Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- And Happy Halloween!

Well, I made no plan last week since I was dead tired from the flyball tournament Sunday evening and spent Monday recovering. By then, I just gave up on doing a plan. I ended up eating lots of random thing, none of them well planned. Ran to the store to pick something up too many times, and decided to just have a snack instead of a meal a few times too.

So enjoy the menu plan for me and the dogs, and a smattering of Halloween-ish pictures.

So, here goes for this week. As usual, I will probably make enough of each lunch/dinner dish for 2-4 meals and have the leftovers the next day or two.

Breakfasts: Cereal, french toast, garlic bread awesomeness (french rolls, in half, with super garlicy garlic butter spread on them, topped with cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese, in the toaster oven until the cheese gets all nice and brown on top)

Pallo thinks pumpkins are for eating

Lunch/Dinner: Chicken fajitas (chicken breasts, onion, red and green bell peppers, tortillas); Chicken chili; Cabbage and noodles (just cabbage, noodles, and a little butter cooked together); Breaded chicken w/ veggie sides; Cheesy zucchini and yellow squash bake (with bok choy thrown in); Crock pot pork roast with potatoes, carrots, onions (and probably some cabbage and bok choy).

Can you tell I bought a family size pack of chicken? And that I am working my way through a head of cabbage and a bunch of bok choy? These things don't really come in sizes appropriate to living alone. Luckily they keep for a good long time in the fridge, compared to other veggies.

Meals for the Beasts:

Pork. Every day. All week. With some goat liver and pork spleen on the side, perhaps.

Normally I mix it up more than this, but I got a huge thing of super meaty pork ribs that should last most of the week, with extra liver and organs on the side to cover the slight difference between the weight of this pork the and amount needed for the week. Pork ribs a totally edible by most dogs (most pork bones are edible). Normally, pork ribs are too boney to feed often, but these are tons of pork, just a little bone. Not sure whats going on with them, really, but they were on sale for 90 cents per pound, which is a steal of a deal on red meat (pork is red meat, no matter what the pork council tries to tell you).

For more menu planning ideas, visit I'm An Organizing Junkie and StoneGable

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Sewing (And Stuff)

Okay, it was actually Saturday sewing, but I didn't get around to posting yesterday. 

I had a few projects in mind, and had picked up some fabric on sale (remnant at 50% off of the current 50% off price end up being a steal of a deal). I wasn't planning on making the dogs Halloween collars until I saw this great purple with black cats fabric in the remnant bin. I was, however, looking for fleece, which I found there as well.

This picture includes the two Halloween collars I made for the dogs, the tug toy I made out of the selvages of the fleece (directions below), and a thermal-reflective cat bed. I also made a thermal-reflective dog crate mat, but didn't include it in the picture. And, since you are probably wondering, a thermal-reflective bed/mat is basically a thin, fleece covered mat with a thermal-reflective core that, when used, will reflect the body heat of the dog or cat back at them, increasing the warmth. Basically, a non-electric heated bed. I plan to make a few more of the cat beds for Martha and my mom's cats as well, and have another non-thermal dog bed planned.

I also realized that its been a while since I shared some pictures of the dogs playing at the park. A lot of pictures lately have been posed, as I am working on the dogs' sit-stays and down-stays.

So, here you go, my dogs looking goofy at the park!

And now, a DIY tutorial: How to make a fleece dog tug.

Start with four equal pieces of fleece. Mine are 4" wide by 45" (which happens to be the width of this fabric). When beginning, it will be easiest if you have two strips each of two separate colors.

Line up all the strips evenly and tie a knot as close to the end as possible.

Hold the knot in you hand with the long pieces of fabric up. Separate the strips so that one color is up and down, while the other is on either side.

Loop the top strip down and the bottom strip up, putting a finger in the loop that is made and keeping it nice and loose.

With the other colored strips, one at a time, put the strip over the loose end of one loop and through the loop on the far side. Repeat with the other strip of the second color. If you do it right, it should look like this.

