Friday, December 31, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

After an unfortunate visit to the salon where the instructions "I would like the whiskers to be more of a light red color" were completely misunderstood to be "I would like the whiskers to be a bright red color", Breeze was ashamed to be seen at playdate. Thank goodness they were able to fit her in for a corrective color the following day.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

I can't begin to tell you of all the stellar snackies we have had this Holiday season. Good thing my New Year's resolution is to run more.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

"'Scuse me, pardon me. They told me to hang my head out the window. I can't do it if you won't move over. Oh I see how it is going to be. Blocking out the new guy on his first photo shoot. Real professional."

"Wait! Was I blinking? I was, wasn't I? I demand a retake!"

"I don't care if it is going to be used in your holiday advertising. I'm tired of this shoot and I'm not looking until you get me some premium water."

"Holiday? As in Christmas? Is today Christmas? What's the date? Damn desert, it never snows. It's 80 degrees, how do you keep track of the seasons? It's in my contract, no holiday shoots. I'm calling my agent. Excuse me honey, yes you sitting down in front, please get my agent on the line."



Merry Christmas and happy Holidays from my gang to yours.

Friday, December 24, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

How's it going? Just checking in on my way to the other side of the field. Have a good one.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

I have the Superman music going through my head. She would look great in a cape.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

As with last night, I am just too tired to think of something even remotely witty or entertaining to caption this photo. Help yourselves.

Wit will return after the Christmas shopping season is over and I'm not working 60 hour work weeks.

Though, I can see Wit on the horizon, far in the distance, taunting me. "Nah, nah. As long as Tired is happy filling in for me, I am going on walk-about. See ya'."

Apparently Wit is Australian. Hmmmm, who knew?



Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

There's no if, ands, or butts about it....she's packing some serious junk in her trunk.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

Does that bag say "Pet Store". Ohhh, presents! For me!?!?

Open, open, open.

What do you mean we have to wait? I came running over here just for that. Fine, I'll just take my grinning face elsewhere. See if I snuggle tomorrow morning.

SATURDAY PET BLOG HOP

Another weekend of the Pet Blog Hop! Thanks for stopping by. We know this is a busy time of year and we appreciate you taking the time to stop by.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

Annnddddddd....we're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Dogs.



Monday, December 13, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

And thus convenes the 5th annual Retired Racing Greyhound Conference, held this year in sunny Tucson, Arizona. The constituents have a number of important topics to cover in their short time together. Including:
-Inadequate time for playdates: how to convince your human to go to the park each and every day.
-Debunking the misconceptions that greyhounds are hyper and skinny.
-The best way to get your human to accept the loss of all comfortable places in the house to recline upon after adoption of a greyhound.
and most importantly,
-The art of roaching, when is it considered exhibitionistic versus just simply a comfortable way to sleep.

Please take your couches, the conference is now in session.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

The judges for the Fastdog Miss Olympia contest weren't sure how the duck was going to help with the free posing routine but they allowed it on stage anyway.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

If I didn't know better I would say RJ was circling his prey. Well, I did have a pocket full of snackies, so maybe he was. When's shark week? I have a new entry, the newly discovered Brindle Shark.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

Initial results of the field test for the "new and more humane" fuzzy muzzle are in and show a disappointing approval rating, with many of the test subjects indicating the muzzles are "lacking in all aspects of practical general use". Most test subjects had minor concerns such as difficulty in breathing, with the foremost concern being the marked decrease in visibility, a much desired trait among the primary demographic. A very few questioned presented positive comments, saying it felt like they were at home snuggling in bed.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

BLUEBERRY'S AUCTION

I love reading the comments you all leave on this blog. It is something I look forward to checking every day. One of the visitors that comments here most days is Houndstooth, Bunny's human. The daily posting of the comment is something I am quite sure is the same with the blogs of the majority of you as well. I know this because when I do get a chance to stroll the blogs, there is always a comment with a picture of a cute fawn greyhound sporting a pink background in the comments section before me. (Which is something I am absolutely amazed with; I can barely get a post up most days, never mind wandering all over the interwebs reading and commenting each day.)

