Tag Archives: Photography

My New (to me) Backpack

Woof! I found out I am the third dog to own this backpack! At first Matt thought it was Jackson’s originally but Matt found a picture of Maverick wearing it back in 2009, so it’s more than 13 years old! Jackson used it on hikes but Maverick was the real trooper, he went on camping trips with it. Matt used to go backpacking; I can’t believe he carried everything he needed on his back, a tent, sleeping bag, food, clothes, and more. Maverick had to carry his food, toys, and bowls in his. I don’t know if I would like that, but if I had to do that to be able to go on a trip I would. Matt said they would walk with that stuff for miles and miles. I’ve walked miles and miles with Matt but he said some of those walks were longer.

Maverick with his pack on a backpacking trip with Matt.

Maverick wasn’t the only backpacking dog Matt had; he showed me a picture of Doc and his brother with packs on. Doc was Matt’s dog and Cody, which sounds almost like my name, belonged to Matt’s sister. Both Doc and Cody really worried Matt on one trip. When Matt got to camp and set it up he fell asleep. Both Doc and Cody wandered off and were gone all night until late the next morning. You should hear the whole story. I think the picture with this post is from that trip. Doc went on many backpacking trip with Matt. I think Matt needs to tell and retell some of those stories.

Doc (left) and Cody (right) getting ready to go on a backpacking trip at the Mt. Rogers area in Va.

By the time Jackson came along Matt wasn’t backpacking anymore but he did use the pack. He would carry his thing on the long hikes they took together when they lived in North Carolina but Matt left it there when they moved to Oregon.

Jackson on the trail in the Uwharrie National Forest in North Carolina.
Jackson on the trail in the Uwharrie National Forest in North Carolina.

Well when our teacher said I needed a backpack to work with Matt remembered the pack and had his friend send it to us. We just started using it a week ago and I like it. Of course I can smell Jackson on it, I knew his smell from when I first came home with Matt. Now I am carrying on the proud tradition of being a “pack” dog!

Now it's my pack!
Now it’s my pack!

Well it is time for me to sign off now. Matt’s trying to decide if we are going to our lesson today. It snowed yesterday and he is not sure if we want to drive on icy roads, woof, woof!


Our Little Move

Matt called our move to Oregon The Big Move, that was his working folder for photos during the trip, so I am calling this Our Little Move.

Woof, where do I start? We have been so busy I haven’t had time to write and Matt didn’t either, or felt too bad to. He even got his October newsletter out late and he better hurry up on his November one. I never wrote my second part of our camping trip to Grand Teton, we had adventures with the truck and weather as usual and luckily on the truck it was something simple.

Me running on one of my "walks."
Me running on one of my “walks.”

It was when I told Matt to get a motel room because he wasn’t feeling well so we had to drive to the other side of the mountains to get a motel room we could afford. There is a pass you have to drive way up and then way down it is one of the steepest ones I have seen. I’m glad it’s not a real long drive over that pass just very steep, did I say the road went way up and way down? Woof, well that is the way that road is! When we got to the town on the other side Matt discovered an oil leak. We were lucky Matt picked a motel that was only two blocks away from the mechanic. Of course Matt was upset since the engine in the truck had been replaced last year and he imagined something really bad had happened. Well it turned out to be simple and inexpensive so we were lucky it happened where we could get it fixed fast!

And there I go!
And there I go!

We went back to the Grand Teton park early the next day. After spending most of the day there we started our trip back home in the afternoon. Our second day heading home was rainy and we got home on the third. Shortly after we got back we found out Matt had been approved for an apartment, he was on a waiting list and thought it would be a long time before we would get the place. It’s an apartment, at first I thought we were moving into one of those motels because it almost looked like one, only more buildings and a lot nicer than the ones we stay in when we travel. It’s like living in a park, real grass and real big trees, lots of them. We live in a grove of Redwood trees (WOOF! WOOF!) and just on the edge of town near some nice parks and trails.

This is close to where we live.
This is close to where we live.

After we settled in Matt got sick and I had to keep an eye on him. A lucky thing is Matt already had some doctor appointments arranged for regular checkups so I made sure he went to those so his doctors could help him. I made Matt stay at home mostly and even hid his truck keys for a while. When he started getting well we started taking a few short rides to neat places where I got out to run and walk.