Tug on each loose end to tighten the knot. You can leave it quite loose for a soft tug toy, or pull it as tight as possible for a nice firm toy. Make sure to pull each strip evenly, though, to maintain the same length of fabric.

Repeat each knot in this four-square pattern until you get to the end of your fabric strips. Tie a knot like you did at the beginning and trim the tails leftover to equal lengths (if you want).

You can also use other materials, such as old jeans or a t-shirt, to make a tug. I find my dogs like fleece the best, and it is soft on their mouths even when they are tugging like crazy. Plus, by buying remnants, it is easy to make a cheap fleece tug.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Collars and training

Due to a sale at the local fabric store, the dogs got new collars made this week.

I went for a new, fancy look by making them each a 2" brocade collar. With a limited slip, of course. Having my dog pull out of her collar once on a busy street was enough to ensure I will always put my dogs in limited slip collars to prevent that from ever happening again. And, I just had to do a 2" collar this time to show off the fabric.

I think it makes the dogs look very regal.

Now, since I don't have any flyball pictures I haven't already shared, I'm going to continue showing you pictures of the dog's new collars while I talk about flyball training.

Pallo is doing great with his ball carrying training. After a full weekend of him carrying his ball the whole time, I decided it is time to step up the training. So far, I have been sending him, running up to the start line, call him when he hits the box, then facing the lanes, back up a few steps, right hand held out and low in a fist, and yell "Touch" to him. Once he touches my hand with the ball, he gets his tug.

This works fine, obviously, but I want to get back to the normal pattern of flyball. The normal handler pattern goes something more like this: Release dog, run to start line, call dog when dog hits box, turn and run veering to the right, tug held out dangling in left hand, dog hits tug.

So, the first thing I did was put Pallo's tug into my closed right hand. I'm trying not to change the picture too much all at once, so everything else I did in the pattern was the same except for the tug placement (so, facing the lane, right hand outstretched with tug).

He did that successfully a few times, so I upped the ante by then turning and sticking out my left hand with the tug held in my closed fist (so, facing away from lanes, left hand outstretched with tug). He dropped a few feet early the first time, but nailed it the next few times. Over the next few practices, we will hopefully build up to me being able to be running away with the tug dangling and not have to worry about Pallo carrying his ball. I think we will get there without too many problems.

On the front of Koira's box turns, I think we made a decent amount of progress. Instead of using a PVC prop in front of the box, we are now using a single gutter and a triple gutter. These are basically exactly what they sound like, being plastic gutters from the hardware store, cut to be 4' long. The triple is just three of them stacked up, two on the bottom with one centered on top of that (I'll get a picture as soon as I get to the hardware store to make my own for practice at home). Using the triple gutter right in front of the box and the single a few inches out from the triple, Koira's turns are high, tight, and fast. And, she seems to be having a great time.

We will work her with this set up for a while, then slowly fade out the triple so she just has a single gutter in front of the box, then eventually fade that to a white slat laid flat on the ground, then nothing. Hopefully, if we do this over a long enough period of time and take it nice and slow, with lots of pull-out-prop for one hit, put it back in, etc, we will build a beautiful turn that stays high and safe even when at a tournament.

Martha had to come investigate while I was shooting photos of the collars.

I think she was jealous of the dog's getting new bling when she didn't get anything, so she decided to eat Koira's new collar.

As a last little note, I am LOVING my new indoor photo shoot setup. Doesn't it look nice, clean, well-lit, like I have a pro back drop and everything? I picked up two pieces of poster board in white, taped them together, and set it up in front of my window (which is covered in tissue paper so people can't see in, but which acts as a diffuser preventing harsh glares). With winter coming on, its nice to find a way to take indoor pictures that don't totally suck.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Trouble Shooting: Box Turns

As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, Koira's box turns are horrible at tournaments. She hits the box, hard, nearly straight on, with just her front feet. A turn like this puts a lot of stress on the ankles, elbows, and shoulders of the dog when slamming into the box, and stress onto the hips, knees, and back of the dog when she then has to wrench herself around to return down the lane. I refer to this kind of turn as a smash-and-grab.

