Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pet Expo 2010

This past Saturday was BUSY!  Actually, if you've read this blog at all in the past week, you'll know that the past few weeks have been busy.  This Saturday, however, left me wiped out.  Saturday, February 20th was the Pet Expo to benefit Henrico Humane Society.  To give you an idea of what things were like, imagine 2500 people with their dogs plus vendors all crammed into a building.  Needless to say, things were hectic.

Impawsible Pups had a wonderful booth located on the corner directly across from the Henrico Humane Society's adoption stand.  We offered treats for the dogs and cookies for the people.  Since I recently put Merlin on a hypoallergenic diet, we even had a few treats on hand for those dogs who otherwise wouldn't be able to have anything. 

It was a lot of fun, but, like I said, it was tiring.  All in all, I loved meeting new people and talking to them about their dogs.  I hope some of them remember my name when they start looking for help training their dogs.  Otherwise, I look forward to the next big event!

Here are some pictures from the big day:
 Here's the booth set-up.  The statue is from Theatre IV and is of Cody from when he played Sandy in their production of Annie.  The vest he's wearing is a donation dog vest for Henrico Humane.  "Cody" raised quite a bit of money for them.  I think Hans did a great job with the banner.  Mom's doing a great job selling soap for donations, and the cookies are drawing people closer to my brochures. 
The cute dog looking at the camera is Merlin.  Apparently he found his twin at the Expo.  For a dog who seems to really hate adoption stand, Merlin did very well the entire day.  Of course, we gave him plenty of breaks to sleep, and at one point we had to cover his crate so people wouldn't bother him.  Still, though, he stayed fairly happy through it all.

  This picture was actually taken the night before the Expo, but I think it does a great job of describing the general feeling after the Expo.  We were all exhausted, and Cody, Merlin, Hans, and I all called it an early evening and fell fast asleep...and slept for the next two days!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy Dogs

Today the dogs are happy.  I could just end the post there, and let you wonder why or how they're so happy.  You know, let you just be happy for them.  Alas, I'm not that cruel.  So, let me explain.  I took them jogging.

As the weather turned cold and horribly icky this year, I quickly forgot how much I enjoyed jogging.  I learned to replace jogging with the excitement of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.  Yes, I replace exercise with food.  Probably not the best idea ever.  I made up lame excuses as to why I couldn't go out.  "It's too cold!" I'd whine when really it was maybe just a little too chilly for my usual warm-up.  A hat and some gloves would have taken care of the rest.  More importantly, however, I forgot how much Cody enjoys his jogs.

With Pet Expo only two (2!!!) days away and Cody bursting with excess energy, I had to think of something fast.  I have a few play dates set up, and I was thinking of putting him in day care for a day, but that just didn't seem to be enough.  I'd thought of teaching him new tricks, but surprisingly that just doesn't wear him out the way one would hope.  This morning I finally decided to drag my (slightly larger) butt out of bed and take him out.  Merlin came too.

I should have know it would thrill him.  As I put their collars on, Merlin looked confused as to why I was taking him out instead of Hans, but Cody looked hopeful.  Then I put on my running shoes, and Cody started to bounce.  He bounced off the bed.  He bounced into the living room.  And he bounced all the way to the front door.  He was excited.

The jog wasn't anything special, just our normal route.  The most exciting part was when Merlin pooped in the middle of the road (I had a bag), but when we got back to the apartment Cody was ecstatic.  He saw Hans and greeted him with hugs and kisses.  Then he ran back to me and seemed to express extreme amounts of gratitude.  All in all, he just seems happier, more relaxed.  While Merlin is still a bit confused (this isn't his usual morning routine) and tired, Cody is relaxed and happy.  Another morning (or 2) of this, and we'll definitely be ready for the Expo.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


First off, I know I haven't been posting that much.  Life has been crazy, and my days have been filled with lots of things to do.  So, I thought I'd just do a quick post to update all my fans. 

