Friday, July 26, 2013

I LUV Lavender.....True Confessions by a Scent-sitive Dog!

 I do have to admit...I'm a Dog in Luv with Lavender.  And lucky for this Dog....we have Lavender Fields galore in New Mexico.  So it seemed only 'a-pup-pro' that this modeling canine get ready for the annual Lavender festival in grand style. 

With a Photo Shoot....what else!

The good folks at Lavender In the Village Festival hooked me up with award winning, National Geographic Photographer  Daryl Custer.  
Why I was doggone Honored to be shot by Daryl!   
and Lavender Fields Here We Come! 

He is one dog-dandy photographer....and ke knows how to capture my good side, don't you dogree?

I have to dog-mit though...he DID make me work! 
He was barkin' out those orders to me....
So I ran...through those doggone bee-u-tiful Lavender Bushes!    

Then he said
 So I did! 
HA!-Bet YOU a bone that you can't do this! 
I've got one dog-gone grand no problem for li'l ol' me!  

Then we meandered....well maybe RAN is more like it.....down the shady lane leading up to the Lavender Fields.  And he said "COME-JACK-COME!"

 So being the good dog model I am......that's just ex-dog-actly what I did!
But.....I got the last lick in!  (and here's a tip to all you dog models-or wannabe dog models) out there.  If the photographer gets TOO bossy....and they are down on the ground to you know...get you at that low-down level......go ahead and put the finishing touch on that laying a HUGE sloppy kiss on the photographer just when he's NOT expecting it!  HA!  Got him good....I can tell you that!  NO DOG FOOLING!  BOL!

And finally we were done......whew-doggies! Am I dog-xhausted...or what? 
BUT, when you get to be photographed by the LIKES of Daryl're just a doggone lucky pup! 
I have to tell ya, he did a darn good job of capturin' my good looks.  Don't you agree?

I'm just hopin' I-Travelin' Jack-end up in one of his famous photo coverages in the likes of National Geographic.  (hint-hint Daryl!).  LUV YA!  LUV YOUR WORK! Thanks for a truly dog-FABULOUS photo shoot!   

                   But now it's time for the actual Lavender In The Village Fest! 

 I'm headin' out to Los Ranchos de Albuquerque for this fabulous summertime festival.  There are SO many wonderful things to see and do BUY Lavende for your house....OKAY got some! till you drop for all those Lavender goodies (I dog-personally luv the Lavender Ice Cream....dee-licious!)  DONE!
Why they even have a Doggie Parade and Fashion Show!  Now that's something I like to see at a Festival- a pet friendly activity!  With PRIZES for the pups no less!  Too doggone cool!
 BUT this dog is a-workin' I'm headin' over to the New Mexico Book Booth to pawdigraph my books....take some pics with visitors


Ain't she a cutie!?!  And get in some lavender kisses too! 
This year,  I was pawdigraphing the book PET FRIENDS.....which has all sorts of fun photos in it (including moi of course!) and my good buddy Terrie Q from 770KKOB.

 If you wanna buy the's the link to it  PET FRIENDS......and here's the double-dog good news!  Proceeds from the book sales go to support the puppies and kitties at SAVE LUCKY PAWS animal adoption location!  I LUV a good 4-footed cause--don't you?

YES, this dog is in LUV with Lavender...why I was SO dog-spired by the whole experience of being photographed in the Lavender Fields. and paw-ticipating in the Lavender Fest...I decided to put my Lavender dog-thoughts into verse for another one of my grrrreat Pup-Poems.  (after all...I AM the Pup-Laureate of New Mexico!)

by Travelin' Jack

Today I spied a Lavender Field
Along the Rio Grande.
I thought to myself "must check this out!"
To see if it's really so grand!

I wandered amidst the Lavender Bushes
So tall, so stately, so PURPLE.
I sniffed and tasted and pawed a bit
Why I even made up some Lavender Wishes!

This lovely Lavender so tender to touch
A Pup can hardly resist
I've sniffed a dog-zillion Lavender sniffs
Now I'm sprinkled in Lavender Dust!

Some folks eat it, some folks smell it,
Some folks plant it and watch it grow.
But from a Pup's perspective the Lavender Bush is created
To ponder Life as it does merrily Go!

And those are my thoughts for this week!  Have a doggone grand one!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Oscar's Great Adventure....Or (Subtitle) A NEAR CATastrophe!

Did you know that July is PET SAFETY MONTH?  Now that is a Jack-Fact....and I have a story to share with you that barks out loud about pet safety.  So read on...and find out how a little tiny microchip could SAVE your pet's life!

