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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...

Friday, July 31, 2015

8 Photo's of #Happiness

Happiness in a Photograph

We were nominated by Groovey Golden Doodles to share 8 photos of happiness. 

1. A wet dog, on a hot summer day. I love swimming and sharing my joy for the water with my pups!
And for them:   Nothing beats a good swim in the river with your favorite toy!


3. Success, knowing you worked your butt off, didn't quit, and made it to the peak. I love hiking, but I love the view from the top even more.

4. Learning a new sport, and finding out you might actually be good at it. I've personally always been an exercise junkie and sports enthusiast. Now that i'm done with my degree I can get my butt back in shape (I know school is a bad excuse for getting lazy) and the dogs help motivate me to keep going.

5. Kisses from someone who loves you.

6. One on one playtime with the pups. I love having their undivided attention.

7.  Exploring the great outdoors with my handsome fella. When we adopted Dante we were looking for a dog that I could take hiking since I tend to do a lot of hiking by myself.
The qualifications:  large breed to deter people from bothering me (I'm not big on small talk with strangers in the middle of the woods, call me concerned about the crazy psychopath who could be lurking), big enough to handle a doggy backpack to help carry gear, healthy, fun and can handle crazy adventures/rough terrain!

8.  Puppy snuggles, this is what we call a "pit pile". Technically their are two pibbles and a plott, but who cares...a nice big cup of coffee on a lazy Saturday morning, warm dogs to keep me cozy and hubby in the corner make for a perfect morning!

Now it's our turn to nominate a couple fellow furfriends!
I hope you all participate we'd love to share your #8photosofhappiness .

Pawrticipation is Easy!

  • Thank your nominator (that's me, you're welcome!) and link them in your post.
  • Link the creator (Ariel's Little Corner of the Internet).
  • Post your 8 photo's of happiness:
    Can be anything that represents a moment, object, place or feeling that makes you happy.
  • Pop in a brief description of the photo, why you chose it or let the photos do the talking!
  • Spread the happiness and tag up to ten other bloggers!
Have a happy Friday!!

Love from the Dz Dogs!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Flyball Video!

Ziva's Box Turn

For only having been practicing for two weeks I'd say she's looking pretty good, don't you?


Monday, July 27, 2015

Pit Bull Mom

Pit Bull Mom

I recently read a great post "What's it like to own a Pit Bull?" by, Good Karma Canine.
And I felt the need to chime in.

My Pit Bulls, are just dogs. They are wonderful, slobbery, big babies who love to sit on your lap. They have short hair that feels like velvet when they are clean, big block heads, gentle mouths, soft floppy ears, and big wet noses perfect for kissing. They are unique, have differing personalities, and a sense of humor.

"Honest mom, I am a lap dog."

They are not evil monsters, they don't eat children, they don't fight with each other/rip apart other dogs for fun/attack anything that moves, they don't randomly one day decide to eat your face off, and they are not naturally aggressive.
(Common Pit Bull Myths HERE)

It has nothing to do with how they were raised, it has EVERYTHING to do with how we personally treat them, right now, in this moment. If dogs can sense cancer, and seizures doesn't it makes sense that they can sense your emotions, hormones, and intentions as well? They know if you like them, and they know if you are behaving in a suspicious manner.

Last week we had a repair man come to the house, since it was getting kind of late and to be courteous to the repair man (not knowing if he likes dogs), we put Jack and Ziva in their crates and had Dante go sit in his spot.

When the repairman arrived Dante greeted him but would not stop "boofing" at the poor guy, his hackles were up and we couldn't get him to be polite so we ended up putting Dante in the backyard. Jack growled the whole time, so - backyard again... Ziva my little princess I thought for sure would help us to break the ice with the boys and show them the repairman was nice. Nope, she barked in his face and kept circling around like a little shark - so she too was banished to the outside. While hubby was calming the dogs outside, I was inside speaking to our repair guy, turns out the he is not a Pit Bull person, he thinks they are unpredictable, and can turn on you at any moment.

