Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pedigree: Write a post, help a dog!

While Koira and Pallo may be resting up for flyball practice tonight and a weekend full of lure coursing tests and a flyball tournament (and the super excitement of being at the Mt. Bachelor Kennel Club Dog Show), I thought I would take a little time and participate in some action for a great cause.

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From now until midnight on June 30, for every blog post written that mentions the "Write a Post, Help a Dog" campaign and Pedigree's commitment to adoption and finding shelter dogs loving homes, Pedigree will donate one 17 pound bag of their dry dog food to shelters in need, up to a grand total of 450 bags!

Mr. Pallo Man

Even though my dogs may not look excited about it, I sure am.

Monday, June 25, 2012

BlogPaws Wrap-up

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Koira at BlogPaws, posing with the floor stickers
I could write about a million posts about BlogPaws probably. But, really, nothing would describe the experience. You just need to go if you get the chance. It was great meeting the faces behind so many of the blogs I read, and meeting so many new faces from blogs I hadn't previously followed.

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Koira with Snoopy from Snoopy's Dog Blog
The sessions were interesting, and a ton of information was shared. I can't even process it much right now.

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The crew from It's a Weinerful Life
The sponsors were all great. I had so many bags of loot that I had to keep making trips back to the hotel room to drop everything off. I came home and spent over two hours sorting through everything.

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Eyes really are the window to the soul

I now have piles of cards from a ton of bloggers I met who I need to check out. Another, separate pile of cards from sponsors I need to contact.

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Koira posing outside in the sun with 
Also, huge bag full of treats and food that the dogs (and Martha too!) get to sample over the coming days and weeks. If they tried one of everything right now, they would probably eat their own weight in new food!

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I have a ton of product to try out too. I'm looking forward to really getting into the bags of everything and seeing what all is there and trying it.

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And, of course, I'll need to make a trip to the store to use some coupons we received for free bags of food, free cans of food, free FreshPet (Koira's favorite table to visit), and some money off of some great products.

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Anything food-wise that we won't use here will get sent over to the local Humane Society, who is always happy to receive food donations.

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The weekend was great. Thank you to BlogPaws, all the sponsors, and all the attendees, for making it a great experience.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Hello from BlogPaws 2012!

And, first off, I have to give a super duper thank you, and shout out, to Chronicles of Cardigan, for giving away a pass to BlogPaws, making this event possible for us.

We arrived yesterday evening in time to do a little walking around and enjoy a great dinner reception. Pallo spent most of his time over at the Fun Park, where they have people and toys ready to watch your dog while the human half of the equation enjoys some leash-free time. Koira played a little at the fun park, but burned up her paws on the carpet, so accompanied me to dinner while Pallo stayed to play.

Best Friends picture at the Nutrish booth
Pallo and Koira, learning about Social Media at the Rachel Ray Nutrish booth
Today was a super full day with speakers during meals (both of the dogs spent breakfast time in the Fun Park), and some great educational sessions about a huge variety of topics. I had a bit more time to go around and check out all the booths of the sponsors. Koira accompanied me to that, as she officially was no longer allowed play time on the carpet after burning her hock until it bled by playing so hard (Pallo had no issues with his feet despite spending almost all day in the park playing fetch, and neither did any other dog I heard of). Every time we walked anywhere near the Fresh Pet booth, Koira would try to pull me over there. Since she got a nice handout every time, it was no wonder. I think Fresh Pet is by far Koira's favorite booth.

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Koira begging for (and getting) yet another tasty sample at the Fresh Pet booth
I think the hardest part of BlogPaws is choosing which topic sessions to attend. It is so hard to choose for some of them!

Pallo, tired after a long day at BlogPaws
Pallo is super tired, as he spent the entire day in the Fun Park playing fetch
Well, the dogs are both totally exhausted and ready to sleep solid through the night. I'm going to have to get more pictures tomorrow before the end of this event, as I have been sadly lacking in the photo department!

Tired Koira at BlogPaws
Koira loves being social at BlogPaws, but is super tired by the end of a hard day of socializing!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Lamb bones

I found a great local supplier. She raises lamb on pasture, with no added grain, no antibiotics, no hormones. And, she is willing to sell bones, heart, liver, and kidney for great prices! All of the products are human grade too, which makes me feel awesome about feeding it to my dogs. I'm never comfortable feeding them things that aren't okay for humans.

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Meaty meaty lamb bones
I generally don't buy any items that are simply called "bones" because I am a believer that all bone should be accompanied by a large amount of meat. These lamb bones, though, are awesome. They have a thick layer of meat on most of them, and fed as part of a meal made up of liver or kidney or hearts, they provide a decent amount of chewing work.

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Koira always chews up her bones really carefully, spending lots of time on them. This is MUCH better than what some dogs do, which is gulping down the chunks as fast as possible. Gulpers are more likely to have problems like choking or blockages because they just try to shove the food in as fast as possible.

