Sunday, December 30, 2012

If Kate Were A Bird And What To Do For A Photo Project

Ha! She would be the cleanup crew. And, a slightly more attractive one at that.
I always give Kate shit about getting her own life. She is the queen of sitting around and waiting for someone else to have an idea. If Bella has a hankering for a game of tug she … tada! … brings me a tug. Kate has never, ever, never in the seven and a half years I have had her just brought me toy because she felt like it. As soon as someone else decides to play she is all over it. She is ready to go 100% at the drop of a hat. No warm up time or convincing needed. Never first in line, though.
It’s so weird how personalities work.
Kate is a very good dog. Largely, though, she’s good because it simply doesn’t occur to her to do something bad. However, it also doesn’t occur to her to something good. At the last place I lived we had a doggy door. Great for Bella. Kate? Not so much. She wouldn’t go through it unless you told her to. Kind of defeats the purpose of being able to go outside and potty when you only go out to potty when you are specifically told to do so.
My little un-questioning worker bee
I would like to do some sort of photo project for next year, but I don’t know what. None of those 365 things. I am no fan of commitment and saying I will do something every single day for a year is just setting myself up to fail. Even just typing that stressed me out. Hell, a 52 weeks project may be too much. I want to feel like it’s a fun thing to be doing, not another job, you know? I was thinking about doing some version of a Big Year. Maybe dogs instead of birds? Maybe traveling? Photographing something other than what I normally shoot? Monthly themes? Any of you want to do a blogging group thingy? Ideas?
I have been getting some shooting in on my week off. Handsome fellow, yes?
Ferruginous Hawk
Spend any time on flickr? This time of year is nothing but Christmas tree light bokah shots and Cedar Waxwings eating fruit.
Unless you are me.
No tree. No effing waxwings.
I love those guys but I’ll be damned if I ever see one. Got the fruit and get stuck with Robins. Boo.
Amazing how quiet these guys are when they take off. I make more noise getting out of a chair.
And even though it's sort of right up there with photographing pigeons, I still love my ever-cooperative Scrub Jays.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Day Of Rest

My first day off for the hollies. After the craze of the past two months at work?
A day of nothingness.
We vegged.
There were lots of warm cold shoulders
And TV watching
Until we could take no more.
And by “we,” I mean Kate.
We waited for the rain to let up and went to the park. Not too many people out. No Husky run-ins. Just that clean pine-y smell after a good rain with a little chimney smoke mixed in for good measure.
Now time for bed again! Maybe food then bed? Whatever, rest either way.
Hope y'all are enjoying your day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Kate is a little intense.
Maybe just tense, period.
She’s like a little loaded spring. Never walks anywhere. Always trotting. The concept of a stroll goes right over her head. No time to relax. Must worry about something. It’s like she is always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
She’s a Glass Half Empty kinda gal.
So, it’s weird when she has a Relaxed Day. Every now and then, round eye days.
Soft and sorta normal looking.
Even relaxed flinging
Relaxed stalking
That tension, though? Never that far away.
She just stores it in her wrist.

Monday, December 17, 2012

She's Still Back There, Isn't She?

There is a fine line between Biggest Fan and Creepy Stalker
Kate crosses that line on the regular.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cats and Dogs!

Well, no cats, really and only 2 dogs. Three if you count the effin husky that wouldn’t leave Bella alone and wouldn’t listen to me or his owner and came very close to having a chuck-it shoved up his obnoxious ass, but we’ll leave that alone. For now.
I like the rain.
When I don’t have to go somewhere.
Weekday mornings…maybe a bit of a pain. Trying to stay dry for work. And not just outside, but getting dogs dried at home before leaving for work? That’s cardio at my house. Bella hates a bath but loves a dry. Wet dog + towel = ecstasy for her. Ever try to hold a 33 pound fish that’s not dead yet? That’s drying Bella off.
Sunday morning, though? Fantastical! Means we can go just about anywhere and have the place to ourselves. Particularly since our rain today was limited to morning time. The light-weights stay at home to wait it out. Husky aside.
My dogs are Very Good. Exceptional, one might say. The poor beasts have been stuck inside for 2 days with a very ill owner. Not even just inside. In bed. 48 hours. That little Kate, weird as she is, exceptional bed company. I have never met a dog that likes being in bed more than her.
Belly can get a pesty from time to time. Idle threats usually take care of that, though.
So, this morning, since I was sort of back to feeling like a person, I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone. Exercise and pseudo-bathe dogs all at once. We went out during the worst of it. They ran their little heiny-holes off. We even broke the law and ran the totally empty park sans leash.
We were also all completely drenched. I don’t really have rain gear. More like drizzle gear. Maybe even just sort of foggy out gear. Twas OK, though. Certainly warm enough out.
Until you stop running.
Then cold damp sad faced dogs. But the ghetto bath worked! They may be cold and pouty now, but they are cold and pouty and shiny!
Yay rain!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Salad Bar

It has been so nice to not think about work for the past three days. First thought this morning, though?
“Going to be hard getting up at 5 tomorrow”
Still, one more day to not be at work. Sure, it’s laundry and bathroom cleaning and dusting and grocery shopping day, but better than Monday day!
Do you do the whole crazy shopping thing this weekend? We do not. They interviewed a girl who recently moved here from one of the Dakotas. She was sooo happy to be standing in line at Target 8 hours before it opened without it snowing at the same time.
What is wrong with people?
Now, I know it’s not very bed-wetting liberal of me, so don’t tell the Bay Area, but I keep a list of people that I think should be sterilized immediately. People waiting in line at Target are on that list. Also folks who vandalize, everyone who has paid money for anything remotely Justin Bieber related, people who still wear acid-washed jeans and everyone on that bigfoot show. There you have it.
So, while folks were staking out spots in line or home eating bird, we were out enjoying the phenomenal weather we have had this long weekend. Being off-leash is not unusual for my dogs. They are always off-leash. I do wish there was a little more excitement, though.
We were up at Oyster Bay on Thanksgiving. We get to the area where the leashes can come off and…
Yes, we drove to San Leandro to eat grass.
Just grazing away. Does this mean they are aging?
Occasionally picking a head up to check if the grass the other one was eating was actually greener
Sometimes it wasn’t even grass
And, apparently we had the usual holiday family argument. Isn’t that what people do? When I asked them to get on the bench for a pic this is what I got…
Not speaking?
Turns out the little yellow thing in this pic is just a falling leaf.
However, it looks like Kate is posing with a bee.
She made a little friend.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Crappy move or no?

This ad is currently up on craiglist.
4 Month Old Border Collie
Date: 2012-11-02, 11:38AM PDT
I have a young Border Collie female available to an approved home She is from hard-hitting stock dog bloodlines and while she will be a great herding dog, she is very manageable in the home as she does not herd people, other animals or furniture. She is a very fast learner, she was taught how to find and hold the heel position in two days. I am going to be working on her stationary commands such as sit and down soon as well. She is also learning how to wrap poles and front cross on the flat (agility skills).She is in the process of sound desensitization as she was raised on an old school ranch with not much exposure to the outside world. For how little she knows and how long I have had her, she has improved a lot and all of her small, puppy quirks will fade out as she learns more about the world.
She is ABCA registered and I was planning on dual registering her with the AKC. She has her puppy vaccinations that were completed at the breeders as well as being dewormed. I do not believe in vaccines myself though, so no more have been completed since she has been with me. She is eating a grain free kibble with greek yogurt and sea kelp as a supplement. Boiled chicken, apples and cheese are used as her treats.
The reason I am rehoming her is because I need a more crazy and "in your face" dog for sports. This girl is all about snuggles! She will be able to train and compete in agility no problem but is better suited for someone who's life does not revolve around the sport like mine.
One liner emails will NOT be responded to. You must let me know about yourself. Thank you!
My initial reaction when it was first pointed out to me was, “what a douche bag!”
But see, I don’t have a fundamental issue with rehoming a dog. If someone had a working dog (sheepdog, police dog, service dog) that was not working out for some reason I would not give responsibly rehoming that dog a second thought. If the owner/handler said that dog needed a pet home because they couldn’t do the work or handle the stress or whatever…fine. Or maybe they need another handler because their personalities don’t mesh…. Soft dog with burly handler….hard dog with a mushy handler, etc. OK.
I also don’t have an issue with a pet being rehomed if it is in everyone’s best interest. There is no way in hell I would turn my life upside-down (or my dogs) to manage a, say, dangerous dog. I don’t think that training can solve all problems and I can’t live with dogs that I don’t trust. Will not spend my life on pins and needles. I don’t have the personality for that shit.
This ad, though? There is something about it that just makes me sad. Is it because a stupid game we play on the weekends appears to be the priority here? What happens if this person gets the perfect agility dog and that dog gets injured? Craigslist for them, too? Maybe I am just bothered by someone talking about their dog like it’s a lawn mower? Just a tool for their weekend pleasure and if they don’t measure up…down the road you go? Maybe it’s the “I need a more crazy and "in your face" dog for sports.” Because that shit drives me right up a wall. Read this a few times, people…
“Drive” and a “complete lack of self-control” are NOT THE SAME THING
That bouncing off the walls, cannot walk on a leash, cannot stop barking dog is not “drivey,” it’s just an asshole.
“Sensible” and “thinking” are always better.
Yes, always.
Which I suppose means I could totally put Kate up on craigslist.
Free to home. Border-ish collie. Not super bright. Runs into walls. Knows a few tricks. Will do agility but only because you ask her to. Occasionally leaks urine in her sleep. Often in the way. Excels as ball bring-er back-er, hiking or running partner, fly patrol. Doesn’t bark. Like, ever. Also does cool shit with her tongue.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's A Hard Day For Dogs

Tummy says it's time for dinner...
Clock says you have another hour...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hobby No More?

I am kind of feeling over agility. It’s weird to feel that way about something I have enjoyed for so many years. Just…tired of it. It has lost its luster, for sure. This weekend didn’t help. I don’t usually do the whole drive up day-of thing. I don’t enjoy getting up at 4. Being up before coffee shops are open is just stupid. Bella has never enjoyed it either, even when she wasn’t almost double digits old. Always been a fan of sleeping in that one. Kate doesn’t care because Kate doesn’t sleep. To her, 4 may as well be noon. But, since Kate also doesn’t do agility so her opinion doesn’t really matter here.
This is what a non-sleeping weirdo looks like
I did the day-of thing on Saturday because I was only doing one day of this trial. The only remotely cool thing that happened – and this won’t matter to you unless you live here – is that on the way up I made it all the way up 19th without getting stuck at a single traffic light! No lie – 280 to the Golden Gate – not one stop. Miracles do happen!
It was downhill from there, though. The day of waiting. Hour and a half for my first run. 5 hours after that for my second. Did I mistakenly enter an AKC trial? This is not how CPE shit should go. Oh sure, it may be the non-competitive venue, the everyone-gets-a-ribbon silliness, a class for all even if you should have retired your lame dog 3 years ago, but we are not a patient people. We want Run, Run, Run, Lunch, Run, Run, dinner at 4. Five hours between runs? WTF?! Hell to the no. I left at 2:30 after my second run. No way I was waiting around to see how long it would take to get the remaining 3 in. Shit.
Our first run was also horrible. Like I was running someone else’s dog. Not my good brown dog. Some non-listening, disconnected thing that just felt awful. Not a good way to start an already sort of irritating day. We redeemed after our 5 hour break, though. Smashing JP run. Just perfect all around. Buzzer went off just when I asked it to, good brown dog returned (with weaves, to boot), smooth gamble, lots of points and a blue ribbon if I were so inclined to take those things.
And then Bella died because it was 85°.
85° in almost November time. Weird. This is supposed to be the rainy and cold trial. Wet feet and runny noses. Not, why-didn’t-I-wear-shorts?
She does love a good roll in wet grass DSC_4730
Maybe a bit much?
The dogs did dig all the waiting, though, because it meant more ball time.
I mean, we could do this at home
I guess the novelty of Different Field carries some weight with them
And Kate used her down time wisely and figured out how to origami her tongue into a travel mug. Totes her own water now.
We are not doing anymore agility for the rest of the year. Heck, maybe not ever. I guess we will see how we feel in January.

Monday, September 10, 2012

City Woods

As much as the cost of living here disgusts me, there are a few perks. It is kind of cool that even though it is the 10th largest city in the US there is still a fair amount of outdoorsy.
Not totally out of the ordinary to see a wild turkey at the dog park
I have seen deer, bobcat, coyotes, and tarantulas in city parks.
City is never that far, though.
Yes, the trees smell nice. Six-lane expressway on the other side of that wall, though.
She doesn’t care. Just likes walking in the crunchy bits
Pretend hunting. I love the cautious sniffing. One back foot lagging behind. Something for me to grab onto should she need rescue?
Hi! I am in the woods but not really!
It gives Kate a chance to attend to something other than the voices in her head.
So funny to watch her root around. She gets so serious and methodical.
Lots of staring. No chasing allowed. Staring OK. Hard staring. Like, trip over her because she does not move kind of staring.
And so not the best bug shot ever, but see the little droplet on the left side?
Bella spittle.
Was helping. :)