Monday, March 26, 2012

Richmond SPCA Dog Jog - my first flash mob!

On Saturday, Willow and I walked with the Caring Canines team in the Richmond SPCA Dog Jog to help raise money for the Richmond SPCA.  It was VERY rainy!!!

We were also part of a super secret flash mob right before the start of the Dog Jog.  When the deejay played "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall & Oates, a bunch of people started dancing.  When we got our cue ("Listen to this"), a bunch of dogs started dancing too!  Or, at least, that was the plan.  But just as the group of humans started dancing, it started raining really hard.  It was raining so hard that the rain was getting in my eyes whenever I looked up at mom, so I wouldn't look up at her.  Plus the rain magnified all of the yummy treat smells.  Needless to say, mom couldn't get my attention at all, and I didn't do my part of the dance routine.

The dog part of the flash mob was really quite simple -- speak, speak, up, spin, spin, up, down.  Easy tricks that I know quite well.  We had even rehearsed the night before (who knew that flash mobs have rehearsals?!?), but I just wouldn't do it.  I've decided that I don't do tricks in the rain, period.  Willow didn't want to do tricks either.  We didn't see how the other dogs did, but the dancing humans were so good, they kind of stole the show anyway.  And it was pretty humorous to see a bunch of raincoat and poncho-clad people dancing this perfectly choreographed routine in the pouring rain.

After the flash mob (sorry I have no photos, mom was too busy trying to cajole me into doing tricks), we went to the starting line with the other hardy Caring Canines.  Willow doesn't like standing around -- she was ready to get going.  Finally they said "go" and Willow and her mom took off running.  Mom and I just walked really fast.  We wanted to finish quickly so we could get home and dry as soon as possible!

Dad is such a good sport -- he was ready to pick us up as soon as we crossed the finish line, so two very wet dogs and two very wet women piled into his car for the ride home.  Mom and I were SO soaked!  And my Caring Canines cape was dripping!  It felt SO good to get inside the house and get toweled off!  We spent the rest of the day curled up on the couch! 

Part of the Caring Canines team at the start of the Dog Jog
The starting line
Willow is eager to get started
Me in my sodden cape
Checking the starting line for treats
Ah, the smell of wet pavement!
Waiting for the Dog Jog to begin
Approaching the finish line

A wet Willow on the way home

 Willow and I shared the backseat on the ride home,
but mom sat between us (that's why I look so sad)
I find wet flash mobs to be exhausting

Well you hell yeah you make my dreams come true (you you you you) oh yeah!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pocahontas State Park is HUGE!

On Sunday we went for a hike at Pocahontas State Park with my buddies Hero, Willow, King Ozzy, Hannah, and their respective humans/chauffeurs. We wanted to hike to the dam because I've never seen the dam before and we wanted to hike on the trails less-traveled. We started at the boat ramp, which is a different place than where we normally start, and we hiked on trails that were totally new to me and my mom.  This was our route.

Hero arrived at the hike in style, in a Jaguar convertible! He is quite obviously accustomed to luxury!

Hero and his mom

Mom made me pose in the flowers while waiting for everyone to arrive.

Mandatory photo in a scenic location

It was a beautiful day - warmer than it has been in months - but luckily we passed several small streams and nice muddy places where we could cool off.

Willow and Ozzy

Wallowing in the mud with Ozzy

Cooling off
I look good in mud

I looked for trolls under the bridge.

Looking for trolls under the bridge

And found a stick.


We walked for miles and miles and miles. This park is HUGE!  I don't think the humans knew where we were or where we were going. They said the trail markers were confusing.  Finally, we came to the dam.


Below the dam, the water was beautiful and felt great (well, it felt great to us dogs; the humans may disagree).

Romping in the water below the dam

Hero romping near the dam
Hannah wasn't as interested in romping in the water

We talked to some mountain bikers who were taking off their shoes to walk their bikes across. They said it wasn't very deep and the rocks were less slippery in the wintertime.

