We’ve known for years that coyotes are all around us in Forest Knolls – I wrote about it here when a couple of neighbors reported seeing them. (LINK: Coyotes Among Us)
But this time, neighbor Michelle Lukban got this really neat picture (published here with permission). For everyone who’s been jealous of Bernal Heights coyote pictures, we got ours! [Edited 3/27/17 to correct attribution of picture]
BEING CAREFUL AROUND COYOTES
Janet Kessler, the Jane Goodall of SF’s coyotes, has for many years been observing, photographing, and reporting on our San Francisco coyotes. Her website is at CoyoteYipps.com. She’s also involved with Coyote Coexistence, an organization that helps people and coyotes to co-exist safely.
Coyotes are not very concerned about people, and are generally quite shy of them. But they are very interested in dogs. Coyotes are territorial animals, and dogs could be considered interlopers. Also, some dogs chase coyotes, and so coyotes may feel threatened. Often the coyote will remember which dog it was. Don’t let your dog do this. It could be dangerous for both animals. Finally, really small dogs – and cats – may be viewed as prey. This is rare, but it has happened. If you have pets, the video above may be useful.
One of the delights of living where we do is being so close to wildlife. I don’t mean just the raccoons or the hawks – but actual whales! I’d been seeing Youtube video of humpback whales in Pacifica, barely 15 minutes south of us.
So I went out to Pacifica Pier around 4 p.m. on a sunny Saturday afternoon, hoping that I’d maybe see a whale. I was disappointed to find access is truncated – the pier is shaped like a shallow L, but the short arm was closed off after a big storm damaged the parapet. (In the picture below, you can see the concrete slab of the wall has been pushed in by the waves. I wish they’d repair it!)
In the fine weather, the Pier was crowded. Lots of people were fishing, lots of others walking around. My hopes rose when I saw a couple of people armed with cameras with lenses as long as my forearm… maybe they were seeing whales? I only had my iPhone camera, but thought maybe I’d get some distant sightings.
I didn’t have to wait long. Almost immediately, I could see the puffs of whale-spouts in the distance, north of the pier.
Soon I could even see the whales when they surfaced. Flocks of birds surrounded them. As they fed, the fish that escaped them fed the gulls and other sea-birds. After I’d been there an hour or so, I wanted to leave. Except, I couldn’t. Every time I started to leave, more whales swam by.
Finally, one came in so close, it was inside the surf line. Someone next to me was explaining to a friend that it was likely a calf, and the shallow water was easier to breathe in. It was almost alongside the pier. After a minute or two, it turned around and swam back out.
A couple of days ago, neighbor Greg Flowers posted this on our Nextdoor site. (It’s reproduced here with permission.)
“After my experience last night, I plan to behave much differently when I am met by a coyote (or two) on the Sutro trails or on our neighborhood sidewalks. My usual MO is to respect its space and maybe snap a few photos of it as past encounters have been limited to in the woods of Mt. Sutro, and they usually run away.
“I took my dog out last night for a walk around the neighborhood around 10:45p following Christopher Dr east. As we were passing 15 Christopher, there was a rustle in the bushes and my dog lunged into the darkness. I pulled him back and we continued a few steps and then I saw it was indeed a coyote. It crossed the street into the woods and we made it to Clarendon before I turned and saw there were now two coyotes stalking us.
“Now I’m concerned and my dog is very interested in playing or giving chase. I tried to make myself look big and menacing, yelled a bit and made like I was going to charge them but they continued toward us so I then made the mistake of turning and continuing down Clarendon to get to Oak Park, looking over my shoulder constantly. No cars or people were out at this time and the fog + blood moon combo + coyotes stalking me really affected my nerves. The coyote in front crossed Clarendon as if it was planning to circle around to surround us and so when I got to Oak Park we turned the corner and sprinted all the way back to Christopher and Oak Park til we got home. That wasn’t the smartest choice but they didn’t follow me back into the neighborhood which was a huge relief.
“I’m posting this as a learning experience for myself and hoping it will help raise the awareness about the coyote presence around these parts. The closest I let them get to us was about 20 yards and my dog is 60lbs and these coyotes appeared larger than him. Because they were unaffected by my dog’s size and my scare tactic, I looked online and found this explanation of how to ‘haze’ coyotes so that they will fear humans again: Coyote Hazing: Guidelines for Discouraging Neighborhood Coyotes
“Hopefully we can make a neighborhood effort toward keeping coyotes, all our pets, and ourselves safe and that starts with coyotes maintaining a healthy fear of humans.”
