June 30, 2012

Week 26- ice bath

This week has been brutally hot!  Over 100 degrees yesterday and 98-99 today.  But yesterday I had an idea for a photo that ended up working out way better than I could have imagined!  I know how much Dazzle loves snow, and I was envisioning the photo I saw of the bulldog laying over a pile of ice when I decided to try putting ice in the kiddy pool.

So I bought three big bags of ice and filled the little pool and figured if Dazzle had no interest in it, I could dump it on the patio and try to recreate the bulldog photo.  But I had no need to worry because Dazzle thought it had snowed just for him! 

He climbed into the pool and started eating the ice, then buried his nose in it, then rolled, started digging and had a GRAND ol time with it!  I tried to get video of it too, but must have had a setting wrong because the resulting video was completely washed out.  But I took lots of photos, and put a few together in a 30 second video as well as posting some below.  I hope you enjoy these as much as Dazzle enjoyed his gift!

VIDEO: Ice bath fun

He laid like this munching ice for awhile!

I was amazed at how fast it all melted, but I guess 101 degrees will do that!  He wasn't as interested in it when it got soupy, but I had to get a photo of the "cartoon dog shadow" he made before it evaporated quickly.

Last night we had a bad storm go through that was preceeded by very strong wind gusts that brought down a LOT of power lines and trees!  I saw people posting on Facebook about the power company telling them they might not get power back on till NEXT Saturday!  I can't imagine a whole week of this heat without power!  Thankfully ours stayed on.  This is a photo I took of the deeply bending corn.  It was kind of interesting to be able to SEE the waves of wind as they moved through the corn.
 A shot of the corn from the same spot today (it's dead calm today and very hot).

June 27, 2012

Week 25- and Dog Scout camp

Camp was really great!  Such a wonderful and friendly group of people and dogs!  I think it was the most relaxed group of campers and dogs in a LONG time! 

I managed to teach Scent Detection to many of the campers and do the Admin job and still get Dazzle out for fun and badge earning :-) He picked up wilderness search and rescue (SAR) really fast!  And earned that badge by the end of camp (his 45th badge!)  And after camp, DSA held an IMPROV trial and he not only got second place in Standard level, but earned the 3rd Q needed for his title!

Here are some of the better photos I took during the week:

Note that I caught the ball mid-splash! I used this as this week's Flickr group photo

Portrait in the pines

Agility blur

Portrait in the ferns

Another uniform pose

Zooming out of the tunnel (to get the ball I just threw)

An accidental shot that caught me mid throw!

Dazzle did great with the Urban SAR Agility equipment too!  This is a brand new activity that will be 4 new badges next year.  They are intended to show that the dog has the confidence and skills needed to safely navigate a rubble pile and work at a distance and find a "trapped"/hidden subject. Only a few pieces of the equipment were ready for this year, but hopefully more will be built by the July camp. 

Navigating the pipe

Lure coursing was offered again and this time I got Dazzle to do a down stay at the start of each run so I could also operate the camera! Can you see his anticipation? :-) 


VIDEO: Three of Dazzle's lure coursing runs

The following are photos taken by the camp photographers.  There are not many of Dazzle because I usually had him out when I had free time and we were not participating in most of the scheduled activities. I know there were more taken (dock diving and SAR agility) but they were not on the disk. They took over 4000 photos, but could only fit about 1800 on the thumb drive so many had to be cut. :-( Next year we will have 4 or 8 GB thumb drives so they don't have to do so much cutting.  

Ready for dock diving


Getting the weeds out of the pond is on the list of things that need to be done before the July camp!

We DID participate in the Wilderness Search and Rescue class and Dazzle did great!  Here he is realizing the instructor is hiding in the shed.

I think he was trying to get to the vent above the door!

Yup!  That's where she was hiding! At first the hidden person had his toy (she's tugging with him in this photo), but we quickly moved to both toys being with me and rewarding a "recall" and a re-find.

Playing with his very first girlfriend (they travelled to the TX mini camp as puppies in 2009). Though he also played with several other friends too.

There were bad thunderstorms the first day of camp, and even with meds he was pretty nervous due to the volume. One strike was so close we were looking out the windows to see if any trees were on fire!  He wasn't alone, several of the dogs were reacting and I'm sure that didn't help his confidence.  Here he is "helping" me present the Urban SAR Agility class orientation.

Demo dog- showing one way to help dogs learn to sit-up

Demo of the wobble board (my foot on it to show the beginning steps)

Overall, it was a GREAT camp!  Lots of fun and no major drama.  The new maintenance guys have camp looking really good, though I did leave them with almost 3 pages of more stuff to do! :-) 


June 15, 2012

Dazzle has a new title to add to his collection!  His run was really nice!  Except the weaves confusion :-) There is a description of the class under the video on YouTube.

