Saturday, April 19, 2014

Take the #PawNatural Challenge with me, Johann, the Green Dog!

If you know me, you know I've been a Green Dog all my life!

It all began when Mum adopted me. She was raised green and eco-friendly, and learned early on the importance of eating organically.

So when I came to live with Mum, that was our first order of business; learn how to translate her green and organic lifestyle to my life. And so our journey began.

Being Mum's first dog ever, she had a lot to learn about dogs. But the easy part was she knew how to search for healthier, greener options for me. During our search she found me good healthy foods, greener toys, beds, gear and more.

The neat thing that came from all of this is that over the years we have shared some of our green lifestyle information on our blog. We get lots of emails asking me questions about my green and healthy lifestyle; what I eat, what toys and gear do I enjoy, how does Mum keep our lawn healthy and organic and some folks even ask what type of lotion does Mum wear on her legs in case I wanted to give her a nice 'thank you' lick.

We answer every one of the emails that we get, because we love sharing all the things we've learned over the years.

Mum always says, "to live a healthier, greener life, all you have to do is take one little step at a time." So in honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, we wanted to present a little #PawNatural challenge to you, our loving readers!

Leave us a comment on our blog or our Facebook and let us know one thing you want to do to help your dog live a healthier, greener, more eco-friendly life!

It could be related to how you dispose of your dog's doo, what changes you want to make in the healthy treats and foods they enjoy, or safer toys they play with; and it can even relate to changes in how you'll clean your home the healthy way, how you'll make your yard more healthy and safe, or changes you'll make in how you reduce, reuse and recycle!

I'll tell you what we'll be doing this year to add to our greener, healthier life; we're going to be testing out a new product that we've been wanting to try for years thanks to Only Natural Pet products now offered through We'll be testing out Only Natural Pet's All Natural EasyDefense Flea and Tick Tag. So stay tuned for our review!
Go ahead, tell us! What one thing do you want to do to help our Mother Earth and the health of your dog?

"This post is sponsored by Only Natural Pet on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Only Natural Pet, but you know that Johann The Dog only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Only Natural Pet is not responsible for the content of this article."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Snake season has arrived!

Snake season has arrived here on our mountain with the warmer temps and the nice sun!

A couple of weeks ago, Mum, Gracie and I were hanging out enjoying the nice weather, when I spotted something along the south fence line.

Earlier that day, Mum had spotted one of the many toads that we encounter and had helped him/her over the other side of the fence. This is the same type of toad that had given me a little toad toxin poisoning last year, so Mum likes to keep them away as much as possible.

Larger versions of the Bufo (aka Cane Toad) can be very dangerous to small dogs. These are mostly located in Florida and other surrounding states. We're lucky that these little guys only give off a little toxin when annoyed (like when I or Gracie paws at them). When that happens they swell up and start secreting the poison from those odd warts on their backs.

When Mum investigated what I saw at the fence line, she saw one of the several garter snakes we see here on our mountain. They like to scavenge for mice and, as we found out this day, toads. They are good snakes, and Mum doesn't like to hurt them, just relocate so we get used to not bothering them in case some day we encounter a copperhead which would be much more dangerous for us.

Mum saw the snake and when she looked closer she saw some red stuff on a leaf near by. Then she looked closer and what?!? There's a toad! And that snake is going after that toad?

Who knew that toads bleed red? We didn't!

With Gracie and I at a distance, Mum watched as the snake started to 'eat' the toad. You can see in the video below (Spoiler: If you have a squeamish streak, you may want to shy away from watching). Mum thought, how in the heck is that snake going to get that big toad in his/her tummy?

Later that afternoon, she found out when she saw that the little snake was still in our fence, and couldn't get out of the fence because he/she was too fat!

We worked on our snake avoidance training a little (always a good refresher at the start of the season and throughout) and then went in to eat our dinner. When we came back out we saw that little snake had crawled out the fence from underneath the bottom of the fence, and we were off to play in our snake free yard once again!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Black and White Sunday: Dogwood on Dog!

It's dogwood blooming time here in Georgia. I give you 'Dogwood on Dog!'

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Going #PawNatural for the life of your dog!

Being green, eco-friendly and healthy has it's advantages!

For one thing you're much more healthy and don't have to go to the vet as much. And another thing is that you get to enjoy doing all the things you love to do for a lot longer time. Like getting your ADCH at nearly 10 years old, BOL!

As an agility dog and avid hiker, I (and my sis Gracie) have to keep in tip top shape. Over the years, I've eaten very well, gotten holistic care, massages, acupuncture, chiropractic, even had sessions on an underwater treadmill, and more.

When we seek out products we always do our research and turn to healthier companies that provide the healthiest options.

