It’s National Dog Day!

In our home it’s always Dog day! But today’s the perfect excuse for all of us dog lovers to brag on ours.

CJ & Esme got to hang out with me at work today, meeting and greeting people and their dogs. CJ loves the people, Esme loves the dogs.

How did your dog(s) spend National Dog Day?

Freddie Mercury doesn’t really give a crap! He knows cats are superior.

Time needs to slow the F#@K Down!!!

Pardon my language, but, seriously, how is it already the day before Thanksgiving in 2018. My last blog post was nearly 2 MONTHS AGO! It feels like it was just last week!

I’m not keen on New Year’s Resolutions but I will make at least one in the coming year. But what will likely happen is why I am not keen on New Year’s Resolutions! Can YOU guess why I am not fond of New Year’s Resolutions?

I need to blog more! I just keep putting it off. I have been so busy with work, group fitness, training, running, and at-home chores and upkeep. I’m getting my running mojo back slowly, and it’s slowing more since the weather is turning so cold.

The holidays are already upon us. So the next two months are going to be crazy busy for me too. I have a LOT of baking and Glogg making in my very near future.

Today on the Eastern Shore of Virginia it was a typical day for this time of year.  Temps were in the 40s and 50s, then dropped dramatically into the 30s by 7PM!!!  Tomorrow is supposed to be a brutally cold day, so I plan to spend the majority of my day under the covers!

I work on Friday and happy to do so.  I abhor shopping any day, but especially on Black Friday.  Not going to lie, but the new Walmart Pick-up thing is a life changer!  Sure, they’ve made a few oopses rarely (out of 7 pick ups now, I have only had minor issues with 2 of them), but they’ve made right by every single oops.

I have more, but this is all I have for tonight.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  Enjoy the time with your family and be Thankful and Grateful for every moment you have with them!  Oh, yes, don’t forget to get stuffed!

JUST SAY NO! to the Retractable Leash

Having worked in the animal care field for over 20 years now, I have learned a great much about animals and their health and well-being.  I am fairly well acquainted with most pet toys and gadgets too.  Some are great, while others make me think “what in the heck were they thinking when they developed this thing?”  Retractable leashes are one of those gadgets that make me cringe.  I truly hope they, along with chain leashes, go the way of the dinosaur.

Retractable leashes are leads with plastic handles that contain a reel system.  As a pet advances, the leash unreels and the pet is able to move farther from the handler.  If the handler wishes to stop the pet from being able to advance, the handler typically has to push a button that “locks” the leash to prevent it from unreeling.  The only way that the leash can shorten is if there is some slack between the leash handle and the pet.  The first 12 to 24 inches of most retractable leashes is a flat nylon-type material.  The rest of the length of these leashes is typically a thin cord.  In some cases the entire length is a thin cord.

I can understand only one benefit of the retractable leash.  Oh.  Wait.  I lied.

Why am I so down on these ever-so-popular gadgets?  Let me tell you!

  1.  They teach your dog to pull.  If you have a tiny little teacup chihuahua at the end of a leash, the pulling isn’t usually a big deal.  However, if you have a 75 pound lab or a 120 pound mastiff pulling at the other end of a leash, you’re going to have some pretty serious control issues there!  Teaching your dog leash manners is crucial in any case, but especially when it comes to muscular breeds or large and giant breed dogs.
  2. The locking mechanisms are not trustworthy.  As your pet pulls at the retractable leash to check out the flattened squirrel in the street while a car is approaching, are you going to trust that little plastic latch to save your dog from being struck by that oncoming vehicle?  I sure wouldn’t.  And for good reason.  I’ve seen what happens in such a case far too often.
  3. The thin rope cord is dangerous to you and your dog.  Imagine, if you would, the following scenario:  A woman is taking her 60 pound pointer for a walk in the park when a squirrel crosses the dog’s path.  The dog begins to chase the squirrel so the woman attempts to press the “lock” button, but the momentum created by the dog is able to overcome the lock!  In a panic the owner reaches and grabs for the leash.  BIG MISTAKE!  There are cases of dog owners losing fingers in cases similar to this.
  4. At the vet clinic:  All too often I see pet owners come into our office with a dog on a retractable leash and that dog begins to explore the entire waiting area!  We see both healthy and sick patients at the office.  I don’t want your healthy dog fraternizing with another waiting sick dog, or otherwise.  Also, your dog’s roaming creates a snag-line to other patrons or staff members!

