Thursday, July 31, 2008

Agility invitationals

Last night we found out that my dog trainer Deb (I just love her!) is going to the national agility invitationals in Long Beach, CA in December! Hurray for her! She and her Jack Russell Bug qualified and that makes Bug one of the top five Jacks in the country! We are super excited for them. Deb is my obedience instructor but nowadays her real passion is for agility. We hope to be at least half as good as she and her dogs one day.

Gotta zoom!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Trip to Hocking Hills

Yesterday mom and dad took me to a beautiful place - Hocking Hills - in southern Ohio. It is a state park that is full of sandstone cliffs and recessed caves. Incredibly beautiful! And best of all, dogs are allowed on all of the hiking trails! The weather was perfect, too. About 80 degrees in the afternoon and low humidity. We got there a little before lunch and did a quick little hike in the Old Man's Cave area (no pictures because mom forgot her camera in the car!). Then we snuck in to the primitive campground and had lunch at a campsite. It was so quiet - absolutely no one was in there. Then we went to Cedar Falls and went on a big hike!
A view of the creek and some of the huge trees and lush ferns.
Another view of the creek and some of the big boulders.
Here is one of a sandstone rock formation.
There were lots of bridges to cross!
Here I am at Cedar Falls! The photo is not great but you can kind of get the idea!
We also had lots of steps to climb! It was a real work out for me - steps, big tree roots, boulders and rocks to climb over - we're talking major hiking!
Another view of a sandstone formation and cliff.
I got to play in the creek for a long time - Dad loves the water too and got right in to encourage me. I like to get wet but don't yet like to go in and really swim. As long as I can touch the bottom, I'm good.
Hocking Hills can get crowded, especially on nice weather days, but if you walk far enough, you can generally get away from most of the people. Then you really feel isolated and can take in the serenity and beauty of your surroundings. We heard lots of neat birds - hermit thrush, wood thrush, towhee, black-throated green warbler, red-eyed vireo, red-shouldered hawk - and saw some great butterflies - redspotted purple, fritillary, tiger swallowtail - but we didn't find any dragonflies!
It takes us a little over an hour to get to Hocking Hills. Perfect for me because I rested up on the way down and on the way back! Mom wishes the trip was a little shorter so that we could go more often. That sounds good to me too! I know I was a really good boy while we were there so hopefully we'll go back again soon!
Gotta zoom!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer is flying by!

Hard to believe it's July 23 already! Where does the time go? Today is finally a cooler day - I am loving it! Mom loves it to and we both have so much more energy than when it's hot and humid. Thank goodness we get breaks in the heat like this in a typical Ohio summer.

Lately we haven't really done much out of the routine. We start each morning with my lessons - working on basic obedience stuff like heeling, figure eight, stays, recalls, and a little dumbbell work. Then we go on our morning walk in the neighborhood. I am doing well on the walk these days. Mom drapes my leash around her neck and I am fairly good about staying by her side. She occasionally has to give the leash a quick tug to remind me about what I should be doing. We have a routine with cars now too - when we see one coming, mom tells me to sit and to wait. Then after the car goes by, mom waits for me to look away from the car (sometimes it takes forever for me to forget about those CARS!) and to look up at her. Then we keep going. I am better about not losing my cool and barking like a maniac when cars go by, but I do slip up from time to time. The past few days we have been doing lessons during the walk too - we go to a quiet area of the neighborhood where there is a sidewalk in a grassy area that used to be used for elementary kids to walk to school - there mom puts me through my paces to see if I will listen to her in a different environment. I've been great so far! I even held my down stay when a big flock of Canada geese flew right over my head!

After the walk, we often come home and do a little agility. Lately we have been working on some serpentines and pinwheels and weaves. Yesterday mom set up our teeter on the cement patio - previously I had only done the teeter in the grass and mom wanted to see if the "bang" from the board on the cement would bother me. Nope - I had no problem with it - as a matter of fact, I don't know what she is even talking about. I didn't hear anything. I was focused on the target with the treat on it!

