Monday, April 5, 2010

Puggles and Geocaching

It was a beautiful Spring Saturday this weekend, and my boyfriend and I decided to try out this Geocaching thing that seems to be all the rage!  A perfect day for a long walk in the sunshine, and a great opportunity to wear out a rambunctious puggle.

We had a rough start trying to calibrate our Google Hero phones to be the perfect GPS location devices.  After unsuccessfully trying to make Oates sit with his leash on in a park full of dogs across from where we live, we headed up to a local coffee house for less doggie interference, some iced coffees and geocaching tutorials.

Being the tech genius he is, David figured it all out and we were headed off on our adventure.  Our first stop, we were total rookies.  We looked around so much we got the attention of the homeowner (a big geocaching no-no), and then still couldn't find the cache after he directed us right where to look!  Soon a group of neighbor dogs decided to bark at Oates and he went a little berserk about it.  He doesn't really bark back, it's more of a loud whine and extreme pulling.  Trying to make an exit, we scuffled down the sidewalk and managed to rustle up the neighborhood even more when 3 more dogs peered over a tall retaining wall and began barking.  Goodbye cache... Maybe we'll come back for you without the dog in tow.

Things got more calm after that.  We ran into a few people on our journey but not many.  Oates did his best to heel (which he never does a good job of), but his geocaching skills seemed a little subpar for an animal that follows this nose everywhere!  Maybe if there were treats in some of those caches, he'd be more inclined to help us find them...

We had a successful day finding 5 caches around our neighborhood.  I guess not too bad for our first try.  Oates was happy to make it home, lap up some water and curl up on the couch for a well deserved nap!  Mission - successful!

Friday, April 2, 2010

For the Sake of Research

This is my neighbor, Anthony, age 12.  We had a fun evening with Oates a few days ago to help Anthony with a science experiment.  We talked about hypotheses... and helped him set up everything with timers and toys.

The test was about dogs, and the types of toys they choose.  He had a variety of toys in 3 categories to set up.  Some were play alone, some were interactive and some were especially textural.  The test was to give the dog 2 minutes to seek out the toy of its choosing from a basket, and log which toy got the most playtime the most amount of times.

After three 2 minute rounds for each of 3 sets of toys, Oates decided he liked a stuffed squirrel, a stick and bright yellow stuffed bunny most!  It was really fun watching him be overwhelmed by the selection, sniffing and biting to find just the right thing.

We did somewhat of a tie-breaker with the favorites, and I wasn't surprised to find out that Oates' absolute favorite was the stuffed squirrel.  He just kept going back to it.  There is something he loves about stuffed animals that squeak!

How adorable... both human and doggie!  Anthony has a toy poodle named Belle.  Her favorite was the red ball.  Typical.  :)