Friday, September 23, 2011

First Camping Trip

Bailey and I go exploring a lot together but I did not think much about bringing him along camping until it was brought up with a friend I met at a dog park. I, myself had not been camping in the past couple of years and did not frequently go even when I did not have a dog. But, Bailey having met such a great friend (Callie) at the dog park, we knew camping together would be fun. Bailey also went with his other BFF Catch, the aussie. Catch brought along his older sister, Summer, and between three of us and four dogs, it was a blast.

We went to a place locally here in CA, only about 2 hours from the SF area. Right by a lake. The temperature everyday was perfect. high 80s with a nice breeze. Not very humid at all. The difference in temperature in the water vs out of the water was hard to believe. We also couldn;t have timed it any more perfect, the campground was dead! I mean, we had the whole section to ourselves (since all the kiddos are back in school, the only folks we saw there were day use people, and they werent permitted in our area)... sO! we had the showers and bathrooms all to ourselves, and the dogs had the entire place to run and explore. The rangers were super nice too. The bugs although plenty, were mostly harmless, and just more annoying. For the 4 days and three nights we were there, the days consisted of eating, swimming, then more eating, then swimming, and then more eating. :) It was such a nice relaxing time! Bailey was a tropper but he did try to eat leftovers out of the nearby grills and got a bit of a tummy ache the last day we were there but he has since recovered.

Other than eating, which we know all the dogs loved (BBQ salmon, steaks and chicken), swimming was too exiting. Bailey LOVES swimming. He loves to retrieve in the water. So does Callie. Catch is more observant but will go out and fetch sometimes too. Summer, however, does not fetch, but she took some swimming classes and by the time we left, she had passed her swimming test. It was too cute.

Bailey, with his shorter legs, is a slower swimmer than his longer legged friends, but boy would you see his little legs propelling trying to beat those other dogs! And when any of them got to the ball before him, he would actually GRUNT and the sight of getting beat. Poor guy. One time, he even fetched a floating leaf back because he did not want to come back empty handed.

Other than swimming, another highlight of camping was teaching Catch how fun it is to roll in the dirt. Bailey loves doing this at the beach (see header above!), and well, he has learned that dirt is even more fun! Catch's mom didn't quite approve of this new habit, but it was vacation! We all , for hte most part, let the dogs do whatever they wanted!

Here are some pictures and some stories behind them:

Bailey here is eyeing the ball out in the water, getting ready to retrieve it!

Bailey in a lifevest (because his mom was a worry wart, but we eventually figured out he was a strong and good swimmer so took it off). We put the surfboard we received in the Kelly and Gibson's secret santa event last year to great use. Thanks Lilu! It was a huge hit. Everyone loved the surfboard!

Here's Summer beginning her swimming lessons. Just getting her legs wet for now. She eventually learns how to swim and went out willingly on her own! We were so proud!

Here is Bailey and Callie relaxing by the campfire. I think tihs was night two. They were so pooped, bailey even slept in the camping chair and started snoring.... :)

the view from our campsite. All the day use folks on the other side left Sunday night, and we had the site all to ourselves!

All four dogs taking a dip on the first day. Little did they know they'd spend hours each day for the next 3 days in this lovely cool water. :)

Bailey tethered to the Baker's tent (Catch and Summer & fam) becuase he could not stop helping himself to yums that were leftover from neighboring campsites..

fun times in the water. In this shot, Bailey must've managed to outswim and snatch that ball!

look at how proud Bailey is! Callie is just looking for the next ball to be thrown, and Catch looks like he is thinking about rolling in the dirt and is trying to get back to shore ASAP!

the sunset. a.k.a. bug time. but we enjoyed some beauty before the lanterns were turned on and the bugs arrived. for the most part, we cooked before sunset to avoid the bugs in our food, and we did campfires, of course, after sunset so the smoke would keep most of them away. worked like a charm!

we roasted marshmallows for smores and enjoyed being pyromaniacs. Well, I certainly enjoyed the fire. Found some sticks and tended the fire and even performed some light shows (waving a hot stick with a orange tip in the air in circles really fast). it was a hit. Also, we enjoyed stargazing and found the big dipper!  

