Friday, May 29, 2015

Looking back at ~ The Best Guest Blogs Ever - Isabella's First Geocaching Adventure

Authored By: Bloodhounded
Guest Blog Authored By: Isabella  
Have I ever told you why my geocaching name is Bloodhounded?
Well you see it all started with a little Bloodhound puppy named Molly, a trip to New York City and the Westminster Dog Show. Molly was of noble breed and came to us by a breeder whom was showing at the Westminster. My wife and I drove down and met her there. It was love at first sight and we carried that little girl under my wife's coat down Madison Ave to where we were parked. Molly gave us great joy and love so when the breeder called me and said she had a displaced male, we were happy to also get Otis, our male Bloodhound.

I think I describe it best in my GC profile; "Bloodhounded is more than just a handle, it’s a way of life when you own two bloodhounds. For instance, when you let the dogs in before you go to work and out of nowhere they get you all slobbered up, you've been “Bloodhounded”! When a 120lb. dog thinks he’s a lap dog and totally immobilizes you, you've been “Bloodhounded”. You get the picture."

Molly passed away last summer and our hearts still ache from her loss. She loved to swim, take naps with her tongue hanging out and she loved to go for walks, particularly when everyone joined in and we were searching for local geocaches. Team Bloodhounded, est. 2009 and Molly was the founder.

Fast forward to last September 2011. Guess what? We found an awesome breeder with a noble breed of black and tans in NJ! Just a short drive from us ironically and what a wonderful gal. She is the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to Bloodhounds and her breeds have won many accolades in shows and in the field as trained K9 heroes. Jess, her female, was having puppies and guess what, one of then was going to be ours! Jess delivered three beautiful puppies. Two females and one male. We had our hopes set on a female and sure enough it was to be. Red Girl (as the breeder called her) was our little Izzy and we would pick her up just before Thanksgiving and welcome her to our home.

Izzy is a dream come true, a real live miracle and has brought so much joy to my family. I could go on and on about her but rest assured, she is carving her own love into our hearts. One look at her and you just melt. She has the look of an angel but she is actually a little devil. You know, typical puppy stuff but she is so smart and just loves to be loved and loved she is. I figured it was about time she go one her first geocaching adventure and my wife, Dawn and daughter, Andie said they wanted to go too so, off we went to Moosehead Lake to initiate Izzy into Team Bloodhounded. 

Since this was her first geocaching adventure, I'll let her tell the rest of the story from her point of view. So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a unique guest post from my geodog, Isabella Pants On Fire Magpie and her first geocaching adventure at Moosehead Lake.  
Isabella's First Geocaching Adventure
Hello! My name is Isabella Pants On Fire Magpie, Izzy for short. I’m 4 months old and I live with the nicest family in the whole world. They take very good care of me and they love me very much. I have a gigantic yard to play in with my brother, Otis and when Otis is crabby, I always have someone else to play with.

I love going for walks but the other day, mom, dad, and my sister, Andie, took me on a rather unusual walk. I was sitting in the yard and I saw dad putting my crate in the car. I was a little nervous because I thought I was going to the doctor again but then I heard Andie say something about going Geocaching. I had no idea what that meant but everyone else was eager to leave so I was excited to embark on this new adventure.

After we all climbed in the car, I saw that dad was holding a bag of treasures. Then I noticed dad was also holding a hand held devise which was evidently telling him where to go. I listened closely for clues as to where we were going. I heard dad say something about a place called Moosehead Lake. I hoped it wasn’t much further because I was too excited to sit in my crate any longer.

We finally arrived and mom let me out of my crate. I couldn’t wait to get going. Andie was kneeling down petting me when dad came over and smiled at me. “Are you ready Izzy?” he asked me, “This is a big day. We’re taking you on your very first Geocache!” he said proudly. Sometimes I wonder if they know I can’t respond to them but if I could, I would have asked dad to tell me more. I couldn’t handle the anticipation any longer.

