Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Posts over at the New Blog

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Friday, May 6, 2011

We're Moving!!

The blog is moving to a new home at Please update your links and bookmarks, and be sure to Follow us.

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1st - A Day with Many Meanings

When I woke up this morning I thought to myself, "Yay! It's May!" Then I started thinking about the significance of May Day, May 1st.

Back in high school I learned that May Day is also known as the International Workers Day, or Labor Day, in many countries. It is a day to commemorate the fight for the 8 hour work day. According to Wikipedia, "The idea for a "workers' holiday" began in Australia in 1856; after a stonemason's victory in securing improved employee rights, April 22nd was declared "Eight-Hour Day", a public holiday. With the idea having spread around the world, the choice of May 1st became a commemoration by the socialist Second International for the people involved in the 1886 Haymarket affair." Living in a city that has demonstrations for just about anything you can name, we almost always have one for May Day. I'm sure it'll be on the news tonight.

I like to think of the more colorful and festive ways to celebrate May Day - dancing around the May Pole and crowning the Queen of May. We don't see that happening too often, but back when I first started teaching, I worked at a small, private school that celebrated this. All of the girls wore beautiful white dresses and the girls from the lower grades danced and wove streamers around the May Pole. The girls from the upper grades participated in the crowning of the Queen of May. Parents were invited and there were flowers galore.

In Hawaii, May Day is also known as Lei Day - a day set aside to celebrate the culture and music of Hawaii.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, the sun is shining, and it's supposed to get above 70 deg for the first time since last summer. I think we'll celebrate by getting out for a walk, working in the garden, and breaking out the new barbecue grill.

How will you celebrate?

It's also Pet Blog Hop weekend.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Aloha Friday

Thanks to An Island Life for hosting a Friday blog hop. It's Friday and it's Peeps Show day here at work, so we'll keep this short.

What's your favorite thing to do with Peeps?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Becoming a Delta Society Pet Partners Team

Kendall and I have been a registered Pet Partners team for just over a year now. I don't blog about our volunteer time as a Pet Partners team very much, because it just seems too personal sometimes. Every time we visit, whether it's at a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or at the Read to the Dogs program at the local library, I'm amazed at the response of every person we encounter. People's eyes light up and their faces break into great big smiles at the sight of Kendall coming down the hall proudly wearing her green Delta Society vest. Some of you have asked that I blog about how Kendall and I came to be a Pet Partners team and what goes in to getting registered with the Delta Society.

From the time we picked out Kendall chose us at the breeders I knew that she had a temperament that would lend itself nicely to working with people. She's a happy dog who hasn't met a person she doesn't like. In a gathering of people and dogs, it's the people she'll seek out rather than play with the other dogs. She thinks that every person we meet is going to shower her with attention. We worked hard to socialize her in lots of different environments around lots of different people so that she would not be bothered by things like elevators or men with hats. I once read that your dog should meet 100 different people before they're 100 days old. That can be difficult when you're working with a puppy who really shouldn't be out until the full run of puppy shots are finished, but we were creative. We had people of all ages, including young kids, come over to visit.

The day she chose us

We also spent a lot of time working with her on obedience basics. We went to puppy preschool and worked with her just about every day. She has sit-stay down pat. We're fortunate to have a place where we could take her for supervised small dog play hour. I'm not a big fan of dog parks where you never know what kind of dog (or owner) you're going to encounter.

Kendall and Riley, her brother

There are two things your dog has to have in order to make a good Pet Partners dog - the right temperament and the ability to follow your commands. Your dog has to be under control at all times.

Once Kendall was over 1 year old, I started looking for a program to help move us along the path to allow us to visit in hospitals and nursing homes. I found the AAI program through the Oregon Humane Society. They are an affiliate of the Delta Society. I signed up for their day-long training course and ordered the necessary manual. You have an option of taking the class over the course of a few weeks, taking it in one looooooong day, or taking it as a home-study course if no courses are offered in your area. After we completed the course there was still a lot of work to do.