- Pet Expo is this Saturday Feb. 20.  This is pretty much the largest event of the year for the business, so this is a super-crazy week.  Hans and I have spent a good majority of the week so far tying bones together to give to people.  We'll also be buying a bunch of cookies and putting videos together to attract people to my booth.  As tiring as it all is, I'm really excited about it.  Bark in the Park was a lot of fun, and this is even larger.  Plus, I've since teamed up with the Henrico Humane Society (who are holding the event), so I'll get even more referrals from them.

-  As if Pet Expo wasn't enough, Hans and I are scheduled to close on the house on the 26th.  Of course, while I wish we were completely packed already, it's just not happening.  Let's forget the fact that my evenings are spent tying bones together, but all the boxes we have are currently being used for Pet Expo!  I couldn't pack if I wanted to!  I just figure we'll rest Saturday evening and then start packing again on Sunday.

- Valentine's Day was quite a relaxing day for Hans and me.  Hans was super sweet and whipped up a tasty fruit and yogurt parfait, but he topped it off with chocolate-dipped strawberries.  How sweet!  Of course, we ended the day by tying more bones, but even that was relaxing at it was nice to spend that time together.  Sigh.

-Today is Fat Tuesday which means tomorrow is Ash Wednesday.  Do you know what you're giving up for Lent?  I'm giving up Lift.  More importantly, I'm giving up Lift brownies.  Lift is a tiny little coffee shop about a block from the theater, and they serve the most delicious brownies (must be made with crack).  Everyone loves them.  I, however, need to break free of my addiction from them so I am giving them up.  What makes this even harder?  My realtor (Diana Morgan) loves them too and the house is only a hop, skip and a jump away!  Maybe I'll try to make my own brownies.

- Lastly, business is going well.  I'm hoping to find a place to do group classes here soon (not in my back yard), and my clients recently have been fantastic.  I've started selling leashes and collars online, and I may be selling dog soap soon.  I only hope that business continues to grow.  I'd love to offer a variety of different classes like tricks and games.  I'll keep you posted if that happens!

Anyway, I hope all is going well with everyone else.  Hopefully life will settle down soon, although I doubt it.  Oh well!  I'd rather be busy than have nothing to do!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


There's one really big reason I don't live in Minnesota...cold weather.  What have we had for the past month?  Cold weather.   For anyone watching the news these past few weeks, you'll see that Richmond and the entire east coast have been getting slammed with snow.  Just before Christmas we were hit with over a foot, last weekend we got about 1.5 feet, and this weekend we have somewhere between 10 and 12 inches, depending on where you are (much more if you're further north).  The thing is, I don't mind the snow and cold here.  Why?  Because it doesn't last all year.

I'll never forget my first year in Minnesota.  It started snowing in October, just after my birthday.  I'd certainly never seen it, and I got quite excited.  The first time we had a major snow (maybe 1-2 feet) I swore up and down we'd be out of classes the next day.  Yeah, not so much.  I went out and played in the snow and had a blast.  By the end of March, when I was just starting to see grass again, I was pretty sick of snow.  I wanted sunlight and warmth the ability to go outside.

Here in VA, however, I'm much more excited.  When the flurries start coming I laugh hysterically at the people rushing to the grocery store for milk and bread and then I curse myself for having to go there for the exact same things.  (What can I say?  I love milk and go through a gallon a week minimum.)  Then, as the road become a little worse, I'll bitch a bit with all the other Virginians who either wish it weren't snowing at all or who wish the plow trucks could work a little faster.  However, when I return home, I breathe a sigh of relief at the break I'm about to be given.  It is perfectly acceptable to take time off when the roads are too terrible to drive.  I'll curl up in my pajamas and robe, sip a piping hot cup of hot chocolate, and read a book.  It's a great time for Hans and me to snuggle up and enjoy the weather.

The best part?  We're not completely trapped by the snow.  Sure, the roads are really great enough to drive, but I have no problem playing outside...especially with Cody.  While I always found it too cold to play in MN, I love to frolic with Cody, trick him with snowballs, and watch him turn into a giant snow beast.  Then, after a little while, I'll decide that I'm cold and head back in for more movies and hot chocolate.  Really, when it snows here, the world gets quiet for a day.  People stay inside and enjoy their families.  Even the birds get quiet.  How relaxing!

