Friday, February 25, 2011

So honored! My Life in Photos lens got a Squidoo Purple Star!

Not too long ago, Mum was having some fun on Squidoo and created another lens about her favorite boy dog, me, of course!!!

The lens is called: Johann's Life in Photos, and has a few of Mum's favorite photos that she's taken of me throughout my life (with a little of photoshopping, following instructions on how to get rid of dark circles and gray eyebrows, which I seem to accumulate daily now, BOL!).

We found out last week that this lens (which contains my contemplation photo above) received a coveted 'Purple Star' from Squidoo. That means that it is one of the best of the best lenses on Squidoo! Purple Stars are awarded for lenses with incredible content, for trying new ideas, and for standing out from the crowd. And I've heard that they only give out 1000 per year out of the couple of million lenses on Squidoo.

Then to top that off, I was having some fun one day and decided to submit a little blurb as an intro for Squidoo's Dog section. They were asking for some help in writing all the intros. And guess what? They accepted mine! Now I get to introduce all visitors to the Dog section on Squidoo, so pawesomely cool, and we think very appropriate for a dog to introduce others to dogs, right?

On another note...

Well, it's Friday, yeah! Mum says if the weather holds out this weekend, we are going to an agility practice with new buds that live north of here. My paws are staying crossed!!!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Kittie makes herself at home!

You may remember we blogged about the neighbors barn kittie that started visiting our back porch a during the snowstorm we had this Winter.

Well, she is still hanging around. It's been a few months now. When it started getting cold, Mum felt sad for her and made her a little cardboard home and bed, all nice and protected on the porch.

Needless to say she is loving it! She spends almost all her time now with us, goes out to hunt for food, or goes back to her barn for something to eat. Sometimes we wonder if she needs to look into some fat burner pills, she's a little on the pudgy side. But then again, it could just be winter weight, BOL!

This is probably the only bed she has ever known! Such a sweet little girl, and a great mouse hunter, OMD!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hiking at Laurel-Snow!

We had a great time hiking with new agility friends yesterday at Laurel-Snow.

You may remember that we hiked just a little of this part of the Cumberland Trail last summer and had a blast.

As a reminder, here's a little about the area:
The primary focus of this segment is the Bowater Laurel-Snow Wilderness (Tennessee's first National Recreational Trail). The natural area contains a section of gorges deeply cut into Walden Ridge of the Cumberland Plateau by Morgan, Henderson, Laurel and Richland Creeks. The site is named after two scenic waterfalls, Laurel Falls (80 feet) and Snow Falls (35 feet), and features three scenic overlooks, Buzzard Point, Dunn Overlook, and Bryan Overlook (also known as Raven Point). The area features scenic creeks, steep gorges, geologic features, a small stand of virgin timber, and a wide variety of plants and animals.
This time we hiked with agility friends (our new bud Speed and his Mum) who knew the trails very well. Last time we were there we had a hard time finding the trails, so this time it was a lot more fun!

Speed's Mum and my Mum had a great time talking about all kinds of dog stuff on our hike...everything from dog agility, to dog training tips, other places to hike, upcoming trials and all kinds of other dog stuff :).

We started out at the trail head after driving up the lane from the sign.

Here's a cool map of the area. We hiked all the way up, about 4.75 miles, and about 700 ft increase and decrease in elevation to see the Laurel Falls, which were beautiful, even if they weren't at their full flowing capacity.

There were lots of photo ops on the rocks that bordered the main creek!

The rock/moss walls along the main entrance trail were so cool! You know how much Mum loves moss :)

We made our way along the main trail and up the steep, and one of the most difficult parts of the trail, toward the metal bridge. Some parts of the trail had big drop offs and were very narrow, but Mum, Gracie and I navigated them well, we thought.

This metal bridge was different than any bridge we had seen before. It reminded Mum a little of the cattle grates that we've seen before and that Gracie is super nervous about (there is one at the trial site where we walk into the building).

But this was a little different and the grates were closer together. I had a little difficult time walking over it with my little feet, and Gracie got a little nervous at one point, but we made it across very well! Mum carried me across on the way back, she just didn't want me getting another dislocated toe!

We walked on and came to this place that was like a rock tunnel! Here we are watching our friends who went first. We had to climb lot of rocks to get through the tunnel, but it was very fun!

