Undersocialized Charlie and my efforts to have a companion dog!

Among the many problems created by the pandemic is the under socialization of my puppy. My nine-month wait coincided with CoVid 19. Born on February 7th he arrived home just after society was shutting down. Governor Newsom declared a stay at home order in mid-March. We picked up Charlie at 7 weeks rather than chance not being about to make the 2-hour drive to Orland, Ca, and Serenity Springs Labradoodles.

So instead of allowing Charlie to have many social interactions during this critical puppy period, we were busy having our groceries picked up through e-cart, and sanitizing them before bringing them into the home. No one knew what we were up against. Social interactions consisted of listening to Amy teach us on Zoom. Charlie would sit next to my computer and together we learned. Amy’s voice and treats were our first classroom at Baxter & Bella online training. As more was known about CoVid 19 I reached out to my friend Carly and a few months ago we went to our first in-person training with other under-socialized puppies.

Nearing one year of age, Charlie now attends class with the “gifted” pups training to be CCI (Canine Companions for Independence) dogs. Sometimes this works, and sometimes not so much. Skateboarders, cyclists, and motorcycles are triggers (Puppy training language). He was so alert last week, that when I asked for a paw he followed the instruction with his eyes on the road. It was funny to watch but frustrating to teach. In this new 6 feet separation society when you take dogs in public you may not want to let anyone pet your dog. So to be polite, you can say, “Please don’t pet my dog, but if you want he can wave to you.” Giving a paw is the first step in teaching dogs to wave. Good adaptation for the pandemic. Right?

Being anxious is detrimental to learning. To desensitize Charlie I decided to park in front of a store and let him watch the world around him. He feels safe in the car. I give him treats when he is calm. I listened to an NPR interview with Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist. Her research specialty is dog cognition. I have since downloaded one of her audiobooks to take with us. A perfect soundtrack for people watching from the car. While we watch I capture some images with my Fuji x100f. I like this camera for street shooting.

Next time I will park right in front of entrance!
Looking in to the store.
Reading while walking.
Charlie, the ghost dog!

Last weekend my friends planned to walk the Johnny Cash Trail outside of Folsom Prison. Since my focus has been on Charlie I decided to take him with me. I brought my Fuji x100f to simplify the photo walk. This was a real test. I met the group in a shopping mall parking lot next to very busy, fast-moving street traffic. He was doing well considering the noise.

Right outside the razor-wired fence of Folsom Prison.

Group planning doesn’t always work out, so I decided to pass on the trail, and went in search of a nature trail. The Miner’s Ravine Nature Preserve parking lot was 1 1/2 miles down the road.

Came across this interesting tree. Such an expression What does it say to you?
Gave Charlie the command, “Wait!” He allowed me to take my photograph.
Raised manhole cover ahead. My friend Anne sees something else.
Charlie walks around the manhole cover.
I took this photo after our walk. I think the nature preserve was on the side that we did not visit. Or else Charlie did not pay attention to the sign. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

Charlie relaxed, and when I asked him to wait, he allowed me to capture some images. This was a win-win situation.

He always recognizes our car, and is happy to jump in!

I plan to make a point to take Charlie out with me daily. After all, someday we all will not be homebound. I hope!

Gemini and Personality Two

My astrological sign is Gemini and up till now I didn’t feel like the definition fit. But looking at an Internet definition a Gemini is, “Expressive and quick-witted, Gemini represents two different personalities in one and you will never be sure which one you will face.” Ok, I may be indecisive at times. And the tug of war between going out to be with others, or just staying contently alone at home may fit. Yup, I’m a Gemini when I come to think of it. Probably explains why I’m busy sharing my life in this blog, and why  you just don’t hear from me sometimes. Just saying.

Here are some Sacramento Zoo photographs I captured in twos.

 

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Just helping remove a bit of schmutz.

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Thanks for pointing out my imperfections,

 

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I can spit further than you!

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If I stay very still, they may think that they are seeing double.

 

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I will follow you…

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Hold me, squeeze me, never let me go…

 

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Is the photographer still there? I’ll come out when she is gone.

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We are there for each other.

And today I am in a sharing kind of mood.

People who need people are the luckiest people, or so they say. What do you say?

Until the next time.

 

Scavenging Old Sacramento.

My right hand is on the mend, and I can once again hold my trusty D7100.  With Old Sacramento as the destination I joined my CTT friends in a Scavenger Hunt. 50 items and about 2 hours I didn’t give in to any pressure. I wanted to pay attention to how I captured the image.

This scavenger hunt added a photographic design element to many items. The usual suspects included rule of thirds, leading lines, and repeating patterns. The last item repeating patterns was actually repeated. More unusual ones: do what a sign says, you can smell it through the photo and topsy turvy pushed my creativity. And getting a very low perspective may have pushed my physical endurance on this warm September day. Probably would not have been able to get up!

