Blog - My Pets

Because I love them as much as I love your pets, so occasionally, they get a post devoted to them.
The New Year Resolutions
01st January 2015 - 0 comments
So like most people, I decided to do some resolutions under the guise of believing I will keep these resolutions up for the rest of my life and never stop. As opposed to what will probably happen, which is I’ll call it quits within a month. But I decided tell everybody what my resolutions were, just so I can feel extra guilty when I stop and you guys can all judge me. Look at me with eyes filled with shame. Also, full disclosure, the pictures in this blog more or less are awful. So you've been warned. I'll start you off with a few good ones though (well ONE good one that I'm proud of, the rest are just whatever).

This post ended up being absurdly long and I wrote it and even think that, so I decided to undermine all of my writing and give you a short list really quick. Then if you are like “that’s interesting, why?” you can scroll and read my ramblings. If you don’t really care, then you can just scroll and look at the pictures. After all, this is a photography blog the vast majority of the time besides whatever I think this post is. So here’s the short list:
1. Do a 52 Week project with both Brittany and Bello.
2. Train each dog for 5 minutes every day.
3. Walk the dogs twice a day.
4. Seriously work on Brittany's dog aggression. Seriously.
5. Work on Bello's recall.
6. Build up muscle in the dogs.


Last year I was in Illinois and kind of annoyed, so I headed off alone with my mutts and my camera and ended up watching the last sunset of 2013 and getting this awesome photo that I adore like crazy (if you've ever been by my booth when I go to events, you've probably seen it).


And it brightened my mood, so I thought I would make it a tradition of sorts, watch the last sunset of the year. Well it has been raining like crazy in Memphis, and I wasn't even sure if we would HAVE a sunset for me to watch, but the weather pulled through in the final two days of 2014, got it's stuff together, and I had a sunset to watch and photograph with my mutts. This was taken on our WAY to Illinois to visit family, but technically we were still in Missouri. It definitely was not as gorgeous as 2013. And I had to pose Brittany on top of my car to even attempt to get a photo with her short little self. She's a good girl who puts up with my stupid ideas, even though it was really cold out.


I even managed to get a few shots of Bello when he wasn't being distracted (hey! this is going to tie in with a resolution, look at me, using foreshadowing in a blog post!). Unfortunately, I couldn't get a combined silhouette of the brats this year.




Hopefully the tradition holds and I'll get some sunset pictures for the end of 2015. And maybe, just maybe, I'll actually still be going strong on my resolutions that I'm about to list out for all of you... right... NOW.

1. Do a 52 Week project with both Brittany and Bello.
By 52 week project, I mean take a photo once a week of each dog separately for every week of the year (52). I wanted to originally do a 52 week project including both of my cats as well, but the reason I've never done one for them is because I travel and am often gone for over a week. And it drives me CRAZY to miss a week (I've done two before, attempted to do a third one last year on my personal Facebook page, and then just quit). Brittany and Bello luck out though because they normally travel with me. So I'm still deciding on if the cats will be joining in or not despite knowing I'll have a few weeks missing for their projects (if I do them).

If you are just getting into photography, I suggest doing some sort of project. They can keep you motivated and picking up your camera to learn new things about it instead of letting it collect dust and crying at the money you just wasted! Although, be careful with making your project too hard. I've seen a lot of people attempt to do 365 projects (a photo every day) and seen a lot of people quit them. Very few people finish them (including people like me, who got to around day 330, realized I had missed several days and just quit). While projects are motivating, if you make it too hard, it kind of sucks the joy out of photography, and you aren't going to keep doing it if you aren't making it fun for yourself... which I think was a nice little entry onto my next resolution!