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Plus, it is nice to just be able to occupy my dogs for a good 20+ minutes just with feeding them their breakfast. This particular bone session was preceded by a half pound of liver each. The liver was sucked down in a few minutes with a few chews. Pallo even likes this grass-raised lamb liver, though he turns his nose up at all other kinds of liver, or organs in general. It must taste good even to him!

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And, for those bone scraps small enough that I worry about giving them to the dogs- into the crock pot to make stock! Home made stock or broth is really the only way to go, and I've found that using stock like this to freeze into cubes is a great treat for the dogs, and encourages them to drink more water if I toss some in their water bowl at events. And, with making it myself, I don't have to worry about excessive sodium or all those sneaky added chemicals and ingredients like onion.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pet Store Giveaway Blog Hop

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Wyatt's soulful eyes

Two Little Cavaliers

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Zip LOVES flyball. And really wants to play. NOW
If you love your pet this giveaway is for you! Two Little Cavaliers your go to place for International Dog News, Pet Product Reviews, Pet Centric Giveaways, dog friendly recipes Cooking for Dogs, and the creator and co-host of the Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop a weekly event where pet bloggers and pet lovers can come together to meet, greet, and hang out is hosting this Giveaway to say thank you to their friends and fans for all of their love and support over the years.

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Zip still demanding FLYBALL NOW!
Treat your pet to a shopping spree at their favorite pet store! There will be TWO Winners! The first place winner will receive a $100 Gift Certificate to the Pet Store of their Choice and the second place winner will receive $40 to spend at their favorite pet store (Petco, PetSmart, Pet Supermarket, etc). Are you going to take your pet with you so they can pick out their own special things or will you leave them home and come back with a bag full of special toys, treats, and food for them?

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Belle rocking her box turn

Treat Your Pet to a Shopping Spree At their Favorite Pet Store. Enter to WIN:

This event is open to the US and Canada except where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Mr. Riley Roy running back to his mama
Mark your calendars for this upcoming event. All Giveaway items will be pet centric that means all the Giveaway prizes are specifically for your pet or about your pet!! (leash, toys, bowls, clothing) or items with animals on them shirts, mugs, note paper, Jewelry, artwork – the sky is the limit! If you are a blogger and would like to participate please feel free to click through and sign up to join the fun!

Loving Pet Giveaway Hop

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Chester returning to mom for some CHEESE!


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Friday, June 15, 2012

We're Back

Oops. I kind of took a two week blogging vacation, completely unannounced. Unfortunately, I got hurt at work almost two weeks ago, which means I've been doing a lot of laying in bed. The dogs have been doing a lot of laying in bed as well. This means that the few pictures I have taken in the past two weeks look like this.

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Or even like this, as she sinks farther down into the dog bed.

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I've been doing a bit better, so last night I actually drove up to our flyball practice. My teammates are about the most awesome people in the world, because when I got there and asked if someone else could work my dogs, because they are going totally stir crazy and I couldn't do it myself, they totally stepped up to the plate and got it done.

Which is good, because Koira really wanted someone to play with her.
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Which meant that for only the effort of driving up there and then sitting watching all the dogs practice, I got to end the night with this.

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I just love the happy tired smile I get from Koira when she has had a chance to run and work. (And you may notice a brand new summer picnic-themed collar on her.)

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I do have a question for you guys though. Have you ever been to BlogPaws? What are the essentials that must be brought along?

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

X-treme Airdogs

We went to some more dock diving practice today. Almost from the beginning, Koira was hesitating way less at the end of the dock. Instead of coming to a total or close to total halt at the end of the dock, then jumping (which is what she was doing last time we practiced), she was jumping from a run this time, consistently. Or, well, as long as my throws weren't too stupidly off.

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I also decided that Koira needed a diving vest, and threw one together last night after getting off work to see if it would work for her. I found a small amount of the swimsuit fabric in a discount bin because of a print flaw, so used that for this first trial run vest. It ended up working great, so I will use it for our practice vest and make a few more in various fabrics for competing later in the summer.

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I also think the vest is good for helping keep Koira cool on hot, sunny days. Her fur is so thin that it does not help cool her at all, and since she is black, she gets really hot in direct sunlight. A light colored lycra swimsuit fabric vest helps reflect some of the sunlight off of her, and I think it will be good for getting wet as well to keep her cool. We'll have to test it out on a hot sunny day as soon as we get one.

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Pallo came along, but he didn't do any dock work. We played a little fetch from the shore, but that was it. I think, since he has so many other sports to do, that Koira can have dock diving for now. She loves it so much, it is awesome to watch. I'm glad she finally found something to love doing!

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Koira did start a little bit of extreme vertical (EV). This is where the bumper is held stationary above the water and the dog has to jump up and out to get it. The first step is just going to be teaching her to jump up for the bumper at all. I think we'll get there, though. I hope I can find somewhere here in town that we can practice, at least a little. With so many docks on the river, there must be one that goes off into the water somewhere without too much current.

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