Sadly I was not able to change his mind about Pit Bulls, and it certainly didn't help that mine were not being good breed ambassadors on this particular evening. He was however surprised to hear that we have two indoor kitties that the dogs get along great with.

I'm thinking that they guy was putting off some weird vibes, they are used to having people just love them on contact and it might have been a bit off putting to the dogs that he was a bit hesitant around them.

**Author's Note 7/31/15 - 
The wonderful repairman came back and installed the part we had to order. Turns out he's a really nice guy! Seemed a bit hesitant around my big dogs but we were able to have a wonderful doggy conversation, followed with lots of wiggles and love from Dante and Ziva. Hooray! Way to go Breed Ambassadors! It just took a follow up, cheese, and patience but we were able to have a lovely interaction that ended on a positive note. And of course Dante wanting the nice guy to play with him. **

Abused dogs, *cough* Pit Bulls, can be rehabilitated and make for great loving family pets with training, time, love, and patience. You don't have to know their background or where they came from, dogs live in the moment and let go of the past easier than humans do.

My dogs are well socialized, trained, regularly given tasks/taught new things, and exercised. If my dogs aren't welcome, then I probably won't be going or I'll end up leaving early because I time how long I leave them at home alone.

Visit Cjiro at to support local non-profit rescues.
I am always amazed when someone I've known for a long time makes a comment like, 

"Don't you ever worry? You know...about their breed?"

My neighbor said this last night, she is a nice little old lady who is always out walking, she loves my dogs and always walks past us making nice comments about their manners and how happy they look. I had no idea she was concerned about "their breed."

On a good note we had a very long and positive conversation regarding dogs, why do dogs behave the way they do, do "pit bulls" turn, do they have locking jaws, do I worry about my dogs around kids, etc.. I think we were able to reach her, which makes my heart warm. Dante and Jack were with me and were perfect gentlemen, they laid on the sidewalk next to use while we chatted. Turns out she isn't a fan of Miniature Pinschers, using this piece of knowledge I was able to dive into the world of differences in dog breeds and what different breeds were bred for. 

Right before we were leaving one of the neighbor kids ran a up, a little boy who is a favorite of Dante's. All wiggles and kisses the dogs greeted him, as I looked back, she was smiling.

 I'm hoping she'll look at dogs differently now, pit bull type dogs, and Min Pins alike.


Friday, July 24, 2015

All About That Ball.

A Girl & Her Ball

Happy Fit Dog Friday!

Sorry I'm a bit behind on my flyball post, I still need to edit the video and upload it.
In the meantime, enjoy some shots of Ziva! This girl loves her ball, and her daddy of course!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Bucket List Revisited

Summer 2015 Bucket List

Last fall we wrote a bucket list for summer, now is a good time for us to review that list and I've got a few things to add!
Sadly I feel like the summer is fading quicker than I can get to my list, on a good note though I'M ALL DONE WITH SCHOOL!! This means that we can extend our hiking and camping adventures into the fall since Oregon is such a beautiful state.

- Hike Broken Top in Bend, OR

This trip is still on the books! Can't wait, we're thinking either end of August or September since it's still crazy hot in Bend right now.

- Camping with the Pups!

- Flyball with Dante & Ziva!

Since Ziva's knee injury meant we had to take time off of agility, I have discovered a new canine sport that is so much fun! Flyball!  We're hoping to join Animal House Flyball Club within the next month to start practicing with the team, and if all goes well we should be competing in a couple months!

Stay tuned for another Flyball Friday post tomorrow to see our recent progress!

Other goals involve playing with my new camera, and figuring out more about how to use it and what all the settings mean. *Hubby is my awesome photographer. I just press buttons. LoL*

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Eagle's Rest, Oregon

Or umm, should that read;
"Plott's Rest"

When we first rescued Jack he was severely underweight and his fur felt like straw, he was dirty, intact, psycho, and flighty. However he was free of parasites, liked our dogs, and seemed to have no prey drive and left our cats alone. All these facts led to us having him in our home as our foster dog.