These are my top 4 reasons for banning retractable leashes, but I could easily come up with 20 more reasons to ditch them.  Folks, if you have a dog, you need to properly leash train that dog.  If the dog pulls or is too “strong” for you, please talk with your veterinary staff about head halters or no-pull harnesses.

A Great Finish to a Fun Weekend in O’Nancock, VA … and it’s not over yet

It all started last weekend.  We visited our local Irish Pub, The Blarney Stone, as we usually do to say farewell to the week that has just come to an end, and to say hello to the weekend.  It’s a great place to have a drink or a few, some good food and to meet some fun and interesting folks.  If you’ve never been, you need to go.  It’s a fun and friendly atmosphere!

Saturday afternoon I did some fundraising for the Run for the Animals outside of the Book Bin in Onley, VA.  For 2 hours “work,” we did pretty well!  I sold 44 feet of duct tape, several raffle tickets, and some dog toys and other miscellaneous items.  Saturday night we met some friends at the pub for dinner and drinks.  While there we were told about the “Selfie Scavenger Hunt” that was taking place in the town in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.  Last year was the first year of the O’Nancock St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  It was a hit!  So they were doing it again this year and adding some fun new additions to the weekend’s celebration (like the scavenger hunt).  No matter what “prizes” were involved, I just thought it sounded like FUN!  There I go again, just looking for anything to do that might be fun.  Wandering around town trying to figure out which business or landmark was being described in the clue, then taking a selfie in front of said business/landmark…um, yeah!  I can make that fun!

Fundraising in front of the Book Bin

Fundraising in front of the Book Bin

Sunday came along, I ran 12.5 miles which is my longest run to date, then went to bed early.  My Run for the Animals Half Marathon is only 4 weeks away!  Monday was uneventful.  Tuesday after work I finally made it to Attitudes Fitness for a Pound class!  I really need to start getting into a groove with that since my Pound Pro Camp is next weekend!  I want to start teaching classes ASAP, so I need to get busy getting a clue as to how to construct and instruct a class.  It just so happened that Tuesday was The Blarney Stone‘s 10 year Anniversary so we had to go and give our blessing!  And have a couple of drinks and dinner.  Also it was my mom’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom!

So much to do, so little time!

I spent all afternoon Wednesday getting supplies and putting things together for the O’Nancock St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  I, along with some friends, were taking part to help promote AnimalWhiz’s fundraising for the Run for the Animals!  I didn’t have anything big planned.  I mean, I had all kinds of ideas!  But with such little time and not enough resources, I just planned on dressing up CJ in some celebratory green garb and made some t-shirts to promote AnimalWhiz for myself and anyone else that wanted to sport one.

Thursday after work, it was such a nice day, I thought it’d be perfect to go for a run and then wander around Onancock to get my selfies done!  So, that’s what I did.  I went home, picked up CJ and Chris, dropped Chris off at the pub while CJ and I ran 5 miles, then wandered around and took my selfies for the selfie scavenger hunt.

The first place we stopped was Kerr Place.  I tried to get a good selfie of myself, but have come to learn that I’m not very good at taking selfies.  So I took a nice photo of CJ in front of the historic landmark!  Then I attempted to get one of the two of us.  Not so good. Oh well!  I had a nice picture of CJ at Kerr Place!  Kerr Place

Our second stop was the Roseland Theater.  Again, I made a miserable attempt at a selfie, but got a great shot of CJ with the theater behind him!  Lightbulb moment.  CJ should be the star of this selfie scavenger hunt.  So the rest of the photos were CJ selfies, with a few here and there of the two of us.  It was so much fun!  People would stop by and say hi and some would ask what we were doing.  When I told them they thought it was great!  CJ was a great sport and has since been a feature at a couple of the local businesses where he selfied.  If you want to see his selfies just look for the #stpatsonancock tag on social media.  You’ll see all his photos!17 Roseland

Me and CJ at the Historic Cokesbury Church

Me and CJ at the Historic Cokesbury Church

CJ at the Chesapeake Bay Pizza Company

CJ at the Chesapeake Bay Pizza Company

CJ outside the Blarney Stone Pub

CJ outside the Blarney Stone Pub

Today, Sunday, was parade day.  I had a long run to get done, so I planned on heading out early this morning so I could get back and have plenty of time to get a few things done and to get prepped for the parade.  I ended up getting off to a late start, decided to run 10 miles instead of the 8 I had “scheduled” (it was just too nice and things were going so well!!!), and when I got home I had to stretch and foam roll for about 15 or 20 minutes.

