Start and Finish Your Bucket List (Adventure List)

Everyone should have a bucket list. And we think every dog should have their own as well!

We give you our top reasons why you should start your own bucket list and tips for how to actually finish your list!

We hate the term “bucket list” because it implies that there is some finality to life. The definition of a bucket list according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying,” We would rather live our life as we want to every day and so we will call our “bucket list” our Adventure List instead.

Keep in mind that our Adventure List should not be a to-do list of daily tasks. It should include items of things that you want to do, not out of necessity but out of pure passion!

Don’t delay, just do it. Start jotting down your Adventure List today.


 

 

TOP REASONS TO START AN ADVENTURE LIST

 

Be Happy, Now

There are so many everyday distractions. We need a bucket list to keep us on track to what we really want to do, what makes us truly happy.

Don’t wait to do things on your adventure list or you may find yourself in a situation where you can’t actually do so anymore.

Get Your Weekly Revitalization

We all need some hobby, sport, project, or passion to keep our minds active and challenged. It’s also good to do something that you have control over, because there’s so much in our lives that we often don’t have any control of!

Doing something that you can call your own makes you more interesting as an individual. It also gives you a place to challenge yourself creatively, physically, and/or mentally. Do something for yourself! When you accomplish something, you build up confidence in yourself which carries on into so many other things in your life. You also create a de-stressor in your life.

Get your weekly revitalization in by doing something you love. Refresh your spirit.

Be Known For Something

What do you want to accomplish in your life? Whatever it is, you have to work towards it! So many of us focus on our jobs and career towards accomplishing things, but life isn’t all about your job. What else do you want others to recognize you by? It can’t just be all about your job.

Think about your hobbies and passions as something you need to build up. You can’t climb the tallest summit unless you start hiking more and at higher elevations. You have to start somewhere and climb yourself to the top step by step. In all, you have to start somewhere or you’ll never get to where you see yourself.

Meet Other People Like You

One of the best reasons to start your own adventure list is to find others, like you, who share your same interests. Once you get started, it’s so easy to meet others. You can only learn so much if you live in your own box. Get out of the box, open your eyes, and challenge yourself further!


HOW TO REALLY FINISH YOUR ADVENTURE LIST

 

1 Write It Down – The Most Important Step!

Brain dump! The first things you should do is to write down everything you want to do, even as farfetched as it may seem now. It may also help to categorize what type of activity each item belongs to so you can group items easily later.

In all, the main thing you need is a list! Find a system that works for you, whether it’s a bullet journal or a just piece of paper! Write your list somewhere you can always refer back to later.

 

In my Adventure List above, I jot down what I want to do, the associated category and who in my family I do the item with. The category I use for items related to Carmella, my dog, is the same as the special interest on Pawtivity – that way I can match up our items with our own Pawtivity lists. I note any relevant timelines. For example, I’ve always wanted to attend La Tomatina Festival in Spain, so I’ve noted that this is usually held in Late August.

I keep my list in Google Docs. My family and friends joke that I create all my lists in Google Docs, but it really does keep things organized and manageable! Plus, I won’t lose it and can access it anywhere with an internet connection.

I also save relevant pawtivities for Carmella on Pawtivity.com periodically so I can see who else is completing the same item. Sometimes it’s easier to do things by learning from others who have been there, done that! It’s nice to have somewhere to go to for advice.

2 Prioritize Your Adventure List By Category

Now, look at your Adventure List and prioritize them within each category from easiest to hardest. The easiest should be something that you can do this year with the least effort, training, or equipment. The hardest may require you to learn or do something before.

Now, you have a list that can serve as your main Adventure List. Refer back to it periodically and hang it up so you always remember to keep at it! Have a new item to add? It’s easy for me to add it in Google Docs!

3 Plan Out Each Season’s List Separately

Now that you have an Adventure List sorted by category, start creating your Season List. This is a list of everything you want to do for that particular season. We break up into season so that you won’t be overwhelmed by a long list. Start with a few and focus on those. Then, move on to the next.

Starting with the easiest items, start planning which ones you will do for the current season (Summer 2018) and beyond. Then, write down what month you plan to do that activity.

In my list, you can see that I’ve color coded each upcoming season. I’ve noted some items to do for Fall, Winter, and Spring but my main focus is the current season, Summer.

Think of any other requirements that are necessary to complete an item and add a new entry to your Season List. In my example above, I wanted to complete an Obstacle Race in Spring 2019, so included other items that would help me get there. I wrote “Training for Obstacle Course Race Mud Run” in a new Notes column on my sheet.

