zozo’s log: Lost River, WV

August 2017

summer in washington, dc can give you the blues.  i told mom and dad we should get away for the weekend: enjoy some fresh air, disconnect, commune with woodland creatures.  and so here we are, on a trip to lost river, wv.  i was promised adventures and all the sniffs.

friday, august 4

mom and dad furiously finish packing.  i packed the night before [okay, mom packed for me because 1) i do not have thumbs and 2) i am not allowed to counter surf].  we all exercised this morning and ate a good breakfast so that we’re not “wiggly monsters” in the car.

11:15am.  finally in the car.  i am a road warrior; they are a mess.  see?

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why we can’t take a normal family picture, i will never understand.

we like to travel together and listen to podcasts and sing along to showtunes while we drive.  dad steals my harmonies.  jerk.

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12pm: we detour to the woodstock brewhouse for lunch.  they have barbecue and a patio that i’m allowed to sit in.  dad had some pulled pork and sausage sliders.  mom and i shared some brisket.

one of the tricks to our travels is packing some extra towels.  sometimes, places allow pets but the area does not have any shade. mom and dad have gotten very clever at IMG_4192rigging tents for me, but i usually prefer to be out and about, looking at the people and letting them look at me.  i also like to flirt with waitresses.  i am a lady’s pup, after all.

1:15pm: we get lost so it takes us a little longer to arrive than expected.  someone needs to refresh her map-reading skills.  we rented the hideaway through airBnB.  it’s awesome, and very welcoming to pets.  they left treats for me, and there’s a dog bed and an extra leash and a ball chucker toy.  i spend two hours sniffing everything.

3pm: mom and dad leave to see what’s happening at the lost river general store.  i settle in for a nap.  i wish they had brought me because they said the people were very nice and there was ice cream.  i love ice cream and i only get to have it on the most special occasions.  vacation is a special occasion.

4pm: they return and we rest on the screened-in porch.  mom and i take a nap.

6:15pm: mom and dad leave to go to dinner at the guesthouse, which is just around the corner.  while they’re gone, a big, scary thunderstorm comes through.  i cannot believe they have left me in a strange place by myself during the apocalypse.  this is not the adventure i signed up for.

8pm: between rain drops, mom and dad come home.  they feel bad for leaving me during the storm.  we snuggle and i get to eat some apple because i was a good, brave boy while they were gone.

9:35pm: last pit-stop of the night.  i investigate for bears.  none sighted… yet.

saturday, august 5

8:04am: time to get up and start our big adventure day.  the big, scary storm took away mostIMG_4197 of the heat, and there’s a breeze on.  mom borrows a long-sleeved shirt from dad because it is chilly.  it is going to be the perfect day for a hike.  but first, breakfast.  i choose to dine al fresco this morning.

9am: after being a little lazy, mom and dad go out to get their breakfast at the lost river grill, and then they go to the farmer’s market without me.  this wasn’t the plan.  i was supposed to go, too, because it is dog friendly.  so much stuff here is dog friendly.  i love it.

10:21am:  we figure out which trailhead we will pick up, pack our backpacks, and head out for our big hike.  mom did not bring my backpack, so she has to carry my stuff.  lost river state park is over three thousand acres of wilderness and animals and campers.  we take the white oak trail up to cranny crow overlook.

11am: it is a four mile hike, out and back.  i lead the way and set the pace (doesn’t it look like dad is running to keep up?).  dad walks me up.  mom walks me back.  we encounter horses on the trail, which i think are either the biggest dogs i have either seen, or dinosaurs.  we also meet other hikers who tell me what a nice boy i am (duh).  while we walk, we sing songs and talk about serious things like what else is brown and sticky, other than a stick (answers: horse poop, mud, old bananas, the apple we left on the counter overnight, avocados that have been in the fridge too long.  you get the idea)?  at the summit, we stop for water and protein.  dad has a nut bar; i have cheesy treats.  it is a great hike.

