Thursday, August 16, 2018

Kinsol Trestle Hike- The Non-Trestle Part

The Kinsol Trestle hike we went on this past weekend is gorgeous, and gives some great views of a very impressive wooden trestle. But it also has some short but beautiful trails through the forest near the trestle as well.

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Dogs on a log

This is the little trail that wound down to the base of the trestle and the gorgeous little stream down below.

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I had a more noble looking photo, but the silly grin fits him

I would say, if you make it out for this hike, it would be a shame to not hike down to the river while you are there. I am sure on hot days the river is likely busy, but there are quite a few semi-accessible spots (trails are steep to get to the river itself, so not suitable if you aren't able to do a bit of a scramble).

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Posing in a sunbeam

The river itself is beautiful. Very Pacific-northwest with the deep greens and variety of mosses and ferns.

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The river pool

The dogs enjoyed an opportunity to cool off and play around on shore for a bit before we headed back to the car.

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Wading pool

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Hiking the Kinsol Trestle, Vancouver Island, BC

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Kinsol Trestle

This past weekend involved a trip up to Vancouver Island, British Columbia for a flyball tournament. My original plan involved going up a few days early and staying an extra day or two, and spending that time hiking on the island.

Unfortunately, that didn't end up working out, and I went up on Friday, arriving late in the evening, and took the last ferry home on Sunday (arriving home a little after 4 am on Monday morning).

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Trail head signpost 

With that, we did manage to get in one hike on Saturday afternoon after racing was done for the day. Just a 15 or so minute drive from the flyball venue is a rather famous hike to the Kinsol Trestle, which is a very old wooden railroad trestle bridge, which has been converted to a walking trail. The curve of the bridge, as well as the size, makes it unique.

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On the bridge. 

The hike is only about 1 km from the parking lot to the bridge, and it is relatively flat, and a very smooth, wide path. The hike is very easy, though you can add length by hiking further along the trail past the trestle or by doing what we did, which is take the steep, winding path below the trestle down to the river.

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Part way to the river

The bridge railings were offset somewhat from the actual surface of the bridge, which made it too dangerous to try to get the dogs anywhere near the railing. Large dogs would be less of a concern, but the gap was certainly large enough that Ptera could fall through. The on the bridge section of this was absolutely leashes required.

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Love the curve of the trestle

Once we were on the path headed under the bridge to the river, there were fewer people. The path winds back and forth through the forest on either side of the bridge, going under the bridge in two different places with picnic tables set up for a lunch.

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If you zoom in on this photo, you can see the cobwebs on Ptera's head

I wanted to try to get some photos of Ptera with the bridge that showed the wooden construction as well as the size and scale of the bridge. Ptera is only 10 lbs, so you can get an idea of how massive this bridge is.

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With the cement base of the trestle

If you make it to this hike, I do recommend taking the path down to the river if you can, as it is gorgeous, and offers great opportunities for photos.

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Blue sky peaking through

Obviously the trestle is not for climbing on, and signs will remind you not to climb on the trestle at regular intervals. Ptera was never far above the ground and was always placed carefully on her perch until she felt solid.

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Really, really tall

In the end, this ended up being a great hike. If I only did one for the weekend, this was a good choice.
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At the river

Monday, August 6, 2018

Paleoterrorist No Fly List RATI MBDX FMX TKA URO1

Ptera and I attended our first Rally Obedience trial this past weekend. It was somewhat spur of the moment, as a friend shared the event on Tuesday and I realized they had day-of entries available. It was a UKC trial, which is not something I had considered really, but UKC allows you to get a Temporary Listing number and use that to enter shows, so I sent them $20 and got a TL texted to my phone and away we went.

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No use being secretive or trying to build up suspense, since this photo will be the first thing you see.

Basically, Ptera blew me away. I went to this trial with the expectation that we may or may not Q, but that it would show us where the holes in our training are and what we need to work on for next time. I only even planned on going up on Saturday for the two trials, assuming we wouldn't do well enough that I would want to come back Sunday.

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Happy dog!

This is the part where people tell me to trust my dog and our training a little more!

