This week John doesn’t, “…want participants to think that this challenge is all about oceans, lakes, and rivers. The theme “On the Water” encompasses whatever manner of water floats your boat (or doesn’t).”
A Sacramento summer calls out for water. In my case I can choose between a shower or the blue pool I have for my puppy. Or I can sit in front of a fan and look over my photo library. Being from the east coast I am drawn to the beaches found on Long Island, N.Y. Many a 4th of July was spent in traffic on the causeway leading to Jones Beach. I get a calm feeling listening to the waves crashing. My last year of college I had an apartment a block away from Long Beach (New York), and in the spring mornings I would go down to beach, and nap on the sand. Now on the west coast I enjoy the waves found in Pacific Grove, Ca.
As a photographer water takes a big step forward in my search for subject matter.
I like to look for reflections.
There is a certain playfulness found when people are around water.
The ripples in the water reminds me of impressionist paintings.
I use shutter speeds to freeze droplets
Or create a silky flow created by using a slow shutter speed.
Life with a puppy starts, and all of a sudden I don’t know where the time has gone. It seems to fly by, and yet I can’t believe that Moxie has been in our lives less that two weeks. The good thing is that her transition was not as drastic as with most pups. I visited her in her home located across the street. She made a few short visits here as well.
I can’t tell who Moxie will look like. She was the second smallest of the litter of 9. Both parents welcome me when I arrive. I went over to take some photographs of the litter. It is not an easy task to take pics inside, by myself, and with some active 52 day old pups.
Puppyhood training is fresh in my mind, but Moxie is so very different a personality. She has taken to the crate, and goes in without a fuss. If she whines she settles down after a couple of minutes. When she falls asleep, she is so settled that I can pick her up and transfer her to her crate. I found her placing herself in her crate a couple of times. The only thing in her crate is her Snuggle Puppy. At night I turn on the heartbeat, and she uses the puppy as a pillow. I still have the one that Charlie used, and it is used in Moxie’s daytime crate. I was amazed that after the initial obligatory ear and tail amputation Charlie left the puppy alone. Moxie’s puppy has just had some ear licks applied.
Moxie plays with all sorts of toys. Chew toys, balls to fetch, and an empty lemonade plastic bottle she uses to play soccer. She moves from one toy to another, and doesn’t persistently chew on one toy till it is destroyed.
All puppies have shark teeth. So I am never far from a toy to replace my skin. I make it a point to have my fingers in her mouth to remove unwanted items, check her teeth, and look at her tongue. I started her on brushing her teeth though it is awkward. This will be part of her grooming routine. Golden Retriever’s are double coated, shedding dogs. Her grooming with be different. A Labradoodle is a single coated non shedding dog with more maintenance needed. This week I start showing Moxie what it takes to be a beautiful pup!
Potty training is coming along. Thinking back to my first puppy, Liberty I don’t remember as many paper towels being used. Small bladder = little piddles. But I am starting to recognize the signs. And Moxie is starting to catch on to the back door and ringing the bells.
June has been a hot month with temperatures into the 100 degrees plus. But we are vaccinated, and not under lockdown orders so Moxie has met most of my neighbors. She approaches new people with interest and a wag. I am trying to give her a new experience each day. New sights, new sounds, new tastes. Charlie’s first car ride was home from the Serenity Springs, a two hour drive. He was anxious and when we arrived he vomited. I want Moxie to be a good traveler so after a couple of days we drove out to Davis Ranch in Sloughhouse, California for fresh corn. I don’t have a harness for her yet, and so Moxie sat on my lap. Today, the vacuum cleaner came out. Fireworks are set to go off tonight.
I started working the Baxter & Bella online training program. I am glad I subscribed to this program with Charlie. At the time training could only be accomplished online. With one payment I have a lifetime membership. Moxie is taking to the training. First I reward the behavior through luring, then I name the behavior. Commands that she learned so far include: sit, down, touch, and sit to say please, go potty, and of course respond to her name. I notice when she starts to move into zone 3 or 4, and I am starting to get her to relax on her back with soothing cradling. This may allow me to cut her nails which I think will be a light color. Yes, easier!
So far Moxie has been quite a different puppy. I now see just how much anxiety my Charlie displayed. When he napped, he still was alert. He would get up if anything moved. I can leave the room, make noise, and Moxie remains asleep.