Well that should catch some things up; Matt was talking about going to some waterfalls tomorrow. I hope we do.

On Our Way to the Tetons

   Woof, when we left on our trip it was warm and when we returned it was warm again so I didn’t mind the wet. After leaving early in the morning we stopped at a place along the way in central Oregon called Crack-in-the-Ground and what a big crack it was. We hiked a little way but there were some spots Matt thought was too steep for us so we turned around but it was a neat place. It was in a community called Christmas Valley, but it didn’t look like Christmas to me but it was still nice. I like the Oregon desert, woof!

Woof, me in the big crack in the ground!
Woof, me in the big crack in the ground!

After our hike we decided to drive on to Ontario (Oregon) instead of camping in the area to visit another place in eastern Oregon. Matt said if couldn’t find a campsite close to Ontario he would get a room, which he did. I was ready to go the next morning because we knew where we would be camping the next night it’s an unusual place. Matt doesn’t like to drive on the Interstates so we took a slightly longer but less stressful drive following the Snake River for at least 40 miles. Matt said we would get to see that river again when we got to the Grand Tetons.

We had visited Craters of the Moon National Monument two years ago. It’s out in the middle of Idaho and looks real strange. The ground is mostly covered in rocks and gravel, and the rocks have lots of holes in them. I usually have to wear my boots there because the rocks can hurt my feet, woof!  Matt got there early enough to choose a nice campsite and we had plenty of time to explore, even with the added time Matt had to go back to the campground to get his forgotten camera bag. We are lucky most campers are honest and leave other people’s stuff alone, though Matt was nervous until get got the camera bag!

Our camp set-up at Craters of the Moon National Monument.
Our camp set-up at Craters of the Moon National Monument.

We got up the next morning, Matt cooked breakfast, and we left for the Grand Tetons right after eating. It was still a long drive, we don’t like to drive more than four hours a day and Matt said it was going to be about a half hour longer than that and of course that doesn’t count for the stops for Matt to take photos, or just regular breaks. Sometime on our trips we are out where there isn’t much of anything but land, or mountains, or things like that. Matt always tells me we know we are in real remote places when you don’t see power lines next to the road for miles and miles. We went through a lot places like that in eastern Oregon and in Idaho, you can drive for hours and not see any signs of people. Now animals are a different thing, on these trips sometimes we see animals you wouldn’t see where a lot of people live, though we didn’t any on this trip unless you count squirrels.

Driving through these big open areas, we both love being able to see from what seems to be from the edge of the Earth to the other edge of the Earth. The most fun part of the drive for me was going over Teton Pass. The road winds back and forth and goes up and up. When you get to the top you feel like you are on top of the world, I made Matt stop at the top so we could look out over all the land below us. Woof, what a view!

The view from Teton Pass.
The view from Teton Pass.

I’m going to stop here; my next post will be about what we did and our return to Eugene.

R&R Part II; and not the fun kind!

  Woof my last blog was about rest and relaxation, this time my blog is still about R&R but this time it is rest and recuperation. I must mention here as I have on my Facebook page I was trying to hide the fact I was hurt, but Matt is too observant and took me to the doctor to find out what was wrong. Matt’s truck is a tall one and sometimes I misjudge my jumps. On one of our last trips I fell when I didn’t quite make the jump into the front and ended up on my back. That hurt but I didn’t say anything and acted like I was fine, but oh it did hurt to walk. The doctor took pictures called X-rays of my leg and shoulder. She told us there was no damage to my bones and no signs of bone cancer. Both of us were relieved and Matt said he hadn’t even thought of bone cancer. The doctor said she was worried about that but didn’t want to say anything. She explained to us I have either a muscle or tendon injury and I have to take it easy for at least two weeks.

I'm a sad Jackson.
I’m a sad Jackson.

  Well with all that fuss now I am restricted to just potty walks and can only go downstairs from our room twice a day so I stay downstairs for part of the day. Woof, this is so boring, butt Matt tells me it is necessary to help things heal. He does spend a lot of time with me, but we can’t play ball, or go for our walks, or go swimming, or the dog park, or anything! Matt rearranged his room so there is more floor space and moved my bed and added more cushioning to it because he doesn’t want me to jump up on the big bed because it’s high off the floor. I do get massages and treats but it is still boring. The only plus side I can think of is I have more time to work on my photographs, videos, and blog.