We entered Rally Obedience 1 A for both the morning and afternoon trials on Saturday. Since I have never handled a dog to a Rally or Obedience title of any kind, we are in the A class. B class is for handlers with experience. In UKC, there are three levels of difficulty, 1, 2, and 3. Once you have three qualifying scores in a level, you can move up to the next and you earn a title. Once you earn three Qs in level 3, you get new titles by getting points/double Qs, some complicated formula that I haven't looked at much. In Rally, the score is out of 100, with 100 being a perfect score, and 70 being the minimum passing score.

Ptera is fabulous, and our morning run earned us a 99, followed by a perfect 100 that afternoon! We finished up our URO1 title the following morning (because we had to go back for the second day after that first day!) with a 97. And then rocked her first Rally 2 run with another 97.

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I love her smug little "yeah, so?" look here

We did take first place in our class each time, so came home with four Qualifying ribbons and four First place ribbons. The club sadly did not have any New Title ribbons (I think I heard someone say they had run out and would get some eventually, so hopefully at the next trial), but I think we got plenty of swag.

As the final topper to the weekend, while we missed out on High in Trial over the weekend, we did get Highest Aggregate. Which means of the dogs entered in all four trials over the weekend, we had the highest accumulative score. For this, we got a super nifty UKC HIT bracelet that is being added to our ribbon wall!

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Wearing her Highest Aggregate prize 

And, even bigger than the ribbons and the scores and the titles, we had a great time. I think Ptera enjoyed herself, and I know I did. This UKC trial was the perfect atmosphere to debut in Rally. I had a friend there who helped even beforehand with all of my questions, and who videoed our runs all weekend (even after she was done running her own dogs for the day). The other competitors were super nice and welcoming, and the judges were great. The feedback about where we lost the points we lost was great, and will help us as we continue with our training. This club puts on three trials a year, with the next one in October, and I am already planning on going to the next one if I can swing it at all.

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New title for the tiny dog!

This weekend also represented a long term goal of mine, which was to put an obedience title on a flyball dog. I know there are plenty of flyball dogs out there who compete in all kinds of different sports, including obedience and rally, but so many people outside of flyball look at our amped up dogs and say we have no control, that flyball dogs don't know how to think, etc. When you have a Jack Russell, people make even more comments about lack of control and total craziness. Well, my flyball Jack Russell just earned a Rally title her first weekend out, and earned it in style.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Being Cute

Just a few shots of the dogs being cute on a warm summer day.


Hammock time


Saturday, July 28, 2018

We Challenge You

We challenge you to a watermelon eating contest.

Dis mine.

For your dogs, of course!

Flight is my most enthusiastic watermelon eater, but his favorite thing to do is snatch it up and run away with it (well, that is his favorite with all treats, really).

Ptera is a little more dainty, but overall a big fan of watermelon.

What are you waiting for? Grab your dog, grab a watermelon, and dig in.

Nummy watermelon 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Friday, July 20, 2018

Flyball at the Fair

This past weekend, we had our local flyball tournament take place in Salem, OR at the Marion County Fair. This is always one of my favorite tournaments each year, both because it is close (yay!) and because it is always a fantastic tournament, well run, and tons of fun.

Our team ran fantastic all weekend, with tons of clean runs, and lots of title points.

The fantastic Rio ran with us on Saturday, because one of our regular dog handlers had to work. Having Rio run with us was great, her and her handler fit in with the team great, and Rio is an awesome flyball dog, stepping in when needed to run in the pack and run in start.

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We also had our team boxer, Asti, running in the first heat of each race on Saturday to gain some experience without too much pressure. She did great, especially in the cooler first part of the day, and earned her second flyball title by the end of the day. Especially for a dog who is so heat sensitive, she did amazing, and we were totally thrilled with her.

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The rest of the team is the always-awesome Ptera, of course.

Photo by an awesome photographer, and friend of mine, from a couple tournaments ago

And the large black duo, Riley and Angus, who ran pretty much full time both days, and totally rocked it.

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The photos of Asti, Angus, and Riley are all from the fun match we went to last month, where it was also stupidly hot, and where the dogs also did awesome.