Well Houndstooth is also Blueberry's human and Blueberry recently underwent a surgery to have a lump removed from her head. Come to find out it was cancerous and the vet seems to think there may be more of the mass remaining that needs to be removed with another surgery. The fine folks over at Frankie Furter and Schnauzer and Schnauzer! have set up an auction to help raise the funds necessary to pay for the surgery. You can link to the auction from the photo below.




There are a number of wicked cool things available at the auction; the most stunning and spectacular of which would be 3 fine art prints by yours truly. :) That's right 3, count them, 3! 8 x 10's available for your bidding pleasure. Might I just suggest you head on over there and snap those babies up right now! I will ship them overseas, so all you folks on other continents, get in there and bid those green papers! Below are the 3 images of the actual print you will be receiving when you win an (or all 3) auction (s).


" Curiosity"


"Treat Time?"



And the one I get the most comments on: "The Ride" featuring Willow, Breeze, Drusilla and Opal.

Thanks for bidding and good luck!

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

Greyhound accordion.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

Drusilla in all her sprinting glory.


SATURDAY PET BLOG HOP

Welcome the another weekend pet blog hop! As always, we are happy you have chosen to stop by. We certainly hope you will enjoy yourself and find something that will make you smile.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

TOO SEXY

It has been exceedingly cold here this past week. Now I realize "exceedingly cold" has a whole different meaning in, say, Alaska than in Tucson. It is all relative, like when a Beagle's proud parent says "she runs really fast, too." Which is entirely true, for a Beagle. Just as 25 degrees is in Tucson.

In the southwest desert 25 degrees is also too damn cold to be traipsing around the dog park, and, as such, we actually stayed home a couple of mornings this week. (Just a side note - the girls were not happy at this unexpected change in their routine and there was a major revolt involving couch pillows. Sigh.) As a result of the winter weather finally arriving, we have also moved back the time we are meeting on the weekends to a more reasonable hour, now that it is 35 degrees at 7 AM rather than 80 (which is why we meet at sunup during the summer)

Hang in there, there is a point to the weather discussion and it is this....when it gets chilly here, we break out the cold weather gear for ourselves and, more importantly, the greys. Which typically involves the fuzzy coat. A couple of weekends ago, I had forgotten the girl's coats at the house and they were pretty cold by the time the next person, Lisa, arrived at playdate with her hounds. (I have been getting to the field early to work with Dru, who is still suffering some fear issues about running with the pack. She will keep to the outer edges of the fenced area when all the dogs are there, so we go when it is empty so she will run.)

When I realized how cold the girls were and commented on it, Lisa was nice enough to volunteer a coat to Breeze, who at this point was shivering. We were honored. This coat is Sparkle's. Period. It is associated with her; like the police and Lindsay Lohan. Only in a good way. Sparkle's been sporting this look for as long as we have been coming to the park.

Somehow Breeze knew this was special and she was transformed the moment the last Velcro strip was closed. She pranced, paraded, swirled, dipped, twisted, turned and bowed. If she had ringlets she would have tossed them. As it was, the tail was held impossibly high. She strutted like a model on the runway. And every time I look at the photos, though Breeze may be highly offended, running on a loop through my head is: "And I do my little turn on the catwalk, yeah on the catwalk, on the catwalk yeah, I shake my little touche on the catwalk". Which, granted, sucks for me. And, I'm guessing, does for you now as well. I do know the only part of the song she agrees with is the "I'm too sexy for my cat." part.

So here are a few photos of Breeze modeling her new coat. And when I say "her new coat" I mean it literally. When Lisa saw how happy Breeze was wearing it she gave it to her. Lisa has known Breeze since day 1 and remembers the trembling pile of goo that was Breeze 2 years ago and said anything that made Breeze that happy should be hers. Now Breeze models it every weekend.

See for yourself.





PHOTO FOR THE DAY

I have failed miserably posting to the blog over the past holiday week(s). My lesson learned is that there is no better or more motivating factor in getting all the projects done around your house (like finishing the bathroom remodel, unpacking boxes from when you moved in a year an a half ago, etc) and giving everything inside and outside of your house a deep cleaning than out of town company who will be staying with you. And your 3 dogs. In a tiny house. Where the office becomes the guest room. The office where the computer resides. Hmmmmm. Didn't think that one through very well now did I?

So I feel as though I am in the dog house and well behind on posting some greyhound photos. And since I know that's why you're here right now and not to read my babbling, here you go...



