Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bully me sticks! Enter and win!

We made some friends last week!

The nice folks at Best Bully Sticks sent us a big, big, big package with lots of goodies. Check this out!

We got some thick (odorless) bully sticks, some of our favorite deer antlers, the Himalayan Dog Chews (which we've never tried before :), and two pawsome all-natural Earth Dog hemp tugs, which are a lot healthier and safer than the regular cloth tugs (and I think they taste better too!).

Here I am tugging away. These are very nice tugs, strong and Mum doesn't have to worry about whether we are getting chemicals in our mouths. Nice huh?

And here's Gracie about to enjoy her first, yes, I said that right, first, Bully Stick! BTW - she loved it!

Now here's the bestest part! We are giving away a nice little gift basket from the cool folks at Best Bully Sticks just for you!

All you have to do is:
  1. Share one of your favorite Bully Stick photos and funny Bully Stick stories on their Facebook Page
  2. Go there and press photo to upload your photo, then add your story in the comments of that photo (you will have to like the page first), and let them know that Johann sent ya!
  3. And you could win a very cool gift basket with:
  • A pawsome thick oderless, all-natural Bully Stick
  • A yummy, long lasting deer antler
  • And one of the super cool Hemp Tugs from Earth Dog just for you!
Just leave a comment on this blog post and let us know that you entered over on the Best Bully Sticks Facebook page, K?

Then I'll get out my handy, dandy randomizer and draw us a winner at 12:01 AM on August 4th, from those that let us know on this blog post.

We'll be posting the winners name on our and the Best Bully Sticks Facebook page and on this blog post on August 4th (that's one week from today) so keep an eye out, K? We'll need to get your email address if you are a winner! Deadline to enter is midnight August 3rd.

Now get posting and good luck!

--------------------------

We have a winner!!!

Saige, is the winner of our Best Bully Sticks Gift Pack! Congratulations Saige! We're sending you an email, woofs!

European Open (EO 2011) this weekend!

The European Open (EO 2011) gets underway this weekend, July 30-31 in Bad Hall (near Salzburg), Austria.

Here is the official schedule:

Thursday, 07/28/2011
19:00 Team leader meeting

Friday, 07/29/2011
08.00 Registration of participants
09:00 Official training
18:30 Opening ceremony
19:30 Judges' meeting

Saturday, 07/30/2011
07:30 Individual competitions followed by Individual competition - Finals

Sunday, 07/31/2011
07:00 Team competitions followed by Team competition - Finals
17:00 Closing ceremony with awards ceremonies

US Participants include:

Large - Team 1
Susan Cochran & Rider (BC)
Channan Fosty & Icon (BC)
Nancy Gyes & Ace (BC)
Laura Jones & Kep (BC)

Large - Team 2
Stacy Peardot-Goudy & Maze (BC)
Daisy Peel & Solar (BC)
Ann Zarr & Skylar (BC)

Large - Team 3
Elicia Calhoun & Tobie (BC)
Kathleen Desvigne & Vivian (BC)
Tracy Golden & Blink (BC)
Bonnie Norris & Ice (BC)

Large - Team 4
Elicia Calhoun & Nika
Tracy Golden & Bam
Bonnie McDonald & Thriller

Small - Team 5
Janneke Case & Binkie (Sheltie)
Barb Davis & Skecher (Sheltie)
Joan Meyer & Neil (Sheltie)
Melanie Miller & Smitten (BC)

Small - Team 6
Janneke Case & Roo (Sheltie)
Barb Davis & Rock-It (Sheltie)
Kory Kaye & Keyme (Sheltie)

Small - Team 7
Anna Ericsson & Charlie (Sheltie)
Mary Jo Johnson & Sully (Sheltie)
Deborah McBride & Chase (Sheltie)

Important Links:
Courses from participating judges
Program
Schedule of Events (PDF Download)
Team Listings (PDF Download)

Results (Austria is +6 hours ET, +3 hours PT in the US)

Full Results with Team Results

Video/Photos:
dogsports.cz will be at the event creating slow motion videos
Iztok Noc (Slovenia) will be taking photographs
Maja Rokavec will also be taking photos
YouTube:
DogSport.cz (videos are now being loaded, more to come)
AgilityDogs on Vimeo (USA - Kep, Ace, Rider, Icon, Maze, Skylar, USATeam1


EO 2012 will be held in Kristianstad, Sweden, 27-29 July

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hiking along Noontootla Creek!

