Hi! My name is Yoda and welcome to my blog!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tragic Toy Loss

Dad went to the beach with a friend Sunday. I guess that red stuff on his back he got the other day was not enough to convince him it was a bad idea. Mom was very thoughtful not saying too many times "I told you to make sure you put sunscreen on" and she put rubbing alcohol and moisturizer on the red stuff. This time he wore a shirt.

I wanted to play so I pestered mom until she agreed to take me outside. I love mom but she is just not as good throwing sticks as dad. In fact, she had the idea that she could read her book and I would play by myself. Hah! Since I have destroyed most of the stick population in the back yard, we brought my Chewber outside. Mom tossed the Chewber but I ignored it and played with the sticks until they were just tiny pieces. Mom does not throw very well so she was lucky if she even got one in the water. Eventually I started playing with the Chewber. Trust me, mom cannot throw like the man in this video although she got the Chewber in the water better than the small sticks.

I love the Chewber since it is way easier to pick up than a frisbee, way more durable (I have had this a year and not a single hole and it tugs good) and it doubles as a water bowl. But after a number of tosses back and forth the Chewber got a little muddy and the last time it sunk. Mom is sure if she had thrown it better it would not have sunk. I looked for it in the water for a long time - 20 minutes according to mom. I even tried tapping my paw in the water to make it float up. Mom was amazed I tried to find it for so long since normally I give up when I can't find sticks. The water in our pond is pretty cloudy so trying to see it was pretty impossible.

Mom promised she would buy me a new one.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yappy Hour - Let's Pawty!

Wednesday, June 30th is Social Media Day. Mashable declared it so it must be true. To celebrate the wonderful anipal community's focus in social media, the humans working on BarkWorld Expo have decided to throw a Yappy Hour from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT. Of course the first social media event for pets would want to celebrate Social Media Day! BarkWorld Expo is August 20-22 in Atlanta.If your pet is not on Twitter, let them borrow your account for the evening and find our how much fun a virtual anipal pawty can be. There will be DJs (I am DJing 8-9 p.m. EDT), barktenders and prizes. One free pass to BarkWorld Expo will be given out every hour and there will be gift cards for restaurants at the exciting BarkWorld Expo venue - Atlantic Station. If you're not on Twitter, create an account for the event. I guarantee you will have lots of pals at the end of the #YappyHour.

If you have never participated in a Twitter pawty before, this is what you do. If you use Tweetdeck or Seesmic or some other Twitter client, make a column for the hash tag #YappyHour. I also like to do a column for the DJ of the hour and the host, @BarkWorldExpo in this instance. And if you have lots of columns, move your replies column close to them so you can see them all at once. Be sure and include #YappyHour in all your tweets. That's how we all stay in touch during the pawty.

If you are new to Twitter and just use the Twitter client, try TweetGrid. Select Party Mode and this will let you do a three column grid. Type in YappyHour for the pawty hash tag. The great thing is that Tweetgrid will remember to add that hash tag automatically to all your posts. One of the columns will be for you and you can use the third for the pawty host.

One final thing. If you have a private/locked account, you will have to unlock it to enjoy the most of the pawty or only folks that follow you will see you at the #YappyHour.

Other good hash tags for this event #BarkWorld and #SMDay.

Oh, and costumes are always optional but fun. Here is mine. I think it is appropriate for Social Media Day!

My Family

One of my good pals on Twitter asked to see some of my family pictures. Since I have a lot of new readers thanks to the Saturday Blog Hop, I thought it was a good time to do a post on the family and how we all got together.

Here I am when they first adopted me. Mom and dad found me because my dog mother lived next door to mom's boss and a neighbor dog visited my dog mom and there were surprise seven puppies. Mom's boss plied mom and dad with adult beverages and next things they knew they have promised to adopt me. Most of the litter were girl dogs and most were all black. Dog mom was a German Shepherd and everyone thinks my no account dog dad was a Black Lab. They asked for a male dog that had more of the Shepherd markings and that was me.

When I first came home, they made a pen for me in their apartment since they had not puppy proofed the house. Good thing since when I was little I had a taste for electrical cords. It was bigger than a kennel. Dad was so happy I learned how to be "house trained" really fast. It helped that dad stays home during the day so doing a regular schedule was easy.

Here I am posing with dad on the bed. You can see my "Bad to the Bone" harness I wore until I outgrew it. I also outgrew the pen. They took it down when I wiggled my way over it. The darn thing still challenges me because mom and dad use one of the pieces to block off the bathroom where the cat litter box is. If I were a bad boy, I could defeat that gate but I am a good boy.

This picture is one of my favorite puppy pictures and helps explain how I got my name. I did some really cute things with my ears when I was a pup. I was about three months old here. Actually dad really wanted to name me Chewbacca. Mom said calling a puppy Chewie was just asking for problems. I do make some funny noises that sound a lot like Chewbacca.

Here I am all grown up in my wonderful back yard with my very own pond. Okay, so I have to share it with the rest of the neighbors but I make sure I bark at people that boat by so they know where my territory is.

And here I am doing my favorite thing - swimming and stick chasing.

