On the mailing list, Mahalie wrote of a break-in along Cheasty where a laptop was stolen sometime Friday night or Saturday morning. Monica added a note about a garbage bag full of someone else’s mail dropped next to her recycling Friday or the night prior. (Sharon who lives in the 9XXX block of Renton Avenue South, you may be interested to know your garbage has moved.)
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Another reported attack just off of Dearborn in “the Jungle” has been reported in the P-I by Casey McNerthney: Man found beaten with two-by-four. This is just the most recent report of violenceandcrime on the northern tippy-tip-tip of the hill next to I-90 in recent months.
All of my posts so far have been about me and my experiences as a pedestrian and neighbor in Beacon Hill. I’d like to share some of my observations about sharing my life with an athletic, social animal.
Tica turned 10 in June. She’s still active and continues to demand (and deserve) regular exercise, but at a much more gentle pace. We go out for 20-30 minutes in the morning and again in the evening. From age 1-5, Tica had to be engaged for at least a couple of hours every day. She is a smart, social dog and it was fun to find ways to keep her entertained. It was also a lot of work. I trained Tica using a “clicker” and positive training methods. This approach worked miracles with my high-energy dog. Using positive methods strengthened our relationship and helped Tica become more trusting of strangers. Clicker Solutions is one of many online resources for this method.
My mantra in those years was “a tired dog is a good dog.” When Tica was younger, she got bored easily. When she was bored, she’d find ways to get my attention–barking, whining, digging, chewing… behaviors I couldn’t ignore. I realized that keeping her busy on my terms was a lot easier than trying to deal with her behavior after she got bored.
If you have a spring puppy, you’ve probably both been basking in the incredible weather. It’s easy (and fun!) to take long walks and extended trips to the dog park while the sun is shining. It’s a lot more effort when the sun goes down at 5:45 and the puddles are past your ankles. Make the effort to keep your dog active–it pays off!
Wondering how you’re going to keep your dog active & happy this winter?
Wear a watch. Make a commitment to take the dog out every day. Most experts recommend 60-90 minutes, especially for high energy and/or younger dogs. You know your dog and your lifestyle. Set a goal and stick to it.
Dress appropriately. You’re more likely to take the dog out if you’re comfortable. Wear weather appropriate shoes, invest in a good raincoat, and get several hats. Keep visibility in mind–you want drivers to see you on dark November afternoons. I don’t wear headphones because I want to be aware of my surroundings.
Keep your dog safe and comfortable. Some breeds are prone to ear infections, especially in wet climates. Watch for discharge coming out of the ears and/or extra scratching. Some breeds (Greyhounds, pit bulls, etc) need a sweater or rain coat to stay dry and warm on long walks. Talk to your vet if you have concerns.
Trade doggy play dates and/or get together with a friend. Take turns bringing the dogs to the park, or simply getting them together to run around in the backyard. You’re less likely to put off that walk when you’ve made a commitment to another human.
Play indoor gameswith your pooch. Teach new tricks, hide dog treats behind the couch or in the bathtub, or practice a quiet “down, stay” while you’re making dinner. Mental stimulation and social interaction keep dogs busy & happy. Your dog still needs to go outside–but make the most of indoor time, too.
Take classes. Seattle has too many dog resources to list. Agility, obedience, herding, conformation…there’s bound to be something you and your dog will both enjoy. Many classes are in a covered or indoor area.
Hire a professional. If you’re too stretched for time to meet your dog’s needs, consider paying for a dog walker or taking your pup to a doggy daycare. A responsible teenage neighbor might just be the perfect answer for getting your dog out of the house. Be sure to interview critically–this person is going to be alone with your pet and may have access to your home. Check references.
In every season, remember to be a responsible neighbor: carry bags and clean up after your dog, keep her leashed, and be respectful of others. Many people are afraid of dogs–including some dog owners. Tica is medium sized by my standards (45lbs), but to some people she looks intimidating. I don’t force the issue. Observe dog and human body language and keep your dog under control.
It takes a village…
A new baby, illness, injury, increased or changed work schedule… sometimes there are times when the responsibilities of a pet are too much. If you need help, ask. If your neighbor needs help, offer. A dog walking service is a great baby shower gift! There are also lots of pet charities who need your support. Donate food, litter, and other supplies to help others care for their pets. Encourage your animal-loving student to consider volunteering at a shelter when assigned community service projects.
My 8 year old niece was recently visiting from Eastern Washington. One of her favorite things about coming to see us is being able to walk the neighborhood dogs. There’s a 9 year old who visits her grandmother next door, and the girls have become close “vacation friends”. We allow them to take the small dogs around the block alone—reminded each time about safety and sticking together.
On our block alone, we have a West Highland Terrier, a Belgian Malinois, a Shih Tzu, a black Lab, a Whippet, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, and our mixed breed Tica. If you cross a street in any direction, you’ll meet an English Bulldog, a Catahuoula, a Min-Pin, more Labs… an incredible variety of dogs. My niece is fascinated by the diversity, and loves learning the names of breeds and their history.
I share her love of doggy diversity, and have fun watching the big dogs play with the puppies—and how well all the dogs behave around the little girls.
Beacon Hill is also an incredible example of human diversity. Staying within one block of our house, you will smell cooking from every continent and hear over a dozen languages being spoken over the dinner table. We have new babies and great grandparents, a wide range of income and education levels, different sexual orientations, and families of every possible composition.
Walking the dogs has given me—and now my niece—a chance to develop an appreciation for the similarities our neighbors share. Everyone smiles when they see two little girls holding leashes or selling lemonade. Everyone strives to create a safe, welcoming place.