Now, many dogs race their entire career with a smash-and-grab. Some of them are slightly better turns than others. Many dogs avoid injuring themselves even with a smash-and-grab. But, a team member just retired her 10 year old Tervuren, who had a poor box turn, due to back issues. She loves her dog dearly (because he is a total sweetheart), and has pulled him from competitions to prevent him from injuring himself worse. Every time she mentions his box turn causing this problem, and regret at not working to change it years ago, it makes me cringe for Koira's turn.

I don't want to have to retire my dog at 10 due to problems I may be able to prevent with training now. 

So, I am taking a box training journey. It is way easier to train a good turn the first time around than to correct a poor turn. Every time a dog hits the box with a poor turn, it will take at least 2 times hitting the box with a correct turn to fully retrain the dog. For some dogs who have been competing for years, it may simply be not worth it to try to retrain the box turn, especially if the current turn is half-way decent or the dog runs slow and hits the box gently. Unfortunately, Koira doesn't fall into those categories.

My team will be helping me come up with a training plan for Koira's box turn. She currently has a nice turn with a prop in front of the box, but has no turn at all after a few hits without the prop (such as in a tournament setting). So far, we have managed to fade from a full jump board to a pvc jump prop. The goal is to have good, consistent, high, fast turns without any prop at all. To this effect, I will be practicing at home with Koira daily, putting the prop in and taking it out, keeping a high criteria for the turn and only rewarding good ones. Taking the prop out, though, risks building in the muscle memory of the bad turn, so it will have to be done carefully. With the help of my team, I know we will be able to fix the technical aspects of Koira's turn.

In addition, I need to find a way to make Koira believe that doing box turns is the Best Thing Ever. If she enjoys doing them, she will want to do them correct. It will also help improve her speed down to the box. So, I need input on how to motivate my dog to LOVE box turns. Koira's favorite tricks right now are heeling (which she seems to see as free cookies) and "waving", which is her default behavior whenever a treat is brought out. She is very food motivated, toy motivated, and willing to please. Praise makes her prance around looking all proud of herself. But, she can get over-amped easily, making her brain melt a bit, so she will sometimes resort to body-slamming me for her tug or "waving" at me repeatedly (and punching me in the process) for a cookie.

So, I guess I am appealing a bit to my readers, both flyball trainers and dog trainers in general. I want my dog to LOVE box turns. How would you go about doing this?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ribbons and medals

We had a great weekend at the flyball tournament. Koira ran really nicely all weekend. Her team came in fourth on Saturday and third on Sunday. Sunday they even gave out ribbons for placements, with 3rd and up getting medals.

The medals had a really cute design after the theme of the weekend "South of the Booder"

Pallo's team did really good the first day, getting 1st place in their division on Saturday. They got fourth on Sunday though, as a lot of our dogs were tired and slowed down a lot.

Of course the placement ribbons were for Sunday, so Pallo came home with a fourth place ribbon.

This was also the first time our club took 3 teams to a tournament. Our third team, which I called passes for, won their division both days, with all of the dogs running really consistent.

Tournament wrap-up:

Pallo went an entire weekend without once dropping his ball early, so all the hard work on carrying the ball to me has paid off. He is running slower now though, which I think is from having to concentrate on carrying the ball. But, I would rather him be slow and clean than fast with an early drop. Plus, I am pretty sure he will pick up speed again once he gets used to running like this.

While he didn't drop his ball at all, that doesn't mean he ran perfect. On Sunday, there was a lab/shepherd looking dog that he was terrified of. While waiting on deck, his hackles went up and he started barking at the other dog (for no reason I could see). In the ring, he shied away from the other dog majorly. Pallo was running second and the dog he was scared of was third in the other lane, and Pallo was double striding very slowly back to me, as he didn't want to be anywhere near that dog.