The rest of the day we do gardening, or teach viola and violin if it's a Tuesday, or go to the park, or play in the hose, or chase squirrels in the backyard, or go for car rides, or visit grandpa and you can see, I have a wonderful life!

Gotta zoom!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Weave pole practice

Mom and I got in a little agility practice this morning before it got too hot. We have been trying to do some each morning. There is more video from today, but we haven't gotten it off the camera yet. Mom is really slow with this video editing, etc. We worked on pinwheels and weaves and a little table. We'll see if anything else from today is worth sharing. We think we have a private agility lesson set up for August 1. Two weeks to get ready!

Gotta zoom!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sprinkler time!

It's HOT here! After lunch mom and I went for a short walk at my favorite park and then it was time to cool off in the sprinkler!

That was exhausting!

Gotta zoom (really, gotta nap!)!


Monday, July 14, 2008


Mom, Dad and I just got home from a little kayaking trip - our first one of the summer! When mom and dad got married a few years ago, they got a tandem kayak as a wedding present. Dad is a real good kayaker - he does all of the paddling, BTW, and mom gets to ride around like Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile! Any way, last summer when I was a young pup, mom and dad introduced me to kayaking and I have always loved it! Today we went to a river that is near our house and took a short trip. You need a lot of gear when kayaking:
Me in my cool life jacket:
Waiting by the river for dad to put in:
Still waiting:
Finally, we're off:

We had beautiful weather and saw turtles, herons, a water snake, and lots of pretty damselflies.
Gotta zoom!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Learning new stuff

Since mom and I are still new to the blogging world, we are learning stuff all the time. Last night dad taught us two new things. So here is our attempt at embedding a YouTube video and at using hyperlinks! Cross your fingers!

We made this video last month in response to a video we watched at Johann and Gracie's YouTube channel (watch Johann's video here). I am not nearly as skilled as Johann and mom isn't any where close to Johann's mom, but we wanted to try out something similar to their backyard set-up. It was fun! We have taped other agility practice sessions, but either mom messes up or I am super slow or uninterested. Then mom puts the camera away, and I do some super speedy weaves or some great jumps. Crazy! Maybe some day we'll get some really good video to share with you.

Gotta zoom!


Monday, July 7, 2008


We've been doing some gardening lately and wanted to share some photos from our front flower garden! The bees and butterflies love it, but so do those nasty Japanese beetles!

Guess all the rain has really helped the garden grow! I am not a great subject for the camera - I can't look at mom because I might miss a car or dog going by. Nothing she says and no sound she makes can divert me from my purpose! I am extremely focused (when I want to be)!

Gotta zoom!


Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July and Happy Birthday Grandma! It is a rainy and boring day for me. We got in a walk this morning in the rain, but since then not a whole lot has been happening. It rained most of yesterday too. Mom set up a mini agility course for me in the living room yesterday. She put a dark colored bed sheet over the chute to make it heavier and darker and set up my broad jump and 4 weaves (plungers). We had fun doing that little sequence. The chute doesn't phase me at all - I even got stuck in it once and still had no fear or hesitation about it. Go figure.

Mom has also been working really hard on getting me to look up at her while we are heeling. It is working pretty well at least for about 10 steps or so. We are practicing with the dumbbell too. I am getting better at taking it and then holding it for 5 -10 seconds and then dropping it (into mom's hand as long as she has her hand there ready). But this is major improvement for me. Wonder how long it will take to get me to retrieve it?

We decided to wait until September to enroll in agility class again. We're going to try the new training club. Between now and then, though, I think we are going to take a couple private lessons there - we just need to set one up and see how it goes. We'll be great candidates for privates - no other dogs and people around to take my focus off what I am doing and no one to rush us (also no one to keep us waiting around either).

We hope you are all having a great day! Promise to post some new photos soon - the flowers are really benefiting from all of this rain and we'll take some pictures to share with you if the sun ever comes back out!

Gotta zoom!