Our neighborhood is a community. New neighbors are welcomed by those who have lived here 50 years. History, current events, and hopes and fears for the future are all discussed in front yards and on street corners. I celebrate our diversity, and I cherish every chance we have to come together.
Beacon Hill has seen many changes over the generations, and we will see more as light rail begins. We’ve weathered several years of construction and traffic challenges, and I expect some bumpy patches as we face increased numbers of people coming through (and moving to) the neighborhood. I’m confident that this diverse, welcoming community will continue to come together to face every challenge and celebrate every positive change.
I’m drafting a post about walking the stairs around Beacon Hill for fun and fitness (okay…not really that fun). That was yesterday’s walk–a little much for an old dog on a hot day.
Today’s walk was a slow stroll around the west side of Beacon Ave. As we often do, we looped around Triangle Park (Stevens Place) for a drink from the fresh, cool water running out into the gutter. Tica appreciates the drink and the chance to splash/pad around in the water. I’m a bit worried about the waste.
Has anyone else noticed this? There’s either a broken water main or some other problem, because I don’t think the City intentionally pumps large amounts of fresh water into the storm drains on a regular basis. This water has been flowing for at least 2 years. I keep forgetting to call it in and can’t find a way to email it in while it’s fresh in my mind.
Maybe if several of us call? Or if someone reading this works for Parks & Rec and/or Seattle Public Utilities? The water flows out directly underneath the locked blue box on the SW corner of Triangle Park.
Take advantage of the cooler weather and go out for a walk!
(Editor’s note: This is the first of what we hope will be many posts by Melissa, a new contributor to the blog. Please give her a hearty welcome!)
Howdy neighbors! I’m starting a new project on the blog, loosely based on my observations and adventures as I walk around Beacon Hill. We moved to Beacon Hill from the Central District in 2003. I grew up in Walla Walla and settled in Seattle in 1997. Our household includes me, my sweetheart, two cats, and a somewhat cranky 10 year old mutt named Tica. She’s been a major ice breaker in getting to know our neighbors. We’ve also met other dogs and the people who walk them from all around the neighborhood; there are lots of folks out there holding leashes and scoop bags. (There are also lots of cats watching all these dogs warily from living room windows, porch railings, and behind bushes.)
For six years, Tica and I have explored the neighborhood, from Pac Med to the stairs on Lucile Street, but we spend the most time between College and Spokane. The north-south streets are more gently sloped, but I also enjoy the east-west hills and stairs for the incredible views and great workout. We also frequently visit Blue Dog Pond (an off leash area on Massachusetts) and occasionally stop at the dog park at Jose Rizal or the informal dog run at Pac Med/Amazon.
Taking Tica for a walk is more than just exercise, for both of us. It’s a chance to check on construction progress at the light rail station, notice “for sale” signs, and admire gardens. It’s also a fantastic socialization opportunity for both of us. Often — especially on these sunny days — we wander slowly around a few blocks and stop to see neighbors in their yards. Tica is getting older and slower, and appreciates a chance to lounge in someone else’s parking strip while I stand at the gate and gab. She also looks forward to the treats and belly scratches many of our neighbors generously dispense.
When I’m with Tica, people smile and say hello. They ask what kind of dog she is (I don’t know, probably a Blue Heeler mix), where we live (McClellan), and how progress is going on our house (it’s coming along). These basic conversations helped established relationships in a neighborhood evenly mixed between old-timers and people who just moved in. Sharing pet stories opened doors — often literally. People will invite us in to see the latest progress on a project, or ask if Tica needs some water. Slowly, over time, these sidewalk conversations are turning into invitations to dinner and exchanges of phone numbers.
Walking the dog has given me the chance to see and appreciate my neighborhood in a way that I don’t take for granted. It’s a chance to catch up on the latest news (I get the latest void updates fresh from the source), get restaurant reviews, and celebrate (or commiserate) what’s going on in the lives of our neighbors. Even if you don’t have a dog, I encourage you to get out and walk a few blocks. Especially right now — all the flowers are blooming and everyone’s yard looks great!
I’m looking forward to sharing my pedestrian experiences on the blog. Thanks to Wendi and Jason for the opportunity!
(Editor’s note: We have been told that because Abbey was adopted from the Seattle Humane Society, her adoption contract requires that she be returned to the shelter for rehoming, and the shelter will find her a good home and make sure that her new family are aware of any issues related to her breed or behavioral profile. Thanks everyone for reading this and caring about Abbey!)
Last year my wife and I rescued a wonderful 2 year old fox hound from the Humane Society. We named her Abbey and she is a very good companion. However, as we are expecting a baby girl in December, Abbey will be too much for us to manage while attending to an infant. If you are a walker or runner, she is an ideal training partner. I take her out on a 2 – 4 mile run (rain or shine) at least 3 days a week and she loves being outdoors.
If Abbey sounds like she may be compatible to your lifestyle, or if you know someone looking for a pet, I strongly encourage you to first check out a description of her breed [See American Foxhound]. Also, if you own a cat, ferret or a similar non-canine creature, then a foxhound under the same roof is simply not a good idea.
One important necessity for her breed is a tall enclosed fence with no escape routes while you are away. If left alone for long periods, the fox hound will get bored and become curious to explore the various interesting scents wafting through the neighborhood. However as long as people are at home, Abbey has no incentive to run off and contents herself with sleeping on her cushion, that is, after you’ve taken her out to play. When people are around, she is a very good indoor dog.
We have grown very attached to her, and want to ensure that she finds a suitable home that would be conducive to mutual happiness with her owner(s).
Please respond to our email if you are interested in adopting Abbey: email@example.com