Beagle As Still Life

I am not a photographer who takes still life subject matter. I understand the concepts of it and I love seeing it when done well by others. But for me, it’s too much fussing for the end result.

I had more thoughts on this several years ago when I took a macro photography class from Bryan Peterson. I spent all day wrestling with my subject matter, made a bunch of mistakes, and decided that it wasn’t for me (you can see the post here).

So in Week 3 of Kim Klassen’s class, A Month of Multiples, we had an assignment to shoot a still life. After enough procrastination, I decided on a different subject matter for my still life.

I offer for your laughter “Beagle as Still Life”. Nothing, but nothing, will interfere with his naps, except maybe the crinkle of a cheese wrapper or the rattle of his harness. His sleep is an essential part of his daily routine and when it’s nap time, all other life ceases. Some days, we even check to make sure he’s still breathing.

So here is my still life for the Week 3 assignment. As one of my blogging friends commented, it certainly was still!

The Loneliness of An Empty Dog Bowl

The Loneliness of an Empty Dog Bowl
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This weekend, we said goodbye to the first of our three old dogs after our miniature pinscher went from frail to significantly impaired in less than 24 hours. My vet did an awesome job with an emergency appointment on Friday and again on Saturday.

He had a good life for the last 13 years and was much loved.

He loved us back fiercely too. I was protected from anyone who walked by the house. They might have thought it was comical to see a 5 pound dog menacing them, but he was quite serious in defending me. I was his mission in life, his reason for existing.

He was the first to greet me each morning when I came down the stairs. He waited impatiently for me to close the gate, bowing and crossing his little legs, then pawing at my shoe laces as I tied them up. When I went to feed them, he raced ahead, then scratched at my leg to hurry up and get the food done!

He loved his cuddles, particularly enjoying a snooze on my lap as I read. Each night, he waited eagerly for me to get done with supper so he could herd me back to the family room for his turn.

He didn’t sleep in a tiny bed – he had to have the same big bed that the big dogs had. After the beagle was stuck once too often in a tiny bed, we caved in and got them each a big bed.

Of course, it wasn’t enough to have his own big bed. He also needed a blanket to roll up in. The beagle was jealous of that, so I ended up having to give them each a blanket at night. It was pretty funny that part of the bedtime ritual included going from dog to dog to cover them up.

The problem with any pet is they do grow old. He was 16+ years old. The other two are close behind. I wrote years ago about how we learn that despite losing our pets, we realize we can love again (here). I’d rather love them and grieve their loss, than to not have them at all.

No, it’s not all perfect. He was expensive – we had to replace flooring and rugs because he wouldn’t stop peeing inside the house. He required dental extractions each year until finally he lost all his teeth. And old dogs require a lot of medications to stay healthy and pain free.

But I wouldn’t trade it away. I miss my little man. He was a good dog.

Finding New Hobbies

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As this year has gone on, I found myself needing some new interests. Unfortunately, very little appealed to me.

I finally set the following criteria:

  • It could not require hours behind a computer. I spend all day in front of a screen for my job and I can’t do it at home all night and weekend too. I love my camera as a means to take a walk, but hours of post photo processing are not fun.
  • I wanted something physically active. It didn’t have to be anything hard core, but I wanted something that was more than sitting around (see the first point above).
  • I also wanted something where I could grow and learn, something where I could take classes, ask questions, and experiment to a higher knowledge level.

I settled on:

  • Using my Big Green Egg (BGE) smoker more and
  • Doing yoga more consistently.
Continue reading “Finding New Hobbies”

Half and Half

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So what happens when I go in the yard to take pictures? A miniature pinscher goes on full alert to guard me as I carelessly walk around the yard, oblivious to all the dangers that could be out in the street – like Mom’s pushing strollers and worst of all, old Grandma’s taking a walk and minding their own business. He will protect me!

What I liked about the photo was how it divided his face in half, which is also the theme of this week’s photo challenge, which was to share an image that has two clear halves, literally or figuratively. To see how others interpreted the challenge, click here.