While I was in the shower I thought of something I wanted to put on the t-shirts I made to wear in the parade, so I had to try to get that done real quick because I only had about a half hour before I had to get on my way to line up.  I was able to get one t-shirt completed.  Good enough.  Gotta go!

When we got to Onancock, there were people everywhere!  So much for getting there early to get a decent parking space and to have a drink beforehand.  My fault!  But CJ and I made it to the line-up with plenty of time to spare.  I got CJ all dolled up in his parade gear, then we took some pre-parade photos with ourselves and some of our parade “neighbors.”  The parade itself was fun, there were tons of people, and CJ got to visit with dozens of kids and other people along the way.  Some people even recognized him from all of his selfies.  He’s kind of famous now I guess!

CJ selfied in front of the practicing bagpipers before the parade

CJ selfied in front of the practicing bagpipers before the parade

His Handsomeness all decked out for some O'Fun!

His Handsomeness all decked out for some O’Fun!

Me and CJ posing with Elroy the Elk!

Me and CJ posing with Elroy the Elk!

After the parade was over, my friends and I headed to the pub, and so did everyone else!  It was PACKED!!!  The inside was packed, the outside was packed, it was the place to be! We had dinner and a few drinks, then headed home.  CJ was spent.  He’s been sleeping all afternoon.  He did run 5 of the 10 miles with me and then there was all of the parade excitement.  I can’t say I blame the poor fella!  That’s one heck of a busy day for a 9-year-old senior puppy.

One Last Selfie pair outside the Pub with Gus the Bardic Troubadour playing in the background!

One Last Selfie pair outside the Pub with Gus the Bardic Troubadour playing in the background!

Tomorrow should be a nice rest day for all of us, then it’s back to being busy come Tuesday.  I should be able to make another Pound class in the afternoon and then it’s back to the pub for some corned beef and cabbage!  Wednesday through Friday will be busy with preparing for a road trip, baking because I plan to hold a Bake Sale for the Run for the Animals the following week, and then we’re heading to Philadelphia for my Pound Camp.  More excitement awaits…and you’ll all hear about it soon.

Facebook “Silent” Auction

In an effort to raise money for the Run for the Animals (visit runfortheanimals.com for more information, or see my previous blog post), I am hosting a “silent auction” of items with 100% of the proceeds going toward my fundraising efforts for the event!

The items I have available are primarily dog, cat and runner-related that have been donated by outside parties or myself.  I don’t mean to appear discriminatory against pocket pets, horses, reptiles and other animals, but I just don’t have the donor support from those other animal venues at this time.  Please check out my Facebook page for more information!

The Run for the Animals is an event that hold very near and dear to my heart, and you can read about it more on my previous blog post linked above!

Run For the Animals

Run For the Animals 2014

Run For the Animals 2014

I am a philanthropist at heart, especially when it comes to animals…

Since its inauguration, I have Run for the Animals! It was my first real race since I started running again over 5 years ago. Animals have always played an important role in my life, and running has long been another passion of mine. When I learned about the Run for the Animals in 2012 I was all in because it was my number one and two passions combined into a single venue. How cool is that? The first year I placed 2nd female for the 10K and got 1st place for fundraising (I think I was able to raise about $180.00 that year). The second year I got first place female for the 10K and, again, took 1st in fundraising (this time I raised just under $500.00). Last year I had planned on running the half marathon portion of the race, making it my first half ever. I had to demote myself to the 10K due to injury, but managed to finish as first place female and took 1st in fundraising again (I was able to raise over $1,100.00!)!

This year I plan on running yet again, and I am going to try (again) to make this my first half marathon, pray I don’t have another injury that would prevent me from doing so. I am also trying to outdo my fundraising yet again. I plan on putting together 3 raffle baskets to help raise money for the cause (one cat-related goody basket, one dog-related goody basket, and a runner’s goody basket) and will be selling pet toys and treats with 100% of the sales going toward my fundraising efforts. I am also soliciting donations from family, friends and my community. If you would be at all interested in helping me with my fundraising efforts, either by donating monetarily (no amount is too small or too much!), or if you have a product/gift certificate that can be added to one of my goody baskets or for raffle, or if you would be interested in purchasing raffle tickets for one of the goody baskets, please email me at animalwhiz@yahoo.com. The animals in need here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia would be forever grateful!

Raffle basket info is continuously updated on my Facebook page and “For Sale” items will be posted there as well as they become available.

I also have a fundraising site at GoFundMe.  Check it out!