Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review: Wellness WellBites Beef & Turkey Dog Treats (

My apologies for hopping so far off the blogging bandwagon for the last few months! I've had an insanely busy fall.... but now that it's winter, I suppose I no longer can use that excuse ;). I have several exciting things to talk about, but first.... the premiere Prairie Wolf Files product review! (I have done many reviews over on Cedes of Change, but this is the first I've done since switching to this blog. Check out my former reviews here if interested.)

Anyways, several months ago, my friends at approached me asking if I would like to do a review on some dog treats for them. Of course, as always, I said yes. The treats I chose were Wellness WellBites Beef & Turkey Recipe Soft & Chewy Dog Treats.

If you've never visited, I highly encourage you to check them out. They are a great company with an extensive selection of pet supplies (over 200 brands!) and absolutely wonderful customer service. Shipping is fast and reasonable, and they offer free shipping on any order over $49. They really understand and appreciate the kinds of things that knowledgeable pet owners want. So, when you're doing your holiday shopping this year, keep in mind. They are awesome!

In typical Chewy fashion, my treats arrived promptly (within five days). Now, my dogs would never be described as picky, but they LOVED these treats. As a trainer, I appreciated their size and texture. They are semi-moist treats that come in big squares. These squares are very easy to break up into smaller pieces. Most importantly, these treats are soy and wheat free and contain no artificial flavors or colors. They are a win in my book! Since reviewing these treats, I have bought at least two more bags. It is worth noting that Wellness WellBites treats come in several other flavors as well, including turkey & duck, lamb & salmon, chicken & venison, and chicken & lamb.

Ember would like to extend her many, many thanks to for this opportunity!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Devil May Care

Here are two photos from this weekend, taken by the estimable Randy Gaines:

Rock on! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

ICCKC AKC Agility Trial 10/11-13/2013 Recap

Last weekend, Cedar and I competed in our first agility trial in almost a year.

Spoiler alert: it was amazing. But, too be honest, before we left, I was filled with dread. I didn't want to do it. I told myself that if I still felt that way come trial day, we just wouldn't go. The very thought of trialing at all was stressful. I was worried that all the time we'd had off would make us look like amateurs. That Cedar and I wouldn't connect out there, and I'd end up frustrated and disappointed. Thankfully, I couldn't have been more wrong.

Like a boss. 

I arrived in Boise a few days early, in order to have some time to visit with my friends and family. My friend TSB and I had the opportunity to go see a Bollywood flick at the local movie theater, and I got to hang with her and her horses. I got in some good time with my parents, and ate some awesome sushi and seafood. But the trial was still looming ahead.

The amazing Hakuna Matata and I

Thursday night, before bed, I thought about what I could do to make the trial more fun and less stressful for Cedar and I. I tried hard to identify just what made me frustrated and nervous, and had sort of a lightbulb moment. I realized that my transport to the ring was a big source of frustration for me. For our entire trialing career, I have asked Cedar to heel into the ring with perfect focus. Because she lacks impulse control and finds agility really stimulating, this is impossible for her. So, after fighting with her all the way to the start line, I've always been really irritated, even before we start running.

I decided to change things up and let her pull me to the start line. As long as she held her stay and was otherwise good, I would let that go.

It worked brilliantly. Beyond brilliantly.  I was calmer, Cedar was calmer, we were both more focused and less worried about stupid shit. #winning.

Cedar and I were SO connected all weekend. We laid down some amazing runs, and ended up earning two new titles, in Excellent Jumpers and Standard. Better yet, we were having fun, and enjoying working together. It was awesome.

Here is my favorite Jumpers run:

And my favorite Standard run:

And here is a greatest hits compilation of all my favorite moments from the weekend:

Did we have a "perfect" weekend? No. But we had a damned good one. And, better yet, it was FUN. I had a blast, and my stress level was at an all-time low. Cedar was a fantastic teammate, and I would bet that she had a lot more fun, too. This is the most fun I've had, and the most relaxed I've been at an agility trial, EVER. Now I really understand how people can trial almost every weekend and not want to die.

This was also the first weekend that I truly felt that Cedar and I belonged in the upper levels. That we deserve to try, legitimately, for a MACH. And now I'm really, really excited.