Funny group pic!

See the list?  Funny Group Pic, one and done.

Careful, broken glass and tears ahead.

Careful, broken glass and tears ahead.

Scary.

Something Scary. Getting in the spirit of Halloween!

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Think we can catch up to the trains? Gotta hurry. Railroad tracks and leading lines.

Bicyclist following leading lines

Bicyclist approaching not ready to stop.

Reflection of me and my CTT friends.

My reflection with my CTT friends. (CTT = Camera Totin’ Tuesday) We are retired, so we photograph during the week when it is quiet.

Larger than life, but I still prefer the real thing!

Larger than life, but I still prefer the real thing!

Something cold the enjoy on a hot afternoon.

Enjoying something cold on a warm afternoon.

Love my creamy Bokeh!

Love my creamy Bokeh!

Can you smell the popcorn?

Can you smell the popcorn? Getting hungry! I also like the side lighting.

Bottoms Up!

Bottoms up! Here is my bottle.

He just wanted to park for a while.

He just wanted to park for a while. Here he does what the sign says.

Unusual number of Odd items

Unusual number of odd items.Pattern repeats.

Just tickled my fancy.

Just tickled my fancy.

This scavenger hunt produced some interesting results. It is a great way to get out, have fun, enjoy good company, and practice some good photographic techniques. I will keep this list for another time because it challenges me to look around and improve my images. Not much photo processing this time. Because I am getting used to holding my dslr I only used my 18-200mm lens this time.

Happy Snapping!

Looking Back, Looking Ahead!

Days of Atonement, clarity, introspection, meditation, taking in the moment are ways I see the High Holidays. The time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur serves as a time to take stock of the past year, and think about the future.

Usually I start with creating the ritual meal. Shopping items include chicken, matza meal, noodles, apples, gefilte fish, Manischwitz Concord Grape Wine, and a round challah (getting harder, and harder to find).  The meal takes a lot of preparation and while I chop and peel I remember the past year. The lose of my parents is with me daily. I do take some comfort in knowing they are together. But this time the holiday felt different.

In the process of moving I get to look at a lot of accumulated stuff. 47 years of marriage, 31years in the same house, and only in the past month have we become “empty nesters”.  I inherited much from my parents. I found some home movies from early 1960s that I transferred onto a DVD. Technology has come a long way from a Super 8mm film camera. Back to the time of silent movies with exaggerated movements.

October begins a new chapter for the Frankel’s with the move to Fair Oaks (6 miles away).  Not so much distance, but a reset nevertheless. Still don’t know exactly how we plan to arrange our “stuff”. Luckily we have a 3 car garage, and that is where our boxes will go. Then we have another chance to decide about stuff before it finds a place in our new home. I feel excited, and I hope that enthusiasm continues.

Selling a house is not fun.  My house has never been so clean. My Libby is into the routine, and as long as I have her food ready, she jumps into the car in a moments notice.  Trying not to take feedback personally. I just hope that process does not drag on. Listed for not quite a month, and it is starting to feel old. Yesterday was the first day I didn’t go overboard and pick up every little thing.  Thinking maybe that a watched pot does not boil, a spotless house does not sell? My mother would say, “You just need one buyer, and for every house there is one buyer.” Patience. My friend Anne came over and blessed my house to release any negative spirits that may be preventing its sale.  An open house is scheduled for Sunday.  We are doing all we can!

In the coming year I plan to research my family roots. I started my family genealogy while studying for my Libraian credential in 1983. That was before Internet, computer software, and the end of the Cold War. Now there are so many ways wto proceed. New documents are coming on line all the time. I joined the Jewish Genealogy Society of Sacramento and participated in 2 classes. I am not sure where this will lead. Perhaps a book documenting my family history. Maybe just continued research into the Shoah and its  meaning in my life. Maybe a way to establish connections with other researchers and librarians. I hesitate to involve myself in another group, but maybe I do this for just that reason – to overcome.

I’m not usually comfortable joining a group, but being part of my 2nd Gen group encourages me to try and feel a part of something bigger than myself. I learn, find support and appreciate my CVHEN (Central Valley Holocaust Educators Network) 2nd Gen friends. After so many years, I finally have people I can count on. Photography helped to crack through my isolation. Despite the difficulties I encountered I could use my camera to refocus my thoughts. Getting out with friends, doing something, and creating is the key. I hope I don’t let my friends down. I plan to be mindful and appreciate my friends.

Thinking back over the past year I tried, but may not have succeeded in taking a step back around my family. The role of care taker may have placed me a position of power, and I may have sent the message that I know what is best. There is a delicate balance between taking care, and allowing space. I plan to be more mindful of this. The balance between decision making, and indecision. Some decisions I made were hard, yet I made up my mind for what I hope will be best for my family.

As is said at this time, “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.”