Now then, for people thinking I'm bashing MN, I'm not.  I'll admit that I wasn't the happiest person there, but that was due to multiple reasons (cold included).  I have no idea how I might have enjoyed MN if I'd had a dog who enjoyed the cold weather as much as Cody does.  Nor do I know how I might have handled living there in my own place doing something I love rather than on a college campus.  Besides, there are lots of things I miss about MN (mmm, Culver's), but it's so much easier for me to be here.  Kudos to all you brave Minnesotans who can handle the cold.  I'm not one of you, but I love each of you all the same.

Now, for your viewing enjoyment:

*By the way, I hope you like the pictures.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Things You Can Do in the Snow

So, the past few months have been interesting for ole' VA.  We've had two (2!!!) fairly large snow storms in one winter.  Each snow storm accumulated more than a foot of snow in less than 24 hours.  The last time I saw that much snow in VA was in 1996.  There two different ways to really approach this kind of weather.  Like many Virginians, you can choose to stay indoors where it's warm, or, like my Minnesotan family, you can venture out and enjoy it.  Either way, do what you like best.  Here are a few ideas.  (Note: Ideas are mainly for Virginians.  Not too many Virginians own snow-mobiles).

Indoor Activities

1) Stay inside.  If you're lucky enough to have Netflix, download a movie.  Of course, you can always use these days to take advantage of the Netflix free trial.  Download a few movies.  Pop a bag of popcorn, lay back and relax.

2) Use the time to catch up on your cooking.  Who needs special places like My Sister's Kitchen and the like when you can use your own kitchen and free time.  Write down a menu of foods and prepare them all for the next week.  This will make the rest of your week much easier.  Since pizza places probably won't be delivering, try your hand at a homemade pizza.

3) Clean!  Reorganize the furniture, try your hand at decorating, or just get your spring cleaning done early.  If you're stuck inside, take advantage of the time.

4)  Grab a book and a hot chocolate and relax. This is very similar to number 1, but it's a bit difference.  It's main focus is relaxing, but it also makes you feel slightly more accomplished because you're reading.  Besides, who doesn't enjoy hot chocolate?

5) Build a fire, cuddle up with your loved ones, and watch the snow fall outside.  Oh yeah, and make S'mores!

Outside Activities

1) Build a snowman.  Take the time to revisit your youth.  If you don't have carrots or coal, don't worry about it.  Make something up!  Cookies make decent eyes or find sticks and twigs and break them up.

2) Go sledding.  I love this one.  Sledding can be super fun.  You can also change this to tubing or even skiing if you have access to a good ski area.

3) For dog lovers, try to teach your dog to mush!  Unless you really know what you're doing, this one's bound to end in disaster (a no go), but it's really fun to try anyway.  Tie your dog to your sled (use a harness instead of his regular collar) and let him pull to his heart's content.  Note: Make sure you stay on flat surfaces.  Pulling down hill could mean catastrophe!

4) Have a snow ball fight.  Need I say more?

5) Have a snowball fight with your dog.  Ok, this should really be retitled, "Trick your dog into thinking that snowballs are things he can actually catch."  Cody actually seems to love this game.  Hans and I will throw snowballs in different areas and watch Cody try to find them.  When he starts to get frustrated will throw one right at his mouth.  He's great at catching them and loves to eat the snow.  Just remember that snow is cold and that eating too much of it could cause problems

6) Go for a hike through the woods.  What's greater than a snow-filled wood?  It's quiet and peaceful.  There's a certain beauty to the stillness, knowing that everything is alive and well just below the surface.

Well, that's all I have for now.  Of course, there's no law saying you can only do one thing.  Do a few, do them all, don't do any.  These are just things I enjoy doing.  Of course, make sure you're well dressed for the outside activities.  For inside, just have fun!