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Flashy Friday Week 2!

Flashy Friday! Week 2 -  "Spin" Whew! A whole week between posts, sorry guys! Like I've mentioned before we're pr...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Heat Wave Part 2!

I have some fun pictures to share of our recent summer adventures!

Their is a State Park near that isn't too far of a drive from home, it's become our favorite swimming hole! The water is clean and clear from the Willamette River, its mostly rocky so mommy (that's me) doesn't have to deal with muddy, mucky dogs after our swims. And its relatively quiet! Shhhh.....don't tell the locals we love it soo much!  ;-)   Another thing we don't have to deal with is fishermen. Right off of the shore it is too shallow for any real fishing, so although their are sometimes signs of people having fished I haven't seen too many hooks and such left behind. But I am always careful to look around.

Ziva's mouth contains a tennis ball.
Ziva loves to help Dante with his rope tug toys, the floating Kong for example has a rope attached so here she is holding the rope end!

Ziva is helping Dante retrieve his floating Kong toy!
Dante loves the water
Ziva broke 2 tennis balls in 2 days. She loves to chew them when they are soggy!

Ziva chomping down on her tennis ball.
Bat Dog Ziva!

My Yin-Yang dogs tired out after playing in the river.
This is a blog hop! Thoughtless Thursday hosted by Ruckus the Eskie (, and And Thursday Barks & Bytes hosted by 2Brown Dogs and Heart Like a Dog.

Thanks Guys!

Traitor Tree

I would first like to point out how thankful I am for the wonderful weather we've been having. It's been beautiful here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon! But I discovered a tree that seems to think it's time for fall...

Traitor Trees
Here we were, minding our own business on our morning walk...just me, Dante, and Ziva.

And what do we happen upon? This series of trees all changing their clothes!

Look at them! Shamelessly losing leaves like its fall already or something...

I'm hoping that August will be as gorgeous as July was and that these trees are just confused.

We still have some hiking to do after all!

Happy Thankful Thursday!

Thankful for our Yummy Bones!

Thankful for River Play Time!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Battle of the Bed

Ah Phooey!

All natural bitter spray
Since we got our  little miss Ziva she has gone through beds, blankets, towels, and most recently a rug.

She has a thing for texture we've discovered, and things that she thinks are "out of place". For example...if a string/loop is sticking out of a rug and she notices it she will lay down and pick at it with her teeth until she either removes it, or unravels a section and solves the problem that way.

This rug - she has unraveled a few spots to remove strings. See the section by the kitten's tail?
Well when it comes to her bed she is no different, she doesn't like seams or zippers and will pull them out thus destroying her bed and I come home to my puppy in a fluffy mess. One bed in particular I repaired the zipper and closed the one edge 3-4 times before she finally ripped out my stitching for good. 
Poor dog bed..
Not wanting to purchase any more beds, and no time or sewing machine to make one...we stuffed a folded, all natural fiber rug into the bottom of her crate. This worked great except that it gave her something to really chew on and like anything else, (although this one lasted the longest) we had to send it to rug's life here at our house over.

Destroyed rug. Merlot likes it though!!
Now we're trying a new product, it came highly recommended and I'll let you know how it goes! It's called "Fooey!"

It's an all natural ultra bitter spray for heavy chewers, lickers, and biters to discourage their unwanted mouthy behaviors. It's supposedly better than "Bitter Apple" but I wouldn't know, we haven't tried that one. However unlike Bitter Apple this one has no alcohol or artificial flavors and it made from the rind of the grapefruit which is known as "The King of the Bitters". And it's safe to use on pet products/bed as well as pets themselves to discourage biting if they have skin issues.

I used it all over the edges, zipper, and corners of the new bed I just picked up for Ziva. It's supposed to be a "tough" bed, but we'll see!

And becuase it seemed only fair I had to try it out myself...I sprayed a bit on my hand and licked it...ACK!! EWW!!! It took my nearly 20 min to get the taste out of my mouth, and it lingered on my hand for a few hours thereafter even after washing! Which was terrible since I made dinner.

So here goes, wish us luck!

Current Score 
Ziva: 5
Beds, towels, blankets, rug: 0

I'll be gone for 4 hours and she'll have her chew toy in the crate with her. 