Did you know we've had Jack since April?!  It's hard to believe because he's such a cool dog. We're still looking for a home for him, however we refuse to put him on craigslist so we're relying mostly on word of mouth and social networking.

Anyways back to Jack...well we put him on a super yummy Petcurean Go! kibble diet with a bunch of supplements and additions like we do with our dogs. Yummy coconut oil to help with his skin which was super flakey, and hair which felt like straw.  We added a high quality fishy wet food to help him put on some weight and joint supplements, along with the constant array of treats since we work on some form of training daily with each dog.

Jack not only put on the weight he was lacking, but he also is developing some lovely love handles. Ooops... So now we're increasing his exercise a bit (it's still ruthlessly hot here!) and decreasing his daily calorie intake. He is not a happy Plott Hound at the moment but it's for the best!

Well Dz Dog Dad wanted to go for a trail run and I decided it would be a good time to take myself and Jack on a nice hike to work off some of our more squishy parts. Gotta be honest, I need exercise too! So we packed up and headed to Eagle's Rest.

We started at the hiker symbol by 5833 and hiked to Eagle's Rest.

Eagle's Rest is a 4.2 mile hike round trip, 2.1 of those miles are uphill. 

Turns out Jack is close in size to Dante! So I loaded up Dante's Groundbird backpack, adjusted the straps for fit and we were off! I kept the weight light since Jack hasn't carried a backpack before, but I wanted him to work as well, so for his 50 pounds he carried 3 pounds of water.

Turns out he's a great hiking buddy! He doesn't really have a prey drive so when we had a squirrel run across our path he inquisitively looked at it but didn't yank me 100 mph the way Ziva does when she sees a small animal move. He stayed right behind or beside me on a nice loose leash, and only tripped me up a couple times, but never pulled.

It was gorgeous! A long and steady incline with switchbacks, tall trees, and dense under brush. For being a hot day it was pretty cool walking in the shade of all the trees.

Turns out their is a shelter you can hike to if you want to set up camp, might be a fun trip for us later this summer or the beginning of fall now that i'm out of school. 

I should have timed how long it took us to get to the summit, I tried to keep our pace up. We beat Dz Dog dad to the summit but not by much, he took the long route in so that he could run a longer distance than my measly 4.2 miles.

Pouring water on Jack to help him cool down.
"You mean you dragged me up this hill just for a view?!"  ~ Jack

"Nap time you crazy lady."

Such a great hiking buddy, he's still looking for his forever home! If you know anyone in Oregon please send them our way! Otherwise I may just have to keep this goofball all for myself.

He's such a handsome hiking buddy, don't you think?
Again my, "Not so Wordless Wednesday."

Monday, July 20, 2015

Dog Life Jacket Review

Dog Life Jackets

*This is not a paid promotional post. We purchased Ruffwear's K-9 Float Coat using our own money and was not compensated in any way for writing this post. We simply want to share our personal experience with the product, and give it an honest review.*

Having coached swim team, and teaching children swim lessons as well as adult private lesson for 7 years I must say that water safety is something very important to me.

Living in Oregon we are surrounded by water, every year their are stories of children, adults, and pets who drowned. Many of the stories seem to involve someone doing something stupid like swimming, drunk, at night or cliff diving without checking for obstacle in the water, or the depth. But their are also stories of people being safe, following the precautions and then simply having an accident.
See my post yesterday for water safety tips.

My favorite myth regarding dogs and swimming is:

All Dogs Know How to Swim - FALSE
    • All dogs can swim instinctively and begin paddling when they end up in water, however for some dogs this is the extent of their "swimming". They waste energy with inefficient paddling, and tire out quickly due to bad swimming form. And just because they are paddling doesn't mean they know how to move towards shore or the pool edge. Ever swam in place? Yup, for some dogs that is it.
We go swimming a lot in the summer, most of the time we hit the rivers because we don't have a pool for the pups and the lakes tend to break out in toxic algae, the river is a great place to cool the dogs and get some exercise in.