Me on a hike in the mountains.
Me on a hike in the mountains..

  I hope we can go on a trip soon I haven’t even gone on a truck ride since went to the doctor’s office. Matt keeps telling me we will go soon but he is waiting for an okay by my doctor. I get tired of Matt’s music too. I would rather hear the wind, rushing water, birds, or something outdoors. Well I do get to go out in the yard and lie down in the sun, but it’s been cloudy the last couple of days so I only get to sniff around the yard and, well, you know what.

You can get all kinds of stuff with my photo on it, or you can even buy photos of mine at www.matthewirvin.com!
You can get all kinds of stuff with my photo on it, or you can even buy photos of mine at www.matthewirvin.com!

  Woof, that’s enough complaining and I just have to get better! Oh since I am here at the house all day long I decided it’s time for another Photo Dog Jackson mug Mug Contest. I’ll have some details about it on Friday (8/9/19.) Plus I am making a compilation video from my very first one. I should have that ready next week!

Jackson Ruminates on Ageing

  Woof, I am getting an understanding about old age. Now I know why Matt groans and complains sometimes. I will be turning 11 this August and I am close in dog years to Matt’s age now. I think Matt has noticed I am slowing down a little. He is observant because he told me we weren’t going to play ball or Frisbee until my shoulder stopped bothering me. I don’t know how he found out, I thought I was hiding the fact from him, but he watches over me pretty closely. It started hurting a couple of weeks ago, but I like paying so much I didn’t want to tell him. We are still going on walks and we are taking it pretty easy. When we were at Elk Lake on our trip I tried to entice Matt to throw one of the wonderful sticks that were on the beach. It was a cornucopia of dog sticks and so many it was hard to resist. Matt told me to use that word and I looked it up so it fits, woof!

Matt's truck is high off the ground, woof!
Matt’s truck is high off the ground, woof!

  One day on our last trip I didn’t make the jump into the front of Matt’s truck  and fell on my back. It really surprised me and scared Matt. He has started helping me jump in by assisting with my harness. That time I didn’t wait for him and I slipped and fell when I jumped up. The truck is higher than most because it is a four-wheel drive. It has a lot of road clearance plus the back of Matt’s truck has always been a tall jump and occasionally I have missed even when I was much younger. On our last camping trip Matt figured out a real smart way for me to get in the back easily. Matt puts his chair back up to the dropped tailgate and I use it as a step to get inside. That makes getting in so much easier. Even Matt has to use a stepping stool to get in so I really don’t feel embarrassed to use it.  I tried the stool once but it is too small for me to use.

You can tell how far off the ground the tailgate is. The yellow chair is my step up into the back.
You can tell how far off the ground the tailgate is. The yellow chair is my step up into the back.

  Matt said we will grow old together as gracefully as possible. I still have my job to help Matt and I can do it but one day I will have to retire. Now I know why Matt has discouraged me from jumping like I used to. He told me not to worry or get upset about it. He explained there were a lot of things he couldn’t do anymore but what we needed to do was to focus on the things we can still do and enjoy. Oh and he told me he would find a good place for me to swim as that is a good low-impact exercise and I can chase things in the water, double woof!

Me two years ago swimming in Lake Michigan, photo by my good friend Robin Long.
Me two years ago swimming in Lake Michigan, photo by my good friend Robin Long.

  Woof, it’s time for my nap so I had better wrap this up for now. I need an extra one anyway because we recently got back from a four night camping trip. Oh and don’t worry we all age, Matt is making sure I get all my proper nutrition and supplements to help me as much as possible.

We’re Back!

Hello, Matt stepping in on this post on Jackson’s blog. I have been busy for the last few months with a pretty big personal project. After Jackson’s last post on August 31 I didn’t check back on the blog for quite a while. It appears from the traffic history the page went down sometime in November and when Jackson wanted to do a post I found I couldn’t access the page. That was in December so when I finally started trying to find out what happened I couldn’t restore from the backups as the system only goes back 30 days. After some excellent customer service where I host my site I was able to troubleshoot the problems and get the page running.


Jackson is working on a new blog entry so we should have some news from him soon. We both hope everyone had joyful holidays and have had a great start to the new year.




Town Creek Indian Mound
Town Creek Indian Mound

Wrapping It Up (and more to come!)


