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December, 2006 | Scuff Productions

An End of Year Muse 2006 at 60

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Sunday December 31, 2006

Isn’t it with a little consternation . . . or…. something like that……that comes with a year’s end? You really internalize that everyone you know’s lives are changing despite how much things sort of seemed to sort of flow along kind-of-the-same in this past year…. And that memory of life flowing like dynamite for years before that?

It is a kind of thing unknown to a “life” for so MANY years as it passes through the divine Carnivalistic Tunnel-of-Love experience of youth. Those fabulous, ego-charged, energy-charged, exploratory-charged adventures a life normally exudes unabashedly with NO shame, NO guilt, almost hedonistic abandon as if LIFE that, dear flower, will continue to BLOOM, and the tunnel of love does never really end………………….

But awareness arrives sometimes smoothly for some, sometimes in caution Yellow Lights, and sometimes in harsh explosive changes in reality so that maturity for every human life is so richly different that those who arrive at maturity wealthy, happy, and well adjusted have NO IDEA how lucky they are to be so deeply and really airlessly aware that life in the Country Club isn’t something that Everyone “enjoys” as an entitlement.

Not meaning to make this so troublesome to read………………………..HERE is what brought that post on.

We began to dismantle the Christmas tree of 2006. It is Christmas tree Number 17 We have created together and dismantled together as a “team”. Those years have seen changes in New Partnerships, New Friendships, Births, Deaths, Career Deaths, Career Births, Struggles in the survival of Democracy in our own land, Struggles against imperialism throughout the world, and to add insult to injury, the delicate aging of one’s own mortal physical self.

How can this have happened so quickly? HOW can so MANY ornaments that come off of that Tree NOW mean something in and of themselves individually (and ME KNOWING that they will be rubbish one second after my last heartbeat expires). WHY did my lust for Disco Dancing last only a few seconds? (well….. a few years actually).

So there you have it folks. Is it ONLY one who approaches 60 years on the planet who feels just a breath of anguish, or at least nostalgia as every new year dawns?

This IS sent with love and warm regards to everyone I have EVER MET on this planet . . . and I mean that in the MOST Fabulous loving way. It IS a happy post, actually.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Bloged in food: recipes + dining out by mark Thursday December 28, 2006

Chicken Broccoli Casserole
NEVER would I have expected to post a “hot dish” recipe in our diary record. BUT. We made this kind of as a campy tribute to our Midwestern Heartland friends coming up for a get-together. You know, if your Wisconsin friends are coming up, you BETTER have a HotDish to make them feel comfortable and accepted. Right? Well, we made it…….. and ? We ALL liked it so much I’ve made it three times. The second batch, I froze half of it and it REALLY held up well. So give it a try……………

3 cups Broccoli florets (about 1 1/4 lbs)
2 cups Cubed cooked chicken or Turkey
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup Mayonnaise *3/4 CUP……………..
1/2 cup Grated parmesan cheese
1 cup grated EXTRA sharp cheddar cheese
1-2 tsp thyme AND the same with rosemary
1 cup Cubed (dried or lightly toasted) bread
2 Tblsp Butter or margarine, melted
**NOT noted in original recipe: I also added 4-5 crushed dried hot peppers to the mix
***Not noted in original post: I also used bread cubes from home-made country bread, so they were FULL of flavor even before they were cooked with this.

Cook broccoli in water to just al-dente stage (a steamer is best) drain.

Place broccoli in a greased 11-in x 7-in.x 2-in. (2-quart) baking dish; set aside.

Combine chicken, soup, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese and spices then spoon over broccoli. Try to gently spread evenly.

Top with bread cubes and butter. Gently push the cubes into the soup mixture.

Bake chicken casserole uncovered at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

It Takes a Buddy to make a Bud

Bloged in General Home Life,Scuff Boys by mark Wednesday December 27, 2006

I have often wondered just “why” I was working so hard at holidays for many days to make enjoyable food, decorate a house, trim a huge tree, clean clean clean the house, catch up on ALL laundry, and all that go with this work if you don’t have kids. After all that work, the night before Christmas goes by in a second if you have a few friends over, and then the next day you’re exhausted. This year, Rodger’s poor back has been in full revolt since the night of the windstorm and the cutting/dragging of trees & Branches off the highway.