Then we took a little break once we got up to the falls at about the 2.5 mile point. Here's Gracie checking out all the scenery.

And I took a break on one of the rock overlooks!

The falls were neat! Not as big (80 feet) as the ones we found at Fall Creek Falls (20 stories), but very cool just the same. The water is low right now, not much rain or snow for the past couple of weeks.

On the way back we saw this super cool rock wall!

And stopped for another photo op :)

And we got to play in the stream, love that wading stuff!

Here's a photo of our agility bud that went with us! This is Speed and he is a very well behaved hiker. Mum was super proud of all of us for getting along so well. Gracie, I think, was a bit smitten, she wanted to play all day with Speed :)

And here's a little video of the three of us heading back on the main trail to the car.

We had such a fun day and the weather was perfect for a nice hike! Super thanks to our friends for inviting us!

Hope you had a great holiday weekend!

Secretariat is great!!!

We are so lucky to get a copy of the newly released Disney DVD, Secretariat. The nice folks at Disney sent it to us free to review for all of you!

Mum and I love horse movies, especially ones that involve competition and great stories overcoming obstacles. And this movie didn't disappoint!

Although we knew about Secretariat and his great wins, and we knew the outcome of the story, we still enjoyed the journey and learning a lot about Peggy Chenery (Secretariat's owner) and all her family went through to bring Secretariat to the level he deserved.

In 1973, Secretariat became the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in twenty-five years, setting new race records in two of the three events, the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, records that still stand today. His biggest victory was of course the last race of the series, the Belmont Stakes, where he won by an astounding 31 length lead. Here's a little clip of that very race:

Secretariat was a racing machine! A cool tidbit of information...after his death at 19 years old, it was found that his heart was extremely large for a horse of his size. Estimated at 22 lbs, over three times the size of a normal horse, this abnormality is known as the x-factor in a small handful of successful racehorses and it is believed that this is why he was as good as he was. Cool huh?

We found when we went to watch it in our DVD player that our player was on the fritz. So Mum got out our old Tohiba laptop that we replaced with our Netbook last year. She cleaned it up, dumped some old files, checked the toshiba laptops batteries, and voila! It's now our new portable DVD player, and we are loving it for watching movies, now and then!

Anyways, we highly recommend his movie and are very glad to be able to see it thanks to the nice folks at Disney! Here's the official trailer, enjoy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!!!

This is a mosaic we made with all the photos from my photo file on the computer. We love making these mosaics. You can click to bigify!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Putting my toys away!

You may remember that I had a difficult time learning fetch inside the house. But once I learned, there was no stopping me!

Now I can put all my toys away, and Mum is so happy that she doesn't have to do it anymore, BOL! Here's a quick vid Mum got on our new little camera, instead of the blackberry phone, just a little better quality.

We're still working on teaching Gracie to fetch inside. She's never been a big fetcher, but we think she is catching on pretty quickly.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Trial last weekend!

We got to run in an AKC trial this past weekend! Fun new friends.

The first day of the trial, on Friday, I continued my odd behavior of running around a few jumps. It's still baffling Mum because she didn't see that I was uncomfortable at all and didn't see that she was handling me any differently. Maybe I was still in snooker mode? Who knows. But the great news is that I was super speedy (much speedier than the video shows for the other two days)!!!

Even though I took a couple of extra jumps in my Friday STD run, I still came out with the second fastest time of the class. The first place time was speedy little BC, BOL!!!

So, on Saturday, Mum kind of overhandled me near the jumps to get me out of this nasty groove. It worked pretty well. Got a couple of Q's on Saturday, along with some nice points. And I even kept my speed up pretty well. Got fifth place on my STD run, a Q on my JWW run.

On Sunday I was pretty raring to go, again. Mum was happy to see my energy staying up for the whole weekend. I ran my STD run and got another Q, and another fifth place. Not a bad run, got some more points.

Then the last run of the weekend was my JWW run. Not the speediest by any means, but not too bad. But what did I do? Yep, ran past the very last jump. Mum didn't get video of that one to see what was up, but she was still proud of me :)

You'll notice I'm still not running full out on the courses, but better than last trial. One of the things that Mum thinks helped in prep for this trial are the 150 yard recalls we've been doing in the pasture nearly every day the past couple of weeks. Mum thinks it helped me get some good running full out off leash and helped with my speed. So we're going to keep that up.