The monkey, moved by the whirlwind that is Duncan...


Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

Oh, the smell of snackies on the fall air.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

The conversation went something like this:

"Mine."

"Hold still"

"Mine, mine, mine."

"Hold still, hold still, hold still. Just until you are in focus"

" Letgo."

"One more second."

" Letgoooooooooooooo. Please?"

"Gotcha. Go play."

"Weeeeeeeeeeeee.



SATURDAY PET BLOG HOP

Good Morning! Welcome to my blog and thank you for hopping by. At this moment I am procrastinating and couldn't think of a better way to put off working than by playing with the blog hop. This whole responsibility thing is way too overrated; I'm going hopping. Enjoy the blog and come back and see us sometime.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

Lasers locked. Ready to fire in 3, 2, 1.....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

The new guy Duncan can really move.

Friday, November 12, 2010

SATURDAY PET BLOG HOP

Woot! Another Saturday Pet Blog Hop (oddly enough posted on Friday, hmmmmm). Welcome. I hope you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying scrolling through all the blogs on the list.


PHOTO FOR THE DAY

'S my stick and you can't have it.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

SHAMELESS CROSS-PROMOTION

Warning, warning --- A little bit of shameless cross promotion...I just updated a number of new fine art images to my photography website (yes, another website). As well as some pet photography images (hence the slightly legal cross promotion).

Including the following: I would really, really rather be somewhere else.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

FATE STEPS IN

Let’s talk about coincidence. Some don’t believe in coincidence. I do. I also believe in fate. Today was a huge helping of both - like Thanksgiving helping size, served up just for me and before 7:00 AM.

Today at the dog park the girls were doing their typical early morning run with their partners in crime, Dillon and RJ. We hadn’t been there for more than 5 minutes, long enough for them to do their business, prance over to me to tell me about it and start one run, when Dillon zagged when he should have zigged and Dru zigged when she should have zagged.

Another collision.

Dillon, at the better angle just went under and continued through. Dru, not at the better angle, went ass over tea kettle, in a flailing tangle of legs, body, head and tail. This time I saw it happen and she looked like a bunch of stuffed toy dog parts spinning around in a dryer.

Seriously? I mean, seriously? We’ve been going to the park most days for over a year without any major incidents, then she has 2 in as many weeks. What the hell kind of sick cosmic joke is that?

I went running over; calculating where the closest vet open at 6 AM is and noting that there was only a minor greyhound scream of death. Well crap, it could be worse than last week. Less noise sometimes means more injuries.

She’s running towards me, tail tucked, head down, shoulders hunched. What is this whole body tremble about? It was still pretty dark so I lightly ran hands over her to see if there was any blood. Nothing sticky. OK that’s a good start. Time to pay a little more attention to her legs. Anything broken? Doesn’t appear to be. Whew. How the hell did she manage to come out of this one OK? Well mostly OK. Now she won’t leave my side, is freaked when the other dogs come near her and is skulking around the park. Well crap.

But fate stepped in today, in some new and wicked cool swat boots. As always, my friend Jamie from Seize the Leash was on the other side of the fence. About 10 minutes after the incident, while I was still petting Dru, she casually observed, “Now I think she is just looking for attention.”

Hmmmm?” I’m thinking, she’s a bit loony (Jamie, not Dru, who at this point was still shaking and hovering, obviously traumatized.)

“Well at first she was freaked out, scared and hurt. Now I think she just wants the attention and you are giving it to her. Dogs don’t hold on to things like people do. You need to get the movie out of your head.”

Now here’s the thing. I’ve seen Jamie work absolute miracles with other dogs. When-the-owner-is-about-to-give-up-on-the-dog-and-have-it-put-down-and-the-trainer-comes-to-the-rescue-Lifetime-story kind of miracles. But, this time, this time, it was MY dog and she was HURT. Dammit.

Milking it. My ample ass.

OK pause… hmmmmm, could we be a bit wound up still? Isn’t Jamie the one with the expertise? Annnnddddd, breathing, breathing, calm.