Beagle Reporting on the Backyard

Hello kind and gentle readers! It’s me, the beagle, reporting on what’s happening around the backyard. Mom and Dad took down the garden last year. They said it was too much work for what they got out of it. Plus there was a little problem with destruction. Apparently one of the dogs kept playing in it.

And when the tomatoes ripened, the mockingbirds and squirrels ate them up.

Continue reading “Beagle Reporting on the Backyard”

Happy Mother’s Day

I love my Momma!
I love my Momma!

Happy Mother’s Day from one of my four-legged children, who gave me a card this morning with the most affectionate thing he could think of – “My Momma”. Yes, I’m his Momma and his reason for living. When I’m going in and out of the back door – say to use the grill – he dashes out in front of me to take up his vigil and watch the street on my behalf. Because clearly my husband the other two dogs are not up to the task of taking care of me.

Scanning. . . scanning. . . scanning. . . any danger?
Scanning. . . scanning. . . scanning. . . any danger?

I hope you’ve enjoyed your day! My two-legged child gave me a set of lenses to use on my iPhone, so I will be busy experimenting with them this week. She’s a good kid, isn’t she?

A Walk With Mom

Playing with my favorite toy - the squeaky soccer ball
Playing with my favorite toy – the squeaky soccer ball

Dear kind and gentle readers – yes, it’s once again me, the beagle.

I’m really liking Mom being home during the day.  Why?  Because she’s taking me for a walk nearly every day.  Oh such joy – I get to check pee mail!  Poop on the neighbors lawns!  And best of all, I’m finding all kinds of things to eat.

I go along, nose to the ground, when suddenly I get a whiff of something.  The other day at the park, I took off into the woods, shuffling through leaves that were nearly halfway up my short little legs.  Mom let the retractable leash out, not dreaming that I was on the scent of something yummy until I snatched up a stale bun.  Whoa – did she ever reel me in.  Worse yet, she dug it out of my mouth and told me I was a bad boy.  Then she threw it back into the woods.  I got the last laugh though.  As we walked away, I turned around, snatched it back up and nearly got it down before she dug it out of my mouth again.  ** sigh **  I was so close to eating it too.

I’m keeping a pretty good trot out there!  Mom’s getting a brisk walk in and so am I.  In fact, the other day she texted Dad that I was acting wild.  So she walked me around the entire park.  THE WHOLE PARK.  I could barely make it back to the car!  In fact, we were nearly there and I just ran out of mojo.  She finally coaxed me back to the car and then – this is so embarrassing – she had to boost my butt up into the car because I was too tired to hop in.

Where's the beagle next door?  I'll find him yet!
Where’s the beagle next door? I’ll find him yet!

For some reason, her and Dad found it incredibly funny when we get home.  Just because I stood there in the hallway, swaying on my feet and trying to sleep while keeping an eye on Mom.  Because I knew she was getting ready to take my brother, the Vizsla, out for his walk.  How dare she?  Those walks are for ME.  NOT him.  She left despite my vigilance and I made sure to howl and sob so she could hear me all the way out to the street.  Yeah, until Dad yelled at me to stop.  Hey!  I’m entitled to ALL the walks!  Who knows what I’m missing out there!?!?!

I slept the rest of the day.  In fact, I might have been snoring.  Dad complained about having trouble hearing the television, although more likely it was my brother.  I’m sure it couldn’t have been me.

Continue reading “A Walk With Mom”

New Year, New Routines

The beagle, Vizsla and miniature pinscher.  Do you have a treat?
The beagle, Vizsla and miniature pinscher. Do you have a treat?

This week’s photo challenge is new – something new for me in 2015 (to see how other photographers interpret it, click here).

What better for this than a picture taken New Year’s Day?  One of the first of the year.  I didn’t have much time for it – just seconds later, they were running over to see if I had a treat to share with them, like this:

Oh the joys of photographing pets!

As I settle into unemployment and looking for a new job, I’m developing new routines.  I haven’t written about routines for a while (see my last post here).  What I like about routines is the structure it gives to a day and how the many small decisions that are needed don’t have to take up much  mental space.  At the same time, routines need adjustment to keep them useful.  So along with job searching, what else is new in my routine?

Continue reading “New Year, New Routines”