Archive for March, 2013

Water Dog

amywink March 15th, 2013

The pool has come out of winter storage.

Behold, the Water Dog.

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Spring Break

amywink March 11th, 2013

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Lily enjoyed a return to her Saturday dog class as we get ready for the Mighty Texas Dog Walk. She was OVERJOYED to see the dogs and after a few minutes of bouncing and leaping, she did manage a very nice walk around the block before heading into class. She did even manage to hold it together for a down/stay with the other dogs. . . as long as she could see me through the doorway. She’s unlikely to ever be the dog who will casually let me go out of her sight and I am fine with that. My expectation of her, after all, is that she will with me and it is clear that she understands this is her job as well. But, she enjoyed the Saturday class so much and it seemed to be very good for her to learn to work with the other dogs as a distraction, that I have decided to take her back to Saturday classes as our next Sunday session ends. Since my driving schedule has shifted, I’ll see how this works out for her. I suspect she’ll really benefit from it.

She is approaching her 11 month birthday and looking more and more grown up:

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Here she was at 7 1/2 weeks:

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Ears of Joy

amywink March 9th, 2013

Practicing with my new camera has lead me to an new appreciation of Lily’s ears. As I worked on learning the settings, figuring out the correct focal length, etc, I captured many amazing shots that capture her sense of joy and excitement. Often she reminds me very much of dancing Snoopy.

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Photography also has been a good tool for dog training. This week, when Lily was Wild in Play, I got out the High Value Treats and did some sit/down training….also known as “posing”
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Of course, when I asked her to get into the flowers, she was reluctant. . . unlike when she is getting into the flowers of her own volition.
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Full disclosure, in this photo above, the adoring look is because I had a piece of pork roast in my hand. But still, lovely pose. Good dog!

We have also registered for The Mighty Texas Dog Walk and we will be practicing for that for the next 3 weeks. I suspect Lily will be ecstatic with the experience and I am happy to get her involved in some “Austin Dog” events.

Welcome, Spring

amywink March 1st, 2013

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It’s 37 degrees this March 1st morning and I am wrapped in a wool blanket in my writing cottage as my Crazy Ohio Dog races around the yard in the streams of light and shadows angling across the yard. The above photo is actually from a much warmer February day but her joyous personality comes through clearly and it’s become an iconic “Lily” image for me. It was about this time last year that I located her breeder through another breeder and began my wait for the arrival of my “writing/carriage” dog. Lily has turned out to be my exactly right dog and there are times when I think she knows what her work is far better than I do–as she often reminds me with a well-placed paw. We are progressing very well on our “carriage” work.

As far as my writing is concerned, I’m in a fallow state. Perhaps the coming spring will bring a few changes to that but for now I like to think I am “doing” so that later I can do the writing. But truth be told, I’m not doing very much at this moment either other than playing with Lily–and sometimes that means watching her at play.

My list of 2013 goals is really short as well and are mostly Long Game types of goals so I am adjusting, sometimes poorly, to the state of resting. 2012 was a year of many accomplishments and completion of some long term goals, the most important of which was Blessing’s training, a goal set 2 years before when she arrived in my life. She’s now getting a well-earned respite from the challenging work of becoming an accomplished drive-and-ride mare. I have not driven as much as I have wanted in the last 3 months but the weather has been a challenge–poorly timed cold fronts for weekend driving, allergies triggered by the trees–so I am waiting for Spring, thinking about not doing, working on resting, focusing on peaceful waiting. And I’ve moved my writing goals to the new year’s list as I moved it last year. I may be that I am not ready, may never be ready, to turn these experiences into the book I imagine they might be one day but I am often thinking of writing, particularly of this blog. So for now, I will just have to see what happens. My last book took 13 years to complete so I’m may just be in the very very early stages of the next project.

I have turned to another one of my hobbies that has long been stalled by the dramatic change to photography in the digital age. I have owned for 30 years (and still own!) a lovely Nikon FG, now far out of date and practically impossible to use because of the difficulty of finding film and film processing. I have been using a point-and-shot Canon as well as the phone camera, but the art of photography is hampered by the limitations of those tools and I have often been disappointed by what I cannot do with those cameras, though I clearly have enjoyed snapping many photographs with the tools at hand. But this spring, I finally decided on the DSLR that I wanted, a Nikon d3200, and took the leap this past month (checking off the one 2013 “purchasing” goal). I love it.

Now, I am now a different observer. With the camera, I’m a more artful watcher, more attentive to detail, focusing on the activity of birds in the yard, thinking of Lily in motion, thinking of her at rest. It’s a good hobby to resurrect in a period of rest, a action that necessitates patience, waiting, observing. Not unlike writing, in a way, because now in the digital age, it’s possible to take many many photographs, then edit out the worst shots, save and revise the best ones. So while I take this pause in my writing, I’m paying a different kind of attention to the details of the world.

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