Sacramento Doggy Dash 2012

6 06 2012

Last weekend my four fantastic, beautiful best friends threw me a bridal shower.  It was super fun; I couldn’t have asked for a better bridal weekend.  Extra special was that my friend Amanda flew in from Sacramento to surprise me on Friday night and stayed the whole weekend.  It just reminded me how much I wish Amanda and I lived in the same city.  It would be so fun if she lived in Denver and we could see each other all the time.  Plus, her pup Cash and Hamlet could be besties.

Amanda recently told me that she and her husband, Aaron, and their yellow Lab, Cash, are running in the Sacramento Doggy Dash to benefit the Sacramento SPCA.

Today Amanda asked me if Mike, Hamlet, and I would do it with them.  I said, “yes, of course.”  Sometimes we pretend we live in the same city.  Next week I’m having Amanda and her hubby over for pretend dinner.  I think I’ll pretend cook tilapia and risotto but let me know if you have a better idea.  Cash and Ham can pretend play in the backyard.  The good thing about these pretend dinners is that they are 0 calories.

I hope Amanda, Aaron, and Cash have better weather for their Dash than this:

But even if they don’t, I know they’ll still have fun.  I would still do it, even if it was raining.  Hamlet, on the other hand, would not be excited if I dragged him into the rain.  His face would probably look something like this:

But these two people:

And this little guy:

…I know they’ll have a rockin’ good time no matter what.  They’re troopers like that.  Plus, even if the weather stinks, after the Dash is a Bark at the Park Festival including Pug Races.  How can you not enjoy Pug Races?  I just wish the boy, Hamlet and I could be there too.  Hamlet and I can’t wait to hear the post-dash details from Amanda and hopefully some pictures too.  Now I might have to organize a Boston Terrier race.  I think Hamlet might win; everyone at the dog park is always surprised by how fast he is.  He takes after me a greyhound that way.

Have you ever participated in a race where dogs are allowed or encouraged to attend?  What’s your take on it?

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Gunner, Row Your Ham Ashore

23 09 2010

Gunner is one of Hamlet’s best friends.  He’s a yellow Lab who loves to run, swim, eat stuffed animal ducks, retrieve, and hang out in the back of the Jeep while his owners do yard work.  One of those owners is my bestie, Teresa.  So we’re like four peas in a pod – me and Ham, Teresa and Gun.  Don’t worry, our pod is extra big to accommodate four instead if two.

Since Gunner loves to swim, Teresa often takes him to the reservoir (Chatfield, for you locals) and sometimes Hamlet and I tag along.  Chatfield State Park not only has a dedicated dog park but also a dog lake (probably technically a pond, but I think “lake” sounds so much better) that is perfect for yellow Labs and their Boston Terrier companions.

Chatfield dog lake Gunner Hamlet Puggle

Hamlet trying to catch up to Gunner, a Puggle trying to catch up to Hamlet...everyone loves the dog lake!

Hamlet is usually just a wader, preferring to hang out in the water that’s just a few inches deep rather than exercising his doggie paddle capabilities.  This wading was a marked improvement over last summer when he barely touched the water.  However, on our last couple of trips to the dog lake he’s become a full fledged swimmer, going after Gunner and trying to steal his training buoy (a.k.a. floating orange thingy).

Dog Lake Chatfield Res 1

Hamlet gets his swim on at the dog lake at Chatfield Reservoir on a beautiful Colorado day.

A couple of weekends ago a few more people (Mike, Teresa’s husband Steve, Teresa’s sister-in-law Mandy, and another bestie of mine Amanda) came along with Teresa and me to the dog lake so I was able to take some pictures while Hamlet was still well watched after.  Unfortunately with jumping wet dogs, a Great Dane who stole the buoy and took it across the lake, and a pseudo lifeguard rescue by me to save Hamlet after being dunked by some sort of terrier, I got less than stellar photos and not as many as I’d like.  I’m hoping for another trip before fall really settles in when I can take some better shots but until then these will hopefully paint the general picture of the Boston Terrier-Lab cuteness.

That’s my bestie Amanda on the left side of the picture (doesn’t she have a lovely right side?), Mike in the black shirt, Steve in the white shirt, Teresa in the black tank top up ahead, and Mandy holding the buoy and therefore being the most important person EVER in the eyes of the dogs.

Mandy B. holds buoy Chatfield Res

These pups are buoy-obsessed.

Hamlet swims pretty fast for a dog whose legs are only about seven inches long and who has no tail for that awesome rudder-like action.  By the time Gunner has retrieved the buoy and is on his way back to shore, Hamlet can usually catch up with him.

Hamlet catching Gunner swimming Chatfield dog lake 1

Swim, Hammy, swim!

Hamlet then likes to make his move.  He swims with all his might and makes one big push to try to catch the buoy sticking out of Gunner’s mouth.  He really loves to grab the white cord that’s on the side of the buoy.  If he can grab this then he just hangs on and leisurely dog paddles while Gunner “rows him ashore.”