Woof, I have been one busy dog! We have been back for a while, but I never did a wrap up of our trip. After we left St Paul we were super busy. We went to visit my friend Nate in a town with a funny name like Wetcorney or Corneywetter or something like that in Wisconsin. Our friends, Nate and his humans Bob ad Paulette used to live in North Carolina but moved to that Croneey place. We had a great time visiting with them.   

Our next part of stop wasn’t really a stop, we met up with another of Matt’s friends and we drove and hiked all over this place called Up somewhere in Michigan  the only problem I could not figure where up was! I got to see some new places though. I liked the Great Lakes, they are big as oceans, woof! The waves are a lot nicer there, not as scary as the big ones at the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. We went to waterfalls too there is a lot of water in Michigan (and mosquitoes too!).

This is me at Pichured Rocks rocking it in a boat, woof!
This is me at Pictured Rocks rocking it in a boat, woof!
I am swimming in a Great Lake and woof, was it great!
I am swimming in a Great Lake and woof, was it great!

Next we went to Ohio to see my friend Lisa, I had not seen her for a long time and was sad to learn my friends Pugly and Lucky had gone over the Rainbow Bridge I miss them. I was so glad to see Lisa and meet her new furry owners. All of us had fun at her place.

Woof, Matt has so many cousins I cannot keep up with them all and I wonder how he does.  When we left my friend Lisa’s house we visited another of Matt’s cousins in West Virginia. I saw some big birds when we were there, Matt said they were turkeys. I have never seen such large birds like that before. The next couple of days we did a lot of driving, Matt went to the place where he was born where he went to a bunch of places and took pictures.

I am glad we came back to Marlene’s place in Welcome Valley. It’s always nice there even though Hobo, her cat does not like me much. We stayed there for a week sleeping and resting and relaxing, woof it was nice not driving, well riding in the truck for a change. After Welcome Valley we left for the Smokey Mountains in the rain. I was looking for Smokey the Bear the two days we spent there but I did not see him

Our campsite at the Great Smoky Mountains.
Our campsite at the Great Smoky Mountains.

Then we stopped at Matt’s friend in Asheville. I get to meet Ziva while we were there. She is the boss of Rodney and Valerie, her humans and Matt’s friends.  After we left Ziva’s house we were back on the Blue Ridge Parkway and camped at a place called Crabtree Falls. I wanted to ask Matt why the trees are crabby but I was afraid he would laugh at me. We hiked down to the falls while we were there and enjoyed our last hike of our long trip.

Spending the night at my friend Lucy’s place where her human works at Betsey’s at Wilson Creek in Mortimer was next. We stayed for two lazy days so we would not be too tired by the time we got home.

After we got home I still needed to rest and Matt had to do a lot of catching up, after all we had been gone for five months. Now we are both editing our photographs and videos plus writing about our trip so expect to see more soon, woof!

We are off to Tennessee this weekend to see the eclipse (it’s my birthday present from Matt!)

Woof, woof,

Heading East

  Woof, hello everyone we have been busy the last couple of weeks and what adventures we have had. We are now well east in Minnesota visiting friends in Saint Paul.

  We headed east after we drove to the end of the US until we could not drive any further and then we walked until we could not walk any further. When we reached the very point of Cape Flattering, oops, I mean Flattery, I got so close to the edge it made Matt nervous. He said the cliffs there were undercut so you could fall from the edge breaking off. We were pretty high above the ocean. I stood there and thought about how far we have come. Living in the truck can be cold and cramped but it has been fun so far. We started driving east after our walk and have seen a lot more but it will still be a while before we get home.

This is Cape Flattery and as far as we could go west!
This is Cape Flattery and as far as we could go west!

  Before our walk out to the very edge of the US we were in a rainforest. It was a green, green forest. Green enough where I can see the difference. It was wet all over and mossy. It smelled wonderful. I liked when Matt drove up into the clouds and then up above them to see snow and tall mountains. On a hike by a big river we saw big deer. Matt said they were Elk and not really deer. One of them barked at us and Matt said we needed to leave right then. It was real loud, and I think they followed us a little way.

  I also wanted to mention after walking to the edge of the continent we went back to my friend Sophie’s house. I got excited when I recognized the smell of her place until I remembered Matt said no one would be there. I really wanted to see Sophie again and also Liz and everyone else but Sophie is my special friend. We left the next day and Matt drove the truck onto a big boat called a ferry, I like riding on those. I have ridden on one before, but this one was bigger and I got to walk around on this one instead of staying in the truck.

