Flying Dock Dogs

Have you ever seen a flying dock dog? Take a look at the picture and you will. These are dogs of all types, all sizes, and all ages that are trained (and I use that term lightly) to run down a dock and then sail into the air. They land in the water anywhere from five feet to about twenty-one feet away in a huge splash.

South Eastern Wildlife Dock Dog

Now for some explanation. The South Eastern Wildlife Exposition is in town here in Charleston this weekend, and I played hooky on Friday to attend. We also took the kids down today, and I may go back down for a while tomorrow. The Expo is an annual event that has been going on 26 years. It is a huge get together of artists, hunters, conservation groups, fisherman, vendors, and just about every one else involved with wildlife. While there is a large emphasis on hunting and fishing, there is also a huge push in conservation and education. This year Jack Hannah did two different free presentations. In past years there have been other guest presenters such as Jeff Corwin and Mutual of Omaha’s Jim Fowler.

The part that my family and I enjoy the most is the dogs. Not only are there dogs doing various things such as retriever exhibitions and the above mentioned “dock dogs”, but everyone who can brings there dogs and puppies out to walk in the parks and visit the various venues. I saw spaniels, poodles, basset hounds, retrievers, mastiffs, dachshunds, German shepherds, hounds, and many more. From five pounds to a hundred and five pounds, they were all there.

But the most fun this year was had around the dock dog pool. These dogs, even the ones who more fell in the water than dove, just really seemed to be having a good time. This is a competition, but a very friendly and light hearted one. And the crowds loved it. I am really not sure who were grinning more, the dogs or the children watching them. And if the response from everyone gathered round was any indication, there will be at least a few more dogs in the water next year. I can’t wait.

Bandit in the House!

Racoon - Give Me That WineOK, so I may have a thief in my bird feeder, but I have a friend who has a bandit in her house. Actually, that should read “Bandit in her house” with a capital “B”. Bandit is actually the name of her raccoon. My friend Jan’s thing in life is rescuing wild animals that need help. She works with an organization named Keeper of the Wild. Keeper of the Wild is a Federally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation, preservation and rehabilitation of South Carolina’s Wildlife. (Sounds like an ad, or like I copied that description from their website.) They really are a cool organization and have even been on TV on Jeff Corwin’s Animal Planet show.

Anyway, back to Bandit. My friend Jan rescues a lot of different animals form raccoons and possums to bobcats and otters, but sometimes for different reasons they are not re-releasable. In the case of Bandit, at least now, she is not releasable because she is spoiled and prefers Pringles potato chips to wild berries. And so now, Bandit is a house-raccoon. Actually, much of her times is spent up in the chimney. I am not sure whether she really likes it up there of if she just likes being able to drop down and scare unsuspecting visitors. Trust me, it works.Raccoon - Boo!

So, I thought I would give you a couple of pictures and a warning. For the pictures, you have Bandit at the table and another one of Bandit descending from the fireplace. You know there is something going on when you see a chair in the fireplace. And as for the warning? Never have a pet or other animal for a house mate that has hands or opposable thumbs to open jars, cabinets, refrigerators, purses . . . well, you get the picture. She is a really sweet animal, just make sure to hold on to your valuables.

Valentine's Sale!