Saturday, April 28, 2012

Why can't I go to Arizona?

My blog has been inactive for the past week because my IT staff (AKA mom & dad) spent the last week in Phoenix visiting The Grandmother Who Hates Dogs (not to be confused with my other grandmas, who all LOVE dogs).

I couldn't go with them because they think the airport and airplane ride would scare me.  They also think I wouldn't like the desert because it is hot and contains lots of sticky things and dangerous creatures.  I think I would be fine and that I would like the desert . . .

I would love the Phoenix North Mountain Preserve

I would know not to get too close to the cacti
. . . but close enough to pose for the camera

I would behave in the hotel room
I would heed all "no trespassing" signs
I would wait patiently for the connecting flights

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Getting in Touch with my Inner Cow

Although it has been widely rumored that I'm part polar bear (see What ARE you?), it is now suspected that I am also part cow.

Photo by Tim Kondas of Canine Adventure

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Newest Trick: Petit Larceny

My next training goal is earning my Expert Trick Dog Title, so I've been learning some expert-level tricks.  One of my new tricks is called "pick-pocket pooch" in the book 101 Dog Tricks by Kyra Sundance, but my mom calls it the petit larceny trick.  (In Virginia, petit larceny is "larceny from the person of another of money or other thing of value of less than $5."  Mom says her bandana is worth way less than $5.  She also knows that she better not teach me the grand larceny trick.)

When mom is not looking, I run up and snatch her bandana from her back pocket.
(The cue for this trick is mom looking away from me.)

Sometimes I have to yank it pretty hard.

Got it!  (I suppose I shouldn't allow myself to be photographed with the evidence of my crime.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fashion Lab, Part 2 - the Photo Shoot

As my readers know from my previous post (Fashion Hound . . . I mean, Lab), I have an extensive wardrobe.   I always try to look sharp, but to me function is as important as fashion.  Which is why I now own a bright yellow safety vest with reflective stripes!  Not only is it necessary for visibility on our night-time walks, it's an important fashion statement.  Yes, you can be safe and stylish at the same time!!!

My special safety vest was custom-made for me by one of my mom's former colleagues who recently retired (her puppy is SOOOOO lucky) and who is a super-nice lady.  She asked my mom for a photo of me in my safety vest, so of course we did a photo shoot.  Did I mention that modeling is among my many talents?

I think bright yellow is very becoming

Offering a side view
Yes, mommy, what shall I do next?
The looking-over-the-shoulder pose

I'm not too sure about that camera guy

Okay, I'll look at the camera

How's this angle?

I know how to work it, baby

I'll even do my penguin impression

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Path of Destruction

I've been very good lately.*  Either that or mom has been doing a better job of keeping things out of my reach.  But I thought it would be fun to show you some of my past conquests.

*except today when I munched on the top of a food storage container
Yes, those are my teeth marks.  What's your point?

I love a good book

I think it's fun to get into the recycling and leave it strewn across the living room floor.
I particularly enjoy the taste of cardboard.

This is what happens when dad leaves the bread on the counter where I can reach it.
A whole loaf of bread!  Score!

Mom didn't like these shoes anyway

I had nothing to do with it.  Honest.

Legend boxes are the best!

Searching for that lost shaker of salt

I think I found it

Kleenex is one of my favorite paper products

My dad's favorite beer

Note how I carefully removed the plastic before trying my first tomato

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Hike at Caledon Natural Area

The traditional Easter humiliation

To celebrate Easter, we went on a family pack hike to Caledon Natural Area State Park.  We had never been to Caledon before, but mom and dad had wanted to go there for a long time because there are lots of bald eagles at Caledon and mom and dad really like to see bald eagles.  

It didn't disappoint us -- we saw two bald eagles soaring above before we even started the hike, and we saw SEVEN soaring bald eagles total.

We hiked the Boyd's Hole Trail and Flats Trail, with a little side trip along a trail named "Cemetery Trail" because we thought it might lead to an old cemetery, but it didn't.  It was a beautiful spring day and the new leaves were very green and the dogwood was blooming.  

The trail

There were several good photo ops along the way.

In this photo I'm actually standing on the trunk of a huge fallen-down tree.
What you see behind me is a big chunk of ground that came up when the tree fell down.
It even has a little tree sticking out of it!

Posing on a piece of another tree

The trail led through beautiful old woods to the Potomac River!

But where are the bald eagle nests?

There are a number of nesting bald eagles at Caledon, but we didn't see any of the nests, which is probably good, because it's best if people don't get very close to the nests.  Certain trails are closed for parts of the year so the baby eagles can learn to be eagles without humans hanging around watching.  Caledon is 2,579 acres with 3 1/2 miles of waterfront, so there are LOTS of places for eagles to nest.