We walked onto a nice trail in the woods and Andie started telling me I had to help her find the Geocache. She told me there are treasures in the Geocache and something called SWAG. Dad was still carrying that device he had in the car. Now he was looking at it very closely and he kept shouting out numbers. I was sure my family had gone crazy. Suddenly we stopped walking. “This is ground zero!” dad exclaimed. He kept saying we had to find this thing called Killing Time (GC395YF). It sounded scary to me but they weren’t afraid. They started looking everywhere! They dug around in logs and looked in trees and under rocks. “I found it!” I heard Andie yell and then something really strange happened. Andie started howling! Just like I do! Why did the container make her howl like that? What was in it? And why was it just sitting in the middle of the woods? I had so many questions but they were all forgotten when mom gave me a treat and everyone started taking pictures. I still wasn’t sure about this Geocache thing but I knew that I wanted to find another one!

My wish was granted when I heard mom ask dad how far until the next “cache”. Dad said it was half a mile away. I was ready to find it. On the way there I smelled that there had been other people and dogs on this trail. I wondered if they had been looking for the cache that dad called Moosehead Bound (GC395Y7) as well. Soon dad said we were at ground zero again and my bloodhound nose went to work! I sniffed around the ground and suddenly I smelled something unusual. I immediately knew it was the cache. I found it in a hollow stump! “Izzy! You found it!” dad said. He was so proud of me! Andie gave me a treat. Mom took my picture. This geocaching thing was great!

Dad said we had one more to find. This one was called Moosehead Lake (GC394F4). I was exhausted from all the walking but I didn’t even care because I was having so much fun! I wanted to find the last geocache and make dad proud again! We got to the spot where the cache was but there was no lake. I thought maybe the device lied to us until I smelled that unusual smell again. I found the last cache in seconds. This cache had that thing Andie told me about inside it. I think she called it SWAG. I thought maybe it had treats in it so I stuck my heads in the bag but they weren’t the kind of treats I could eat. Dad must have known I was disappointed because then he gave me a treat and patted my head.

We put all the treasures back in the box and started walking back to the car. The whole way back, dad kept calling me his little geodog. I could tell he was really proud of me. This geocaching thing wasn’t so bad and I was really good at it thanks to my nose. We finally got back to the car and I hopped into my crate and slept the entire way home.

When I got home, I curled up on the couch with my brother Otis. I dreamed about being the best geodog in the whole wide world. I hope we go geocaching again soon! I am so happy my family has made me the newest member of Team Bloodhounded. Who knows, maybe I’ll even meet some of you out on the trail! Keep on caching! –Izzy the Geodog.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Why Not Wednesday ~ Take A Kid Geocaching

Monday, May 25, 2015

Looking back at ~ The Best Guest Blogs Ever - The Forgotten Soldiers: Our Military Working Dogs at ~ Indulge Thyself

 I was so impressed with this article on U.S. military work dogs that I had to reach out to our friend and follower, Lea and ask if I could re-post it here. Her blog is Indulge Thyself and it's a great read where I find myself often. Check it out for yourself.  
Here is how she replied:
"Hi Kevin, thanks for your appreciation on the article. About the re post... sure, absolutely :) I just have a request... on the link back to my blog or credits section, can you pretty please add that since my husband is a USAF (we are serving overseas) we are humbly asking for prayers for our troops' safety. We really need support on this part especially for those serving in the dessert."

From all of us at CacheCrazy.Com To Lea and Marco Nario ~ THANK YOU! Service family's sacrifice so much, moving frequently, traveling all the time and of course always protecting our freedom.  GOD BLESS!

Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act

You might have heard about the legislation introduced early this year that would finally take U.S. military working dogs (MWDs) out of the category "equipment" and make them bona fide "Canine Members of the Armed Forces." If it passes, these loyal four-legged heroes who risk their lives for the safety of our troops would at last be officially recognized as the brave warriors and lifesavers they have been for war after war. The bill will help provide aid for the dogs when they retire. The bill is also... way, way overdue.
The legislation aims to provide (1) improved adoption process, (2) veterinary support, and (3) recognition for retired MWDs.
When soldier dogs and handlers deploy, they barely leave each other’s sides and develop a very close bond. When they have to part in order to fulfill a unit requirement, it can bring the toughest soldier to tears. I’ve never heard of soldiers who cried while returning their old rifles or body armors. The fact that dogs are considered “equipment” is terribly inhumane. Sure, they’re not human soldiers, but they’re a far cry from a rifle or any military equipment. Play a kiddie game with children and ask which of these things does not belong, and they will point right to the dog. Most people will, too. Search the Internet about the bond between a handler and his MWD. Or about the courage and loyalty of these canine partners, walking ahead of our soldiers to clear the path, sacrificing their own lives. If you call these dogs equipment that you can easily leave or get rid of after war, then I do not know what the words hero and friendship mean.
How can you consider these canine partners "equipment"?

