Ava the Tourist

July 16, 2014 in Dogs, Wordless Wednesday by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

This week we are featuring Ava the Tourist.

Ava with Joe's Pond Sentry

Ava with Joe’s Pond Sentry

Ava at the footbridge

Ava at the footbridge

River view

River view

Joe’s Pond is located in central Vermont and according to the Vermont Department of Water Resources, the “Joe’s Pond Basin” was formed about 1.6 million years ago during the Pleistocene epoch (Ice Age). Joe’s Pond is at an elevation of 1,551 feet and covers an area of approximately 393 acres. Its maximum depth is about 100 feet. It is three miles long and at its widest, three-quarters of a mile across.

In 1877 Joe’s Pond area became a center of commerce due to the railway line that ran from St. Johnsbury to New York and Boston. In the 1920s small cottages were built around the pond and Joe’s Pond became a summer vacation destination. Today, Joe’s Pond continues to be a recreational destination. To find out more about Joe’s Pond history, or how to get there, visit the Joe’s Pond Association website.

Don’t forget to visit all the other great blogs on Wordless Wednesday!

Follow the link below to get to the Blog Hop Page.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…


 

Shop brand new products from Pet360.com!


 

Tuesday’s Tails: Rocket!

July 15, 2014 in adoptable dogs, Dogs, Tuesday's Tails by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to Tuesday’s Tails Blog Hop hosted by DogsnPawz.com and Talking Dogs.

Tuesday’s Tails blog hop features shelter animals. Come join the fun and help a furry friend find a forever home! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to visit the other blogs and share their dogs, cats, rabbits, and all the other animals that need forever homes on your social media sites. Please spread the word!

This week we are featuring Rocket!

Rocket greet

Rocket recently arrived at North Country Animal League and is a typical lab who loves everyone and everything.

Rocket smile

He always has a smile on his face and has lots of energy to put toward obedience training.

Rocket on table

Rocket is great with other dogs and could go into a home with cats, with caution. Rocket could benefit from a family that is willing to work with him on his manners and could give him an active lifestyle.

To learn more about Rocket visit her Petfinder.com page

Pet Adoption

Don’t forget to visit all the other wonderful adoptable animals featured in this blog hop!

Rocket’s photos were taken by the staff at NCAL


Black and White Sunday: Hiking with Steeler

July 13, 2014 in adoptable dogs, Black and White Sunday, Dogs, Hiking with Dogs, Outside Adventures by Mark at DBDT

We are happy to participate in the Black and White Blog Hop hosted by Dachshund Nola and Sugar: the Golden Retriever!

This week we have a couple of photos from our hike with Steeler.

s side bw

Steeler is a young, energetic dog staying at North Country Animal League.

s field bw

Because he is just a puppy with a ton of excess energy we have decided that Steeler should accompany Ava on her weekend hikes.  Hopefully, the long walks in the woods help him cope with the long hours in the shelter.

s in water bw

a and S bw

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Don’t forget to visit all the other wonderful blogs on Black and White Sunday!

Get 15% off Advantage + FREE SHIPPING at Pet360.com. Use Code ADVANTAGE

Ava Finds a Flying Disc

July 11, 2014 in Dogs, Outside Adventures by Mark at DBDT

Last Sunday Sallie and I brought Ava, Veruca, and Damien up to Barr Hill for an early morning walk.  It was an ideal morning because it was close to 75 degrees, sunny, with a light breeze to keep the bugs away.  It was also a couple of days after the 4th of July and evidently Barr Hill is a great place to watch the fireworks.

With Barr Hill’s view overlooking the town and the lake, the view of the fireworks from the Hill must be outstanding.  We may not have ever realized how perfect this spot was if it wasn’t for some of the things we found on top of the Hill.  At the designated picnic area we found the leftovers from a really good holiday picnic including the remnants of a campfire, some slightly charred marshmallow roasting sticks, and a blue flying disc.

