BARK FOR LIFE 2017

This past Sunday, Tippy and I participated in our local Bark For Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.   The turn out was pretty good, about 18 teams of dogs and their humans, considering this was the first “Bark” in our county.  We plan to make this an annual event, so hope it will grow as more people find out about it.

Since it is close to Halloween, there was a costume contest.  Tippy has no costumes and I’ve been very busy, so I made her one at the last minute.  Do you know what she is?

watchdog
Mom, this costume is puzzling.

I thought it was cute, but apparently the judges liked the bought costumes better.  LOL

We had a “Strut Your Mutt” parade where we all took a couple of laps around the track while the judges scored the dogs for awards to be given later.  Afterwards, we had fun activities for all of the participants. We were able to show off tricks, compete in vocal performances (best bark), had a doggie limbo, jumped through hoops, licked peanut butter off of a spoon, and found hidden treats.  Tippy was the first one to find a hidden treat and, of course, won the race to lick the peanut butter spoon clean.  She was also one of the two dogs that jumped through all 3 hula hoops and crawled under the lowest limbo setting.

spoon
All gone.

Tippy got along with most of the other dogs.  She did growl some, but I’m pretty sure most of that was a play growl and not trying to be mean or anti-social.

We had a great time and are already looking forward to next year.  I need to come up with new tricks for her to do though.  Any suggestions?  Right now, she does the basic stuff:  sit, down, roll over, crawl, and high five.

After all of the judges votes were in, Tippy won 3 prizes:  1st – Best Tail Wag, 2nd – Best Trick, and 1st – Fundraising.  With her awards and the goodie bag everyone got, she had quit the haul.

tippy-and-her-take
Mom, Look at all of the stuff I got!

 

I love the Pet Album.  Tippy loved the squeaky toys.

I think she had a good, tiring day.

tired
All lined up in a row.

 

OUR FIRST REAL ADVENTURE: DAY 3

Day 3 was Tippy’s day, even though it started out on a somewhat of a sour note.

hallway
Hurry up mom. I really need to go!

Our room was at the end of a very long hallway.  (Pssst!  Don’t tell anyone, but L. and I would get on opposite ends and call Tippy back and forth, so she could get some off leash exercise.  She loved it, but I’m not sure what the other guests thought about the herd of horses they heard galloping up on the 4th floor.)  When I took Tippy out, if no one was in the area, I would let her leash go and she’d head for the elevator.  On this morning, the maid was already making her rounds, about half way down the hallway.  I didn’t think anything about it, as she was in a room and only the cart was outside.  I forgot that Tippy barks at things that are “out of place,” which is what she perceived the cart to be.  She let out one of her “I’m going to get you” growls and then barked/howled, just as the maid stepped out of the room.  She jumped back as I ran to retrieve Tippy.  I assured the maid it was the cart that she was growling and barking at, but I’m not sure she was convinced.  I saw this same maid the next morning and apologized again.  She was very nice and said that it had just startled her…one minute it was very quite and the next…….

After all of the normal morning things were done, Tippy and I set out for a day of hiking on some of the trails in the Mammoth Cave National Park.  We met L. at her office, and all three of us set out for our morning hike.

We started out at the picnic area, see below, went along Bluffs Trail, followed the Green River trail down to the river, over to the River Styx, back up to the Historic Entrance, on up to Dixon Cave, and back to the picnic area.  It wasn’t a particularly long hike, but, with the hills, rocky trails, and stops along the way, it took us about 2 hours.

trail-map
Hiking trails around the visitor center.

I made the mistake of using Tippy’s short leash for this walk, so, she keep pulling me to get to all of the interesting things she wanted to explore.  I eventually released the leash and let her go on ahead.  She didn’t stray far from us and never got off of the trail.

She enjoyed all of the new smells.  Our first stop was the overlook for the Green River, which helped carve out the Mammoth Cave system.

The next overlook was for the River Styx Spring, which is still working, along with the Green River, to carve out the caves.  It emerges here for a short distance before disappearing underground again.  The water was really clear and beautiful.  I wish we could have gotten closer, but I guess they keep people away for a reason.

From there, we hiked back up the mountain to the Historic Entrance, which is closed for repairs.  Some of the workers were taking a break, so we stopped to talk to them for a few minutes.  I failed to take any pictures.

