Coondog Day 2013

Once again, the town of Saluda, NC put on a great Coondog Day Festival! In fact, this year was the 50th year for the festival. Now, this is like many small town festivals…they shut down “the” street in town, people set up booths, everyone shows up for the parade and a good time is had by all. I went with Grannie, Daisy and Molly! Last year there were record high temperatures. I am happy to say it was around 80 degrees, and other than a few on and off rain showers, the weather was much nicer this year!

I went to help with the American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue booth-which is the rescue I am fostering Molly through. Sadly, there are many people who come to this festival with the view that a coonhound is only good for hunting. We are there to show that they can be happy members of the family.

The parade is quite an interesting experience. Basically-there is no registration. If you want to be in the parade just show up at call time and they will put you in line. A couple things to note-the folks with guns (the confederate reinactors, and they guy following the dog in the hospital bed) were actually firing blanks. Lets just say there were many freaked out dogs watching the parade. Heck, there were freaked out humans!

At one end of the festival is where all the breeders set up. They have a coonhound bench show, a treeing contest, and that night they go out for a coon hunt. This year, Daisy and I tried the treeing contest. Basically…they put a scented fake raccoon in a cage and run it up a pole under this tent. The dog is supposed to run up and tree the raccoon. I am proud to say….Daisy refused to bay. Why am I proud? Well, all these “hunting” dogs were going NUTS over this dead, taxidermied raccoon in a cage. Daisy? She walked in, took one sniff then looked at me like “Um, Mom, it’s already dead!! DUH!” Then proceeded to wag and be cute towards the crowd. She was not fooled! It was a fundraiser for one of their regular coonhound club members who has been diagnosed with cancer and doesn’t have health insurance. You had a five dollar entry fee and they “auctioned” off your dog-the one with the highest price won and got to split the pot of money.

Hope you enjoy some of the pictures. If you live in the area, we’d love to see you next year!

Back to the World of the Living

Oh my word!!! Do you have any idea how hard it is to be cut off from the internet for a week?! We just got back from the mountains. We had a blast but the place we stayed had NO cell phone reception and no internet. Grannie and I would drive somewhere for dinner, find some 4G, and spend an hour checking Facebook and email. Sad, eh?

I have lots of pictures to share but this one was just funny…I was trying to take pictures of Daisy but Molly kept photo-bombing.

Molly and Daisy

So then Molly just put herself in the picture….Daisy looks like “What on earth do you think you are doing??”


Should I Bring My Best Friend to Blogpaws?

Happy Memorial Day. Thank you for those who have served.

So, if you didn’t know, Daisy was in front of one of the pillars at the World War II Memorial. I had not been to Washington DC since it was built. If you have the chance, definitely have it on the list of things to see while you are in town. The fountain in the middle provides a very calming effect in an otherwise bustling area and it is a beautiful tribute to those who served our country. I think it’s the best set of photos for Memorial Day tomorrow.

World War II Memorial

Now onto learning about Blogpaws… One of the first things you might need to consider is-should your dog/pet come with you?

My very clear answer? Maybe.  Yeah, that is the best I can do if you want a short answer. Keep reading for the nitty-gritty.



There are some things to ask about your animals. You need to be very honest with yourself. This will ensure you have a great Blogpaws. We all love our pets and making sure they are the right fit for this environment is important.

Does your pet enjoy people, and being in large, noisy, crowds with other people and pets? Randomly petted and cooed over by strangers? Although I personally found many of the pet owners at Blogpaws to be more aware of potential issues than say, dog owners at a community festival, there are still times where you will have to be very close to other dogs, cats, and other assorted animals. At times, it can be very loud. People are meeting for the first time and bloggers are catching up with old friends. Basically, a party.

WW II Pillars and Fountain

Is your dog reactive, fearful, or nervous in any way? If the answer is yes to any of these, Blogpaws is not a good fit for them. The environment is just too crazy. It can be near impossible to find a space that is pet free and calm-even outside.