When swimming with our dogs I like to encourage proper form, guess that's the swim instructor in me! Proper swim form for a dog should be a nice horizontal line along the water's surface. A life jacket is a great way to encourage/teach form, it also helps breeds that are not known for swimming to not struggle and work as hard to stay afloat.

Built to Swim

Dogs such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Chessies, Standard Poodles, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Setter, Newfoundland, and Portuguese Water Dogs and many others are known to be good swimmers, they have water resistant coats, and webbing between their toes.

Dog Breeds Not Known for their Swimming Ability

Breeds that are heavy in the front with muscular chests and small hindquarters such as the boxer dog, short muzzled dogs and brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers may enjoy swimming but don't tend to do well in the water because they tire quickly. And certain smaller breeds like Dachshunds with their longer bodies and short legs, have a hard time staying afloat, they tend to be frightened of the water, and chill easily.

Ziva does not swim well, we started off by purchasing a neoprene doggy vest to keep her warm because she chills easy, however this did not help improve her swimming form and she was still sucking down a lot of water when she would retrieve her ball.  So we finally invested in a life jacket for her. 

Our dogs swim and hike in their break away collars just in case they get caught on something.
Unlike human life jackets, their are no legal requirement for doggy safe life jackets. Human life jackets are tested and rated for certain safety standards, while many doggy life jackets are rated for aesthetics, style, and price. I would love to see more dog life jacket studies done on safety and effectiveness. (Here is a great article regarding some of the life jackets on the market.)

I am not a dog life jacket expert! But I can at least tell you what we looked for.

Please do your own research when looking into vests, and it is definitely worth the extra dollars for one that fits your dog well and is made with high quality materials and heavy duty stitching.

Things we looked for in a life jacket
  • Freedom of Movement
  • No Chafing 
  • Handle on top/D-ring for leash clip
  • Straps and Adjust-ability
  • Does It Help Her Keep Her Head Up
  • Does It Fit Properly
We ended up choosing the Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat, I like it for several reasons. Ruffwear products tend to nicely fit both Dante and Ziva, I know that they materials are high quality and the stitching is sound. When we tested out the Float Coat, I took Ziva to a fun river spot where she can run across large boulders, jump, and swim next to me in waist deep water. The current is slow and lazy so she could play and get used to the jacket.

The Float Coat fit her perfectly, this jacket allows for quite a bit of adjustment across the belly straps but not much for adjustment across the front of the chest so when you measure make sure to fit your pup properly around their neck, you want the life jacket to sit properly across the base of the neck and not be to tight or high.

The straps on the belly go over the outside of the life jacket and not across the skin, being a short haired dog chafing happens quickly and easily. In fact no strap touches the dog on Ruffwear's K-9 float coat (great feature).

This coat allowed Ziva plenty of movement, we tested it by having her run around on the large boulders and then jump into the swimming area. She could easily run, didn't seem to mind having it on, and she was still able to happily launch herself into the water to chase down her favorite ball.

However being a life jacket, it is a bit cumbersome for climbing up and out of the water. Thankfully it has a very sturdy handle built in on top that is designed for lifting your dog, we used this feature once - Ziva wasn't thrilled but I could lift her out of the water with ease and being strapped under her chest and around her belly it did not seem to choke her when she was lifted.

Their is also a leash ring attached to the top of the life jacket, and a spot to hook on a flash light or other accessory.

Another favorite feature? It is soo bright! Ruffwear sells their life jacket in two colors, red and yellow. I love the yellow on my little golden girl, she is bright and easy to see.

Please be safe this summer! If you are going to be spending much time in the water make sure that you and your pup are properly outfitted, especially when boating or floating the river!

100% DZ Dog Bully Breed Approved!

More Sources:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Flyball Friday - Bounce Baby!

Flyball Friday Pt - 4. 
Wall Bounce & Box Turns

This past week our homework was to continue working on our wall bounces, dead ball retrieval, and to introduce the flyball box (box bounce), if all that went smoothly we were to try incorporating a dead ball retrieval with the box bounce.

