Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Weruva B.F.F.

Picture of a totally content cat.

This month, Chewy.com sent my family something a little different. We tried out a mixed variety pack of Weruva B.F.F. cat food. The variety pack comes with two cans each of four different flavors. There is Tuna Too Cool, Tuna and Salmon Soulmates, Tuna and Chicken 4EVA, and our favorite, Tuna and Pumpkin Valentine. The twelve pack is on sale right now for $11.29, with free shipping on any order over $49.

This is the Tuna and Pumpkin Valentine food, with visible chunks of tuna and pumpkin in it.

Every flavor is grain free and made with wild caught, dolphin safe tuna. While it can be fed as a complete diet in and of itself, I have been using it as a supplement food.

I think it's obvious that Martha really enjoys this food

Martha, the older of my two cats, is at least twelve years old now, and possibly older than that. She recently started getting that delicate feeling that old cats have, where they feel super breakable and lightweight. I've started supplementing her normal food with extra canned food and with a ground raw mixture as well, to try to get a little extra weight on her. She is at a very healthy weight now, but I like seniors to have a tiny bit extra. Not enough to hurt their joints, but enough that if they get sick they don't immediately turn into a sack of bones.

Theo decided he wanted in on the action.

Of course, Theodore Trex, the younger of my cats, doesn't think it is entirely fair that he doesn't get the extra food as well. He is at a great weight now, and I carefully measure his food daily to keep him there. Since he isn't a senior (nowhere near being a senior yet!), there is no reason for him to have even a little extra weight.

Theo kept using his patented head-butt to get into the can of food, sometimes backed up by a swift grab and pull with his paw to get the can a little closer.

I do often give him just a little bit of the canned food that I am feeding Martha, just enough to keep him out of her dish and give his food a little more flavor. I've actually found that mixing the goo left in the can after spooning out the chunks of food with some water and then giving it to Theo is a great way to get him to drink more water, which is always a good thing.


Overall, I think these pictures speak for themselves. Not only was the Weruva B.F.F. food a big hit with my cats (and with Koira, who was hovering just out of camera sight during this entire shoot), but Chewy.com continues to be a company with great selection and super speedy shipping. Actually, I think the shipping to my part of the world here in Oregon is actually faster than it used to be. We received this package just two days after ordering, when it used to take more like four days. Either way, two or four days is darn fast, and should be fast enough that you can order when you start scrapping the bottom of the bag and have your pet's food delivered on your doorstep before the bag runs empty.

We were provided with this food by Chewy.com in exchange for an honest review of their product and service. We were not compensated in any other way. Any opinions expressed here are completely our own.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Whippet Puppy

I went to whippet racing for the first time yesterday, and of course there were whippet puppies there. Some of the most adorable little things.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Water Fun and Water Safety

I am loving going paddleboarding with the dogs. Pallo is more mellow, while Koira is obviously having about the BEST TIME EVER every time we go. That girl loves the water an almost absurd amount.

July 4th-0143
The dogs take over the paddleboard

I went paddleboarding on the 4th of July with a friend. I only took Pallo on that trip as Koira was visiting my mom in the country to avoid the crazy fireworks here in town. My friend brought two of her jack russells along as well, which made us a two human, three dog party.

July 4th-0160
Me and Pallo hang out in our matching lifejackets on the paddleboard in the middle of the river. The camera lens was a bit wet, and of course this is taken with my waterproof little Nikon point and shoot rather than my good camera.

One of the biggest things for me is making sure that we not only have fun, but stay safe as well. That means we bring plenty of water, wear plenty of sunscreen (and in my case a long sleeved shirt for sun protection), and always, always, always wear lifejackets. The lifejacket rule applies to humans and dogs, and there are no exceptions. We also always double check for blue green algae warnings in the area and avoid areas where algae or scum is present.

