In most of the USA, summer is the season of barbecues! Whether you’re hosting a backyard bash for a special occasion or ‘just because,’ I have some easy tips and tricks you can use to host a dog friendly BBQ!
This has been a big year for Matt and I. We got engaged in January and right now we’re in the process of buying a new home. We close on June 30th and move in the weekend of July 1st! Our wedding is on 12/29/16 and as soon as we move into our new home, the wedding planning must proceed. In the midst of purchasing our new home, which is on 1/3 acre, I was thinking about some of our wedding plans. While pondering how fun the event will be, an idea came to my head. Why not have the wedding rehearsal dinner at our house since our new home is so much bigger than our current one and the yard is massive and gorgeous? Brilliant. I ran it by Matt and my mom, who both agreed that it’d be perfect. The best part? Dogs are welcome! That’s right, I’m having a dog-friendly wedding rehearsal dinner.
If you aren’t acquainted with the BlogPaws community, you most definitely should be. We are the largest online community of pet lovers. “BlogPaws is an inclusive, global community of pet enthusiasts who write about and support pets via social media. We connect brands with pet parents and pet parents with each other, 24/7/365.” This year’s annual BlogPaws conference is in Phoenix, AZ and if you love pets, this conference is for you! In fact, the conference is for a lot of different types of folk. I’ve compiled a list of people who will walk through the doors at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa for the conference this year.
So. Holy crap. This is not really happening.
I’ve been planning my trip to the big BlogPaws conference in Nashville, TN in May. I was thinking about getting Wynston a custom made tuxedo jacket for the event and yesterday I was joking with Matt when I said “Okay, if for some extremely crazy reason that I am a finalist for a Nose-to-Nose award, I’m going to order him a custom jacket.” Of course, neither of us thought I’d be a finalist. Custom tuxedos are EXPENSIVE!
No joke, when finalists were revealed during BlogPaws Twitter chat tonight, I scrolled down the list and jumped out of my chair when I saw Dog Mom Days listed under the “Best New Pet Blog” category…
Tears. Oh, the tears.
I’ve been working so hard on my blog. I started blogging in December 2013, and here I am, all of those 3am nights paying off.
All finalists were nominated in January of this year. The judges went through over 1,000 nominations to reveal the 48 finalists in 12 categories. I am one of 4 finalists in my category. This is not happening…there are several thousand bloggers in the BlogPaws community alone!
Am I in a dream?
What’s crazy is that enough people read/like my blog for me to become a finalist for Best New Pet Blog. Wow.
In the meantime, I need a new dress!!!!!!!! The winners will be announced at the red carpet ceremony in Nashville on May 30th. I am so honored to be nominated for Best New Pet Blog with these other fantastic blogs:
Thank you too all of my readers, friends and family for always supporting me and believing in me! I love you all! And a huge thanks to the BlogPaws community for teaching me so much!
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Yesterday I attended an agility trial at Club Doggie, the club at which we train with Wynston and Khloee. I was set on going so Matt and I could volunteer and get some experience. I’m so happy we went because just like anything, you learn so much more when you are actually involved.
The weather forecast: 82 degrees and sunny. I needed more sunscreen as the day went on!
What I learned (aside from how point systems work, etc.):
- Even if you have a knee brace and you can barely walk, you can still kick ass at agility.
- Having the fastest or biggest dog definitely does not mean you will be the best.
- “Steeplechase” is literally called that because the course revolves around the A-frame, which looks like a steeple. Genius.
- Trials aren’t as hardcore as I thought they would be. It was just a great big party!
- A blow of the whistle and super loud buzzer are BAD.
- I need to invest in a canopy or tent for when we start competing.
- Jell-o shots are a frequent tradition at trials! Yes please!
My duties as a volunteer (which was a learning experience in itself!):
- Set bars. I sat in a chair on the agility field during almost every run. After each height class, I would set the bars on the hurdles accordingly.
- Fluff the chute. After every dog ran the course, I adjusted the chute to make sure it didn’t get stuck or messed up. This ensured a smooth exit for every dog.
- Adjust tunnels. Many times I had to re-velcro tunnel bags and pull out the ends of the tunnels.
- There were also volunteers running score cards (Matt) and running leashes from one end of the agility course to the other during each dog’s run.
Being a volunteer and sitting on the field watching each dog really helped me more than I could ever imagine. It’s fun to see how each person chooses to run a course. The crosses they do, the words they use for each obstacle, their hands motions…I really got a feel for how different everyone is and how they connect with their dogs.
Club Doggie hosted an amazing trial. The parking was right next to the field so competitors didn’t have far to walk with all of their items. Of course, the scenery is hard to beat and the people are all so much fun. Even the judge who was from Tyler, Texas was extremely kind and thanked the volunteers after every single run for setting bars and helping out. The volunteers also appreciated an amazing homemade lunch, courtesy of Kama and Jubie, the owners/trainers at Club Doggie. Love you ladies so much!
Wynston and I are still shooting to compete in the next Club Doggie trial on March 14th and 15th. We still have a ton of learning to do but I really want to get out on the field to get my first competition out of the way. Honestly after volunteering, I’m not nearly as nervous. We learn from the best trainers around and I know they are setting us up for success. We’ve also been working extra hard…I really want a fancy agility ribbon!
Congrats to all of the winners and competitors at the trial this weekend! Every dog was absolutely amazing. I also got to watch my friends run their dogs, which is totally cool. I’m so proud of them all!!
Have you ever gone to an agility trial? Have you competed or volunteered?