Military service dog resting with US soldiers after a hard day's work.

How can you leave your bestfriend behind?

If you want to help the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act pass, let your senator or representative know you support it at this website
Here are the legislative IDs for the legislation: House: H.R.4103. Senate: S.2134. You can track the status of the bill here.

Project: Troop Dog’s A.D.O.P.T. Program and US War Dogs Association’s Operation Military Care K-9
Both organizations send care packages to MWD teams overseas and maintain current lists of requested items by deployed units. Their projects offer ways for groups, companies, and individuals to get involved. 
Below are some photos of care packages sent to MWD teams overseas. The dogs and handlers are extremely grateful for all the help, love, and assistance.

Donations for Specific Items
Kevlar for K9s and other Vest-A-Dog Network groups help canine units acquire protective Kevlar vests for their working dogs to wear like their human partners. Military Working Dogs Cooling Vest Project (by Support Military Working Dogs Organization) also provides cooling vests and other protective gears such as Doggles, earmuffs, Muttluks, and other items for dogs deployed in war zones in extreme climate conditions. 
Doggles have anti-fog lenses with 100% UV protection, protecting the eyes from light, dirt, sand, flying debris, and insects. The muttluks give the paws superior footwear protection as the heat of rocks and dirt on desert ground are murder to the dog’s pads. The earmuffs help the dogs relax during flight when in helicopter operations, making them ready to work when they get off.

Doggles in action

Happy with his protective vest

Muttluks protect the paws from the scorching hot ground

Earmuffs help the dogs relax while in flight

Furminators for grooming

Just a few of the letters sent by our soldiers to the Support Military Working Dogs Organization:

"The heat out here is murder on the dog's pad. The dog would jump up and down due to the heat on the ground. Before it was just pad coat but with the booties the dogs are not bothered and once back at patrol base they come off to store." - LCpl Martinez, Oscar IDD Thor
"The moondust like dirt is thick and gets into his eyes. With the goggles he doesn't have that problem. It took some adjustment but Gunner has no problem working in the moondust."
 - Cpl Cooper, Jonathan IDD Gunner.

"Tori had really bad pads with the heat on the rocks. With the booties not a problem any more. We live to hunt for IED's.
" - LCpl Valles, Chuck IDD Tori
"The cooling vests help out at the patrol base where the heat index is high. The cooling packs don't take long to cool." 
~ LCpl Lopez, Jose IDD Bandit
The Military Dog Promise (from Troop Dogs):
My eyes are your eyes.  To watch and protect you and yours.  My ears are your ears.  To hear and detect evil minds in the dark.  My nose is your nose to scent the invader of your domain.  And so you may live, my life is also yours.

This post is dedicated to all military working dogs, especially to those who never made it home.

(Special thanks to the following organizations for the information and photos: US War Dogs Association, Save-a-Vet, Troop Dogs, and Support Military Working Dogs Organization.)

Super job Lea and thank you for sharing! I also have a geocache dedicated to our military dogs called "WAR DOGS" check it out! All I can say is it takes you to a helicopter that you can explore and have fun with but the message is strictly serious. Dogs are amazing animals and I respect their contribution in our freedom efforts!

God Bless The USA ~ Memorial Day 2015 ~ We will always remember!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Looking back at ~ The Best Guest Blogs Ever - The Perils of a Geocaching Pensioner

The email came like one hundred others from BigAl, only this one was different. "You have to take a look at this blog" he said. Little did I know that today I would call her my friend too. Thanks BigAl, you have a nose for talent.
Boy, do I have a surprise for you!  She comes to us from across the pond and sports a great blog named The Ramblings of a Mad Pensioner . Her humor and style of writing is just excellent and I know you're going to love this three part series. Today, tomorrow and Monday to be exact, I bring to you:

 The Perils of a Geocaching Pensioner

 So, strap on your helmet, grab a first aid kit (you're gonna need it) and meet my new friend, Heather aka Lady-Magpie.

Before I start - What is Geocaching?

