Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Fun Match Fun

This past weekend, my flyball team hosted our first event, a flyball fun match for local teams. We had a great turnout, and a ton of fun.

Fun Match

A friend snapped a picture on her cell phone of me and Koira as we finished up singles racing.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Chewy Review: Weruva Caloric Harmony

This month, we reviewed the Weruva Chicken, Turkey, & Salmon Dinner with Pumpkin from

When I started feeding this, Koira was off on vacation with my mom, so Ptera got to try it out first. My dogs are pretty used to switching foods, so I didn't do a gradual swap, just switched her over cold turkey. She did great with the swap. No gas, no stool issues. She was eager and excited to eat right away, regardless of if the food was served in a kong wobbler, puzzle bowl, or normal bowl with water. At 10 lbs, Ptera ate 1 cup per day, which is within the recommended amount on the bag, but is likely too much for most dogs her size, given that she is both very, very active and still a puppy.

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Ptera totally does the same dance that the dog on the bag is doing when mealtime comes, followed by dashing and and out of her crate repeatedly until I stick her bowl into the crate.

When Koira arrived home, she had a similarly positive response to this food as well. Enthusiastic at meal time and quick to eat.

Both dogs had good stools the entire time they ate this food (which was longer for Ptera than Koira), formed, but not super hard, and not giant.

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Yes, they got more than three kibbles in a meal. I forgot to take a picture of the kibbles until we had finished the bag off, and three kibbles is was was left at the bottom of the bag when I went to take pictures.

Overall, the ingredients are great, the food has good balances of fat, protein, and carbs, and no ingredients that I object to. It also does not have any nasty grimy smells and doesn't leave my hands stinking if I touch it, which some kibbles do (normally cheap crap kibbles, but occasionally an expensive one as well), making it easy to use this as training treats if needed.

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I can haz kibbles?

While certainly not cheap, Weruva is very similarly priced to other high quality foods, and would be great fed alone or as part of a rotational diet.

As usual, while we did receive this product for free to review, all opinions are entirely our own, and we were not compensated in any other ways.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Chewy Review: Evanger's Super Premium Cat Food

On the cat side of things, this month, we reviewed Evanger's Super Premium Cat Food from

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Slightly crinkly bag after we've been feeding out of it, since it has to be shoved into a bin to keep the cat from breaking into it.

Cats, as opposed to dogs, tend to be a good deal picker when it comes to food. My dogs, at least, are both food hounds, and while Theodore Trex is a total fatty when it comes to food, he is also strangely picky sometimes as well. So while I switch my dogs cold turkey between foods, in order to get Trex to eat a new food at all, I tend to have to mix the foods together with his old stuff to convince him the new stuff counts as food. And even then, he tends to complain a bit that the food is wrong.

All of that said, he did accept this food pretty quickly compared to some others I've tried. I never did get him to eat a meal of it unmixed without meowing at me a bit before or part way through eating, but that is pretty typical of a cat set in his ways, and he never refused to eat the food entirely.
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Triangular kibbles

The ingredients for this food are great, though I've always been of the opinion that fish is included in cat food not because cats like it or need it, but because people think cats do (fish by itself is not a healthy diet for cats, as it lacks many things cats need to thrive). That said, there are other protein sources in this kibble that are great for cats with Pheasant and Duck both in the top 6 ingredients.

The price is very similar to other high quality cat kibbles, so I think it is a great one to consider as a stand alone kibble or as part of a rotational or varied diet.

As usual, while we did receive this product for free to review, all opinions are entirely our own, and we were not compensated in any other ways.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Koira's been on "vacation" for the past few weeks. My mom lives about an hour away from me, out in the country. For about 3 months when Koira was little, we lived there while I was going to school and looking for a job. And Koira absolutely loves to go visit.

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Super happy on the back porch

Koira hides in the car because she is scared of traffic around us. But as soon as we turn onto the highway my mom lives on, Koira will pop up and start to look around eagerly. I'm lucky enough that my mom enjoys Koira and is willing to watch her when I go out of town, or just have Koira go out and enjoy the slow life for a while. This time around, I had a busy couple of weeks planned with a bunch of stuff that Koira either wasn't invited to or simply would not have done well with, because of dog reactivity, anxiety issues, and being a crazy nutjob on the river. Ptera, on the other hand, was able to do these things. So Koira went off on a solo vacation at my mom's house, during which she taught the rooster that he isn't allowed on the porch (my mom taught Koira to chase him off the porch, but not any other time), and that the deer aren't welcome in the garden. And my mom made Koira fat and lazy, since the most she really did was chase the rooster off the porch and the deer out of the yard, with lots of laying on the couch in between.

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Ptera came with me to pick up Koira

Unfortunately, Koira has been super itchy since about Friday or Saturday, and I think I just figured out why last night. It looks like Koira has a big swollen bug bite in the armpit of her front leg. There are a bunch of hives near it, which thin out the farther away they get, though she is itchy all over. I'm keeping an eye on it, of course. If it improves, even gradually, we'll just keep up with the benadryl for the itchiness. If it gets worse, or any of the scratching opens up a sore, we'll head off to the vet. It doesn't help that Koira has a grass allergy, so when she is itchy, she goes outside and rubs around on the grass to scratch, and ends up breaking out in hives from the grass as well. Poor itchy girl.