Lots and lots of places to explore around here. On Saturday we visited Noontootla Creek. The creek is pretty famous around here and located along a Forestry Road just a few miles from our cabin. We needed to drive up the mountain a little way till we got to the National Forest Area.

The Noontootla Creek is a small mountain stream situated in the Chattahoochee National Forest in north Georgia. The creek has a healthy population of trout, which is why it's popular. They say this creek has some of the best fly fishing in North Georgia. Although I didn't see any fish. Had a fun hiking though!

Noontootla Creek begins close to Springer Mountain at an elevation of 3045 feet above sea level. From there it flows northwest for approximately eleven miles where it joins the Toccoa River, which we have on our list to visit this Summer.

We got there late in the day. It was about 86 degrees at our cabin, and when we got up to where we parked along the Forest Road and started down to the creek it was only about 82 degrees. Very pleasant. Here Gracie poses by the creek...

Obligatory creek pose of the Yo-ster, that's me :).

Gracie and I waded in the creek, me more than Gracie, cause I like the water.

And we swam some...

I had to pose on this log that stretches clear across the creek. Mum had to call me back, I was going way over to the other side walking on that log, BOL!

Then we wandered along the banks up and down the creek before venturing on a short hike down the road. Love that moss! It was everywhere, all over this fallen tree.

Later we got in the car and headed further up the Forest Road to the Benton MacKaye trail.

From our car to the trail head we saw lots and lots of Black Eyed Susan's blooming away.

Once we got close to the trail we saw that someone left their camera, and another hung it up so they could find it. Really cool that it was still there, good folks those AT (Appalachian Trail) hikers :).

Near the entrance to the trail head there was a large fallen log. They cut out half of it so you could cross it more easily. Mum went that way and I just jumped on top of the log and down again. Can you say Agility Dog?!

The wild azaleas are just everywhere here. We found one still blooming (most bloom earlier in the year). Very pretty. One area of the trail was very narrow (most of the trails are narrow around here) and it was like a sea of azaleas on either side and as far as you could see. Amazing...

A little way on the trail we came to the bridge that goes over the Noontootla Creek, still rushing as ever after many inches of rain the other day.

We hiked up the trail a mile or so, then headed back and explored more. We saw this tree along the creek with fungi all over it, really caught Gracie's nose.

Was a very nice afternoon. We plan on going back soon, because we discovered after looking at our map when we got back to the cabin, if we go left on the BM trail we'll find the Long Creek Falls! Can't wait!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We've been tagged again!

Look at me! I'm sporting a brand new tag, and this isn't just any tag! (click to bigify).

Since we've been moving a lot lately, keeping our tags current has been a bit of a challenge. But we were lucky enough to get to know the nice folks at BlanketID.com who graciously supplied us (free :) with some new tags that are forever tags.

These tags are very different....they not only look super great, are very lightweight, waterproof and scratch proof, but they are very stylish. They have a tracking number and web address printed on the back, so that if Gracie or I get lost (heaven forbid!) anyone who finds us can login and find out all kinds of information about us, who our vet is, what our phone number is and more.

Here's how it works...Four steps to get your lost pet home faster:

1. Purchase and register your tag: Enter your unique blanketID number to activate your membership.

2. Complete your online profile: Create an online record of your contact details together with photos and details of your pet. You can change and update this information as often as you choose (even if you are travelling!). Here's our sample profile page:

3. If your pet gets lost you can report your pet missing and blanketID.com automatically sends a broadcast email to local SPCA, animal hospitals, shelters, and other blanketID members in your area. The email links to your online information so that everybody has 24/7 access to a full description and photos to help identify your lost pet. It even has a pre-prepared poster you can print out and spread around the area.

4. If your pet is found the finder simply enters the blanketID tag number at blanketID.com to gain immediate access to all of the information they need to care for and safely return your pet.

The BlanketID tag may be the only tag we'll ever need – if we move again, or any of our information changes, we just update our profile!

Here's Gracie with her cool tag....she's smiling 'cause she had just finished a nice herding session with the sheepies! They have lots of super nice designs too.

When you purchase a BlanketID tag you support and help animals in need. More than 15% of their profits go into this fund.