Also, Pallo was running last most of the weekend, passing a very enthusiastic, large, fluffy dog who likes to stop and say hi to him as he runs into the jumps. Partway through Sunday, Pallo decided he was sick of having another dog in his face and bailed on the jumps twice. We switched up the lineup, but had another large fluffy dog passing him and he bailed again. Which ended up leaving only start for a few of our lineups, which he has never run before. But, he did pretty good in start most of the day until our last race. He stopped dead when the other start dog's handler started calling her dog (she sounded a lot like me, so we think he thought I was calling him off, I guess my recall is too good). We switched him back in the lineup and he did fine with the fluffy dogs for the rest of the race.

One thing really ticked me off though, and that was some random person deciding to open the barn doors (which had been closed all weekend, and were RIGHT BEHIND the box) in the middle of our race, during the second heat. Pallo stopped dead after grabbing his ball from the box, turned, and took a long look at the doors moving and the sunlight streaming in. Seriously, some people don't think through their actions much, or else just don't care.

For Koira, I have decided to take her training in a new direction. I originally moved on from doing box-specific practice with her because she was getting bored and losing motivation. I wasn't sure she would ever become a competitive flyball dog, and didn't want to frustrate both of us in trying to reach box-turn perfection if she never ended up completing the course.

Now, however, Koira is showing drive. She is motivated and enjoying flyball. But, she is also running fast enough that her poor box turn (which often degenerates to a smash-and-grab by the second race of the day) is putting way too much pressure on her joints. Her shoulders and ankles are being slammed hard, and her hips and knees are taking too much turning pressure. She doesn't have any health issues from it yet, and may not for years to come, but that't not good enough for me now. I know she will do flyball, and that she likes it now. So we will be taking some time off from doing full runs. Box practice and turns are the only thing we will be working on, with the goal of having a fast, smooth, safe box turn. Having a proper box turn will reduce all the pressures on her various joints, speed up her runs, and help her with her bobbling at the box. So that will be our new focus, with making it fun being a high priority. The more fun she thinks the box is, the faster she will run to get there.

So, that's my more long-winded explanation of the tournament. I had a great time, as did the dogs, and really enjoy running with my team. Everyone is reliable, showing up where and when they are supposed to, getting everything done, and generally being fun to hang out with. Its great that even though our team has grown a lot, really fast, we all still are willing to work together and be pleasant and have fun. Really, this is what flyball is about to me. Its not winning (though that is nice), its not getting titles (though, again, enjoyable), but rather having fun and having a team of people who are there, with everyone supporting everyone else. Having that team around you makes every achievement more enjoyable.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pit Bull Awareness Day

October 22nd is National Pit Bull Awareness Day. I will be spending it in Auburn, WA, a town with Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). Or rather, right outside of town at the facility hosting the flyball tournament. And yes, something strikes me as just wrong about that. Then again, BSL strikes me as just plain wrong anyway.

*Every breed pictured in this post could be restricted or banned under BSL, along with many other breeds and dogs not pictured.

In honor of Pit Bull Awareness Day, I figured a post would be in order about traveling with your dog to areas with BSL. No matter what breed you own, these guidelines should be followed, because in the end, the actual breed of your dog doesn't matter, it is the breed your dog is accused of being (and I have had a Coton de Tulear accused of being a Rottweiler, in seriousness). And, the United States is not the only country with BSL in place by any means.

Tip Number One
Know your route, and check any planed stops and destinations for BSL. Most of the time, these laws can be found on city or county websites under the Animal Control portion. In addition, there are some great websites out there listing all cities and counties with BSL (so far, no states have enacted state-wide bans). Some of these websites to check are StopBSL, Understand-a-bull, and DogsBite.Org.

