Thursday, August 11, 2011

CPE Nationals

CPE Nationals are coming to the Pacific Northwest! And not even just the Pacific Northwest, one of the trial sites we run at all the time plus they are being hosted by our home club, Columbia Agility Team. Yahoo!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dog Day Afternoon 2011

On the 30th of July the dogs and I went to the Hazeldale Dog Park annual fundraiser, Dog Day Afternoon. Wow do these guys put on a great event. They always have common performance sports on hand - X-Fidos, UFO disc dogs, a rally obedience course, Canine Good Citizen program and testing, our JAG Agility Group, and much more.  Local businesses were also present to sell, socialize, and contribute: Pup-a-razzi, Petutopia; non-profit organizations such as Animal Aid. People come out en mass from the pet community to support this dog park community. Hazeldale Dog Park is the oldest dog park in the area, and for many years was the only one on the west side of Portland. They also are self-funded...that is, they have to lease the land and provide all their own amenities (water, waste pickup bags, etc.).

Their raffle was amazing as was the host of activities they put together including contests. In fact, Vegas participated in several contests. You could say she was a hit....
We'd already run a couple of times on the agility course and it was mid-day at this point so things were heating up. It must have been low 80s and for a black dog, it might as well be 100. Plus I jumped into this spur of the moment so did it all on the fly. Nonetheless, third place isn't bad!
She'd had a bath that week and was particularly shiny...of course she normally is; it's just a sign of a healthy dog. She placed again, first this time.

The Best Kisser competition was a bit tricky. I *thought* they had someone else that was going to offer up their face to be kissed clean. Oops! Turns out the individual owners had to let their dog kiss them. Ew! Vegas was all too thrilled to be given permission from me and took liberties with a little chin nibble, too. Alas, she scored with a first place again!
Not only did they give certificates for each placement, they were sweet enough to have goody bags plus allowed us to choose a toy.
Both dogs thoroughly enjoyed their "spoils." In fact, the turtle already lost his head and had to go to stuffy heaven. The shark is still a favorite for V. All in all, a great way to spend a summer day and for a great cause.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vacationing at Grand Coulee Dam

We went on our first real vacation over the Independence Day weekend. I took Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off; our office was closed Monday so it made for six days away from it all. We had a great time!

With six plus hours' drive each direction, we definitely had some stops. First stop on the way (and last stop on the way home)...Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatchery, specifically, we visited "Herman" the White Sturgeon.
 I wish, wish, wish! I had been quicker with the camera. Vegas did not know what to think about the sturgeon when it swam right at her. She tensed all over, stood facing the glass, and barked like a fool. It was so darn funny!
We arrived! This was on the shore of Lake Roosevelt at our campground. Vegas loves the water but was very funny (Must have been her day for it?) with the waves lapping in and the logs in the edge. Then she was barking at the buoys. Granted, the buoys were about 12 inches or so taller than her, I would guess.
The following couple of pictures on the beach and in the water were taken early Thursday morning on a walk with my dad and his girls. 
Later on that day the kids and I took the dogs and went for a hike up the hill behind the campground.
That evening we all went on a walk and went a bit "off road." The picture below I'm sharing for two reasons. First, we were all amazed by finding blooming cactus. It was just a really cool find. But, the other reason is because there were patches of them all over. At one point I had just pointed a grouping out to my son and before I could react fast enough Vegas planted a foot in it - and just as quickly pulled right back. Unfortunately I didn't stop and check her paw right then and there. I felt badly about that when I found, later, three or four prickly spines stuck in the side of a paw. A lesson learned; fortunately the wounds didn't bleed or cause her any difficulty.
It was fairly hot out there being the high desert plus not having much for trees around. That being said, I rigged a makeshift lean-to/tent for the dogs. It took some doing to get Vegas to chill out under cover. 
Zach, my youngest, the dogs, and I spent a fair amount of time at the lake during the days we were there. Mostly we just splashed around, tossed sticks for Vegas, and used the water to stay cool. 
Great Dane balancing act.
Zach got Vegas into retrieving sticks out of the water. From time to time that sent her into fits of Great Dane zoomies....
Some days are made for chilling.
We finally got to go to the dam itself on Sunday! 
This was overlooking the spillway from the top of the dam....pretty rainbow!
And this is our little friend we found.... He enjoyed pieces of our elephant ear. 
After we got back... More water time!
More Dane zoomies.
Our last last hike on the Bunchgrass Prairie Trail. 
Some sort of wild rose.
Prickly pear cactus.
Our last stop on the way home. Bonneville Dam again. Vegas was very thirsty.
Still thirsty.
Big as the white sturgeon.