Well it's an outdoor activity in which the participants use a (GPS) receiver to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (tupperware or similar) or ammo boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value. Once you've found it you sign the log and come back and write a note on the computer of your experiences, in my case usually amusing.
**                    **                   **                 **                     **            

Well if your going to get active in retirement why not do it in a big way, Geocaching has brought me to several new places, Berkeley Hospital, Locking Hill Surgery and my Sisters first aid cabinet, to just mention a few.

I was introduced to Geocaching thanks to a chance word from my Niece, that looks interesting I thought  I just have to use my computer, purchase a hand held GPS and find some good walking boots, what on earth could go wrong. Didn't General Montgomery say that the first day he landed in North Africa to take on Field Marshal Erwin Rommel Afrika Korps.

Accident No. 1

Educated and armed with a proper GPS that I had programmed with the correct co-ordinance, I made for a location in a lane near J12 of the M5. Arriving my GPS directed me towards a field entrance with high hawthorn bushes either side, checking the clue it just said "under a rock". Searching everywhere around the bushes I notice that a ditch extended from a culvert and there was a rock in the bottom. Now for the clumsy bit, stepping into the ditch I found it was deeper than the length of my leg sending me upside down into a stinging nettle patch under a thorn bush. I laid there for a few seconds in a similar position to a dead fly on a window ledge with legs and arms in the air, each movement gave me more painful stings and I had to use the thorn bushes to pull myself out. Once back on Terra-fir-ma I came to two conclusions, first why would they hide a cache in the bottom of a ditch that could fill with water, secondly, with my arms swelling and scratched, why was I wearing a short sleeve shirt for this sport. Yes I found a film canister under a rock that I was stood on above the ditch so after signing the log I retreated to a nearby garden center car park to lick my wounds.

Accident No. 2

A few months in and my confidence showed no bounds as I set off for Uley Bury, a 2500 year old Iron Age Fort. Off I walked around the top rim until I was directed to an overgrown path down the steep side of the Bury. After a short search I found the Tupperware box hidden under logs by a tree on the steepest part of the slope, so after completing the log signing I turned to go back down the slope using a branch above me to steady my descent. I now realise that a small twig verses a large lady just doesn't work as with the sound of a loud snap I was sent face first down the slope doing an impression of Tom Daly diving off the top diving board at the Olympics. I wasn't certain whether I was alive or dead for some time and wondered if I would be found in such a remote area, fortunately I came round to my senses and after finding that all I had broken was a tree branch and my pride I made my way back to sanctuary of Harris my Yaris about a mile away.

Accident No. 3 - Major

There had been a few minor incidence such as leaping backwards over a stile to avoiding some very frisky horses near Oakridge and getting jammed in a kissing gate in Avening, but nothing came near to the moment I needed help in December 2009. I was bored at home and although it was very cold and drizzling I set off for a large orchard near Cam & Dursley. Within  50yds of my walk I had to turn down a slope when my left leg slipped forward and my right leg went backwards underneath me. I never knew that my heel could touch the back of my head, perhaps I should have taken up yoga, as I felt a terrific tearing sensation in my right thigh.

I landed in a small water and mud filled gully by a bush and knew I was in trouble needing the emergency services and maybe due to my weight "Sparrows Crane Hire". Fortunately I had charged my mobile and after the 999 call I was put through to the ambulance service where the fun started. Firstly they must have been in Outer Mongolia having never heard of the towns and village where I was, couldn't locate the road where I was parked and told me to stay by my phone and they would ring back, I wasn't actually thinking of going anywhere else at the time.They said that a paramedic was trying to find me, I had a brainwave and using my GPS I gave them the exact position where I was. The next comment was unbelievable, "Sorry we can't use that, do you know the postcode?", I.was in the middle of the countryside for gods sake.

It took 2 hours to locate me, find a spare ambulance and take me to Berkeley Hospital where, after the ambulance crew had left, decided I shouldn't have been taken there in the first place. To be fair to the staff they were brilliant and after 6 hours of tests and x-rays it was found that I had no broken bones but torn the ligaments in my right thigh.

The farce of the hospital and the journey home is another very funny story to be told later, needless to say that my family went berserk regarding pensioners and going out, but I haven't taken up card making or knitting yet. 10 months on and I have completed almost another 100 caches abet with a very wonky leg.

To be continued, be warned.

Stay tuned guys because it picks right up tomorrow! See you then....
See this post at The Ramblings of a Mad Pensioner  


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