Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Wild, Windy and COLD

Oh My Dog - one of things with living in a perpetually warm area is you REALLY notice when the temperature drops below normal. I know many of you are going to laugh at this but the 58 degrees we had today had Mom was rugged up like a polar bear! We furbabies of coarse LOVED the cool and all but galloped all over the beach we were enjoying it so much. Even Dweeb spread his paws and moved at least four feet away from Moms feet!!!  The other "cool" thing is we found a whole new boardwalk to take us across the dunes to MY beach and it is super long.  We also got to watch the USS Mason leaving Mayport Navy Base today. As you can see in the photo - the seas were pretty choppy and the ship was passing behind the breakwater that we were climbing on the other day :) This ship is actually stationed out of Norfolk and was just visiting us on its travels.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Yowies Galore

We are helping Mom sort out her Yowie Collection today - this is only half of them - Mom can't find the other bag of them she had :)  Yowies are a lot like the old Kinder Surprises - Chocolate on the outside (which Dad eats), a plastic container inside and then a hidden littlecollectable treasure. The Yowies contain all different animals, birds and reptiles - many of them endangered. Now you are probably wondering what a "Yowie" is - it an Australian word and means one several names given to a hominid (bigfoot/yeti type thing) reputed to live in the Australian wilderness. The creature has its roots in Aboriginal oral history. Remember you can double click on the photo to see them bigger :) Oh - Yowies originated in Australia but are now being made here in the USA just down the road from us in St Augustine, Florida. They are available through Walmart stores - and can be found in the displays near the checkouts.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sea Foam and Running Free

We saw something different on MY beach today - lots of sea foam (bubbles). It was kind of odd as there was no wind at all today but the water was very choppy creating all this fluffy stuff. Now personally after taking a quick look at it I wasn't much interested in it - but I was sure having fun running free. Dweeb of coarse was staying right by Mom's feet - silly boy he could be running and smiling like me but he never does which is why you never see many pictures of him.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Plight of the Grand Canon Condor

This afternoon we were sitting with Mom watching a PBS program on the Condors of the Grand Canon and Mom was just astounded and saddened that there are only 72 of them left in the wild where as once they numbered in the thousands. Now these are huge (with a wing span of over 8 feet) and somewhat ugly looking birds but they are also natures clean-up team - eating things that die in the canon. Sadly it is that very thing that is also killing them. See hunting is still a big thing in and around the canon and hunters use lead bullets. When they leave the carcass of a deer behind they often leave the pellets in them and the Condors eat this and it gives them lead poisoning. The TV show followed a pair of condors over the last 8 years and each year they have just one baby and for the last 7 years each baby has died due to lead poisoning which they absorb from the regurgitated food (sadly the babies can't absorb any level of lead). Condor babies are also very slow growing taking 6 - 8 months before they leave the nest.  This year the Condors actually managed to raise their first baby all the way through to it taking flight but it takes some VERY dedicated people who catch each and every Condor on a regular basis to check their lead levels and treat them if they are found to be high. If you look in the picture you can see each Condor has a number on their wings. They are also leaving non contaminated carcasses for the Condors to feed on - especially when raising a chick. They may be ugly looking dudes but it would sad to never see them soaring in the thermal above the canon.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Drifting along the beach

Our beach is pretty much sand - it is rare to find shells, seaweed or anything interesting washed up (apart from the occasional horseshoe crab)  but today we found some clumps of driftwood. Moms mind was working over time thinking how cool it would be to put a glass top on it and turn it into a coffee table. Thankfully it was covered in very smelly shells so she didn't bring it home :) Mom was also pondering over the trip this driftwood took - did it travel the seas and come from the Bahamas or even further? It is kind of sad too - Mom noticed a lot of trash in the water as they were cruising to the Bahamas and it made her realize the oceans are not as pristine as we like to think they are.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bark Avenue Pet Resort

Many of you asked how we liked the Bark Avenue Pet Resort we stayed at - well here we go with the answer. First of all - this was the first time we had EVER been to a pet resort or boarded so Mom was REALLY REALLY worried about how we would do - especially the Dweeb who as many of you know - doesn't cope well with changes. Mom and Dad spent a lot of time researching pet resorts and went to check out quite a few places before choosing the one they did. As it turned out - Bark Avenue was only 10 minutes away from where the cruise ship docked.

We stayed in a deluxe suit (Mom said we deserved only the best) and were able to stay together in the suit. Mom also asked that we had our playtime with the small dog group rather than the large as the large dogs were all HUGE. There was a number of  really big play areas - one included a big bone shaped pool, one had agility equipment and one was like an open park with lots of trees, little hills and things to explore. Our deluxe suit had two areas - one was inside and was air conditioned then a doggie door led to the outside play run. We had an hour and half of play time twice a day plus additional play time with one of the staff. Mom pre packaged all our food and they were happy to make sure we got our medications. One thing that really impressed Mom when they did the tour was how clean the resort was and that it didn't even smell like you expect many pet places to do.