Last weekend we had the pleasure of going to an actual Flyball Tournament at a local fairground, our trainer over at So Fly and her club was competing. Oh my dog! It was soo much fun! The dogs absolutely love the sport, and I guess the running joke is that flyball dogs are out of control. But really they are just excited and ready to run, they are under control and were so much fun to watch. Any dog breed, and any size can compete. We saw everything from tiny little Jack Russel's, Beagles, lots of different bully mutts, a couple American Pit Bull Terriers, and even a Great Dane competing!
The enthusiasm alone in the room was electrifying.
We can't wait until we're good enough to join a team! I would say that hubby and I are officially hooked, a big difference in flyball and agility is that in agility you might get a couple runs in (depending on what you sign up for), but in flyball you can potentially run off and on all day. The dogs get lots of breaks in between runs but it is a very active day, that leaves both humans and dogs wore out by the end.

Here is Dante's improved wall bounce! You'll notice he is turning much tighter and the board is completely vertical.

We also decided it might be fun to train Ziva and Jack as well! We would love for him to find a home that would continue to work with his brain and/or maybe put him into a sport!

With Ziva's recent knee issue we are also thinking flyball might be a better sport for her than agility because it is easier on the knees, most of the impact  from jumping is on the shoulders.

So far so good! No limping, and she has a beautifully tight turn! Since this picture was taken we've also worked her into a completely vertical wall bounce.

My trainer was also nice enough to let us borrow her flyball box to practice our box turns. It's the same concept as the wall bounce just that it is on a smaller surface, and much lower. After a few days we finally got Dante to start putting the pieces together and now his box turn looks pretty good! We've also been working Jack and Ziva on the box turn. 

Jack got the turn ridiculously fast, he's such a smart boy! Ziva began by running all the way up the box and standing on top, silly girl, but today she was successfully doing her own box turns!

My husband was joking saying, "One more dog and we could have our own team!"  
Hmm....that would be pretty funny.  

FitDog Friday

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Water Dogs

Water Safety

Contrary to popular belief not all dogs actually know how to swim, and tossing a dog in the water is a good way to teach him to fear the water, or possibly panic and drown.

Here is Jack, not so sure about this whole water thing...

Sadly yesterday my sister called me to let me know that her friend's dog had just drowned due to lack of supervision. 

To prevent other people from experiencing this same tragic loss I want to remind you to please, just like with children, supervise your dog when playing in the water - even a pool.

A ramp or set of stairs is a good idea.
Certain breeds can happily play in the water all day, in fact if you have a pool they may play with themselves hopping in and out loving every minute of it. I've seen many a happy lab joyously jumping in the pool, but make sure your dog knows how to get out of the pool - 

If you have puppies or small children make sure you supervise them, if you can, set up a fence around the pool to prevent accidents from happening. 
I taught swimming lessons to children, private lessons for adults, and coached swim team for seven years I've heard many tragic pool accidents, a fence around your pool prevents your neighbors child from wandering accidentally into your backyard and falling in, it also prevents drunken teens from using your pool when you're gone, and it can save your dogs life.

In the case of my sister's friend, her dog was a dachshund. I don't know all the details but I do know that a fence and/or some supervision could have prevented such a tragic loss, and my heart goes out for her family.

Wear a life jacket.
You'll notice in most of our pictures Ziva wears a life jacket or vest. Ziva is not a very strong swimmer, last summer I kept a harness and a leash on her to help grab and haul her in if I needed to. We mostly play at our local rivers so I was worried about her getting caught in the current, I was hoping she'd be a better swimmer this summer but she really struggles to keep her head up.

We ended up purchasing the life jacket to help her swim and keep her warm, she's just not very well built for swimming, she has no significant amount of fat to help her float or stay warm and so she sinks.

Dante on the other hand is a very powerful dog, his swimming form looks really nice but i'm still careful with him. 
Proper dog swimming form is that their back is nice and horizontal when in the water, improper form is when their are vertical - butt and hips sinking "doggy paddling" and upright.

