Deer Season in the Wilds of Big Sur

After 20 years, and dealing with all kinds, I have made friends with the regulars. Most even wave to me. Generally, they sleep on cots outdoors, not tents, don’t have campfires, and finally respect me, my land, and my critters.

Last night, I ran into a different breed.

I ran into a UFSF patrol, a guy I have known forever, he even went to our school. He told me about these guys camped outside my gate, and how he had asked them – nay, told them – to move. I ran into them, also, still on private property. They confirmed “oh yeah, we are leaving.” I went around a corner, they went out of sight, and I saw they had left their tent and two chairs set up. I honked and honked. They ignored me.

I grabbed the small pop-up tent, the two chairs, and loaded them in my Jeep. I took them down past the private property to a flat spot right next to the road and unloaded them. I left a note.

I let my neighbor know, my dog sitter, checked my .357 and took out the snake shot and put in .38 hollow points. I was ready. It didn’t hurt that I will have the Ox, and the ex-Marine Mountain Man here at 7 am.

Really, nothing new, just haven’t had to deal with these kinds of idiots in 10 years or more. I do have a great early warning system in my dogs – NO ONE, and I mean NO one can sneak up on me here -EVER.

I do finally find guys like this funny. They really think they will find deer up near my property where there are 5 dogs barking, scenting, and otherwise warning? The deer don’t even come into my garden!

Canine Distemper & Vacinations


Dr. Kocher, of Oceanview Pet Hospital, has generously offered to come to Big Sur
(see below) to vaccinate pets who may be exposed to canine distemper.
Please contact me if you’re interest.
Dick Whittington

From Dr. Kocher of Oceanview:

Thanks for the information. Where you live, I highly recommend vaccinations against distemper parvo lepto lymes disease rattlesnake hepatitis . Furthermore, I recommend annual blood testing and preventative medicine for heartworms. Vaccination and preventative medicine in general are the least expensive, least uncomfortable form of medicine. If you wish, I could arrange to come to a place like the grange and hold a vaccination clinic. There would be a charge for this service but it would be far more convenient that traveling to town.

From: Heidi

Friends, we’re noting dead foxes up here on the ridge, and the Monterey SPCA is reporting some too, which they believe are killed by canine distemper (still being tested), so I hope your loved ones have their distemper shots!

Missy Report

It has been a while, so we thought we would check in. Missy is on house arrest, again. This time for a planned surgery, not an injury. Much cheaper, too. I had her spayed and microchipped.

Being young and a border collie, keeping her confined and quiet for 7-10 days is damn near impossible. So I get her chill pills – a mild sedative. I give her 1/2 a pill, once or twice a day.


She’s chillin’.


“What, Mom? I was sleeping.”


“Okay, sorry. Go back to sleep.”

The saga continues …

April found Missy added to my menagerie … And all the work that entailed. May found Missy going through heat … And all the work that entails. June found Missy with a bad cut, and eventually, 10-12 stitches, and not allowed outside for 10 days … and all the work that entails. oh boy, try to keep a young border collie quiet and calm? Lots of work.

This is the major reason I haven’t been”keeping up” with my blog. I really wanted to go to the Muster today, but she can’t be left alone.

Here is our progression …



To get from thereto here requires some assistance ..



If you clicked on the notification email link, this wasn’t up, yet, only the title and a notice. That was my fault. While I was composing this last night, for publication this morning, I accidentally “published” and sent out notifications prematurely. Hope I never do that again.

Living in the Wilderness … With dogs

I had to go to Salinas today … A long story for another day. On the way home, about 2 and 1/2 miles up Plaskett, my tire went flat. The county graded the first 1and 3/10ths miles Tuesday and Wednesday. That kicks up rocks. Probably where the flat came from.

I pulled out my handy, dandy air compressor, and spent about 1/2 an hour trying to pump it up. No dice. No cell signal. So I drove on the rim until I could get cell service, and called my one and only neighbor. Thank god he was home. His vehicle, which had been in the shop for three weeks, was working, and I reached him.