You all should remember that I adopted Oscar, my Kitty Brother, from the Albuquerque City Shelter a couple years ago. 

 It was not planned.  I mean after all how many dogs do you know that adopt a CAT (of all things).  Well, I can tell wasn't in the plan that day when we went to the Albuquerque City Shelter.  We were just going to drop off a donation for the annual (and I must say...DOG-FABULOUS) Mayor and 1st Lady's Dog Ball. 

But things do take on a life of their own....and in this case........a cat's life...if not his 9th life! (HA-That was one of my Hilarious Bulldog Jokes---get it!   a CAT has 9 LIVES!...I'm so dog clever, if I do bark so myself!) 

Anyway, back to the story.... we were introduced to Oscar by none other than Director Barbara Bruin.  She LOVES cats...and it seems that Oscar was picked up off the streets of the South Valley by the good folks at Animal Welfare.  When he arrived at the Shelter and was tested......DOG FORBID...he was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia!   

Now that by itself is a BIG problem...but even more so at a shelter where he could transmit the disease to other kitties...BUT NOT TO DOGS! 
 And that's where Director Bruin and I got serious!  They needed to find a home for Oscar FAST! 
And was I-Travelin' Jack the best Adopter on the Spot? 
Well,  she interviewed me with some very dog-serious questions.....and WHEW...I passed with flying paws and colors.

So VOILA! I-Travelin' Jack adopted Oscar!

 We brought him home...he checked the house cats are snoopy creatures and all!
 We got acquainted close up... 

 and Oscar settled in.  Things were GOOD!

 Why we became SO close we even became major Snuggle Buddies!  NOTE...I-Travelin' Jack even let him share MY favorite settee with me!  Now that's what I call just dog-generous, wouldn't you agree?  Yep, I love my little Kitty Brother. 

And time passed.  About a year ago, we were headed to the Elkhorn Lodge in Chama for the big 4th of July since we were going to be up there for almost a week, we decided it was time for Oscar to become a Travelin' Cat!...only makes sense, don't you think? And the Elkhorn Lodge is after all PET-FRIENDLY!

Well...he LOVED the Elkhorn Lodge.....and he soon became the official greeter in the office to help welcoming the guests.  He decided that this was the life for this he decided to STAY.  No more Albuquerque...he wanted to be the Lodge Kitty.  And, I might proudly add...he has been doing a fine job of this for the past year or so......UNTIL  this summer!

He somehow slipped out of the lodge office  (you all know how sneaky cats can be)....and he decided to check out the grounds.  He meandered through the lawn...was lured up to the Cafe by some kids eating on the cafe's patio....and from there began....OSCAR'S BIG ADVENTURE!

You see, Oscar is VERY friendly.....he thinks (like me) that EVERYONE is his personal friend.  And so that day he made friends with the diners.  One couple in particular took a liking to Oscar  (not hard to do I might add!) and when they inquired about him at the cafe, the waitress mistakenly GAVE HIM AWAY! 

"WHAT?" you are saying?  Yup-Pup you read right!  Well...lucky for Oscar he at least picked the RIGHT people to be given away to...... 
 After some discussion, the nice couple packed him up in their Eurovan...and headed home to Santa Fe.  Why he was such a good traveler that they snapped these photos of him ridin' down the highway!
 He chatted with them in his own Oscar language all the way to Santa Fe, where they very thoughtfully took him directly to their Vet, the Smith Veterinary Hospital

                                        NOW HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON HERE! 

The good folks at the veterinary clinic did what a GOOD veterinary clinic should do.....they did a Microchip check on Oscar!  And LO and BEHOLD....Oscar was chipped...and identified to belonging to me and Jill. 

THIS IS IMPORTANT...because that is how and why I got Oscar BACK......You see he had his collar on, but no nametag....and if it hadn't been for that tiny but mighty microchip....he would never have gotten back to us!  NOW IF THAT ISN'T AN ENDORSEMENT FOR MICROCHIPPING......I don't know what doggone is! WHEW!  Thanks to that microchip. 

So, we hit the road to Santa Fe to pick Oscar back up!  Here I am gettting him returned to me by the FABULOUS and very responsible good folks who accidentally 'CAT-NAPPED" Oscar. 