A COYOTE WATCHER’S OBSERVATIONS
As readers of this site know, I’m a believer in coyote coexistence. This report was concerning, especially in the context of recent reports in which coyotes attacked dogs (one fatally) at Pine Lake (behind Stern Grove), a popular dog-play area. So I reached out to Janet Kessler, the Jane Goodall of San Francisco’s coyotes. She’s been studying our coyotes for years, and maintains a great blog, CoyoteYipps.com where she puts up her observations. Why were we suddenly getting this bold behavior?
“There seems to be a change in their behavior going on, but I’m told that it’s not due to habituation, it’s due to the drought. All urban coyotes are habituated by definition, yet they still keep a healthy distance (can’t use habituated and wary at the same time). For dogs, it’s a different story — and it’s going to be the same story whether a coyote is habituated to humans or not. Habituation to humans has nothing to do with coyotes approaching dogs — especially when they are curious about them.
“[Greg] did the right thing by moving away from the coyote — that’s how you diffuse a situation and maintain control — you are simply not going to engage. If a coyote follows… he’s just checking out your dog, gauging whether it’s a threat to be worried about, and making sure it is a safe distance away.
“We’re seeing more coyotes because of the drought. Because of the drought, there are fewer gophers and voles in the coyotes’ home range, so they are expanding that range as they hunt for their favorite foods. However, as they hunt in new areas, they will opportunistically take free roaming cats.”
This is also a concern; I know some people in Forest Knolls do have outdoor or indoor-outdoor cats. I think it’s also important for people with small dogs to be especially careful. Coyotes may see them as rivals or as prey, and they’re much more vulnerable. Humane Society guidelines recommend keeping cats indoors, and not letting small dogs off-leash in the backyard at night. Here’s their article: Coyotes, Pets and Community Cats.
From Janet Kessler: “And, yes, coyotes have been approaching dogs, much more than we’ve seen before. Walk away always, and keep walking (never run) away from the coyote, even if he follows.”
There’s more useful information on the CoyoteYipps website, here: CoyoteYipps.com
It also has some great photographs and observations of coyote behavior.
Recently, a neighbor out walking her dog encountered a large unfriendly dog that bit her dog so badly it required stitches. In the public interest, she would like this dog to be identified and asked me to put it here.
Alfie was attacked by a grey Great Dane on January 24. His owner could not control him. When he finally got his dog off Alfie he left the scene showing no concern for my small dog.
If you know where the dog lives, please let me know – it will remain confidential. Animal Care and Control consider this a “bite and run.” We do not want it to happen to another dog, cat, child or adult.
If you respond in comments, we can pass it on to the neighbor.
One of my favorite things to do is post updates when a lost pet is found, and to go back and edit the header of the original “LOST” post to say “FOUND.”
Today I get to do that for Boycat
Here’s what Boycat’s family wrote on Nextdoor:
We found Boycat. He was in the warm glasshouse nursery in the arboretum. We think he has been there for the past 4 weeks! We walked past this morning for about the 150th time and heard a yowl – he must have heard us speaking – and Heather and I knew instantly it was him. It took a while to coax him out of a corner of the greenhouse. He was very hungry, frightened, skittish yet characteristically pleased to see us. Thank you all for your support and patience with us as we filled the streets of our neighborhood with our longing to have Boycat back.
Another lost kitty, this time from San Francisco’s Inner Sunset neighborhood, across from Golden Gate Park. Here’s the photo and the message from Heather, the cat’s owner.
“Boycat” big orange male striped tabby with green eyes and white tip of his tail – 15 pounds, big sweet cat, indoor only, he has never been outside and will be scared and confused – likely hiding. Is he in your garage or yard? Hiding on your spare tire? No collar, no chip. Escaped from our apartment at 1220 14th avenue (the big apartment building on the corner behind Andronico’s) sometime during the day Thursday January 16th. He will be unable to find our apartment door, as it is upstairs in an apartment building.
Please catch him if you can – he is sweet and mild, or please all even if you see a wandering orange striped tabby. He is our pal and we hate to think of him lost and scared! Call any time! [number deleted]. Thank you.