  So far on our trip east we have enjoyed visiting several parks. We have seen more tall mountains and snow. In North Cascades National Park where we spent two days hiking and enjoying the sights and smells. Glacier National Park was fun too. It was another park that was not all open. We camped on both sides but had a long drive to get from one side to the other. We really started going further each day after making quick stops by other places. One place was called Littlebighorn – woof! I just cannot figure out that name, next we saw Mount Rushmore that place had four big heads of men carved out of the tops of the mountains. Matt told me they were big in more than one way after I told him what I observed. Our next stop was called Badlands, I was wondering why they were called bad, did they do something wrong? I did not want to listen to a long explanation this time so I did not ask Matt about it, woof!

This is St Mary Lake in Glacier National Park I had to get a permit to hike in this park.
This is St Mary Lake in Glacier National Park I had to get a permit to hike in this park.
Me and Matt!
Me and Matt at Badna!

Well after St Paul we will be going to a state called Wiscoccon tomorrow and visit my good friend Nate and his humans and after that to a place called the Upper Peninsula.

Bye for now!

2017 Calendar News!

Woof, woof!

Our new calendars have gone to press! Once again PrintingCenterUSA will be producing our high quality full-color calendars. Check their site out at:


Here are the front and back covers of our calendars and this is the first year for mine so I will have mine first and my human’s second, woof!

Photo Dog Jackson's front cover.
Photo Dog Jackson’s front cover.
Photo Dog Jackson's back cover.
Photo Dog Jackson’s back cover.
Matt's front cover.
Matt’s front cover.
Matt's back cover.
Matt’s back cover.


Woof, I will show the insides soon!

Woof signature JW

The Last of our Scooty Trip

Woof, woof, what fun we had on our last two days of our trip! We drove for a long time. It was so hot my human said we were going to head for the mountains in a state I have been in some, Virginia. We drove from a place call Binghamton, I wonder if they have ham there and what kind ham is Bing? Woof, maybe Bing is the name of the man that has the ham and there is a ton of it? Woof, I think I may be onto something. Well we drove all the way from Bings place to a place in Virginia called Shiny Doe National Park. I like going to national parks even though at most of those I am only allowed in certain places.

Our campsite, ruff, I like campfires!
Our campsite, ruff, I like campfires!

Ruff, one bad thing along the way was we got stuck on the big road that has so many cars and big trucks zooming by, but they were not zooming at all for a long, long time that afternoon. All we could see were stopped cars ahead and behind us. On the other side there was not any cars, the road was empty. Woof, I have not ever seen anything like it. Cars with flashing lights and sirens passed by us on the part of the road you are not supposed to drive on. Finally we started moving again, but we got to our campsite later than we wanted. Instead of afternoon, we got there in the evening but before the sun went down.

Woof, watching the sunset at Shiny Doe!
Woof, watching the sunset at Shiny Doe!

Woof, I can almost see why the park is called Shiny Doe because we saw plenty of does all around our campground and all over the place. There were big deer and baby deer eating all that good tasting green grass there. I just wonder when they are shiny? They did not look very shiny to me! We were camped at a place called Big Meadows and they were big. Not as big at that Gray Sun Park in Virginia, but it was big, woof! We got there in time to take some sunset photos, well Matt did. I am having some problems with my harness my human is going to have to work on so I only took videos on this trip. Though Matt does have some tricks where he pulls out a frame of the video to make a photograph, ruff!

Our hike at the Big Meadow.
Our hike at the Big Meadow.

On our last day we went to a place called Dismal Falls. Woof, I do not know why it was dismal, it was fun and I got to swim and swim and swim! I was fun and I think it should be called Fun Falls because there is a big swimming pool right below it!

Well we are back home now so my human needs to work on my videos, look for them soon, woof! He says we have some plans for our next trip, but I am not telling yet. I really enjoyed this trip and look forward to sharing photos and videos of it, woof, woof!





Matt here again to explain a couple of the place names:
– Shiny Doe Park is Shenandoah National Park
– Grey Sun Park is Grayson Highlands State Park
and of course the Scooty is a reference to Nova Scotia