Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pinterest Challenge

Pinterest Challenge with Megan (The Remodeled Life)Katie (Bower Power)Sherry (Young House Love) and Michelle (Decor and the Dog).

These four bloggers issued a pinterest challenge. To take a break from pinning and actually create something that you pinned. I thought that sounded like an excellent idea and decided to do not one, but two projects I had been thinking about for a while. 

The first one is a dog gear hanging rack and organizer. Seriously, do you have any idea how many dog collars, leashes, and harnesses I own? Yeah, way too many. In any case, I took inspiration from any number of pins for this. Most of them being those oh-so-amazing pet friendly homes that my house will never ever look anything like. I'm supposed to link up to the specific pin and the source website, but frankly, this one was simply Pinterest inspired, rather than from a single pin. In any case, I bring you my new leash/collar/harness organizer.

There are actually two more of the loops for collars on either side of this, making it a good bit longer. I just apparently didn't get those in any of the pictures.


And yes, I have way more collars, leashes, and harnesses to add to it. We'll see if it manages to stay on the wall once it gets loaded down. I honestly sort of doubt it, but we'll hope!

Making this was pretty simple. I went down to the local Habitat for Humanity Restore yesterday after work. I picked up one bag of silver knobs for $1, a bag of blue pulls for $2, a long narrow chunk of cedar planking for $1, and a can of spray paint for $2.60. Then I went home, sanded the splinters off the board, and used hot glue to attach the knobs and pulls. Once attached, I put the whole thing outside on some newspapers and spray painted it. Waiting for the paint to dry was the most time consuming part.


Then I attached it to the wall (using wall stickers from the Dollar Tree, plus some hot glue after it fell down twice). I also added a neat Ooh La La sign that I thought was awesome and picked up from Goodwill forever ago, and which has been sitting leaning up against a wall where no one could see it ever since then.

Bam. Done.

The second project I wanted to do has nothing to do with dogs. But it is pretty awesome. I have been lusting over the tablet cover in this pin for a while. The tutorial for it can be found here. So, totally ignoring the instructions, I picked up a cheap book, some scrap booking paper, and some elastic, then went to town. Some parts of it turned out not quite like I wanted (and I ran out of the ribbon lining and need to go grab more before it is officially finished), but over all, I would call this project a success. Enough of one that I decided to make two of them!






What I apparently didn't get in the pictures is that the scrapbook paper lining the white book is a shining brown with paw prints in different shades of brown and blue, all glittery and awesome. I did add the paw print stamped on the cover of the white book as well, to give it just a little something extra. 

Have you been getting any of your Pinterest projects done?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


A quick update. Koira's bite is healing quickly. The vet gave her antibiotics for both the bite and the swollen lip, which we think may be a staph infection brought on by itching the side of her face enough to break the skin. If that is the case, we are not sure why she would suddenly have decided that she needed to scratch her face that much- an allergy would be the best guess, though to what we aren't sure.

We are also using some anti-fungals on the round spot on her leg near the bite. It may be part of the bite (I didn't notice it beforehand at all). However, it looks suspicious as possible ringworm. It did not glow under the special lights (90% of ringworm will glow, according to my vet), but I decided to go ahead and treat for ringworm with a topical just in case, since it won't do any harm.

So, we're hoping the antibiotics clear up the lip swelling and keep the bite from getting infected. Other than some whimpering at bedtime the first night of the bite, Koira doesn't seem to notice or care about any of this. She enjoys the extra treats she gets for taking her pills and for standing still to get sprayed. In her world, this is all good. She even LOVES going to the vet, and got to see some of her favorite people there.

PS: Thank you for all the well wishes on the last post. I figure our week just has to get better and better from here, right?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oh Joy... Or not

Today is one of those days that I would very much like a do over. First thing this morning, I checked on Koira's lip. It was swollen and sort of red as of yesterday morning, and I was hoping it would have gotten a bit better by today. I gave her some benadryl and iced it a little before going to bed. Unfortunately, it appears to be just as bad.


I worked this morning, then headed over to the Friends of the Library book sale at the fairgrounds when I got off work. It was super sunny and clear out, so I didn't spend long there because I wanted to get home and take the dogs out.

Leaving the fairgrounds parking lot, someone backed into my car. It was hard enough to crack the bumper, and my shoulder has been hurting a good bit since then, but overall I am okay, and the dogs were not along thankfully. After getting the other driver's insurance information, I headed home to take the dogs out.