And here’s some further information:
We have had 2 sightings that place him running across Lincoln from the area of our building the day he went missing, and one in the Arboretum [i.e, the Botanic Garden in Golden Gate Park] just inside the gardeners’ entrance near 10th [Avenue] yesterday, so we are continuing to look for him!
[Edited to Add: She’s been found! Here’s the note from her people:
“We are happy to report Nina has been found, and is safe at home. She made her way to the SF Zoo, and the wonderful staff got in touch with us. Thank you for all of your support and help! Hanna and Nick” ]
Please keep a look out for the black dog Nina who got lost last night. She ran off from Crestmont Drive, Forest Knolls, San Francisco 94131 on New Year’s 2014.
Here’s another picture of her.
“She was spooked by the fireworks and ran off. Please help her come home. She has a blue collar with a Marin County dog license and an oversized leather teardrop tag. Nina is a 7 year old small/medium sized black dog with brown stockings and salt & pepper toes on her hind legs.
I got this comment on the ‘pets’ page, but am posting it here for better circulation. If I get a photo, I’ll post it here too. And if Nina comes home, please let me know!
Our dog, Nina, was last seen at 1am on New Years Eve in Forest Knolls on the hillside above Crestmont Drive.
She was spooked by the fireworks and ran off. Please help her come home.
She has a blue collar with a Marin County dog license and an oversized leather teardrop tag.
Nina is a 7 year old small/medium sized black dog with brown stockings and salt & pepper toes on her hind legs. She has two brown spots above her eyes and a white spot on her chest. There is some graying around her snout. We’re working on getting her photo posted here as well.
I was sent this note by two of our neighbors. Though I don’t personally have a dog, I believe that dogs and their walkers make areas safer for *everyone* to use.
Why? It’s because dog-walkers are around. In all weathers, every day of the year, dogs need their walks. Who else uses the parks? Joggers do, but they usually go by running, often with their music on. So do hikers and trekkers and parents with their kids – but they usually select nice weather and convenient times. Dog walkers are the eyes and ears of our parks.
Paws in our parks means eyes in our parks.
So I’m pleased that our neighborhood is dog-friendly, and I’m happy to post this – for the dog-walkers, and for people like me who benefit from their presence. I’ve made some minor edits and corrected the deadline date.
SAVE OFF-LEASH DOG WALKING IN THE GGNRA!
What’s the Deal?
This past September, the GGNRA released a revised version of its Dog Management Plan in the form of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, or SEIS. This document proposes eliminating 90% of off-leash dog access, and severely restricting all dog walking in 21 existing GGNRA sites in Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo counties, as well as in all future sites managed by the GGNRA.
Why Should I care?
If the GGNRA implements their preferred alternatives, Marin will lose off-leash access to the Oakwood Valley Trail, Muir Beach and almost all other GGNRA trails. The only off-leash opportunity in Marin would be Rodeo Beach, the one beach that is only reachable by car by any and all users. And most trails within the GGNRA in Marin would no longer allow any use by people with their dogs, leashed or unleashed. People and their dogs would go from having access to an already tiny 1 % of the GGNRA down to a mere .1 %, effectively removing an entire user group from the GGNRA.
Several years ago, when the plan was first unveiled, public comment ran 3-1 against the GGNRA’s preferred alternatives. But the GGNRA apparently isn’t listening. They’ve re-heated the same plan, with even more restrictions in many locations. And they are requiring new comments for the “new” plan. Even if you commented a couple of years ago, you need to do it again.
What can I do about it?
Comments close on 18 Feb 2014 at 11 p.m. [Webmaster; It’s been extended from January 11th, 2014]. You must submit substantive comments that directly address aspects of the SEIS. No form letters or petitions will be accepted or counted. The GGNRA is making it difficult for a reason. Comments mailed in the old fashioned way always carry more weight. We’ve tried to make it easy for you: key points/phrases to include in your comments are listed below. You may also comment on the NPS website, by clicking on the “Comment on Document” button. Here’s the link: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=303&projectID=11759&documentID=55416
HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT POINTS TO MAKE IN YOUR COMMENTS
Mention where you walk, how long you ‘ve walked there, and what impact this will have on you as a dog guardian and as a citizen.