2nd NOTE:  That last comment is a play on words by this word-worthy pup!  They never intended to steal him....they thought he had been abandoned and took on the duty of adopting an abandoned kitty...never knowing that they had just cat-nabbed the kitty brother of the most famous dog in New Mexico! (that would be me of dog-course!)......But they were VERY gracious and returned Oscar  in one piece.

Together we did come to one VERY IMPORTANT conclusion though.  We figured it out...being the smart people and pups that we are.........................

TRAVELERS go to a LODGE for a vacation.  BUT since Oscar LIVES at the lodge....he decided to go on VACATION to a house in Santa FE!  Makes sense to this dog....don't you agree?  Anyway, All's well that ends well.  Oscar is back at the Elkhorn Lodge and back to carrying out his cat duties of welcoming guests on their vacation.  

And THANKS to that microchip embedded in his little kitty body...and DOUBLE THANKS to the FABULOUS folks who 'rescued' Oscar!  They will FURRever be in our good graces for the wonderful people they are!  Our bark of thanks will NEVER be enough! 

Now in dog-clusion.....just one more thing:
OSCAR----Are you listening?  NO MORE ADVENTURES! 
I-Travelin' Jack am the ONE and ONLY travelin' animal in this family...ya hear?

OH---and one FINAL tip for all  my readers and followers and fans.

It's a matter of Life and Death, Lost and Found, Safe and Endangered.....we are SO glad that Oscar was brought him back home to us safe and sound! 

Yes July is Pet Safety Month.....and that's my dog-personal story of how a microchip can SAVE your pet!  And that's my Lesson for the week!




Thursday, July 11, 2013

GREAT Dog-scoveries in Ruidoso!

I hear through the BARK-VINE that there are some new DISCOVERIES waiting for me to find them in one of my favorite places...RUIDOSO!  So here we come to Roll with the good times!

And speakin' of rolling....look at this ol-timey Water Wheel! Right at the Old Mill.   It really dates back into the history books of old Ruidoso....and makes for a pretty doggone cool photo op too, don't you think?

But first things first.  I need to check into my pup-preferred hotel...the Lodge At Sierra Blanca.

Believe I need some check-in assistance too!
And take a look at THIS fine welcome.....a special dog treat goodie bag for me!  Presented in fine style right upon check-in.  YUP-PUP....MY kinda hotel for sure! Thanks Lodge at Sierra sure do know how to treat ALL your guests in fine style!
I just LOVE the decor here.  Pretty snazzy from the Public areas to

the roomy and comfy suites.  It's ALL good.  But here are some things that I discovered this trip that I just didn't doggone know....or maybe they are just new add-ons.  AND here is ONE FOR THE BOOKS!  For all you scavenger hunters out there.....guess what the Lodge at Sierra Blanca has!
Why even us dogs get into this modern day type of treasure hunting.  Oh...and here is a tip for you Jack-Traveler-Followers.  I left a special suprise in the geocache box.  Maybe YOU will find it!  This is just too doggone fun...and it's right AT the
  BUT...that's not all you'll find here!  Why this is THE PLACE to hang out if you are in the IN-CROWD!  While I was there (my good dog-luck!) the contestants for Miss New Mexico 2013 were contesting!  And  I ran into Miss Outstanding Teen 2012....the gorgeous...and sweet too! Natalie Benson from Santa Fe.  Thanks for sharin' a pic with me Miss Beauty Queen....I sure do agree with those judges that picked YOU!

And from Beauty to Beast.....why I even ran into one of MY KIND who is another Travellin' Pup...only SHE has one up on dog tell!
Her name is Harley (GO FIGURE) and she's ridin' shotgun in her own Puppy Palace right on the back of her people-Roy's true blue Harley!  Now THAT is what I call travelin' in Style Harley!  You got my paws-up approval on a grand way to see the world.  She traveled to Ruidoso all the way from San Angelo TX in that open-air car-traption thingy!  I think I'm JEALOUS!  But don't believe I would fit in that little space.  Guess I'll hold out for my own Sidecar.....HEAR THAT JILL?????  Sure was nice meetin' up with you Harley.  Hope our paw paths cross again!  You just keep GOin', now you hear!

   And speakin' of's time to get rolling and GO do some more explorin' around Ruidoso.  Wonder if their SHOPPING is pet-friendly? HMMMMM????!!!!! 
First stop on Sudderth Avenue (that's Main Street shopping for you not in the know) at this fine jewelry establishment.  Jill has been hinting around for some new jewelry...and Mitchell's Fine Jewelry might just be the spot.'s the question...ARE THEY PET FRIENDLY?

