With four dogs and two cats on the raw diet in our house, we have been looking at ways to cut costs for their food as their food budget outstrips our own at this point. I have joined the local raw buying group to get deals on bulk meat orders, and our first (small) order of Columbia River pet food was quite good. However, the group only orders CR once every three months, so we would need over 300 lbs to last that long, especially as Ezri grows and needs more food. Our chest freezer can only fit about 100-120 lbs, so that was not going to work out, so I started looking on Craigslist to find an inexpensive freezer. Well, I totally lucked out and found one last week - a 31 cubic foot freezer, delivered to our house, for $300 total. These photos are from my iPhone, but they should be sufficient to show the size of this beast - the top shelf is about even with my head! We are now all set to make an enormous order for three months worth of raw food, and I've even taken advantage of a sale at the grocery store to stock up on some french fries and ice cream, although I don't want to put in too much "human food" until we're sure we have the space we need for the raw food. I'm going to also change our Darwins order to quarterly since we will only be ordering cat food from them, and so we'll be stocked for months at a time. All I need to do now is to get a temperature probe and alarm for the freezer, as a "just in case" measure should it ever fail.
When Chris' parents visited us in September, they came to the Gig Harbor demo we were running on the 27th and got to see the dogs play flyball in person for the first time. His mom took lots of pictures, and I nabbed these two from her Flickr photostream to share - our "family" picture is not the best since we were trying to wrangle the dogs, but the closeup of Ezri's face is just stunning. Yay Mom!
We spent most of the day Saturday preparing for and then taking our family portraits with Ann Chase at her home studio in Woodinville, which is a lovely house on absolutely gorgeous grounds. Our appointment was part of her "Fall Fantasy" series to take advantage of the color in the trees, and we got a beautiful sunny day to use for the shoot. In the morning we took the dogs to Marymoor to play and tire them out a bit, then we took them to the dogwash to ensure they were all sparkly clean. This was Ezri's first not-in-the-sink bath, and she was not entirely sure she wanted any part of it! After the dogs were clean we headed home for lunch and to get dressed ourselves (jeans and blue shirts), and off to Ann's house we went. The shoot went really, really well, with the full amily portraits taken in three locations, a set of just Chris and I in another location, and individuals of us with the dogs (Chris with Curzon, me with all four). We even got a nice series of all four dogs, alone together on a blanket! It was fun, none of the dogs went into the creek, and Ann was highly amused by Jadzia and Curzon jumping over her fence prop in the yard. I can't wait to see the proofs at our viewing appointment on the sixth!