I swear that when she gets up from some of her naps she seems to have grown. I am enjoying the ability to sweep her up in my arms and get her out the door to potty. I know this will not last, but I am enjoying it while it does.
As the temperature rises here in Fair Oaks, California everyone is attempting to stay out of the sun. My next challenge comes from Ann-Christine. How do our photographs use light? This time I look for photographs that use shade and shadows.
Looking through my library I notice that I take many more shadow images. But working with some of my images I now see that the contrast of shadow and sun can highlight a subject.
Thank you for following along in my photographic journey. And if you decide to step into the sunlight be sure to protect your skin.
Charlie ended his short life last week. It was sudden. It was very unexpected. I was totally blindsided. This little puppy was finally becoming a trustworthy dog. If you have been following along on our journey you know that he was my special little pup. Coming to me during the CoVid quarantine really bonded us. He was not so comfortable with the outside world, and being aware of this I worked doubly hard to share many different experiences with him.
I hoped to have a dog that would be able to share my world, and so he needed to get used to riding in the car. Short trips, and then longer times accomplished this. He loved his car. Not so much getting out of the car. He was always happier to get back into the car. And he could spot the car in a parking lot full of cars.
I wanted a dog that would accompany me on walks. He walked with me to the mailbox every afternoon. He knew the words, waited till I got the keys, and attached his Easy Walker Harness. A dog lives near the mailbox, and Charlie always got excited to see this barking dog. But his training was paying off, and I would tell him to sit while I opened the box. Sometimes he would see some of our neighbors and wag, and play the “Don’t touch me” game. That was getting better.
Well, he never wanted to walk past our court. I really don’t know why. So if I wanted to get a walk in we would hop in the car, and go find a park path to follow. Most of the time we did ok. It wasn’t a given that my anxious dog would be happy along the path. Bikes and scooters stressed him. And once he saw that we were headed back to the car he was in full pull mode. That I would not allow, and so we often had to stop until the leash loosened up.
New to me was the process of grooming. Every evening Charlie would get on his grooming table after being enticed with 2 pieces of kibble. I was slowly getting all the supplies needed to start doing a full groom myself. CoVid disrupted the supply chain and I finally got the clippers I wanted in May. Yesterday I spent boxing and returning all the items I no longer need.
Last winter Charlie visited Lake Tahoe. There was snow on the ground, and he would dig and put his face in the cold snow.
Two weeks ago I took my dog on a vacation to Pacific Grove. It was my first ever time to take a pet on vacation. I am so glad to have had that memory. He absolutely enjoyed the beach. His tail was flying high as he dug into the sand. Then he placed his face in it. I will alway have that to remember. I brought along a pop-up playpen and he went right to sleep for the night.
I was proud at his progress, and I was beginning to see him start to adjust to the world. Starting at 4 months his skin rash would be infected. Under veterinary care antibiotics cleared it up. But it would return. Allergy was suspected. So when this happened a third time, Charlie started seeing an animal dermatologist. A strict diet was adhered to, and I started dehydrating treats for him also. After culturing the skin site the vet said that the staph infection would not respond to regular antibiotics. We tried a bleach treatment, and the staph infection spread. So the next step was a stronger antibiotic. Now we did a blood test, and repeated it 2 weeks later. The liver enzyme increased. The staph infection was gone, and the medication was discontinued. But over Memorial Day weekend Charlie stopped eating. On Tuesday his vet admitted Charlie into an iCU hospital. His liver was failing. And on my birthday I said goodbye.
This was a very hard blog to write. I have many photographs of Charlie, but I know that there should have been many, many, many more years together.
Well, Charlie must have some special pull, and he knew how much he would be missed. He knew I was a good dog mama. Just before we went to Pacific Grove my neighbor invited me in to see her litter of Golden Retriever puppies. All the time at Pacific Grove I was thinking maybe Charlie would like a sibling. But I put that out of my mind. On Thursday June 3rd my husband and I went over to see the 5 week old pups, and Moxie will be joining our family in two weeks. Phoebe and Bailey have 9 pups, and my neighbors are happy that they will be able to see her grow up in the neighborhood. The bonding process is starting because she has visited her new home twice. So puppyhood starts again.
I guess you can expect many new puppy photographs!