Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Taking photos of your dog!

Lots of folks ask us about the photos Mum takes of us.

She's not a professional...heck she doesn't even consider herself a good amateur. But she enjoys photography and likes to experiment; and would love to get a super good camera to replace our old SLR (non-digital) sometime (maybe we'll be luck and get martin hanaka (the president of Staples) to give this dog one of those great Canon EOS's!

Way back before dogs entered Mum's life she used to take a ton of photos of my kittie bros. They were her muse back then. And she had a darkroom in our house back in Indiana (yep, that was before digital became super common).

Now we use a couple of cameras, our Casio High Speed Exilim Digital Camera and our really good Samsung. And we still seem to get some shots that make folks press that like button over and over on my Facebook page.

So we decided to write up a few tips that we've learned over the years to get the best shots possible of me, Gracie, and even Wolfie and Wiggy. Here's our new Squidoo lens 'How to take great photos of your dog," which received Lens of the Day not too long ago on Squidoo (very cool!). You may pick up some tips and see some of our best and favorite photos!

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

How to catch a squirrel by master squirrel catcher, Johann The Dog!

Gracie and I didn't it again!  Yep, that's right we caught another squirrel.

If you're a dog, you know that catching squirrels is a big dream....and not an easy task.  I would imagine from the beginning of time, squirrels have been the bane of a dog's existence  I know they have been mine and Gracie's our entire lives.

But not until we moved to this cabin have we been able to formulate the secret to catching squirrels.

 You may remember that back in July Gracie and I caught our first squirrel ever! And now that we've caught our second one, we have discovered there is a distinct science to catching the little buggers. Since all my dog friends have been begging me for my secret catching technique, we thought we'd share it with you in the hopes that you, too, may achieve your dream.

The first and most important thing to remember is the element of surprise. You have to catch squirrels off guard. How did we do that? Gracie and I have a very bad habit of bolting out the door (at least if Mum doesn't have us sit and stay first; sometimes she has us practice that, just in case we may need that talent in the future).

Both of the squirrels we've caught were caught totally by surprise when we bolted out the door and they miscalculated where their escape tree was just out the front door of our cabin. And they got caught and pinned by both Gracie and me at the bottom of our fence.

At this point in the process, I have to tell you that chaos ensues...a lot of scrambling occurs and you never know for certain if you're going to catch them; but you must, must, must keep your focus, work with your partner in crime (in my case, Gracie) in tandem for the good of the cause. After working together a couple of times successfully, Gracie and I are getting pretty good at this part of the process.


Just a minor ouch, nothing serious.

However, I must warn you that during this part of the chaotic process, things can happen....claws are flying, there's so much squealing going on you may want to look into sony headphones at Musicians Friend to keep your sanity, teeth sometimes end up where they shouldn't, and so you have to expect that injuries may occur; a little like what I got this past time. Yep, that's a bloody snout. A minor injury that I was happy to incur for the good of the cause.

At this point, assuming you and your partner have been successful in cornering the squirrelly dude...a decision has to be made. Who is going to end up with the squirrel and claim it for their own?

Why is this important? Well if you don't make this decision at some point, more chaos may ensue and someone may really get hurt...and we're not talking about the squirrel.


Hey Gracie! Wanna share that?

Luckily for Gracie, I am more interested in the catch than the coveting. And so, I always let Gracie have her fun, and prance around with it like some trophy.

Oh yes, on occasion I may get a little interested in taking my time with it...but a little eyeing from Gracie and I pretty much let her have her fun.


No? Ok, have your fun, baby sis.


(At this point you may want to look away and shoo out the young-in's in the room, blood is involved if you enlarge the next pic.)


This one is mine and you can't have it!

Yes, that's Gracie coveting her latest prize (which I have to remind you and her, she couldn't have that squirrel without my help).

So that's the method behind our madness for all you squirrel hunting dogs, you! Hope you enjoy, and hope that the information and instructions we are providing are helpful in your next quest!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fence expansion!

Oh we have been bad bloggers!!! It's been a super busy month for Mum's work, but we made her take a break so that we could share some of things that we've been up to lately.

Mum's had this in her mind for a while now. Since she put up the fence back in April, we haven't had enough good flat out running space here at our new cabin. It may be fine for some pups, but not enough for me and Gracie!

Well, Mum had a few fence posts left over so she decide a few weeks ago to expand our fence and encircle the entire cabin. She finally got it done and we are loving it!!

Funny thing, we were so used to how we were zooming around before, that we forgot that we can zoom all the way around the cabin. So Mum spent a few times showing and reminding us that we can run all the way around now and I have to say that it's not only super cool, but gives me a lot more exercise, especially since it's more uphill where Mum expanded and we can work our back ends really well.

Another cool thing is the new area comes with a makeshift stone bench that the previous owners had built. (That's me and Gracie enjoying a good sit in the pic above). Gracie and I love sitting on the bench, because we can see way, way, way to the top of Springer Mountain and Black Mountain from there.


In addition to that, Mum incorporated the old wood pile in the new fence area too. Oh wow, there are tons of new smells to explore.

We are really liking our cabin...and Mum says that we are definitely staying for at least another year here. So glad we don't have to call up any fayetteville nc property management companies and look for another cabin next April and can keep exploring all the super fun trails around here.