Hamlet catching Gunner swimming Chatfield dog lake 2

Note the white cord on the left side of the buoy. That's "Hamlet's handle."

Most other dogs at the dog lake have tennis balls, frisbees, or sticks brought by the owners for acquatic entertainment.  However, none of them can resist the F-U-N that is retrieving the orange buoy.  It’s bright, it floats, and is nice and visible even when far away.  Here’s a black Lab-mix-looking guy trying to get in on the action.  He then stole the buoy and was growling and refusing to give it back or share.

Chatfield dog lake black dog wants buoy

"Hey, that buoy is awesome. I'm going to move in for the kill."

We happily returned to fetch after the black dog’s owner intervened and wrestled the buoy from him.  Steve threw the buoy far out into the lake and Gunner and Hamlet made their splashing dives into the water.  Just as Hamlet was swimming off to buoyland, some sort of terrier caught up with him and dunked him underwater.  Yes, I said dunked.  It was like the black spot on Hamlet’s head was a sign to this other dog, “dunk here!”  I was terhorrified – terrified and horrified!  Terrified that Hamlet went underwater and horrified that the other dog’s actions seemed so…deliberate.

I don’t have any pictures of this situation because in my terhorrification I shoved my cell phone (a.k.a. picture taking device) at Teresa and madly waded into the water to make sure Hamlet was ok.  I lifted him out of the water and held him while the other dog (terrier dunker extraordinaire bully) jumped at Hamlet in what I could only take as his way of saying, “I’m not done with you! Now I’m going to eat your little Ham legs!”  The terrier bully’s owner then stepped in, semi-apologized and dragged off her dog to another side of the lake.

The saddest part was seeing Hamlet’s face right when he surfaced after the dunking.  His eyes were WIDE.  I realize his eyes are always wide and buggy but I mean you could see the whites all the way around from 10 feet away.  It was like he surfaced, took a big gulp of air, and yelled,”Mom, help!”  At least that is what I heard in my head.  So then I went wildly wading to the rescue.

Hamlet was physically fine.  I think he might have been a little shaken up but I’m sure it was worse for me than it was for him.  I kept him on shore to rest for a couple of minutes and then let him go back to play with Gunner.  He seemed a little more timid about swimming into the lake, like he preferred to go back to just wading around, but again this could just be my motherly, over-analyzing instinct talking.  Although, I don’t think so, based on the way he acted last weekend at the annual doggie day at our swimming pool.  But that story is for next time.

*For the record, I don’t blame the terrier bully’s owner.  Dogs will be dogs and things happen when you’re in public places with lots of canines.  I do blame the Terrier bully, but I only hold a small grudge. 🙂





Dear Cash

18 01 2010

Dear Cash,

I know you’ve already been officially introduced to the blog world but I want to be the first dog to welcome you to your new life in which my mom’s best friend Amanda and her beau Aaron will take care of you no matter what.

Amanda's new Labrador puppy, Cash.

I welcome you with especially open paws, as up until now they have only had a cat (Trigger, we’ll discuss him some other time).  And you know should learn this old saying – Dogs Rule, Cats Drool!  Cats simply can’t do the work of dogs.  Now, I know you may be a bit worried at the mention of “work,” being that you’re only 11 weeks old.  Well, take it from me (a wiser and more handsome 17 month old), this work is the best kind because you get stuff in return.  All you have to do is unquestionably love and be loyal to Amanda and Aaron, your humans.  Be kind and polite to other humans too but A & A are always your first priority.

"Pay attention, this is important."

You may be asking, “but what do I get in return for all of this hard work?”  Well, you’ll feel happier than you ever have before.  (“Happy” is that warm, fuzzy feeling that you get when good stuff happens.)  First, you’ll learn new things like sit, stay, come, down, and anything else A & A can cram into that always-on-the-go puppy brain of yours.  Second, I know you’re a baby so you may not remember everything, but coming from a shelter and a foster home you must be confused as to why you keep moving around.  Well, worry no more because you’re here to stay.  Aaron and Amanda are your humans and they are always on your side, are always looking out for you, and will always do so.

"Make yourself at home because you are."

Finally, have fun.  This is the beginning of your new life – it’s awesome!  I’m doing the rope dance in celebration.

"Jumping up and down and rearing up on your hind legs shows the humans that you're excited."

Oh, and one more thing, in addition to your standard food, water, and shelter, you get all kinds of great extras like treats, the occasional scrap of human food (just wait – you’ll love it!) and toys.  I highly recommend squeaky rubber cats as the best toys but that football you’ve got looks like a pretty good start.

Hopefully Shelley will soon spring for my first plane ticket so I can come out to Sacramento and meet you dog-to-dog.  I’ll be the handsome Boston Terrier wearing the tuxedo.  Until then, have fun and don’t go to the bathroom anywhere indoors (for some reason the humans don’t like it and then they cut down on your treats).

Dogs Rule,

Hamlet