To my knowledge, Ava had never played with a flying disc before and I wasn’t really sure what she would do.  But once she saw the disk in my hand she was locked in and ready to go.  I barely got the first toss out before I realized that we had a dog that loves the flying disc.

Ava ready 4

Unfortunately, with all her effort, her success rate for catching the disk was pretty low.  I should probably take a majority of the responsibility for this because my throws were actually pretty poor.  But even with our poor success at catching, we had a really great time tossing the disc in this beautiful location.

Here are a couple of photos of one of the more successful throw.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you are interested in learning more about canine disc, or you are just looking for some really inspirational pictures of dogs and flying disks, check out some of these websites.

UFO World Cup Frisbee Dog Series (http://www.ufoworldcup.org/)

The UFO was founded in 2000 and began a World Wide canine disk competition.  In 2006, UFO held its first World Cup Final in Scottsdale, Arizona with competitors from around the world.  They continue to grow this world wide disc event.

 DiscDiscDogEvents.com (http://discdogevents.com/)

 DiscDog Events is an all inclusive, unaffiliated, disc dogging website filled with all kinds of disc dog links, and much more.

 Skyhoundz (http://skyhoundz.com/)

 Skyhoundz is the self-proclaimed “center of the disc dog universe.” This website contains great resources including an online store, blog links, and list of disc dog clubs in the US and around the world.

 Hyperflite (http://hyperflite.com/)

 Hyperflite is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-performance flying discs designed for canine competition and recreational play. Hyperflite has several speciality disc including the cold weather competition disc known as “FrostBite” and the first glow-in-the dark/color  changing puncture-resistant disc known as “Jawz Fuzzion”.

 

4 tips and 1 warning for kitten foster homes.

July 10, 2014 in adoptable cats, Animal Shelters, Cats by Mark at DBDT

Sallie and I have fostered many dogs and cats over the years.  We usually provide foster for sick or elderly animals, but sometimes we provide foster when their just isn’t enough space at the shelter for all the animals in their care.

Recently, Sallie brought home a mom cat and her four little kittens.  The kittens were very sick and taking care of them and their mom would be difficult for the busy staff at NCAL.  It made sense for this family to move out of the shelter and into a foster home.

The mom and kittens have been staying with us for almost a month now.  It has been great to watch the kittens grow and regain their strength and energy.

f kitten 1

As the kittens get older and more active we have a unique opportunity to help nurture them into well socialized young cats that will be ready for adoption.  Jacque Lynn Schultz, C.P.D.T. and Petfinder’s Companion Animal Programs Advisor, wrote a wonderful article titled “Kitten Socialization and Development” on Petfinder.com’s Animal Shelter and Rescue page.  In this article Schultz focuses on some of the things a foster home can do to help new kittens develop and become well socialized.  Schultz explains that “A cat’s personality is largely formulated in the first eight weeks of life. Leaving health issues to the veterinarian, here’s what you (the foster home) can do to help your kittens be all that they can be behaviorally.”

 Provide Proper Nutrition

If you are fostering a pregnant female cat you need to provide extra food for them. Since your female feline will lose weight while nursing, allow her to bulk up before giving birth. Many savvy cat owners switch their expecting cats back to kitten chow to get those extra calories per mouthful. Studies have shown that a malnourished queen is more irritable with her kittens and provides less mothering. Consequently, her kittens will be developmentally delayed, slower to open their eyes, walk and engage in play. As they mature, such kittens show poorer learning ability, greater levels of fear and aggression and more anti-social behavior toward other cats.

Provide the kittens an interactive environment

When setting up a cat nursery, avoid the empty room/sterile box set-up, especially for kittens two- to eight-weeks of age. Kittens kept in a more complex environment for their first two months are less nervous later in life than those kept in un-stimulating surroundings. Provide plenty of sensory stimulation. A radio or television can be left on in the room some of the time. Flooring can consist of newspapers, old towels, a carpet square, linoleum tile, perhaps even a piece of Astroturf™. A small cardboard box for the kittens to crawl on with a hole cut in the side can serve as a den once the kittens are mobile. Don’t use fresh produce boxes, though, for they may have been sprayed with harsh pesticides.

