Movie Review: March of the Penguins
We rented March of the Penguins, and am happy to report that this is a movie that our entire family, including Shelby can enjoy. Although she typically ignores the TV, we caught her watching the penguins, and a few times, she ran up to the TV to check out the action.
We spent Thanksgiving at my parents. Shelby's constant begging paid off in occasional bits of turkey handed to her underneath the table by my parents. Although we hadn't planned it, Shelby did stay the night so that she wouldn't be bored at home while Steven and I went to San Francisco the following day to join in the madness of the tree lighting at Union Square. We walked past the Macy's Holiday Windows that typically displays Disney characters acting out key scenes in the Night Before Christmas, but were pleasantly surprised to find 2 sleeping puppies instead!
As it turns out, the San Francisco SPCA has setup their Holiday Windows there to promote adoption of animals that need a loving home. For more information click here.
Carmel beach is just beautiful. Everytime we visit, we wish we were rich, so we could live in one of the houses overlooking the ocean. When we visit, we keep Shelby on lead for about half the time. Sometimes because we're not sure if the other dogs are nice. But we were really impressed with all the dogs there. Shelby had a great time running around with them, and digging in the sand. It was Shelby's own misbehavior that caused us to put her on lead. We had to keep her from raiding people's beach encampments like some kind of small foraging bear. The pup has no sense of personal space.
And the really wonderful part is that despite the many dogs on Carmel beach, it was clean! We had all but given up on going to Half Moon Bay, where the only beach that allows dogs is littered with horse manure. Back then, Shelby's first act there was to pick up a big wad of it in her mouth. Much yelling ensued. As you can see from this photo, we didn't have any of those problems in Carmel.
Restaurant Review: The Village Corner
The Village Corner is also pet friendly. They have a lovely back patio, with a fire pit that keeps everyone warm. We sat in the back, so that Shelby's lead wouldn't trip any of the servers.
The food here is fantastic. We ordered the paella. Shelby got none. I presume that means she likes the The Forge in the Forest restaurant better.
Restaurant Review: The Forge in the Forest
With the unusually nice weather lately, Steven and I decided that we should take another trip down to Carmel. It was easily one of the most beautiful days we had ever seen down there. Shelby whined most of the way down, but brightened up when we got there. Our first stop was Diggity Dog to pick up their list of pet friendly restaurants and lodging. One of the restaurants, The Forge in the Forest, actually has a menu for dogs.
The restaurant is very quaint, with a lovely outdoor eating area in the front. We were told that the wait would be about 15mins, and it was more like 30mins. We were thirsty while we were waiting, so Steven bought a glass of wine and an iced tea. We sat in the front patio waiting for a table to open up when we were told that dogs were not allowed in the front. So here's Shelby sitting with us on the sidewalk. Guests with dogs eat in the private back patio, which is also nice, but that wasn't our expectation and Steven felt like a second class citizen. Despite being disappointed that we weren't going to be eating in the lovely front patio, the reason for such a policy became apparent when the Pomeranian in the corner started barking at another dog, leaving Steven and I to ponder why everytime we see a barking dog, it seems to be a Pom.
Service was friendly, but slow. It might have been that they didn't expect such a large crowd for a late lunch. This was our first time at this restaurant, so I'm not sure what's the norm. We ordered an artichoke for $8. Steven was appalled. Surely, he didn't just wait 30mins to pay 8 bucks for an artichoke that was grown 10 miles away from the restaurant. This was the equivalent of the 5 dollar milkshake in Pulp Fiction. It became obvious why the artichoke was so expensive after we bit into it. This is a good artichoke. It's soaked for 3 days in balsalmic vinegar, then grilled. Steven ordered a burger. I ordered a grilled eggplant sandwich. Portions were huge. We ordered Shelby an all beef Hot Diggity Dog for $3.95 which I'm sure made this Shelby's favorite restaurant of all time.
Other items on the doggy menu include:
Plain Ol' Kibble — $2.50
The Quarter Hounder — $4.95
Hen House Chicken Strips — $4.95
Good Dog, 8oz of grilled steak — $12.95
and milkbone Bonies — Free, though we passed since Shelby was already eating her weight in hot dogs.
With some many other dog friendly restaurants in Carmel, it's hard to say if we'll definitely be back. There's a lot to explore. But it was certainly worth a first try (if only for the artichoke), and Shelby loved it.
The same skin that makes those wonderful pug wrinkles also stretches, much to the amusement of Steven and me, but maybe not as amusing to Shelby.
The relentless pursuit of Chip and Dale
We'll skip the part about how these round Chip and Dale toys came to be in my office. Suffice it to say that Shelby has always had her eye on anything remotely stuffed, and that includes our good buddies in the photo above.
Most of the time, Shelby is very good. She is also quite smart for a little dog, and has mastered the fine line of what's cute vs. what's unacceptable for getting attention. For example, stealing a sock from the laundry is somewhat cute. Pooping on the carpet is completely unacceptable.
Stealing Chip and Dale still qualifies as somewhat cute. I looked down at the camera to adjust some settings after taking these photos, and this is what Shelby did.
Reader's request, part 2
In part two of Reader's request week, Steven's made the desktop version of Shelby's now infamous Yoda costume, complete with light saber. It's available to download here.
To copy the image to your computer, drag and drop it onto your desktop, or right click on the image and select "Save Image"
Readers' request, part 1
As requested by Shelby's fans, I've added a little video of what Shelby's wave looks like.
We've taught Shelby to wave. Over time, she's learned how to make this wave more emphatic, resulting in her whole body twisting. She can already taste the treat she's going to get for performing the trick.