Category Archives: animals/pets/cats/dogs/etc.

Today’s word is: responsible

photo 1It all comes down to being responsible, people.

Yes, I’m talking to you, dog owners who don’t bag up your dog’s poo.

And, yeah, I’m talking to you, too, dog owners who bring your furry not-socialized friends along for the hike.

You, too, trail bike riders, with no regard to “hiker’s only” signs — or to hikers.

And, most emphatically, I’m talking to you, dog owners who have no business owning a dog.

Here’s why I’m talking: I’ve been doing a lot more hiking lately. Trying to get in shape because the old middle-age spread is not an old wife’s tale, like I kept hoping. So, while walking up Tablerock, I’ve been noticing there is a lot of dog poop. Fresh and gooey, dried and shriveled, teeny-tiny and ginormous. Right. On. The. Trail. God knows what is out in the wildflowers, weeds and boulders. Why? Why? Why?photo 2

There are handy scooping bags conveniently placed at the trail head and they’re FREE. So, why all the poop?? “Part of being a responsible dog owner is picking up the poop,” this is what I told my grandson Max when he, my daughter, Tracy,  and my granddaughter, Julia, inherited Puppet. We practiced in my back yard where there is usually a fair number of poop scooping opportunities. Yes, he hemmed and hawed, “I can’t do it, I’ll throw up, it’s so gross!” But finally, herking and jerking, he passed the smelly Easter egg hunt test. If he can do it, so can you!

And about you dog owners who bring your snarly, aggressive companions along for the walk — don’t. At least, not until you and your friends take a class, there are a number of dog training classes available, some even free. Call PetSmart or Petco or Zamzows or the Idaho Humane Society. We took Payton through the Scotch Pines Dog Training and he actually graduated. He got a little cardboard graduation hat and everything. And he is “socialized.” So, if he passes another dog, or a group of 10 dogs, a person using a walker or a baby in a stroller — he is not a threat. Sometimes, he even lays down to let others pass. If you have a dog, even if he is on a leash, that you are unsure of, “I don’t ever know what THIS one will do,” LEAVE THAT DOG AT HOME. Because, I don’t want your dog attacking my sweet little Puppet.

Bike riders who share the hiking trail: pay attention. Scootch over. Slow down. Once, I saw a guy on a unicycle coming down the trail. No kidding. It doesn’t matter what you’re riding as long as you ride it — and the trail — responsibly. There are families, kids, babies, dogs, grannys, people with walkers, canes and disabilities — you need to watch out for all of us.

Finally, I have to say a few words to you who do not deserve to be dog owners. You let your dogs — untrained, aggressive and vicious — roam the neighborhoods. Your animals are not wild animals they are domestic but because you are so irresponsible, they act like wild animals. They terrorize other animals and people — two of them murdered my friend’s sweet kitty. He was just sitting in his spot. In the early morning sun. Shame on you. Give your dogs to Cesar Millan (he’s the dog whisperer, he knows how to rehabilitate dogs but I think training you is hopeless).

It’s just about being responsible.

Deer friends

“I saw a family of deer this morning on my way to aerobics class. There were four of them and one even had a rack!”

“What? Say that again,” said Bob. “You saw WHAT??”

“Deer. This morning. In the neighborhood. Walking on the street.”

“You saw deer? Where?”

“Over on Orchard. There were four of them. They were headed towards the canal, you know, that woodsy area.”

“Oh, right. I bet they live in Kathryn Albertson Park. That’s cool…. One of them had a rat??”

“No—a rack! One of them had a rack!”

“Oh, yeah, that makes more sense. I thought you said ‘one of them had a rat,’ and I thought wow, that’s weird.”

Even though this is a pretty typical conversation for me and my husband Bob, what’s not so typical is that there were four deer in our neighborhood the other day. A fuzzy Bambi family nestled in amongst houses, streets, cars and people.

Keep your eyes open, people. You never know what wonders you may see.