1pm-ish: we are back at the car and i get a good brushing and pat-down to make sure i have not picked up any critters on the walk.  all clear!  the plan was to go to a pond next so that i could do some swimming, but i am too tired.  maybe swimming tomorrow?

1:21pm: back at the hideaway.  we have showers and snacks and a lazy afternoon.

4:42pm: mom and dad start preparing for dinner with the ingredients they bought from the farmers market.  i help dad man the grill.IMG_4219

5:30pm: we eat our dinners outside and i get to have a bite of steak because i was such a good boy today.

for the rest of the evening, we read books (mom) and comics (dad).  as for me, i am turning in early.  only one more day of vacation.  boo.

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sunday, august 6th

8:04am: i am a routine-machine.  the sun is awake and so is my tummy.  time for breakfast and morning hunting for bears.  it is still very chilly outside and today it is also grey, so i think we will not be able to do swimming.

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9am: mom and dad leave for breakfast, and i begin my end-of-vacation sulk.

10:09am: mom and dad come home.  they begin to pack up bags and wash dishes.  we finish digesting breakfasts by reading on the screened-in porch.  no one is eager to get on the road, least of all me.

10:57am: dad is loading up the car and mom is doing last checks.  i am buckled in to my flight suit and acting grumpy.  we lock the cabin and return the key to its hiding spot.  we will be visiting dad’s parents on our way home, which will break up the ride and delay the real return to reality.

best. weekend. ever.  until the next one.

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things i “barked at”* this weekend, by zozo

*they say “barked at”; i say “defended them from.”  we apparently have to agree to disagree.  (i’m right).

SATURDAY:

-momma leaving for class
-the mailman
-dad leaving for work
-momma unlocking the door
-the mailman
-mums’ arrival
-momma and mums leaving for the store
-momma and mums returning from the store
-the neighbors
-the neighbor boy’s friends
-nothing
-the gate swinging in the wind
-dad coming home from work

 

SUNDAY:

-birds in the yard
-momma going out for coffee
-momma coming home with coffee
-mo’s car
-mo
-mo’s shoes
-momma and daddy leaving
-nothing
-nothing again
-dad walking up the stairs
-dinner
-dad leaving for a meeting
-bubbles in the tub
-the neighbor dog out for a walk
-dad coming home from his meeting

 

I SAVED THEM!

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Resolve! by Zozo

get out moJanuary 1, 2017

I was asleep before midnight, which is okay because that meant my last pit stop happened before the fireworks started.  No #ZOverreacting!  A-plus for me!!

Here is what I will work on this year:

  1.  Keeping my cool and trying to bark less.  This may take some effort.  And treats.  Lots and lots of treats.
  2. Working on my fitness: more reps with tennis balls, eating more vegetables and less pizza.
  3. Learn something new.  I am getting old(er), but I can still get better.  Maybe a new trick or skill or something.
  4. work on some new jokes.  The old ones are losing their shine.
  5. Get out more.

 

What are you going to do in 2017?

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Me with some lovely ladies and dad at Pints 4 Paws.  Being a dork.

Daily Prompt, April 7: Tricky

“Hiding” and “quiet” are not two things we do well.

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Idea courtesy of The Daily Prompt.

Asheville, NC- The Biltmore

November 2015

We were drawn to Asheville for a number of reasons: artsy community, excellent food, walkable, and dog-friendly.

Since we went the week leading up to Thanksgiving, James still had to check in with work.  To keep our dogs out of his hair while on a conference call, we leashed up and headed out to the Biltmore Estate.

Holy cow is that place incredible.  Under construction from 1889-1895, George Vanderbilt’s 3,000 acre estate boats of “four acres of floor space, including 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.”  So, your typical country cottage.

While dogs aren’t allowed inside the main house, they are permitted to roam the gardens, hike the trails, and get a coffee.

