Friday, August 30, 2013


This month has been filled with changes: to our schedule, to our neighborhood, to our parks.

This is how Bar feels about change.
For the last several weeks, we've been shuffled around between agility classes.  First, there was the expulsion from our Monday night class after the incident with the small dog.  Then we skipped a level and moved up to the more advanced class; that class was good, but we weren't quite ready for it skills-wise.  For the last two weeks, we've been in a new class with a new instructor and it's been amazing!  Our classmates are so good about giving Barley her space and one of Barley's old friends, Annie the lab, from our Monday night class is in there.  Annie snuck up and sniffed Barley, and Barley just wagged her tail like she was the kind of dog who would let anyone sniff her.
Soth's not crazy about change, either.

I also went back to work this week, so Barley and I have been torn from our lazy days of lounging, walking, and reading.  My students are amazing so far--engaged, enthusiastic, curious--which makes it a lot easier to stick my girl in her crate and run out the door every morning.  I always forget how exhausting it is to be back in the classroom after a break, though, so we've been slacking on our walking goal for the month because napping's sounded more appealing that walking. We have to get 9 miles in between today and tomorrow!  We got in 2 and 1/4 this morning, so as long as the weather cooperates, we should make it, but we're cutting it close again!

We tried to make the most of our walks in the days before summer vacation ended and we were surprised to find out how much has changed in our neighborhood and our favorite parks.  A couple weeks ago, I noticed that a fence around an old football field in our neighborhood has been taken down and there's a ton of wide open space now. I'm hoping this means there will be less broken glass on the sidewalks in that part of our walk since bottles won't hit the fence and then drop down on to the sidewalk anymore.  Then a few days later, we noticed that this row of rundown cottages had been torn down.  I guess the neighborhood is getting spruced up!

A few days ago we went to the State Park for the first time in ages (we avoid it during tourist season) and saw that the big grassy we like to romp around in was torn up and there were huge mounds of dirt everywhere.  I'm not sure what they're doing to the park, but they didn't touch my favorite picnic table and tree, so that's ok.

With our crazy summer schedule, we hadn't been to the Arboretum since May, so we took a trip there on Sunday since it was our last day of freedom.  Since our last visit, they've opened the Rhododendron Discovery Garden.  It's really pretty with a nice overlook building (although I'm not exactly sure what it's overlooking).  The last time we were there, they were still working on the garden, so it was fun to find a new place to explore.

How cute is this owl?
 We had a great time saying goodbye to summer vacation at the arboretum--until we saw a turtle.  I'm not sure what it is about turtles that makes Barley lose her mind, but she was having none of it.

There's something in the woods!

This little fellow had Barley terrified.  The closer we got, the lower her tail got and the flatter her ears got.
Despite our run-in with the turtle, we got to see a lot of pretty flowers.  Warm weather took so long to get here that nothing was really blooming yet the last time we were there.

In addition to the changes in our neighborhood and our parks, we're changing our method of carrying treats on our walks.  I ordered a treat pocket from Cody's Creations on Etsy (the same store we got our I Need Space leash from).

The pocket is awesome!  There's a snap at the front to keep the pouch closed, there's a clip so you can clip it to your belt look, and there's a zipper pocket on the back that fits my phone perfectly--the whole reason I bought the pocket.  Since I upgraded from my beat up, non-smart phone, my pockets aren't big enough for keys, treats, and the phone.  We walk fast enough that the phone keeps trying to slip out of my pocket unless I keep one hand on it the whole time, which is not practical.  

We gave the pocket a test run this morning and it worked beautifully.  Barley thinks it's pretty awesome, too.

I hope that those of you who have gone back to school/work this week have enjoyed the week as much as I have!


  1. I would like to go back to the Arboretum :-) I'm glad the changes have seemed to be for the better!

    1. The verdict on the changes at the state park is still out, but the rest of them are good!

  2. Hi Elizabeth!

    It's me again, Tammy the Marketing Coordinator at The Uncommon Dog. We just finished another informative info-graphic that I thought you might be interested in. It's titled "How Dogs Became Our Best Friends!".

    If you love dogs, like we do, then you'll love this story. Recent scientific breakthroughs have increased our understanding about how dogs have come to play such an integral part of our daily lives. This fun and engaging info-graphic tells that story in a way that we hope makes it accessible and interesting to everyone.

    If you would like to share this info-graphic with your readers, please feel free to do so. You can find the info-graphic here: Again, all we ask in return is that you link back to, in some way, from your post.

    Also, definitely let me know if you do decide to post it because we'd be happy to spread the word again about the blog post by linking to it from our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages.

    If you'd like your e-mail removed from our mailing list, please let us know.

    Big Tail Wag!
    Tammy Sexton
    Marketing Coordinator