I said I would keep driving, carefully, and slowly, and he agreed to come get me. When we met on the road, I was ready. I had my big bag with my cell phone, my iPad, my charger, my purse, keys, and all that stuff ready, jumped out of my car into his, locking mine, and leaving it behind, a mile or two from my place.

I got home before dark, barely, met by exuberant dogs, who needed to pee and be fed. The peeing was easy. When I went to feed them, I found I didn’t have enough food, I had left the new bag in the car. Damn. I gave them what I had, got each a couple slices of bread, got out the cereal and crackers, and hoped this would hold them until I can get to my Jeep, hopefully tomorrow. If I can’t, I will be cooking up all the beef, rice, and veggies I have, and making my own dog food.

Life on the mountain is always interesting. And life with 5 dogs is even more so! Thank gawd for a wonderful neighbor!

Missy, the mystery dog, part 4

Finally had the first dog fight. The first time I left Missy home alone, I put her in the bedroom, the two alphas in the living room, and the other two outside, which is the usual. That worked well. The second time I left them home, I let Missy and the alphas, have the run of the house together. That worked, too. The third time I left them at home, I did the same. This time, it didn’t work, so I’ll be separating them, again.

Nothing seemed to have happened while I was gone, but when I got home, to be greeted by three excited dogs, Dakota, the alpha female attacked Missy. It looked and sounded quite serious. I was frantic, trying to break it off, for what seemed like ages, but was only a few seconds. Missy got away, and was running away, with Dakota following. I called Missy back, yelled at Dakota, and Missy came to me to stay by my side. I got her inside separate from Dakota, and checked her all over for blood, bite marks, anything. She was good. Not a mark on her, so Dakota never tried to hurt her, just teach her a lesson. It looked and sounded so very real, I was surprised!

Later, after thoroughly chastising Dakota, I spent time and attention on her, and then time and attention on Missy. Then time and attention on both of them together, as they cautiously eyed each other. But separating them, if I can’t take Missy, will be the way to go. I can meet and greet Gideon and Dakota together – no problems with them – let them out, then meet and greet Missy, and then let her out.

That evening, Missy could not go out to relieve herself, so I resigned myself to having an accident or two to clean up in the morning. Couldn’t be helped, and she is NOT making a habit of it. No “accidents” if she has enough outside time!

That night, all my fur kids settled into their beds or places, and it was peaceful … That was after one of the cats thought it would be fun to tease them. I put the two cats outside, and mixed myself a drink.

Guard Dogs and Trespassers

So, President’s Day weekend was busy up here, for both my dogs and I. The road is dismal, so it takes a lot to get up here.

I hadn’t locked the gate, just closed it. It had a BIG no trespassing sign on it. Doesn’t stop some people from opening it, and trying to come on through. Not gunna happen. I’ve got guard dogs. Boy, do I have guard dogs. They don’t usually bite people, but tires, mud flaps, and the like are fair game. If a car gets within sight of the house, they are off, barking, and letting the trespassers know what is what. This is not a place one wants to mess with. And that doesn’t include my Smith and Wesson .357. I don’t need it, with these dogs. Missy is not really part of guard dog duty, yet. She doesn’t bark, but she responds to the others. My blind Alpha Male would take whoever it is on, but I call him back, as well as the new kid on the block, and let my Alpha female and her two pups (now 7) deal with the intruders. They are good at their job.

Dakota is 1/2 healer. The other half appears to be Doberman. She is a good guard dog, and has well trained the one male and one female pups that I kept of her litter. They are a great team.

I just don’t understand what some people think when they come upon a closed gate, with a brand-new No Trespassing sign on it, and decide to open the gate and drive in. What are they thinking? Dumb, really dumb. These idiots tried to drive through twice! What, they thought the guard dogs weren’t real? Even if these idiots COULD get past my dogs, my Jeep Commander blocks the road. Can’t get through … For almost 19 years now.

