From the Edmonds Vet: Caught on video – Charlize plays tetherball

The Gross family recently gathered for a reunion at the Chevy Chase Cabins overlooking Discovery Bay on the Olympic Peninsula, not far from Port Townsend. The extended family is huge, hundreds, most of whom I don’t know but this was just immediate family, my brother, his wife, his son and family who live in Germany…

Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

Part 34: Charlize, Chloe and Grieving Charlize has a new buddy, Chloe. I wrote previously about my Denver friend’s tiny dog. She reportedly weighs 5 pounds; I doubt she tips the scales at much more than 4. My friend and Chloe recently returned with me to Edmonds in Old Blue. We visited Mount Rushmore, Great…

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

Part 33: Great Falls of the Missouri I am an addict of all descriptions of the Lewis and Clark expedition. One of the many extraordinary obstacles overcome during that journey was the portage of the Great Falls of the Missouri. The Mandan Native Americans described this landmark of the upper Missouri River to Lewis and…

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

Part 32: Return to Denver Seems I can’t stay away. I’m back in Denver visiting old friends who have made a special effort to welcome and include me in their lives even after a 50-plus-year hiatus of minimal contact. Some of their friends are people I knew back when CSU was still Colorado A &…

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

Part 31: Vulnerability I was educated about food-borne diseases and public health in veterinary school. We learned how to identify potential problems and how to prevent them because veterinarians play an important role in protecting our food supply. Food poisoning was something that happened to other people, not me and not my family. Wrong! I…

Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

Part 30: The Branding It’s a culture of community building. There are, no doubt, more efficient ways of handling cows and separating them from their calves. Don is gruff. His Dad was gruff and I imagine that his grandfather and great-grandfather were cut from the same tough hide. “We do it the old-fashioned way,” he…

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

Part 29: A Mile High My friends Don and Susie were in Phoenix to attend the high school graduation of one of their grandsons, a life cycle event not to be missed. While they were gone, Charlize and I made the six-hour drive to Denver to revisit old friends and spend some time in the…

Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 28: Moving Dirt The Sandhills are just that, hills of sand and valleys of sand and hollows of sand held in place by a sod formed by the roots and stems of native grasses. If the grass is destroyed by fire or by too much traffic from cattle or vehicles…

Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 27: First full working day on Pass Ranch Last year only a little over seven inches of rain fell on the ranch, the driest year since Don’s great granddad put the property together and they started keeping records. This past winter there was not as much moisture as usual although…

Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

Part 26: Yellowstone Park By Dr. David Gross It never occurred to me that it would be so difficult. In my book “Animals Don’t Blush” I recounted the combined camping, honeymoon and traveling to my first veterinary job in Sidney, Montana trip. That happened the first week in June of 1960. Rosalie and I spent…

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

Part 25: Fly fishing the Madison River By Dr. David Gross Matt called as promised, about 6 p.m. I had half-a-day of his time reserved for the next day and we agreed we would go out when it was most propitious. He checked with his fishing guide buddies who had been out earlier and decided…

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 25: We arrive in Montana Our second day out we made some serious tracks. After experiencing the Lewis and Clark Scenic Highway we turned south to follow the Bitterroot River flowing north. We continued south past Sula then turned east to cross over Chief Joseph Pass at 7200 feet elevation….

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 23: Dogs and Porcupines Screaming at a toddler not to touch something hot can be effective, sometimes, but not nearly as effective, long term, as allowing that curious mind to experience pain. The same is true of dogs, although they seem to have slightly more built-in survivorship skills than toddlers…

Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 22: Home Charlize doesn’t know we’re home. For over a month, at 6:30 or so each morning, she pressed her cold nose on my cheek and uttered a soft whine to get me up. I let her out and then get on with whatever the day has in store. We…

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 21: Denver, then and now While driving in San Diego, Phoenix, and now in Denver I can hear my own voice speaking aloud, but it is as though I am out of body, separated but close enough to hear clearly. I sound like just another old geezer, complaining that everything…

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 20: The future of the Colorado River dams Our journey from the Fruita Campground to the San Luis Valley took us over the upper reaches of Lake Powell. I assume the engineers and planners who designed, proposed and built the Glen Canyon Dam anticipated the amount of water-borne debris that…

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 19: The Fruita Campground We traveled through yet another red rock canyon. This one the product of wind and the Fremont River, flowing gently in early March but still the color of the sand and silt it is transporting to help clog Lake Powell. The Fruita Campground is on the…

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 18:  Zion, Bryce and Awesome Back Roads Growing up in Arizona and spending significant time camping at and in both the Grand Canyon and Oak Creek Canyon, along with a whole summer working on the Navajo Reservation, produced in me a serious flaw: I am less than overcome by emotion…

Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 17: The Mohave Desert For two days, Charlize and I drove through the Mohave Desert. It’s different than the Sonoran Desert of my youth. I grew up in that desert, hiking and camping and loving the harsh environment that required skill and knowledge to survive. From Indio to Lake Havasu…

Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 16: More musings I’ve been re-reading John Steinbeck, returning to his books after a 30- to 40-year hiatus. I read differently now, not surprising with so many additional years to experience life and interpret and perhaps even understand what I am reading. Steinbeck points out that good human qualities include…

Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 15: First trip to San Diego On the way over from San Diego to Phoenix, I remembered the first time I made the journey from Phoenix to San Diego. I was 10 years old, the summer of 1946. The Second World War was over and my Uncle Sol, my Dad’s…

From the Edmonds vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 14: Changes, people and places The longer I live the more apparent it is to me that people change. Not their basic personalities so much, their attitudes or even their belief systems; little things that change them as individuals. Not the least change is they get older, live without shared…

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 13: Yet another side of Charlize’s personality We arrived in Phoenix but left Frog in San Diego. I will to return to San Diego after my sojourn in Phoenix to visit with my brother, his family and some old friends who are still living here as well as some snowbird…

From the Edmonds Vet: Travels with Charlize, in search of living alone

By Dr. David Gross Part 12: Charlize is a Bully I would never have anticipated it. Charlize is probably the friendliest, most calm dog around strangers I have ever been responsible for. When we arrived at my son’s home in San Diego she met their Golden Retriever, Bentley, for the first time. I’ve known Bentley…