FRESHLY FALLEN SNOW

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?  -J. B. (John Boynton) Priestley

We finally got our first snowfall of the season.  I love how it transforms the dreary world of winter into a beautiful thing to behold.  Tippy seems to be amazed that the world suddenly changed.  She loves to eat it, play in it,take walks in it, lay in it, etc.

Here are some pictures from our morning walk.  I had hoped to find tracks of other animals that had been out and about, but it was just me, Tippy, and one lone rabbit.

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Pond nearly frozen over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Exploring an interesting smell while the snow is falling.
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On the trail.

It’s still snowing here, so another walk may be in the making.  We certainly won’t be going anywhere in the car today, as this “big snow” has shut everything down and it is dangerous to drive.  (If you don’t understand that statement, you don’t live in the south.)

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BARK FOR LIFE

Tippy is an “only dog,” so I try to find ways to help socialize her.  One of the things we did recently was attend a Bark For Life event in a nearby town.  This is a canine event that raises money for the American Cancer Society.  (Did you know that research funded by the ACS also helps in the treatment of pets who are diagnosed with cancer?)

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T-shirt I bought

There were lots of dogs there and Tippy was so well behaved. We walked the laps with the other dogs and she walked right beside of me, like that was a normal thing for her to do.

Part of the crowd

They had several contests for the dogs.  One of them was for best vocal performance.  It was funny, because not a single dog that was there would make a peep when we wanted them to.  So, the judges just listened throughout the event for vocalizations.  Tippy rarely barks.  If she does, you know that something is not “right.”  Well, she just happened to see a man walking on a part of the trail at the park up above us.  To her, he was not where he was supposed to be, so she barked at him and won third place!  What a surprise that was!

They also had a Best Trick contest.  Not many people entered their pooch, so I decided to see how Tippy would do with her repertoire, which we hadn’t practiced in a while.   We went up in front of all of those people and she just watched me and did what I asked the first time:  look, sit, down, and crawl.  She won 2nd place!

But, the best trick of all was getting this picture after we got home.  Every time I started to snap it, she would decide she wanted to see what was in the bags.

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Tippy and her prizes

I was so proud of the way she behaved and listened.  I would encourage all dog lovers out there to participate in a Bark For Life in your area.  It’s a lot of fun and raises money for a great cause.
Right to Brag

CREEPING ME OUT

One of the first things Tippy did when I brought her home, was figure out that her water came from the faucet by the garage door.  She started sitting by the faucet to let me know she wanted a drink, even though her water bowl would be full.

 

This morning, when I took her out for her morning constitution, she sat by the faucet.  I don’t use that one if it is below freezing, because I am afraid it will freeze up.  Since it was 25 degrees this morning, I told her I would give her a drink inside.  So, she dutifully went on around the house to the side door.  I keep her inside water in the utility room, on a towel, because she is the messiest drinker I have ever seen.  I filled her bowl with fresh water and set it down.  She was standing at the door watching me, but didn’t go in.  Finally, she put her head through the door and looked around.  With ears down and tail between her legs, she went slinking in.  She got a quick drink and then hurried out, still slinking.  I didn’t see or smell anything.  But, I know Tippy, and she doesn’t act like that for no reason.

She wanted right back outside.  When I put her outside water bowl down, she emptied it!  So, I know she was still thirsty.  It is creeping me out a little that I don’t know what is going on in the utility room, but I know it is something.  I’m hoping nothing more than a mouse, but she would be all over that, trying to catch it.  It is a mystery that may not be solved.  If it is, I’ll be sure to let you know.

UPDATE:

Tippy started getting worse throughout the week. Not only did she not want to go into the utility room, but she acted like she was afraid to go through any door into a smaller room.  She would look through the crack to make sure nothing was behind it first and then slink in.  Then, she started not wanting to go through the outside door to get in the garage.  Not even a treat would lure her, so I had to use the leash to get her moving forward, then she would come in.

I racked my brain trying to figure out what it could be.  “Maybe she started into her house one day and  a cat or squirrel ran out and startled her.” I thought.  That explanation was proven wrong when I saw her coming out of her house.  Next thought, “When I took her to look at potential kennels, she didn’t want to go through the door and I had to force her.  Maybe that scared her.”  Well, thankfully I journal every day.  So, I looked back and she actually started being afraid the morning before I took her to the kennel.

Having run out of ideas as to the why, I started focusing on how to make it better for her.  I didn’t want her to continue to be afraid of things that she hadn’t been before.  So, I just worked on my energy, making sure that I wasn’t paying too much attention to her actions, unless she needed encouragement, trying to act like everything was as it was before, and being confident that she would go through that door.

For the most part, she is better.  Every once in a while, she will have a set back, but she is moving forward.  I haven’t put her water bowl back into the utility room yet, but she did go in there on her own one day when I was in there.

So, while I have resigned myself to never knowing what scared her in the first place, I am happy that she is getting over her fear.

WHAT’S THAT YOU SAY?

When I first got Tippy, she was scared to ride in the car.  In order to get her over that, I started taking her fun places, like the tennis courts.   Fortunately, that worked and she now loves to ride!

One of Tippy’s favorite places to go is the local “convenience center,” which is where we take our garbage.  I always go in the truck and we never just go to take off the trash.   What could be a 5 minute chore always turns into at least a 20 minute adventure, as we drive around the community to see what we can see.

As a result, she thinks every time I go somewhere in the truck, she is supposed to go.  One day this past summer, I had to take the truck to get the oiled changed and do some other things that she couldn’t join me in.  As I backed out of the driveway, this is what I heard and saw.

It’s one time I was glad I don’t speak “dog!”

WHY AM I BLOGGING?

My original reason for wanting to blog was because I had heard you can make money from blogs and I really would like to be able to supplement my income this way.  I am not really technically savvy, so the chances of that happening are slim to none.

I threw around a lot of ideas in my head as to what I should blog about.  I knew it had to be something I was really interested in or I would just give up on it.  I love the outdoors, so my first thought was to do a blog about things to do in my county here in East Tennessee.  That would give me an excuse to get out and explore places I haven’t been in years, if ever.  But, I was afraid that would feel too much like work, because I was going to make myself go somewhere new every week and try to do it from A – Z, with something beginning with every letter of the alphabet.

I have been posting stories about my dog, Tippy, on Facebook ever since I adopted her, back in 2013. People tell me all of the time that they enjoy my stories, so that is what I decided to blog about.  I thought if my friends were entertained by what she did, then other people might be also.

My plan is to write about the cute, and not so cute, everyday things she does. I also plan to travel with her, and inform people about dog friendly places, both locally and wherever our adventures take us.

I would love to connect with other dog lovers across the country and learn of places Tippy and I might enjoy exploring together.

 

ON POINT

Tippy is my mighty mole hunter, which is great for keeping the little critters out of my lawn, but it does mean a few holes have to be dug in order to accomplish this goal.  Yesterday, on our walk in our neighbor’s field, she heard one running through it’s tunnel.

Tippy stalking a mole

She stood on point for about a minute, contemplating her next move.  At just the right moment, she pounced and started digging. It was a Happy New Year for the mole, as he escaped unscathed…..this time.  And, it was a Happy New Year for Tippy because she got to dig and then head off to experience other smells, sites, and sounds of the day.

Tippy and I wish you all a vey happy, healthy, and adventurous 2016.

“Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you have always wanted to do but could not find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you do not think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You will look 10 years younger. Do not be afraid to say, I love you. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.” – Ann Landers