doing more research on dog behavior as well.

Running …

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