July 4th-0156
Pallo showing some loving during a break

The only other big rule we have is to not take big trips alone. Even just floating the river a little ways can pose danger, and having someone else there with you is your best chance of surviving hazards. The Willamette River, where we went and where we plan to go again, is overall a pretty smooth ride with minor rapids. But people drown there every year. Normally because they are drunk college students without lifejackets, but sometimes because they are experienced and safety conscious people doing everything they can to stay safe who just end up in the wrong place at the wrong time and are unable to get themselves out of trouble.

July 4th-0139
I even brought Pallo's sunglasses along. I don't think he appreciated that very much though,

That said, taking to the river on a hot day with a friend and a crew of dogs is one of the most enjoyable things I can think of to do. Pallo got along well with Roo and Rizzo. The weather was wonderful. Using the paddleboard allowed me to jump into the river to cool off regularly, while my friend was stuck in the kayak and suffered a little more from the heat. Of course, she didn't get tossed in the river in the middle of a rapid like I did either!

Safety and fun as the priorities, and you can have an awesome time on the river.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Flyball Oh My

Two weeks ago, I headed up to Lynden, WA with the dogs for a U-Fli flyball tournament. This is our first U-Fli tournament that wasn't in Gridley, CA. Unfortunately the Gridley tournament was cancelled, so we headed to this first-time tournament in Lynden instead to get our once yearly U-Fli tournament in.

It marked the very first time Koira ran U-Fli. Pallo has run in four U-Fli tournament now, but Koira has always either been not ready (reworking her turn, mostly) or injured (that neck injury last spring) when it comes to U-Fli, so it was fun to finally get to play it with her. Not that U-Fli is much different from running NAFA. The jump heights are lower and the timing/lighting equipment is a bit different, but otherwise, team racing is the same. A new change to the rules even makes the start light sequence the same. NAFA has always had a 1 second light sequence, while U-Fli in the past had a 1.2 second sequence. U-Fli has now changed to 1 second, making starting easier when switching between organizations.

The start lights still took a bit of getting used to though. I'm used to, on NAFA lights, saying READY (as the yellow lights flash upwards), SET (on the first yellow light), and GO (on the second yellow light), my dog is running during the third yellow light, and crosses the line as soon after the green light flashes on as possible. I release my dog immediately when that second yellow light comes on. And I'm normally a really decent starter, consistently getting starts in the .0xx range, and often putting in at least one .00x start at each tournament, sometimes with each dog. But the U-Fli lights don't have the yellow lights flash upwards before the lights start counting down, so my rhythm was all messed up at first. About halfway through the first day, I figured out that the little green lights at the bottom of the starting light tree went off as soon as the judge hit the button, and a second later the first yellow flashed on. So I did my READY when the green lights went off and more or less got my rhythm back.

It was pretty hot all weekend, though Sunday was better than Saturday and even delivered a little bit of light rain. Koira was running slow all morning on Saturday, and a couple times I thought I saw a limp. But when I trotted her out, not only could I not see a limp, but no one else (and I asked about five different people to watch her trot) saw anything either. The most anyone commented is that she is just a little tight on the front right, where her old elbow and shoulder injuries were. We figured it was just a bit of arthritis (she is seven and a half now, after all, which while not old certainly isn't young either). So I kept running her, making sure to give her plenty of a warm up before each run. Her times actually got better as the day went on, making me think that our longer warm up routine was helping get some stiffness out. Her last race of the day actually looked pretty great and she threw down some 5.2s, which were the best times of the weekend.

And then I took her out of her crate to potty one last time and she was limping. Bad. Barely weight bearing on the right left leg. Luckily, there is a pretty awesome vet on one of the other teams who agreed to take a look at Koira. The vet gave her a chiropractic adjustment and a massage, said Koira was super sore and probably as tight as she had ever felt on a dog. By the end of getting worked over, Koira's limp was almost completely gone. But for the safety and wellbeing of my dog, I let my team and the doubles team I was going to run with on Sunday know that I was pulling her. Koira would just get some vetprofen and rest for Sunday. She did earn her first U-Fli title on Saturday, Top Flight. So I was very proud of her despite the slower times.

