Friday, December 20, 2013

Snow day in Seattle!

A Snow Day Adventure for  the Border Collies in the Burbs

This morning we woke up to a couple of inches of snow and could hardly wait to go out on our morning walk.  After walking a few blocks we got to the area where we get to run off-leash.

Hank started the fun with a play bow.

And the chase games in the snow began!

Back after a few circles around the field.

Time to take a short break to give Hank a minute to roll in the snow.

While Tim catches his breath.

And then it's time to run some more.

Time to head back home.

On the way home, Hank finds a fresh mole hill.  Dang - almost had him and then Mom pulled me away!

Border Collie Dog Nose Christmas Ornament
Border Collie Dog Nose Christmas Ornament by VickiSims
Browse Dog face Ornaments online at

Friday, December 6, 2013

Dog Safety at Night - Clip on Dog Collar Lights

With the long, dark nights of winter upon us, we still need our exercise so we go on walks and off-leash adventures in dark.  This presented a problem because silly Vicki didn't like not being able to see us when we run around our local unofficial off-leash area.  We don't know why she should be concerned when we occasionally take off into the darkness chasing a deer, coyote, cat or raccoon.  After all we always come back - eventually.  So she found these dog collar lights so she could see where we are.

So now on our adventures in the dark, we are sporting Nite Ize Spotlit clip-on lights on our collars.  We each have one in a different color so she can tell which one of us is where by the color of the light on our collar.  We look rather festive for the holidays in our red and green lights!  When we are walking on-leash around the dark, curvy roads in our neighborhood, it makes us more visible to vehicles, too.  They are available in several colors and here is what they look like close-up:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tambark Creek Dog Park - near Mill Creek, WA

Tambark Creek Dog Park - Snohomish County, WA
Tambark Creek Park opened in June 2013 and features an approximately 2 acre off-leash dog area.  With a busy summer going other places, we didn't get around to visiting for the first time until a foggy autumn morning in October 2013.   The Bothell, WA address to the park is a bit misleading, because it is actually closer to Mill Creek, WA.  Here is a map:

View Larger Map

We parked in a parking lot on the west side of the park and it was only a short walk including down a path which includes a bridge across Tambark Creek.

The dog park is fully enclosed with a sturdy fence about 4 feet tall, with a double gated entry and a supply of clean-up bags provided.

Although the off-leash area isn't large, it is nicely treed to keep it shady on a hot summer day and all of the trees and shrubs gave Hank and Tim lots of great places to sniff.

Tim enjoying the scents at Tambark Creek Dog Park

Native shrubs and trees at Tambark Creek Park

Hank found some other friendly dogs to entice into chase games - photos were a blur, but here he is in a rare moment standing still taking a breather.

Tambark Creek Dog Park is a nice addition to the growing list of off-leash dog areas available in Snohomish County.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Hike to Mt Zion near Quilcene Washington

 Mt Zion Trail - Olympic National Forest
Tim and Hank hit the Mt Zion Trail

Last week end we took a great hike to the top of Mt Zion in the Olympic National Forest.  It was a glorious sunny day in the Pacific Northwest and the Washington state flower, the Coast Rhododendron, was in bloom all along the lovely forested trail.

Driving Directions to the Mt Zion Trail Head (Courtesy of the WTA Website)

"From Quilcene drive US 101 north for 1.5 miles, turning left (west) onto Lords Lake Loop Road. In 3.5 miles turn left at a junction at Lords Lake (a public water supply). Continue for 0.7 mile, entering the Olympic National Forest. Bear right on gravel Forest Road 28 and climb 4.75 miles to an unmarked junction at Bon Jon Pass (pass the junction with FR 27). Bear right on FR 2810 and in 2.3 miles come to the Mount Zion trailhead."

This is considered one of the best rhododendron hikes in Washington- not that we canines care about that!  There are great smells to be enjoyed!  Since we got an early start, other than our Meet-up group of hikers with dogs, we pretty much had the trail to ourselves on the way up, so we enjoyed some off-leash time.