That they are!  HOT DOG!  Does this pup know how to shop or WHAT!?!  I kinda like this authentic Native American Squash Blossom necklace....what about you guys?  Pretty nice, eh?  And they even brought out a bowl of water for a thirsty pup--that would be ME!  Thanks Mitchell's gals are TOPs in my book! this shopping has made me hungry.  Are theree pet-friendly eateries in Ruidoso?  That's my next challenge.  Let's check this place has a patio!

TINA'S PLACE....and yippee!  It IS pet-friendly! Let's settle down in their comfy seating on their shady PETIO and have a bite to eat.  Now THAT is a doggone grand plan if ya ask me!
YUM...a green chile cheeseburger plate with their homemade Potato Salad...and get this LAVENDER LEMONADE!  Now that will quench even a People's thrist just fine and dandy!  And reasonable prices too!  And everyone...even TINA came out to say hi to me!  Now I call that pet-friendly!

But it's time to get back to shopping a bit more before the end of the day.  What is THAT I spy in that window?
HOW MUCH IS THAT DOGGIE IN THE WINDOW?  I better check this out furr sure!
It's inside this cute little boutique called Coco B's.  I gotta check out this shop for sure.  It's got gal bling and things galore...but what about us pups?

ANOTHER fine Dog-scovery by Travelin' Jack!  They have homemade dog treats for sale...and some doggy bling too!  WoW who woulda thought!  This is one cool boutique!  I highly recommend the dog biscuits and more.......Thanks Coco B's!

But it's time to call it a day.  So back to our suite at the Lodge at Sierra Blanca.  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZz   see you Manana!

It's a New Day...and of dog-course we gotta start out with a healthy breakfast, right?  YUP!  And there's TWO discoveries here!  ONE...made to order breakfasts hot off the chef's grill.  I want my omelette with LOTS of meat, okay Mr. Chef?  Thanks a dog-zillion!  TWO we can eat outside on the patio at the Lodge at Sierra Blanca...that means us pups can pawticipate in breakfast time and THREE (bonus fact) This fabulous breakfast made-to-order is FREE!  Comes with the room!  Now that is one Dog-Heck of a deal if I do bark so myself!  You just GOTTA stay at the Lodge at Sierra Blanca when you visit Ruidoso.

But a new day means new adventures....and I hear there is a new big deal at Ski Apache.  And it's happening even this summer up at the Ski Area.

Today I'm heading to Ski Apache Ski Area to check out the Summer Gondola Ride to the top of the  mountain.  I hear through the DOG-VINE that a dog can ride FREE of charge on your brand new gondola.  Is that true?  IT IS?????  Yippee!  Sign Me Up For a Ride PULEEZE....
Pretty snazzy looking Gondola, if ya ask this pup! or green (well maybe turquoise)....which color should I choose?   And I hear it holds up to 8 peoples/dogs in each gondola.  That is one dog-fabulous addition to Ski Apache this year!  Way to Go!  Got my Paw of Approval.....but let's ride this baby...OKAY?
WoW! Comfy enough for all us adventurous types! Like my buddies here makin' room for li'l ol' me!
Wow...take a look at that view wouldja?  Pretty doggone cool to be riding in style and watching this world pass me by.  This is FUN for dog-sure!
Top of the Mountain...and I do believe I'm on Top of the World!  Wooh Doggies! 

This was one cool trip!  I HIGHLY recommend this summer gondola ride for People AND dogs too! But there's one more adventure on the way home......I hear tell that the world's most famous bear....our very own SMOKEY BEAR is right in this neck o the woods (so to bark!), so I'm gonna check it out!  I'm heading for the Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan...where that baby bear cub got his paws all burned in a forest fire many years ago.
And here we are.  Now here's a bit of a tidbit of info for you pet travelers out there.  The Museum is NOT pet-friendly...bad news....BUT the Gift Shoppe IS pet-friendly!  So we paid a visit in this very pet friendly spot...that doubles as a Smokey Museum and Gift Shop.  I'm thinking I need my very own Smokey Bear...wonder if they have any?
AND the answer is YES!  Lots of them cute little oso guys!  How many can I buy Jill?  ALL of them?  WHAT I have to leave some for others!  DOG-nab it all!  But at least I can have one can't I?  YAH! Now that is what I call a doggone good ending to a great little trip to Ruidoso New Mexico!  I think I just about hit all the top spots.....but then you never know. I might just have to go back again  soon to make sure I didn't miss some other grand discovery!

But for's Doggy Down Time on the way back home.  Till next time.