Every Pet Partners team hopeful needs to go through an extensive evaluation where they evaluate the human and the canine ends of the leash. There's a skills test and an aptitude test. There are even volunteer actors who play the role of clumsy people or people in wheelchairs to see how you and your dog will react. There's no room for error and a kiss from Kendall disqualified us the first time we tested. We were offered the opportunity to retest two months later, so we worked really hard on our skills. We went to the local mall countless times to meet and greet as many people as we could so that we could work on meeting new people without having her jump up on them. I'd like to say that Kendall is good at not jumping 100% of the time, but I'd be lying. I'm just very careful in how I handle her when presented with that situation. We passed the evaluation with no problem the second time around.

Ready to volunteer

The work doesn't stop there, though. I'll blog later about what it takes to get ready for a visit, what happens during our visits, and all of the other wonderful things that go on when volunteering as a Pet Partners team. If you're interested in becoming a team with your dog, you can find out more information on the Delta Society web page.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Before...and After

It's been 8 weeks since Kendall's been to the groomer because our vacation fell during the week of her regularly scheduled visit. She was looking a little bit ragged around the edges even though she's had a number of baths during those eight weeks. Here are her "Before" pictures. The sun was in her eyes, hence the squinting.

Long ears, curly head, and hairy feet

Just look at those curls
And here are her "After" pictures. Of course, she came in the front door and immediately got a drink so her ears are wet. Then, she ran out the back door and around through the bark dust just to add a little dirt to her too clean coat.

Pink bows for the the not-so-girly girl

A little shorter all over

We try to keep her trimmed fairly short so she doesn't pick up all kinds of dirt when we go camping. Do you trim your Cavaliers?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Things We Love to Blog About

I learned of this great tool from Charlie the Cavalier's blog. Isn't this fun? What are you blogging about?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter in Oregon Wine Country

We didn't have much planned for Easter, so we decided to take Kendall and drive out through Oregon wine country. We had a Cellar Club shipment to pick up at Sokol Blosser. It was a very showery day, so hanging out at the vineyard and drinking wine wasn't an option today. Here are some pictures from some of our sunnier visits.

Looking out at Archery Summit winery taken last fall

We drove out to Carlton to visit the newly opened tasting room of Noble Pig and J Wrigley Vineyards. It's a great little cottage filled with wine, of course, and lots of wine-related things. I saw a cute wire barrel into which you can put your wine corks. It sure beats putting them all in a basket for the cats to get into and leave all over the house. (Not that that ever happens at our house.)

We came home with a 2008 Noble Pig Pinot Gris, a 2008 Noble Pig Pinot Noir, and two Reidel pinot noir glasses with the Noble Pig logo on them.

Here's Kendall checking out the new tasting room. As you can see, it was pretty wet out.

I'd never been to Carlton before. It has a number of tasting rooms and reminds me a lot of Sonoma, CA from a long time ago. Dundee seems to have dropped the ball and has missed the opportunity to transform into a cute, wine country destination. Carlton looks a lot more promising. If you're ever out here, it's worth the drive to check out the little town and its tasting rooms. I look forward to visiting again when it's not raining so hard. Then we can walk around town a bit.

Cathy, from Noble Pig, also writes a great food blog that's worth following. She comes up with some of the best recipes. One of my favorites is her Reuben Dip.
Hope you all had an enjoyable Easter no matter how you chose to spend it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Keys Dogs - Part 2

After the success of finding dog friendly places during the first couple of days in the Florida Keys, I was feeling pretty good about my decision to pursue pictures of dogs we met in the Keys. However, as the week went on, we found we were leaving the condo complex less and less, which meant fewer dog pictures. Toward the end of the week we did make it down to one of our favorite places, The Lorelei, in Islamorada. There were lots of local Keys dogs hanging out with their owners.

There were dogs in boats.

Hanging out at the bar

I had to throw that last picture in there, because that's what the Florida Keys are all about - sunsets.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's Read to the Dogs Day

Kendall and I are headed off to the Beaverton Library today for their twice-monthly Read to the Dogs Saturday.

The program at the local libraries in the Portland area are similar to the program started by the Intermountain Therapy Animals group (from where I borrowed this logo).

We have four readers scheduled to read to Kendall today. The kids get to choose their books or they can choose from a box of dog-related books that we set out. If you have kids of reading age and live in the Portland area, check with your local library to get your kids involved. It's fun for the kids and for the dogs.

