Shout At The Devil

^Devil Horns (ears)                               ^Shouting

Hi everyone.  Remember me?  The woman who has blogged for you two or three times a month for the last ten years, until my favourite little dog was stolen by a coyote just a few feet away from me, while I was taking photos of another dog, in the middle of the day, in my own backyard.  And then I was just absolutely devastated.  Destroyed.  It was the singularly most terrible pet loss I have ever experienced and the guilt was overwhelming for a long, long time.  It still is sometimes.  It was a month before I could stop looking at lost and found sites online multiple times a day, just in case a miracle happened and he got away and was picked up by someone else.  I’ve still never found any trace of him, or his collar.

I miss him every day.

It was a month or so before I could pick up the camera without feeling sad all over again.  I was terrified to take my eyes off my little dogs and walked them on leashes for a long time, which was no fun for any of us.  Some friends and I spent hours taking down all the blackberries and bushes along the fence line, and I spent days more with the weedwhacker, making the property edge sight lines clear so nothing could sneak up on us.  It’s all grown back.  There’s no way to keep up with it.  A few weeks after we did that, a pair of coyotes stole a chicken at high noon right by my front door, which spurred me to completely fence my yard, so now at least the dogs can go out to pee and the chickens and ducks can come out of their pens safely.  The yard’s not large enough to play in though, and I wish I could fence the whole upper and lower pasture :(

I finally had to take the camera out again to get photos of my foster dog, Tango, so he could find a home of his own.  He did :)

I didn’t want to foster again because I felt so guilty about Little Man.  But Tango needed somewhere to go, and I needed the coyotes to not run my life anymore.  So I took him in, and I’m glad I did.  He was a lot of fun, and he found a fantastic home.

I also needed to make friends with my camera again, because I had my annual gig photographing All The Aussies at the ASCofBC agility trial.  So I spent two days taking hundreds of photos of dogs having super fun times!

I also got to run Spring at the trial and she earned a bunch of titles that weekend – now she’s in Elite Jumpers and Open Gamblers.  She wasn’t running super fast, like in practice, but she seemed to be having fun and she didn’t pee in the ring even once, so I have hedged my bets and entered her in Regionals next month!  Dexter is permanently retired from competition as he has been having difficulty jumping for many months now.  We don’t know why, as he is not sore or limpy, but even at 16″ he stutter steps and sort of throws himself over the jumps, or avoids them altogether.  And Fae is not ready to compete yet (though we have conquered her teeter phobia at last, and she has learned to weave!)

The competitors were super happy with their photos, and on that success I was invited to photograph a K9 Nosework  trial, which is a whole other genre altogether.  There sure were some cute dogs there!

Now I’ve been invited to photograph Schutzhund, which I am very excited about.  And this coming weekend we return to lure coursing with Addypants, which she is very excited about, as she loves it.  And I will be photographing that too, because it’s awesome!

So that’s life for us the last little while, in a nutshell.  Everyone is doing well and enjoying their new fenced in yard.  I enjoy it too, as sometimes when they are driving me bonkers I can just put them outside to amuse themselves.

Oh and I have a new foster dog too.  Her name is Peetie, which is for PT, which is short for Pointy Thing.  She is basically a tiny little girl-Dexter.

See?

I *heart* her very much.

The other day I was out playing ball with the dogs when a coyote walked right out of the bush in the lower pasture and watched us.  None of the dogs noticed; only I saw it.  I immediately put my Littles in the fenced yard and then sent the big dogs after it, but it simply ducked away and returned a few moments later, still unnoticed by the other dogs until I pointed it out to Woo.  The Terriers and the Aussies ran it off and I haven’t seen one since, but I know they’re out there.  I never feel my dogs are safe.

I want to buy my Littles each one of these, with the spikes and the zapper.  That way we stand a fighting chance if a coyote grabs Fae or Addy.  But they are very spendy and I don’t have the money.  So I ask you, blog readers, what sorts of Wootube related items can I produce that y’all might purchase so I can raise the cash to buy these?  T-shirts?  Books?  Prints?  You tell me, and I’ll try to make it happen.

