Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Hope it is a wonderful day, however you spend it.

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And to all a good night!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Happy 11th Birthday, Koira!

Koira had a relaxing day at home, celebrating by stealing an entire box of Christmas cookies (luckily dog cookies!) off the counter while I was at work. Because old dogs can do what they want.

Here's to many more years!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Koira Iron Dog

Koira came out of retirement for a weekend in November for a chance at earning the Iron Dog title. This title is awarded to dogs who earn at least one point for ten consecutive NAFA years.

Koira Iron Dog 2018
Our Iron Dog team line up- all these dogs earned Iron Dog together

Along with thirteen other dogs in our region, Koira came out to this early November tournament, the first tournament in our region for the 2019 racing year, and earned the Iron Dog title.

Koira Iron Dog 2018
She may be slow, but she sure is happy!

Tons of people got together to make this happen, including a stellar team put together of all Iron Dogs.

Koira is back in full retirement from flyball. This is the last flyball title she will earn, though we may try our hand in some other sports at some point.

Koira turns 11 in a week, and debuted in flyball in January of 2010, earning just 7 points in her first tournament. We closed the flyball book with a whopping 5 point total for her last tournament- and over 10,000 points in between!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Monster costumes seemed appropriate!

Happy Halloween! Are you doing anything fun with your dogs? We did our dressing up this past weekend, so don't have any plans tonight (except to work on brushing out some mats on a new foster dog).


We got a little into the fall spirit with Pumpkin Pour Overs, from Honest Kitchen. These are basically little meal toppers that are a gravy-like consistency.

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They make a fun stack.

I often add pumpkin or pumpkin powder to my dogs' food, especially when traveling, because it can help with loose stools (which can be caused from traveling and excitement). These are just another fun option.

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No, I don't have four dogs. But I do prep food for Ptera and Flight for dinner and breakfast at the same time, then put breakfast in the fridge until morning.

Overall, my dogs were fans of these. They like pumpkin in general, and enjoyed these. The only thing I didn't like much was opening the containers. They say to rip open, but I definitely needed scissors to open them up. They are a fun way to let your dogs get in on the "pumpkin spice" craze of the fall in a way that is safe and healthy.

Monsters! So scary!

Hope everyone has a great Halloween!

We were provided with the Honest Kitchen toppers from Chewy.com in exchange for our honest review, but were not compensated in any other way. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Happy National Cat Day! #chewyinfluencer

Happy National Cat Day!

If there is one thing Theodore Trex wants to get to celebrate, it is wet food. He loves wet or canned foods so much, and it is great, because they are good for him! Feeding exclusively dry food can be dehydrating to cats in particular, because they are so picky about their water. For male cats, this can contribute to problems like urine crystals.

I still feed some dry food, because it is just so easy. And I like putting it into his food dispensing toys so he gets some activity and stimulation during the day when I'm off at work. But we try to have at least one meal per day as wet food.

For October, Chewy.com sent us Pristine grain free cat food, in pouches, for Theodore Trex to try out.

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Pristine grain free wet food

Theo is really enjoying this food, and excitedly mews at me as I open the pouch and pour it into a bowl for him. He is excited enough that he has grabbed the bowl and yanked and spilled it when I go to set it down for him. Silly boy. He always licks the bowl clean, and seems to really enjoy this food.

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Chunks with gravy

I like that this food has a great list of quality ingredients, and is a healthy addition to my cat's diet. The pouches are reasonably convenient, which is nice. I normally pour some hot water into the pouch and shake a little to get any clinging bits out- and adding extra water for Theo doesn't hurt.

How does your cat want to celebrate?

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.

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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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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.