The “Bubble Guys” at Seaside

The Pacific coast of Oregon has been my go-to vacation destination since the early 1990’s.  Experiences with my children, siblings, and, of course, Magic, have been what memories are made of.  The pleasures are simple:  beautiful beaches, not many people, gorgeous scenery, cool temperatures, pine forests, mountains. Our base of operations for this trip was, again,  Rivertide Suites in Seaside –  a two bedroom, two bath suite with a kitchen and living room overlooking the mountains to the west.  And they’re dog-friendly, especially for a registered Border collie Therapy dog.

The weekend after Labor day hosts a custom classic car show which means that rumbling exhausts, and automobile memories from the 1940’s to the 1970’s are lining the streets.  Compared to the more upscale Cannon Beach, Seaside has more of a middle-class, blue-collar feel, with arcades, gift shops, taffy and candy stores, and the occasional street-people.  And it was a pair of these street-people who provided a mesmerizing display of indigent creativity – think, BIG BUBBLES!

The promenade of Seaside consists of wide concrete walkway, a concrete wall, and a deep stretch of sand with the Pacific ocean to the west.  People of all ages, families, dog walkers, a few bikes, a few skateboards, a lot of tattoos, enjoy the promenade.  At the Broadway Street turn-around, a crowd had gathered.  Children were jumping at these HUGE bubbles that were emerging from the beach.  Two enterprising men had triangular strands of yarn suspended between two poles.  The yarn would be dipped into a small plastic pool and then held aloft for the ocean breeze to extract the soapy film from the strands of yarn to be transformed into the most attention-grabbing, prismatic, wanderers, some the size of  a kitchen stove.


The Bubble-Guys on the Promenade at Broadway, Seaside, OR.  Fascinating, simple, and free.


The Bubble-Guys do have a “donation” bucket.  If you are enjoying this unique experience, it’s a good spend!  And you will get a “thank-you!”

And the fee for this entertainment?  There was a small plastic bucket for donations, if one so desired.  I tossed in a $5 with an immediate “thank you” from one of the bubble creators.



OK, I’ll kill you first and then you can kill me…

Wanna play?  OK, let's go!

Wanna play? OK, let’s go!

My Dad and I went on a SECRET mission last Thursday.  We were up early (like I care), before dawn.  A bit chilly that morning and before we went on the first walk of the day, My Dad started the engine on the Scion xB, locked it up, and off we went.  I was VERY efficient in taking care of my business.  Within 15 minutes we were on our way to…I don’t know…I do know that My Dad lowers the left rear window and I love to stick my head out the window.  I love watching other cars approach and zoom by…moving things and Border collies….go figure.  Our first stop was a Police Department Headquarters in Highland Park (I can read some things, I’m not an idiot).  My Dad was out of the car about three minutes, and then we drove towards the rising sun.  (There’s a McDonald’s!!!!)  We pulled into a McDonald’s, I stayed in the Scion.  No hamburgers?  “We’ll get you some hamburgers after we finish our job.”  My Dad said we were on surveillance…very hush-hush.  But everytime some dog-walkers strolled by our vehicle, My Dad would roll down the windows and have a discussion about dogs (yes he is a wizard, isn’t he?).  And I would get to exchange pleasantries with the dogs being walked (“I’m in the car and you’re not…did you poop, yet?…you only get three walks a day?…you NEVER get to go for car rides?”)  Yes, a lot of drama and angst is exchanged between dogs during these brief encounters.  Just after 9:00 a.m., My Dad left the car for the fourth time with the two manila envelopes, and he returned without the two manila envelopes…SUCCESS! My Dad was in a good mood, he called up his brother Ed (Uncle Ed to me) and asked if we (that means My Dad and Me, Magic) could play with Patrick.  And then My Dad gave me a briefing on Patrick…He is a 70 pound Cattle Dog mix, maybe with Pittie, and sometimes he gets a little aggressive with other dogs, so, maybe we were not going to have a long visit with Patrick.  Mmm…I get along with everyone…shouldn’t be a problem.  So……we got to the house where Patrick lived and My Dad opened the rear hatchback and gave me permission to exit the Scion…My Dad has taught me to ALWAYS wait after the rear door opens…WAIT for permission…OK…and the 49 pound Border collie exits the Scion into bright, sunny weather, and temperatures in the mid 50’s.  And there is a BIG open field right here, it is like my private dog park.  And Patrick comes out…we’ve met briefly once before…I said, let’s play, and we started playing right away.  Chase me – Chase you, herding dog pursuit, knock down, get up, wrestling, rest and start over over…we had a GREAT time.  No hurting, just herding.  I took down Patrick 5 times, but we were playing.  I’d pretend to kill him and he’d pretend to kill me.  The best part?  Two McDonald’s hamburgers (plain, just the bread and the meat) for lunch.  I took a long nap after we got home.

Oh, Magic....just finish me now...

Oh, Magic….just finish me now…

This little girl is Bailey.  She was, how do I put this season.

This little girl is Bailey. She was, how do I put this delicately…in season.

Patrick!  You believe I can't get that ball?

Patrick! You believe I can’t get that ball?

This is LILLY.  She wanted to get tough with me, but she wasn't fast enough.  I gave her a few kisses and she calmed down.

This is LILLY. She wanted to get tough with me, but she wasn’t fast enough. I gave her a few kisses and she calmed down.

My speckled underbelly appears when I lay down.

My speckled underbelly appears when I lay down.

With an inky black body and a black& white speckled underbelly, I am often referred to as gorgeous, handsome, or beautiful...really!

With an inky black body and a black & white speckled underbelly, I am often referred to as gorgeous, handsome, or beautiful…really!