Mom and dad are both old enough to remember when you never saw bald eagles, so they get very excited whenever they see one.  And we saw SEVEN!  So I'd say it was a Happy Easter!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Woof Wag Walk - there's more!

Aurora Newfoundland, Noah Newfoundland, Nana Newfoundland, and me!
Photo by Nana's mommy
Yes, there's more!  One of the highlights of the Woof Wag Walk was getting to meet my facebook friend Nana Newfoundland, her brother Noah, and her niece Aurora.  I've been facebook friends with Nana for a while, and her facebook posts always make us laugh and smile (and you know how we feel about making someone smile).  But we had never actually met Nana and her humans.  Well, they came to the Woof Wag Walk and we got to meet them!  Mom quickly fell in love with Nana and has been fantasizing about getting me a Newf brother or sister ever since.  They are all beautiful, but Nana is especially beautiful and sweet.  She's a therapy dog, too.  Unfortunately, she recently tore both ACLs, so we've been thinking about her a lot lately and sending her extra special healing lab thoughts.

We LOVE it when we get a chance to actually meet our facebook and blogging friends!  We met our good friends Hero and his mommy through facebook, then they came to one of our events and joined the Dog Scouts, and now he's one of my bestest hiking buds.  We also met my idol and inspiration, Southernmost Moose of Southernmost Moose Lodge and his momma during our Florida Keys vacation.  And we recently met Gus and Teka Toy and their Muzzer of Go with Gus!  We met them through Dogs With Blogs and they turned out to be almost neighbors!

Mom isn't much of a people person (she prefers dogs to people), but she's found that dog people are different somehow, and she really likes dog people.  We've met so many wonderful dogs and dog people through our doggie events and activities, facebooking and blogging.  We feel so lucky to have so many awesome friends!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Woof Wag Walk - what defines a successful event?

My friend Hero
In early March, our local Dog Scout Troop, Troop #194, went to Hanover County's Woof Wag Walk.

We did two tricks demonstrations and had a booth selling home made dog and people treats to raise money for SEVA GRREAT, Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education and Training.  SEVA GRREAT is a wonderful local organization that rescued some of my best friends and found them very happy forever homes. You can learn more about them (and make a donation!) on their website at: SEVA GRREAT.

Mom had lots to do because she had organized the tricks demonstration and was also kind of in charge of the booth selling treats.  (She often tries to do way more than she can gracefully handle.)  The day before the event, mom made a list of everything she needed for the Dog Scout booth and the tricks demo (tent, tables, chairs, trick props, treats, signs, etc.)  She even chopped up a bunch of extra special treats for me for the tricks demo.  (I get extra special treats like chicken and hot dog pieces when performing in front of groups of people because there are so many additional distractions.)

My extra special treats

Dad helped load the cars (I call him my roadie) and mom managed to fit everything into the two cars.  

My roadie goofing off

My roadie loading up the equipment

Supervising while they load the cars
We even got there with plenty of time to set up.  Mom learned from last year's Mardi Paws event that it's really hard to decorate a tent on a cold, windy March day, so she skipped the decorations this year and only put up signs.  (Besides, she is no longer allowed to use the step ladder.)

Dog Scout Troop #194's booth, staffed by Hero's dad, the best cookie salesman ever

So everything was going relatively smoothly (no falls from the step ladder or decorations blowing away) until mom realized that she had forgotten the most crucial item: my special treats!  Sure, we had treats for sale, but when I'm performing tricks for a crowd, not just any treat will do.  Luckily mom had packed chicken sandwiches for her and dad, so she simply disassembled dad's sandwich so I could have chicken treats.

My girlfriend Willow, and my best buds Hero, Gauis, Zen, and Wyatt were all there for our tricks demo.  Hero is kind of new to tricks and very new to performing in front of people, but he was FANTASTIC!  He's only a little over a year old, and mom says he's the best behaved one-year-old lab ever -- and also the sweetest.  Willow was her usual fabulous self, and Gauis, as usual, stole the show with his cuteness and very difficult tricks.  Zen and Wyatt were also very impressive and very, very cute.

Willow climbing out of the suitcase, after doing the suitcase trick

Gauis doing the penguin

Wyatt shaking paws
Gauis scratching his mommy's back
Me doing crawl

Willow playing the drum
Me doing roll over

Zen getting some post-trick loving
As for me, well -- I was pretty distracted by all of the yummy smells in the nice, grassy field where we were performing tricks.  I did my tricks, but dad said it wasn't one of my best performances.  But then he said that the people in the audience were all smiling and clearly enjoying the show.

Mom thinks that making people smile is one of the nicest things you can do.  And we made people smile.  So that means it was a successful event.

We also raised $175 for SEVA GRREAT by selling our homemade dog cookies.  So I guess that means it was super-successful!