4 Book It – Fill Your Calendar

Now with your Season List in hand, start booking time in your calendar to accomplish everything! Write everything in your calendar, down to each training session. That way, you’ll make sure you blocked off time to accomplish everything on your list!

When I complete an entry, I move it to a Completed Adventure List. I love looking at my completed list from time to time because it’s a list of my lifelong accomplishments to date. They include things that I’m passionate about. Some of the items that are already on my list include: Run A Marathon, Cross-Country Roadtrip (US), and Learn To Dive.

5 Keep an Adventure List Photo Journal

Now that you’ve spent some time creating your Adventure List, it would be a shame not to document your experiences! The best way to do that is by taking photos!

At Pawtivity, we have created a system where you can track your adventures by uploading photos by special interest and date. You can keep an easy journal of your adventures on Pawtivity and meet other people who love to do what you do at the same time! We always think it’s more fun to do things with others and learn from others who have been there done that.

Share your adventure story with us and we will publish it on Pawtivity!

What do you really want to do? Stop delaying and create your adventure list to get you on the path to doing what you’ve always wanted to do.

Happy Adventuring,

Carol and Carmella
President & Pup, Pawtivity


Is Your Dog An Amazing Pup? 

Is your dog amazing? Contact us to be considered as one of Pawtivity’s featured amazing pups! We may feature you on Pawtivity.com or on our instagram accounts @pawtivity and @myamazingpup. Send us a photo of your dog and tell us why they are so amazing!

 


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Chinese New Year Lion

How To Celebrate Chinese New Year With My Dog

Happy Chinese New Year! How fantastic that we are launching Pawtivity in the Year of the Dog! We can’t think of a better year to launch!

I am the founder of Pawtivity.com and also of Chinese ethnic descent. I’m actually an “ABC,” or American-born Chinese, so my family has always celebrated Chinese New Year with a little less fanfare than in Asia. It’s hard to do much when we still have to go to work on the holiday here in the United States. The Lunar New Year in Asia is a big deal. Some companies give 1-2 weeks off from work to allow families time to celebrate. Pretty sweet huh?

Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar and the date usually falls anywhere between late January and mid-February.  This year, Chinese New Year is on February 16, 2018. The new year ends with the Spring Lantern Festival on March 2, 2018. Each year represents one of twelve animal zodiac symbols that cycle every 12 years. For example, this year is the year of the dog. The next year of the dog will be in 2030. Travel China Guide has a great description of each zodiac symbol along with birth years.  Your birth year defines what symbol you are. If you were born in the year of the dog you are, “…independent, sincere, loyal, and decisive…” and have a “harmonious relationship with people around” you.

There are so many traditions and ways to celebrate Chinese New Year. Here are some tips on how I will be spending Chinese New Year and making it extra special for Carmella in honor of Year of the Dog.


How To Celebrate Chinese New Year With Your Dog

BEFORE THE NEW YEAR

 

Get A Grooming.

Book a haircut appointment before the new year on February 16. Trim your dog’s nails too or send them off to get pampered at the spa! It’s all for a bit of good luck. No one ever says no to good luck and to looking good right? Cutting your hair during the start of the new year means that you will be cutting your luck! Do not wear black or white! In China, those colors are actually associated with death.

Clean House.

A clean house means the entire house – every floor, dusty window, and of course your dog’s smelly, dander covered bedding and dirty toys. Have any old toys still in good shape that your dog no longer plays with? Donate them to a shelter who would love to have the extra toys for their dogs to play with. A clean house means that you throw out all your bad luck for good luck in the new year. Purchase a money tree, jade plant, or bamboo plant to place at the front door, in your office, or kitchen. Plants help signify a healthy year.

2016 was the worst year to clean my house. That was the year we hosted a Super Bowl party on the same day as Chinese New Year Eve. I don’t know if I was a strict host requiring my guests take their shoes off, but that’s normal for an Asian household! I remember doing some major last minute cleaning of party food before the clock struck twelve midnight. I even got my guests to help clean up. That may have been a little extreme, but I had my reasons and I was going to get a clean house! My husband would grin reading this.

Decorate With Red.

The easiest way to decorate with red is to get the Chinese character for Fu, which means good luck and happiness, and hang it upside down on your door. Don’t ask me why we hang it upside down, but we found an article on Linda Mandarin that sheds some light on this tradition. I personally like the second explanation as it involves princes and princesses.

Other than putting an upside down Fu on your door, you can create red paper cutouts to put on your windows. There are plenty of templates on Pinterest or go to Etsy to buy one ready to go. Red lanterns may also be put up.

