Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What do you mean we have homework?

Mom and I are taking a class at the Richmond SPCA called Heel by Choice.  Mom wants to improve my heeling skills and my focus because she thinks it will help in my tricks demos, and because heeling skills are necessary in doggie dancing, which we really want to try.

I'm loving the class so far because I get LOTS of treats, I like the teacher, and the RSPCA facility is so nice.  I thought it would be boring but it's really not.  Last week we practiced off leash heeling with super tempting distractions like a ball bounced right in front of me and cookies shoved in my face.  At first these things distracted me, but I quickly learned I would only be rewarded if I kept heeling next to mommy.  The teacher said I was doing really well!

The one thing I don't like about class is that we have homework.  Well, on second thought, the homework is not so bad.  We get to practice, which means more TREATS!

One of our homework assignments this week was to make a list of things I enjoy in life/things I really want.  This is my list:

Chasing tennis balls
Catching tennis balls in my mouth after one bounce
Helping mom or dad take out the trash
Chasing chipmunks, squirrels, birds, and anything else that comes into my yard

Chasing the sprinkler
Hot dogs
Peanut butter
Frosty Paws

Eating poop (any kind but especially rabbit poop)
Eating grass
Sticks (Eating and chasing)
Hiking w/ my buds
Hiking w/ my humans
Cuddling - especially with (on top of) my mom
Playing frisbee
New people
Belly rubs
Ear scratches
Licking daddy's legs when he gets home from work
Lying in the bed while the humans get ready for work
Squeaky balls and toys
Disemboweling stuffies
Chewing my elk antler, nylabone, etc.
Boxes (playing with, chewing, destroying, etc.)
Kleenex (boxes and tissues)
Yummy smells
Playing tug
Doing tricks
Being with mom and dad

As you can see, I have quite a wide range of interests.

The next step in the assignment is to rank these, beginning with my most favorite.  I'm still working on the ranking, but you may be surprised to learn what is at the top of the list -- taking out the trash.  It's the only time I get so excited that I jump up and down and make little excited noises.  I'll have to post a video sometime.  I've tried to explain, but mom and dad can't quite understand the attraction of taking out the trash.

Do you have something you love to do that your humans just don't understand?

Hedgehog is definitely on this list.
But I still haven't figured out if Hedgehog is a boy or a girl.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Shake It Up Baby

We went on a hike today.
Virginia is hot and muggy this time of year,
so hikes in Virginia in May usually involve water.
And when I get wet, I have to shake.
Mom thinks its really funny the way my lips flap when I shake.
I think it's funny when she catches me with my ears flying out,
like I'm trying to fly.

I love romping in the water and retrieving sticks.
The bigger the better.

Today we saw LOTS of frogs (we think it's baby frog season), a snake, and a Canada Goose family.

The James River is lovely where we hike.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Did someone say CAKE?

My mom's friend Pam makes the most amazing cakes. Not only are they beautiful and incredibly creative, mom and dad say they are also VERY yummy. (I never get to have any cake because they always get chocolate, and I'm not allowed to have chocolate, but I got some Frosty Paws so I could celebrate too!)

The cakes Pam makes are always very fresh. We think she makes them with eggs from her own chickens!

So this year for dad's birthday, Pam asked mom how she wanted his cake to be decorated. Dad loves the Florida Keys and manatees, so mom suggested a tropical island or sea creature theme. Mom & dad are amazed what Pam comes up with!

A puppy in a hammock suspended by palm trees
Note shark fin on top
Dad LOVES manatees

And we had thought there was no way she could outdo last year's mountain stream cake. We were wrong!  (Click here to see photos of the mountain stream cake.)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Daddy-Dog!!!

Humans are always making up silly names for us dogs, so I made up silly names for my humans.  I call my dad Daddy-Dog and I call my mom Mommy-Dog.  I know it's silly, because they aren't really dogs, but there's lots of silliness in my household.

Well, yesterday was my Daddy-Dog's birthday!  I'm not going to tell you how old he is, because I can't count that high.

I know I'm really lucky to have such a wonderful Daddy-Dog.  It's hard to believe he hasn't always been a dog person.  (See How Dad Became a Dog Person).  

So in honor of my Daddy-Dog's birthday, I'm sharing some photos of us  together.

Daddy-Dog and Flat Garth

Daddy-Dog and the real Garth, reading the paper together

This is when Daddy-Dog and I won the Best Daffodil Planters award

Helping Daddy-Dog in the kitchen 
(in case he drops something, I'm ready to clean it up)

Daddy-Dog is a great roadie, but sometimes he goofs off
when he should be packing up my equipment

He takes me and Mommy-Dog on awesome hikes

Dad in a bikini is amusing

Hanging out on a picnic table, waiting to go hiking

Daddy-Dog really likes this photo of me

Uh oh, I think she caught us

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Mysterious Package

Last week, the Brown Box Man delivered a mysterious package.  
I think it had a snout-print on it.