The park was great and sunny, but it meant there were a lot of other people out with their dogs. Most of the people and dogs are regulars at the park, so we knew most of them. This isn't a dog park, but rather, a large park with sports fields, trails through the woods, and picnic areas, most of which allows dogs to be off leash this time of year. It is popular with dog owners around here, and has way fewer issues than designated fenced dog parks. Unfortunately, on our way back to the car after an hour of playing, Koira got bit by another dog. I am pretty sure what happened is that Koira and the other dog were chasing the same ball and the other dog bit Koira's rear leg to get to the ball faster. They were a good distance away across the field, and all I saw was a short spat, and then Koira came back to me when I called her. We went on our way, but noticed a little while later that Koira had been bit. She wasn't limping or giving any other indication of being hurt though.



So, we are basically okay. But, we could certainly be better. I wouldn't mind a do over for the day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Disjointed Nose

This is what Pallo looks like when I am sitting at the computer and he wants me to throw the ball. Balancing the ball against my leg with his nose often results in a somewhat... off center... nose.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Slow week

It is a slow week in bloggable material for me. I've been working way too much, and the dogs have been staying at home way too much. Koira is bored and shredding things, so is back to being crated when I'm not home. She has also developed a taste for chocolate protein shakes, which she steals and sucks dry whenever she gets the chance. I keep moving them, thinking they are out of her reach and then she still manages to get at them. Silly dog beast.

The dogs are, of course, still getting to go out and run at the park. I am just not getting pictures of them. I did watch another photography seminar on Creative Live (or, well, most of one, between job times). I also decided to change the blog name. It has always seemed long and clunky to have My Life With Flyball Dogs. Sure, it is descriptive. But, not very sleek and cool. So, hope everyone likes the new name. And that you can still tell it is us! I kept the URL the same and have no plans on changing it. Hopefully that keeps down some of the confusion.

Oh, and the new kitten totally has a name. Sorry I forgot to announce it on the blog! I did announce it on Facebook, but for those of you who don't follow us over there, the kitten's new official name is: Theodore Trex. He is still tiny and adorable, and his legs are much shorter looking in person than they come across in photos. Right now, our main training goal is to teach a good recall so he can spend time out in the yard with the rest of us.

Hopefully I'll have a chance to get some pictures and writable blog material soon!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mischief Monday: Tater

A flyball friend of mine has many dogs. One of her dogs is Tater, who is accused of being even more adorable than Pallo. And possibly even more tug crazy. What do you guys think?

These pictures are of Tater last year when we did the Nike Hoops Summit halftime show with my friend's team.

Here is Tater looking cute.
Canon 8950

Here is a still shot of Tater tugging
Canon 9026

And here is a recent video of Tater while "relaxing" between runs at agility practice.

What do you think? Is it possibly he is cuter and more tug crazy than my Mr. Pallo?

PS: I decided to update the name of the blog to So Fly. I don't plan on changing the URL or anything else, however. I have always felt my blog title was a bit long and wordy, so thought I would change it up. So Fly just seems so short and snappy, and yet so very descriptive all at the same time. We'll still be the same kind of awesomeness in the same place!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

First off, Happy Valentine's Day!

I couldn't resist doing a holiday photo shoot with everyone. I wanted to try doing a high key background, and have wanted to try for a while. But backdrops are expensive, and so are studio lights. Turns out, I don't need them. I ended up picking up this white backdrop from the fabric store. It was $6.99 per yard, I picked up three yards, and used a 50% off one item coupon, so ended up paying just over $10 for this backdrop.


I also don't have studio lights, and I don't know if I will ever have the money to invest in them. Or if I would use them enough to make it worth the investment in the first place. I don't even have a bounce flash. Instead, I used mostly window light, a reflector, and a four bulb lamp that I moved off to one side to try to even out the light on the background.


The pictures came out looking okay in RAW, but not awesome. So, I went into Lightroom and did a first ever for me. I invented my own preset. I named it "Bright White Valentine" because it basically made the backdrops bright and white and brought out the reds in the balloon (from Dollar Tree) and the red heels (from a thrift store in Toledo, OR on my birthday for $2). I still have a ton to learn about Lightroom, Photoshop, and editing in general, but I love how these pictures turned out.