2. Train each dog for 5 minutes every day.
So I clicker train my mutts, if you don't know what clicker training is, that's a shame and you should learn about it because it is a lot of fun and normally dogs enjoy it! But the quick explanation is that clicker training is positive reinforcement based training, meaning I give my dogs treats when they do things right to encourage them to keep doing correct (good) behavior, the treat is normally food, though some people use toys. The clicker is a little box that makes a click noise. You click when the dog does something right. It marks the behavior in time so that when the dog hears a click they know that whatever they were doing in that moment was good and that some sort of reward will follow. If you just try to get the treat to them without marking the behavior, you run a risk of not getting the treat to them fast enough and the dog not understanding what behavior earned them the reward. Some people use words like good, yes, and x, which are all marker words and work nearly as well as a clicker does! I use a clicker when I'm teaching behaviors most of the time, but if I'm out on a walk or something I typically use the word "good" for Brittany. If you want to learn more, you should check out kikopup on YouTube. Her YouTube Channel is FILLED with dog training tutorials on just about anything, from tricks to behavior problems like aggression.

And if you aren't convinced or just want to see more about the awesome power of clicker training and positive reinforcement, you should check out this video (THAT IS IN NO WAY MINE) because the camera work is absolutely gorgeous, and the dog does some absolutely amazing tricks.


So if you watched that video and are now in awe like I was and am every time I watch it. I'm going to admit I'm jealous of those tricks. And I know my "dumb" dogs are smart enough to learn quite a few of those if SOMEONE wasn't so damn lazy with them all the time... so! To combat that stupid lazy someone, she's trying to train her pair of awesome dogs more just to have fun. And Brittany and Bello both love training so there's also that. I figure if I can't spare ten minutes a day for training, I'm lying to myself. I can forgo watching ten minutes of television or ten minutes of Facebook to train my dogs and interact with them. If I can keep up with this one resolution throughout the year then I'll already have a resolution for next year which is a 52 weeks of Tricks project, but first I need a solid base of tricks so I don't quit and get frustrated.

3. Walk the dogs twice a day.
When most people train their dogs often through clicker training, they just use their dogs' kibble as the treats. It is small, and the dog works for their food instead of eating extra calories to make their dog overweight. But I have a problem. Britt and Bello eat prey model raw and I am NOT cutting up and training them with little bits of raw meat. It's gross and pretty unsanitary. But they also love raw and do really well on it so I have no intention of switching them back to dog food either. Meaning they are probably going to be eating more than they need. So to prevent weight gain we have walking more.


My dogs, like nearly all dogs on this planet, love going for walks. They think it is a blast. Best part of their day. They'd probably rather spend the day on leash walking around our neighborhood then all three of us sitting off leash in the backyard. They love the smells and peeing on everything.




There is also the fact that I like to tell myself I walk more than I do, when I know I don't. I try to walk Britt and Bello a mile during the day, and then we take a mile and a half walk at night. I've been doing really badly about that lately. So this is more like a vow renewal I suppose. But Britt and Bello will be happy to be back on track. Also, if anyone else out there has an "exercise my dogs more" resolution or you walk your dogs often, you really should install the WoofTrax/Walk For a Dog app which is available for both Apple and Android. It is a free app, all you have to do is turn it on and let it track your walks. While you walk, it donates money to a rescue or shelter of your choice for every mile. Which is wonderful and rescues are always in need of more money. Every little bit helps them.

4. Seriously work on Brittany's dog aggression. Seriously.
So I've kind of mentioned it on the Memphis Mutts Facebook page, and I know it is mentioned a little bit in her bio under "About," but for those that don't know Brittany is dog aggressive. And not like "bark bark bark, oh this strange dog came up to me, I'll be nice." But a more fun "BARK BARK BARK, LUNGE, SNARL, HELL DEMON, BARK, GROWL, LUNGE LUNGE, LUNGE IF I REACH YOU I'LL INSTANTLY START A FIGHT, ATTACK YOUR FACE" kind of way. Which is considerably LESS fun then I sarcastically said. This is where I get on my soap box and yell to the heavens that if you are getting a puppy of any kind PLEASE socialize them well with other dogs (and people). Brittany was NOT socialized basically at all, and is also a terrier. Which is a bad mix, making her even worse. We should have done more research on dogs before we ever brought her home, but I wouldn't trade her aggressive little butt for a different dog if I had to do it over again.

