Dogs (pets) and smoke

Since we are currently living with Unhealthy Air caused by the smoke from the Yosemite Rim Fire I thought it would be a good idea to share some information I recently learned.

I have been trying to keep Pepper (the Golden Retriever) inside the house as much as possible, but she is getting majorly bored (picture a sleeping dog most of the time).

So, I have started letting her outside for a while at a time.  We usually have walkers and dog walkers that come by the house in the morning and some of them give her ‘cookies’ (dog biscuits).  I usually get notified when they are going by since Pepper likes to bark at them (I think that is the ‘Hey, where is my cookie?’ call).  With all the smoke there are definitely less walkers.

Pepper, Golden Retriever,

I have noticed that Pepper will play with LONG sticks

or will lay on the grass and just chew on something (some favorites – rocks, old plastic plant pots, etc).

She doesn’t seem to want to run around a lot.

That is a good thing since dogs can get breathing problems if they run around a lot in the smoke (I guess if the dog decides to run around it is OK, but they shouldn’t be ‘forced’ to by being taken for a run or long walk).

Hoping we get a change in the wind pattern soon so Pepper and the family can go for a walk outside.

Later – H


Yosemite Rim Fire and smoke

Well, the family finally got a vacation this summer and we were ‘unplugged’ for over a week and it was SO nice.  We didn’t have a television in our first place and only turned it on once in the second place and we didn’t even read the paper.  I will blog about vacation later.

We arrived home at 1:30am last Thursday since we decided to fly out of the Sacramento, Ca airport and drive home over the Sierra Nevada mountains afterwards.  We saw a full moon on the way over and smelt some smoke on the way up, but there were no signs of a fire, etc.

We got up Thursday morning to pick up Pepper (Golden Retriever) from the Kennel (that is definitely a story for later) and nothing really seemed different.  After that I started getting on the computer and found out about the Yosemite Rim fire (which is about 100 miles as a bird flies from us).  I didn’t think too much about it other that praying the firefighters stayed safe, praying for some much needed rain, etc.

Well, by Thursday afternoon smoke was coming into our valley (usually we can see the Sierra Nevada mountains from town, etc) and it felt like ash or something was getting in the eyes when I walked out of the grocery store.  By later Thursday afternoon we had Ash raining down at the house!  Since we had to put some items in the car that afternoon I was wearing a baseball and a mask and you still could smell it.

Long story short is we STILL have smoke in our valley (it hasn’t cleared so we are now on day 6) and we have some ash around the yard.  You feel like there should be a snow storm outside since all you should do is stay in the house and Pepper is NOT happy about this – she got a walk a day at the kennel, but she can’t run around outside and play (if I let her outside she is mostly laying in the grass for a while).  

They are saying the smoke might not start to clear until this Sunday (assuming the winds change directions).  

We still have ash pieces in my car and it is pretty hard to breathe outside (it even smells some in the house even though we haven’t opened any windows).  I am wondering how long it will take for the smoke smell to go away…

The good news is I saw a small patch of blue sky with fluffy clouds this morning right after I got up.  It was definitely covered up within an hour.  (So, I know this smoke is not permanent – I hope!).

I had taken some ‘now’ photos, but I would need to go digging for some ‘clear’ photos for you to understand the difference.  A friend posted some photos on Facebook yesterday and said I could post them without giving her credit (I don’t think she even knows I have a blog – maybe I will have to tell her…).  Anyways, thanks Karin for the use of your photos.

with smoke

So, which would you rather be living in?

Valley with smoke from the Yosemite Rim Fire

with snow

Valley on a ‘normal’ Spring Day

(And, yes I know we don’t have it as bad as the people in the path of the wildfire or the firefighters, but I have never seen anything like this in the 20 years we have lived here.)

Later  – H