Of course, I couldn't leave it at that. I ended up experimenting some and coming up with a few other favorite edits. I may have gone a bit overboard. If you are interested in seeing all of the photos from this shoot, look me up over on Flickr.

I can't decide which edit I like the most. Do you have a favorite? Like the clean white look above, or the faded vintage below? Whichever it is, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!






Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Feet

Puppy Love-114

Puppy Love

We had a great weekend in California. Pallo was awesome all weekend, running clean every time. Even I didn't mess up at all, and we had no ball dropping, jump skipping, or early passes at all. His times were good for the most part, in the 5.2-5.3 range, even on Sunday afternoon. My passes made him get some times more in the 5.6 range a few times, but overall, we both did really good.

Puppy Love-26.jpg
Warm up with the prop, nice high box turn

Koira was entered in singles. It is basically the same as regular racing, only there is one dog in each lane instead of a team of four. Singles is offered only in U-Fli, which we don't compete in often (NAFA is much more common in our region). During our warm up time, I had Koira do both close up box work with the prop, and a few full runs with the prop. Her turn was okay for a few runs once the race started, but I pulled her from the last few heats in both races on Saturday, and didn't race her at all on Sunday, we just used our warm up time. Her turn still has a long way to go.

Puppy Love-84
Running without the prop. Koira's rear is low, one foot not even up on the box. We have some work to do!

I spent a lot of time taking pictures of the other dogs running (and major, huge thanks to the people who used my camera to get some pictures of Koira running!). This mastiff was about the most adorable thing ever at flyball. He was hilarious to watch. His first run of the day, he went over one jump, then casually veered to the side to try to get some pets from the spectators. The rest of the weekend, he was much more solid on his jumps, but hilarious at the box. He would either jump up, put his feet on top of the box, and lick the box loader, or else would stand in front of the box for a moment before grabbing the ball, without ever touching or triggering the box. Very cute, but the rules require the dog triggers the box with the ball still in it, so he got a lot of flags for this. He did get his first points ever though because of interference from the other team. And really, he was a crowd favorite every time he ran!

Puppy Love-179
Cutest dog ever doing flyball

We ended up packing up and leaving before the end of the racing day on Sunday. I had 8 hours of driving ahead of me and wanted to be home before midnight. We skipped Koira's last singles run and left shortly after Pallo's last run with his team. I like to stay for the end of racing and awards, and have never skipped it before, but that drive was motivating for getting out of there. 

Before taking off, I had to load the car back up with everything from the weekend, plus a pair of flyball boxes that my team purchased and that I needed to bring north from me. Flyball people are awesome, and one of the people Pallo was running pick-up with brought the boxes over from Las Vegas, where they were made. Everyone was worried about me being able to fit them both in my rather small car, but it didn't turn out to be an issue at all.

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All packed up for the drive home

Monday, February 11, 2013

Signed Book Giveaway!


This dogtastic giveaway has been brought to you by authors Joe and Cathy Connolly

Giveaway ends on Sunday 3rd March at 11.59pm EST

A Dog Lovers lasting guide.......An beautifully illustrated interactive book that one fills in all of the information about their dogs life in the event they can no longer care for them to help ensure your pets are taken care of.

A thought provoking check list for dog lovers, who unfortunately and with much sadness can no longer take care of their dog.

This book will assist those who want to prepare for their dogs future in an easy to use format that will guide them through the process of telling the "story" of their dogs life, for their pets "Next Guardian".

None of us can predict the future, but in the event situations arise such as death, health impairment or left with no other choice but to give them up, this book will be there to assist your beloved pet with the transition from one home to another.

Enter Below and Good Luck !!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Puppy Love

We are headed off to California for the Puppy Love tournament tomorrow morning, so I will probably not be posting this weekend, or visiting blogs. I'll do my best to catch up when we get home though.

With Pallo running pick up with a team out of Nevada, and Koira running singles for the first time, it is going to be a busy and fun weekend.

Here are a couple corgi pictures to keep you occupied until we return.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Weight Pull Practice

We've been practicing weight pull once or twice a week with a friend. Since we are using a cart, the friend is a necessary safety measure, as we need someone on the brake so the cart doesn't run over the dog.