Here is a picture of my mom. She does all my typing. Dad helps with some of my DJing and helps take pictures, but mom is the social media/computer queen of the house. Mom's other name is Nancy and she has a real neat job with Virginia State Parks so dad and I get to go visit them with her sometimes.

Here is a pretty good picture of my dad. His other name is David. He plays the guitar and loves video games. Mom calls him a "house husband." This means he stays home all day with us animals which is great. He also helps look after mom's mom who lives down stairs.

Here I am giving dad a giant Yoda Smooch.

As you have all heard, there are four kitties in my family too. The matriarch of the family is Majel. Mom and dad adopted her and her sister from the Peninsula SPCA shelter right after they got married in 1992. She will be 18 years old in September. Sadly her sister Isis died of kidney complications in 2003. I picked this picture so you can see that she has a calico colored tail. As I explained in an earlier post, Majel is named after Majel Barrett Roddenberry, wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Isis was named after the Egyptian goddess.

Here is Majel with one of my other kitty sibs Cleo.

Speaking of Cleo, here she is. Cleo is short for Cleopatra. Mom and Dad adopted her and her real brother Caesar from a Pet Smart shelter adoption in 2003. If you recognize the year, you're right. Mom and dad wanted to get a new kitty to love in memory of Isis. They went to three Pet Smarts and at the third one found two little kitties that were brother and sister. The card said their mom had been hit by a car. Mom and dad only wanted one new kitty but the two kittens were all by themselves at the Pet Smart and they could not leave one of them alone. So they kept the family together. Cleo is the only cat that sort of plays with me. She has the cutest face.

I had to give you an idea of how big Caesar is. I think you could put the other three kitties together and be the right size. And yes, that means mom called the two kitties Caesar and Cleopatra. By the way, dad does most of the animal naming.

Mom always wants to order the kitties a cat tree but dad stacks furniture and other stuff for them to have high places. This bench is three feet off the floor and a popular perch for all the cats. Here are the two Caesar and Cleo.

And here they are cuddled together in dad's recliner.

And the last member of the kitty family is Sabrina who was adopted a couple of months after mom and dad adopted Caesar and Cleo. They were living outside Richmond back then and dad worked at a Dog Day Care place called All Dog PlaySkool. He stayed overnight with the boarded dogs. Anyway one of the women at work found a feral kitty and got all her shots and spayed her but couldn't keep her. Dad left five messages for mom at work but she was in meetings. The last message was, "Oh well, your fault I couldn't talk to you, we have a new cat." Sabrina is the smallest cat but there is still feral in her even though she was still a young cat when we adopted her so sometimes she acts a little.

Sabrina's favorite spot was always on top of the TV and the DVR and DVD like this picture shows. Sadly mom and dad ruined that by buying a flat panel TV.

This next picture is mom's mom Anne. I guess she is my grandma. She is 85 years old. She loves downstairs.

There are two dogs that live downstairs with Grandma. One is my brother Goliath (the yellow dog). He is about 13. Goliath has really bad arthritis which is why he doesn't live upstairs with us. The black dog is grandma's dog Roscoe. Roscoe was actually grandma's husband's dog. Grandpa does in October 2003. It was the following January that mom and dad moved back to Yorktown to help take care of grandma.

Well that's pretty much my family. Actually the house we live in is very large and there is another upstairs apartment on the other side of the house. Mom's niece Sarah is staying there now with her small pit bull Honey. I don't get to play with her much but since she is young like me we have lots of fun when we do. I'm a little too frisky for the other two old dogs. We don't have any pictures of Sarah and Honey to share but we will get some some.

That's just about it - my family and how we all got together.

And now, to make this post even longer - BOL - here is the blog hop!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Contest to find the best photo caption

One of my pals was collecting pictures of friends doing a fist bump a while back and mom tried to get me to do it. The problem is I do "High Paw" so well, that I just didn't get the whole fist bump concept.

She caught this picture of me and really likes it even if it's a little blurry on account it was taken with her Blackberry in a little too dark setting. But the black background is kind of one of the things she likes about it.

Any way, she thinks my other blogging pals can help come up with a caption or description for this picture. She's gonna make it a contest and will pick a pressie appropriate for the winner.

The rules are simple: post a comment to this blog by June 30th. Mom will help pick the best responses and then we will have all of the readers of my blog vote on the best one out of that group which will then be deemed the winner.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fashion Saturday and Blog Hop

Just taking a quick break from this month's #pawpawty to join the blog hop. I hope I will see you all at the pawty. This month we have a fashion scene. I wonder how many times someone will play "I'm Too Sexy for My Shirt?"

Dad took me for some stick chasing and swimming before the pawty started so I am sipping on a White Russian and settling in for a great time!

This is one of my modeling pics that got me on the cover of GQ

And now, let's go to the hop!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Sisfur Majel

Dad managed to get this wonderful picture of me and my sisfur Majel yesterday and I just had to share it with everyone. It was a rare event because Majel does not like me.

