Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Oh, the smell of snackies on the fall air.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


The conversation went something like this:


"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."



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


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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010


The new guy Duncan can really move.

Friday, November 12, 2010


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.


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

Thursday, November 11, 2010


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


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.


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


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


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.


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!)


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...


The next big question - “What type of camera do you use?” Most people getting the answer to this question turn out to be disappointed, so skip ahead if you are a camera snob. I started with a point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot SD1000. That’s right, a Canon PowerShot SD1000, go look it up online. It is a tiny pocket-sized camera about 4” x 2” x ¾”. I started with that, as it was what I used for years in my work. That’s what I had, so that’s what I used. I believe you get to know what the limitations are of the camera and you either work with or around them. There are simply some photos I can’t get with this camera and I know that. But, I will try them knowing they will most likely not come out, and they usually don’t, they’re crap. The photo below, not crap and award winning, was taken with the PS 1000.

I decided, once I started selling the fine art and greyhound prints, I would save up for a nicer camera with the money from the sales. I got a Canon G10. Yup, another point-and-shoot. In all fairness, it is about as close to a DSLR as you can get and it produces excellent quality images. I use the G10 for the fine art prints, portraits, and wedding photography. I still use the SD1000 for all the greyhound photos. (little under whelmed now?) I won’t use the G10 because of the dust, dirt, dog hair, slobber and the high probability of damage to the camera when in an area with that many sprinting, jumping, loving-up-on-you greys. I had to clean the lens after this slobber-filled investigation.


I’ve had a number of questions regarding my greyhound and fine art photography that I thought it was time to finally answer. Questions like: How do I manage to get the good and in focus photos of running greyhounds? Who’s in the masthead photo and what are they staring at? What type of camera I use? Where do you find all those dogs? How long did you study photography? What programs do you use to enhance your prints? Just to name a few.

So I thought I would answer these questions and a few more in the next couple of posts, though there will be a bit of demystification going on, I hope you won’t be too disappointed. And because it surprisingly turned into a long post with much rambling, I am going to break it up a bit AND add photos!

Where/how long did you study photography? – (warning: this segment has more to do with general photography than greyhound photography, so please skip to the next post if you are looking for pet related topics.) I’ve never had formal photography training. I like shooting photos. It’s as simple as that. I’ve had people say the reason my images turn out well is because I am not confined to the rules typically associated with photography - because I never learned them. My sister told me it has to do with how I see things. I don’t know. I just like finding the patterns, the flow of a scene, in the view finder and capturing it. I see something I like and I take a picture, sometime it works out, sometimes it is just crap. More often than not it is just crap. Sometimes it comes out like this one; a stained glass window in one of the casinos in Vegas. Much pattern.

Another photography no no - I shoot photos in the middle of the day – Gasp! Heresy. Yes some of my best images are at sunset and sunrise; the time I have been told you are supposed to shoot photos, but as often as not they are taken in the middle of the day. I love the contrast of the shadows and harsh lighting found in the desert. Because the following image was taken in the middle of the day, I was able to capture the lacework orange shadow of the wings on the railing.

I don’t Photoshop or stage the fine art prints – I believe it is more challenging to try to get it all right the first time; composition, lighting, subject, etc. I do Photoshop the greyhound photos; it’s damn near to impossible to get a sprinting greyhound dead center in the frame with correct lighting, etc. The photo below: all natural, as I found this proud beauty in my back yard, and since it is a night blooming cereus, it was withered away in 15 minutes of when I took this photo.

There is never somewhere where there isn’t a photo op (did ya follow that?) - I believe it is possible to find an interesting shot just about anywhere, maybe that comes from living in the visually dull and mostly brown hued desert and finding things to photograph. I do know it is not necessary to be in front of some impressive national wonder or stunning architectural building to get a good photo. I believe you can find beauty in the harshest or most boring of conditions. You just have to look for it. This is the top of a Saguaro cactus in my front yard. I never knew the new needle growth is red, turning to white after a few weeks.

To be continued...


And the Dru Collision saga continues…

We started the time at the park today with Dru not even wanting to go through the gate. A little encouragement and a little uncertain prancing (by Dru, not me) and she came in. It was a slight hesitation, but there nonetheless.

As usual, after the dog greetings, everyone took off at a run. Except Dru. I just decided to employ the let’s not make a big deal of it attitude and walked away to shoot photos. She didn’t want to enter the grass, so if I went into the dirt, she would come over and hang out, otherwise she stayed with the people in the dirt area when usually she plays with the other dogs, does the runs, harasses Breeze, and checks in with me.

We had about 16 dogs there today (WOOT!) and once a few went home, she was more comfortable and did a couple of runs. When a dog was on the other side of the fence she joined the mad rush to go say “hi”, then freaked out once she realized where she was and what she had done. We stayed until most everyone had left and she came onto the grass and did a little playing with me. So, better, but not normal.

Thank you everyone for your comments yesterday, I do appreciate them.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Breeze and Ginger on the prowl.