Pallo on Saturday did pretty good. He wasn't running with our team. He was just set to run doubles with a super cute corgi from another team- the doubles team was named Short Stacks, and they were pretty much just adorable as can be. Pallo did do his stop and spin two out of the eight heats the doubles team ran, but otherwise ran great.

When I pulled Koira for Sunday, our regular team became short a height dog. In U-Fli, the jump heights are measured very different than in NAFA, and Koira set 9" jumps. Neena, a little cattle dog type mix, was our other height dog, and while she was perfectly fine, it's always nice to have an extra height dog. All the rest of our team was made up of large, leggy dogs. So I offered that I could put Pallo in Koira's place in order to provide Neena a bit of a rest from providing height. Pallo jumps 6" in U-Fli, so dropped the jumps quite a bit.

Sunday was cooler, which was really nice. Pallo ended up running great. I think he was in three or four races, and he only did the stop and spin thing a couple times. Keeping him crated and calm for as long as possible before going to the ring helps a lot with him not spinning. Koira of course wasn't limping at all on Sunday and would have been happy to run, I'm sure. But the long term health of my dogs is more important than any tournament, so she stayed on crate rest for the day. Our team ended up doing decent despite the swap-out. Pallo's issues didn't cost us more than a second here or there. And everyone had fun, which is ultimately the important part.

And while I know that that is a huge block of text to read with no photos, I can't take pictures of my own dogs. It is sad, but true.

Today, I am getting us packed and ready for a tournament this weekend. Saturday and Sunday at the Marion County Fair, in case anyone wants to come check it out.

Koira went to the vet yesterday for another issue, but was cleared as sound and ready to race by our vet. So she'll be running and hopefully it won't be a repeat of the last tournament!

Pallo will be running on Saturday only. He is retiring at this tournament. His long term health is more important than flyball, and every time he stops and gets confused at flyball, I am pretty sure it is a tiny seizure happening. And every seizure makes the next one more likely. So we are doing one last hurrah this weekend.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Merrick 96% Real Beef

Life managed to get in the way of me getting this June review done in June, rather than July. But I figure late is better than never, right?

Chewy.com sent us a case of Merrick Backcountry 96% Real Beef canned food to test out and review.

While Pallo normally gets kibble with water added, and Koira has been eating mostly raw food, we made sure to test out this canned food as well. Koira got it as part of a meal, along with some frozen mackerel and a couple raw eggs. She loved the food and ate everything, licking the bowl clean. The food also didn't cause any digestive upset, so obviously wasn't full of a bunch of strange ingredients that she never gets.

Pallo got some mixed with his normal kibble (which is a mix of a number of different higher quality foods). He was absolutely crazy about it, and very enthusiastic in eating. He is a strange creature, in that he is very food aggressive toward other dogs, but isn't all that great of an eater even when he is totally alone. Adding the Merrick canned food made sure he cleaned out his bowl without walking away from it, which is great.

The last weekend of June, I had a flyball tournament in Lynden, WA (I'll be posting some about that later). One of my teammates, though, has a dog who is getting up there in years a little bit and as he gets older, he doesn't want to eat while traveling. I offered a can of the Merrick to them to try out to see if we could bribe Wyatt into eating (I had brought the Merrick in the first place in case Pallo tried to refuse his food like he sometimes does while traveling). It worked pretty well. Instead of totally refusing his breakfast, Wyatt ate about 3/4s of it, which was very good for him.

Wyatt may be a senior, but he still has the flyball moves. 

Overall, we really enjoyed the Merrick Backcountry 96% Real Beef and would be happy to continue using it in the future or try some of the other Merrick Backcountry products. Chewy offers seven different Merrick Backcountry canned food options as well as four dry food options, all with the super fast shipping and great customer support that Chewy always offers.