[Side note: If you want to walk the estate and then tour the mansion, the Biltmore does have first-come/first-serve kennels where dogs can curl up with fresh water and protection from the elements.  We didn’t opt for that feature during our tour– first came the adventure with the dogs, then I dropped the furries back and snagged James for our human’s-only tour in the house.]

Two dogs, one Kari and a pocketful of treats left our little mountain respite for this expansive tourist draw in Asheville.  We had a dusting of snow that morning, so MJ was wearing one of her (my) favorite hoodies to keep her warm.  We got more comments about the dog-in-outfit during our walk!

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To get to the estate, you park your car about 1/3 of a mile down a slope. Humans can get on a shuttle that delivers you to the front door. For those with pups, your walk starts right away, on pine needle trails through the woods.

A view of the train depot approach to the estate. That's the front lawn. (This really adorable older couple insisted on taking our picture. He knew how to use an iPhone, and proceeded to take 47 pictures that look exactly like this one. No lie.)

A view of the train depot approach to the estate. That’s the front lawn. (This really adorable older couple insisted on taking our picture. He knew how to use an iPhone, and proceeded to take 47 pictures that look exactly like this one. No lie.)

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What we loved most about the estate is variety of paving/ground the dogs got to walk on. Brick, grass, pebbles, concrete, sodden earth… they took them all like champs. Although we liked the pebbles the least (the princess disliked sitting on them).

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We followed this trail into a bamboo forest. I stopped to pick up a pup-deposit, got twisted in the leads and turned around. Then, basically, we got lost in a bamboo forest for 20 minutes. It’s cool, though. We broke several rules and walked off the path to find our way out.

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This should have been our Christmas card. I couldn’t get organized fast enough.

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Good flare.

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one of each

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This is MJ’s “I”m over it” face. Doodle is obviously having the time of his life.

We got to the estate as they opened for the day, so the trails were rather un-peopled and we could take our time with sniffs and changing directions.  If I read the map correctly, we wandered over 5 miles of the estate, which wore everyone out and drained the pocket of treats.

Hairs Did

December 2014

Right before the holidays, it was time to get my roots done.  I’m not shy about my greys.  They happen.  I color them.  We have an understanding.

And the woman who does my hair, Katie, is a rockstar.  We’ve been through a lot of styles and colors together, and I really look forward to my time in her chair.

She’s also been a big fan of our dogs, whom she’s never actually met in-person.  She asks after their well-being, mourned MJ’s stump with me, and cheered for Zozo’s paw-horn.  She’s good people.

Sunday before Christmas, I had an appointment scheduled for first thing in the morning.  Having seen small-ish dogs in the salon before, I texted Katie to see what her thoughts were on my bringing MJ along.  (Zozo has a fear of my hair dryer, and I didn’t want to set him up for catastrophe.)  The last thing I want is for a social, wiggly girl to be underfoot or in the way of clients and stylists on a busy weekend.  But Katie was game.

MJ and I got dressed and coffee’d.  I packed a bag with a small toy, some treats and her crate towel, and we headed over to the salon.

That’s right folks: we girls got our hairs did.

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sitting pretty, before we sit pretty

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we got in some down-stay training while waiting for the salon to open.

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scoping it out– this is what it looks like before a bustling salon bustles… it’s a little eerie. and perfect for pittie investigations

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gowned.

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MJ made fast friends with Katie and her assistant, and followed them around the salon “helping”.

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mama is processing…nbd

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Best. Day. Ever.

Best. Day. Ever.

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MJ is in charge now.

Katie took her on tour for a bit while I was being shampooed.   

Guys, it could have gone either way.  But it was awesome.  MJ was stellar and wiggled her tush off.  She got lots of love from stylists and clients alike.  By the time we left, the place was hopping– scissors snipping, dryers humming and water gushing, and it didn’t faze the little girl one bit.

Special thanks to Katie and the staff at PR at Partners in Shirlington for being wonderful.  Maybe we’ll do it again.

Wordless Wednesday: Say CHEESE

photo credit: Animal Welfare League of Arlington

photo credit: Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 2011