The SEIS lacks scientific data. Instead, it makes assumptions and assertions with absolutely no peer reviewed site-specific studies as required by law. Without these studies and corresponding data, there is no legitimate or legal foundation for these policy changes.
The plan doesn’t differentiate between impacts caused by humans or other animals. It just assumes all the negative impacts are caused by dogs.
If the GGNRA further limits dog walking as recreation, what few surrounding parks and trails that do allow off-leash will become overcrowded and overburdened. We need more access, not less.
A well-exercised dog is a well-behaved dog. The SFSPCA and Marin Humane Society, as well countless other dog behaviorists are opposed to GGNRA’s preferred alternatives.
There is no federally designated critical habitat in the GGNRA. Yet they cite possible impacts on critical habitat as a reason to ban dogs or restrict access to dog owners.
The GGNRA is an urban park, not a wilderness area. It’s critical recreational open space for a densely populated urban area. By severely reducing off leash dog walking, the GGNRA is in violation of its enabling legislation that allows different user groups -it specifically mentions off-leash dog walkers -to recreate.
Oppose the GGNRA’s preferred alternative and tell them you support the NO ACTION alternative.
Tell the GGNRA to enforce the existing (and adequate) rules to manage dogs.
For more info, visit saveoffleash.com
Send comments to: Frank Dean, General Superintendent Golden Gate National Recreation Area Fort Mason Building 201 San Francisco, CA 94123-002
SPREAD THE WORD! TOGETHER WE CAN KEEP THE GGNRA DOG FRIENDLY!
Jennifer, a former neighbor asked me to post this. Her cat, who currently lives in Forest Knolls, is missing. If you see him, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s her message:
I am no longer a member of the Forest Knoll group as we moved out of state. However, my cat has been staying on Warren Drive with a friend until I can come back and transport him to his new home. Would you be able to post this message to the listserve for me?
He has been missing since Thursday morning, November 21st. He lives on Warren Drive near Oak Park and responds to the name Sky Kitty. Has anyone seen him?
Please keep a lookout for Sky Kitty, and email Jennifer if you see him.
I’d gone for a walk toward Tank Hill, the other evening, when I saw a shape scurrying across the road. Raccoon! And sure enough, it was Garbage Night, and there was the overturned trashcan. As I approached, I made out its tail, sticking out of the trashcan, and then, as it heard me, it came out and tried to decide whether to stay or run.
The light was poor, and the picture worse, but here you are. (It scampered off before I could get anything better.)
Meanwhile, our latest solution seems to be holding up – two crossed bungees, snagged outside the lid hinges on one side, and on either side of the main lip of the trashcan lid on the other. Like in this picture.
Walking around the neighborhood on garbage nights, we’ve seen other solutions.
One neighbor drilled a hole in the lid, and attached a strap with a bolt and washer. They then snagged the strap to the bar below.
But the solution that looked simple and ingenious was the one that tied up the trashcans with a bow, like shoe-laces in a larger size. Because it’s rope, not bungee, it doesn’t stretch, so presumably it’s difficult for the raccoons to pry off.
So I recently posted here about how one bungee cord was not enough to prevent raccoons from getting into the trashcans… it took two per trashcan. That worked well.
Or so I thought. I was out of town recently when I got this message: “Double bungees are no match for these strong clever critters!“
Yowch. See this photograph? That’s what accompanied the message.
Maybe the black bin had overflowed and some of the garbage was left on the side in vulnerable garbage bags?
Nope. Here’s another picture. The raccoons had managed to push the bungee cord out of position, open the corner of the can, get in, and drag out the contents.
So we’re developing new solutions. (The easiest would be to put it in the garage until Garbage Morning, but with two cars and three garbage cans, that doesn’t work.)
Until we do, we’ve invested in a box of disposable rubber gloves for clean-up. And maybe we’ll add more bungee cords.
Stay tuned, and if you’re losing (or winning!) the Bandit Battle, I’d love to publish your experiences and photographs. Email at fk94131 at yahoo.com or leave a comment here. (Comments are moderated, so it may take a day or two to come through.)
Several neighbors suggested using bungee cords to keep them closed. Some were kind enough to send a detailed explanation of how to bungee a trashcan so the raccoons couldn’t open it. So we duly got some cords, and fastened down the lids of the green “compostables” bin, and the black “landfill” bin. (We didn’t bother about the blue bin; we figured recyclable paper and plastic and cans wouldn’t interest the critters.) And it worked! I added a note to my previous post to say so.