A great example of good doggy form!
Living in Oregon and being surrounded by water I am always on the lookout for good swimming spot and potential dangers, we can't swim in the lakes because they usually end up with toxic algae blooms during the summer, so when we go swimming I choose places with a slow current, and where I can both see the bottom and touch.

Last week he lost his toy, it ended up being caught in the current and he refused my, "leave it!" I ended up chasing him downstream and nearly jumping in to haul him out when something caught his leg underwater and dunked him. *We won't be going back to that spot.* 

"Sorry mom! I was coming right back! I had to get my toy!"
If you have a breed not known for its swimming ability such as a bulldog or a dachshund, please consider a life jacket. Puppies and elderly dogs would also benefit from the use of a life jacket to reduce the amount of energy they have to put into swimming. Life jackets are also great for helping to rehabilitate a dog from an injury.

Happy Not so Wordless Wednesday!

Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop Badge.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ball Game!

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Can you guess who won this game?

It was ball versus dog, sadly team Ball underestimated its opponent.

He never stood a chance.

All hail Queen Ziva!

Happy Mischief Monday!

Snoopy's Dog Blog

Friday, July 10, 2015

Water Paradise

Fit Dog Friday!
Water Paradise

Happy fit dog Friday! We've had a busy week, but it's been a lot of fun! 

We've gone to the river a couple times, I have a favorite swimming spot I discovered last summer that we hike out to. Since you have to hike to get to it we've never encountered anyone else there. And it was the perfect place to try out my new camera!

Dante, Ziva, and Jack weren't bothered at all by the fireworks which is nice since our neighbors are still randomly setting their leftover firecrackers off. I just feel bad for the dogs in our area that I know are affected by the noise.

Last night we even had a thunderstorm! It was wonderful, I love a good summer storm and since the dogs don't care, we opened up the windows and listened to it with everyone snoozing in happy little piles of cuddle. And since we had a wet day, I put on a hat and took advantage of the cool weather by playing with the dogs and doing some individual training time before the thunderstorm started.

It was awesome! We haven't been able to do any playing in the afternoon except swimming due to the heat, so Ziva was thrilled to be able to run full tilt after her tennis ball.

Ziva's knee is healing up nicely, at this point we're just continuing to try and take it easy on her. We're doing lots of swimming to strengthen her muscles without the pounding of running. And we are taking at least the month of July off of agility, maybe even August. But don't worry, we're still practicing at home, I don't want to be left to far behind our agility buddies!

Last weekend we found a beautiful new place to swim, it is such a paradise! Hubby took Jack out for an hour jog, while Dante and I explored the river. It was pretty hot, but the dirt trails were all covered in shade and hubby took a nice easy pace stopping regularly to water and get Jack cooled off and thoroughly soaked.

Dante and I started off heading towards a spot that I was familiar with, their were lots of families out however and my location ended up being already occupied by another family. As I was surveying the scene I heard an all too familiar, "Buster Come!" as two french bulldogs started chasing after us. We quickly jumped into the water and headed towards the other side as a third (also off leash) very large and not so friendly looking bully mutt entered the water.
Way to go guys! Another group of idiots with off-leash dogs in a highly populated swimming hole surrounded by other people with dogs.

Oh well, continuing upstream we came to this location. Isn't it gorgeous! And not a soul in sight! Their was a group on the bend ahead of us, and behind us so we just stayed here.

I didn't bring my camera for this trip, because I tend to get really wet when we play here. The river is full of slick, smooth rocks, and sand. I usually fall at least once. 

The water was clear and beautiful, with a slow lazy flow. I could see all the way to the bottom, and at it's deepest point it was at least ten feet deep.

Hubby and Jack joined us after their run, but for about 45 min Dante and I had this spot to ourselves, and we loved it!

Since Dante has been training for flyball, I occasionally leave his rope and tug toys home so that we can work on his ball drive. For this occasion I brought only a tennis ball for him to play with, and he did great! We played lots of fetch and he got tons of swimming in. Afterwards when we went home he passed out on the couch.

Flyball update to come soon!! We're going to go watch a tournament this weekend that our trainer's team is running in!

FitDog Friday

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