(I also want to buy one of these and take care of the coyotes altogether, but they are even spendier!)

I am going to try to returning to blogging regularly, so feel free to nag at me if you haven’t seen anything from me for a while.  I miss you guys!

I miss this guy too.  RIP, my sweetest Little Man.

 

KING OF ALL THE TOYS!

(I know it should be Queen of All The Toys, but that sounds …. somehow dominatrix-y)

Dexter has been learning a new trick; to stack all of these rings on this tower.

It all started when Skye‘s owner posted a video on FB of that handsome fellow calmly and neatly stacking the same plastic rings on the same plastic tower in the correct sequence like a boss.  I was impressed, so I trundled off to the used toy store and returned with our own set, intending to teach Spring to do this, because of all my dogs, Spring is the one who likes to offer me behaviours the most.  I wasn’t even thinking about trying to teach Dexter to play, because Dexter likes to offer me one behaviour only – chuck the new thing at me so that I will chuck the new thing for him, so he can bring the new thing back to me for me to chuck again.  Once we tried “20 Things To Do With A Traffic Cone and a Clicker” and it became quite dangerous.  Those things can really fly!

Anyway, to my surprise Spring only wanted to nose touch the rings and when that didn’t work she smooched me in MY nose a bunch of times and then started displacement wrestling with Winter.  So I gave it a try with Dexter, and learned several things about his little walnut brain:

1) NRMs are necessary for Dexter, otherwise he will just throw the rings (and the tower!) at me over and over again, no matter how long I ignore him.  I actually have to tell him to stop and try something else or he won’t stop.

2) He’s not very dexterous (which is ironic).  In order to get the ring on the tower, he has to pick the ring up from the side furthest from his mouth and kind of drag it over to tip of the tower so it catches.  He cannot do it any other way.   Like if he holds it in his mouth like a donut because his hands were busy tying his shoelace, he can’t figure out how to get it on the tower.  And if he picks it up the wrong way he has to walk in a circle around the room before putting it down and trying again.  He can’t just put it down and start over.

3) Once he gets the hang of it, he can put several rings on in relative succession (the smallest one gives him fits because it gets stuck on his lower jaw).  But every time we start a new session, it’s like he has NO idea what the goal is.  We practice every day and every day he is utterly clueless about what I want for the first ten minutes.  He’s like a goldfish – no memory retention whatsoever.  This maybe explains why he can’t maintain success in agility – he forgets everything he learns!

So of course when I tried to get a photo of him putting the rings on the tower, he had no idea how to do it.

He posed a lot though.

(Look at all the frustration chomps marks in the ring!)

Eventually I just gave up.  Besides, it’s hard to gets photos without the little monsters interfering with reassuring, spontaneous ear cleanings.

(Does not want)

So we just moved on to other photo ops.

Miss Posey McModelson likes to be the center of attention, until I want her to be, then she decides it’s too dull to suffer it.

Tried a different prop, but you can’t put one of these sleepy pod things down anywhere without Addy oozing into it (we have 4 or 5 around the house) whether someone has already taken up residence within or not.

This is the sad face of a sad puppy who neither understands nor enjoys posing for photos.

 The Sad Season Siblings aren’t much more enthused.

The Fabulous Miss Piper was more than happy to lounge around in the studio lookin’ super fly.  We’re all pretty happy in general, because (and those of you who read the FB page know this already) the ugly face nipple turned out to be a completely benign growth, nothing to worry about.  Thank doG!  I can’t manage this pack of hooligans without her iron paw.

She had a really hard time with the anaesthetic apparently (I mean, she IS almost 14!), and the morphine afterward didn’t help her coordination at all, but she bounced back to her normal semi-senile self in a matter of hours.

Senile?  What’d you call me, beeyotch?

Geez, okay already hillybilly teeth.  You’re not senile.  You are going to get some dental work in the near future though!

It’s not easy getting these shots, which is pretty much strictly for your amusement.