This is a great hike for a summer day since it is in the shade of large evergreen trees until the summit is reached.  In June there were still a few trickles of water for dogs to slurp, but later in the summer this will be a dry hike, so be sure to bring water for both humans and canines.

According to Washington Trails Association, the  elevation gain is a modest 1300 feet in 2.3 miles to the top with the total round trip distance 4.6 miles.

  The first vista from the top is at the site of where there was once a fire tower.

The trail continues along the ridge with several other views along the way, saving the best one for last before heading back down the trail.

View from the Summit of Mt Zion - Olympic National Forest - Washington

Mt Zion is another fabulous dog-friendly hike in the Pacific Northwest

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fireworks and Thundershirts

While many people eagerly look forward to the 4th of July Holiday, there are many pet owners who dread the seemingly endless explosions of fireworks we hear in our neighborhoods.  Many dogs including our border collie Tim, are terrified of the noise and it makes life pretty miserable.  He cowers and runs to hide in the bathroom in the basement and freaks out when we go on a walk.  Fortunately Tim runs toward us and not away, but many frightened dogs run away and are lost around the 4th of July every year.

If you have a dog who is fearful of fireworks and other loud noises, a product that I have heard good reviews about is Thundershirt and I think we'll get one and give it a try.  Please feel free to comment if you have experience with using a Thundershirt for your dog.

Thundershirt Medium Thundershirt Medium
An excellent treatment for most types of dog anxiety and fear issues. Creates a gentle, constant pressure that has a dramatic calming effect.

If your dog is afraid of the sounds of explosions on the fourth of July, it is best to keep your dog inside and if you will be leaving him or her alone, make sure they are in a secure place - even crated if necessary. And as added protection, make sure your dog has a collar with ID in case somehow he or she ends up on the loose.

Our Foster Sister Sasha Has Found a Great Home

Sasha - a border collie/terrier mix

We said goodbye to our foster sister Sasha on May 3rd.  She found a wonderful home with Anne,  who works from home and is happy to have a dog as a companion.  Sasha gets to go on daily walks, visits to the dog park and is signed up for more training.  She is even making friends with the cats!  We will miss Sasha and wish her well and hope that she and Anne will have many years of fun adventures together.  To see more border collies and border collie mixes that need homes, please visit the Pacific Northwest Border Collie website.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pack - A Website for Dogs!

Pack is a new website has been built just for dogs and their people by Megan Casey and her team.  People can quickly download a photo and create a free beautiful page about each of their dogs in just a few minutes.  To see examples, here is Tim's Page on Pack and here is Hank's Page on Pack.

The site had an initial beta launch on February 14, 2013 with approximately 800 pages of dogs added on that one day.  Since then, the only way to join pack is by invitation from an existing member.  As one of the founding members, we have invitations!  If you would like an invitation to join Pack, click here to email us to send us your email address and we'll send you an invite!  (The only way we can send an invitation is by email - we promise not to spam youor send you any other emails!)

We Have a New Foster Sister

Sasha - a border collie/terrier mix

We've been pretty busy for the past few weeks because we have a new foster sister. Her name is Sasha and she is 1-2 year old border collie - terrier mix. We weren't sure we liked her that much at first because she was such a pest. She was so excited and wouldn't quit when we wanted to stop playing, but she's gotten better and now she and Hank enjoy playing chase games every day.  We especially enjoy splashing through puddles. But mom says she can't handle having three dogs living in the burbs, so we need to find her a good home.

Hank and Sasha playing chase games and splashing through a puddle

She is listed on the Pacific Northwest Border Collie Rescue Website We know there must be someone out there who will appreciate how much fun she is and give her a great home!

A Close-up of Sasha's face - some fuzzy whiskers from her terrier side, but a border collie stare with those eyes!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Whidbey Island Adventure

Patmore Pit Dog Park - Whidbey Island Washington
We had a great time this weekend at Patmore Pit Dog Park on Whidbey Island.  Forty acres of fenced area to run!  Partially forested trails, partially large open grassy areas with a separate fenced area with agility equipment and another for small dogs.  The weather wasn't great, but at least it wasn't raining.