But, Luckily at least one more time, I was reminded WHY you do this exactly as we began to welcome these friends to the unofficial Orphan Christmas here. WE had just barely finished the hot dogs when the bell rang for the first guest:
dogonabun **note: NO animal was hurt in the making of this stolen internet photo**

All went beautifully and we were up until 1:00 am to see off our last guests. What a thrill Christmas seems to be when the moments fall into place. Once again, we were SO VERY HAPPY we’d done it.

We even made a heartland “Hot Dish” to honor those Heartland friends unable to be here…. that Chircken Broccolli casserole was so popular and honestly tasty, I ought to post that recipe…may be tomorrow, eh?

And this ONE cooking failure, is a dish I ALWAYS love…. the Mexican Spoon Bread:
Don’t be deceived, THIS was the one dish I forgot to set the timer for, it cooked too long and the bread underneath that luscious cheesy top was almost dry. Damn.

BUT WHAT the heck is this “BUDDY” business ???

Our Heartland friends Thomas & Brenda were, of course, as all loyal mid-westerners do (don’t they?), going back to Wisconsin to be with their wonderful family. IN THIS case we’ve MET lots of that family, and they ARE wonderful. We’re trying to get adopted. At the LAST minute, their dog-sitter abandoned them and WE insisted on getting to bring Buddy over for his own mini-vacation. We felt Buddy would have a good time, and MAC would have a new friend to play with so WE wouldn’t have to worry about him so much.

Buddy is NOT MAC in any way and I mean no criticism of Mac. Buddy is very self confident, very mellow, and I DO believe, he is NOT convinced that he’s a dog. He is King at his home, and assumed he’d be king here. Well, he has almost become king. For instance, he didn’t bat an eye the first time he saw a car door open and flashed in from the muddy yard to pounce all over the front AND back seats waiting for his “ride”. He does not always obey a command immediately. Sometimes it’s more he’ll come when he’s ready.

He is NOT happy to be on the floor all the time, and I believe he thinks tolerating life at the level of other short animals would be beneath him. At any time of HIS choosing, he’s quick to claim a couch or chair. He’s a rather good-looking charmer, eh?
budgood.jpg This HAS been a GREAT experience for, I think, BOTH dogs. They’ve been able to play a bit outdoors each day (despite our LOTS of rain this week), and then it was great fun to watch them play at least twice in the evenings for extended periods….. It wasn’t always the same dog who initiated the play.

At bedtime however, Buddy will wait for all the household to go to bed, and he’ll place himself on a favorite chair for rest. He only has one more night to stay, and all had gone just fine this week until 5:15 this morning. He somehow heard the climbing of the raccoon onto the deck feeder and quickly awoke everybody…..we got that settled….for about five minutes, until again, MR. R. Coon was back….so THIS time I took both dogs into a front bedroom, closed the door, laid in the middle of the bed, got one of them on each side of me with a soothing hand……to calm them down. THEY went to sleep, and I laid there…. Damn Raccoons.. . . the dogs were simply doing what they were supposed to do (as was Mr. R. Coon)……. I guess however, you can be proud they saved the household from the attack of the wild animal, eh?

SINCE that early hour, BOTH dogs have been awaiting the re-arrival of Mr. R. Coon. If they’re in the front room, they are sitting facing toward the deck:
budmac1 Dedicated kids. The SUN has come out for almost the first time since last Saturday, and I believe I’d best get these kids out for a big romp. I believe Mark can use one too.