So how did we do - the staff said Denny was his normal shy and reserved self  but overall did just fine. As for me - I was just my normal happy self and had lots of fun chatting with the other doggies. When we got home Denny just curled up with his Dad and had lots of cuddles and belly rubs - Mom thinks he just basically stayed in his "Denny Zone" and tuned everything out and this allowed him to cope really well. As for me - I was exhausted !!! Mom says she thinks I just partied the whole time, barking, chatting and playing with the other dogs and telling them all about my parks and recruiting them as future Bark Rangers :) In fact I was so tired when we got home Mom had to shake me awake at dinner time. I did have a queasy stomach when we first got home and threw up some yellow frothy stuff a couple of time - Mom of coarse panicked and rushed me off to Dogtor Wilson but he said it was just over excitement as I wasn't running a temperature and nothing hurt when he checked my tummy. This morning I am feeling just fine. We added a link so you can see where we stayed but the thing we loved the most was coming home and hearing Mom and Dad say our next vacation will be a dog friendly one and we be all going :)

Monday, November 16, 2015

We are back

You may not of noticed but we haven't actually been around the last few days. The Dweeb and I went to a doggie resort while Mom and Dad when on a cruise ship down to the Bahamas' for their wedding anniversary (Their anniversary was back in October but Mom was too sick to go back then). Why we couldn't go I don't know as I am sure people would of loved to patted us all along the trip and Mom said we would of done a pawsome job cleaning up the foodibles at the buffet - she even said there was a big grassy area up on the top deck where they play mini golf which would of been perfect for us  :)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Orion House and K9's for Warriors

On Wednesday (Veterans Day) we talked about the
K9's for Warriors program that is providing service canines to warriors suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma as a result of military service post 9/11. Their goal is to empower Veterans  to return to civilian life with dignity and independence. They do this through Orion House - a center that was built right here in Jacksonville and provides dogs for Veterans all across the USA.

On Wednesday  (Veterans Day) one of our local TV Stations (First Coast News) held a telethon for K9's for Warriors and raised over
$150,000 - then amazingly an anonymous donor rang in and said he would match every donation - so in total they raised over $300,000. It also meant that the $40 of treat money we donated turned into $80 - way to go anonymous donor!

Other facts that are amazing -
  • 95% of the dogs they train are rescue/shelter dogs - many of them rescued from kill shelters.
  • Corporate sponsors pay for 100% of the day to day running of Orion House and 100% of individual donations go directly to the K9's for Warriors training program
  • So far 194 veterans and their dogs have graduated from the program
  • Many veterans who are on a cocktail of medications before getting their dogs need far fewer or none at all after getting their dog.
  • Not a single warrior has committed suicide since receiving their dog

Friday, November 13, 2015


It has been a while since we went to visit MY Fort Caroline Cowspotdog Park but we headed over there today to check it out. It was still pretty soggy from all the rain we had earlier in the week and we couldn't walk on our normal path as it was still flooded but there was plenty of pee-mail to read and other things to smell. And how perfect is this - MY staff have installed Reilly viewing platforms on the river side so my fur doesn't get wet sitting on the grass. I must say I quite enjoyed watching the boats go by from my new vantage point and being such a thoughtful dog -  I even let Mom sit on the corner. Yes - Dweeb got to sit of MY platform too but only because I let him. Mom said instead of attitude I have fort-a-tude sitting there :)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Watch those waves

It is not often we find MY beach with a high tide but today we did and one thing we learned is you have to watch those waves because they sneak up on you. Thankfully we were too quick for them to catch us but it was close :)
Mom - there's not much beach today!

Oh oh - that water is getting awfully close !

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wordy Veterans Days Wednesday

Today we remember all our Veterans who have served this country with dedication, honor and integrity including our Dad who served for 20 years in the Navy (he was a Commander and flew P3 planes). The path that many Veterans take when they return home and have to integrate back into society is often a difficult one. Did you know 22 Veterans A DAY take their own lives because they can no longer cope. Here in Jacksonville there is an amazing group called K9's for Warriors who provide service dogs for Veterans who are suffering PTSD and since opening they have not had a single suicide amongst this Veterans who have been given a dog. These amazing dogs who are all rescue dogs - are trained to sense panic attacks, night terrors etc. and by gently nudging their person they can break the panic cycle before it gets too bad. Today we are donating our treat money to the K9's for Warriors and thank all the Veterans who have bravely put their lives on the line to keep our lives at home safe.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Wet wet wet