We're getting closer to that MACH thing Mum keeps talking about. Maybe a couple of more trials if all goes well. Guess we'll see.

Here are my two STD Q's from the weekend. You can see how Mum is overhandling the jumps, staying very close to them (which probably slowed me down some), she's saying 'go jump,' 'go on,' anything that will keep me going over the jumps. Worked pretty well.

Oh and on that first STD run? Mum did a super nice blind cross after the frame which is kind of difficult to see. Really kept me focused on the chute coming up.

Gracie got to run (or should I saw run off, BOL!) in the B-Match on Saturday. Mum brought cooked chicken for both of us on Saturday and we think it made Gracie way, way, way over the top. She didn't take the full course, but she had some nice moments of brilliance, mixed in with a couple of run offs and come backs to Mum. She even did a few weaves, which is rare for Gracie at a venue.

Sigh...our Gracie girl, wadda we gonna do? Mum thinks, though, that if Gracie had run another run that day that she probably would have been much more focused. Gracie loves this venue and feels very comfortable there. So maybe next time we'll get to see what she does.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Just rolling!

Just rolling around...

For the longest time I would only roll right. I prefer to spin right too. But Mum has been working with me to roll and spin left, 'cause she thinks it's good for my flexibility on both sides; and keeps me from favoring any one side.

So I'm doing now...I roll right, I roll left, I'm a rolling maniac!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Limping! (Don't worry, it's not what you think :)

Ohhhh, hope I didn't scare ya with that title!

I've always wanted Mum to teach me to limp. So when we came across this video, we got super encouraged to try it and see how it goes. We'll keep you posted.

Do you guys have a nice limp trick? Leave your video link in the comments, I'd love to take a look!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

I got to be King of the World!

We hear lots of our friends are getting some nasty snow and ice. We are feeling for them!

One of our reasons for moving further south to the Mountain was to get away from a lot of that super cold and long spells of snow. We like a little snow, and the seven inches we got a month or so ago was super fun. But we really liking the fact that we can hike pretty much any time of year here on our Mountain.

Last weekend was a perfect example. The weather was amazing, almost 70 degrees on Sunday and mostly sunny. The ridge was calling us!

Of course Mum had to take some pics. We stopped at the stream again to get a little cool off time. We headed a bit down the stream, because there is this cool rock ledge we like to inspect.

Then we headed up the ridge, off trail since we had more time. It took some effort to get up to the rock ledge near the top of the ridge, but we made it. I got to be 'King of the World' for a little while.

I admit it, this made Mum a little nervous. First, she got a stick and checked for snakes all around the rocks, before she let me and Gracie near them. Then we climbed up the rocks and made our way over to this area.

Here I am standing on the ledge with about a 30 foot drop below me. Mum is saying, 'stay, stay, stay.' Me? I am feeling the hanging close to the edge!

Monday came around and Mum was feeling this hike, fur sure! This time she needed to check into a massage therapy program online, she was sore!!! But it's Tuesday now and all is back to normal. What a fun weekend!

Hope everyone stays dry, safe and warm today if your getting pounded with the nasty stuff!

RascoDog Ready Leash - poo bags at the ready!

A while back the nice folks at RascoDog, sent us one of their ReadyLeashes to try out.

This is very handy! Its not a retractable, 'cause we don't really like those for regular use, just for use when Mum is having me do some hill climbing.

It's rather an innovative, non-retractable leash with poo bags built-in!

The ReadyLeash is very comfortable on Mum's hands and easy to grip even for the pulling-est of dogs like me and Gracie. We thought it was pretty strong too and stood up to the Grace-ster encountering
some deer, and you know how much pulling that requires, BOL!

The poo bags pop-in easily, so you never have to go without. We particularly like it for agility trails. You know how when you get to the site and you spend that time stretching your legs after traveling, and 'going' before heading into the crate area? Mum always has a bag on hand now.

The ReadyLeash retails for $21-23.99 (depending upon the length of the leash 4 or6"). RascoDog also sells the biodegradable poo bags to fill 'er up. The bags are nice and strong, so Mum doesn't have to get 'dirty.' And the leash comes in some pawsome colors.

Thanks to RascoDog for sending us this cool leash for free and be able to tell our friends about it! Oh and hey! They are on Facebook too, and we see a coupon code for a percentage off over there!
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