Mom says this package is for me.
What IS it?

(Note snout-print.)

Is it for me to stand on?

It makes a pretty good perch.

Look how tall I am.
Now I can be a show dog!

What's inside?  Plastic bags filled with air?
It sure smells interesting.

Another box inside the box?

I get it - I push it around with my snout.

What a fun new toy!

I think I have a better idea.

Can I eat it?

It's been a while since I've had a good box.
I love box lunches.


Uh oh.  This is what came out of the box.
It doesn't look anywhere near as fun as the box.

A few days later . . .

Now this looks interesting.

Oh boy!  A big inflatable red thing!
Sure I can stand on this big red roll-y wobbly thing.

But this is really more comfortable.
Yep, this is my ab work out.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Hike

The view from Rebecca's Rock

Today, daddy and I wanted to do something nice for mom for Mother's Day.  So we took her hiking somewhere extra-special!  We went to a place along the Appalachian Trial that she named Rebecca's Rock many years ago because it doesn't really have a name.  But it has a really nice view and she used to go there a lot when she was younger and lived closer to the mountains.  She hadn't been back there in almost 20 years!  

I had never been hiking on this particular trail before, and I loved smelling the mountain smells and eating the mountain grass.  It was so nice to get out into the woods, and mom loves the mountains.  We heard lots of birds and mom enjoyed seeing all of the blooming wildflowers.  We were so tired afterwards that mom and I slept most of the way home!  

She said that taking her hiking to her own special place was the best Mother's Day gift we could give her.

Sitting on a picnic table in the picnic area where we parked
(That's what tables are for, isn't it?)

A very old stone wall that runs through the woods near the trail
Me and daddy at Rebecca's Rock
Me and my best hiking bud, my mom
The mandatory pose in a scenic location photo
A really old dead tree along the trail

Enjoying the view

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Favorite Things, Part Four: Prizes!

I LOVE winning prizes, especially gift baskets and gift bags!  Actually I love gifts of any kind, but I especially love gift baskets/bags because they usually contain MULTIPLE gifts.  I also like winning.  Who doesn't?

I've won lots of prizes because I'm very smart and talented (and not at all modest).  My mom is also something of a Toddlers-and-Tiaras type very encouraging of my endeavors.  Here are some of my favorite prizes that I have received.

Last weekend, I won Flying Squirrels tickets in the Frosty Paws Eating Contest (read about it here) at Furry Friends Jubilee.  I was disappointed to learn that the Flying Squirrels are a baseball team and are not, in fact, actually flying squirrels.  I really wanted to take my girlfriend Willow to see flying squirrels play.

Can I eat it?

I won 3rd Place in the Adventure Animals category in Mango Minster 2012.  This was a HUGE honor -- especially since I tied for 3rd Place with one of my idols, Honey the Great Dane.  My prize was this AWESOME blanket with my name and prize embroidered on it:

I'm so proud

I won the Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shop March Fan Appreciation gift -- Key Lime Dog Treats (who knew there was such a thing as Key Lime dog treats?).  Many thanks to Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shop!  The treats are YUMMY!

Would you PLEASE stop playing with
Instagram and give me a treat?

I won a super gift basket for First Place in the Richmond SPCA trick contest at Stony Point last summer:

I won an awesome gift bag from Three Dog Bakery for Best Trick at the Henrico Humane Society's Bark in the Park last fall:

And mom won me this gift basket in the Holiday Barn Bad Poetry Contest last year for a silly poem she wrote about me:

I smell something GOOD

This is the poem:

"The World According to Garth" 
by Garth's mom

Always in a happy mood,
He believes that everything is food,
There is so much more to nibble,
Than the two daily bowls of kibble!
Towels, phone books, especially shoes,
We're lucky he hasn't found the booze!
Also everything's a toy,
Boxes and paper bring him joy.
When happy, he wiggles all over,
His fur is as white as the cliffs of Dover.
He is quite good at doing tricks,
And he love love loves to munch on sticks.
His favorite thing is river hiking,
Romping with friends is much to his liking.
He loves the James River Park,
And chasing balls in the yard after dark.
He has many a Facebook and puppy bud,
But his most favorite thing is mud!
He can play piano and the drums,
Much to the delight of his grandmums.
He will do anything for treats,
And brings a smile to all he meets.
Yes, he's a show-off and a ham,
He's not afraid to walk across a dam,
But put him on an elevator going up,
And he becomes a scaredy-pup!
He believes the time is never wrong,
To have a peanut butter kong,
And a smelly carcass is good to eat,
He jumps on the bed with muddy feet.
He likes to eat rabbit poop,
And any type of icky goop.
He loves to kiss and cuddle,
When walking he steps in every puddle.
He's a canine good citizen and therapy dog,
Lab-a-muffin and attention hog.
We call him Mr. Puppyman,
Of all the many, I'm his biggest fan.