Friday, August 29, 2014

August Chewy Review

Working with this month, I was sent Good Buddy Cookies by Castor and Pollux to try out with my dog. We received the Cheddar Cheese flavor to review.

Each of the hard biscuits in this bag of treats is a bit larger than a silver dollar. Since they are both large and crunchy, they aren't meant as training treats. What I've been using them for is the treats that the dogs each get when they go in their kennels- both Koira and Pallo stay in crates when I leave the house.

These treats are tempting enough that both dogs happily load themselves into their crates when they hear the bag crunching. The company has a great reputation, and the ingredients are all natural. The ingredient list is short, too, just 8 ingredients, so it is easy to read through. They do contain both wheat and oats, which isn't a problem for my dogs, but could be for dogs who have grain allergies.

Overall, these treats were a hit with the dogs, and I think they are a great price at 3.79 per bag. I've been using them most of the month with the dogs and still have some left in the bag, so I count that as a good deal.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WW: The Crazy Trix

I've been trying for years to get a good photo of Trix on the box. She is one of the border collies on our team, and is officially our fastest dog. Her turn isn't always high, but it is always fast and tight. All of this makes getting a focused photo of her on the box really difficult. But I think I managed some good ones.

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For more photos from my team's flyball demo and Fun Match at the Oregon State Fair this past weekend, check out this post

Monday, August 25, 2014

Oregon State Fair

My flyball team was invited to do a fun match at the Oregon State Fair. The team did a number of demos throughout the day, followed by a 28-race-long fun match in the afternoon/evening. I ended up working in the morning so wasn't able to participate in the demos, but did make it up in time for the fun match.

For the most part, I helped out by box loading for the various singles, pairs, and teams that were running, but I did get a chance to take a few pictures of the dogs in the later part of the evening.

This is Dash, one of our newer dogs. He ran in his first tournament in July.

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Dash has a great turn.

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And he sure is pretty.
Neena is still pretty new to flyball in terms of years, but old in terms of being solid. She has a great turn that was trained without the use of props, using shaping and a clicker. As you can see, that method really worked well for her.

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Nice tight turn

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On her way back
Brit is an old hand at flyball, though she hasn't been in it nearly as long as my dogs. She is ball crazy, but very eager and willing. And while she doesn't have the slim and sleek build of the fast border collies, she sure can turn on the speed.

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Coming off of the box

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On her way back

Taking photos of sports outside is so much easier than indoors. You can keep the ISO so much lower, punch the shutter speed so much higher, and the autofocus tracks so much easier as well. I really like how well a lot of these photos turned out.

Pallo and Koira didn't participate in the fun match. Koira has such a dock diving obsession that I knew if she heard or saw the dock diving happening right next to the flyball area, she would be a terror in her crate. I didn't want to have to manage her the entire time I was there, so she had to stay at home. Pallo came along, but didn't run. He did wear the donation vest over at the dock diving competition for a little while and work the crowd. He picked up $15 in donations for Chase Away K9 Cancer in the few minutes we were over there, and had a great time getting petted and scrounging dropped fair food as well. 

Overall, the fun match went great and the day was a lot of fun. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fit Friday: SUP

SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboarding. And that is the new sport that we are getting involved in. Last weekend, I picked up a board, and then on Monday, I headed to the lake with the dogs in tow and board strapped to the top of the car.

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On the dock, ready to go

I had never been on a SUP before, and my only previous experiences with surfing ended badly, with lots of falling and getting gashed open by the fins. But really, other than the look of the board, paddleboarding is totally different. For one, you can do it on flatwater.

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Jacketed and ready

Ideally I will be comfortable enough with the SUP that I can take it on the river. For my first time, though, I thought the flatwater of a lake would be better. We went up to Foster Lake by Sweet Home and headed down to the boat dock. The SUP I have is 10'6" long and probably 30+ lbs if I took a guess. Large and sort of awkward to move around with, but doable for one person. It may have been insane, but I brought the dogs down with me right away and we all hopped onto the board. I started out kneeling at first, to get the hang of it, and to let the dogs get the idea of what we were doing.

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Pallo standing, and Koira in a down while out on the board the first time. 

Honestly, they settled in quickly and seemed to take it in stride. Koira did jump off the board a few times to swim, but it seemed more like she just couldn't stand sitting still and had to do something more so than her not liking being on the board. She figured out that to get back on she just had to swim over to near me and I would help her up with the handle on her life jacket. There was a bit of barking and whining, but again, I think it was from excitement and wanting to do something rather than being scared or not wanting to be there.