Stella stepped in for Rio on Sunday, when her handler was able to come join us, and did her normal awesomeness (but which I have no recent pictures of, as she ran with Ptera at the fun match).

We were also joined on Sunday by the super awesome Lava, owned by pretty much the awesomest NAFA judge ever, Lea. Lava just wanted to get out and play, and I think they had fun, and I know we had fun having them join us for the day.

Basically, it was flyball as it should be, with plenty of chatting with teammates, running of dogs, and socializing. With a side helping of fair food and a strange lunch time entertainment of llama classes at the fair.

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Rio looking adorable for cookies

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Flyball and Hiking

We've been staying busy in the hot weather with flyball and plenty of hiking.

It was hot, and this hike had more than enough elevation gain to give a decent workout even in cooler weather

A friend of mine who moved out of state was back to visit for a few weeks, and we managed to get a large group of our high school friends together for breakfast and a hike last weekend. I had flyball practice later that day, so brought Flight and Ptera along for the hike.

Some of my friends expressed an opinion that the tiny dog can't really be counted as a real dog. And there was even some mention of me having to carry her on our hike, which was supposed to be 3.8 miles long.


Two wrong turns down dead ends later, our hike lasted 5.1 miles. And the Tiny Dog was still going strong, despite playing fetch a good half of the hike, and plenty of leaping as well.


I'm not sure any minds were changed in terms of owning a small dog, but I don't think they will be doubting this particular small dog's abilities in the future.

Ptera went on to be a total rock star at flyball practice that evening as well.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

SUP on the 4th

Every year, I like to hit the water with the dogs on the 4th. I find that tired dogs are less likely to be freaked out by fireworks, and more likely to have medication work well if medication is needed.

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This was Flight's third trip on the SUP, and by far his longest. The first trip was just a quick paddle around a local pond, while the second trip was a water parade for the solstice, which happened after dark.

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He doesn't seem to totally love it yet, but then, Ptera didn't for a while at first either, and now she is hard to keep off the board.

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Koira of course had a blast. She spent most of the hour and a half we were there in the water swimming. She wears a life jacket for exactly that reason- I don't want her getting excessively tired, and she will keep swimming until I make her stop.

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Ptera and Flight also did some swimming, but mostly hung out on the paddleboard. Koira just took occasional breaks on the board.

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Overall, all the dogs had a lot of fun, even if it wasn't as warm and sunny as years past.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy 4th

I mostly am using the 4th as an excuse to get some cute themed photos of the pups.

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Our plans for the day include heading out to the lake for some SUP/kayaking with lots of dog swimming. Tired dogs tend to be less anxious when the big booms start.

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Ptera did really well with fireworks last year. Koira generally is terrified from the first boom, but does better here in the country than in town where they go off for hours. This is Flight's first year here for the 4th, so I am not sure how he will do.

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After playing on the water and tiring the dogs out well, the plan is to hunker down inside with a movie (probably the Star Wars one that just hit Netflix). All of the dogs are microchipped, and will all be wearing collars and tags just in case.

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Composure (by Vetriscience) is what I give all of the dogs to start with, early in the evening. Koira will also get Pet Releaf treats with CBD oil. I have prescription meds for Koira as well, but I don't think we'll need them here this year.

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And of course, the car has leashes and treats stocked in case I run into any loose dogs in the next day or two. I have found more stray dogs in the week around the 4th than any other time of year.

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Here's to a good 4th.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Spring is Over

Spring is over, and summer is here. I'm looking forward to the dahlias blooming soon, I think they are my favorite summer flower.

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My favorite spring time flower is the Camus that blooms in the fields here.
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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

Last week, I went on a quick trip to Canada with Ptera. By quick, I mean we were north of the border for under 11 hours. 

Despite the super fast trip, we did make a trip to Stanley park in the morning and walked around a bit.

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I've never made it to Vancouver before, but Stanley Park was gorgeous. The trails were really nice for leashed walks, though there were some bike tours despite it being a week day.

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Koira and Flight stayed at home during this trip, so it was just me and Ptera, along with my friend and her dog Moonshine.

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