Summer Toast at Jackson’s, August 9th.

Joel Belmer, the owner of Odog Adventures will be at the 10th Annual Summer Toast at Jackson’s in downtown Denver. This is Denver’s largest marketing & business professional’s networking event. This year, summer toast will be raising money for The Mission Wear.

Odog Adventures was excited to donate a $100 gift certificate to this event!

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Thank you Jenn!

I would like to take a quick second to say thank you to 4th grade teacher Jenn Wray for running Odog Adventures while I have been away for two of the last 3 weeks. Jenn has been taking dogs out on adventures without a single problem, taking great pictures, and posting them to the odog adventures fb page. It was extremely hard for me to hand over my baby to somebody, but Jenn has done an amazing job, and has made me feel a lot more comfortable about hiring some folks in the near future.

Jenn has been bringing her gsp, pippen along on the adventures and I think Jenn got to experience a little bit of what I have known for a while; that it is amazing to get paid to hike, swim, and play with dogs everyday.

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Pictures of dogs

Hello again,

Sometimes I forget that I even have an Odog blog in the world. Sorry about that. I haven’t written a blog in quite some time. When I started Odog Adventures a little over 5 months ago I got a personal (and business) Facebook page, a twitter account, linkedin, and an Odog blog. All of this was brand new to me and I had no idea how to use these things or what I would do with them.

Without question, I use the Odog Adventures Facebook page more than anything else. I post pictures from every adventure on fb and have fallen in love with taking pictures of dogs. I only use an iphone basically so I can hike (or walk) and just snap a bunch of pictures. I don’t ever look through a lens or the screen, and it basically doesn’t feel like I’m taking pictures at all. I usually have a chuck-it (or some kind of random squeaky toy) in one hand and my phone in the other.

I must admit that I take a crap load of pictures to get the ones that I post on fb, but it is well worth it. The insane amount of deleting and cropping that I do after adventures is all worth it when I come across a hilarious picture of a dog that I immediately send to their owner. The pictures of the adventures that I send to the owner and post on fb are just as important as the adventure itself. I am constantly reminded that these pictures make the owners feel so good while they are at work. That is a pretty cool thing to me.

I never use zoom as they come out very blurry so I am unfortunately constricted to only taking pictures of dogs that are fairly close to me. It makes me wonder what kind of pictures I could get if I had a really nice camera, and wasn’t leading around a pack of dogs. Maybe I could try that out at one of my dog spots on a weekend sometime….

Enough said. If by some chance there is an actual person reading this and you don’t know much about Odog Adventues, please check out the adventure pictures on fb. I am truly proud of them, and that is the best way to see what an Odog Adventure is like.

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Pictures and my kindergarten logo contest

Hello again,

Wow! I haven’t been to the Odog blog in a while……

Things are going really well for Odog Adventures, and I have been a busy man hiking with dogs. Ruff life….

I just wanted to take a second to let those one or two folks that might read this blog know that I just posted an album of pictures to the Odog Adventues Facebook page. It is entitled “kindergarten logo contest entries” and is very special to me and Odog.

I probably talk about this too much, but for those that don’t know, I was a kindergarten teacher in Denver for 3 years and am very proud of that. We had some incredibly funny times. Anyway, I had a logo contest for all my former students and I finally posted all 15 entries that I got. They are pretty cool, and the winning drawing is Odog’s profile picture on Facebook and was turned into the official logo of Odog Adventues. Please take a look if you get a chance.

Last but not least, pictures of every adventure are uploaded to Odog Adventures’ Facebook page as well. The website just has a few pics, but the Facebook page has a ton.

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When I was a kindergarten teacher I had this idea that I called “pick up one piece.” I presented this idea to my first two classes in Highlands Ranch on Earth Day. We talked about all the trash that is left all over our poor little Earth. I thought it was pretty obvious and ridiculous to encourage my kids to pick up after themselves, because even as kindergartners, they should know that. I also think it is good to think outside the box. The challenge to my students was to pick up one piece of trash every single day that wasn’t theirs. This was realistic and easy.