(okay, my amusement mostly)

What I wouldn’t do for a separate room, or even a shed or something, where I could set up sessions in peace without this happening all the time.

I love my little farm and tiny house, but I have “real rooms” envy.  If I had a spare bedroom, it would be a studio so fast you wouldn’t even believe it.

Would I have to go inside of it?

Of course, chaos happens outside too.

You’ll notice Dexter does not appear to be broken and is moving just fine.  After some trial and error, we have discovered that he is not jumping not because something on or in him hurts, but rather because he seems to be having some trouble seeing in the rather dim barn where we train.  At home, he jumps anything and everything in the clear light of day, but in the evenings in the barn, he is having some difficulties, so he tries not to jump anything.  He’s not quite seven years old, but I am thinking of dropping him to 16″ Vets, as this way he will be able to see over top of the jumps and not worry.  And let’s face it, it’s not like he’s a competitive dog – may as well do whatever it takes to let him have fun, because I doubt I’ll be trialing him again ever.

The Springaling has her agility mojo back and is a friggin’ rocket in practice, but fool me once etc. … I don’t think I will bother trialing her either, since she gets all afeared and pees in the ring.  Only at Regionals though, because that’s what costs the most money.  Why bother (literally) pissing away a $15 run when you can piss away one that costs twice that instead, right?

It’s a good thing I love the little bastards.

And here’s another Woo-with-a-mud-goatee photo to make your day that much brighter (why does he eat dirt?)

Flattering Portraits of Beautiful Dogs

That’s what you get for this blog entry.

Here we have His Royal Insanity, musing on his complicity in the “what goes around, comes around” philosophy of Fetch.

(I often do quite a bit of post processing, but did not create the painted bokeh effect of the grass in this photo.  Came out of the camera that way.  I’m very pleased with it though!)

Sorry to tell you Dexter, but in your next life you’ll probably come back as a tennis ball.  Everything gets a return :)

Whut?

And here we have His Royal Orangeness, AKA, The Great Pumpkin, on a mission to … do something naughty, probably.  There are so many fucks that this dog does not give.

Although from the looks of all that dirt, he must have already been doing something naughty.

And I present for your consideration the tiniest of dogs, communing with the greatest forces in the universe.  Or watching a frisbee float down to earth.  Whichever.

Rewards to the faithful.

Here lies TWooie Too, soaking in the fame of being the subject of a new Wootube photo book (more on that in a minute), and looking glorious as he does.

I’m pleased to present to you a charming photo of Addy in mid-flight.  It is difficult to get good photos of a teensy Italian Greyhound running, because the camera doesn’t like to track anything that small whipping through the grass.  So I was pleased with this.

Also quite happy with this one.  Look at the dew cloud she’s kicking up behind her!

Miss Spring Thing believes that being busy on the inside is better than being busy on the outside, so she just … sits.

Little Man and his enormous ears are still with us.  His adoption may be delayed a little, so we get to enjoy him and his ears a little longer.

And Miss Sophie gets spayed this week and then goes off to her forever home!

If you’re wondering why there are no flattering portraits of beautiful Winter, it’s because none so exist.  Winter is the LEAST photogenic dog I have ever owned and in all of his photos, he mostly looks like this.

(*derp*)

Lastly, but most certainly not leastly, The Matriarch, The Mother of Mad Teeth, She Who Will Be Obeyed … Piper.

Piper wants you to buy the aforementioned book.  She knows it’s a bit expensive, but believe her, the teensiest of profits are made on each copy sold.  The base price is pretty high – but it’s in CAD, so for our American fans, it’s practically free, no?  Because the profit margin is so low, she hopes that many copies will sell.  Because she needs to pay the vet.  Because today, we found this ugly thing on her face.

It most certainly was not there the other day, so we have no idea what it is or where is sprang forth from, but it looks ugly and I bet it bodes nothing good.  It needs to be exorcised and biopsied.  So give us your money (and enjoy the exploits of the WooTWoo in exchange!).

And your bonus photo ….

Sadist: “How does Dexter keep getting injured?”

The Food Lady *pulls out this photo*