Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Happy National Fetch Day #chewyinfluencer

National Fetch Day is this Saturday, October 20th!

While we love doing a huge variety of activities to keep the dogs in shape, including hiking, swimming, paddleboarding, flyball, and more, fetch is a great, easy way to blow off some steam.

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Chewy.com is offering a special Chuck-it package just for the event!

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The glow in the dark ball might be my favorite, because on winter days when we are playing fetch in the dusk the ball stays visible. My dogs, on the other hand, love the Ultra squeaky ball the best. We've even been using it for Rally obedience training for Ptera, as a reward.

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I do make sure these balls are used only as interactive toys. A few years ago, a friend's dog swallowed the round plug used on the rubber chuck-it balls, and got an obstruction. Ever since then, I have been very careful to make sure the balls have no loose bits before each play session, and to keep them as interactive toys only. But, as interactive toys, they work fantastic, and we've never had an issue.

We were sent these awesome toys in exchange for our honest review, and spreading word about National Fetch Day. We were not compensated in any other way.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Fall Dahlias

We took a minute this week to stop and get some photos with the dahlias.

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Our Second Rally Trial

This past weekend, Ptera and I attended our second UKC rally trial. This trial had one rally trial per day and one obedience trial per day, so we had two chances at a Level 2 rally Q.

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Pretty pretty ribbons

Ptera pretty much just rocks, and despite a few little bobbles, we pulled off two Qs, two first places, and her United Rally Obedience Level 2 title. Two trials, two titles. Apparently that is how we roll. Also, apparently we just really like the number 97, as that was our score both times.

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Paleoterrorist No Fly List URO2

We also spur-of-the-moment did a day-of entry in Novice Obedience, which we have never ever practiced for. I haven't read the rule book, and wasn't actually 100% sure what was required when we went in the ring. Not surprisingly, we did not Q, but what was surprising was how well we did do, despite all of this.

Ptera had never done a Stand for Exam until about thirty minutes before we went in the ring, and both days (because I am a glutton for punishment who thought entering both days was an excellent idea) she was rock solid in it, with zero deductions.

Day two went even better than day one. Had she not come up on her Honor Down about ten seconds before the end, we'd have qualified by the skin on our teeth. Downs are our nemesis, and always have been.

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Such pretty downs

What this trial showed us is all of the places we are doing really well already, and all of the things we should be working on before our next trial. Top of the list, getting a solid down stay. I would also like to improve the picture of our heeling when moving, as it is easy for me to lose her between stops, turns, etc, both in Obedience and Rally. I need to step back and reward for the picture I want, not just the general idea.

We'll also be working on our Hold in case we decide to try for Open obedience sometime in the future (and for future adorable photos of her holding things).

I have to say I am really enjoying this UKC journey we are on. I don't know if we'll stick with obedience and rally long term, or if this will just be something we do for a little while. For now, at least, we are having fun.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Our New Car #chewyinfluencer

Back in late May, I sold my minivan and purchased a little Honda Fit as my new all-around vehicle. The van was fantastic, but with my daily drive to work, the gas mileage wasn't ideal.

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Very blue

The Honda Fit has way better gas mileage than my minivan did- almost twice as good- but way less space. I've been experimenting for the last few months with the best set up that keeps the dogs safe and contained, and all of our gear accessible but secure.

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Very green

In July, I purchased two used crates for the car. One is a green Impact crate, and one is an older aluminum Bob McKee crate that is less pretty but just as functional. These crates will keep my dogs much safer in case of an accident, but also are much easier on my hands, as they don't use squeeze latches like our previous car crates.

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Snug and secure in her Impact crate

This month, we added a Frisco Quilted Water Resistant Hammock Car Seat Cover, courtesy of Chewy.com. It might seem silly to put a hammock car seat cover into the back seat when my dogs ride in crates, but really, it is genius. (We were provided with this car seat cover in exchange for our honest review, but were not compensated in any other way.)

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Flight in the Bob McKee crate

Adding the hammock means the seats are protected from scratches from the crates, and from any dirt, grime, or water as the dogs hop in and out of the car. The hammock also allows the crates to sit more securely, without the risk of tipping into the open foot space. (Ideally, the crates will be secured with cargo straps soon, but I am still working on good anchor points.)

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Back to back crates

The two crates manage to fit back to back just barely, and you can see that the hammock, at the bottom of the picture, stops just below the air holes in the crates, allowing for plenty of airflow.

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All my extra gear is tucked in around and under

The hammock also allows me to tuck commonly needed dog gear in next to the crates without worrying that it will slip down into the cracks of the seat or onto the floor, never to be seen again. In the above photos, you can see toys, towels, leashes, and treats tucked in next to the crates. It also leaves the floor space clear to stash stuff and stay tidy. Each side of the car has one locking lidded box- one is emergency car gear, one is a first aid kit. These are easily accessible but out of the way. I also have extra blankets tucked under the back seat, as well as the sun shades I use in the summer. In between the front seats, I can reach back to the foot space and access a small trash can I have stashed there, as well as some bottles of water, or other gear I want handy but not piled on the passenger seat.