Tip Number Two
It is important to not only know if BSL is in place, but the specific laws. Some places outright ban certain breeds (generally these breeds will include, but not be limited to: American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinches, German Shepherds, Akitas, Huskies, and mixes there-of, but often will include other breeds or size or weight restrictions). Genereally dogs accused of being a banned breed in these areas can be seized by the police or Animal Control outright, and owners have to fight to get their dog back.

Other places will have restrictions places on certain breeds, including limiting them to being walked by adults only (18+), walked only on a 4 or 6 foot leash, muzzled in public, or additional restrictions. Generally, breeds included in BSL in these areas are not at risk of being seized by authorities (unless the dog is running loose or exhibits aggression), but the owner could receive a ticket or citation for violating the breed specific laws.

Because of these two major differences in basic BSL, it is important to know the laws of the places you will be passing through or stopping in. Some areas are so bad that if you get pulled over with a banned breed (or what someone decides to call a banned breed) in the car, the dog can be seized (Denver is famous for strictly enforced BSL), where as other areas only care if you are a resident or your dog is actively threatening a person or animal's safety.

Tip Number Three
Be prepared to change your plans if you discover BSL along your route. As stated above, some areas are so bad that you could risk losing your dog (and some dogs seized are "accidentally" put down or "lost"). If you must travel to one of these areas, plan on boarding your dog with a friend, family member, or professional boarding kennel, or having a pet sitter watch your pets at home. Sure, it may not be legal for them to seize and destroy your dog, but once it happens, no number of lawsuits in the world will get your dog back for you.

Tip Number Four
When traveling with any dog, of any breed, it is important to always keep your dog on a leash and under control. No matter how good your dog's recall is, don't let them off leash at a freeway rest stop or in a public park. Even the best-trained dog can get spooked and run off. Additionally, many places (Auburn, WA included) will not bother you about your dog's breed unless the dog/owner is breaking a law already, such as leash laws. Consider your leash to be insurance. You may know your dog wouldn't run over and bite someone, or act aggressive, but if you dog is on leash 100% of the time on your trip, you can prove that your dog did not have the chance to do so if someone accuses you.

Tip Number Five
Avoid areas with BSL whenever possible. If you know you cannot drive around a certain town, be prepared to leave your dog at home under good care. However, there are times when you have to bring your dog along, and driving around is just not an option. In that case, call the police department and Animal Control in the county and city where you will be and talk to them. Ask if dogs can be seized from an owner and what they expect you to do with your banned breed while in the area.

I plan on avoiding Auburn as much as possible, but will have to drive into city limits along the outskirts of town to get to the tournament site. I called the city police (as it is a city specific ordinance). They reassured me that their laws only apply to residents owning those breeds and that as long as my dog is in my car or on leash she is not at risk of being seized. I then had them email that statement to me, to print out and carry in the car. Though I don't plan on being in town, something unforeseen might happen where I need to be there (like my car breaking down, etc). I also talked to fellow flyballers and some agility people as well who have breeds covered in the Auburn ban, and not one of them has every had an issue of any kind.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cow Butts

Most of the search terms used to find my blog are reasonable, to me. Flyball, flyball box, flyball collar, flyball sport mix dog, etc, are all terms that come up a long on the blog, and really, have a lot to do with what I talk about. It makes sense, then, that Flyball is the single most searched term leading to someone clicking on my blog.

Lure coursing and slip leads have come up a few times as well. Seems like a reasonable number of people are interested in doing the CAT, doing lure coursing with their hound, or looking at/buying/learning to use a coursing slip.

A few people, directed to my blog through Google searches, may have come up disappointed. I did not, actually, post who won the CanAm 2011. For you: Rocket Relay won CanAm 2011 after the fifth heat ended in a dead tie with Instant Replay.

Those interested in Disc Dog and Canine Dancing/Freestyle won't have found much in the way of training tips, but hopefully they were satisfied with the plethora of pictures.