Oh My Dog - we got 11 inches of rain yesterday - YES 11 inches. Mom said we might need to build ourselves an ark if it didn't stop :) There was a lot of flooding in our area but luckily our street drains well and so does the pond behind our house so we stayed dry. We told Mom if she wanted us to go out she had better get us a boat as there was no way we were going to get our feet wet :)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

40 years ago today

The SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank 40 years ago today. The American Great Lakes freighter sank in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew of 29. When launched on June 7, 1958, she was the largest ship on North America's Great Lakes, and she remains the largest to have sunk there. Carrying a full cargo of ore pellets with Captain Ernest M. McSorley in command, she embarked on her ill-fated voyage from Superior, Wisconsin, near Duluth, on the afternoon of November 9, 1975. En route to a steel mill near Detroit, Fitz joined a second freighter, SS Arthur M. Anderson. By the next day, the two ships were caught in a severe storm on Lake Superior, with near hurricane-force winds and waves up to 35 feet (11 m) high. Shortly after 7:10 p.m., Fitzgerald suddenly sank in Canadian waters 530 feet (160 m) deep, about 17 miles (15 nautical miles; 27 kilometers) from Whitefish Bay near the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario—a distance Fitzgerald could have covered in two hours at her top speed. Although Fitzgerald had reported being in difficulty earlier, no distress signals were sent before she sank; Captain McSorley's last message to Anderson said, "We are holding our own." Her crew of 29 perished, and no bodies were recovered. The sinking of Edmund Fitzgerald is one of the best-known disasters in the history of Great Lakes shipping. Gordon Lightfoot made it the subject of his 1976 hit song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" after reading an article, "The Cruelest Month," printed in Newsweek's November 24, 1975, issue. (This is one of Mom's most favorite songs - we hope you enjoy and remember those who  perished.)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sharing the goodness

Now some of have hopefully signed up for our annual Christmas Card Exchange - that Oreos and (Angel Jazzi's) Mom co-ordinates each year. For the last 3 years we have used Vistaprint as our go to card maker and we have been super duper HAPPY with them. This year we ordered our cards and got them 4 days later - now that is service! Anyhoo if you are looking to order some cards we have some 50% off coupons that you can use on any of the Christmas Cards (and a little hint if you want so save money - order Christmas postcards as they go at a cheaper postage rate.) We also ordered our wall calendars with full size pics on each page and got to add all our families birthdays etc to it and only paid $8.89 (after the 50% coupon we applied to them - they also arrived in just 4 days!)  The coupons codes are GIVE and GIVE 15 and are valid until 12-31-15.

Please note - we are just sharing our good experience with this company and we were not paid or asked to do a review by them so our opinions are purely our own.

Friday, November 6, 2015

So frustrating!

We are so sorry we haven't been able to comment on many of your blogs - for some reason our Mozilla Firefox browser has suddenly stopped working and no matter what we have tried we can't get it going again. Mom had to switch to to Google Chrome but  it seems to HATE blogger and every time we tried to  leave a comment we kept getting error messages.. In the end we had to resort to using Internet Explorer (which Mom really dislikes as it so slow) but at least everything is working okay now.  We are still working with Mozilla to try and sort things out but so far everything they suggested to try hasn't worked.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Off we went exploring

There were sooooooo many dead horseshoe crabs on the beach today that there was actually a cloud of stinkiness hanging over it - just in this patch we counted 10 of them and they were scattered all along the high tide line.

Apart from that the sea was super calm and of coarse that means the shrimp boats were all out trawling - for some reason Mom loves watching them. On the way back to the car we passed a tree that had this wonderful candy corn colored fungi growing on it. Mom has decided that is the perfect name for it :)

Next we headed over to Mayport Navy Base - and went to the beach again - (there is actually only a fence that separates the two beaches but you need a military ID to go on the Navy Base side). We walked all the way to the end where big rocks have been piled up to make a breakwater.  We also got to say hello to some big old albatrosses - it is the first time we have seen them at MY beach and no we didn't chase them:)
Lots of stinky crabs
Picture perfect beach boys
Oh YES we do !
Shrimp boat
Candy Corn Fungi
Rock climbing Denny
Doing a little rock sitting

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November heat wave

We haven't been doing much the last few days as it is unseasonably warm for November here in Florida. Yesterday we actually broke the record for November temps - we hit 89 degrees and the previous record was 86 for this time of year. It is not so much the heat we don't like but the humidity which is super high - everything feels damp!  Still we can't complain - it still beats having to deal with the cold and snow and we get to enjoy the early morning out on the lanai while Mom reads the newspaper - to bad all the chairs are taken Mom :)