The cost of your blanketID tag (which is $24.99 in Canadian dollars) includes your first year’s membership and your membership starts when you register your tag.

And here's the best part!!! If you are interested in one of the BlanketID tags, you can click this link or banner ad (below) and $5.00 will go to my former shelter - the Southside Animal Shelter! Cool huh? Get clicking!

blanketID - protect your pets. help others.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Gracie!

Today is my sis Gracie's Birthday!

Who knew that our perpetual puppy is actually six years old already. She doesn't act a day over one, BOL!

Here's a photo Mum took with her BB last night...such a happy girl.



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

There's gold (and gems) in them thar hills!

One of our neighbors stopped by the other day. He and his wife have lived on this mountain most of their life, I believe. They are country folk, very different from our other neighbor that's closer by, but they are very nice people and have been really helpful in helping us get to know what we need to know about the area.

This day he brought some gold. Yep, that's what I said gold! He had been panning the creek just behind his property and found about an ounce of the stuff. He said it took him about a few weeks to get that much, and that he's been panning for gold most all of his life.

According to Wikipedia...
"The Georgia Gold Rush was the second significant gold rush in the United States. It started in 1828 in the present day Lumpkin County near county seat Dahlonega, (that's not too far from us) and soon spread through the North Georgia mountains, following the Georgia Gold Belt. By the early 1840s, gold became harder to find. When gold was discovered in California in 1848 to start the California Gold Rush, many Georgia miners moved west."
As we've been hiking up the mountain right behind our cabin this summer, we often come across very sparklie rocks. As a matter of fact almost all the rocks around here that are natural are pretty sparklie. Very beautiful to look at. Here's one of the larger ones we found up the mountain.

So we told him about these sparkles, and he told us stories about how people have found all kinds of precious gems around these parts (that's what he calls this area, these parts, BOL!). Bet someone will have to learn how to care for your engagement ring if they find one suitable from around here! He says folks have found rubies, diamonds, emeralds and more. And of course the gold.

Guess there really is gold (and gems) in them hills, BOL! We'll have to keep a close eye out on our hikes :).

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lizards!

We've got some lizards around here!

They are sneaky things, very fast and difficult to catch. But very, very interesting creatures. Here's one we found the day hanging around our propane tank...

We think he's a Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus). As the site says...
'Fence lizards are most common in dry, open forests, particularly if there are abundant logs and stumps where they may hide.

Although sometimes found on the ground, fence lizards are one of our most arboreal (tree-dwelling) lizards and usually dash for the nearest tree when approached. When pursued, fence lizards will stay on the opposite side of the tree from the predator, in the same fashion as a squirrel. Fence lizards eat a wide variety of insects, spiders, and other invertebrates.'
Did someone say SQUIRREL!!!!

Nice to know they are keeping the bug and spider population down...OK, guess they can stay :)

We also see a lot of these...

Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Eumeces inexpectatus), especially the young ones with the blue tails. They have so many lines on them sometimes, they could pass for barcode scanners, BOL! Photo courtesty of the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

The site says...
'Southeastern five-lined skinks may be found on the ground or in trees, but are generally less arboreal (tree dwelling) than broadhead skinks. Although sometimes seen in the open, these lizards are most often found beneath logs or under tree bark.

When pursued, these lizards generally run for the nearest tree or log and can be quite difficult to capture. Like many other lizards, southeastern five-lined skinks will break off their tails when restrained, distracting the predator and allowing the lizard to escape.'
Break off their tails...no way! Very interesting stuff, don't you think

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's official!

Ohhhh...wonder what's in this envelope? Hmmm....

Come on Mum, open it!!!

Well, lookie there! It's my MACH certificate, how cool!

Here it is up close and personal :).

Well, it's official! You can call me MACH Johann, or for my friends, MACH YoYo! How cool is this? Good thing Mum got all that insurance for me over the years, so I could heal up as best I could to get here, and still afford the agility, BOL!

OK, Mum, what's next? MACH ADCH Johann !!! Of course!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Butterflies!

We've been seeing a lot of butterflies around our property lately.

Here's one Mum found resting on our back deck, very pretty! We think it's a Speyeria Diana or Diana Fritillary according to some of the handy dandy butterfly identifiers.