In fact, for the first year I lived here she wouldn't come out from under the bed. Well, we think she really did when everyone was sleeping, but mom was getting really worried. You see Majel is seventeen years old and mom was sad that she was so terrified she felt she had to hide. Eventually mom and dad decided to take the mattress off the bed frame so Majel couldn't stay under the bed and she has been lots better since then but she still won't have much to do with mom. That makes me sad too because mom is really attached to Majel.

Majel and her real sisfur Isis were adopted from the SPCA a couple of months after mom and dad got married. They were both white kitties (the V.E.T. said he thought they had Siamese in them). Majel has the twin spots on her head and Isis had a small brown spot over an eye brow. But what is really cool is their tails are calico. You can see her tail in the picture some. Isis went to the rainbow bridge in 2003 because of kidney failure. They still miss her.

Boris will appreciate this - Majel is named after Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the wife of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek. She also played Nurse Chapel on the original show, was the computer voice, and played Deanna Troi's crazy but lovable mother and Betazoid Ambassador Lwaxana Troi in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine franchises. Mom and dad will admit that we pronounce Majel the kitty's name different than her namesake pronounced hers.

Isis (left) and Majel (right) as young kitties

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mom I Wanna Go To Bark World Expo!

Well, maybe, maybe not .... Read this post!

Mom has been chattering away about BarkWorld Expo for amany months now. The event is August 20-22 in some place called Atlanta which mom says is a cool place. It is also far away from Furginia and she is going to drive. That means I could go with her because the hotel is pet friendly. But I think she wants to leave me at home with dad.

Her reasons are, in my opinion, weak. Okay, maybe the first one makes a little sense. I am not the best car rider in the world. It's 10 hours which is about 4 hours longer than my longest trip. Mom says she cannot take 8 hours of my high pitch whining.

Her other reason is that I have not been around a lot of people and dogs. But who wouldn't want to meet me? When I meet new people I greet them by putting my paws on their shoulder and giving them a big Yoda Smooch. Surely that would make everyone love me. Right?

Well, what do you, my pals think? Be honest with me - don't pull any punches.

Why is mom so excited? Well she has been on something called the Advisory Committee with the staff of some of my bestest pals on Twitter and Facebook: Frugal Dougal, Mattie Dog, Brutus the Dane, the Trailer Park Dogs, Hank the Doggy, Cosmo Havanese, and Da Shibbering Cheetos. The whole effort is being led by my pal Frankie Beans' (aka Frankie El Perro) mom Denise. This is a to die for event and mom wants to meet all these staff people. I know that most of my pals won't be going either, but still .....

The Expo is going to be all about social media and the wonderful on line animal community. There is something for people who have never thought about letting their pets tweet or have a blog or Facebook page, and something for those of us that have been at it for a while, and something for people who have businesses that sell stuff to our community. There is also going to be lots of non-profit people who want to learn how to do better raising money for their anipal causes. You have GOT to check out the main speakers (humans call them keynote speakers) and the schedule.

When you look at the names of the humans doing the sessions, you will see an awful lot of my pals staff. This is going to be THE EVENT of the anipal social season. So those of us left behind have to have our own pawty so our humans can go and have a great time in Atlanta!

See - I can be good in the car!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back from a Park Visit in Time for Blog Hop!

Hard to believe it's another weekend and blog hop! Where do the weeks go?

This is Bear Creek Lake that the park is named after

Well, I do know where mine went this time. On Wednesday mom, dad and I packed up a rental car and headed 3 hours west to Bear Creek Lake State Park. Most of my pals probably know by now that mom works for Virginia State Parks. Mom had to go there to work but dad and I got to hang out and have a good time. We felt a little sorry for mom, but not too much.

This is the Bear Creek Hall where mom had to spend the whole trip working.
It is great for meetings and special events.

The new cabins they have built in the last five years at mom's parks are really great for me because they have a porch that goes around on two whole sides. Mom can lay down a rocking chair to block the stairs on both ends and I can play on the porch while they sit out on the deck and enjoy their pursuits. Mom likes to read a book and dad played his guitar. It was really hot while we were there but dad and I still went hiking around the park. We had a good time. Even though mom was working, she seems more relaxed.

This is a 2 bedroom cabin like the one we stayed in and you can see how the porch is.

Here I am admiring the view as dad enjoys an adult beverage on the porch.

Mom was there helping train mostly college aged young people who will be supervising kids 14-17 who will be living and working in her state parks for three weeks this summer. The program is called the Youth Conservation Corps. The first session of this program begins next week, and with a week in between, mom will be pretty busy traveling around visiting those programs the next seven weeks. I think she gets done with that just in time for Bark World Expo!

Get the link for the hop list by clicking the picture above

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Trees Are Good

Odwalla is giving $200,000 to plant trees in state parks around the country and since my mom works for Virginia State Parks, she asked that I help her get some votes. Virginia is behind three other states now but we can catch up to California. I know you probably live in other states and if you want to vote for those states it's okay, but we would love for you to vote for Virginia. You can vote once for every email address you have (you may have to clear your history/cookies out to do that though). Vote by clicking here.

Odwalla Vote Now

Thanks for helping vote to get more trees planted! And, now for the Blog Hop!