Spencer: Adventures of a Red Dog in a Blue State

This is my first column as a Doggie Gazette reporter, so let’s do a little sniffing around on my pedigree.  I am a nine-year young red male miniature poodle named Spencer.  I was brought into the world in a private home near San Diego and at eight weeks my human mom and dad (just mom and dad from now on) came and saw me playing with my brothers and sisters.  I watch the video my dad took of me that day all the time.  It’s a true classic!  Of course, they fell in love with me as I frolicked about with my dark red coat and that day I moved in with my cat brother Alex in Redondo Beach, California.

A couple years later, we moved to a beautiful house in the mountains near Reno, Nevada.  It was there that I met the ultimate “dog next door”, a “White Dog in the Silver State” miniature poodle named Mimi who became my first girlfriend.   We loved running in the grass together, sharing treats and lounging on the couch with her human mom.  It was a bonus that Mimi’s father was the governor of Nevada at the time.  When my mom and dad went on trips I got to stay at the Governor’s mansion in Carson City.  The governor would wake up in the morning and I’d be sleeping on his pillow right above his head.  Pretty heady stuff for a miniature poodle!

When I was just 4 months old my parents started taking me to Carmel and we’d stay at the Cypress Inn 3 or 4 times a year.  Based on my insistence (and I can be quite the persistent poodle) they ended up buying a wonderful vacation home there!  Now I get to spend quality time in the dog-friendliest and best place in the world.  I’m not spoiled….just well trained to like the best things in life!

I must be an interesting color because when strutting around town, I always get asked if my human mom “dyes her hair to match mine – or does she dye mine to match hers”.  The truth is that my mom does dye her hair (don’t tell her I told you) but her hair was pretty much the same color as mine anyway and it’s a shade that looks good on both of us!  It’s a real conversation opener for sure.

Being a Red Dog in a Blue State and, having done my share of begging in a governor’s mansion, I feel qualified to howl about the upcoming election.  I’ve been seeing lots of stuff on Fox News (I’ll talk more about watching animals on TV in a later column) about all these dog lovers wanting to be the Top Dog.  First, I was all waggy for a guy named Pawlenty but apparently he went down with barely a whimper.  I also liked the woman named Barkman but she bow-wowed out too.  Then, I heard stories about how one guy used to put the family dog in a crate and strap it to the top of his car when they went on vacation.  At first that sounded bad, but heck, if it was a nice sunny beach day in Carmel I could see doing that to my cat “brother”!  On the other paw, there is a candidate who wrote a book that said he used to EAT dogs and it was tough!  Yikes!  I think he might be barking up the wrong tree!  My human mom and dad treat me to hot dogs at the Forge, but I don’t think it was really a dog.  Dogally, I think I’ll roll over for that car top guy.

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We will be going on a cruise over New Years and Margaret’s 50th Birthday.  We’ll fly to LAX from Monterey on December 28 and return on January 9.  We’ll start the trip by staying overnight in Manhattan Beach at the Belamar and then take an Uber to LA Harbor Cruise Terminal to board the Regent Seven Seas Navigator.  We found out about this cruise from our friends from Montreux, Ernie and Ivanna, when we met them at Mabel Kiper’s Celebration of Life service.  Two other couples from Montreux that we do not know will also be on this cruise.   We look forward to getting to know all of them.

The trip will include the following:

Dec 29 — Embarkation Day, Depart Los Angeles Harbor

Dec 30 — Sea Day

Dec 31 —  Sea Day

Jan 1   —  Cabo San Lucas

Jan 2  —  La Paz

Jan 3  —  Mazatlan

Jan 4  —  Puerto Vallarta

Jan 5  —  Manzanillo

Jan 6  —  Sea Day

Jan 7  —  Sea Day

Jan 8 —  Debarkation

Following the cruise we will meet up with our friend Paul Neff and his wife Kathy near their Newport Beach house for lunch.  Then, we will drive to Dale’s father’s and stepmother’s new home in Hemet.  They plan to then have dinner with Dale’s brother at his house before driving to Riverside to stay at the historic Mission Inn hotel.

We won’t be doing a daily blog on this trip because there probably won’t be anything noteworthy.  We will do a followup blog entry to review the entire cruise and post the pictures.



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