At a recent PIDO weed pull, a big white polar bear of a dog named Klondike came bounding through the area we were clearing. Then one day on PIDO’s Facebook page, I saw a fun video of Klondike romping at Point Isabel. What’s his story? I wondered. I contacted his dad, Bill Swartz, to find out.
Where did you get Klondike?
Klondike retired at one from his original career in the agricultural industry to pursue a more intellectual career in the Bay Area! Or, to be a bit more exact, Rocket Dog Rescue saved him (thank you, thank you, thank you) from a Bakersfield shelter, and we are pretty sure that before that he was an outdoor ranch or farm dog.
Rocket Dog was participating in a large adoption event at Jack London Square. Klondike was 20 feet away when my wife spotted him and immediately said, “That dog.” And the rest is history.
How old is he now, and how old was he when you brought him home?
Because he’s a rescue we don’t know exactly. We had him examined a day or two after adoption. Our vet, the awesome Dr. Phimister, guessed between 1 and 2. So we’re saying he was 1 at adoption and on the anniversary of his adoption, this coming July 19, he’ll be 2.
Was he already named Klondike? If not, how did you come up with his name?
When he was with Rocket Dog Rescue, he went by “Harley.” At the Bakersfield shelter that Rocket Dog rescued him from, his paperwork said “Whitey.” He got the Klondike name after a day or two in our house. I was realizing what an incredible commitment having a dog was, and “What would you do for a Klondike” just popped into my head. It helps that he’s big, white, sweet, chill, and looks just like the Klondike logo.
When did he start coming to Point Isabel?
Klondike’s first trip was Aug. 22, just a bit over a month since he joined the household. I’d vaguely heard there was a good park near the Richmond Costco, but until we went we didn’t understand that a place so wonderful really existed.
How often do the two of you come?
Something between one and three times a week. Often it’s what we call an eight-foot trip. Klondike provides four feet, I chip in two, and my wife the balance.
What does Klondike like to do at the dog park?
He considers just about everything at the park an E-ticket attraction! I think a perfect tour would be:
Sniff, chase, and chest-bump with friends
Walk along rocks mountain goat–style
Steal tennis balls
Run with friends
Check out the café and picnic tables to see if he can get a snack. Being half Pyrenees, he’s skilled at using Pyr pressure to get what he wants. Less good at Pyr-to-Pyr sharing.
Rinse and repeat above.
Actually, just repeat, hold the rinse. The only thing he doesn’t like at PI is being rinsed off. He’s happy to swim in cold water but hates the hose, probably due to bad associations.
Is he more interested in meeting people or other dogs?
He loves meeting new people with snacks! And he loves friendly, active, large dogs. If you don’t fall into either of those two categories, he will politely convey his regret that important park activities make it impossible to stay and chat.
Any closing thoughts on Point Isabel or Klondike?
My wife and I have the deepest gratitude and appreciation for both. Klondike brings joy into our lives, and Point Isabel brings joy to Klondike, not to mention a social and relaxing place for us. How much more from life can you ask?