Here is a video of his 36 second run:
VIDEO: http://youtu.be/nTU8GwsIN2Y
And Dazzle with his ribbons: (1st place and new title)

Now to get out of show mode and into camp mode and get the van packed! :-)

Week 24

Last Friday a friend called to let me know she was in the hospital and needed us to watch her retired guide dog for her. She was keeping her current guide dog with her in the hospital but needed help getting the dog outside depending on the attitude and willingness of the nurses.

She was in the hospital till yesterday so Dazzle and her guide dog (Dazzle's girlfriend) did a LOT of lying around and doing nothing. They took the steady flow of traffic (nurses, aides, docs, PCA's, etc.) in stride, at times not even waking up when someone new walked in. Dazzle loved the second recliner in the room and the nurses said they didn't care if he was up there. :-)  

At one point, while my friend was getting a treatment, Dazzle and I took a walk and found a window that Dazzle loved looking out (12th floor). He sat and stared out the window for several minutes. The hospital photos were taken with my cell phone so the quality is really poor.

In spite of having a big open space in the room, the dogs decided the best place for their brief play sessions was on the narrow bed! Since the guide dog was sleeping on the bed every night (and any time it wasn't in use) having them play on the bed wasn't an issue. And while they played, my friend was in the recliner on her side of the room.

While I was up early one morning (getting ready for another hospital visit) I decided to use the morning light to try another jumping shot. I'm pretty happy with this, but it's still not as "stop action" as I'd like so there is still a bit of blur on his face.

I also did some running shots, but I've "been there done that" already for the project. I do like this one though. The corn is really getting tall!

I ended up getting some "fetch" shots and using the set below. When I saw this one, I knew it was the one I would go with.  But by itself, it looked almost static, so I added the frames prior to show that he was actually scooping it up at full speed.

Tomorrow (Friday) we will be trying to get the last AKC Agility F.A.S.T. leg needed for his NF title.  And Saturday, we head to MI for a week at Dog Scout camp. I'm sure I'll have lots of photos from that trip to post when we return.  

June 14, 2012

Week 23

This is the first week I had trouble getting motivated to get a photo. I waited till late in the week and then tried late in the day, so I had lighting issues. I first tried to get a jumping photo, but the lighting was coming from the wrong direction. So I had to do a lot of editing and lightening so I added an effect to try to salvage it. 

So then I tried a tunnel shot. I like this one, but I really wanted him running and I could only get him trotting.

This shot shows his freaky flexible neck. Notice where his chest is related to his head.  It's more dramatic from the side, but he wasn't doing the head back as far when I didn't have the camera over him.  And it sort of looks like he's looking down from the ceiling in this shot.  

I was getting frustrated with the lighting, so I decided to use it to my advantage. I got a white piece of fleece and tossed it over some tables to catch his shadow.

This is the shot I ended up going with. I love his profile and the shadow is just as lovely. I think he looks a bit like an Arabian horse here.

June 02, 2012

Week 22

Good news is that the fugitive is finally caught!  He was on the loose just a few hours short of a full week!  Police found him sleeping in a deer blind and took him into custody without any struggle. He was apparently dehydrated and had dysintery (along with who knows how many mosquito bites!)  I'm glad it's over and life can go back to normal in the peaceful, law-abiding north woods of MI. And very glad no one was hurt by him.

I had planned to get some really cool shots of Dazzle and some bubbles, but he had other plans.  I poured the bubble solution into the blower and he wanted nothing to do with it!  I KNOW he played with bubbles at camp when he was a pup, so I'm not sure why they are now evil. Even without the blower, he wanted nothing to do with them.  Sooo Plan B! 

It was a very hot week, so a good week for killing the sprinkler.  I got SO many shots!!  I'll spare you from all 42 that I like and just post some of my favorites. :-)

What an expression! He just caught a full stream of water

No idea what he was doing in this shot, but it reminds me of the "sexy" wet hair flip that long haired models at the ocean do :-)

Oops!  Ear full of water

"Drive-by" catch

The water is better when it's higher off the ground :-)

I think ya missed!

 Dazzle's water pic toothbrush

Wheee! Did ya see me?  Here, let me share the water!

Bad news for the week is that I've been sick all week.  Throat so sore that even cold milk burned on the way down.  And breathing was painful (dry air over raw throat) and kept my throat irritated.  Then my nose couldn't decide whether it was going to hold everything in and try to suffocate me or let it all run non-stop like a faucet.  After 5 days of sore throat and off and on fever, I went to the doc and thankfully it wasn't strep, but I got antibiotics for a sinus infection that was starting.  Today is the first day I have felt better instead of worse or the same since last Saturday.  So I think I'm on the mend.