SO, as Buddy settles into yet another luxurious afternoon at the quaint ‘Doggytel’, it seems he’s changed his mind about asking for a permanent visitation here. He seems so simply sad, and tired of the plebians he’s been stuck with and simply wants Mom and Dad Brenda and Thomas to save him from this boring place:

**NOTE: Postscript AFTER the romp…..almost dusk….however in Portland, OR in December that’s the middle of the afternoon somewhere else.
We three boys headed for Chimney Park with Tennis rocketeer, gloves, bags, leashes, boots on set for mud …. but …. knowing wood chips were freshly laid on the trails. There were 5-10 people, but the boys promptly got into ball chasing and that’s what we did for well over an hour. What BUDDY surprised ME with was finding a BIG MUD Puddle and promptly sitting in it, diggin it (really boiling up the murky stuff), rolling, and giving me mixed feelins: 1) I have to HOSE that dog down, and 2) What sheer joy it is to see the look of completely PURE pleasure coming out of that dog’s face. We got to “Otis” a four month old Bull Mastiff with the most huge feet on a dog I’ve ever seen.. . . Otis was fun.

***note #2: We drove by Thomas & Brenda’s home just out of curiosity….things looked secure and all, BUT……..BUDDY began loud whining when he was within a block of the place! I guess he IS homesick after all and here I THOUGHT he wanted to move in with US.

Portland’s Last Windstorm of 2006

Bloged in Nature,Portland by mark Wednesday December 20, 2006

The last time I logged was about our preparations for a quiet Christmas Eve. All appeared calm and well. On the 8th we invited all here in the “hood” for Christmas Eve caroling, eating, drinking, reminiscing, giggling, and all that goes with the pre-Santa arrival. Those who come, of course, are those who hadn’t planned to go be with “real” people and we’re going to be stuck up here on the hill with the likes of us. On the upside, we were planning and getting ready quietly for Christmas to come.

It appeared the big Guy in the sky had other plans. By Sunday Dec 10, all forecasters here were warning of a major wind event coming out of the southwest (for December, a tropical wind is very unusual and would be reverse of a normal winter wind coming from the inlands through the Columbia Gorge). ALL available wind measuring instruments were put in place on the property:

In fact, the last serious windstorm that came through here was just after we’d move in 10 years ago and WAS from the East, a very COLD freezing wind.

The arrival of the winds out of the southwest usually brings a very WET tropical storm, sometimes the aftermath of a typhoon in Asia. The “WET” part was forecast as well. Locally, we were warned to beginning expecting an inch of rain daily from Tuesday on landing on already saturated ground. Several FEET of snow would be blowing down onto the Cascades including Mt. Hood.

By Monday, the National Weather Service had issued Weather Watches for the entire Northwest coast, valleys and up into the Cascades. By Tuesday, all the TV stations were doing their normal blather of “lists” one “must do” to be prepared for power outages, and all manner of calamities just short of “Hey! The rapture’s here!”

By the way, that’s the one I’m waiting for……when the rapture is forecast, we won’t NEED any preparation, right? Yes, That’s the coming calamity I’ve been waiting for. When the Earth begins to burn won’t we all be floated up to a fluffy little pillow cloud with a violin or something wearing soft white robes? Won’t that be a problem since we’ll probably be there with a bunch of insane extreme fundamentalists who invented the term “rapture” ???

But I digress and forget ONE other thing that happened in the midst of all the forecasting of very serious hazardous weather. An intermediately skilled hobbyist Mountain Climbing team took off for the 11,000 ft summit of Mt. Hood, our lovely local volcano. They chose the most difficult vertical face to climb. Two of them from Texas, no comment.
During any given storm, winds at that elevation can easily approach 100 miles per hour. Now REALLY! No matter how experienced one may be at climbing, OR inexperienced for that matter. IF you’re going to climb an 11,000 foot peak in December, shouldn’t you know what weather to expect? How much common sense does it take to check forecasts before you begin a hazardous climb up steep volcanic peaks?

BY WEDNESDAY……………..all TV & Radio stations, the National Weather Service were certain and upgraded hazardous weather watches to warnings. Rodger prepared to work from home if necessary, and I walked the yard securing things that were loose, just in case the forecasters were right. When the last of the night forecasters was actually giving time-lines when things would happen and where, we took it serious.