Handle the Kittens

Engage in gentle handling as soon as possible. Early human handling results in precocious development. When the kittens are two- to three-weeks of age, increase the sphere of handlers to include three or four people daily to help the kittens learn to trust all humans.

Keep Mom Around

Since kittens learn by watching how an adult cat operates, it is important to keep the litter with the mother until at least eight weeks of age, which coincides nicely with the end of weaning for most kittens. Through observational learning they get the hang of using the litter box and whether or not to cover waste, how to hunt and kill (although this behavior is partially predetermined genetically), what foods are safe to eat and who is appropriate as a friend. Kittens also learn to cope with stress and frustration, since Mom Cat controls the “milk bar” and they don’t always get the opportunity to feed until satiated. Lastly, it is important to keep littermates together until eight- to ten-weeks of age. Through their interactive play, kittens learn to control their clawing and biting, and to extend their acceptance of littermates to felines outside of the family.

To read Schultz full article visit Petfinder.com.  
 

 Fostering is a great way to help out you local animal welfare organization.  Fostering not only opens up space at the shelter for the staff to help more dogs and cats, but, if done with care and intent, you can help raise socially savvy dogs and cats that will easily to find their new home.


WARNING   —-   WARNING — WARNING

 Fostering animals for your local animal welfare organization can have unintended consequences.

Case in point, Willamena

Wilamena w wm

Willamena came to live at our house because she was not doing well at the shelter.  Willamena was very scared and tried her best to avoid any visitors by staying in the back of her cat kennel.

 Sallie brought Willamena home in hopes that by spending time at our house, Willamena would eventually become comfortable enough with people to be able to find a home.  Several months passed and Willamena had only made minimal progress towards becoming an outgoing and family friendly cat.  She would wander through our home and sometimes plays with the other cats.  However, she still hadn’t become comfortable enough with us to let us pet her.  Recognizing that it could take years for her to become comfortable with humans, and then there is no guarantee that any progress we made with her would transfer once she returned to the shelter, we decided that she should just stay with us.

w 2

 A couple of weeks ago we made it official and Willamena  became part of our family.

The unintended consequence of fostering is that we now have a great cat bringing joy into our home.

2 Brown Dawgs

We are participating in Thursday Bark And Bytes Blog Hop hosted by 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like A Dog.


Check out the Sports Lover Collection at Pet360.com

Tuesday’s Tails: Big John

July 8, 2014 in adoptable dogs, Dogs, Tuesday's Tails by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to Tuesday’s Tails Blog Hop hosted by DogsnPawz.com and Talking Dogs.

Tuesday’s Tails blog hop features shelter animals. Come join the fun and help a furry friend find a forever home! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to visit the other blogs and share their dogs, cats, rabbits, and all the other animals that need forever homes on your social media sites. Please spread the word!

This week we are featuring Big John!

 Big John is a 107 pound new arrival at North Country Animal League.

BJ sit

Big John is confident, curious, and really enjoys playing and getting his big belly rubbed.

BJ floor

He loves his toys and one of his favorite activity is chasing the ball around.  Big John is good with older kids and cats.

BJ stand 1

To learn more about Big John visit his Petfinder.com page

Dog Adoption

Don’t forget to visit all the other wonderful adoptable animals featured in this blog hop!

Some of Big John’s photos were taken by our friend Brooke at TruckieLoo Photography. Other photos were taken by the staff at NCAL.

Black and White Illustrated Haiku

July 6, 2014 in Black and White Sunday, Dogs, Photo Post by Mark at DBDT

We are happy to participate in the Black and White Blog Hop hosted by Dachshund Nola and Sugar: the Golden Retriever!

