Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ziwi Venison Rewards #chewyinfluencer

Ziwi Venison

This month, we had the chance to try Ziwi Good Dog Rewards Air Dried Venison Dog Treats. These treats are made from New Zealand Venison, and have additional ingredients like green mussel. They aren't freeze dried, so aren't crumbly. They are easy to break into smaller pieces for training.


With great ingredients, it is no surprise that the dogs absolutely love these. Actually, the cat is pretty interested in them too. At around $10 for a 3 oz bag, they aren't super cheap, but you get a surprising number of treats in the bag for that. I would be happy to buy these again in the future.

We were provided with these treats in exchange for our honest review. We were not compensated in any other way, and all opinions are entirely our own.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Tidy Cats #chewyinfluencer

Easy to use instructions on the box

Do you ever travel with your cat? Or set up your cat in a room/part of the house while you have visitors over? This Tidy Cats disposable litter box is perfect. It comes prefilled with clumping cat litter, and the entire box can be thrown away when no longer needed.


I've stayed in a hotel with my cat before, and it isn't the easiest thing ever to carry a litter box with you (gross if you bring the one from home, even after cleaning it completely, or you buy a new one just for the trip), plus litter. This easy-to-use litter box makes it easy and clean to transport a litter box with you on a trip. Or, it can be an easy additional litter box for your home when you add a new cat, temporarily need to seperate your cats, or set up a cat in a room different from normal due to visitors coming over.


I wouldn't hesitate to buy one of these if we travel in the future.

We were given this product for free in exchange for our review, but all opinions are entirely our own and we were not otherwise compensated.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Crater Lake in the Snow

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Squinting in the bright sun

The day after Christmas, we headed up to Crater Lake National Park for the day. It is a long drive for a day trip, especially with icy roads in the mountains, but I have been wanting to go to Crater Lake while there is snow on the ground ever since I went in October a few years ago (gorgeous, but well before any winter weather hit that year).

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The view over the Rogue Valley (apparently Shasta was visible in the distance, but I couldn't pick it out)

Crater Lake in the winter is pretty hit and miss, with more misses than hits. The lake is often covered in clouds and mist and either fully or partially hidden. I got super lucky when I went in October a few years ago, and lucked out this year as well. The weather was clear and sunny, with just a few high wisps of clouds.

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Posing in front of Wizard Island

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The larger dog kind of blocks Wizard Island from view while posing in front of it...

The snow was gorgeous up there. It had melted and refrozen, so had a solid layer of ice as a crust, which made it less than ideal for snowshoeing, hiking, or skiing. But with the use of snowshoes, we were able to enjoy the rim of the lake without breaking through the ice crust and stepping knee deep into the snow with every step. (There are snowshoes for rent up there if you don't own any, and there are free ranger guided snowshoe hikes all winter long as well.)

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The three of us, staying well back from the edge, keeping the tiny dog warm in my jacket

The dogs aren't actually the biggest fans of cold weather and snow. Koira tolerates it, and actually enjoys the snow a certain amount, but Ptera thinks that cold is stupid. She rode around tucked inside my coat about half the time, despite it being a balmy 38 degrees while we were there.

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Tucked in where it is warm

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We play now?

A few hours at the lake, then we turned around and headed home. It was a long day, especially for so little time actually spent at the lake, but still well worth it, and with only two iffy ice encounters while driving (one being turning around in the parking lot, where we watched a few other people have issues as well).

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This sign wasn't kidding. Especially with the ice on top of the snow, it was slick, and the drop into the caldera is steep. You would not want to slip or fall

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The day just kept getting clearer the entire time we were there

Dogs are only allowed in the parking lot and the viewing areas right near there, so it isn't an ideal destination for traveling with dogs. But it was warm enough that we went ahead and brought them and just bundled them up in their crates in the car when we went places they couldn't go, and they stayed plenty warm. Overall, with or without dogs, Crater Lake is certainly worth visiting.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Countdown to Christmas

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The dogs are looking forward to the holidays. Or at least, to their presents.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Fancy Shmancy ribbons

I put together Ptera and Koira's title ribbons with miniature portraits I had painted of each of them. The portraits are meant as Christmas ornaments, but they ended up fitting perfectly on the ribbons. And, of course, they are simply amazing paintings as well. The artist does amazing larger work as well (I have pretty much no where to display artwork, but keep trying to figure out a place to put a larger painting so I have an excuse to order something larger). When NAFA finally gets around to sending title pins for Ptera and Koira (they only just sent certificates for titles earned in July, so not holding my breath it will be any time soon) I plan on adding those to the ribbons as well. I'm debating if I should add Koira's FM pin as well as her FMX pin when it arrives (or her U-Fli title pins?), but don't want to make the ribbons look too cluttered.

Ptera's FM ribbon, and Koira's FMX ribbon, with custom miniature paintings done by Before the Bridge Fine Art.

I'm sure the artist isn't taking any more orders for delivery before Christmas this year (her work is amazing, and painting takes time), but I think she has gift certificates available if you are still looking for the perfect present for someone. I paid full price for these ones to be done, and would happily pay again. I am sharing her work only because it is amazing, and works so perfectly paired with the ribbons my dogs and I have worked so hard to earn.