Thursday began calmly enough, Mark hauled extra wood into the garage. We took a dog-walk with the Smiths and waited for the big event. I started a nice fire in the woodstove by 4:00 pm. Well……..sure enough, by 5:00 pm the wind began to blow and by 7:00 pm, gusts were fairly severe… It was raining heavily. By 7:15, some REAL gusts blew through and rain was coming in sheets sideways. We looked at each other as lights dimmed. Back on. Dimmed. Back on. We began lighting the propane lamp immediately as the power died and we were in utter darkness with howling wind around the house. That fire was a BIG piece of security at that moment. We somehow sensed THIS power would be out for some time just because of the fury of this storm.

At 8:30, I looked out to see tops of 80 foot tall Fir Trees bending about enough to make me gasp. I couldn’t imagine any solid piece of wood one or two feet in diameter actually bending at all. Rodger ventured out, then I did too to “feel” the power of this thing moving through our forest. Literally, this WAS a little scary. THEN we saw shades (through the cloud layers) of lightning….and went back inside. We began to see cars turning around about 200 feet down the street so dressed up, went back out with flashlights to find neighbors Peter and Jeanne looking at two of their trees down across Skyline Blvd ….. blocking traffic. We got our chainsaw and at least cut through at the half-way point, cut off side branches so we could drag the thing off the road. We thought we’d opened the road back up. Ah, NO. Cars that went around that broken tree were coming back just 30 seconds later. We walked on to the corner and could plainly see a huge dark object across the road……a car’s lights showed a massive old growth tree down just another 300 feet away. Here’s what we saw across Skyline (the pictures of the downed trees were taken the next morning by neighbor Dave Saylor, THANKS DAVE):
THIS Old Hemlock is truly Old Growth. The Diameter was 30 plus inches at the point it was laying across Skyline, and the trunk of it began about 30 feet below the street.

WHEW! NOW all the traffic went squeaking by Peter & Jeanne’s broken up tree, went a block further and turned around anyway. Except, that is, for the two different Macho groups: a coupla tough kids…. gave the tree a shot with a big chain saw and soon gave up, then a Dad had answered his sons call (who was blocked on the other side trying to come our way to get home) by bringing his BIG SAW. HE worked on that for 30 minutes before giving up.

By 9:00 the fierce storm was at its peak. By 12:00, the worst was over and by 3:00 am it was quiet. By 7:00 AM we were all out seeing what had happened. I DO BELIEVE OUR neighborhood took the BRUNT of some of the worst wind gusts in the city. We found MORE HUGE Fir and Hemlock trees down just past the BIG TREE that had blocked any view beyond its bulk. This must have been a massive gust that took these 4-6 huge trees out at once. On a dog walk a day later, Baird, Karen and I found a “spot” on the Newton Fire Trail about in the same wind-line as the big trees up on Skyline where 7 big trees snapped and caved in on themselves closing the road from that point on so we don’t know what’s beyond that. This was a spectacular site, and I’ll have to get a camera down there.

Dave and Deborah lost a HUGE Cedar tree that had long stood immediately in front of their house. It chose to drop just a few degrees off center from flattening their house, so instead, the top of the TALL tree fell to block Newton Road below that Arnie and Kaye must use to get out of their place. Whew! Arnie came up with a chain saw and wasn’t going to ask any help! What a tough guy, eh? Well, we all went there and I arrived last. Here’s how you look the night after howling winds, sawing branches, and wondering why YOU missed the rapture:
marknewton.jpg You can see how lucky Dave & Deborah were…that NEW home in the background is the NEW home they’re currently building. And here’s how the sight looked from close to Skyline:
Well we got that cut up……… and went on down to look at the BIG HEMLOCK situation (with traffic continuing to arrive and turn back around………….WE SAW THIS LIVE POWER LINE on another neighbors driveway:
WHEW! Guess what? THIS LINE Lay there until Saturday Afternoon without a peek by the power company….That was a little annoying to continue to call the Pacific Gas & Electric for this canned message, “We do not know the cause of the outage or when a crew can come up for an assessment.”

By Saturday morning, every one of the over-size macho pickups (you KNOW which ones I mean) that went by seemed to have a chain saw either salvaging firewood from these trees, or just moving their testosterone around so you could see that the BIG tree was making progress:

IN this picture you can see another big tree down just beyond this one. BY the time we came back home from getting ice for food salvage, the road was clear enough to get by.