Smiles all around :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here

It's taken me awhile to get used to living where I do now. I moved up here almost two years ago from my hometown, and knew no one except for my husband. I felt cut off, isolated, lonely, and directionless. One of the things that depressed me the most was that I went from a supportive, motivated group of agility friends to (what I thought was) an agility wasteland. Without a consistent place to train, no friends to motivate me, and no real space in my own yard to do much, I lost all motivation and passion for agility. It wasn't fun anymore. So I didn't do much. I enjoyed my dogs as pets and started forcing myself to leave the house more. The PW's helped motivate me in that regard. Have I mentioned that I love them? LOL

Over the past year, a lot has changed for the better. I made some new friends teaching for the local dog club, and through those experiences, was presented with the opportunity to teach at a new dog facility opening up this fall. It is state of the art.... beautiful new equipment, a heated indoor building, outside rings for more training opportunities, and, lots of other good stuff. I have been teaching there just over a month, and it has been absolutely fabulous.

I have also been teaching agility in a town about an hour away for the past few months. It has been fun getting to know a whole different group of people, and I've really (unexpectedly) enjoyed getting beginning students, some who have never even had a dog before, hooked on agility.

My favorite part of being an instructor, so far, is seeing my students improve from one week to the next. To see them conquer challenges that seemed impossible before. To watch them become more in tune with their dogs, and seeing the dogs respond and step up their game. It's pretty cool.

I'm in a much better headspace than I was in a year ago. For the first time in a long time, I am starting to feel like I belong somewhere. It's a good feeling.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


We had a great time at the park this weekend! It was a gorgeous fall day. Proof:

She may look big, but underneath all that hair, Cedar is pretty little :P

Gotta get the disc!

What a badass

She's got swag.

Damn, son

She looks like she's been electrocuted lol

Her favorite thing in the world

Launched into orbit!

Shitty throw, cool picture

For some reason this reminds me of the Rocky Horror Picture Show?

Blast off!

Tired girl

The gang on the playground

My dogs love slides. Is that weird?

Laying down on the states they were born in. Scully--ID, Ember--UT, Cedar-- IN

Chillin' on the huge tire

Prairie Wolves Only

Too bad she has such terrible structure *snort*

Queen of the Jungle (Gym)

Supernatural premieres tonight... EEP! Expect me to be a full-on wreck tomorrow :P

Monday, October 7, 2013

Winter Is Coming

In this part of the country, it feels like it went from summer to fall in like one day. We literally went from 90+ degree days to 60 degree days in less than a week. Not that I'm complaining, I love fall! It's just been a bit difficult to remember that I need to wear warmer clothes :P

The PW's seem to be enjoying the change in temperature. Scully, not so much. Ember has been growing some truly magnificent tail plumage, earning her the nickname Senorita Fluffytail. I recently have started up the c25k program again,  and she's been my running buddy. I really enjoy spending that time with her. She's starting to get some seriously sexy muscles. I can't wait to have my rock-hard runner's calves back! My immediate goal is to run the entire length of our local Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving this year. Last year, I ran the entire first half, but had to take about a 5 minute walking break once I got to that point. Even with that break, my time wasn't too horrible, considering that I'm not a real runner....yet. Maybe I'll take Ember with me this year. She is awfully motivating.

Hurry up!
Probably the biggest change for me this fall is the fact that I have started a new job as a dog trainer for a brand new facility in my area. I am currently teaching four agility classes, and will pick up a fifth one starting Monday. It's been a lot of fun so far, and I've been able to get in a lot more consistent training with my dogs as well, which has been nice. My yard at home is really tiny, and I have limited equipment. This is the main reason why it's taken me so long to get Ember ready to trial. It used to stress me out that we weren't competing yet, when almost all the other puppies her age have started, but I decided that it doesn't really matter at all. It will happen when it happens. In the meantime, I'm just enjoying her company. She is training really well though, I think she's almost ready. She's dialing up the sass-factor on the course, too, which makes me laugh. She's good at that.

Cedar and I are entered in our first agility trial in 11 months this coming weekend. It is an AKC trial in my hometown (300 miles from where I live now). I can't wait to see all my friends and have some fun running the OPW. We have the chance to finish up a couple titles, which would be exciting. So... fingers crossed! My goal for the trial is to not allow myself to get stressed out and upset if things don't go as planned. I've never been good at rolling with the punches, and I'm really competitive by nature, so sometimes I have a hard time with this. I'm leaving for the trial a few days early in order to have some time to hang out with my friends and do some non-doggy stuff. Good times.

Really dumb poster, really great show. 
In other news, the premiere of Supernatural's ninth season is tomorrow. I can't wait!!!!