Until it didn’t.
A few nights later, they pushed over the green bin, and then deftly moved aside the bungee cord enough to open the lid and drag out its contents. Now what? we wondered. Someone suggested boring a hole through the lid of the trashcan and putting a chain through it.
Instead, we decided to try a double bungee, two cords on each bin.
So a few nights ago, I heard the now-familiar crash. They’d pushed the trashcan over. But this time the bungee cord held, and the bin stayed shut. We hurried out, and saw a couple of raccoons scamper off. We may have a solution.
If we do, it’s this:
Fasten each bin with two bungee cords in parallel, hooked over the handle, and the bar on the other side that’s used to lift the trashcan over the truck. You may have to open the hooks a little with pliers so they can grab the bars; at least we did.
Remember to replace them every time you put something in the trashcan. My experience is the raccoons come around 1-5 a.m., but who knows? Maybe they come earlier on some days and some places. [Edited to Add: The other evening, they showed up before 10 p.m.]
Remember to remove the cords in the morning before the garbage trucks come round, or they won’t clear the garbage.
Of course, it’s a lot easier if you can just keep the trashcans in your garage, and put them out only on the morning of Garbage Day. But if you have two cars parked inside, or a garage full of Stuff, it may not be feasible.
Sadly, Oskar the dachshund who was poisoned by the strychnine-laced meatballs, has died. The veterinary clinic did their best to save him, but lost the battle.
The poisoner/s remains at large. There’s a $5,000 reward for information leading to their arrest. This dastardly crime could affect almost any animal or bird or even human – the police determine there was so much strychnine they advised against handling the meatballs without gloves. [Edited to Add: If you have information, call the police at (415) 242 3000 – Lieutenant Pengel or Inspector Nannery – or the Animal Legal Defense Fund at (707) 795-2533, ext. 1010]
Meanwhile, Oskar’s treatment was hugely expensive. Already facing the tragic loss of her pet, his owner shouldn’t be left holding the bill for a crime that hits all of us as a community. I’m not a dog-owner, but I am using my donation to protest this horrible act. If you would like to do the same, here’s the Paypal link.
The veterinary clinic, Animal Internal Medicine and Specialty Services, notes on their Facebook page: “Donations can be submitted through the paypal site, as well as in person at the hospital via credit card. We regret that at this time we cannot accept checks. “
[Edited to Add: They’re at 1333 9th Avenue, San Francisco, California 94122; the phone number is (415) 566-0540 and they’re always open.]
[Edited to Add 2: In response to some questions from readers, I asked AIMSS what the target amount was, whether the funds would go directly to reducing the liability of Oskar’s owner, and what would happen to excess donations if the target was crossed. Here’s what AIMSS said:
“Hey, Thanks for helping Oskar’s mom! So Oskar’s bill was capped by the hospital when it reached $26,000. All funds raised go directly to Oskar’s medical cost. If we go over the target amount we will donate any additional funds to SF Aid for Animals.” ]
The San Francisco Park Station Police have put out an alert. There’s a poisoner loose who’s apparently trying to kill dogs. One dog is still seriously ill, and some wildlife has died. This message has been going out on the Yahoo Group, NextDoor and Facebook, but here is the official alert.
Any questions please contact the Park Station Investigations Team at 415-242-3000.
Here’s a little night visitor to our house… I took this picture with a flashlight in one hand and a camera in the other.
For a long time, I’d assumed that the tall green trashcans – the ones that interest the raccoons because they contain the compostable food leavings – were actually impervious to wildlife if they were properly closed. Then this video on the Coyote Yipps blog clearly showed that was not true.
Well, I figured, at least the coyotes in our neighborhood hadn’t learned to do that. The only time I’d seen them in trashcans was when a neighbor overstuffed one so it wouldn’t close, and the raccoon figured the diner was open for business. Then, a few weeks ago, garbage night rolled around, and so did the raccoons. Though we were careful to shut our trashcans properly, they managed to push over the green bin and make a huge mess.
We added a couple of rocks to the top of the bin, and that was that, for a few more weeks.
