Pip’s Original Donuts

Portland OR

Great donuts and coffee

This local donut shop has become a Portland favorite.  Hand-thrown mugs, free donuts on your birthday, innovative new flavors daily (blackberry lavender – yum!), freshly made when you order, tiny size so you can have a bunch without feeling too guilty – what’s not to love!  Frequented by celebs and mentioned in the New York Times – often crowded but always worth the wait!

 Check them out at Pips Original Donuts

And I love it for another reason as well

The design on the latte reminds me of the rocks in the Bisti Wildnerness.  Coincidence???  Or am I just missing being on the road.

See more about my trip at   Post: Bisti Wilderness

An eerie goodbye . . . .

Portland OR

My last visit to the Greyhound Rescue

Once a week, I spend the morning helping out at the Hounds Rest Greyhound Pet Adoption Kennel about an hour from my house.  This is the first stop for retired racing greyhounds as they leave their racing lives (usually from tracks in Arizona or breeding farms in Kansas).  While at the kennel, the dogs are neutered, get caught up on their shots, get dental work or other necessary medical treatment before moving on to foster homes in the community.  While in foster care, they begin the transition from ‘professional athlete’ to adored pet.  They need to learn many things – leash walking, how to handle steps, not to run into glass doors, that microwave beeps won’t actually kill them,  the proper way to sleep on a couch – all the important stuff.
But, with my second knee replacement surgery coming up, this was my last shift at the kennel for awhile.

Leaving was a little sad for me

I’d finished all the cleaning, feeding and turn-outs.  Checked the kennel latches and fed each dog their goodbye dog biscuit.  I was at my car changing my shoes, feeling a bit sad that I wouldn’t see the hounds for awhile and that I would probably never see these particular dogs again – they’ll all be out in foster or adopted and starting their new lives by the time I’ll be able to volunteer again.

An unexpected group serenade!

So, with these thoughts in my mind, I was surprised to hear one dog start a low, mournful howl.  Now, greyhounds are known for ‘Rooing’ or howling.  They don’t seem to bark as much as other dogs –but some of them like to howl.  And when a pack of hounds start to ‘Roo’, it’s an amazing experience.  I had never heard the kennel dogs howl – they often bark when we first drive up, anxious for their breakfast – but never howling.

As I listened, slowly the other dogs joined in until the whole kennel was in full voice.  The ululation continued for almost a minute before fading out. The sound was eerie, wild and (in my present mood) very emotional. Usually, I notice the dogs silliness, or their sweet personalities, or their sheer athleticism.  This was quite different and I felt a little blessed.

Even familiar places offer surprises

Portland, OR

A walk through my neighborhood

I’m trying to walk every day in preparation for my upcoming knee surgery and I’m surprised by all the things that I have never noticed just blocks away from my home.  I used to walk the neighborhood extensively while walking the dogs – but my attention was on other dogs, cats and traffic.  I noticed the big things like new businesses, and increasingly in Portland, houses being demolished and replaced by huge houses.

But, I was surprised recently by some little things.  I saw this memorial for a local weatherman, partially covered by fall leaves along a busy street.

This sidewalk garden was filled with tiny houses and bridges – making the rock garden look like a mountain side village.

My neighbors are certainly more creative gardeners than I am!