I should also mention she's been thoroughly exercised, fed, and is tired when I put her in.

Will the bed make it?  We'll soon find out!

"We're Having a Heat Wave ~ A Tropical Heat Wave"

We Are Loving This Weather!

In honor of "Wordless Wednesday"...

Our Morning Hike
We hiked about a mile this morning, this was some off-leash sniff/play time!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Last Day at the Cabin

Hoping the humans will drop bacon.

Our last day at the cabin was highly uneventful as both the dogs, my hubby, and I were exhausted and sore.

So here are a few last parting pictures!

Just rub my tummy dad!
Sweet face
Our friend the Old Man

Ready to go Home

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mirror Lake (Pond) Oregon

Day 3 of Vacation - Mirror Lake here we come!

Tired after our trip hiking Hunchback Trail we took a lunch break/nap in the instance of the dogs, and then turned around and headed right back out again for a hike to Mirror Lake. We did not realize this would be a hike...

I was under the impression that you could drive to Mirror in right up to the lake. And the hubby and I were hoping to give the dogs some fun play time while we enjoyed the scenery. Little did we know, you have to hike in.

In order to get to Mirror Lake we ended up parking at the trailhead. And since we were there, their was no point in turning back now! It was another 1.5 miles hike to the lake - so 3 miles roundtrip. Keep in mind, we had already hiked 4 miles at Hunchback Trail (that story here).

Trail to Mirror Lake
Hubby and Dante in the Lead

It was a beautiful hike, thankfully it wasn't very steep but rather a slow uphill climb. Our feet were pretty tired though, both dogs weren't hardly slowed in the least!

We weren't as big of a fan of this trail, it was extremely busy. We encountered lots of people and dogs. One thing that we have worked really hard on is leash manners.
Dante is a champ when it comes to leash manners but we've had him longer. This August he will turn 2 and we'll have had him for an entire year!

Ziva on the other hand, while she is pretty good on the leash she still gets rather focused and intense around squirrels (her nemesis) and other dogs. Depending on the dog she can either have a great meeting and be ready to play, or ready to do battle.
Most of this depends on how the other dog greets her - and we are very in tune to the body language and overall situation. We know how to properly introduce her to other dogs. 

One thing that she doesn't like is being rushed at - if another dog greets her to fast and intensely then she becomes defensive. The problem we run into is that while we keep our two dogs under control - that does not mean that other owners keep their dog/dogs under control.

If we encounter and owner whose dog is straining and pulling them we move aside, give passing room/clearance, have our dogs sit, and then proceed again once the ill mannered group has gone by. If we encounter a dog who is calmly walking with their family then we know we can safely pass by without incident.

When we greet other dogs we always greet the owner first, permission must go both ways. If they do not ask us then we do not allow their dog to meet ours. If they ask then we can and usually do allow a puppy meeting. Socialization is very important for bully breeds. Dante is naturally very dog friendly, he thinks all dogs are his friend. Ziva on the other hand must be constantly socialized, she takes time to warm up to other dogs but after a slow introduction becomes much more comfortable with the situation.

As far as the trail to Mirror Lake went, it was narrow but we didn't end up having any problems passing other dogs. Unfortunately the majority of the dogs we ran into were not under very good control, and flexi leashes aren't even close to having your dog under control! (But that's a different tangent I won't get into today.)

Ziva's turn to walk with dad.
Mirror Lake was surrounded by dense brush and being a popular place meant that their wasn't much available spots where their was good water access. The large groups of teenagers and loose/barking dogs weren't much to our liking either so we didn't spend much time looking at the lake.  It just wasn't that impressive, although the hike itself was nice and Mt. Hood was gorgeous to look at we decided it should be called Mirror Pond rather than Lake.

Accidentally sat on a sooty log! Oops...

After a total of 7 miles hiked we were all exhausted, but first things first!

Dirty dogs must wash their paws!!
Dante looking dejected..
Puppy too!

Time to rest the weary feet.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hunchback Trail, ZigZag Oregon

We think we made it to Spotted Owl Knob.

Hunchback Trail - 9.1 miles (one way)
Elevation..............1500-5000 feet
Level.....................Most Difficult

Suited up and ready to go! At the Zigzag Ranger Station.

The hubby and I did this one with both pups and my mom, my dad sat this hike out.

