Mulder the coolest doggie ever!

by Marcel on September 19, 2020

Anyone who has visited this site before has seen the many pictures of our beloved doggie Mulder, and some of you gotten to know him in person. Mulder has been on a lifelong journey with us since he was a puppy and up until recently as a senior doggie, but sadly we lost him over the summer. He was an old guy with bad arthritis and some other age-related health issues so when he passed it was not unexpected. We nearly lost him last year to pneumonia, and that is what he had again this summer, but unfortunately wasn’t able to recover this time. He had been in declining health for some time and it was getting hard for him to get around, and tough for us to see him in pain; although he never lost his good attitude and was always happy even in old age. It is still hard to believe that he is gone, we miss him all the time. Even though there is an enormous emptiness in our home and our hearts, we are trying to focus on all the good times we had with him.

We first got Mulder from a pet rescue adoption day held at Beaverton Petco when he was about 4 or 5 months old. We weren’t really sure about the details they gave us on him because everything they told us was wrong about his weight, breed, how big he would get, and so on. We didn’t know his exact birth date so we just made one up, but given what we know he made it to about 13 years old, give or take a month. For a big dog his size, around 80 pounds, 13 years is a long time to live. There is some debate about the accuracy of (7 dog years=1 human year), but I think for big dogs that is probably about right, so by that measurement he would have been about 91 years old in human years. I think he lived that long because he was so full of life and love, and we gave those feelings of life and love back to him.

Mulder loved all the adventures we went on, then when he got older and was less active he loved all the attention he got from Immy while she was growing up, and all the family walks and trips we went on. Just about everyone that met him thought he was a puppy even in his older years, and he would always put a smile on people’s faces. Everyone asked us what breed he was, so we eventually did a DNA test for him which revealed he was more than 50 percent Chesapeake Bay retriever, about 25 percent Korean Jindo, and a trace of Shetland sheepdog. Learning about his breed mix helped make some of his looks and personality traits make sense. He was a very independent dog, full of joy and happiness, super friendly, never mean or aggressive, and so often he was a total goofball that would make us laugh. I always imagined him as a real life scooby doo, always hungry, totally goofy, and just wants to have fun all the time.

I walked him every day, sometimes multiple times per day even, except for rare occasions when one of us was too sick to walk or I was out of town. In his younger years the walks kept him from being too rowdy, and in the later years it kept him from getting too lazy and kept his joints moving and in good health. The exercise and fresh air were good for me too, and the walks were a great bonding experience. We often walked as a family too, and he would always have an extra bounce in his step when the whole pack was together for the walk. Every night since he was a puppy we played the hide and seek game, where I would hide a few treats around the house and he would use his investigative skills to sniff them out, he loved that game even as a senior doggie and would be sure to remind me if I forgot. I would often stay up late at night watching TV, not because of the TV as much as I just wanted to hang out with him, it was relaxing for both of us to enjoy some downtime together and wind down after a long day.

Mulder has been on so many adventures with us, hiking, camping, road trips, vacations, moving, friends and family visits, and watching Immy grow up from a baby to a first grader. Dogs are very much like children, and in that regard he was our first child and definitely helped prepare us for human parenthood. Sometimes I feel like his unconditional love for us was the glue that kept our household strong and happy. We always wanted the best for him, the best food, treats, adventures, to be loved and part of the family, and he was. Mulder was always was so patient with Immy’s antics and constantly watching over her like a good big brother would. In a way Immy reminds us of Mulder when he was a crazy out of control puppy. Ironically after Immy’s arrival Mulder became a much more calm and patient doggie as if it was his duty to bring a sense of calm and peacefulness to the house, which he certainly did. Immy would often snuggle up with him and loved being around him, talking to him, reading to him, dressing him up, playing with him, and even bossing him around sometimes. She would always say he is the cutest doggie in the world, and of course we agree, and I would also say the coolest doggie in the world.

We are all heartbroken that Mulder is no longer with us. It is hard when you see your happy and joyful best buddy every day for so many years, and then suddenly he is no longer there. When I look back at all the pictures and videos of so many adventures, events, and just everyday moments that we shared with Mulder I miss him so much, but I’m also glad to know that he lived a full life. We are happy that he was able to be such a big part of our lives for so long and that we were able to give him the best life that we could, a life that was full of adventure and love. I know that he is now in doggie heaven playing with all the other good boy and girl doggies. Wherever you are out there buddy, fly free and happy in the doggie spirit skies forever, and know that we miss you and love you. Mulder 2007-2020.

For anyone who wants to read more about Mulder here is a link to a blog I wrote about him when he was still a puppy.

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Black Mountain

by Marcel on November 5, 2018

When most people think of Las Vegas they think of bright lights and drunken nights, but the city is surrounded by mountains on all sides which make for some great wilderness areas and hiking. We are fortunate enough to live within walking distance to Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area which has a nice mountain range full of trails and some ancient petroglyphs. Black mountain can be seen from most places in the valley, and I see it every day when I walk our doggie Mulder. The trailhead is only about a 5 mile drive from our house so it’s pretty convenient. Overall the trail is about 7 miles roundtrip and approximately 2000 elevation gain. Mulder and I attempted this hike last year in the spring, but the last part near the top got a little too steep for the senior doggie dude. Recently I went back alone to make the summit and take some time getting some good photos.

For anyone interested in this trail the parking lot is small with room for only about 5 cars, and its located within a suburb neighborhood. The trail starts out paved for the first half mile or so, then you take a right towards a brick building and from there hike towards the summit where you will see the beginning of the black mountain trail. There are plenty of sites online or guide books that give more detail about the route. The trail is pretty easy for most of the way up with only the last half mile or so being difficult with some mild scrambling involved. You can really do this without using your hands at all but it depends on the route you take at the top since the trail isn’t as clearly defined up there. Be sure to use GPS or an app like strava so you can find your way back down.

The trail includes all the usual desert suspects like creosote bushes, cactus, and half way up the trail you will start to see Joshua trees. There were plenty of lizards, and probably rattlesnakes but I didn’t see any of those today. There were some desert mice living at the summit and after dark you will hear the coyotes howling. I hiked this in mid-October starting late around 3pm, it took just under 3 hours to reach the summit which was not ideal but great for sunset photos. I descended from the summit past the steep part just before complete darkness. From there it was headlamp and flashlight time all the way down. The mountainside is pretty wide open without a lot of brush or trees and I’ve never seen deer in this area so I wasn’t too concerned about mountain lions, but there are mountain sheep in this area so you never know. The bigger concern was snakes and potentially running into a pack of coyotes, but fortunately that didn’t happen. The view of the city lights on the way down was spectacular. With some photo breaks it took about 2 hours to get back down.

Overall this is one of my favorite hikes in the Vegas area. The views of the city are great from the summit and even halfway up the trail. It’s nice to see some Joshua trees so close to the city, even if there are just a few here and there. The summit has great views to the other side of Henderson and all the way to Arizona. There aren’t any petroglyphs on this trail, but nearby Sloan Canyon has a nice loop hike where you see those, however the views of the city aren’t as good from that trail. If you have already been to Lake Mead, Valley of Fire, and Red Rock Canyon then Black Mountain is a great hike to do in the fall or spring.


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No reservations

by Marcel June 8, 2018 Uncategorized

Like everyone else, I woke up to the sad news that Anthony Bourdain has checked out. Celebrities can be a huge influence in our lives, but when it comes down to it we really don’t know these people at all. With Bourdain it seemed a little different though, because he was so raw and personal. […]

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