Saturday, September 19, 2015

Colonial Williamsburg to meet Liberty, Williamsburg, VA

This morning we went to Colonial Williamsburg to meet Liberty, the new Briard puppy that will become one of the historical interpreters, George Washington's dog.
The VA Chefs Apprentices made home made pumpkin and apple dog biscuits in honor of the day and were passing them out at the Farmer's Market. PG did look back...
But then decided she wasn't interested in the biscuits! He didn't seem too offended. He still had a smile on his face.
After leaving us, the Chefs Apprentice was interviewed by one of the Colonial Williamsburg videographers.
There were some fun things at the Farmer's Market. We didn't buy any painted pumpkins--but we did get some hand made pasta and eggplant parmesan.
Now on to the dog walk and to meet Liberty! We were intercepted by another Colonial Williamsburg interpreter who had 4 greyhounds of her own!
This was the line to register for the walk and to get a Dog of DoG Street bandanna. We thought the line was too long to stand in just to get a bandanna--so we stood in the shade and waited for the walk to start.
Finally Liberty arrives in a horse-drawn carriage! It was so mobbed with people we couldn't get a good photo.
We did get a sun-dappled photo of our friend, George; and his new girl, Daisy.
We followed the carriage halfway down Duke of Gloucester Street but we turned around when we were hot and tired.
PG said, Let's get a drink and go home, Sammy!
And even though we didn't stand in that long line--one of the interpreters gave us two bandannas and a Liberty button!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Sunday, June 14, 2015

IVAS Basic Acupuncture Course, Richmond, VA

James River Greyhounds was invited to participate with demo dogs for the US Certification Course for the  IVAS, the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society which is being held this summer in Richmond at the Virginia Crossings Resort. Since Sammy has been sick with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, I volunteered him to be a case study. We were surrounded by the vets and gave Sammy's medical history. They asked many questions about his condition. They decided that he was Spleen Qi deficient and Yin deficient. So they started putting in the needles to treat these deficiencies. Since this was a learning session--this whole process took about 2 hours. He had the needles in for about 15 minutes total.
Sammy seemed more alert and energetic after the treatment. At the beginning of the treatment, he was laying on his side and very lethargic. His pulse rate also changed after the treatment.

They also gave me a moxa stick to take home. I'm supposed to burn the stick and pass it over these points where they stuck in the needles along his back and over his back knee caps.

They also suggested feeding him more cooling foods--duck, rabbit, white fish, yogurt, melon, carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin. No more bison or lamb. And the herbalist who was there prescribed some herb supplements for him. Liu Jun Zi Tang.

Now I have to find an veterinary acupuncturist close to my home to continue this treatment.

After we finished our acupuncture session, we moved to the lab room where the vets were doing palpitation labs to learn the acupuncture points.
Six dogs from James River Greyhounds participated in this session. The vets rotated through the stations; and sometimes the dogs would get fidgety and have to be traded out for another dog.
Here the Teaching Assistant is explaining on the skeleton how to find one of the points that was at the base of the neck, almost between the shoulder blades. Of course, she used much more technical terms than I am using here! I was so impressed with these vets. They had stacks of easily 100 index cards with acupuncture points on them--and they had to learn all those points to pass the certification exam.
And here is the end. Finding the last points at the back end and at the tip of the tail. All of the vets were so calm. I can see why this practice is so healing.

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Gosnold's Hope Park Hampton, VA

It's Memorial Day weekend and we're feeling kind of lazy... But we still wanted to go on a short walk to show off the new Memorial Day/Independence Day star collars.
Both Sammy and PG have been ill lately. Sammy has been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease; and PG has some stomach issues as well, so the walks now have to be short ones. They don't have the stamina to go very far. We went to Gosnold's Hope Park which is the second largest developed park in Hampton. It even has 16 RV/tent camp sites.
Although we were feeling lazy--other people weren't! There were some people pushing each other around in this huge bubble ball.
And the ORCS were there. I call them the Knights of the Round Table. They're supposed to wear medieval clothing and use foam padded medieval weapons. They all seem very nice to us strangers walking through their imaginary land!
When they hit each other, they yell out a color. I guess that is how they make their hits.
Although they try to be authentic--I don't think they had foldable chairs and coolers in medieval times!