On Friday night, we spent a few hours with Baird and Karen and enjoyed one of the truly “FUN” things friends can do on a dark night with no power: Play Games by Candlelight. They taught us how to play Rummy Q, and old thinking game played with numbered tiles. That was a pure delight, and I’m going to search e-bay for a set to buy. I DO believe the highlight was that for no apparent reason to anyone, MAC began to bark and look out the window. With a flashlight, we prepared for Raccoon spotting….but MUCH to the Smith’s DELIGHT, we all watched a flying squirrel at work eating in their feeder. The Smiths have never seen one at their place, mostly, I believe, because they don’t light their feeding spots at night as we do. As content as the little guy was there to sit and eat in the flashlight, I’m sure he’s been coming there at LONG time. That was a FUN night, Thanks, Baird & Karen.

Friday night late, I had called the PG&E number to be told ALL power had been restored in our area. I registered a new outage and called neighbors asking them to make sure PG&E KNEW we were still out of luck. By Saturday noon, an “assessment” crew came up and marked the hot live line (two days later) as unsafe! BUT, lucky were we: a FULL Crew and BIG trucks came up and worked into darkness to restore our power! WHEW! a full WHOOPPEE came out of that!

Than the clean up begins after these events. Cleaning OUT the fridge, scouring the shelves, salvaging what we can. Moving stuff back from the garage coolers into the house (THANKS KRYSTA & STEVE for the BIG IGLOO Cooler), cleaning up, washing 5 loads of clothes, etc etc. On MONDAY, I spent about 4 hours raking branches, piling them up, and moving them off to compost piles. In restoring power to our instant hot water, we now have a leak on the tank and that will have to be repaired.

This was some STORM. Seattle took the worst. At the heighth of this storm, nearly a million people were out of power in Seattle and 350,000 in Portland. It will be remembered for a long time.

In getting food from St Johns to prepare for Christmas Eve, I hit a small broken brick on the roadway flattening my right front tire. Well, You CANNOT stop on the St Johns Bridge during rush hour! You cannot stop safely on the west end where the road ends because that end is the bottom slope of a hill. The road goes right or left. I had to turn right and force park where there’s NO shoulder and let perturbed drivers work their way around me. That was a night mare for a bit. The tire was ruined, and by the way, on an all wheel drive vehicle, you can’t just replace ONE tire. IF all tires aren’t within a certain wear size, you’ll wear your transmission down, so this one tire cost $350. today. Whew!

BUT, I do BELIEVE the temperatures will break out above 30 tomorrow, and we can begin to prepare for Christmas Eve.

I DO believe we’ll be ready for a night of rest by the time Santa brings us that something for the stocking………….will it be a big orange like my folks use to stuff in there making us MAD as Hell! WHAT? AN ORANGE again? Well, Angel Ken is sitting atop the tree and should help encourage us all be to be better people………….or something like that, eh?

A Skyline Orphan Christmas

Bloged in General Home Life,Scuff Boys by mark Wednesday December 13, 2006

Christmas Eve this year is Sunday, December 24. It is true that in every Christmas that ever happens we can’t always be with our dearest of hearts, our “family”. Some of us have lived SO long, most of our blood connected family are no longer here to help us remember why we left home. I jest…… or do I?

Since that IS the case for a few of us once again, we will gather up us poor waifs for what seems to be becoming the now traditional Orphan Christmas. For friends who, for some unconnected reason, may NOT have somewhere to be between 1800 and 2400 hours on Christmas Eve a few will JOIN US for gossip, news, talk, dining, wining, drinking, dancing, singing, being quiet, beating the kids, and what other social norms OUR upbringing creates for these kinds of “family” gatherings. Even a puppy or two may come on up and, of course, be encouraged to lay still in the Living Room Mangy, er, Manger Scene should one seem to appear.

We ALWAYS offer our “orphan” friends this disclaimer: “IF YOU HAVE almost ANY OTHER PLACE as an alternative, it probably is a better choice, but if there’s none (like us), please join us. We promise, we’ll make the BEST of a GREAT situation.” AND….we ALWAYS HOPE this wish comes true: IF the weather is right, and the God’s don’t frown, we just maybe will be able to see a Flying Squirrel Feed on Christmas Eve:

Lastly, we remind attendees that: “Things like THIS “might” be discussed, but they are discouraged, as the Baby Jesus would get a headache:

Quote… “I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me.” –President George W. Bush, talking to key Republicans about Iraq, as quoted by Bob Woodward”

ARE YOU going to be an orphan this Christmas? You’d better pack up your toys and come on up to the rainy Portland Woods.

An Artist Brings Christmas to MAC / The Purple Twinkie Collection

Bloged in food: recipes + dining out by mark Sunday December 10, 2006

We were more than honored today to have our doorbell pushed by lovely Cherie, our Postmistress, who delivers packages to the house rather than the box. She always brings along a dog bone, and Mac is pleased…….

That would have been enough satisfaction, that our beloved Cherie rang our bell. But wait! There’s more!

She gave us our usual Saturday Christmas Catalogue collections, Credit Card Applications, Market Supplemental Ad Publications, but also two Christmas Cards, and a most official U.S. Post Office Package from one Scott in Las Vegas.

We have mentioned Scott before and a link to his “blog” is here on our web page as Purple Twinkie……. Food is mentioned as his “work” and he does professional catering (and other restaurant) work in Las Vegas where, sorry folks, FOOD is king, NOT gambling. No?

I have mentioned Scott on a couple of older posts here because we, rather MAC, loved his recipe for Tomato Dog Treats. I have made those for MAC now three times and MAC has devoured them. He loved them SO much we posted Scott’s recipe here on December 2, so you can find and make them TOO! IS that WHY we received a package from Scott? That may be a small part of it, but we have enjoyed correspondence with him as well.


We opened this little official Postal Package to see this Artisticilicious Presentation sent to MAC:
I was verklempt and I’m not Jewish.

If you didn’t read the list, these treats included: 1. Marinara Linguini, 2. Mini Corny Cakes, 3. Pea and Carrots, 4. Taters and Gravy, & lastly, Mini Mac ‘n Cheesers. DOES YOUR DOG LIVE THIS WELL?

Mac was overcome, and it took serious promise of a bright dining future to create this pose:
SO. THANK you SCOTT…………….THIS WAS A FABULOUS Homemade piece of true Artistry. I think we all know NOW why you are becoming such a successful caterer there in the land that thrives on Presentation! BUT THIS WAS Presentation that delivered. These cookies smelled so sweetly delicious, I too have had a couple of bites.

SCOTT. When are you coming to Portland to cater our own people gathering? THANKS A LOT.

A NW Skyline Winter Sunset as captured by Rodger

Bloged in Nature,Portland by mark Sunday December 10, 2006

Nov/Dec evenings along the hilltops here are visited sometimes by a bit of fog. This is how today was ending, and by midnight I’m sure will be cloaked in fog. Rodger captured the shot as only he can do with his talented eye.

Our apples in that NW corner of the yard are finally almost all gone captured by either us or the deer:
And as the sun set, we WERE throwing the ball for the dog in Ed’s field:

AND NOW we have come inside, made a fire in the woodstove, and are once again preparing for you know, Santa! Ah. Saturday night preparing for Christmas. Maybe I just hopefully might get in that spirit once again, eh, my mate?

Bobcats in Forest Park (Lynx Rufus)

Bloged in Nature,Portland by mark Friday December 8, 2006

Yesterday, I was preparing some packages for mailing in the office and getting labels made. The office window looks right out from the PC corner. At one magic moment, I saw something BIG shadow by in the corner of my eye. I looked out to see what I thought was a LYNX just outside RUN to and LEAP into a nearby tree after a squirrel (there were had been two right there a few seconds prior to this fighting on the groung)……………..he missed them, slowly retreated and mosied off across Ed’s field right in the sun………and finally off into the Park.