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Koira lounging in the back
The big thing I haven't figured out yet is the best way to travel when Koira comes along on adventures. I've debated a seat belt in the front seat (with the air bag off, of course), but that means no passenger can sit there. I can put her in the green Impact crate, but it is tight, and means Ptera and Flight have to ride together in the Bob McKee kennel. For this beach trip, I tossed her beg in the hatchback area, next to the three gallon water jug and my camera bag, and she was happy enough. I would love a more secure solution for her riding with us, though.

Overall, I am really happy with our set up so far. I am sure it will continue to evolve, but it is in a great place right now. The quilted car seat cover was a fantastic addition to our set up, and I would absolutely recommend one to anyone else, even if your dogs ride in crates. This particular one is very sturdy, and doesn't feel cheap at all. It has held up great over the last month against rain, mud, sand, and water, and it was super easy to install.

How do your dogs ride in the car?

Saturday, September 29, 2018

PetKind Bison Tripe Treats #chewyinfluencer

This month, we tried out PetKind Bison Tripe Treats, courtesy of Chewy.com.

September Beach-6043
Many fun things happening on the beach.

These treats come in a bar of jerky form, which is fantastic for me. While training Rally, I like having small treats ready to give out. In real life situations, I prefer having a large chunk of treat that can be broken or ripped into small pieces to give as rewards. I feel like having something big and visible to show the dogs can help with motivation on a recall, and it is easier to find in a pocket.

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Flight is a goof, with a pretty good recall

The tripe jerky treats break pretty easily, with just the occasional one being in a stringy part of the strip and needing to be ripped off as a long, skinny piece instead of a small chunk.

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Boing

The dogs are very willing to work for these treats. And, bonus for the human, despite being tripe, they don't smell like you are carrying something dead around in your pocket.

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My girls

Overall, we really liked these treats, and would happily use them again in the future.

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Pretty girl

We were provided with these treats in exchange for an honest review. We were not compensated in any other way.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Happy Birthday Ptera!

Ptera turned 3 today! We celebrated with cake.


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Can't we just eat it?


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Why dis on fire?


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Very curvy tongue


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Much tongue, tiny dog


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Cake is serious business


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Well, kinda


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Someone ate hers too fast for photos


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Not a big fan of cake


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With her new birthday toys. 


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Hiking with Friends

We went for a hike with one of our flyball teammates and her dog Angus, followed by a walk on the beach.

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Angus is a border collie/husky mix who we've been doing flyball with for a couple years. My dogs are fans of him, and they had a great time running wild, both on the hike and on the beach.

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Of course, wrangling all three dogs for a photo wasn't the easiest thing, since they pretty much just wanted to go explore and find critters.

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Angus was much help with taking photos.

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Dahlias


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The trio.


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Looking dreamy and sweet


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Tiny terror in the flowers


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Flight is lucky he is so cute. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

I and Love and You #chewyinfluencer

This month, we had the pleasure once again of working with Chewy by reviewing an item from their site. Our pick this month was a three pack of I and Love and You treats.

Chewy August-5283
We did receive these items in exchange for our honest review, but we were not compensated in any other way.

The item description does say it is three bags of jerky treats, however, we received two bags of jerky treats and one back of Fresh All Rover Breath Bones. This appears to have replaced the Beef and Lamb recipe jerky treats that the description included.

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Despite the substitution, the dogs really enjoyed these treats. The Breath Bones were actually quite the hit with all three dogs- with a bag of three bones, each dog got to try one. Ptera had hers at work for her afternoon snack, so no pictures of her enjoying it.

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The jerky treats were also a big hit. They are easy to break into smaller pieces, and not crumbly, which I really like. The pieces they come in are pretty big, and I broke them into quarters for the most part.

Chewy August-5289


The bags themselves all had some issues ripping open, where they didn't rip down far enough for me to actually open the bag without needing scissors. But, I think that may be something of a personal problem. And it isn't hard to grab a pair of scissors to open the bags if needed (or even just be careful when opening the bag to rip down far enough).

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Overall, the dogs were a big fan of these, and I think they are a great addition, both as a chew treat for the breath bones, and as training treats for the jerky.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

An Afternoon on the River

We spent Saturday afternoon on the SUP, with my mom and grandma in kayaks. Koira stayed at home, because she is loud and pushy and not super fun to have along for most people (though I love how much she enjoys it).

Micheals landing to Hyak-8918



Flight is finally getting more used to the SUP and getting pretty confident on it. He even jumped off on purpose twice, to go visit my mom in her kayak.

Micheals landing to Hyak-8994


There were a ton of birds on the river. We saw many blue herons, and osprey, as well as king fishers and some other birds. And ducks, of course, which Ptera really wanted to go chase, but she restrained herself.

Micheals landing to Hyak-8882


The day was beautiful, warm enough to be fun, but not hot. There was a bit of smoke, but not nearly as bad as what was here last week, so we enjoyed ourselves quite a bit.

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The water sports season is fast coming to an end, and, like every year, I am realizing we didn't get out nearly enough.

Micheals landing to Hyak-8679

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