“OK, what do I need to do?”
“Get her mind moving.”
“Huh?” Obviously mine was not at 6:15 AM.
“Get her mind moving, so move her, don’t let her just stay in that state.” I looked at Dru, she was still hunched like a caterpillar on the up-stroke.
“Huh. How?”
“Move yourself. Walk her around.”
“On a lead?” – Me, all about the details. Thank goodness she’s patient – Jamie, that is.
“If necessary.”

So we started moving. Talk about the crazy parade. Breeze followed right in behind “Are we going now, huh, huh, huh?” Willow came in a nice second “When we walk like this we sometimes get snackies.” Then RJ and Dillon wiggled their way in "Hey, we're moving here." Dru started trailing the group, no lead necessary; still nervous, but moving.

I was like the kid in the car, each lap past the fence “How much longer?”
“Until she is out of that state.”
“I obviously need to exercise more.”

We did laps forever, an interminable amount of time, we could have grown crops and harvested them in the time we were running. Well jogging. OK, OK walking fast. It was cold and my knees were loudly protesting during the entire 5 minutes.

Little break at the fence with Jamie and RJ’s Mom. What’s this? a huge massive fight between Willow and Dru - raised up on back legs and everything. “What the hell was that?” None of us could figure it out, we didn’t see it start. Back to the jogging, obviously the state of mind hadn’t changed yet. The other dogs got bored with my snail pace laps and started doing some of their own running. Zinging past and pelting me with dirt on mini-sprints. Little show offs.

Another break and I watched Dru do a normal body shake. She had to work her way into it, starting slow, pausing, building, then completing it at half-speed. After which, her posture changed. Just a little, but her tail wasn’t as tucked and her back as bowed. Jamie immediately caught it “She just shook off some of that energy. Get her moving again.”

More jogging coming up. A couple of laps in and Jamie gets my attention. “She’s looking to you to run.”
“I’m not going any faster than this, so tough titt...”
“No, she wants to run with the other dogs and is looking to you to see if it is OK.”
“What?” You know those little thoughts that just flash unbidden through your brain? This one had ‘crazy’ in it.
“You didn’t see it because you were looking away.”
“Well yes, I was ignoring her, not making a big deal out of her state.”
“Yes and that was good. Now she’s almost ready, she just needs you to tell her it is OK.”
What the hell, might as well give it a shot. At least then the laborious running (obviously mine since the greys were still galloping gracefully along) will stop.

I threw the ball for RJ and the pack went off after him. Then I saw it. Dru looked at them, turned her body in their direction and looked back at me. Whaaaat dude? Oh that’s right, I’m up. “Ummmm. Go get ‘em. Go on, Dru, run.” And wouldn’t you know, she did. She was a bit hesitant at first but she chased after them. She came back to check in with me. I again told her to go run and she did. Son of a gun.

Damn and bless that smiling face on the other side of the fence. I hate it when I’m not only wrong, but so far off the mark, I’m not even in the same country. This was one of those times. And I am absolutely thrilled I’m blessed with the friends I have, that they care as much as they do and are as patient as they are. RJs Mom stayed late to have the boys help with the rehab and Jamie didn't once throw a ball at me to get me to accept what she was saying. She let me work it out on my own time.

Jamie’s uncanny ability to read dog body language and communication strikes again. This time with my girls, not some other dog. OK, I’ll admit, and with me. Damn, she’s good. I can’t wait to try this at the other park this weekend. Thank you, Jamie.

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

It's such a rare treat when she pays attention to me. Looks like she's just as surprised as me to be doing it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

One of the latest additions, Marvin. He immediately stole our hearts and horded them like he did the toys on the field.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

QUESTIONS ANSWERED no 5

I think the past 4 entries cover the majority of the questions I’ve had posed to me lately – well the ones that aren’t too personal – and in regards to some of those - no, you may not stop by the living quarters and no, I don’t do house calls so you can meet me at a park for the photos of your pet, and no, I won’t tell you if I am married or not, and no, I won’t meet you at the bar, sorry you’ll just have to accept that, but thank you for asking. However a yes to the images are for sale and you can order any of the ones on this site, my photography blog or photography website.

So that’s about it, fairly straight forward for the most part. Thanks for hanging in and reading this far. Or if you just skipped to the end, you missed a fascinating history and the instructions on receiving an incredible free gift ;)

I will say the joy I get in capturing a greyhound in full flight, like this image from this weekend



Or this one, also from this weekend:



is by far one of the best feelings there is – next to when Breeze jumps in the bed and snuggles first thing in the morning, or Dru comes in to check on me while I am working or Willow does the don’t-stop-petting-me paw thing.