I didn’t KNOW there are NO Canadian LYNX here……………….all we have in that park are BOBCATS .. (Lynx Rufus)……………..but their appearances are SO very different, it’s hard to think I saw a bobcat………….at first. All four paws looked enormous, the tufts on his ears looked very tall. He was stocky and I am SURE weighed MORE than 90 pound Mac:
Yep, it’s a web shot. You KNOW I didn’t budge when I saw THIS thing outside the window. I didn’t want to budge inside that window afraid he’d see me and run. No camera was close.

I called Audubon ……………and GUESS WHAT ??? The Wildlife Care Center confirmed that a while back (she wouldn’t say when) a CANADIAN LYNX was seen in the Forest Park area near OUR address………….it WAS someone’s PET and had gotten loose. But that had been a year ago or longer.

Audubon is going to check with people they would KNOW to call, and see if any other sightings have happened….. I hope they call me back. OH WELL.

Mac Attack! Again?

Bloged in General Home Life,Scuff Boys by mark Wednesday December 6, 2006

MAC lives to retrieve. His human “masters” (?) have exploited this inherited trait. One old friend of his (Porter, the finest example of Chocolate Lab we ever knew, thanks Paul & Kristen) taught him to jump.

Since that time, a time that included the tragic loss of Porter, Baird, Karen, Ellie (Mac’s girlfriend) and I often walk down Newton Rd to the Forest Park Trail-head. Mac’s leaping tendency made itself known and we began to see a pattern. The bigger the stick, and the deeper the canyon, the larger the truly big “LEAPS” MAC would take over the edges of the trail. You would see his body bouncing up/down the slope between the shrubs, plants, trees all the while ears would be visible going UP/Down as his body bounced. Sometimes you would see a winding dog running in/out of deer-raccoon trails seemingly full of wisdom.

In a post from August 5 THIS year, we reported MAC’s partial removal of his carpal Pad from this “leaping/jump behavior by our most revered Surgeon, Dr. Jason Kimball from the Silver Creek Animal Clinic in Silverton, OREGON. NOT only were we given the best recovery counseling, but the finest surgical treatment possible at half the cost of a Metro Portland Animal Clinic resource.

Unfortunately, once again, MAC has leaped OFF the edge of the cliff (is it OUR fault our trying to fulfill his fantasy of throwing a stick into the wild? ….yes it is…….haven’t we learned anything?) This time, the front of his toe pads on his right front foot we’re cut, hashed open. We wrapped it tight, we wrapped it loose, we let it dry, we did lots of things then we ran out of options.
For a week, he would do okay, then be frustrated about being held back. IF he got loose for one minute he would run, jump, with excitement, and break open the wound. Yes, it is true. Dogs do NOT wisely make choices when injured. Here he appears to be orphan like, appealing for sympathy (so as to be given a dog biscuit), but would just as soon as……be chasing a deer with a bleeding foot).
SO. We did all we could trying to wrap him over a week, then took him BACK to Dr. Jason Kimball, the BEST Vet in OREGON, at the Silver Creek Animal Clinic in Silverton, OREGON……………………. AND?

THIS time, we were quite thrilled to learn from Dr. Kimball that we had been doing the right treatment, and that MAC was well on his way to recovery. He did NOT want to do any other intervention on this animal……………..YEAH! We learned on these kinds of dog paw cuts, they heal from the inside…….so he was already on his way to recovery. Maybe we DID learn something from that LAST puppy injury.

Dr. Kimball helped in other ways…….he showed me how it SHOULD be wrapped for a few hours a day:

Once again, we were so very pleased we made the effort to drive to Silverton with an appointment to see Dr. Jason Kimball! I BELIEVE the neighborhood we’re in should car-pool with our pets…..heck, we can stop for German Food Lunch in Mt. Angel on the way, or shop at Wilco Farm Store in Silverton! Let’s get a plan going so ALL our pets see the doc at one time, eh?

I couldn’t even believe today that MAC still seemed to love Dr. Kimball despite the fact that he had performed two surgeries on him already. I tell you………there’s something about this little place we love. …………….

NOW. Back to the work of Christmas Preparations.

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