Moose faces

Moose

I got a new backdrop for the county adoptable kennel dogs I will be shooting. I used Moose to give it a test drive.

It’s time for the Saturday Pet Blog Hop, please join us.

Many thanks to our three hosts Life With DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume.  If you’d like to participate, follow your three hosts, add your blog to the Linky and copy and paste the html code into your html editor.  Thanks again to our hosts for putting on the hop!

Welcome to the double-digit gang

Timber

Happy 10th birthday Moose.

Quick update on Timber. We’re working on getting four cans of the MaxCal into his feeding tube, goal is 6 cans per day. He is still so thin. He ate two big plates of beef liver and a little bit of vanilla ice cream.

Biggest news of the day, he finally pooped and it was formed.

Mr Moose Man

Moose

I first met Moose in the kennel down in Florida. He was one of those, you know, kennel favorites. This big and tough guy is all marshmallow. He is such a sweetheart.

When I got home to Oregon and walked off of the plane, I met Karen in baggage and we collected the hounds I flew home with. On the drive home, I’m fairly certain that Moose came into the conversation. And then the next day, the day after that and so forth.

And then, the call went to Nancy asking if we could bring Moose home too. Secretly, I think Paul and Nancy love it when we bring their dogs home because they always know how they are doing and frequently get to see their pictures.

When Nancy called and said that Mickey was spending more time in the track lounge instead of actually racing around the track, we put the wheels in motion to get Moose home with Mickey.

We let them out of their kennels as soon as they arrived in the baggage area and Moose was so happy. Yes, our buff and tough doggie pranced all the way out to the car. He took to the acre like he’s always been here.

Of all of the greyhounds, this guy loves his stuffies the most. The squeakier the better. His macho instinct does tend to kick in every once in awhile.

See that stuffy in his mouth? That was brand new, right out of the bag. It had like six squeakers in it. Had is the key word. Moose was not leaving that out for anyone else to play with it. He had to take it with him.

And then, before we could say boo, he de-stuffed, de-squeaked and destroyed.

Yup, ua gotta love the Mooseman.

Outrage

Timber

It all started the day big red came home. Life immediately became unfair and cruel.

Moose

Moose had to go in for the evil dental. He didn’t get to eat breakfast and dinner, well it was skimpy at best.

Barney

And poor, pitiful Barney. It’s his weekend for the calendar and he was thrown into a bathtub.

Seriously, is a white fluffy coat worth all of this humiliation.

Best holiday ever

Thanksgiving day, 2011

I had a window on Thanksgiving day, a window with something other than clouds and rain and wind. We were out of bed in a flash to enjoy the sunrise.

Minnie

Minnie couldn’t believe her eyes, what on earth was that bright ball?

The turkey

I do have a bit of a confession. I was married for 22 years and I never once cooked a turkey. For the last 10 years, I’ve avoided the topic until this year when Karen decided she wanted to do a turkey for dinner. In my best enthusiastic voice, I reassured her that it was a grand idea.

Hind-sight being 20/20, it really was a great idea. Karen spent a great deal of time in the dreaded kitchen and the whole meal was fabulous.

Buddy

Buddy on the other hand, was really annoyed that he had been baby-gated out of the kitchen. Seriously, what was Karen thinking. Buddy is one of the official taste-testers.

Crystal, Talley, Buddy

Who wants the drumstick?

Crystal, Talley, Buddy

Clearly, Buddy thought that since he is the senior member of the pack he should have it. Plus, he’s the tallest of the three, a definite advantage.

The reality is, nobody got the drumstick, but they all got a little bit of turkey with their kibble for dinner.

Crystal and Barney

A fabulous meal that took all morning to prepare was gone in a flash and we couldn’t believe how much we ate.

Flocko

The best that we could do at that point was to waddle into the bedroom and settle down for a happy nappy.

Moose

Of course, no meal is complete without a little desert with our whip cream.

Timber

And did we have left-overs for breakfast you might ask?

Nope, we scrambled out of bed to meet Timber. A one-year old gorgeous, energetic and playful borzoi. I have a few other photos of him here.

Time for the Saturday Pet Blog Hop.