Home, home on the range

Photo by Gary Will, IDFG

The City of Boise has bought itself some land. Seven hundred and one acres, to be exact.

The East Boise wildlife preserve of Hammer Flat where wintering mule deer, fox, deer, elk and antelope play, was bought with funds generated by the 2001 Foothills serial levy for — cha-chiing! — $4.1 mill at a special City Council meeting today.

“Of all the incredible land acquisitions made through the Foothills serial levy, this is the most significant in terms of wildlife preservation,” Mayor David Bieter said. “By putting this land into public hands, we will protect it and the wildlife it supports for generations to come.”

Photo by Gary Will, IDFG


Here are more details from Adam Park, Boise’s Communications Director:

Hammer Flat is a vast plateau located north of Highway 21 above the Black Cliffs near Lucky Peak Reservoir. The property adjoins the 35,000-acre Boise River Wildlife Management Area, which is managed by the Idaho Department of Fish & Game. The department will also manage the Hammer Flat property for wildlife habitat in a manner consistent with the Boise Wildlife Management Area plan. No trails are planned for the property.

The Hammer Flat property, a former homestead, is considered by Idaho Fish & Game and other wildlife supporters to be the most crucial wildlife protection area in the Boise Valley. The area’s relatively low elevation provides a needed winter habitat for as many as 2,000 mule deer at a time, many coming from as far away as the Stanley basin. Without Hammer Flat, the deer would be forced to seek shelter at higher elevations where deeper snow levels and lower temperatures make survival more difficult.

The two-year serial levy, approved by voters in 2001, generated $10 million for the protection of open space in the Boise Foothills. Under the leadership of former state Supreme Court Justice Charles McDevitt, the 12-member Foothills Conservation Advisory Committee advises the Mayor and Council on land acquisitions. The committee focuses on protecting critical wildlife habitat, riparian corridors, rare plants, historic sites, and potential trail connections.

Purchase of this prime wildlife habitat was negotiated with the Johnson family. The Johnsons and Skyline Development Co. had planned to build a residential development on the site. The Johnson family, in partnership with Sterling Savings Bank and other project partners, worked with the City of Boise to coordinate the acquisition. “While we are saddened that we will not have the opportunity to develop The Cliffs according to the approved plan,” said Tucker Johnson, President of Skyline, “we feel that this deal will leave a lasting legacy for our family and all valley residents.” Sterling Savings Bank agrees: “Sterling Savings Bank is pleased to be a partner in the conservation of this valuable wildlife area,” said Cara Coon, spokesperson for Sterling Savings Bank.

Negotiations on the acquisition were led by Jim Hall, director of Boise Parks & Recreation. “We are so grateful to be able to preserve this unique piece of ground,” he said. “The site’s location adjacent to the Wildlife Management Area is one of the largest and most significant for wildlife in Ada County.”

To date, $10.6 million in serial levy fund, combined with over a million dollars in cash donations, has allowed the city to conserve 10,471 acres in the Boise Foothills, with an estimated market value of $34.1 million. Following this purchase, nearly $400,000 in serial levy funds will remain for future acquisitions and easements.

Good pet costume contest!

Canine Dogicula Halloween Costume For PetsI vant to suck your blood, ruff, ruff!

Fang it! The most popular Halloween get up this year is the vampire.

So if you’ve got the fangs, fake blood and cape, you’re set — but what about Fi-Fi and Fido and Fritz the cat? Maybe your pet wants to get dolled up, too. dog-costumeSo get busy Halloween Evil One Cat Costumeand then get down to the 5th Annual Northwest Pets Howl-o-ween Costume Contest this Saturday, October 24th at noon! 32230If your pooch or you and your pooch (yeah, there’s a pet/owner category) win, you can take home some loot. bunnysuit4sThey’re giving away a total of $500 in Northwest Pets gift certificates plus other food prizes. First prize for the best pet costume: $200! Sign up is free — Call 208- 939-8119 to enter your pet in the contest.

They’re also having fun giveaways, discounts and vendors with pet food and people food, too.