Seems it's pretty rare, so we were very happy to see it! They called it 'One of the Southern Appalachian’s most treasured denizens'. Very cool!


They go on to say...'the Diana’s beauty resides in its striking sexual dimorphism, a phenomenon in which each sex of a species exhibits a different form. The male Diana, like most Fritillaries, fashions a bold orange border against dark wings, while the female wears a deep blue border against her dark wings.'

So Mum got to thinking...'why so many butterflies?' There has to be a reason, so she started looking around the property and who knew! We have three butterfly bushes tucked down near the woods edge on the front of our property. Very pretty!!! We would need some monster hdmi cables to get them all downloaded to our computer!

Mum doesn't have pics of the bushes yet, but we have ones like these! We think they are Buddleia Davidii Dwarf Blue (dwarf because of the leaves, not the size of the plant :).

They are very overgrown and need a really good trim, so she's going try and borrow some tools to trim them after blooming time. They should be much more bushy by next year!

Photo courtesy of Mountain Valley Growers where you can buy them online!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Gracie's new favorite trick! 'Are you ashamed?'

For the longest time Gracie's favorite trick was 'BANG!'

But once Mum taught her this new trick - 'Are you ashamed?' - it's become her new absolute favorite. We know it's her favorite when she offers it up each time Mum says 'what else ya got?', BOL!

So here's a new vid of Gracie's new favorite trick!


Comes in real handy when she's at agility trials and acting wild and crazy like she does...guess what everyone says? Yep, you got it! Awwwwwwww....!!!!!! Who couldn't forgive that face! :)

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

More fun with my Nina Ottosson Dog Box!

Wow...I think the Nina Ottosson Dog Box is my absolute favorite Nina Ottosson toy; at least so far, BOL!

Ever since Mum taught me to fetch and bring (as she calls it), I just can't get enough of it. It was a little warmer one day a week or so ago and Mum wanted to wear me out. So she got out my Dog Box and let me go at it!

This is about the third time I've seen the box, way too fun...here's a new little vid.


Think it's about time for Mum to find me another puzzle toy to master, don't you? You can find where to buy many of the Nina Ottosson Interactive Dog Puzzles on JohannTheDog.com (shamless plug :).

Sunday, July 03, 2011

We went lure coursing!

Gracie and I got to go lure coursing yesterday!

We got up, did a few things around the cabin, then headed out to a place near Canton, Georgia where we went sheep herding last weekend.

The last time we were there the lure coursing wasn't working, so we couldn't try it out, but the nice folks there gave us a free pass to come back another Saturday to give it a go. We thought that was super nice!

When we got there, it wasn't working again...but they said it would only be an hour or so wait till it was. So we hung out for a while, met some folks and dogs, and then took some time and went on a short little hike around the property. That was fun!

We found some Blackberries just starting to ripen all along the fence line of the property, so Mum took just one, and then gave me just one...Gracie was too interested in all the rustling in the field next to us to be interested, BOL! Nom....gimme!

Here's Gracie after our little hike...

And here I am waiting for our time to run...

Pretty soon it was time to start. The lure that they used was just a piece of flappy plastic. Now I'm a smart dog and so is Gracie...so that little piece of yellow plastic wasn't much of an incentive or held much interest for either one of us. Although a couple of spaniels that were there found it pretty fun, but a tad confusing.

So we weren't chasing it at all, much more interested in the potential of sheep over in the ring up the hill. Then one of the nice ladies that was there went and got a skinneez from her car and they tied it as the lure. OK, now we're talking!!!

Fake squirrel...that is a whole lot more fun than a piece of plastic! So Mum got me going and I did really well (no video of me since she was too busy watching me have fun :). And then Mum got a little smart and took out that new little camera we have and finally got some video of Gracie chasing the lure (she liked the fake squirrel too :)! Sorry the camera doesn't have a very good zoom, but you'll get the idea.

Here's Gracie's vid, at one point she caught the lure, silly girl!!! But then got right back in the action. We think she deserves a nice diamond bracelet for catching that little faker, BOL!!!


It was a super fun day! It was really starting to get hot, hot, hot by the time we left. So we got home up the mountain where it was almost 10 degrees cooler. Ahhhhhhh......!!!!!!

After a nice rest, we are raring to go again this morning!

Hope you are having a pawsome Holiday weekend!!! Happy Birthday America!!!!