Moxie is on the move!

My puppy Moxie got her final parvo/distemper shots and can now leave our house. I am working on her potty training and her manners. The former is going pretty well. The latter needs work. When I am near Moxie I wear Moxie appropriate clothing. Clothes that have holes in them. I’m running out of clothes, and I really do not like to spend time shopping for new ones. I have purchased plenty of puppy toys: chews that are soft, hard, and able to freeze. But those tiny, super sharp shark teeth and sharp nails are problematic. We have been working on zoom classes, and we started in person puppy classes.

Moxie does the smooch face!

I decided to see how much Moxie responds to her training with outside distractions. So I head to Green Acres. Everyone was so welcoming, and Moxie enjoyed the attention. Her puppy soft fur, her wagging tail, and cute looks attracted employees and customers. She playfully bowed to a Great Pyrenees.The automatic doors opening didn’t phase her one bit. She did look twice at the garden art rooster sitting at her eye level. I wonder how she will react to the Fair Oaks roosters. That will wait for another day. For a first outing Moxie did great!

Next, I head to Orangevale Park in Orangevale, Ca. I used to take Charlie here to help him with his socialization. Walking with Moxie is a very different experience. Pre-schoolers on bicycles pass, people stop to greet her, and two Rhodesian Ridgebacks are taking advantage of the cooler morning temperatures. I did ask their owner to leash his dogs since I didn’t know how Moxie would do. So play bowing and quickly we continue our walk.

Notice that the leash is not pulled tight. This is loose leash walking!

I finally met the vet that treated my Charlie. Masks are now part of the protocol, but at least I get to go inside. Working with someone over the telephone when a pet is sick is difficult. Interestingly, Moxie needed another booster of parvo/distemper so I really shouldn’t have been taking her out yet. Oh well. Waited another 5 days, and we are now introducing Moxie to neighbors around the block.


Honestly, I don’t know where my September went. Puppy schedule keeps me very busy. Remember that when you see that cute puppy face coming towards you. I am in charge, but my Moxie has other ideas. Today, I was all ready to go out for some puppy socialization. Water bottle filled, check. Treats in pouch, check. Harness on Moxie, check. Ready to take the last potty break, oops. Moxie is asleep and won’t budge. Change of plans. It’s warm out, and I can now catch up on my blog.

Good news. The last of those sharp canine teeth fell out! Current choppers don’t slash clothes as fast. Training is making progress. She listens to sit, down, and down-stay, leave it, drop it, touch, let’s go, and side. This week in training we will be working on recall. Today when she was out, I called her, and she came running! That called for a “party”. Lot’s of treats!

Moxie is checking out a squirrel sitting on the fence.
Moxie with her ear flipped back!

It is hard to imagine that Moxie is just 22 weeks old. Time sure passes quickly. Check back and see how much Moxie changes over the coming months.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #155 – On the Water

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.

The crashing of waves at Laguna Beach in Southern California
Pacific Ocean off of Kawaii

As a photographer water takes a big step forward in my search for subject matter.

I like to look for reflections.

Taken in Yosemite National Park

There is a certain playfulness found when people are around water.

Catching the last frog in the fall before winter hibernation. Taken at Effie Yeaw, a nature center in Carmichael, Ca.
Heading north from Santa Cruz on Highway 1 we stopped to watch wind surfers.

The ripples in the water reminds me of impressionist paintings.

I use shutter speeds to freeze droplets

Frozen droplets
Action stopped by fast shutter speed during a swim meet

Or create a silky flow created by using a slow shutter speed.

Waterfalls in Hilo Hawaii
This fountain dances to music in front of the Bellagio
Playful fountain of water.
More fountain playfulness.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #137 Soft

My next Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is Soft. Anne-Christine asks what does the word Soft mean to you? Is it something that you touch? Is it the undefined notion that is the opposite of hard? Is it the contrast to sharp from a photographer’s point of view? This is not so simple a concept.

My first thought was that of a baby. We want everything about this new being to be soft. Soft blankets, soft toys, soft skin, soft colors, and soft sounds Nothing hard, or harsh. We want the world around us to be soft and welcoming.

The soft touch of father and son.

Only a week later, my Charlie joined the world. We follow his first developing steps on a webcam.

Charlie arrives home at 7 weeks.
His fluffy soft fur needs tending to. Every evening we bond over grooming

Nature softens the world around me.

Light falling softly on this lotus flower
The dandelion flower pod beakens us to spread its seeds with one soft blow.

My most favorite photographic technique is shooting with a large aperture setting. This narrow depth of field clarifies the subject. This blurred background is called the bokeh. I pay particular attention to this when deciding to purchase a lens for my Fuji x system.

My featured photograph is that of clouds. Soft, fluffy and white. What do you see? When you hear the work “Soft” what comes to mind?

Lens-Artists Challenge #135 A Glimpse into Your World

Over the past year, I followed many photographers as they shared amazing images. I decided that for me to grow I would need to open myself up to this experience. So this week I accepted Sheetal’s challenge to, “Show us the things you love that make your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.”

Charlie has captured my heart. My Australian Labradoodle just celebrated his first birthday. My life has revolved around this boy, and the bond is strong. The day starts when he says it does. He quietly calls out to me that he is awake. With his collar on, we head to his round bed where we snuggle for a time. Then out for our short walk in our court. Six houses and I take in the changes from day to day. Occasionally, we greet a neighbor or see a jogger. Then home to have breakfast. With no plans for the day, we settle on the couch, catch up on emails and take a morning nap together. I am the person who trains and cares for Charlie’s needs. We take a walk and play fetch. We have one training session a day, one game of “Find It!”, and one grooming session after dinner. Some indoor fetch and he settles while my husband and I watch television. Charlie has found a place in my husband’s heart. When I am away, Charlie keeps him company. Charlie is a people magnet. I just hope that he soon becomes more relaxed being out and about with me and my camera.

Charlie has us wrapped around his paws. Discovering each other, training together, and becoming part of the family.

This litter of 10 adorable Australian Labradoodles is 1 year old (put together by Jo)

Camera in hand, looking out at the world makes me happy. What I capture in the frame just depends on what catches my eye at the time. Small objects, funny signs, colors or shapes, patterns, contradictory images, animal and people expressions, and the people busy doing things. I don’t see myself stuck on one subject. My only limits are what kind of lens I can carry, and I usually only carry two. My camera has an added value in my life by connecting me to wonderful photo friends.

Amusing signs

The pandemic has slowed down life, and I try and appreciate this new pace of life. One day, one goal. Thinking back over the decades I now wonder how I kept up that frenetic pace. I am home with my husband that I have known now for 54 years. We take turns arguing with the television over the news coverage. We share opinions on how to fix the world, if only they would listen. We read the newspaper and find books to read on our iPads. We play Scrabble, and figure out what we want to eat for dinner. It is a serene existence. We talk about what we want to do after “the pandemic”, and when will life return to normal. Actually, we also discuss what that normal will look like. Hopefully, eating out, traveling both near and far, and feeling less restricted to be around people. I look forward to new adventures with my husband and my Charlie.

I am taking the first step in sharing with the Lens-Artists. This is my new challenge, and I hope that I will be able to meet it!