I never go overboard with the decorating. I keep it pretty simple with my Fu and my plants. Many families also put out something for their ancestors like a bowl of oranges, little cups filled with rice wine, and other bowls filled with good eats. We bow in front of the offering as a way to remember our loved ones and honor them.

Eat Dumplings and Fish.

Dumplings are a sign of prosperity and eaten on New Year’s Eve. I think traditionally it’s said to be eaten at midnight, but we always eat this for dinner instead. My family makes hundreds of dumplings. We sit around a table with dumpling skins, meat filling, little bowls of water, spoons, and trays. Sometimes, we make handmade dumpling skins, which tastes so much better than pre-made dumpling skins. Finished dumplings go on trays to freeze, then transferred to bags to store for up to 2 months. It’s fun to have small family traditions, and this is one we all enjoy.

Looking for a dumpling recipe? You can find a great meat filling recipe on one of my favorite cooking blogs, The Woks of Life. They bravely name their recipe article, “The Only Dumpling Recipe You’ll Ever Need.” I actually have a secret recipe that my family loves, but comment below or email me if you want tips. One of these days I promise you I will put an article out (even on a dog website) on how to make my dumplings. Dumplings are traditionally filled with pork, but you can also make other fillings based on shrimp, beef, chicken, fish, mushroom or pumpkin and mix that in with vegetables and other ingredients to match.

As far as I know, dumplings are safe enough for dogs but I would only give them 1 or 2 dumplings. They do contain a tiny bit of garlic and green scallions. I have yet to develop a dumpling specifically for dogs, although that should not be hard at all! I think Carmella is pretty content already with my dumplings.

Fish is also eaten the day before new year’s, but don’t forget to save some fish to eat on the new year. This signifies that you will always be lucky and have an abundance of everything in the new year. We usually sit down at the table with both fish, but then wrap one up when we start eating to put in the fridge to eat on New Year’s Day. Fish can prepared any way, but keep in mind that you do need to have it in a state to eat the next day.

I like to steam 2 small fish on New Year’s Eve, cooked Cantonese style. I steam the entire fish with head on and rubbed down with ginger and salt inside and out. Inside I stuff with more ginger and green scallions slices. The basic sauce that goes on top of the fish is added after the fish is steamed. The sauce has a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil and other ingredients. Here is Woks of Life’s recipe for Cantonese Steamed Fish. When we sit down for New Year’s Eve dinner, we place both fish on the table (for show) and then put the one we eat the next day in the fridge when we are ready to eat.

There are so many other foods that you can eat, but my mother always had one dish made of each meat (fish, poultry, beef, and pork). Rice cake and glutinous rice balls are also popular to eat. I digress… besides dogs, cooking is my other love. Can you tell?


ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

 

Wear New and Red.

It’s time to go shopping! Wear new, red clothes on New Year’s Day. Red is for good luck and scares away bad luck. I have a new red bandana for Carmella, but you could also buy your dog a new red coat, collar, or harness.

Visit Family and Friends.

You may want to take your dog to the dog park or arrange a play date with another dog or your own family! We don’t live close to our entire family, but this year we have some of them coming over to celebrate the New Year with us! Carmella has some new people to play with! She is always ready to present them with a dog toy when they walk in the door! Carmella is usually fine with new people in the house after barking to let us know of their arrival and giving them the sniff down. Some pets do become stressed with a household of new people. If your dog is like this, you could arrange a “safe” room for your dog to stay where they will not be bothered.

Attend a Chinese New Year Celebration

Fireworks and firecrackers are always present at a Chinese New Year’s celebration, so if your dog is scared of the loud noise, find out what time they will set them off and make arrangements accordingly.

Instead of staying for the firecrackers, you could purchase some confetti poppers or sparklers and keep the celebration at home.

Near the San Francisco area? Each year, San Francisco holds one of the largest Chinese New Year parades in the country. This year, the event is on February 24.

Give a Red Envelope.

Red envelopes are given to kids or anyone younger than you. Traditionally, we give money but dog’s don’t use money. For Carmella, she would be happier getting some lucky “candy” or treats in her envelope!


SPRING LANTERN FESTIVAL

 

The conclusion of the new year ends on March 2, with the Spring Lantern Festival. If you can go to an event that allows you to set off your own lit lantern into the night sky, go! It’s such a gorgeous site to see so many lanterns in the sky. In the day time, there may be some lion dance demonstrations that you can attend.

 

What did you end up doing for Chinese New Year? Share a photo with the Pawtivity community here. (link to Chinese New Year Event.


Is Your Dog An Amazing Pup? 