Watching to see if the mountain biker would make it
Willow says "Come on!"

When the mountain bikers made it across without incident, our humans decided to walk across rather than hike the 6 or so miles back. Mom said the water was kind of cold, but it was really no big deal compared to the January hike that required 8 river crossings of icy streams when the air temp was hovering around 31 degrees F.

Sharing a sniff with Hannah

We walked a couple more miles, then Hero's daddy picked us up in the Hero-mobile and took us back to our cars because it was getting late and we had already hiked almost 9 miles (and I'm not entirely sure we could have found our cars at that point.)

It was very exciting riding in the Hero-mobile -- mom and I had to share the front passenger seat, so I got to sit on the floor! Somehow we fit 6 humans and 5 dogs in the van. Mom said we looked like clowns at a circus when we started piling out.

Hannah rested on her mommy's legs during the car ride back
Ozzy enjoyed the ride in the Hero-mobile

I shared the front passenger seat with my mom

When it came time to go, Ozzy insisted that HE ride in the Jag, since it was more fitting for him as the King.

Where is my driver?

I'm ready to go now

All in all, it was a GREAT hike!!! River crossings, humans not sure where they are going, having to be rescued by Hero's dad, and getting to ride in the Hero-mobile all added an extra level of excitement. I'm ready to do it again!

Another GREAT hike!

Many thanks to Hero's mom for another GREAT hike and to Hero's dad for interrupting his Sunday afternoon activities to come rescue us. If it weren't for him, we might still be hiking!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Best Daffodil Planters Award!

Based upon the spectacular blooms of our surprise daffodils, Dad and I just won the coveted BEST DAFFODIL PLANTERS Award!

The coveted Best Daffodil Planters Award!!!

This event is unprecedented -- this is the first time EVER that this award has been bestowed upon first-time daffodil planters!!!!

Dad and me posing with our award

Although I supervised and was the brains behind the effort, and dad only provided the manual labor, we plan to split the prize money 50-50.

Special thanks to Todd for lending dad the bulb-sized drill bit!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Case of the Mysterious Daffodils

My mom LOVES daffodils. She loves them because they bloom early, when nothing else is blooming, they will bloom and spread for decades with no human attention or effort, and they remind her of her mother, my grandma Gayle.

But mom hadn't planted any daffodils at our "new" (since 2008) house because every Fall she gets too busy and forgets. So she was baffled when she noticed what looked like a daffodil sprouting up out of the mulch in front of the house in early January.

Suspicious daffodil-like thing, early January

She wondered if a bulb had somehow been blown or carried by squirrels into our yard. When she saw a second, and then a third one coming up, she became very concerned.

More suspicious daffodil-looking things
Hmmm, not sure what to make of these
I wonder how they got here

Mom and I pondered the mystery, and mom pointed the daffodil-looking things out to Dad. Had someone been coming into our yard late at night and planting daffodils? Was there a mad daffodil-planting bandit in Richmond?  Was someone engaging in the daffodil equivalent of yarn bombing?

Well, Dad couldn't keep a straight face, and had to confess that he had been very sneaky and planted NINETY bulbs one day last fall when he had the day off and Mom was at work. It was supposed to be a surprise for Mom, and he hoped they would bloom by Valentine's Day. (I was actually in on it too -- I supervised the planting -- but Dad had sworn me to secrecy.)

Pretending to investigate the suspicious daffodils

So the mystery has been solved and Mom has enjoyed watching the daffodils grow and start to bloom. They started blooming the week before last (a little after Valentine's Day) and now they are blooming like crazy! It's just what mom needs to make her smile when she comes home each day and sees them, and when she leaves in the morning for work.


Pre-blooming daffodils with a dusting of snow

Almost ready to bloom!

Starting to bloom!

My daily daffodil inspection

More blooms!

Note the Conch Republic flag flapping in the breeze

This makes Mom smile

I think I did a pretty good job supervising

Don't mess with my daffodils!

 Dad had never planted daffodils before, but with my assistance, he did a pretty good job.