One last thing, if you are ever the one in charge of ordering ribbons for a dog event, choose bridle hooks on the rosettes, instead of cord. The bridle hooks make the ribbons easier to hang, and easy to hook to the dog's collar for a ribbon photo. Bridle hooks all the way!


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Happy Birthday Koira

Koira turned 10 years old today. The weather is freezing cold but clear today. We probably should have taken advantage of the sun shining with a hike, but instead, we snuggled up inside with a flannel comforter and a roaring fire and enjoyed some movies.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Koira FMX, MBDCh

Last weekend, Koira raced in Multibreed with the Portland TailBlazers and earned her Flyball Master Excellent (10,000 points) and Multibreed Dog Champion (500 multibreed points) titles. She is going to mostly retire from flyball at this point, though she may come out to play a time or two over the next year if she is feeling good, and race one more time next year (again, if she is feeling good) to try to earn her Iron Dog.
Beck single
Credit to Big Air Photography

She was a really good girl, and did her job great. She had a really good time too. I think she would be perfectly happy without the long car rides to and from Canada, though. 

We happened to be getting Christmas photos done by a photographer at the tournament, and she took a picture of Koira with her fancy new FMX ribbon while we were there as well.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


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Ptera's awesome sweater with our flyball club logo on the back- all hand knitted

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And the front view

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But, I totally have a hat AND sweater vest that match! The hat has jack russells and pteranodons on it, and the sweater has Ptera's name on the back.

These were all made by the super awesome mom of one of my flyball teammates. She also made us an awesome Christmas sweater that we are raffling as a fundraiser for our flyball club. (If you are interested, check out our team facebook page for the post about how to enter.)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Holiday Knitted Hats

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Koira is willing to wear hers in exchange for cookies, but will likely shake it off her ears if I asked her to wear it on an adventure.

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I'm sleeping with one eye open, because I'm pretty sure Theo is going to cut me if he gets a chance after I made him dress up...

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Ptera doesn't mind the hat at all, but does mind not getting the treat yet.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Beazell Forest Hike in the Fall

Beazell Forest is one of our favorite places to go to hike. Previously, we've normally aimed for weekdays to avoid people, but my new job and the early setting sun makes that impossible. Instead, we aimed for a cloudy and on-and-off rainy weekend day and lucked out, meeting only two couples hiking and both within the first few minutes. We had the place to ourselves the rest of the time.

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Our bridge photo we need to get every time

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Recall over the bridge

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Exploring the ferns and trees

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Choosing the path

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Natural material steps and archway

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Sniffing her way along a log

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Tippy toes

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"Wait, what was that?!"

In an effort to post more often, I may do more posts like this, with plenty of photos and short captions, rather than longer ones with lots of writing.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Fall in Oregon

The fall colors are appearing on the trees this week. Oregon doesn't tend to get the brilliant colors that some places enjoy in the fall, and windstorms (like the one happening right now) tend to rip what color we do have off of the trees before we have a chance to enjoy it much. I spent yesterday afternoon taking a few pictures of Ptera and the fall leaves in town before they are gone.

You can see the raindrops in this photo as well. Fall here means rain.

I realized while doing this shoot that Ptera thinks "wait" means "sit and wait" so didn't get many photos of her standing, or doing anything other than sitting. Something to work on.

Getting cold toward the end of our wet walk around town.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fall Flowers

I have been getting pictures of the dogs with seasonal flowers whenever the opportunity presents itself. In late September, I drove by an awesome field of sunflowers and planned a trip back there later that week for pictures.

Wearing her new fancy collar

This field of sunflowers was more like a narrow strip of them, but it was enough for photos. The day was cloudy with on and off rain and tiny blips of sun.

The wind was blowing pretty good for part of it too

This blue stool has long been one of my favorite props for photos. Especially with things like sunflowers, even relatively large dogs will be much lower than the picture-perfect end of the plant. This stool is tall enough to place the dogs in a much better position for photos. Plus, I just love the color and look of the stool.

With grey rain clouds in the sky

Koira doesn't like posing for pictures near roads. I can't find places like this without driving my them, most of the time. The stool helps keep Koira in one place while I set up for a photo, and treats help her feel a little better about the situation.

Big smile

Panting from nerves and smiling look surprisingly similar, especially if you can get the ears forward. Really, though, if Koira is too nervous about this kind of thing, there is nothing I can say or do to get her to stay on a stool (or anything) and no treat that will be worth eating- and most of all, no way to get her to look at the camera and put her ears up. As long as she is doing all of those things, and we stop before she stops, I figure we're doing okay.

Awkward sibling photo

Your mom made you pose awkwardly with your siblings, right?

"Whatcha doin' up there?"

I hope everyone's fall is going well so far. I am trying to get back into the swing of regularly blogging, but with a ton of agility photos to edit that I am already behind on, a new full time job, flyball class and practice, and trying to get ready for winter (which means stacking firewood, making sure the area around the stove is cleared out and safe, weatherproofing doors and windows, and tons more), I am not sure how often I will be making it to the blog. I feel sad every time a favorite blog disappears from the internet, though, and it seems to be happening like crazy this year, with people leaving with announcements, just disappearing, or simply going from posting regularly to once a month or less, so I hope I won't become one of the many who disappear.