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Riding the nose

Pallo tried out sitting at the front of the board and at the back of the board. At the front, he got dripped on by the paddle when I switched sides, and at the back, I think he was a little less steady. I know he knocked Koira into the water once by deciding to change positions and actually walking underneath her instead of trying to go around- Koira didn't seem to mind much though. Neither me or Pallo ended up in the water at all!

After a bit of a jaunt out with me paddling on my knees, I took the dogs back to the dock and set them up in the car in the shade while I took the board out by myself to see if I could stand up. At first, it seemed totally insane that I would feel stable doing this, but it was only a few minutes before I started feeling more confident while standing. I then went back and got the dogs for another ride out. With me standing, they actually had some more space on the board. The longer we were out, the more stable I felt. I know I was using a ton of muscles though because I was sore the next day!

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She was loving watching the ski boats go by with skiers or people on floats.

Overall, we had a ton of fun. I know I got a workout, and I am sure the dogs got some great core conditioning going on with constantly maintaining balance. I am sure that the more we go, the better we will get too. I do plan on picking up some non-slip pads of some kind for the board, though. The dogs seemed like they were slipping a little bit, and when Koira tried to get back on after taking a swimming break, she had a hard time getting traction with her feet, even with me helping her via the lifejacket. Plus, her claws made some marks on the board while doing that, which I would like to prevent in the future as much as possible.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Black and White Sunday: Logo

I decided it was time to upgrade my logo and watermark for my photography business. This is my new logo. What do you think?

So Fly Photography

Friday, August 1, 2014


I discovered an all new level of terror today. Your dog having a seizure is bad enough. When they have a seizure while you are floating down the river, with no way to get to the car quickly and no cell phone, that is an entirely different kind of terror.

Pallo is fine. We went down to the park to float down the river. I parked at the boat ramp, then walked to the south end of the park and got in the water with the dogs. Pallo was a little reluctant to get in, so I held the handle on his lifejacket and supported him while he got in, which normally helps him and makes him fine. But the second I let go of his life jacket, he tipped forward and his head went underwater. I pulled him back up and to shore immediately, but he was totally unresponsive. Whole body rigid, blank stare, drool spilling out of his mouth and down his chin even though his jaw was clenched shut. I didn't really have any options- I couldn't carry him all the way back to the car like that, certainly not quickly. We sat on the bank for quite a while, then finally I got on my float, loaded him on my lap, and floated down the river back to my car, figuring it was the fastest way to get back. Pallo came out of it gradually, first gazing around a little, making some noise, etc, then slowly having his muscles relax. By the time we got to the point to get out, he was feeling chipper and bouncy and back to himself.

I will say, I am extremely glad that I drove across town to buy a second life jacket for the dogs before going down the river, because had both dogs not had good life jackets on, I would have had no choice but to either sit on the river bank until Pallo came out of it, or try to carry him back to the car.

Benton County Fair and Rodeo 2014

This week is Fair week, and I stopped by last night since flyball practice was cancelled due to high heat. So while the dogs stayed home in the cool inside air, I headed over to enjoy the rodeo.

There was bronc riding.

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And steer wrestling.

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And team roping.

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Lots of barrel racing.

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And even a few bull rides at the end.

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Check out my Flickr page for more photos from the rodeo!

After the rodeo wrapped up and I had grabbed a veggie burrito for dinner and an elephant ear for dessert (because while at the fair, elephant ears are totally required!) I headed into the buildings to wander around, see the animals, and check out the various vendors. At this point, it was dark outside, since the rodeo started at 7pm.

I spent way too long admiring this beautiful girl, named Sheena.

Nomming on her supper of raw beef ribs and raw chicken quarters.

She isn't growling or anything in this picture, she is busy eating some beef ribs. 

Posing for the camera

She lives at A Walk on the Wild Side in Canby, OR. It is a not-for-profit animal refuge that specializes in giving homes to exotic animals that are confiscated by the authorities or have to be rehomed by their owners for various reasons. Sheena herself, though, was transferred from another refuge as a baby to provide companionship to their other tiger, a male who was a rescue. Sheena and a number of other animals from the refuge travel to various fairs and events in the Pacific Northwest, where they provide something of an attraction at the events and raise money to help the refuge keep running.

Right as I was waiting for the fair trolley to pick me up to head home, lighting started firing like crazy across the sky. By the time the trolley dropped me off back at my car and I drove home, lighting and thunder was going crazy and there were big, fat rain drops falling. Luckily, neither of my dogs has a problem with thunder. I think we all enjoyed having a cooler night!