This week we are trying our hand at combining black and white photos with little poetry. We are calling this experiment “Black and White Sunday’s Illustrated Haiku”.


Cat in the window

cat web bw
Veruca sits on a rock

V web size bw
Our pets make our home


I hope you have enjoyed our poetry experiment. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Don’t forget to visit all the other wonderful blogs on Black and White Sunday!


Shop brand new products from Pet360.com!

Hiking with Ava at Sterling Forest

July 4, 2014 in Dogs, Hiking with Dogs, Nature Walks, Outside Adventures by Mark at DBDT

When I think about my favorite hiking spots, Sterling Forest is always on the top of the list. Sterling Forest is a 1,500 acre recreational destination located on the northern border of Stowe. In the warmer months Sterling Forest offers great hiking and some fairly technical mountain bike trails. In the winter months there is plenty of snowshoeing and cross country skiing opportunities. And in most months Sterling Forest is a great place to hike with a dog because the terrain is fairly easy to navigate and there are plenty of mountain streams to keep your canine companion hydrated.

Last Friday the temperature was in the low 80s, the sun was shining, and it was the perfect day for a hike. I had planned to get out of work early that day and take Veruca down to Sterling Forest. But as I was leaving work, I thought that it was probably a little too warm for Veruca. Having only three legs she uses a lot more energy to move around and gets hot really quickly. So instead of risking Veruca’s health and having her overheat on this hike, I stopped by Sallie’s work to pick up Ava for the afternoon. The plan was to head to Sterling Forest, hike up the Upper Gorge Loop trail, take a left at Crossover Trail, stop for a quick swim in Sterling Brook at the Twin Bridges, and then head back to the car. The whole trip would have been about 45 minutes. But as you know, even the best made plans often change.

We did park at the trail head and start our hike on the Upper Gorge Loop Trail. Once on the trail we immediately noticed that the volunteers from the Stowe Land Trust had been very busy this spring enhancing the historical attractions in the area and the overall appearance of its trail markers.

trail head sign

Sign and information area at Sterling Forest Trail

One of the many new posted trail maps

One of the many new posted trail maps

Sterling Forest has many old abandoned farmsteads and stone cellar foundations located along the trail system. The Sterling Township, as it was once known, was established in 1782 but didn’t see full time inhabitants until the early 1820s. The area began as a farming community and grew into a logging and lumber production area in 1860s. The old lumber mill, which was located on Sterling Brook and is near the start of the Sterling Gorge Interpretive Nature trail, operated until about 1920. Around this same time dairy farming became the primary agricultural in endeavor in Vermont and Sterling Forest didn’t provide good land for dairy farming. Therefore, shortly after the mill closed, the farmers also began to leave the area. In 1966, the 2,150 acres of land that held the saw mill and many old farms was sold to Sterling Valley, Inc, which was controlled by Thomas Watson a chairman for IBM. At that time the area became known as Watson Forest. This area was known as Watson Forest until 1995 when the Town of Stowe acquired the land and it became Sterling Forest once again. Since that time, volunteers for the town have slowly transformed this area into the recreation gem that it is today.

Early in our hike Ava and I stopped off at Barthlow Home site to investigate the cellar hole and read the newly installed sign before heading up the northern side of the Upper Gorge Loop trail to the Crossover trail.

homesite sign

Barthlow Home Site Sign

foundation

Stone foundation at home site

As we were hiking up the gradual but constant uphill, I was watching Ava have the time of her life chasing the chipmunks from their perches on the fallen logs up the sides of the maple trees. Ava quickly developed an interesting pattern of behavior. First she would chase a chipmunk, then run up to me to check in, and then she would dart ahead on the trail, until the next chipmunk showed up, then she would repeat the sequence. Ava continued this pattern as we headed deeper into the woods.