QUESTIONS ANSWERED no 4

Where do you find all the different dogs in your photos? I am blessed with an extended greyhound family that seems to be getting larger all the time. When I first got Willow (almost 3 years ago now) I was taking her to the dog park and ran into another greyhound owner.

Now anyone who has a grey, knows owning (or being owned) by a grey immediately enters you into a special club. My father likens it to having a Harley. There’s just something about it. So when you meet another greyhound owner you typically gravitate towards them. Then the chatting starts. Does yours roach? How did you get them to stop passing gas potent enough to blister paint? Does yours do the GSD and when? How did you teach yours to sit? What are you feeding them? And the list goes on.

She and I started unofficially meeting at the park in the mornings. Then one day another woman showed up with her greyhound and she started joining us as well. Then one more and one more. Now they’ve, both humans and dogs, become our family and we all meet each weekend. This weekend we had 2 new human additions to the group with their two dogs and 2 veterans who have recently adopted new dogs because they have recently lost theirs. That's right! 4 new dogs to take photos of! I was a bit preoccupied at playdate this weekend.

Zapper - a new addition to playdate (and a foster, he's available)



Martin - The newest family member for one of the regulars. They lost Cathy (of the purple cast) a few months ago.



Bailey - a new adoption for one of the regulars. The family lost Squeaky (of the ears) this past month.



Duncan - a new, and quite photogenic, addition to the group.

To be continued.... (almost done!)

QUESTIONS ANSWERED no 3

Please tell us more about the masthead photo. One of my all time favorites. It was taken after a playdate. I had loaded the girls into the car and was talking with one of my friends who yelled “look” and pointed past my shoulder so fast she almost knocked me out. I turned and saw the girls posing. I fumbled to get my ever-present camera out of my pocket and managed to fire off a couple of shots before they lost interest in whatever they were staring at. I was so focused on getting the shot I have no idea what caught their attention, though I am grateful for what ever it was.

The models from left to right: Willow, Breeze, Dru and Opal. Yes, they are all greyhounds and, yes, at the time, all mine. The car is a Toyota Matrix, which is surprisingly roomy and can fit 4 greyhounds. It is probably a good thing it can’t comfortably fit more…

How do you get such good photos of the dogs and/or the sprinting greys in focus? In all honesty, a good portion of the photos I take aren’t in focus, or it’s a picture of just grass, or just the tail is in frame or part of the head is missing, or the dogs are little specks in the distance, or someone is sniffing someone else's butt, or my shadow is prominent and distracting, or there is a person in the frame, or the photo is just boring, or, or, or...

Taking good photos of running greyhounds is hard. Period. They’re going at 20-30 miles an hour (If not faster. I know they have a much higher top speed, but it can’t really be achieved in our fenced area due to limitations on space).

It is like taking photos of race cars. The only thing is that with race cars (and racing greyhounds (be it on the track or coursing) and horses) they follow a set path. The photographer knows where the subject will be at some point and can set the focus, waiting for the subject to enter the frame. The area we run in is not a track and the hounds take full advantage to run in every which way. It makes it more challenging, and fun, to take photos.

So, I take a lot of photos and a small percentage come out well. Though over the years, with all the practice, the percentage has risen. I have learned how to time my swing of the camera with the speed of the dog, what settings I need, which direction I can take the photo in because of the sun and my shadow, how to work around the people in the area, etc. So the answer – lots and lots of practice and lots and lots of pictures.

Here's just a couple of the photos from this morning that didn't come out all too well.

Breeze, a bit out of focus. She looks quite prancy in this photo, that's 'cuz Dru is not attached to her head.

Cleo out of focus, this would have been a great shot, massive intent on attacking the toy.


Kebi and Ginger, little specks on the horizon and my shadow featuring predominantly.

RJs tail. The timing was a bit little off on this one.


Willow's tail. Again a small problem with timing.

Missing a bit of nose are we? Though I love the photo anyway.


and my favorite. No dog. What. So. Ever. It happens more than I care to admit.


To be continued...