I hope those people directed to the blog by inquiries about raw diet, raw diet in sports dogs, and flyball dog diets have been helped by my weekly Menu Planning posts, which include the diet for my dogs every week (though I stopped writing glucosamine supplement every time, even though they get it every day).

My Flyball Training Series posts may have helped out the person looking for flyball target training, and I sincerely hope the touch stick training and other behaviors to be trained help them find what they were looking for.

What I don't understand is the number of people directed to my blog when searching the term "cow butts". Sure, I mentioned cows back in my post about the fair, and even included a picture of some cow butts. What I'm more confused with is 1) Why are people searching google for cow butts? and 2) Are there so few pictures/references out there to cow butts that my blog is one of the top hits?

If cow butts are so popular, why not Sheep Noses? Afterall, the picture depicting a sheep nose is so much cuter.

At this point, however, I have probably repeated the phrase "cow butts" so many times that it is destined to become one of the newest draws to my blog. Maybe I should go visit some farmers in the area so I have new cow butt pictures to share? Any local farmers want to offer up their cows for a photo shoot?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Meal Plans and Pumpkin squares (And Lure Coursing pictures)

We are off to a flyball tournament this weekend, so that means stuff like cleaning the house, cleaning the car, and packing all have to happen as well. Luckily (or unluckily, monetarily speaking), work is super light for the next week, so I'll have plenty of time.

As requested, the recipe for the pumpkin bars I posted last week:
Make pumpkin cream cheese (1 package cream cheese, 1/4 cup canned pumpkin, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 2 T brown sugar).

In a greased baking dish, lay out one layer of crescent rolls (I just used the off-brand package of them, and did a small pan, which took one tube). Pinch the seams together. Spread with Pumpkin Cream Cheese. Lay the other half of the crescent rolls over the cream cheese, pinching the seams together. Top with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon, and scatter a few small chunks of butter across the top. Bake at 350 until golden brown and flaky (about 15 minutes in my toaster oven).

Slice and serve. They are great warm out of the oven, or cold the next day for breakfast.

Meal plans for the week:

Lunch/Dinner meals: 
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches: a roast was on sale, which I got for the dogs, and cut off my own portion of the meat, plus I have two bell peppers to use up still, and some onions, and a few hoagie rolls left from the apple butter meatballs last week, which I ate as hot meatball subs.

Fajitas: with the same mix as the cheese steak, minus the cheese and plus fajita seasoning and a tortilla

Chicken/corn chowder: Plan is to cook a chicken quarter in the crockpot (after removing the skin/extra fat). I'll remove the meat from the bones and brown up the meat in the pan, then make my normal corn chowder, adding the chicken in. The bones from the quarter, along with some vegetable scraps like onion skins, will get made into chicken broth the next day, in the crock pot.

Quesadillas: Since I have tortillas, this is one of my fall-back foods. Made in a cast iron pan, please, as I can't stand a soggy tortilla from the microwave.

Pumpkin French Toast: Because it sounds amazing, and I am still trying to use up all that canned pumpkin. I really need to just freeze it into an ice cube tray next time to use in small amounts as the need comes up.

Cheese Sandwich: A cheese sandwich, made on five seed bread, with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, apple slices, sprouts (alfalfa/radish/clover/chia mix), and sunflower seeds. Because I used to get this at a coffee shop down the street from my college, and its an amazing sandwich. Might have this a few times, to use up all my sprouts and fully solve my craving.

*Shopping list: Milk, eggs, maple syrup, Halloween candy (my contribution to our team potluck over the weekend, along with some blackberry liquor)

And, here are the dogs with the two Qualifying ribbons each, from the CAT yesterday (check out yesterday's post for videos)

Dog meals for the week:

As I mentioned above, we are gearing up for a flyball tournament. Which for my dogs means a week of no organs, slightly more bone, and consistent meals. Last thing I want is a dog suffering from too much organ meat, too little bone, or a new-food reaction at the tournament (or stinking up the car on the drive).