Is your dog amazing? Contact us to be considered as one of Pawtivity’s featured amazing pups! We may feature you on Pawtivity.com or on our instagram accounts @pawtivity and @myamazingpup. Send us a photo of your dog and tell us why they are so amazing!

 


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Doggie Halloween Costume

Wear A Halloween Costume

It’s Halloween! There are so many events and opportunities to dress up your dog for Halloween this Fall!

Take a picture of your dog in his costume! What is he? If he’s part of a group costume, take a picture of the whole group!

 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Halloween, Dress Up, Just For Fun

Dog Outside with Stuffed Sheep Animal

Take Sheep

This is a cute game for the family border collie – one who was bred to herd sheep but will never really do so. Or course you don’t have to have a border collie to play this game!

Find an object, like a stuffed sheep toy, and have your dog take the sheep by holding it in your hand in front of your dog. If your dog already knows the command for “take” you can use it here. When your dog takes the sheep, praise him with praise, play, or treats. It may help to reward as soon as your dog moves toward, sniffs, or touches the toy. Then, reward only when he makes slow progress towards actually taking the toy. Once your dog knows to “take” the toy, replace “take” with “sheep” (or other appropriate word). Now you are teaching your dog some vocab! Make the game extra fun by hiding the sheep and having your dog find his sheep. Dogs are great at sniffing out their toys, especially if they’ve already slobbered over it!

Take a picture of your dog with his sheep.

 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Indoor Play, Just For Fun

Take Your Dog To A Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch

Fall is here! It’s the season for a great pumpkin search! There are several dog friendly pumpkin patches. Pick out the best pumpkin to carve at home and enjoy some carmel apples, cider, and pumpkin pie while you are at it! End the day by watching the classic, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” with your dog.

Looking for a pumpkin patch? Look for a Pawtivity event under Just for Fun, or search for “Pumpkin Patch” in the search bar! Many small farms don’t “advertise” as pet friendly but may let you bring your dog. Just call them to find out. Most close by Halloween.

Share a photo of your dog at the pumpkin patch! Did you guys have fun?

 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Halloween, Pumpkin Patch, Costume

Take Your Dog To A Corn Maze

Corn Maze

Dog have a good sense of smell? Take him to a corn maze and have some fun finding your way out! There’s no better way to celebrate the fall season and Halloween!

Snap a photo of your dog sniffing his way out!

 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Halloween, Corn Maze, Costume

Guilty

Is it obvious when your dog does something bad? Do dogs know when they have done something bad? You betcha – there’s scientific proof out there!

Take a photo of your dog’s shameful deed. What did you dog do?

 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Just For Fun, Photo

Puppy Sprawl

Puppy Sprawl / Superman

Puppies love to lay on their bellies with their legs all the way out. Also known as the “Superman” pose, we like how Dogtime explained this in their article about doggy sleeping positions – “Dogs that sleep in this position don’t want to miss a chance to be in the action, even while they’re napping. It’s the position of choice for high-energy pups or pups who get sleepy during play and just want to plop down where they’re standing.”

Of course! Our pups just want to be ready for action. We don’t know if this explanation is correct, but either way – the position is adorable.

Snap a photo and share with us!

 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Just For Fun, Photo, Puppy

Dog Cone of Shame

Cone of Shame

Did you dog just come back from the vet with the cone of shame? It’s really sad to see dogs wearing a cone but it’s for their own good of course!

Lift your dog’s spirits up by doing something creative with their cone! You’ll have a great memory to keep from the experience. Speedy recovery and adventures ahead!

 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Just For Fun, Photo

Norman The Scooter Dog

Norman The Scooter Dog

Have you ever heard of a dog that can ride a scooter? What about a bicycle?

Norman the Scooter Dog can actually do both! He holds two separate Guinness World Records for riding the fastest 30 meters on a scooter and again on a bicycle. On top of that, he wows everyone he meets by doing a lot of amazing dog tricks. He can ride a skateboard, jump rope, surf, take a bow, and open doors.

Norman is also the ultimate sweetie with a personality that warms your heart. Karen describes her dog  as, “a clown who knows he’s funny…. he looks at your with this look that makes you laugh.”

We wanted to learn what makes a great trick dog and interviewed Karen Cobb, Norman’s owner, to learn how she trained Norman.

Facts About Norman
Breed: Briard
Personality: A Clown, Loves to Play, One of the Family
Favorite Treats: Natural Balance Dog Food Rolls, Mozarella Cheese
Favorite Special Interests: Agility, Obedience, Sheep Herding, Swimming
Favorite Cause: Stop Puppy Mills

 

Commitment to Training & Socialization

Karen believes that safe socialization greatly outweighs any of the risks from poor socialization.  Even when Norman was a puppy she did a lot to socialize him well.