Yes, I still know how to bark at delivery trucks – UPS, FED EX, the U.S. MAIL trucks.  I still love to go bye-bye- in the Scion xB. In fact, My Dad took me on a mission to Twin Lakes, WI – a SECRET mission – I can’t even discuss the nature of the mission in this forum.  What?  OK.  I do have permission to reveal that My Dad took a side trip to a McHenry County Park located a short distance from our A/O (Area of Operations).  We were the only man and dog there, so, no worries about the under-informed busybodies of the world making comments like:

“Is that your dog?”  Duh, you think I drove out here by myself?

“Do you know you’re supposed to have your dog on a leash?”  And what would be different if I was on a leash?  Nothing…  Am I bothering you?

“Does he bite?”   Did I ever tell you your fingers resemble “Busybones?”  NO, I’ve never been a biter, I am an OFFICIAL good boy and a Therapy Dog!  C’mon over here and pet me.

I like it when My Dad stops at a park or nature area and I get an off-leash walk.  I can walk at my own pace, check out all of the interesting smells.  When we walked back to the car, My Dad places both of his arms under my chest and caboose and lifts me into the car…he is very gentle with me.


Checking out the smells at the McHenry County Bog preserve.

Checking out the smells at the McHenry County Bog preserve.

Preparing for loading into the Scion xB.

Preparing for loading into the Scion xB.

This morning I was feeling pretty good for an old guy and I wanted my daily BusyBone NOW!  But I never get the BusyBone immediately.  But, at some level, My Dad feels better when I am sassy with him.  My Dad places the BusyBone in a glass of warm water for about 10 minutes, to soften it just a bit.  Take a look at my BusyBone chewing technique…use of the big paws is crucial to a good chewing session.

Very important to have a firm grip on the BusyBone.

Very important to have a firm grip on the BusyBone.



I sleep like this most of the time, doesn't this look comfy?

I sleep like this most of the time, doesn’t this look comfy?


Before we get to the BIG EVENT of the day, my faithful, loyal, followers have been asking me to give an example of “piggies up.”  I checked with My Dad and signed a consent form (just kidding) to have my photo taken while demonstrating “piggies up.”Image


Pretty simple, straightforward…almost a trick (a simple trick for a BC).  My Dad says, “Piggies up,” I place my front paws on whatever object I need help with, and My Dad places both arms (very gently) under my tummy and caboose, and lifts me gently.  Easy stuff.

But like I said earlier, during a very chatty moment, the Scion is back.  My Dad took me to the vet to get my Adequan injection.  The waiting room was empty, no stories about bulging eyes, drooling, or dogs thinking of biting me.  We were in and out pretty quickly…almost…  My Dad came up with this really poor idea to get my nails clipped.  Every dog I have chatted with says that they DO NOT like to have their claws trimmed or their feet touched.  Our feet are VERY important – that is how we get around.  I did NOT like it, I was struggling with the two vet techs, but we got through it.  Gives me the shudders…

Our next mission was a drive to the Glenview Post Office…check the P.O. Box.  Now for the good part!  My Dad, bless his human heart, intercepted a FedEx delivery truck.  I really let the FedEx guy have it…”I SEE YOU…YOU ARE NOT FOOLING ANYBODY…I SEE YOU…I SEE YOU…I SEE YOU.”  Surprisingly, My Dad was ready with his Sony 20 megapixel camera and documented this encounter.



We stopped at the bank and the car wash after the FedEx intercept.  My Dad took me inside the car wash…no one was interested in petting me…sigh.

I am feeling wonderful about getting my car back.



Time for some celebration, some serious barking, some serious bye-bye in the car!  My Dad’s Scion xB, with it’s very comfy rear seat and cargo area….AND my own window to bark from, has returned!  As my wonderful, loyal, faithful followers will recall, My Dad switched cars with his sister, Mary.  Mary had surgery, didn’t have full use of her arms, and My Dad offered the use of the Scion xB (automatic transmission).  I know, I know…  I gave My Dad “the look” the first time he said “piggies up” for our first ride in the Mini Cooper (a six speed) a couple of weeks ago.  (really?  this is cramped!  there is no rear window to bark from! really?  you’re a bit jerky on the shifting.  I am not comfortable…sigh)

In fact, I do believe I had LESS rides in the Mini Cooper because My Dad knew I was unhappy with the rear of the Mini Cooper.  Yes, I was VERY unhappy.  The Scion xB is luxurious, at least from a 62 pound Border collie’s perspective.  I can lay down, I can lay diagonally, I can stand up, I have TWO windows to bark from, I can easily watch out for delivery trucks, and auto carriers, bridges, tunnels…blah, blah, blah.  I am feeling very chatty.  My Dad certainly thought he was Mr. Suave, Mr. Jolly Good Show, Mr. British Gran Prix in the Mini Cooper.  Yeah…that was a real “jolly good show” when you were trying to come off the light (in fourth gear) as the 2003 Honda Civic with the exhaust amplifier zipped away….didn’t think I noticed that, did ya’?  Like I always say, “Border collies notice EVERYTHING!  Such a proud moment!  Or, how ’bout the Dundee Road straightaway, through the Forest Preserve, that one mile stretch where My Dad usually hits 70 (I watch the speedometer, too).  Yes, Jolly Good Show at the next traffic signal, at Sanders Road…My Dad effed it up with the clutch, killed the engine and all of the slow-pokes caught up to us.  I was embarrassed, no barking for about 15 seconds.

My Dad made a purchase of several car magnets from Cafe Press.  My Dad thinks it’s pretty cool to have me in the car.  Yes!  These are Border collie magnets – WOOF, BORDER COLLIE, DOGS HAVE OWNERS, BORDER COLLIES HAVE MINIONS.  My Dad was asking me very nicely to look happy when he took my picture.  See below for the results of THREE takes.  I DO NOT LIKE MY PICTURE TAKEN….jeez.