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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Dog Days

July 31, 2017


Leigh, Matt and Jen


Dog Days

The Dog Days of summer have settled in here in Key West, and for me they have a greater meaning as Kathy has headed out to Colorado for six weeks to oversee the construction of our house there and I have been charged with taking care of the house here and our pets, cats Van, Sammy and Huey and our dog Jack. I have been basically keeping a pretty low profile and trying to spend as much time as possible with the pets since they only have me to keep them active.


This means spending a lot more time with Jack, who has been pretty thrilled to all the new experiences that he has been exposed to since moving here from my mother’s home in Winston-Salem. I have begun taking him out with me whenever I can as well as taking him more often to the Dog Park, Beach and even out downtown a few times.


While he has visited the beach a number of times, I took him to swim at Dog Beach for the first time recently. He started out with the new dog life vest at first and he did so well with that that soon he was free of it and swimming like an old pro even though I think this must have been his first time swimming ever. He has never enjoyed getting baths and such, but was unafraid of the water and really enjoyed running around at the beach with the other dogs there and digging in the soft sand as well.


In addition to his trip to Dog Beach and many evenings at the dog park, Jack even made his first trip ever to Duval Street where the Lobster Season crowds made for a flurry of new sights and smells for him to take in. He even spent his first evening at my favorite bar, The Porch. It was all a sensory overload that he handled quite well. It has made his normal neighborhood walks seem rather bland and boring. 

Stephanie and Landon


The cats have also been more attentive since Kathy has been gone, with both Sammy and Van often following along as I walk the dog much to the amusement of those passing by. Jack also has a good friend cat who comes running out to see us every time we walk by his home. Smokey loves to come out and rub up against Jack which he wasn’t quite sure how to handle at first, but now seems to look forward to.

Jack and Smokey 


Turtles have also been a focus this week, starting with the release of a green sea turtle that has been recovering at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon since having surgery to remove tumors. Released in cooperation with the Tour De Turtles initiative, the turtle was returned to the sea at Sombrero Beach in Marathon in front of a throng of people who gathered to witness the event, myself included. My friend Richie Moretti runs the Turtle Hospital there and oversaw the entire operation which was a huge success. The turtle Argus, can be tracked via the Tour de Turtles web link below and as of this writing has already traveled from Marathon west past Key West over sixty miles.


It has been a banner year for sea turtle nests in Key West as a number of successful nests have hatched out. The Key West Sea Turtle Club helps monitor and protect the nests and our friend Jen is very active in the Club. She and her wife Martina hosted a great fund-raising party at their house this week that I attended and made a small donation to. It was so great to meet so many dedicated volunteers who care so deeply about the turtle population. My friend Corey took some great photos of one of the nests that he just happened upon as it was hatching.

*photo by Corey Malcom 

*photo by Corey Malcom

Tom Hambright

This week also had a couple of other highlights including a cool presentation by Key West Historian Tom Hambright at the Customs House about the Virginius Affair, which was an unprecedented display of naval military force by the US in Key West harbor in 1874 which helped postpone a war between Spain and the US. A beautiful painting of the incident was loaned to the Art and Historical Society and the talk coincided with its display. In addition my friend Dr. Chris Begley is in town with some students from Transylvania University to do a marine archeology project. Dr. Begley was on-site in Albania, Montenegro and Croatia for the field schools and scientific diving classed that RPM Nautical sponsored in the past few years and it is his first visit to Key West so I got the chance to hang out with him again.

RPM working in Greece