Wish you were here!
Sammy & PG

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Paradise Creek Nature Park Portsmouth, VA

We've had such cold wintery weather that we haven't been on any nice walks for a while. Today was a still cold, but sunny, day--so we went to Paradise Creek Nature Park in Portsmouth. This is a relatively new park that just opened to the public in June 2013. To get there, we went on I 664 to I 264; and exited onto Victory Blvd. The park is about 3 miles from the exit on Victory Blvd. It is in an industrial area so I was a little surprised to find such a nice park.
There is a beautiful statue made from recycled metals in the parking lot when you arrive. Peruvian sculptor Peruko Ccopacatty made it from scrap metal at a nearby metal works in 1983. Now it has a new home at the park.
We got started right away on the trail. The trails are made of crushed stone, very flat and easy to walk. There are also signs to incorporate a fitness routine into your walk if you're interested in doing that. In the background you can see those big silos that belong to the Enviva Corp.
They are silos that hold wood pellets used in the coal industry.
The trails go around these wetlands. All around the background are industrial parks. Beautiful blue sky with not a single cloud!
There is a bridge over the wetlands.
You can see these boats on Paradise Creek--that leads out to the Elizabeth River. Wouldn't this make a nice painting?
Sammy wore his Batman collar to the park...
And then we came across this Bat house/cave. Coincidence? Or is Sammy really the Batman?

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Friday, January 2, 2015

Pocahontas State Park, Chesterfield, VA

On January 1st, 2015 we participated in the First Day Hike at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, VA. We did not realize how popular this hike was going to be! We waited in a long line of cars just to get into the parking lot!

Finally we got to the shelter where the hike was to begin and met up with the other Around Town Hounds greyhounds. There were so many people there--they had to split the hike into two groups. The Richmond Times Dispatch reported there were 350 people (and kids and dogs!)
I think we were on the Forest Exploration trail--but we just followed the people in front of us.
The trails were great. Wide enough to fit several across and very clean. There was one point where we had to cross a little stream--but we all made it.
At the end of the hike--the rangers served hot cider to everyone. What a great way to bring in the new year.
Happy New Year!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, SC

We went to visit family in South Carolina. While we were there, I took the dogs to a Winter Tree Identification Hike at Anne Springs Close Greenway. Opened in 1995, the eight children of Anne Springs Close dedicated 2100 acres as a tribute to their mother and her lifelong commitment to recreation and the environment.
There were about 30 people on the hike. Sammy and PG liked this little girl who had a blanket wrapped around her and flanked her. The hike was on trails that were sometimes used by horses.
We hiked about a mile into the park along the Blue Star trail. The hike leader had gone ahead of us and marked some trees that we were supposed to identify. Was this a red oak?
Yes! It was a red oak! The hike leader gave everyone on the hike these laminated field guides. It was a nice gesture--but everyone had trouble holding onto the laminated pages. I dropped mine several times and ended up losing the metal ring that held the pages together.
There were lots of other things to see in addition to the trees. Like these mushrooms. This made me think that it would be fun to go on a food foraging hike.
PG blended right into the leaves. If she didn't have the red leash and collar--we would have lost her!
We stopped at a picnic spot called Campbell's Corner. It had a picnic table right next to a small stream. None of us picnicked because it was cold--but it would be fun to go back in the spring or summer.
We finished up our hike by looping back around Lake Haigler. Pretty day in South Carolina!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Gardenfest of Lights Richmond, VA

On Thursday night we met up with the Around Town Hounds for their annual walk through the Gardenfest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens on Gardenfest for Fidos night. This year's theme was A Legacy in Lights: 120 years from Bicycle Club to Botanical Gardens.
This year’s display celebrates the 1984 opening of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and kicks off the celebration of the Lakeside Wheel Club founded by Lewis Ginter in 1895. Richmond artist John Meola crafted this pyramid-shaped sculpture out of recycled bikes and bike parts in the Rose Garden. The airplane on top is a pedal-powered bike too.
The day before the walk it was 55 degrees--but on this particular night it was 42! One of the walkers said--"Well at least it's not raining!" No sooner had she said that than a light freezing rain/sleet began to fall!
We had driven all the way to Richmond, the dogs and people all had winter coats on--so we carried on through the rain!
And we could always go into the Conservatory to get warm. Here the 20 foot tree is decorated with trucks, lions, tigers, trains, bicycles, bears, and even alligators.

There is another Gardenfest for Fidos on Thursday January 8th. Leashed pets allowed on these night only and there is a suggested donation of $2 per dog which goes to the Richmond SPCA.

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG