February 22, 2013 § Leave a comment
January 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
Another week and another weekly photo challenge. This week it’s ‘Why not share a photo that represents your new year’s resolution?”. Or, if you don’t make them, a photo which represents what you want to get better at in photography this year.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, so here is what I would like to be able to photograph: doggie portraits.
And here is a blog post I liked with some easy tips on how to take pet photographs, for those of us blundering home photographers :)
How to Photograph Pets, by Darren Rowse.
October 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve been not getting around to writing posts apart from keeping up with the weekly photo challenge. In one of these little things that just suddenly happen in life, I’ve rather suddenly ended up with a foster dog. He is big, he is hairy, and he is lovely. But he has never had a day’s training in his life and is a strong 12-months old stubborn beardie.
He was going to be put down after his time in the pound was up, and now he is living with me and my friend Bill.
Speak of a big challenge.
I’ll post about our adventure of finding a home for Scruff, formerly known as Dougal … once I get time between trying to help him turn into a wonderful pet dog.
But in the meantime, meet Scruff, the beardie x:
If you have time, check out his stories on his Facebook page: Dougal the Dog Needs a Home.
October 15, 2012 § 6 Comments
This week’s photo challenge is to post a photo of something that means big to you.
This is my friend’s foster dog Lizzie. Known as ‘Fat Lizzie’. Lizzie came to my friend from a shelter as an obese lab retriever weighing 54kg. Now she weighs 48 kg and is working on her fitness — slowly, because she is 8 years-old and has arthritis — with gentle walks and hydro physio with Vicki Cordier from Active Paws. Here we are out in a park at Wainuiomata before her hydro physio session. Lizzie is meditating one of the puddles of water left from a day of heavy rain — after we’ve just dragged her away from the adjacent river she had zeroed in on immediately upon arrival in said park.
Lizzie is a wonderful, big dog. When she has a healthy weight again, she’ll still be big; you should see the size of her paws. She supposedly is a lab retriever, and maybe when she is thin she turns out to be one. But to me she is a big hug bear of a dog, and makes me think of a great pyrenees — at least for now.
And here is a photo showing the size :)
Lizzie on the left, my dog Tuhi in the middle (she weighs 23kg and runs in the maxi category in agility), and my friend’s dog Wolly. Three munchkins.
October 4, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’m fascinated by dogs and by their behaviour and body language. I often wonder what the relationship with my dog would be like if we could ‘talk’ a little more directly to each other. I want to be more able to ‘understand’ dogs, and I want to learn how to ‘read’ the signals given by dogs.
Barbara Handelman’s Canine Behaviour: A Photo Illustrated Handbook (2008) is a pictorial guide to canine behaviour. It gives a detailed look at dog behaviours and signals. These behaviours are illustrated by many photographs, but also by texts compiled from scientific work, letters to the author by various dog behaviour experts, as well as by quotes from poetry and other literary writings about dogs. The last section provides the opportunity to try and read photos of behaviours yourself first, and then provides an answer key.
These various forms of explaining and illustrating behaviours make the book a useful resource. I did not find it an easy to use resource, though. Although the key to using the book says that related behaviours are grouped in categories with section headings, the headings to me don’t make any sense other than its alphabetical order. A lot of typos in the text I also found a bit annoying. But these are questions of use rather than of content, and the book is full of useful information, such as in the section 11 ‘Learning Theory Terminology and Methodology’, which is a good primer (or reminder) of learning theory for dog training.
The many, many photographs (1000 of them), by various photographers, are exquisite, particularly the wolf photography by Monty Sloan. They themselves make the book worth having as a resource on your bookshelf. And the pure joy with which the book’s author revels in the love of dogs, celebrating their beauty with the many photos and quotes from literary texts that intersperse the behaviour terminology sections.
Here is a photo of my two dogs. They so often looked like they were ganging up on me, and their interactions always made me wonder what was going on.
September 20, 2012 § 2 Comments
I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives, and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race;
for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time.
— Sir Walter Scott