Happy Saturday, and welcome to another installment of the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop! You’ve found the right place to connect with other pet lovers. Whether you are a seasoned blogger, one who loves reading pet blogs, or if you’re just thinking about starting your own blog – there is definitely something here for you. Acquaint yourself and enjoy – this is your resource, so use it as you see fit! Of course, you have to follow the rules, so let’s get to that. Get those links in and have fun.

  • Link up your pet blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below. You only need to add your link once to be seen on all the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop Linky Tools for that week. Note that if your blog is not pet related your link will be removed. Also note that only one post per blog is acceptable, and links promoting giveaways that are unrelated to the pet blogger hop will be removed. This is a community building exercise and not a promotional vehicle – please treat it as such.
  • Grab the “Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop” button above and include it in your Saturday Blog hop post so that your readers will know what is going on. *Note – posting is optional. Feel free to just link and follow.
  • Follow your co-hosts listed in the first 3 slots of the Linky Tool.
  • Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you’d like.
  • Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you’re from the blog hop.
  • Follow back when you get a new follower through the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop.
  • Make friends and grow.

Moose goes to the beach

Moose

Every year I do a greyhound calender, mostly for us. I try to come up with some clever theme, I think about it all year long and then as Thanksgiving approaches, I scramble because I have not done anything.

Today was a holiday for me and Karen took the day off so that we could play. When I looked at the weather around us, the beach seemed to be the perfect choice. We finished our morning coffee, grabbed my gear and Moose drew the lucky straw to go to the beach.

This was Moose’s first time at the beach. I was a little worried about all of the loose dogs, but Moose was amazing.

Even the waves rolling in behind him didn’t seem to phase Moose. He was such a good boy.

He and Karen walked along the surf as I did what I do whenever we go out.

Despite my reminder about watching out for waves below the high water mark on the beach, I always enjoy the first scramble to dry land. On the other hand, don’t ask me how wet my feet got.

The longer we were there, the more the sun came out, it was absolutely beautiful.

And when it was time to go, I found Moose and Karen patiently waiting for me as I brought up the rear for just one more (dozen) pictures or so.

Please join us for the Saturday Pet Blog Hop.

 

Happy Saturday, and welcome to another installment of the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop! You’ve found the right place to connect with other pet lovers. Whether you are a seasoned blogger, one who loves reading pet blogs, or if you’re just thinking about starting your own blog – there is definitely something here for you. Acquaint yourself and enjoy – this is your resource, so use it as you see fit! Of course, you have to follow the rules, so let’s get to that. Get those links in and have fun.

  • Link up your pet blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below. You only need to add your link once to be seen on all the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop Linky Tools for that week. Note that if your blog is not pet related your link will be removed. Also note that only one post per blog is acceptable, and links promoting giveaways that are unrelated to the pet blogger hop will be removed. This is a community building exercise and not a promotional vehicle – please treat it as such.
  • Grab the “Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop” button above and include it in your Saturday Blog hop post so that your readers will know what is going on. *Note – posting is optional. Feel free to just link and follow.
  • Follow your co-hosts listed in the first 3 slots of the Linky Tool.
  • Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you’d like.
  • Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you’re from the blog hop.
  • Follow back when you get a new follower through the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop.
  • Make friends and grow.

 

There’s a mouse in our Moose

Moose

I swear, I must live in a state of paranoia. My brain is wired to go directly to the worst case scenario.

A few weeks ago, just after Talley stopped, Moose developed a limp. It would get better and then it would be back.

Sunday, we hauled him off to our home away from home, the vet clinic.

Stem to stern, head to toe Moose was checked, rotated, pulled, pushed and manipulated. Then he was carted away for x-rays.

Both of his front legs were splayed out for x-ray so that the vet would have a comparison. Joint by joint Moose received a clean bill of health. Sigh of relief here.

In the joint of his right shoulder was a tiny speck, maybe cartilage or bone, but whatever it is, it has a name. It’s called a joint mouse. This was a new one for us.

We’ll keep him quiet and hopefully he and his new pet will learn to live peacefully together.

What do you see?

Flo

A friend of mine e-mailed me nearly four weeks ago asking for suggestions on how to improve her pictures. She’s a greyhound nut too (hi Carolyn!)

I promised her I would get back to her and I’ve been dragging my feet because I’m not sure I’ve got the answers. So today I decided to take my camera out and see if I could come up with some explanations about how I shoot my dogs and maybe some of this will help someone else.

I was meant to live in a digital age. I can keep cranking on the shutter, instantly see what I have and adjust as necessary if my moving target allows. I take a million photos and I ruthlessly cull what doesn’t make the cut.

I never wait for them to do something cute and my guys certainly don’t pose for me, so it is up to me to keep the camera to my eyes.

Moose

A few years back I took a workshop from Faye Sirkus. The workshop was titled “The eyes are the window to the soul.” She is an amazingly talented artist and does some incredible Photoshop work. I learned so much from her as she demonstrated touching up eyes.

When I am out shooting, either people or dogs, I focus on the eyes. Period. Nothing else matters if the eyes aren’t sharp.

I set my focus to a single point and I move it around so that I focus on the eyes. I also make sure that they are standing somewhere so that the catch lights are natural. If I can’t see catch lights, the camera isn’t going to see them either.

I’ll never forget the day I sat in a portfolio review showing a portrait that I thought was really nice. It had catch lights in one eye but not the other and she referred to the other eye as a dead eye. It only took a little Photoshop work to put some life into the other eye.

Catch lights are the reflection of the light source in the eye.

Talley

The background is always important. When you see my dog pics, I want you to see the dog and not look to see what is behind them.

Since I am always shooting dogs on the move, I shoot with a shallow depth of field, that is, I set my aperture somewhere around f/2.8 to f/5.6. This is what gives me the soft and dreamy backgrounds.

It isn’t without risk though. Greyhounds have extremely long noses and more than once I have sacrificed a blurry nose or ear for a sharp eye. The closer you are to your subject, the less your chances are that you will have an entire face in focus. So, if you want the entire face in focus you can do one of four things:

  • Increase your depth of field, shoot at f/8 or higher
  • Shoot with a wide angle lens
  • Shoot a profile
  • Or take pictures of pugs
Minnie

Show something interesting. As you can see, Minnie has started a new hole to China.

This girl just happens to an intense digger and by getting up close and personal, it really shows. If I had backed up for a full body shot, I don’t think it would have had the same effect. She’d still be digging, but by focusing just on her head and front paws, you are right there getting dirt thrown in your face.

Cinderella

Change your point of view.  When I have the camera out with the dogs, I spend more time on my butt than I do my feet. Cinderella just happened to be looking up in the trees (it wasn’t a squirrel this time, or I would be demonstrating motion blur). Had I been standing up looking down, her look would have been entirely different.

I try to shoot at eye level. And, most of the time the dogs take this as an invitation to come clean my lens. They don’t understand “you need to stay five feet away from me, no more, no less.

Crystal

Head in a clean spot. One of my very favorite photographers, Zack Arias, recently did a workshop on Creative Live. It was three days of non-stop teaching. Over and over he drilled “head in a clean spot.”

When I took this, I had to change my point of view so that the green grass line did not cut through the middle of Crystal’s head. Visually, it would have cut her head in half.

Same goes for tree branches, telephone poles or anything else. You have to move with your feet so that the background does not interfere with the head.

Flocko

The last thing that I have some control over is the light. I shot all of the these photos between 12:30 and 2 pm this afternoon. This is my least favorite time to shoot, but sometimes you gotta do what you have to do. The sun was beastly bright.

If I had taken this in the bright sun, the darks would be really dark and the lights or whites would most likely be almost blown out and neither of the areas would have any detail, or the photos would have been really contrasty.

Fortunately, we have many tall trees that provide ample shade. I made sure that the photos I took were in the shade and that the background was in the shade as well.

OK, there is my two cents. I hope it helped. I’m not an authority by any stretch of the imagination and photography is so subjective. These are the things that are running through my head while the camera is plastered to my nose and I’m hoping to capture just one more shot.

Now that I have totally put you to sleep, it’s time to return to the Saturday Pet Blog Hop.

The Pet Blog Hop hosted by Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume. Many, many thanks to the hosts, the Pet Blog Hop rocks.

Please join us, the rules are simple:

    1. Follow your three hosts
    2. Check out some of the our fellow bloggers, leave them a comment and tell them you are visiting from the Pet Blog hop
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