We hiked on up to Dixon Cave.  That was a very steep portion of the trail, so we took our time and found excuses to stop and rest – like taking a picture of Tippy.   Dixon Cave is a protected habitat for the endangered Indiana Bat.  People are not allowed in this area of the cave system.  All of the bats in the area are in danger from a fungal infection called White Nose Syndrome.  In an effort to help prevent the spread of the disease to other cave systems, everyone who visits the caves are required to walk through a turf mat treated with fungicide after every cave tour.

We went back to L.’s office, an old farm house converted into an office building, for a lunch of leftovers from dinner the night before.  We had a lovely rest on the screened in back porch.

L. had to work in the afternoon, so Tippy and I set out on our own for a hike recommended by one of the staff.  After a 15 minute drive, we arrived at the trailhead for Cedar Sink.

20160929_143735
Information about Cedar Sink.

This is, as the information states, a Karst Window, a sinkhole where a subterranean river emerges and then disappears again underground.  I was excited to see this process in action, but, wound up a little disappointed.  It had been so dry in the area for the past couple of months, that there was no water flowing.  Still, it was a nice hike.

 

This time, I remembered to use Tippy’s long line. It was so much better – no pulling at all.

on-the-way-to-cedar-sink
Checking to make sure mom is still there.

The trails here had recently been updated and were covered with a packed down, finely ground up, rock layer.  It almost felt like a walk on the beach.  The path down into the sink was not a path, but several flights of stairs. Tippy was not so sure about the open grate design.  I let her step up and off as much as she wanted.  It only took three tries before she got on with all four feet.  I did have to coax her down the first flight, but, after that, she was fine with it.

On the way down, we stopped to take a short side trip on a rock ledge with a giant rock overhang.  I have been in similar situations before and always feel like the overhang is going to fall on my head.  So, we didn’t stay there very long.

rock-overhang
Rock layer roof.

Once we got to the bottom, you could see at least 3 places where the would be river flowed underground.

The trip back up out of the sink was another set of stairs.  Fortunately, these were not of the grate construction and Tippy ran right up.  We took lots of breaks on the landings, as I do NOT do well with stairs.  The second picture below is of the same area as the last picture above, but taken from the top of the stairs.

We passed a couple of people on the way back to the car, but, for the most part, we were alone on this trail.  It was beautiful.  I just wish water had been flowing.

There were wild turkeys in the lawn of L.’s office when we pulled back in.  Tippy really wanted to get to them.

i-see-turkeys
Turkeys! I see turkeys!

It was a very nice day, and we were tired, so sat outside to wait on L. to finish her work.  We then drove around the park, stopping by the Green River. On the way back, we spotted a huge deer in the field beside of L.’s office.  By this time, Tippy was ready to get back to the hotel, so she ignored it.

Day 3 was adventure filled, and I was proud of how Tippy handled all of the new things she experienced.

LOWES DAY

Our local Lowes is a dog friendly store. I thought they all were, but, after a brief search on-line, that does not seem to be the case.  Apparently, it is up to the local manager.  I am thankful that ours still allow dogs, especially after one of their employees got bitten a few months back. They just changed their policy to encourage their employees to not try to pet the dogs that come in.  They can, but they do it at their own risk.  (Is your local Lowes dog friendly?)

I have taken Tippy there a couple of times with my trainer and once by myself.  She did much better with the trainer.  A couple of days ago, I needed to buy some yard working equipment, so decided to take Tippy with me.  My trainer was unavailable.  It was just me and Tippy.

In an effort to try to lower her energy level, i.e. tire her out, I took her for a walk first.  It was an eventful walk, as she flushed some wild turkeys and I saw a black snake basking in the morning sun.  Tippy found something and ran back toward home with it, as she does when she thinks it is something I don’t want her to have.  I fully expected to see her laying in the yard, chewing on it, when I got back.  But, she was no where to be found.  She came bounding up on the porch about 10 minutes later without her treasure.  I don’t know if she ate it, or buried it for another day.

Then, it was off to Lowes.  I did have to give her a minute to calm down before we went inside, but she did great!  She walked right beside of the cart with very little pulling, never bothered anything on the shelves, and almost let one of the male employees pet her.  (She has issues with men, so that was an improvement.)

We had to wait in line at the checkout.  I looked down and she was just sitting, waiting patiently, and people watching.

waiting patiently at checkout
If I sit here long enough, will we get to go for another ride?

It was a very successful shopping trip and, apparently, a very tiring one.

 

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.