Then, a few nights ago, I heard a 4 a.m. crash. I knew what it was: The raccoons had managed to overturn the can despite the rocks. I hurried out, worried both that they might have been hurt and that they would make another huge mess.
They weren’t, and they hadn’t. They bin had fallen forward and the lid held back most of the trash. The raccoons had walked into it and came out with a piece of moldy bread. I spot-lit the critter with my flashlight and took the photograph. Then I yelled some rude things in Racoonish to drive them off, righted the can, wedged it in a corner, and replaced the rocks.
I think it’s time Recology figured out a way to fasten the garbage cans. After all, raccoons aren’t exactly rare in this city. Meanwhile, I’m wondering if bungee cords or some kind of clamp would work.
[Edited to Add: Bungee cords are working thus far. Thanks, everyone who offered suggestions and instructions!]
In response to concerns from neighbors on Christopher and Crestmont about poison oak at the forest edge, UCSF contacted the Department of Public Works (which takes care of maintenance by the roadside). DPW responded with… goats!
It’s a flock from City Grazing, behind an electric fence (caution if you go to take a look). They had some cards stuck on their sign; it says you can rent between 2 and 80 goats. (They’re at http://www.citygrazing.com)
If you’re walking your dog by there, please be sure to leash him or her – they can scare the goats if they try to chase them, and an electric fence probably isn’t ideal for pets to crash into either.
We wish they’d waited until the bird nesting season was over, but then again, neighbors do need the poison oak cleared. And goats are *tremendously* superior to Roundup, Garlon, or imazapyr – the toxic herbicides that are sometimes used instead.
Someone sent this to me, and I thought that dog-friendly Forest Knolls would be interested!
MILLION DOG MARCH
Sunday, June 2, 2013
McLaren Park, San Francisco
We can’t break the world record without you and your dog!
San Francisco Bay Area dog lovers have worked hard to make the Bay Area the most dog friendly place on earth. Yet there are threats to many of the gains we’ve made—from Muir Beach to Montara, Oakland to San Francisco. That’s why dog people are planning to gather one June 2nd at McLaren Park in San Francisco to stand up and be counted, once again, for our dogs and our community—and to have a whole lot of fun at the same time as we try to break the Guinness World Record for largest dog walk.
We hope you’ll join us for the first-ever Million Dog March, a fabulously large dog walk and festival of fun and games, and help us:
Break the world record for largest dog walk
Show the size and passion of the Bay Area dog community
Stand up for our right to walk with our dogs in city parks, federal recreation areas and other public spaces
Raise money for Friends of SF Animal Care and Control
Enjoy a great time in one of San Francisco’s most beautiful yet underutilized parks
The Million Dog March will be a beautiful three-mile walk in McLaren Park, through grassy fields, around scenic lakes, under redwoods, over charming wooden bridges, and along trails with some spectacular views of San Francisco. After the walk, there will be a festival with music, vendors, information tables and games and activities for you and your dog. Have a photo taken of you and your dog. Let your dog try her paw at some agility equipment, go bobbing for tennis balls to win a prize, or see his furry face as a caricature.
The cost of the event is $25 in advance/$30 on the day of the event, which includes registration for one dog and its human family members as well as one t-shirt for you and a bandana for your doggie. Any proceeds from the event will be donated to Friends of SF Animal Care and Control, to benefit city shelter animals. Because of the number of participants, we ask that you keep your dog on leash during the walk.
Event sponsors: Zynga, Pet Camp, K9 Scrub Club, Pet Food Express, Yelp, San Francisco SPCA, the Park Cafes, Citipets. Media sponsors: The Bark, 7 x 7, Bay Woof, San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Hosted by SFDOG. Endorsed by Crissy Field Dog Group, DogPAC of San Francisco, Ft. Funston Dog Walkers, Grateful Dogs Rescue, ODOG-Oakland Dog Owners Group, Ocean Beach DOG, Marin Unleashed, McLaren DOG, Montara Dog Group, Muttville, Point Isabel DOG, the Professional Dog Walkers Association, Save Off Leash Dog Walking, Wonder Dog Rescue.
We have new neighbors on Christopher Drive Crestmont, (Welcome to Forest Knolls!) and they sent this picture of Phoebe, a springer spaniel/ poodle mix. Of course it’s going on the Pets page, but I couldn’t resist putting it out here first. She’s looking so thoughtful.