Thursday, September 19, 2013

We're Moving to Hollywood!!!

...Not really, but Bolt is officially a star, so maybe we should consider it. Okay, when I say 'star', I really mean AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy. Sure, the 20-step puppy test is pretty darn basic, but that's not the point. The point is, my little man earned his first certificate and medal this summer and is well on his way to real stardom!

Oooh, I can't wait until he gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame one day... and his first Oscar... and maybe we'll try the Olympics, but I really should book him an agent first. So much to do! ...

For now, I think I'll just continue to take him to intermediate obedience classes and hope he can eventually master a simple 'stand for exam'. Argh!!! Why is that so tough!?!?!?!?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hiking Adventures at Sheep Dung

More about the best place on earth (screw you, dogless-Disney)...

200 acres in 4 days = a LOT of ground to cover each and every moment we were awake and the sun was shining! I'm not sure if there is a rule about leashes or not, but I doubt it since it's a private property with only four isolated cottages sharing the massive space. The one time we did see other people/dogs was near the central pond, where I'm pretty sure most peoples hiking adventures end, and they were nice enough to give us a wide berth when I let them know that Z wouldn't welcome any greetings. Imagine that --- they were nice and didn't come back with the usual snarky comment. How very refreshing!
We did hike sans leash for the most part, especially once we got to the back end of the property where they were able to fully enjoy the rolling terrain. Luckily, most of the times when they might have been flight-risks (with the sudden appearance of rabbits, deer, and even little piggies) I happened to be standing within arms reach. Of course, there were a couple of times when I wasn't able to stop the inevitable and they turned into little dots on the horizon as they chased their 'prey'. Thank goodness for all of my training; I knew enough to yell goodbye, walk away, and hide until they came flying back, looking for me. They know that there is nothing better than us together.

Enough words, here are way more photo's than anyone wants to see of someone else's vacation...
(click on pix to view larger)

Bolt-"Heh heh, this bench says 'dung', heh heh."
Zainey-"Shut up, Beavis"
It was all so much fun. Exhausting (hit my first 25,000 step day on my pedometer...that's over 10 miles), but very relaxing as well. I packed so much for the trip, but forgot two very key items - my toothbrush and Z's medication. Whoops! Turns out a washcloth makes a decent enough toof' cleaner when you're only kissing dogs and if Z hikes between 5-10 miles a day, and is living in the middle of nature, there is no place in her little body and brain for her usual anxiety.  Hmph... I guess that confirms it, I need to retire and move to the country. Oh well, that's not in the cards for a long, long time.
At least we have our memories ...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Heaven is a Place Called Sheep Dung

Sheep Dung Properties operates two separate ranch properties a couple hours north of San Francisco and I have to say, I did not know heaven was located so close to home!
To get to the property, you turn off a somewhat hidden road at the edge of the quaint town of Boonville and pass through a flourishing vineyard before meandering up, up, up a windy dirt road that takes you to your private hideaway. The pups and I stayed at the Breezeway cottage and I have to say that it was probably the best time either of them have ever had.

The cottage was wonderful; clean, hardwood and tile floors, comfortable furnishings, and well stocked with everything a person would need to 'move in' (and boy did I want to). The view from the adirondacks of the valley below was absolutely picturesque, the hammock positioned under the oaks was the perfect place to enjoy the complimentary wine, and the grill did my salmon up nice and yummy, but the best part was what surrounded it all - several fenced acres for my pooches to roam and sniff and explore and even disappear from sight (gasp).

It was fabulous to pull up to our place and open the gate that would keep us in our own world for just a few splendid days and it was interesting to watch how each dog responded to this new setting. With little training and even less impulse control or fear, Bolt didn't even wait for me to open the car door. Up, over, and out the window he flew. Z had a slightly different approach (which, for our 'real world' makes me very happy); she stayed, even when I opened the car door and walked away, even at my first attempt to call her out, she stayed. She finally did get out though and after a few hesitant sniffs and encouraging words and pats from me, she remembered she was a dog and quickly took to running and sniffing and bounding around like the country dog I know and love.

We spent the first afternoon and night just hanging around our place, getting acquainted with everything there, and making sure that every inch of ground was touched by at least one of our paws.

Minus a little motion sickness on the way up for the little guy, it was a great first day in our very mini-escapcation (escape-vacation) and we couldn't wait to get up the next day to go see what the other 200 acres of the property had to offer (oh, did I not mention that part!?) ...

More to come in Part II