Do you want to possibly give up your favorite and most looked forward to session in favor of a potty break?  Yes, this happens. If you are the type to be upset about it-either bring a friend with you that can help take care of your pet or leave them at home.

WW II Memorial Fountain

Can your pet be left alone in a hotel room without destroying it or barking continually?  You might have decided your pet is perfect for Blogpaws, then get there and find out they are just exhausted or overwhelmed. Can you leave them in the room to relax on their own, or will you have to miss some of the great sessions to stay with them? Remember the hotel will be a strange place for them which might increase their anxiety (or excitement).

I thought I knew Daisy pretty well, but I learned a lot more about my sweet girl during this trip.

I went into this knowing Daisy is friendly but aloof. Being aloof with strangers is a normal trait for black and tan coonhounds. You are much more likely to get her to be friendly if you have food. Some folks interpreted her behavior as ‘shy’. It was really that she had no interest in you once she knew you didn’t have a treat. No big surprise here for me. I kind of like her aloofness. Personally, it is easier to deal with than a dog who must say hello to everyone.

WW II FountainDaisy has always been my go-everywhere, bomb-proof dog. I learned that even though she was sleeping in sessions the constantly being “on” around everyone was exhausting for her. She needed breaks even when I didn’t. Luckily, she is a dog that has no issue being left alone in a strange hotel room-this was not her first experience in a hotel. In fact by the end of Thursday sessions she was DONE! She didn’t want to walk anywhere, meet anyone, or see anything. She wanted dinner and bed. She was so tired she couldn’t curl up in her normal ball-she just laid flat-out on the bed.

In the later days I made sure to see that she got enough rest. How I did this was by getting up, taking her to breakfast and the early morning sessions. This allowed housekeeping to clean my room. Then for lunch and at least the first afternoon session she was up in the room napping. In the evening I went and brought her down. She’d go outside for some playtime and we’d enjoy the evening activities.

I also learned that a room full of screaming, cheering people with cowbells is terrifying to my poor Daisy. Well, the cowbells are. She was under our table panting. I felt horrible! As soon as the Nose to Nose Awards were over, I took her up to the room, fed her, and let her go to bed. I went back down to enjoy the party and dinner. Next time she goes we will go and have pictures taken on the red carpet-she loved this part. Showing off is in her blood! Then back up to the room she will go while I stay and party.

By the way, have you seen where next year’s Blogpaws Conference is? Vegas baby! It is SURE to be a party!

Blogpaws 2013

So, before I feel caught up on sleep and before my posts analyzing every session and event I feel like I just need to get the word out there about Blogpaws 2013.

Blogpaws was AWESOME! I learned so much about blogging, about rescue, about networking, even about my sweet Daisy. My “goals” going into Blogpaws this year really are telling that I am still a total newbie in the blogging world and that I have so much to learn. I’ve already made some back end changes on my blog and soon-you will see some changes yourself.

Blogpaws has helped me start to better understand what it is I really want out of all of this. Honestly, in my “real life” I don’t know any bloggers of any sort. I have internet connections-in fact many of you-but there is something to being able to sit down with someone to discuss issues you are having.

I was also able to meet so many of you while I was there! I enjoyed meeting all of you. Some of the bloggers I met were writers of blogs I was reading long before I ever had a blog myself. Many were writers of blogs I had not yet discovered.

Oh, and if you were wondering, yes, Daisy was the absolute star of the show. Taking her was the right decision. Having her was the best icebreaker a shy person could have when trying to meet people. Ears win ever time!

In addition to Blogpaws, Grandpa, Daisy, and I spent a few days touring Washington DC before the conference. I’ll be writing some about that too but here is a preview of the  trip…

Lincoln Memorial

If you didn’t get to attend or want to see what Blogpaws is all about I’d look on Instagram and Twitter under “#blogpaws”. Many of us were sending out pictures and messages from all the events and sessions.