That's why way back in 2005 when we started JohannTheDog, I wanted to provide resources for folks to find healthier options. Back then it was difficult to find companies that provided healthy options. We searched and we searched. One of the healthier companies we found long ago was Only Natural Pet and we've been big fans of them ever since.

The other day we were invited to listen in on a teleconference with Only Natural Pet's Boulder, CO store manager, Alyse Stark, and learned a lot more about the company; their products, how they develop them and how they keep up with all the holistic health info to help others with their pets.

Not only does Only Natural Pet have a nice line of natural healthy foods and treats for dogs and cats, including raw, freeze dried and dehydrated, they also have a broad line of holistic supplements to help with many issues and ailments, and healthier ways to combat fleas and ticks.

When you visit their store or call their customer service line their employees have broad knowledge to help you. And they have many resources they can turn to as well, like the holistic healthcare library on their site and their staff veterinarian, Dr. Jean Hofve who will not only work with you in your efforts to seek holistic healthcare answers, but also work with your local vet to formulate a plan for a healthier life.

All of their products are great quality, have no artificial colors, preservatives, no by products and no artificial flavorings. All the unhealthy things that we shy from, leaving only the healthy natural things we like.

And now Only Natural Pet have made their products available online through Pet360 so you have even more ways to enjoy their products.

So, tell me!!! What holistic products do you enjoy and use?
"This post is sponsored by Only Natural Pet on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network . I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Only Natural Pet, but you know that Johann The Dog only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Only Natural Pet is not responsible for the content of this article."

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Gracie gets a gamblers Q!

OMD I got a gamblers Q!
The weekend that I got my ADCH, Gracie ran too!

She ran gamblers on Friday, and standard and gamblers on Saturday and Sunday.

Gracie's run on Friday was amazing! She was focused, attentive, fast and super fun to run Mum says.

Mum is only entering Gracie in these two events now, as she doesn't have any standard run Q's in starters and only had one starters gamblers Q before Friday.

Even though she's moved up to Masters level in snooker and jumpers, Mum just doesn't think that the stress that radiates in the masters ring area is right for Gracie right now, as stress from anyone or any dog around her just makes her too freaked out and glassy eyed. So they are sticking with starters and advanced in these two events for now.

Mum had a fun plan for Gracie on her Friday gamblers run, taking a couple of tunnels (which are her favorite) and then seeing what else she could do. The gamble was a little tricky for a starters as there was a bit of discrimination, but Gracie handled it like a pro.

Mum led Gracie over the three jumps to the right of the chute and then to the tunnel under the frame. Then she led her back through the same tunnel again and on to the tire and then the other tunnel. A couple of jumps and then to the weaves, but as Gracie went into the weaves the buzzer went off already as it was a 1,2,3,5 course which are faster. So Mum ran to the jump after the weaves, did a front cross and led Gracie to the 1 of the gamble, pulled back a little and called tunnel.

Since Gracie is is a tunnel 'sucker' it was easy for her. Mum then called Gracie toward her and ran her to the jump. It was a beautiful run!!

And it turned out that Gracie was the only dog of all the dogs in starters to Q on that run with 44 points.

So Gracie got a nice blue ribbon to take home and kick off the weekend! Good job sis!

But that was the end of Gracie's good fortune that weekend. During her standard runs, she wouldn't go near the teeter, as she's still got a super big fear of it from over a year ago. The first time Gracie saw the teeter on Saturday, she took off and jumped the ring fences and headed over to the masters ring. It was just too much for her stress level.

A little embarrassed, Mum got her back and vowed to watch her stress level more closely on her other runs for the weekend to help her manage her stress more.

She ran two more gamblers, but was a bit unfocused in the opening even though on one she got the gamble part of the course like a super pro! The next run was standard on Sunday, so Mum watched Gracie's eyes very closely for signs of stress and once she saw the 'glassy eyed' look start to overcome her at the teeter, she led Gracie on for a nice rest of the run. She made most of her contacts and if not for the doggone teeter, she probably would have Q'd.

You may remember that Gracie's judge that weekend was an individual that Mum and I had taken our first agility classes with way back in the day in Indiana. The judge remembered seeing Gracie over those early years get very stressed and not even take but one obstacle on runs.

She saw that Gracie has improved a lot over the years, which she has. But she did remark to Mum that she still gets that glassy eyed stress look that she had remembered when we were back in Indiana

Mum continues to work on Gracie's teeter wherever she can, at home and at the place where we do run thrus. She's much better at both of those places, but still has trouble in competition.

But they will keep trying. On to the next trial coming up this weekend! Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Spring has sprung on our mountain!

Spring has finally sprung on our mountain!

When we moved here to our newest cabin, we had no idea what was planted. It was so great to see the daffodils come up the first spring we were here.