I have been using a touch stick method to get Koira to pull. An important part of training is that she learn proper body position, which basically means she needs to learn to pull with her head down. While not so important with light weights, it will get very important when she is asked to pull more weight down the line. To keep her head low and forward, I've been using a touch stick (also commonly called a target stick) out in front of her and close to the ground. I then treat her down low as well, or toss treats on the ground in front of her.

This past week, I strapped the GoPro onto the end of the touch stick. The battery was borderline dead, so I didn't get very long videos, but I think it is enough for you to see the basics of what we are doing. Basically, I hook Koira's harness up to the cart, walk her out so the bar of the harness is not on her hocks, and then have her wait. Then, I go out next to her, put the target end of the touch stick out in front of her a ways, down low near the ground, and tell her to touch. She sticks her nose down toward the stick, throws her shoulders into the pulling, and walks toward the stick, head low, pulling the weighted cart (for reference, she has just over 100 lbs on the cart in these videos). I reward her when her head position is good, when she has pulled  a decent distance, when she gets a good start on the cart, etc.

Sorry at the videos being a bit tilted. I basically just taped the GoPro onto the touch stick with scotch tape, and it ended up being a bit crooked.

Anybody have weight pull questions? Anybody do weight pull and have tips for me?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mischief Monday: What is more mischievous than a cat?

Okay, so, this isn't going to turn into a cat blog, I promise. But, I may post about training of this new kitten on here some. I do plan on teaching him flyball, after all. And hey look, I've taught him to tug already!

Tugging away
I would consider him a good candidate for flyball, actually. He is smart, toy motivated, and eager to learn.

We'll have to work on his confidence a bit though.

Attack! Kill! Maim!
I'm thinking we will have a good run, though. And really, he'll be the cutest thing running flyball ever.

Putting on the cute
See? We are already working on leash training.

All leashed up

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sin City

I purchased Lightroom 4 at the beginning of the month as an upgrade to the free photo editing program I had been using. I am still trying to learn how to us it effectively. I did, however, find a lot of free downloadable presets that I can use with it. The different presets look different on different pictures. And some days, I like one preset a lot, and don't like it at all on others.


Today, I was really liking the Sin City preset I downloaded, and used it on a whole grouping of photos from our play day out at the park earlier. We have sun today instead of rain, which is pretty awesome.


The dogs were enjoying a chance to run around in the sun, no coats on and no icky wet rain falling from the sky. And there were a ton of other people out, both with and without dogs, so that park was a busy place in the afternoon.


I actually ended up skipping going to the DMV (I shouldn't have, because now I need to go on Monday before end of day). But the sun was out and the dogs were having such a good time.


So, if you do a lot of photos (for your blog or otherwise), what editing program do you use? If you use Lightroom, have you tried presets? Do you pay for them, or just find free ones? What do you think of this preset that I used to edit all these pictures?


For those who aren't familiar with Lightroom, presets are basically the same as Actions are in Photoshop. Basically, it takes a series of settings or editing moves that you make to a picture and saves them all in one place. All you have to do to apply it to a new photo is click on the action. So, these are all very literally one step edits. Sometimes I need to adjust the exposure or tint or something a little bit after applying the preset, but still, it takes only a few seconds to edit each photo.


This particular preset basically mimics the style of the movie Sin City. Overall, it makes the picture mostly black and white, but leaves in the reds. But, it isn't like color selection, because red tones are left in the entire photo, and are muted depending on what shade of red they were to begin with.


This picture below shows what the preset does really well. The dog is naturally white with a few tan spots on him. He was wearing a bright red bandanna  The edited photo is mostly black and white, but keeps the red tones in the human's hand, the red bandanna, and a tiny hint of red in the tan ears of the dog.


And, I promise, no matter what it looks like in the photos, my dogs were having a ton of fun, and were playing the entire time. Pallo may sometimes look like he is being beat up on, but in reality, he goads other dogs into playing with him by doing his bouncy ferret dance in their face and then taking off running to be chased. It is adorable.


So, that is the series of photos from the park today. What do you think? Like the edits? Prefer them in full color?


Oh, and don't forget to answer my poll of what to name my new adorable kitten!

Which Name Should I Give My Cat?

Brian ("Life of Brian")0%
Theo (Theodore)0%
Tiny Tim0%
Sammi (Sam/Samuel)0%
Danny DeVito0%
Oz (Wizard of Oz)0%
Warwick Davis0%
Shaquille O'Neal0%
Bao Xishun (Or perhaps Meow Xishun)0%