Dionne and I haven’t dropped off the planet, though it may look that way. What actually happened is that eleven days ago, Steve and I went down to Baja, California for two days to investigate the development in the Guadalupe Valley, just north of Ensenada. I wrote a Reader cover story about the valley back in 1988, when the Mexican wine industry was just beginning to thrive. Six wineries were operating back then. Today there are more than 60, with many producing excellent wines and showing them off in tasting facilities that would fit right into the Napa Valley. We had a lot of fun checking it out.

The resident weimaraners at the inn/horse-breeding farm where we stayed seemed to live lordly lives.

But I don’t know if US government regulations would have permitted us to take Dionne with us, and she would have had to wear a cape and be on her best behavior, had we taken her. She unquestionably had more fun staying at Kathy Alameda’s exquisite home in Rancho Santa Fe.

Kathy’s raising Ella. In fact, she picked Ella up from CCI in Oceanside at the exact same time I was picking up Dionne. Kathy has hosted a couple of puppy parties since then, and watching dogs race at top speed around the grounds of her property has made me think it’s as close to Canine Paradise as anywhere I’ve seen.

As soon as we neared the gates, Dionne began whimpering. I had trouble restraining her when she saw Ella, and the two girls were off — reaching speeds I can only describe as scary.

Here’s how they looked after about 15 minutes of that. Pretty happy, I’d say.
Before I left, I helped Kathy get the girls inside and tethered to a spot near each other:
Note the wagging tails.
A day or so later, Kathy sent me a wonderful video of them playing together. She reported that they got along perfectly.Ā 
She brought Dionne back to us last Sunday. But the fun wasn’t over! Ella came too and settled in as our houseguest while Kathy went to visit friends in the Northwest.
I’ll report next on how Part 2 of the Girl Party unfolded.

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