There was also a large drunken party at Turkey Flats that Saturday night. I didn’t engage – large, drunken party, they tried to challenge me for just driving by … as if THEY owned the road? Not happening. When they left Sunday, they left their campfire burning and tons of trash, which Rock Knocker had to deal with. Really, people? Is it any wonder “The more I get to know some people, the more I like dogs!”?

It is a little early for my summer cynicism to start – my calendar says February. By June, I may be a crotchety ol’ woman on a mountain in Big Sur. my neighbor tries to see them as butterflies, all different, and all fragile and transient. I tend to see them all as puppies, eager, undisciplined, and helpless. I LOVE dogs. Help me love idiots and keep my sense of humor and perspective, my friends!

Missy, the Mystery Dog, part 2

Trying to learn who she is, and I am learning she is the sweetest, smartest dog I have ever had find me. I will never know how she came to me. I wish I could read her mind better. She has become thoroughly, and completely attached. She needs to stay close to me, or watch me, constantly. I cannot go to the bathroom alone … reminds me of when my kids were little. It is only when I am safely in bed does she lay on her own bed, right near mine. I know she doesn’t talk, except through her eyes, and her behavior. She still is not barking or otherwise making any sounds. I wish I were a better dog whisperer.

I took her to the vet Wednesday. She did not want to get in the car, and then, when she did, with much help from me, she shook for the first 1/2 hour or more. After I got her in the car at home, she wanted out, so I was concerned about stopping anywhere, lest she try to escape. She never did. She found her spot on the passenger side back seat, and was comfortable. She got out easily at the Vet, and was not fearful there. She enjoyed the little girl who wanted to be friends, the staff, who fell in love with her, and the only procedure she objected to was having her temperature taken. We postponed any shots or other things until her next visit in a month.

She played a lot of ball catching with her last owner, per her canine teeth, the vet assistant said. She is not chipped. She is not spayed. Probably not de-barked, just trying to get her confidence about her place in the pack, per the vet. She is between 1 and 2 years old, and in good health, especially considering her travels.

She got back into the car at the vets with confidence, and happily. I wasn’t leaving her.

When we got home, I let her out with the others off leash for the first time. She couldn’t get any privacy to do her “business” so snipped at Gideon. Dakota, Bear, and Missy came in when asked, but I had to put Missy into the bathroom so that Miranda, my most skittish dog, would come in, which I did. Gideon could not be found, until later. Thursday, I let them all out together, and she did really well.

Missy was very insecure, as could be expected, But is adapting very fast. There is a fine line I must tread in making her feel welcome, and making my other dogs not feel displaced. But we made a lot of progress on Thursday. She is not snipping at the others, and is wanting to play with them. The others are not sure, after her initial snarling. We need to work out her place in our pack … Our family. But each day she settles in more and more, finds her place, and everyone becomes a little more comfortable than they were the day before. She and Dakota are deciding who will be number one in this pack. Gideon and the others have always bowed to Dakota’s decisions, so we are 1/2 way there.

I’ve received a few inquiries, but so far, all for males. I have become very attached, just in four days. However, if there is a heartbroken owner out there, I will relinquish her, sadly.

I stopped for lunch at a Chinese buffet. I got two fortune cookies. One said, “a great reward will come to you.” The second said, “do not stray from the path that fate has laid out for you.” I gave Missy the cookies, and decided she is both my fate and my reward. I am just glad a Great Dane or St. Bernard didn’t show up!



Snow report and lost dogs

I did not receive any snow, but Cone Peak did! Couldn’t get a photo, as it was only visible for a short while before it was covered by clouds. I have had a fire going most of the day, although the sun came out for a bit, making my solar system happy.

lost dogs

On 11/2, Dr. Hyde’s grandson, while staying at the Hyde cabin on Plaskett Ridge Rd lost his two pugs. If you have any information, call Ash Chapman at 623-826-3620. Here is a photo of the pugs