My human generally doesn’t like for me to use her computer. She gets irritated when my claws click on the keyboard. She just got an iPad and she’s taking a nap so here I go.
Human says I’m a “Green” dog but I think I’m more of a liver color. I do know that she likes taking me outside and I’m fine with that. We live in Virginia and there’s a ton of cool places for her to take me to smell some beautiful Virginia scenery. Let’s face it: Dogs like parks.
Pretty much all of the Virginia State Parks are open for me. There are some trails and beaches that she has to call ahead and check out beforehand, but we usually jump in the car and go. The same is true of Shenandoah and some of the National Parks. Some rules before we go, though.
If I go to a park with Human I have to behave and stay on my leash. I’m lucky because Human likes to hike so I get to smell some pretty cool Virginia. I have to mind my tongue, I get in trouble if I get frisky with strangers, and Human has to bring the Dispoz-A-Scoops. They’re a scoop and a bag in one, and 99% biodegradable. Like my poo! I also have to curb the desire to chase some of the tasty little creatures that we encounter along the way. The rangers get pretty miffed if I chow down on an endangered species.
Human and I prepare for these journeys too! Sometimes we go to a State Forest. Some of these places allow hunting. If they have guns there I don’t want to go. I look silly in an orange vest. We also look at the terrain. I’m pretty agile but I’m not into a whole lot of rock climbing.
Human and I started training when I was a puppy. Every once in a while we see a real tourist like a bulldog or a chihuahua. Some dogs are made for the great outdoors, some aren’t. What can I say? I’m used to it because Human and I stay pretty active but some of my friends are too out of shape for some of my favorite trails.
Human also tries to keep me out of unfamiliar water. She lost me in the James River one day near Richmond. I was fine the whole time but watching me run the rapids kind of freaked her out. Human also says that all water is not good to drink. I don’t believe her but until I can read the reports I’ll take her word for it. If she won’t drink it she won’t let me either. She has a neat stainless water bottle that she carries for me and I’ll share for as long as she lets me.
Now I can run all day but Human likes to rest from time to time. It works out pretty good, though. One time she was resting and I was having some quality S & S (smell and see) time, and as she rubbed me she found a tick. I hadn’t noticed but now she gets pretty serious about bugs and parasites. We were in the mountains another day and I stepped on a rock. Messed my pad up pretty good. Couldn’t chase Cat for a week. What a bummer THAT was!
Human keeps me responsible inside the house too!
Do you feed your dog in one of those fancy plastic bowls? Are you too lazy to give your dog fresh water and have one of those “auto-bowls”? Lets face facts: I’m a dog. I like to chew. Even after a satisfying meal there’s still some tasty on the bowl, so I’m going to lick and chew until it doesn’t taste good anymore. A plastic feed dish is going to get funky pretty fast for a dog like me so do like my Human did and get me a stainless bowl. When it starts getting funky I nose it over to the sink and Human throws it in the dishwasher. She even has a ceramic bowl for that furry waste that she calls “Cat”. My dish is bigger.
My collar is pretty fancy and it’s made by this company called Earthdog. It’s made of hemp. Rumor has it that some of the early important humans in Virginia like Jefferson and Washington grew hemp. Human got me a pretty cool leash from Earthdog too.
She found me this really cool toy to keep me from chewing up her hiking boots. It’s by West Paw and its made of this crazy stuff called Zogoflex. It has no nasty chemicals, no BPA, and best of all: when I really mess it up human can send it back to them, they’ll recycle it and send me a new one! Human puts a little treat in it, gives it a toss, and away I go!
Sometimes I get a little smelly (you know, like a cat) and Human likes to give me a wash. Not my favorite thing in the world, because being a dog I enjoy a little rustic essence, but it is what it is. When the occasion does arise she uses this stuff from Australia called Herb Doctor. Human knows that when she gives me a rinse it goes right into the creeks and rivers that I like to splash in so the ingredients are important to me. This stuff is organic, has no genetically modified stuff, and no chemical smells or funky artificial colors. I like to be a natural dog. Aloe Vera and Lemon Myrtle is so much nicer than cetyl alcohol and polyvinylpyrrolidone.
Now for the obvious. I poo. I poo a lot. Human did two really smart things, though. Human has been really good about using a canvas bag when she goes shopping. If she finds herself without a bag she always asks for paper, which is not always the best vehicle for gathering and disposing of my by-product. The first thing that Human did was to help me dig a big hole in the back yard. I dig faster, but she put the hole to good use. She got this thing from the Department of Agriculture and built us a composter especially for me! There are certain things that she cannot use my stuff for, like things that she or I eat, but it keeps the yard cleaner and even I don’t like smelling it that much. She adds stuff like sawdust to it, keeps it moving, and ultimately it can be used in her flowers. Better that than ending up in groundwater or in my favorite creek.
Gotta go now. Human is starting to make noises. I heard her on the phone earlier talking about another hike. She’ll probably take me. Maybe I can find something to roll in and she’ll quit calling me a “green” dog! But I guess her being color-blind is a small price to pay for all of the Beautiful Virginia she lets me smell!
I’m Maya Bee. Look for me on the Facebook.
all photography by Jennifer Mayhew