Last year, the daffodils were OK, but not nearly as prolific or beautiful as they are this year. And we had no idea that we had four different kinds of heirloom daffodils.

It started a few weeks ago when the blooms pushed their way up.

Then the first ones, with pale yellow leaves and dark centers started blooming

Then the temps were to dip way below freezing, so Mum went out and cut all the ones that wouldn't be protected by an outer 'shell.' They made for a beautiful couple of bouquets.

Then a week later, more started popping up. Here is a close up of the all dark yellow ones.

And the white with dark centers.

And then what do you know? We didn't see these at all the last two years, doubles!

Tonight it's supposed to dip down below freezing again, so guess we'll get to enjoy them inside again! Hope you are enjoying some spring where you are!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014 AKC National Agility Championships: Live Stream, Text Updates, Course Maps, Results and More.

Thursday, March 27 through Sunday, March 30th, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania will play host to the American Kennel Club National Agility Championships.

The event will be held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, 2300 North Cameron Street in Harrisburg.

Here are the hours for the event:

Thursday, March 27 – 7 am to 6:00 pm
Friday, March 28 – 8 am to 5:30 pm
Saturday, March 29 – 8 am to 5:30 pm
Sunday, March 30 – 7 am to 6:30 pm
  1:00 pm - Clean Run Challengers Round
  4:00 pm - Final Round

Free live streaming will be held thanks to 4LeggedFlix YouTube channel. Click on each event's stream to watch all the action, or here for more information (pdf).

You can also visit the 4LeggedFlix Facebook page or the AKC NAC Facebook page to keep up on all the action.

Additional info:

Results and course maps throughout the long weekend will be posted on the AKC website.
Information on how you can receive text updates of the NAC weekend, click for instructions (pdf).
Running Orders National
Running Orders T2B
Ring schedules

Good luck to all my pals (and everyone) competing! Have fun!

What the treat!?! Magician makes dog treats disappear!

WTT? (What the treat?)

A magician on YouTube makes these dog's treats disappear. Is it magic or mean? Let me know what you think in the comments. Still their reactions are priceless. Looks to me they can't even smell them anymore!

BTW, we hear everyone got their treats fair and square after their quick taping.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Black and White Sunday: Rescued in America!

That's me, YoYo (aka Johann) on the photo shoot back in 2010 for the great book 'Rescued in America,' by Melissa McDaniel. I was lucky enough to get picked from 100's of dogs to be featured in the book of rescue dogs, one from every state in the US.

For those of you who don't know, I was rescued as a puppy from a no-kill shelter in Indianapolis, the Southside Animal Shelter. Mum had rescued my kittie bro, Wiggy, from that shelter about six years earlier through an adoption event at the local Petco. We are all so lucky to be in a family full of rescues!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

I got it!!! Just call me ADCH YoYo!

We're still on cloud 9, even after a week and a day!

A week ago Sunday, March 2nd, I got that last Super Q for my ADCH!

Can you believe it? This almost 10 year old dog not only got 54 points in his Snooker run, but got more points than all the dogs in the championship class, all heights. DOG, was I feeling good on that run!

Mum, Gracie and I headed out for three days of glorious agility last weekend. I was entered in Snooker all three days and Gracie was entered in Gamblers on Friday, and Standard and Gamblers on Saturday and Sunday.

On Friday, Mum and I had a good plan for our Snooker run and I was running great, and right on target to get 48 points with three reds. But Mum got a little ahead of me and didn't support me on a jump before the frame and we got eliminated at 35 points.

This was the first time that 16" dogs and 18" dogs would be combined for calculating Super Q's, rather than previous years when we've been combined with 12's and other 16's.. So we had amazing competition. That 48 points wouldn't have gotten us a SQ anyway as the top dog got I believe 51 points with four reds. So we planned for the next day.

On Saturday, Mum obsessed about the course, it was a toughie to get high points for us as the reds were all in the front. We had a plan, but Mum never felt very good about our chances, and wouldn't you know, I took a red and immediately took an unplanned 2 and it all went to heck after that.

So on Sunday, we got up early at 4:45 and made our way to the trial in Gainesville at Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center for the final day of the Southeastern Agility Trial. It was a beautiful day, finally nice and warmer, and sunny!

It got so warm that Mum had to take us out of crating in the car and put us ringside. Gracie ran two runs and then it was time for my final Snooker run of the weekend. Mum had made a great plan before her walk thru including two frames, which are my absolute favorite obstacle. When she started her walk thru and got a chance to really plan out the course, she liked her plan even better. Love it when your plan works better on the course than on paper!

All the time she walked the course, she thought to herself...."I love this course!" So we were ready. Mum didn't obsess, stuck to her plan and didn't even watch any of the other dogs run. We stuck by ourselves, until the very second before our run. When the other dog before us was eliminated we ran into the ring and Mum set me up in front of the first red. Here's the course so you can play along!

We started with the red on the right in the front. Mum ran with me from the start and sent me to the frame. I barreled up from about 10-15 or so feet from Mum, so she hung back and treated it a little like a gamble. Then she front crossed after my frame and sent me to the other red on the left in the front.

This was the trickiest part of our plan, to get me back up the left side of the frame without me taking the 2 jump or the tunnel. She fronted after the red jump, then fronted again in front of the tunnel, called frame and I sailed up it again. 

Our plan was for Mum to rear cross the red on the upper right, but she quickly saw that this wasn't going to work, so she blind crossed the bottom of the frame and I took the out right red very smoothly. And that set me up perfectly to the 6B tunnel, taking it from about 6 feet away. So Mum hung back in front of the 6A jump and did a front cross to the final red just to the right of the tunnel. 

She did a nice backy-uppy and then sent me to the 7A jump, around to the 7 B and we were off to the two through 7. Mum knew at this point we were going to have to hustle it up. So she quickly sent me to the 2, into the tunnel and ran quickly to do a front cross to lead me to the 4A jump. She was doing that front cross after the tunnel and I almost ran into her....'get out of my way, Mum!' But it worked and she led me around to the 4B and then front crossed again, again in my way, and up the frame I went.

Then she really had to hustle to lead me over the 6A and into the 6B tunnel, then she waited a bit and when she thought I'd be coming out of the tunnel, she sent me over 7A and around 7B to the finish jump.

Just as I was going over the 7B the buzzer started to go off....and Mum didn't think that we got that last 7, but she was sooooo proud of me! And I of her. We celebrated with some boiled chicken, then went to the crate area, picked up Gracie and took a little end of day celebratory walk around the grounds.

The entire time, Mum was telling us how proud she was of both of us, and how much fun she had with us all weekend. 

After our walk, we passed the concession stand and saw someone we know. She stopped us and said, 'nice run!' Mum said...'thanks! Too bad we didn't get that last 7.' Our friend said, 'you got that last 7, I heard him call it!' Whoa, what? We got it! Wow, that meant that we got 54 points. And depending upon what the other 16's and 18's got, we could have a shot. 

Our friend said we needed to go look at the results, but Mum just couldn't. It had been so long and so many times getting second place, that at this point, she just didn't want to know. So our friend went to look and we saw her walking back after looking at the results and she gave us a huge thumbs up!

What?!? We got it, OMD! That means, we got our ADCH!!!! We were so excited! And really at this point just couldn't believe it. How awesome!!!

We went to look at the result ourselves, and she was right, we got it! So Mum put Gracie up, got our ribbon and pole, the camera and headed to get some photo ops with Marty Gadsby the Masters ring judge.

Now this is interesting....we've run under Marty a lot in our agility career. He would come to the USDAA trials in Indiana when we lived there, nearly every trial, and either judge or work the trial. We reminded Marty who we were at this trial and he remembered us from Indiana. He couldn't believe that I was still running at nearly 10 years old. He remarked how great I looked too on Friday and during our SQ run. It was fun to get our ADCH with Marty and appreciate his super fun courses over the weekend, and throughout my career.

On top of that. We saw the judge that was working Gracie's ring and at first glance thought, 'hey, we know her!' It was one of our fellow classmates at some of my first agility classes up in Indiana. She's a judge now, and the neat thing is that she also couldn't believe that I was still running. It just so happened that when I was running that SQ run, she looked up and saw us running. She got to see our Snooker run, too!

It was like old Indiana home week for us. 

For those of you who don't know what's involved in achieving an ADCH (Agility Dog Champion) title in USDAA you need:

5 Tournament Q's including at least: 
  1 Steeplechase Q's
  1 Grand Prix Q's
  1 DAM Team Q
And once you make it through the Starters and Advanced Levels you also need:
5 Master Standard Q's
5 Master Gamblers Q's
5 Master Snooker Q's (3 of them Super Q's)
5 Master Relay Q's
5 Master Jumpers Q's

Not only did I get my ADCH this past weekend, but I also got my Snooker Master, Snooker Champion and Snooker Bronze title (that's at least 15 Snooker Q's with 3 SQ's). 

Over the years we've been really, really close, getting a lot of 2nd places in Snooker running against many World Team dogs in IN, TN and GA. I got my first SQ in TN 10-29-2010 with 52 pts, my second in GA on 4-13-2012 with 49 pts, and then this last one on 3-2-2014 with 54 pts. Getting a SQ is tough business, so we are super glad that I got to check one off my bucket list with such a fun, fast and one of the best runs of my career, run.

What a fun weekend! Check back to my blog for more about the weekend and Gracie's runs!