Norman is a Briard, Briards are known to require much more socialization than other dogs.  As a puppy, Karen was commited to giving Norman good  socialization and training. Norman has always been very curious. He loves to play and always wants to do what the family is doing.

First, she took him consistently to weeks of training in agility and obedience. When Norman was 15 months old, he actually received his Companion Dog Title in obedience with all first placements.

She was also made a commitment to expose Norman to different kinds of people and dogs, to stand on different surfaces , and to be exposed to different sights and sounds. Karen uses positive reinforcement by way of bribes or treats to make training sessions a game. Each time she introduces Norman to something new, she gives him treats. Doing this helps build confidence in your dog and paves the way for more advanced tricks.

Training sessions should be kept short with high motivating food. Sessions should also be built into your daily routine – every time you leave the house, before meal time, or at bath time. Puppies need constant training and play time. Read more about her 12 Essential Training Tips for socializing your puppy.

Last, she says that dogs need to learn how to play well and to make everything with your dog into a game. They also need to know how to release on command and retrieve.

 

Additional Tips for Teaching  A Dog Tricks

Besides giving your dog foundational training and socialization, there are a few other tips that Karen mentioned that helps her teach Norman new tricks.

A lot to training has to do with knowing your dog and your dog’s breed. Karen strongly advises people to research their dog’s breed and to make sure that the dog will be a right fit for you and your family.

Here are some of things that Karen did to make Norman into a great trick dog:

  • Don’t always tell your dog no for everything. Teach him specific commands such as leave it, off, quiet, take it, and put on (place on table).
  • Knowing what a target is (nose or paw on anything).
  • Focus is one of the most important skill to teach your dog because helps him pay attention to you.
  • Getting the right high motivating treats: Knowing different levels of high motivating treats or incentives for your dog. For example, for a new trick you may use the highest motivating treat for your dog. For Norman, this might be mozarella pieces because they are easy to break off
  • Clicker training is great for more advanced tricks because your dog can better understand what you want him to do by the immediate sound of a click.
  • Training sessions for adult dogs should be about 1 hour per day, or in 3, 20 minute intervals.
  • Training classes are a great way to get feedback about your dog. You can never stop learning more about your dog.

 

Learning to Bike

Biking is very hard to teach a dog. It took Karen quite some time to teach Norman to ride a bike.  Dogs can’t just ride a normal kids bike. Norman’s bike is actually customized to fit him.

Karen suggests that people first train their dogs to skateboard first. It’s easier to teach than scootering or biking. Dogs must first learn to stand on a moving object. To do this, the dog must be comfortable with a skateboard. Training starts at a stationary position. Karen often uses treats and a clicker to help her train Norman.  Reward when your dog has one foot on a stationary skateboard and then move on to 4 feet standing on the skateboard.  Then, try using a leash to gently pull the skateboard forward while your dog is on the skateboard. You will have to also train your dog to get off the skateboard.

Since Pawtivity is all about getting dog owners to do more with their dogs, we asked Karen if she had any advice for dog owners. Instead on trying to figure out what your dog may like to do, she mentions that dog owners should find something that they like to do and then incorporate your dog in that. Dogs do love spending time with us, so it makes sense to involve your dog into something that you like to do!

Karen has many more training tips that you can try with your dog. Basic training is a great way to ease your dog into more advanced training and tricks!

 

Norman is Amazing!!

I asked Karen how Norman shows his love. She said that he actually gives you a hug by leaning on you and wrapping his paws around your leg. How adorable and very affectionate!

With all the training and activities that Norman gets on a consistent basis, he must love his family!Norman, you are a lucky dog to have such a wonderful family! Keep on learning new tricks and exploring fun things to do.

 

About Karen Cobb

Karen Cobb, owner and trainer of Norman the Scooter Dog, graduated from University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science.  She has trained dogs for over 20 years, specializing in problem solving, behavior counseling, housebreaking and aggression problems.  She now primarily trains Norman for his live performances and dog sports.  Her goal is to get Norman a leading role in a movie. Learn more about Norman and Karen.  Connect with them on Facebook!

 


Is Your Dog An Amazing Pup? 

Is your dog amazing? Contact us to be considered as one of Pawtivity’s featured amazing pups! We may feature you on Pawtivity.com or on our instagram accounts @pawtivity and @myamazingpup. Send us a photo of your dog and tell us why they are so amazing!

 


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!