Why Dogs and Food?



Why Dogs and Food?

It's simple. Write about what you love. And what is better than dogs and food? If you are anything like me - and millions of other people - you will relate to and understand the unwavering love I have for my dogs and my passion for cooking - and eating - great food. I hope you will enjoy reading about my day to day experiences with good food and a couple of very special dogs.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Blackie and the Boys

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." ~ Will Rogers

The Bird Sanctuary

We live right next door to a bird sanctuary, maintained by the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary. A beautiful, old, solitary, yellow Victorian house sits out on the property near the water’s edge with views of the San Francisco skyline and Mount Tamalpais in the backdrop. It is quite breathtaking. At first I had to pinch myself as I realized that we now live on this beautiful peninsula in a cove on Richardson Bay.

Hiking paths through the woods that lead down to the beach are open to the public. Unfortunately, because it is a wildlife sanctuary, dogs are not allowed on the property. This frustrates Walter and Henry when we go on our walks, past this tantalizing open space that to them, is a haven for romping, rolling and exploring. They pull the leash and urge me to take them down the path and I have to restrain them from dragging me inside. Poor babies. Luckily, just down the road a bit, there is another very special place that is more receptive to our canine companions. It’s called Blackie’s Pasture and it’s filled with humans throwing tennis balls and Frisbees for their playful pups. Dogs are off-leash and romping and sniffing and rolling in the grass. People are strolling, sailing by on their bikes or just sitting on the benches soaking in the landscape. It’s a great place.

Blackie's Pasture
"The pasture is named for an old horse that apparently swam across the San Francisco Bay on October 1, 1938 from the Marin County side to San Francisco's Crissy Field. He swam it in 23 minutes and 15 seconds, winning a $1,000 bet for his then owner, Shorty Roberts."

"A short time later, Anthony Connell, his new owner, put him in the Tiburon pasture where he found his spot and stood, day after day in the same place, for 28 years. When Blackie collapsed and died while standing in “his” spot on February 27, 1966, the Marin County Health Department approved his burial in the pasture. His grave was marked by a simple cross (pictured above) and a memorial plaque made possible by contributions from citizens of the peninsula. In June 1995, thanks to a gift by the family of Gordon Strawbridge, Tiburon's first mayor, the Tiburon Peninsula Foundation erected a life-sized sculpture of Blackie created by the noted Bay Area artist, Albert Guibara, in what is now known as Blackie’s Pasture."

Blackie and the Boys
As we walk along Greenwood Cove Beach Road, past the lovely bay front homes, Walter and Henry now know where we are headed at the end of the road and they quicken their pace in anticipation, the bird sanctuary left behind and forgotten for now. As we arrive at the end of the dead-end road, Walter and Henry lead me through the trees and out to the shores of the bay where the seagulls and other water fowl appear to be walking on top of the water in low tide. The Golden Gate Bridge peeks out just to the north of the San Francisco skyline in the distant horizon. It’s as good for me as it is for them!

The boys then lure me to the water’s edge, where, if I let them off the leash, Henry would immediately leap into the bay and begin to doggie paddle with a smile on his face. Walter, on the other hand, would walk into the water slowly and lie down in the shallowest part, wallowing in the mud. Sometimes I allow them to do this but not today. They were just groomed and they are clean and their fur is brushed and they look magnificent. I have to make that last a little longer! Instead, I lead them to the pasture where the sculpted monument of Blackie himself is erected to memorialize this infamous horse.

The first time Walter and Henry met Blackie, Walter got spooked and shied away from the statue (not surprisingly as Walter is easily spooked) and so he doesn’t get too close to Blackie anymore (unless, of course, I tether him to Blackie’s leg for a photo shoot!) I think he believes Blackie is the real deal. Henry, on the other hand, gave Blackie a few sniffs and now pretty much ignores him.

Very Happy Boys
After all, it's not only Blackie they come to see in this doggie-heaven-on-earth.

4 comments:

Lynnie said...

Lizzie,
What a beautiful new place you and your family have settled in. The boys sure do look happy and you sound wonderful too.... love ya, lynnie xoxo

Liz Berry Wagner said...

Thanks, Lynnie! Right now, my life revolves around the boys and we have fun together!

Lisa Brown said...

It sounds heavenly. Living next to a bird sanctuary - can't get more serene than that. It's beautiful.

Liz Berry Wagner said...

Hi Lisa - yes, it is very serene and just yet another beautiful place I have been able to live for awhile....lucky me!