Trail Description from
"Starting from the Zigzag Ranger Station, this trail climbs steeply for 1.9 miles, gaining over 2,000 feet in elevation to a viewpoint."

And that is as far as we got...did you see the elevation it gained?! We wanted to go to Devil's Peak but to get their we should have either counted on an all day hike and maybe a pickup spot, or started at a different trailhead.

Want to know why it's called Hunchback Trail?  Because it's sooo steep you're hunched!  Haha, I was still getting over (am still getting over) a cold with a lot of congestion and sinus pressure. I'm normally a very athletic person but I thought this hike would kill me at a few points.

The dogs did great! They were in heaven, Dante got to wear his backback and carry his and Ziva's water. After a mile or so into the trail we unleashed them because their wasn't much undergrowth and they stayed right with us on the trail.

Dante and Ziva had a blast! We only went 2 miles, to a look out point but it was well worth it. It took us about 2 hours to get to the false summit. We would've been moving faster but they were being kind and waiting for poor sniffley me.

Very Steep - we were at about 3500 feet elevation and had started at 1500.
"Leaving the viewpoint, the trail traverses the Hunchback ridgeline until descending into a saddle and junction with the Green Canyon Trail #793A (3.6 miles). The trail continues for 2.4 miles as a series of steep climbs and descents that can be rocky, narrow and covered with fallen trees, to the Devil's Peak Lookout trail...From the Lookout, continue southeast for 1.2 miles to the southern trail head at Kinzel Lake. Some segments of this trail are primitive with minimal tread surface, which can lead to several scrambles."

They were not kidding! We took one look at that narrow ridgeline and decided now was the time to turn around.

This is what we were heading into - picture courtesy of

On the way back down we had a bit of fun with the dogs, my hubby being the fastest and me the slowest we took turns calling the dogs back and forth up and down the trail for the 2 mile hike back. It was really funny and they certainly got in their exercise! We also ended up walk/jogging our way back down due to the steepness.

Hard work deserves a nap!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mt. Hood Vacation - Day 2

Dante and Ziva have made friends with a resident dog who lives nearby in one of the cabins.
As far as he's concerned the whole area is his so he just wanders wherever he pleases. He's a nice an gentle old soul with a nearly gray face. A very large mutt - probably a lab mix if I had to guess. He's taken to following Dante around mostly and they take turns marking every possible thing in the yard.

Resident Old Man

No one slept well for the first night, the cabin was too hot and the dogs weren't sure about all of the nighttime noises that occur in the woods (we had the windows open trying to cool down our room). One loud noise had Dante up and barking quietly at the hubby leashed them up and went outside to check it out just in case. Not me though! We've been warned of cougars and bears in the area.

In the morning my mom wanted to try running with Ziva who was extremely enthusiastic until she got to the end of the road and realized that Dante was not joining them for the run - she immediately put on the brakes and it was all my mom could do to get her to go half a mile, so they turned around and Ziva hit the gas! Happy to head back to the pack. She hasn't spent much time with my mom so we're thinking that's why she didn't want to go. She also doesn't spend enough time away from Dante - something we are having a hard time fitting into the schedule. We'd like to work with them separately more often, mostly for Ziva's sake Dante doesn't mind being away for a while. After my mom got back from her forced warm up, she hooked up Dante and off they went! He loves running with my mom, they've done many miles together. My mom likes running with him on the bike trails in Eugene Oregon a place with known creepers and she feels very safe knowing she has a big dog with her.

Later in the afternoon we spent a long time playing fetch and tug - both dogs loved it! And then my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins joined in on the fun. My little cousins love playing with our pups because they are so polite, no jumping up and very gentle with the toys. They also willingly and gently listen and give up the toys when the kids ask. This is something we've worked really hard on with them.

Gentle Hand Off - the magic word is "ball".
Tug Time!
Unfortunately all of the play got a bit rough for Ziva, she slid in the gravel and scuffed a foot pad a bit raw.  Poor puppy! So we cleaned her up and put her in the house - much to her dislike. And headed to the river with kids and Dante in tow.

The kids enjoyed tossing rocks and playing with sticks, something Dante loves to participate in as well!

Hold on dad! I'm coming!

 Overall a pretty low key day, we ended it in the hot tub with margaritas!

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