We made a simple little chart (partly because the kids were in kindergarten and partly because I didn’t know how to make a fancy little chart), and tracked how much trash we all were picking up. It became apparent that my idea didn’t motivate every single kid to pick up one piece. I get it. Ideas never motivate everyone. It also became apparent (especially while talking to a few parents at conferences) that a few kids were picking up at least one piece of trash every day, and motivating others to do so. Therefore, we helped the Earth. At least that’s the way I look at things…

I found myself at the Wynetka Ponds Bark Park (in Littleton) yesterday picking up a bunch of dog poop. I didn’t think about the whole “pick up one piece” idea until this morning, I just wanted to do it. I love that dog park, and it should be kept nice. The good people of the city (or whoever built it) did it right. There are two large fenced-in areas with water fountains for dogs and people. There are bag stations all over the place (always filled with bags) and trash cans that are easily accessible. One fenced-in area is always closed for re-vegetation. Yes, you guessed it-there is always nice grass for the dogs instead of just a big pile of dirt. This is a pretty sweet thing. A really sweet thing.

Dog poop is a big issue in our society. There is a big marketing push to tell people to pick up after their dog. I love the “I don’t believe in the poop fairy” materials I see in the mountains sometimes. The fact of the matter is that a lot of dog owners will never pick up their dog’s poop. At least not all of the time. I’m not going to spend any of my time or energy on these people. It is what it is and it will always be that way. I think we need to be a little creative as good dog people (and owners) and do something about this problem. If we all bought into the “pick up one piece” idea, dog areas could be a much better place.

I know for a fact that the dog poop problem is a legitimate reason that some off leash areas do not get approved. That is sad, as dogs deserve to have off leash spots to play!!!! We are lucky here in Denver (and Colorado for that matter), but there are a lot of places that don’t have off leash areas yet. I know that you shouldn’t have to pick up a big pile of poo-poo that your dog didn’t produce, and yes, it is gross. But I really believe that if us good dog people (and owners) do something about this, then good things will happen, such as more off leash areas-hopefully in the mountains!

I know that sometimes people can feel a little uncomfortable before picking up one piece of trash or dog poop. Are people watching me? Do I look like a nerd or a freak? Who really gives a flying “dog poop?” Pick up one piece and help the Earth.

Maybe I should write an actual article on this to get in doggy publications….

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HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy New Years everyone,

Don’t forget to get those doggy dogs out for some exercise before the party begins. They need and deserve it.

I look forward to a new year for Odog Adventures and it is my goal to kick off a very successful “Homeless Hound Hike,” and begin my quest for becoming a certified dog trainer.

I have mentioned this before, but the homeless hound hike will be a way to give back to those local dogs in shelters that don’t have good owners yet to send them on Odog Adventures. A group of volunteers will take one dog each on a leashed hike in the mountains. I am very excited about this!

Becoming a dog trainer is a huge goal of mine as I would like to offer my own version of adventure training to help those folks that are hesitant about letting their dog off-leash. In my eyes, off-leash is where it’s at, and where dogs are happiest.

I look forward to these two very realistic goals in 2012.

Wishing you and yours, a sweet New Years!

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Dog Park People

Some dog park people are funny.

Did you really think that your dog would not get barked at today at the dog park?

Did you really think that there was no way that you could get knocked down by a group of dogs that were running and playing today at the dog park while you were texting?

Do you really think it is OK to push a dog that was actually just being nice away from your dog by its face?

Did you really think that just because you were walking your dog on a leash in an off-leash dog park, that other dogs wouldn’t “bother” your dog?

Although there are some obvious issues with dog parks such as crazy dogs (and owners), I think that people need to be aware that dog parks are a place for sometimes a large group of dogs to run, wrestle, and bark. You need to be aware that most people that take their dogs to dog parks are not certified trainers. Most people are there so that their dog can get exercise, have fun, and come home worn out. You really need to put your phone down, watch for dogs running at full speed, and sometimes bend the knees! Please bring water, as most parks don’t provide it. Dogs can get dehydrated in the winter just as quickly as in the summer and eating snow is not an adequate substitute. I see a lot of people bringing water (to share) when it is nice outside and literally no-one bringing water of any kind in the winter. I have been bringing large amounts to share, which I truly don’t mind at all. Hey, I am getting paid to hang out with dogs.

I am not an expert just yet, as I just launched my dog business last month, but I will share one personal strategy that I use at dog parks. Instead of bringing a chuck-it, I try and bring a tennis racquet. You can obviously launch tennis balls really well with a racquet (it has been proven), and if there is ever a problem with dogs getting too aggressive, you can simply stick the racquet in between the fighting dogs. It works much better than a chuck-it, and especially your arm. Ouch!

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