Monday: Chicken Quarters (Yes, out of the same bag as I am feeding to myself. Its the benefit of buying meat at the grocery store for the dogs.)
Tuesday: Beef heart
Wednesday: Beef heart
Thursday: Chicken quarters
Friday: Beef heart
Saturday/Sunday (at the tournament): Chicken quarters, with a small portion of beef heart in the late afternoon after racing is over.

It is about two-days-worth more bone than I usually feed to my dogs. Bone firms up stools, so I feed it a bit more heavy for tournaments and traveling as a dog with the runs is 1) not feeling their best, 2) not pleasant to be around, and 3) likely to soil in the ring, which I DON'T want to continue our reputation of. This is the same reason I omit organs in the week leading up to a tournament, or any new/rarely fed protein source.

I will also be freezing some tuna juice into ice cubes to add to the dog's water if they aren't drinking. Koira barely drank at all at the last tournament, and the dogs need to stay hydrated.

For more meal planning and recipe tips, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie and StoneGable.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lure Coursing Videos

Koira ran her first CAT (Coursing Ability Test) this morning. She left the lure, but when I re-sent her to it, she picked it back up, and still managed to come in under the time limit, giving her a Q. She did the same thing for her second CAT, again, earning a Q, but not very prettily. I only got the first one on video, and the camera didn't care much for the fog. We have one more CAT Q to go to achieve a Coursing Ability (CA) title.

Pallo ran the CAT 1 and CAT 2 steadily and solidly, bringing home two Q's to be proud of. Even with those short legs, he did great.

Pallo did get a bit tired toward the end of his runs, especially CAT 2. But he showed his drive and game good. One more Q to his CA title!

*For the CAT, dogs over 12 inches at the shoulder must run a 600 yard course, while dogs shorter than 12 inches run 300 yards. The time limit for 600 yards is 3 minutes.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hello, Friday

How nice of you to join us.

The sun was out, the clouds were reduced to nice little fluffy white bits in the sky, and overall, the day was amazing. So I took the dogs out for a 3 hour walk at the park.

Safe to say, I think they had fun.

Or at least, they had fun until a random dog ran up and bit Koira in the side, leaving her with a bleeding hole. It looked worse at first than it turned out to be, and despite being in what seemed like a horrible place (the strip of skin between her rib cage and her back leg), it closed up okay overnight, relieving my worry that it would require stitches. Koira is now on antibiotics twice a day, since it was a dog bite (prone to infection) and was red and puffy the next morning. Luckily, she doesn't mind at all.

Raw feeding tip: Instead of using Pill Pockets brand treats to hide medications in (which contain wheat, corn, and all sorts of other nasties), chicken hearts are a perfect raw feeding pocket for meds. In fact, they are just the right size to cover most medications, including Koira's antibiotics, and she happily will slurp down a fresh chicken heart in no time. Just pick up a chicken heart, insert pill, feed to dog. (Note, insert it straight into the top of the heart, not into the large vessel, which will rip open.)

ETA: The other dog ran up, bit Koira. Koira yelped, ran to me (big baby, right?). The other dog returned to its owners. I leashed up both of my dogs (this was at an off-leash area of a park), walked over, and told them what happened. The owner was very nice about it, baffled at the dog's behavior, and paid for Koira's vet bill.

In any case, the park even provided a chance for a photo shoot I have been meaning to try: Dog silhouettes. I plan on trying some more, but here are the two best ones I got (of course the camera battery was dying at this point).

I like the way, in the second one, the sunlight picked out Pallo's fur, giving him a really nice partial outline. But I think I need to find a better place to try this next time, as the grasses and high horizon made these pictures not quite what I was looking for.

Anyone else have a list going of photo set-ups you really want to try out?

And don't forget to join in the Saturday Pet Blog Hop!