So a most unexpected (and unfortunate) turn of events occurred today at playdate. This morning was the first time we have been back to the site of the collision from last weekend, between Jovi and Dru.

The girls and I strolled into the fenced area as we always do, to be met with many, many pointy noses and wagging tails. (Can I just say how much I love playdate! (Well, yes actually, I can because it is my blog.)) I unleashed the dogs, and away they went; Breeze, Dru and Willow right in the middle of the mix. Within about 20 feet, there was a small “yip” and Dru came slinking back to me, tail tucked, hunched in on her self, head down, ears back. She was behaving as though someone had taken a stick to her. She wouldn’t enter the grass, she wouldn’t go to any of the people and she certainly, no way in hell, would run with the dogs. Huh?

Then it dawned on me…she was remembering last weekend’s collision. My next thought - can dogs suffer PTSD? She sure as heck was not anywhere like how she was before the accident and we have been to a different dog park this week and she was just fine. This morning, she wouldn’t even run with Breeze and that is unheard of. (On a whole ‘nother aside, Breeze was thrilled to have the parasite removed from her neck for today)

I spent a good portion of the morning working with Dru to get her over her fear of running with the pack, hell even being in the middle of the fenced area with dogs running by. I started by walking the exterior of the area and she followed along behind me, I wanted to get her out there and not hiding by the gate and leashes. We then started to just get her running by following me as I jogged a bit. A few of the other dogs joined in and she would back off and out of the group. So I turned and ran backwards encouraging her along. She finally trotted with us a little. When she looked like she was past her limit, we would take a break so she could recoup.

There was a time or two when the pack would take off and she would start to run, then remember where she was and that running with other dogs = pain, and would stop. She spent the majority of her time off the side, huddled near the fence, tail tucked, and worried. She did do one nice run, but it was by herself.

At least there was some progress, she came to me out in the middle of the area and stopped shaking by the end of playdate. I guess it is a good thing I’ve had so much practice working with a fearful dog. We’ll see what happens tomorrow and how much progress we can make.


Welcome Pet Blog Hoppers to the Cult of the Greyhound. A site with a touch of mayhem, general happiness and occasional laughs (hopefully). Oh did I mention the dog photos - in particular those of the greyhound type? (Just in case you didn't get that from the title of the blog) I have 3 hounds and an extended greyhound family that we see most every weekend (unless I'm traveling, which is why no Saturday Blog Hop for me over the past month or so). Anyway, I digress - welcome all hoppers, I hope you enjoy your time with us.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Not so far from the wolf roots.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WEEKEND FRIGHT FEST (and I don't mean Halloween)

This weekend at playdate we had a major collision between Jovi

and Drusilla.

It was ugly. None of us humans really saw it happen. The greys were all running in a pack, then a concussive "WHOMP" was heard followed by a chorus of Greyhound Screams of Death.

Just a little aside - For those of you not familiar with a GSD - when a grey gets hurt or even thinks it might get hurt it will let out the most horrific wail. It is enough to get someones attention at a distance of ohhh, about 10 miles. Dru will do it when I am clipping her toenails if I go too high on the nail and she feels pressure from the clippers. Instead, I have to take off tiny bits with each cut. Let me tell you how quickly one of the GSD will throw you off your game. Not all greyhounds employ the GSD, I don't think I've heard Breeze do it yet. I will say, however, in the case of this weekend's collision, the GSD was justified.

After the collision I followed Jovi's Mom towards Jovi. I didn't even see Dru at first, then I caught a glimpse of a limping (and wailing - I don't know how I didn't hear her sooner.) dog. Realizing it was Dru made the adrenalin surge more so than it was already and the panic set in. After the quick scan, I realized she was scooting/limping/running on 3 legs and her front right foot was just dangling. My first thought was that she broke her leg (well actually there were a few cuss words first then the broken foot thought followed) then I'm mentally reviewing which vet is open on Saturday at 7:00 AM.

It was hard to get her to stop moving, she just wanted to leave the pain behind is my guess so she kept walking. Once I got her to stand still for a few seconds, I was able to check out the leg - mostly sure it's not broken. Whew, breathe, breathe, and calm.

Let's see what happens over the next few minutes. Is it a serious injury or, what I call a stinger, something that hurts for a few minutes then the pain fades away, like stubbing your toe or smashing your knuckle with a sledge hammer? (that's a story for another day, just trust me when I say it's really, really painful for about 10 minutes. It also seems to hurt more when you take the glove off and actually look at the carnage. Anyway, I digress.)

After 5 - 10 interminable minutes both Dru and Jovi were moving around with only the slightest indication a major collision had occurred recently. Though, Dru didn't leave my side for the remaining time at playdate (which wasn't much, just long enough to clean up really). We left early and took the next day off. She seems to be fine now and was running well at the dog park this morning. Whew.

ETA - it is reported that Jovi is also doing well.

Monday, November 1, 2010