Bailey and I by the fire

Bailey giving Callie some kisses before I decided to take a snip and he of course stopped so there would be no evidence on camera

sleeping in his camping chair. (note: I will be purchasing a larger chair for my long dog)

Bailey and Callie trying to ruin Amy's first smores experience. Amy has been camping for many many many years and had never had a smore! She manged to fend off the hungry furkids and enjoyed her smore.

Well! We had a blast and by the morning of the 4th day, the dogs were completely worn out. Bailey slept in the car the entire way back and a bath was immediately due. The tub was lime green, and of course sandy, but bailey was too tired to resist. Home at last though, what a fun vacation. We can't wait till next year.

But, before we leave this post, Bailey wanted to share his top 10 memories from camping:

1. Being able to go with his best doggie friends and fun humans
2. being able to swim everyday for endless hours; being able to enter the water anytime during the day
3. rolling in the dirt and not immediately being hauled out for a bath
4. delicious new foods like banana pancakes in the morning
5. being able to be off leash and having a  potty area the size of a football field
6. sleeping in every morning and staying up late each night
7. showing off my fetching skills and life jacket and fun toys
8. fishing out munchies from neighboring campgrounds
9. riding in the front seat of mommies car to and from camping; crate was left at home!
10. sharing the experience with mom (well of course!)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

First of all, Bailey and I were pleasantly surprised that  Bailey won a spot in Kelly & Gibson's 2012 calendar contest, as Mr. September 2012! It sure looks like it is going to be a great calendar, although some buddies of Bailey's didn't make the final cut. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO VOTED FOR BAILEY.

Check out the results here:

Last weekend, I went out to three baseball games, one each day over at AT&T park to watch the San Francisco Giants take on the Houston Astros. Friday's game I almost froze to death (we don't normally have a real real hot summer, but I swear, it was in the low 50's that night!). On Saturday, woke up bright and early and ran a 5K for the charity Project Open Hand - which was fun and I shocked myself in running 2/3 of it. :) it was great, but I then stayed out all day shopping then watching the game at night. I defintely overexhausted myself.

However! the next day was a big day for Bailey and I - it was Dog Days of Summer at the ballpark! That meant that I got to bring Bailey to the ballpark to the game with me (its a one a season sorta thing). We purchased tickets in advance and were super excited. Bailey, of course, brought his bff Catch with him and they went out to breakfast together in the morning, then we walked over to the ballpark to line up for the parade. We even saw the manager Bruce Bochi in the dugout! :)

So, the day starts off with a parade around the warning track for all the pooches. Mind you, last year, bailey took two poops on the track and a couple of pees. This time around he managed to only pee on a post outside the visitors dugout, which I appreciated. There were no poop incidents. Bailey loves this strut. However, they do move us along quickly so I wasn't able to take many pictures but did get some, and some video too:

Also, let me explain the beard. This started with the Giants in 2010. Players started sporting beards, the most famous being that of our closer, Brian Wilson. It's just one of those superstitious things, but he's kept it, through the world series win and all, and it was back this season. The tagline for his beard  is... FEAR THE BEARD. We thought it would be the cutest thing to create a beard for the dogs for the game, so we did. Partly created from a costume beard + the addition of some craft supplies to fluffen it up. The results were:

We didn't elect to enter the costume contest, but I think Bailey would've had a good shot. The beard was a huge hit! :)

Here's Bailey meeting some of his new friends, Lucy and Kelly!

Here's a picture of the boys in our "annual" picture spot. We always take a picture in front of this gate!

Here's bailey hiding under the bleachers cause it was so HOT! 

The view from our seats. We had one ball come in our direction. That was interesting!!!

Here are the two boys enjoying their seats and waiting for treats

Bailey was a good fan too! He was barking everytime the fans were clapping and cheering!! Go Giants!! haha

Here are the boys enjoying some regular seats, and watching the seagulls invade for their early dinners!

So, we then made our way to the stands, found our seat, grabbed some food and watched the game.

It was so HOT. I actually suffered from a farmers tan afterwards, with both the upper part of my arms burnt to a crisp, and my scalp too! I neglected to bring sunglasses or a hat, which I regret. The next day I woke up with the worst stomach ache and fever, but I recovered over the next two days. Not sure what that was, but Bailey was a super sweetheart! Overall, the weekend was a blast, and even though we were a bit tortured by the sun and a loss, we're still going back next year!

Sorry! keeping this blog post short, Bailey's ready to go to the park! then we're going to be heading to the Arts & Wine festival in Millbrae :)