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Her serious picture

Overall, I'm just really thankful that I have someone that I trust, who is willing to watch Koira for me, sometimes with little or no notice. And I just love my girls. Koira may not be an easy dog, but I love her all the same.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Ptera and Theo in the Morning

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Taking over the bed once I'm up

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Realizing something is up

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Wrestling time. May not look like it, but Theo is just as into playing as Ptera is.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I Don't Call Myself a Parent

My dogs aren't babies.


I don't want a baby.

4th of July-8351

I've never in my life wanted to have children.


My dogs and cats are not replacements for children.


I get that for some people, that might be the case. But I don't need replacements for children, because I don't want and never have wanted to have children. I am not a parent, and I do not want to be a parent.


That does not in any way stop me from loving my dogs. I might not love them like a parent loves a child. Since I don't have children, I have nothing to compare to.


But for parents to tell me that I don't understand love because I don't have kids, or that I only love my dogs because I haven't had a child yet, or that if I had a child my dogs would mean way less to me, that demeans what I do have with my dogs.


If I am willing to admit that I don't fully understand what it is like to be a parent, can you just admit that you don't know what it is like to be a fully committed dog owner with no desire to ever be a parent? Parents will use their own experiences here to try to slam their point home, saying that they really loved their dog, but when they had kids, they learned what love really was, and their dog meant much less to them. And that well may be true for them. But that is not true for everyone.

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Just as having a second child doesn't have to make you love your first child any less, having a child doesn't have to mean you love your dog any less. I have very committed flyball friends who have kids, and who love their dogs. These aren't mutually exclusive. There isn't a finite amount of love that a person can give away. I am not saying that they love their dogs and their kids the same. But different kinds of love don't mean one is lesser than another.

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I can love my dogs as dogs, and that love means something, and doesn't have anything at all to do with children. My love for my dogs shouldn't make a parent feel threatened in their love for their child, regardless of if I refer to my dogs as my kids, fur babies, or just as beloved pets. I don't refer to myself as a dog mom, or a parent, but other people sometimes refer to me like that, and that is fine. When I ask my dogs if they want to visit Mom, I mean my mom, the woman I have spent all my life calling mom.


A number of articles have been written by parents ranting about "pet parents" referring to themselves as parents, to their pets as fur babies, or as their kids, and how doing so demeans the actual, true, sacred part of being a parents, and that these people just don't understand and need to stop. You know what? I don't do any of that stuff, and I find it absolutely stupid that these parents are apparently so threatened emotionally by pet owners that they feel the need to dictate how pet owners are allowed to refer to themselves and their pets.

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So let me sum this up for you.

March Beach Camping-7106

My love of my dogs is real. It matters. It is deep, and a seriously important part of my life.

Bald Hill April-7502

The love that I hold for my dogs has nothing at all to do with your feelings about dogs, or your love for your child.

Bald Hill April-7519

I love my dogs. I am sure you love your offspring. You may or may not have or love dogs. But there doesn't need to be a comparison. The love I have for my dogs has nothing at all to do with the love that you have for your children. And the words that I use to express the love I have for my dogs should not in any way impact how you feel about your children.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Balance

Balancing on a fence post

Tiny dog is tiny enough to make this less impressive

Spotting someone approaching

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Monkey See Monkey Do

Much as I love her, Koira has some habits that I am not particularly fond of. Probably the biggest one is that she gets over the top excited and obsessive. When we go paddleboarding, Koira spends the entire time leaping off the SUP, swimming after the kayaks (I always go on the river with at least one other person, for both safety and fun), climbing back on the SUP and using it as a launching pad again. And barking the entire time, with a deep booming bell like bark.

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Landshark locked, loaded, and launched!
She loves going paddleboarding. But she isn't the most enjoyable dog to take along in some ways. I said from the beginning that I hoped she didn't end up teaching Ptera all of her bad habits. 
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Obviously Ptera is very excited by Koira's excitement and movement.
Honestly, I should have known better. I guess if I don't want Ptera to copy Koira, I can't take them out together. Because this little JRT has some serious terrier tenacity and high drive, which is just driven on even more by Koira's over the top excitement. I guess I am destined to have crazy dogs on the paddleboard with me. Or swimming after it.

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Monkey see, monkey do. While Ptera doesn't spend as much time jumping off the SUP and swimming, she is confident enough to leap off into the water a few times before she gets cold.

Do your dogs teach each other things? I feel like it can work both ways. A well behaved dog with good habits and routines helps train a new dog to behave the same way. But when that same dog does crazy things like barking her head off and leaping into the water repeatedly (and then turning around to sharkbite the front of the SUP), those habits and behaviors appear to transfer as well.

I see some solo SUP trips in the future for me and Ptera, to try to get some more polite and enjoyable behavior, before the barking and craziness gets too ingrained.