Ava

Ava

We must have been having so much fun on this section of the hike that I missed the intersection with the Crossover Trail. I first became aware that I went too far when I notice my trail conditions changing from a slow climbing dirt trail to a flatter, muddy path. Having hiked this trail many times before I knew that this change in conditions meant I was closing in on the turnaround point in the loop. Luckily Ava was un-phased by my faulty navigation and was just as happy to run through the mud and continue along the loop trail. Shortly after I realized my mistake we came up to the last sign on the north side of the Upper Gorge Loop trail and crossed over Sterling Brook to head back down the south side of the trail.

Last sign

Last sign

Sterling Brook

Sterling Brook

About halfway back on the south side of the Upper Gorge Loop Trail we came across a trail sign that said “South Side Viewpoint”. The trail leading underneath this sign looked like it was newly cut with strategically placed tree limbs and trampled ferns lining the path. The lure of the new path was too strong to resist so Ava and I took the quick detour. It was only a couple of hundred of feet to the end of the trail and we stopped to take a couple of pictures from the point.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


After getting back on the Upper Gorge trail we continued down the trail and headed to the Twin Bridges. The Twin Bridges is usually best place to stop and play in Sterling Brook. Once arriving at the Twin Bridges I quickly realized that Ava doesn’t love the water like Veruca does. Ava walked slowly in the brook and occasionally stopped to drink the water that rushed past her feet. She didn’t seem to want to lie in the water or splash around in it like Veruca would. As a result, our stop at the brook crossing was brief and we got back on the trail.

Ava at the brook

Ava at the brook

Twin Bridges

Twin Bridges

The trail from the Twin Bridges back to the parking lot is fairly short, only about 3/4 of a mile. We arrived back at the car about 2 hours after we started our hike and I estimate that we covered about 3 miles worth of trail today. Once back at the car I was able to reflect on the idea to leave Veruca at home today. I think it was a good decision because it was quite warm out and Veruca wouldn’t have adapted to missing the intersection of Crossover trail as well as Ava did. Maybe next time, Veruca, Ava, and I will just take the south side trail directly to the Twin Bridges and back, that way we can all enjoy the beauty of Sterling Forest.

To read about hiking the Sterling Forest in the winter read my post Winter Hiking with Jax.

Check out the Sports Lover Collection at Pet360.com

Best Hiking Buddies

July 2, 2014 in Dogs, Hiking with Dogs, Photo Post, Wordless Wednesday by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday

Veruca, Ava, Damien are having such a great time hiking this summer and they wanted to share a couple of their favorite pictures with you.

3 dogs

Damien, Veruca, and Ava

2 dogs ridge

Veruca and Ava on the ridge

a v 2

Ava and Veruca

a 2

Thanks for stopping by!

Don’t forget to visit all the other great blogs participating in Wordless Wednesday!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Shop brand new products from Pet360.com!

Tuesday’s tails: Bubblegum

July 1, 2014 in Cats, Photo Post, Tuesday's Tails by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to Tuesday’s Tails Blog Hop hosted by DogsnPawz.com and Talking Dogs.

Tuesday’s Tails blog hop features shelter animals. Come join the fun and help a furry friend find a forever home! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to visit the other blogs and share their dogs, cats, rabbits, and all the other animals that need forever homes on your social media sites. Please spread the word!

It is the final days of Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month we are featuring Bubblegum!

bubblegum 2

We first featured Bubblegum in March of 2014.

Bubblegum is about 4 years and has been living at North Country Animal League since October 2013.

1

It took Bubblegum a little while to trust the staff at NCAL.  But once she got comfortable, her spunky personality quickly emerged.  She especially likes her catnip and lounging in the outdoor play room.

bubblegum 3

To learn more about Bubblegum visit her Petfinder.com page

Don’t forget to visit all the other wonderful adoptable animals featured in this blog hop!

Some of Bubblegums’s photos were taken by our friend Brooke at TruckieLoo Photography.  Other photos were taken by the staff at NCAL.