This is the second time we've done this. The first time was a lot of fun.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Aloha Friday

It's Friday, and it's Earth Day . Can it get any better than this? We're participating in An Island Life's Aloha Friday blog event. The event involves posting a question on your blog. Here's my question:

What are you doing for Earth Day?

We have a number of events scheduled at work today. I rode my bike to work, brought in some t-shirts to exchange, brought my lunch, and we're going up to clean up garbage from the area around the building.

I look forward to hearing what you're doing today.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Keys Dogs - Part I

While you were all on the virtual vacation last week with us, we were off soaking up some real sunshine in the Florida Keys. Since we've gone to the same place a number of times before, I decided to focus my photography on dogs we met in the Keys. It started off pretty good. We went to the Pilot House in Key Largo for Happy Hour and ran into these two little guys.

Shakespeare looked right at home

It's nice to see so many pet friendly places

Hanging out at Happy Hour

Sophie from CT. She just had a haircut because she was so hot
 We headed down to the World Wide Sportsman one morning and was surprised to see this Doggy Cart. I've never, ever seen anything like this. Have you?

I have more Keys Dogs pictures for you later this week.

While we were off in the Keys, Kendall was hanging out with her buddies Jen and Buffy. Kendall had a great time, just as if she were on vacation herself. We're lucky that we have someone who will watch Kendall in her home when we travel. Usually we take Kendall with us, but I don't want her to fly. What do you do with your dogs when you travel?

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Final Stops on our Virtual Vacation

Hope you've had fun on our virtual vacation as we travel around North America looking for sunshine and warmth to help us mentally escape the rain, snow, hail, and cold weather in the Pacific NW. Today we're off to two final stops. We're headed right by Levonne and Gingee in CA. Maybe they'll join us.

First stop - Crater Lake, Oregon

I know, I know. We were trying to avoid the Pacific NW, but it isn't always rainy and cold here. I find Crater Lake to be one of the most majestic places I've ever visited.
Now, one last stop on our virtual vacation.

Last stop - Alaska
I couldn't resist including Alaska in our virtual vacation. While it isn't always warm, it can get quite sunny.

At least it didn't look like this during our visit.

Here's to keeping warm and dry until spring finally arrives for good.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Where Shall We Go Today?

I hope you had a great time on the first stops on our virtual vacation. Let's head off across the country looking for some more great sunny, warm spots to escape the rainy weather in the Pacific NW.

First stop - Colorado

It's not quite as warm as it was in the Bahamas, but look at those skies!! Now that's sunshine for you.

Jump in the car, we're headed off to Sin City. We'll be on our best behavior, though.

Second stop - Las Vegas, NV

Hmmm... No sunny pictures, but it sure is nice and warm. The lights at night in Las Vegas are really what shows off the beauty of the town. It's very colorful.

I promise more sunshine in our next two stops. Be sure to come along for the rest of the trip. You'll be surprised at where we're headed. Hope you're having fun.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We were Featured!

Thanks go out to Two Little Cavaliers blog for featuring us on Make a New Friend Tuesday. What a great idea. Go check them out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Basking in the Sun

The sun popped out over the weekend and I couldn't resist snapping a picture during its brief appearance.

Now back to our virtual vacation.

Let's go on a Virtual Vacation

Enough of this rain, snow, hail, and gloomy days, let's head off to somewhere sunny. Even if we can't be there in person, we can pretend. Come on this virtual vacation with us as we travel across the country looking for sunny, fun spots.

We'll start in South Beach in Miami. I bet we can find some sun and warmth there. I've heard that Davinia and Indiana from Two Little Cavaliers live somewhere near here. Maybe we'll run into them.

This looks promising.

South Beach is great, but I'm looking for something a little less busy. Let's head south a bit to the Florida Keys.

Oh, yeah. This is more like it.

What's a virtual vacation without some kitschy vacation pictures?

We have to make sure we take time to check out the wild life.

Did you bring your passport? I know I said we'd stay in the country, but the Bahamas are calling. Let's pop over there for the afternoon.

I can see you over there under the third umbrella from the right. Hope you're having a good time and brought lots of sunscreen.

You'd better get packing. On the next post, we're headed across the country in search of more sun.