I don't have any false hopes of Brittany ever interacting and loving other dogs in the event I get her dog aggression under control. Even with dogs she gets along with her interaction is limited to the occasional game of tug-o-war. Otherwise she just prefers to do her own thing. She'll never be a dog park dog. I just want Brittany to stop reacting to dogs that haven't done anything to her (stop all the barking and wanting to attack) and be capable of moving on with her little life. We've been working on her dog aggression for a while, but mainly around our neighborhood with the same dogs every day. She's not perfect with them and still lunges and barks.


But the really good news is that now if I call her name she normally stops within a second and comes over to me to get her treat for not barking anymore (we've been counter conditioning her so that when she sees a dog, she knows a treat is coming, dogs mean good things, not something to be barked at). Considering that when I first started giving her treats, she couldn't stop barking until the dog was completely OUT OF SIGHT FOR A FEW SECONDS, she's made HUGE improvement. But not as good as it could be since again, I'm slacking with her. Outside of the normal dogs behind the same fences every day, she still has trouble. If there is a dog coming down the street, she's going to react more, or if we go to a new place. So the goal is to start going places with her and working harder. I know she can do it. Her problem is me helping her.

In the event someone is wondering why I don't put a choke collar, e-collar, or prong collar on her to help her dog aggression, since they can be faster, the answer is that while those devices can and do work for some dogs, they also can and DO make a lot of dog even more aggressive. Brittany falls into the "more aggressive" category. She has had choke collars on her in the past, and just normal collars that I jerked her with when she was barking. She DID stop barking in the moment, but the very next time she sees another dog she's lunging even worse until you jerk on her. I don't want her fighting the urge to attack another dog because she's on leash and knows she'll get in trouble. I want her to no longer have the urge period. And I never had a clearer example between the difference of using treats or correcting her collar than when I was on a walk and angry. I had forgotten treats and was already in a bad mood, just wanting to have quiet, when Brittany who was feeling my frustration started reacting more than her normal at the time (and she had been doing REALLY well at the time). I jerked her leash and she stopped barking at that dog. The very next day we walked past that house and she absolutely exploded. But she didn't just explode at that dog, she was awful with every dog on the entire walk. I kicked myself, and she started wearing a harness on all walks a couple months later which had the added benefit that if I ever lost my temper again (and I'm human) she wouldn't get the correction as badly as she would when all the pressure is on her neck.

5. Work on Bello's recall.
Recall just means Bello comes when he's called. Preferably every time he's called without question. Bello is part husky which are notorious for being terrible at coming when called (although I know quite a few people with good ones that are awesome off leash!). Huskies have high prey drive, love to run, and are not "biddable". Huskies ARE smart dogs, just in different ways than breeds like border collies. Most huskies don't have much of a desire to do what you say when you say it. They're kinda like people. Bello doesn't run off or play keep away. If I walk up to him, he'll stand still and let me leash him, every time. His problem is just that he doesn't come and likes to wander away further than I would like. He knows where I'm at, and that's good enough to him. If I wasn't a slow human being, we could walk together. But I'm slow, and he's fast. So he's going to be fast, and I'll catch up to him when he takes a break to sniff something. Which honestly would be okay if he would, ya know, be reliable in coming when called for the moments I would like my dog briefly near me.

Bello's the white dot...


Bello is nearly five years old now and has chilled out some. He still loves to run, but now he has stupid elbow dysplasia/arthritis which means he doesn't run quite as much. I've also been doing better with him. He comes when called about 70 percent of the time within a few seconds of being called when there are no distractions. Hopefully by the end of the year, I can have him come when called even when there are things like rabbits to distract him (which is the BIGGEST distraction for him).

Maybe one day Bello can join the ranks of awesome dogs I've photographed that don't need leashes. Until then, he'll be like a lot of dogs who have to have his leash cloned out in editing (although in that picture above, he was off leash).

6. Build up muscle in the dogs.
Brittany tore her ACL when she was 7 years old. We didn't have surgery done and instead chose to let her rest and heal. I'm not sure if it was the right decision or not sometimes. I think for the most part she has healed. She can put weight on the bad leg and walk on it, but if she wants to get somewhere fast she resorts to limping. I think what happened was the muscle is just a lot weaker in her bad leg (left back) so it is easier to use her strong leg. Of course a vicious cycle occurs, if she doesn't use it, it just gets weaker. So we've been doing exercises to force her to use it and hopefully build up muscle. And by force I just mean I ask her to do harder things. She can quit whenever she wants since refusal to do something is the only way she can tell me if I'm pushing her too hard. If she would refuse to sit when I ask, I don't push her butt down and make her. That is a good recipe to hurt her. She does things like canine squats.


And pushing herself to lay down on an unstable object and hold her balance (or sit or stand).


I've also taught her to back up onto a wobbly surface so and sit and stand with her back end higher than her front.


For the most part, Brittany is game for anything I can throw at her. She thinks it is all easy as long as she gets a treat. When I get out the equipment, treats, and clicker, she starts offering behaviors like crazy, jumping on things, sitting on things, all four feet, two feet, front feet, back feet, lay down, jump off, etc. just over the moon that she gets to work. Although her expression in the photos might not seem like it (she didn't like having to hold still, while I took each photo, she just wants to move on to the next thing I want her to do).


There's even been the added benefit that doing all the same things with Bello seems to be helping his arthritis a little bit. I think because it is building up muscle to help support the bad leg. He seems to be limping less (although, it is still there).


Bello doesn't move at quite the speed Brittany does, while Brittany is busy doing things that are quite a bit harder, Bello for instance is just learning to put his back feet up on a wobbly surface with confidence (he likes to just barely put a foot up there, and then remove it quickly, or he might die, so he thinks). Until then, we mainly use a stack of books.


So that's it!

My hope is that most of these resolutions will help me with my ultimate goal which is to start hiking with my brats more. They both need to build muscle up so they can handle it. If Bello has a better recall, than I can let him off leash to enjoy himself more. If Brittany can learn to not attack other dogs, she can go off leash as well (she already has a really good recall aside from around other dogs). And I'm hoping that just training in general and having fun will strengthen our bond to make everything go a bit smoother.


I actually started my resolutions in early December, so I'm a month ahead meaning when I quit, I can quit a month earlier than everyone else. ;) Although I'm still not doing everything perfectly. I'm still not walking twice every day, and I've missed a few days of training due to the hectic-ness of the holidays. But I've been doing better with everything than I was before I set these goals for myself, and that's what I really want. For anyone out there with resolutions, whether they are dog related or not, try to remember to keep it fun for yourself!
BarkBoxes and Bello Birthdays
23rd August 2013 - 0 comments
Yesterday the dogs recieved their monthly BarkBox, which they have been getting for three months. Originally they started getting them because I left for Germany and well, who was going to buy them toys they don't need and treats they really want? No one that's who! So their first box came while I was out of country to let them know I still loved them (though it probably seemed like my mom loved them since she opened it, and gave them everything inside).

So what is a BarkBox? Well its a monthly box that you get filled with toys and treats and other things. It's a bit like Russian Roulette since you don't know what you are getting in it (that's part of the fun in my opinion), but you do know the products inside are of high quality and typically American made. Typically there are around five items inside. It depends on the size, there might be more, there might be less.

Admittedly this post has an ulterior motive (though, I guess it doesn't if I TELL you). You see, if I can convince people to sign them up and get them for their own dog, then I can earn a free box, so if you decide you want one use this here link:
https://barkbox.com/r/cMIVDnrT0k/

That link gets you five dollars off your subscription and earns Brittany and Bello a free box (THINK OF THE DOGS!). And because I'm being nice, if your dogs are BarkBox recievers, feel free to comment and leave YOUR link which people can use to get YOU a free box as opposed to me. Afterall, some might read this post and be like "Dang it Erica, now I want a box, but I'm mad at you for making me want one so I don't want to support you and your evilness!" Well, you can scroll down and help someone else out give them a free box and still get five dollars off (and I'll just cry). You don't have to be a past customer to comment, I won't harrass you to do a session with me (though you should, I would love to meet your pets, they don't even need to be dogs, I love all animals!), just niceness.

So on to the pictures to convince you to get a BarkBox... er... show you how cool they are:
I'm always excited to see them on the porch!


And the dogs are not typically excited by them because honestly, we get a lot of packages and they haven't learned yet that these are specifically for them. But that doesn't mean I can't make it look like they are excited and send them to sniff it!




So you open the box and there is a card that lists the places the things inside came from so you can purchase more from the select companies if you so choose, and normally some writing from the BarkBox company that in all honesty I don't read. I do save the cards though incase I want to purchase more from the companies.


AND UNDER THAT CARD is a bunch of stuff that when you move it around you wonder how the people of BarkBox managed to fit all in and you realize they must be expert tetris players.


So first was this dolphin which floats and is meant for playing in water (hence, a dolphin) but also has squeakers in it for the non swimming dogs and s ball in rope inside, which you can feel and see if your dogs destroy the toy, Britt and Bello have yet to do that (mainly because I keep water toys in protective custody). This toy is pretty awesome and when I was at Hollywood Feed yesterday they were selling them for $11.99. This is where I inform you that BarkBoxes are a good deal (when you go with six month subscription at least) because you all this stuff SHIPPED to your house for only $19.99 a month. And just this toy would have cost me over half that price, and we are only at one item. Anyway, this is from Aussie Naturals dog toys if you would like one of your own.


And then there are dog treats, which I was actually planning to buy because Britt and Bello had never had them before and they are spoiled like that. Luckily the box came before I went to Hollywood Feed and bought them myself.
Plato Pet Treats


And MORE DOG TREATS. These are freeze dried turkey liver. I don't know if you have ever bought freeze dried dog treats, but I have and they are expensive. The dogs and I had fun training last night using them. No new tricks though(we will be working on some new tricks later once I finish this post). They loved them and wished they could get them for free. NOPE those are for training only. Sorry dogs.
Primal Pet Treats


And some stuff you sprinkle on your dog's food to make them want to eat it. It is made out of ground up bully sticks. Bully sticks are awesome and something I buy on occasion for Brittany and Bello (you'll see Bello chewing on a non-ground up one later). It will take us awhile to get through this because the dogs don't eat kibble, they eat raw, and don't honestly need much encouragement to eat (in fact this would probably distract Bello and he would NOT eat). Who knows, we might use it for training as well. You see Britt carrying a cat toy. When she's excited I'm home she picks up a toy and won't put it down until someone takes it from her. She doesn't want to play fetch though. And I'm not kidding about taking it from her. She's held a toy in her mouth for over an hour because I occasionally perform experiments. ;)
BarkWorthies


A little packet of freeze dried stuff that you put water in and can freeze to make popsicles or can give as a hot broth.
The Honest Kitchen


Unfortunately there is no NeighBox or MeowBox or ChirpBox or anything like that. BarkBox is biased towards dogs. But, if you have cats they can have fun as well. You know... cats and boxes... and I have four cats. The box is almost always left out for a week after getting it so the cats can all enjoy it in their cat like way.
Storm was the first in the box.


And Sammy came up to help him.


And Sabrina being the queen of the BarkBox.


And a picture of Sabastian who did lay in the box, but I didn't get a picture of him. And yeah, for those that don't know, all the cats are black and have S names on purpose (and so is the misspelling of Sabastian). We aren't superstitious at my house.


So yeah, this is your BarkBoxes are awesome post and you should get one using this here link:
https://barkbox.com/r/cMIVDnrT0k/
Or if anyone posts some in the comments, use there link (no use mine).

But wait, there's more! Not about BarkBox, but there is a second part to the title "and Bello Birthdays." IT'S BELLO'S BIRTHDAY. Well actually it is his gotcha day. Three years ago today I adopted him from Waverly Animal Shelter. He was around 8 months old and had been at the shelter for over a month. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? Such a pretty and awesomely behaved dog was in the shelter for a MONTH.

We didn't do much for his Gotchaday. He got some presents, and ate some stuff, and eventually I will take him for a walk (which I would do regardless of his birthday) and do some training because Bello likes training. Oh and I took him to Taco Bell and shared a LITTLE bit with him. I would have brought him to a park, but we went to the park yesterday to play with the dolphin toy and a ChuckIt! Water Skimmer that I bought. The water skimmer is actually pretty awesome (and off topic). I loved it. It goes so far. SKIMS RIGHT ACROSS THAT WATER. And... Brittany would lose sight of it. She follows the splash of things she fetches (she's a waterholic) and would swim out to the orignal place the skimmer hit the water but wouldn't see it. It didn't help that it was close to dark and eventually she really did lose it and there was nothing I could do to get her going the right direction, it went further than all the others and I couldn't throw anything far enough out to get her to go to it (that's my normal trick, throw a rock by the lost toy and she'll see the toy and get it). So we had to leave it in the middle of the lake and return at 1 a.m. where it had finally floated to the edge of the lake and I could get it out. Its a cool toy though, just make sure you are somewhere where YOU can swim to get it if the dog loses it. So back on topic now, Bello actually went to the park twice yesterday. No park today because of it. I'm sick of the park.

Here is Bello with his haul. Chewing on a bully stick, with two toys he thought were boring (typical), some Orijen dog food (which I use as dog treats, and Bello loves since he doesn't get it for meals) and some Orijen freeze dried dog treats.


He (and Brittany) also got that freeze dried mix packet thing. I mixed it up, put a peice of freeze dried liver on top, and sprinkled the ground bully stick on it. They liked that (for the most part).


And then they both got dinner, I put some Orijen kibble on their food and the ground bully stick. You know most dogs would think that giant chunk of meat was the prize of the day, but Bello ate that last and acted like I was horrible person for not giving him all dog food. I swear. SORRY I GAVE YOU 10 OUNCES OF BEEF BELLO.


So that's the end of this blog post that seemed to be nothing but endorsement for products that aren't mine. Tomorrow your regurarly scheduled programming will return (on the Memphis Mutts Facebook page) featuring adorable pictures of Womack the six month old Boxer puppy! Until tomorrow here's a picture a Sabastian and Sabrina playing with the bag I got Bello's toys in.
Brittany- A Purebred Water Terrier
10th August 2012 - 0 comments
Well you know, if a water terrier was a breed. When Brittany first encountered water, I would have never guessed that she would grow up to be the nutcase about water she is today. She was terrified of it. Wouldn't even set foot in it, and then slowly over time she started getting over that fear. Since we were frequent boaters when she was young, and often on the lake, she learned that chasing waves (and catching them) was an amazing rush. She had to be phyiscally restrained if you wanted her to take a break. And then she began to wade in after her humans who had no issue leaving her on shore if she chose to be stubborn and then suddenly, she was swimming. And once she loved swimming there was no going back. She was reborn. Brittany the water dog. Imagine that with like glitter going all over the place. I did anyway. On to a variety of pictures about my nutcase dog. You see, on Saturday my family and I are making the 9 hour drive down to Destin, FL, dogs included. Brittany has been to Florida before (where she nearly got us kicked out of the hotel room for barking, but that's another story for another day), but that was before she was reborn into the nut I call a dog.

Brittany's love affair all started when she would look out across the water too her people which had meanly abandoned her to swim.


And then she realized how amazing it was to run up and down the shore as the waves "crashed" in, or as much as a wave can crash at the lakes in TN. Her tongue lolling shows how crazy she is about it. You have to physically force her to quit.




And then she began to attack waves. Bite bite bite. She'll do this until she throws up. So you know. We now know to stop her after about thirty minutes. Nut case Jack Russel Mix errr purebred Water Terrier.




And not much time had to go past before Brittany decided that swimming was okay. In fact once she started swimming, well that was the end. She was commited to her new life. Which meant fetching. If she went in for a dip, she HAD to bring something back. And if there was nothing to bring back, well then she'd turn around and grab her leash.


She was a water lover by about 2 years old. It wasn't until she was around 6 that she decided that attacking the hose was amazing. It started when I friend decided he was thirsty. She was too, and then for some reason it turned into attacking. Every. Time. We. Turn. It. On.


And well from there... It wasn't much of a leap to an obsession with water balloons.




And then this past year, scratch that, this past month, Brittany decided that she could be a dock dog. She was nervous at first, but then after I dropped her in once, she realized she would live. And with no more encouragement needed, jumped. Over and over and over.




And like any self-respecting dog, she shakes to get the water off, near her favorite human. SHARING THE LOVE.


So expect pictures from this nut (and Bello) from the beach. We are going to struggle keeping her from swallowing too much salt water. But I'm excited. I'm mostly excited to see her having a blast (and Bello). And for those curious, Bello likes water too. But he can't compete with Brittany.

P.S. NO. Brittany does not enjoy bath time. She acts like I'm washing her with death itself.
Sabastian
01st August 2012 - 0 comments
I actually have four cats. I don't mention them because well, I don't reliably take pictures of them. I feel bad about it. I love them to death. But I rarely get inspired to take pictures of them. This could stem from the fact that I have four black cats who all live inside so the possibilities quickly diminish. But Sabastian, the second youngest, got an adventure outside yesterday. They always love going outside, but for their safety don't typically get that reward. But Sabastian did.

After I let him out, he went under the porch. Because I can't reach him from under there and bring him back inside. ;D The fact we can't catch them is why they typically don't come outside. It's a vicious cycle.


Once I convinced him to come out from under the porch, I acted like I was a wildlife photographer. Shhh everyone, its a wild panther. Hiding behind the few blades of grass that are still alive despite the lack of rain.


And then realizing he should play the part, went into stalk mode. But was too far away to even attempt to chase down the birds.


And with a wayward glance he longed to be on the move.


He sniffed around, like any great hunter attempting to determine the best way to go.


And with all that work, he took a break (you can see he is rather over weight. I regulate his food intake, but he counteracts my measures by moving less)




His body reminds me of a weasel. Which reminds me, his nickname is Otter. For those that were curious.


And then he was on the move again. Headed towards the pine needles.


Which turned out to be a fantastic setting, and I have to applaud his choice.


To get his attention, I luckily found a feather. He then took that as his cue to lunge at me like some vicious animal or you know, a cat wanting a feather. ;D


And with a final glance at a daring bird we went back inside. Against his will of course. He wanted to stay outside, but the sweat blinding me convinced me to head back for the great indoors. I love air conditioning.
Wildflowers One Day, Mowed the Next
14th June 2012 - 0 comments
I've been trying to get out and take pictures of Brittany and Bello recently. I very rarely feel inspired enough to take pictures while at home, (though I would LOVE to take pictures in your home ;D ) and this has caused me to go practically all year with very few pictures of the mutts. This sudden urge is working out for the best though, I'm getting more pictures of the hounds, looking at possible locations for future Memphis Mutts clients, and working on Bello's recall in more distracting places than just our neighborhood.

Today's adventure took me to a field across from the post office on Airline Road in Arlington, TN. I considered procrastinating for a day so I could go with a friend, since she also enjoys photography. The only thing that stopped me was that it seems every time I wait, something happens to the flowers (no matter where they are). Boy was I happy I went today. When I pulled up a man was preparing to get on a tractor and begin mowing the field!

So that was one potential place for sessions ruined, but I had already packed up the dogs, kidnapped a different friend, and driven out to Arlington. Luckily the man was nice enough to begin mowing on the opposite side of the field where the flowers weren't as thick. So while he mowed, Bello, Brittany, and I ran around the field. Bello reminded me why we act like vampires during the summer; his coat is simply to thick for the heat and after twenty minutes he was exhausted. Brittany reminded me why her pictures don't primarily take place in flowers. She's too short! But both of them had a blast and I returned home with some tired dogs and awesome pictures.

But I need to quit rambling, ONWARD TO THE PICTURES!

Brittany "smiling" while eating some grass. When I asked her to smile this is not what I intended.


"Hey Brittany can you stay and let me take a picture of you by those flowers?"


"BUT LOOK AT ALL THIS GRASS NEEDING ME TO EAT IT!" She thinks she's a cow. It's the spots that get her confused. Don't tell her that she has the teeth of a carnivore.


Ohh look, short dog with a few flowers making an appearence. Brittany tried to help me by dressing up like a flower... er... getting a petal on her nose.


Now it's time for a couple of my boy. Once he dug himself a nice dirt hole to cool off it was almost impossible to get him moving again, but I managed to get a few of him.


Through the flowers. They were EVERYWHERE. And every once in awhile the flowers jumped in front. But the flowers seemeed to know it wouldn't ruin the picture when they did so.