Archive for the “Dogs” Category

Well not quite because I’m not riding, but there are four and they are in hand!

One year ago I started carting with one of the dogs (Shine), several months later I added Brill, and months later I had Shine and Brill hitched as a team. Along the way Kodak and Nikon started and I worked Nikon in team with Brill. I got the brainy idea that it would very awesome to have all four hitched up to the cart. I’ve been working Kodak in team lately with each of the other dogs, and she’s been great. Now with all four working comfortably in teams of two it was time to give four a shot.

After a stop to vote we headed to the nearby mall and the big open parking lot. Just getting four dogs hitched was a feat in itself. The wheel dogs – Nikon and Kodak did great. Getting my lead dogs Brill and Shine harnessed and hitched up front was not quite as easy – they’ve never carted outside of the shafts or with dogs behind them in team. Once they were hitched up we took off at a nice walk! I wanted to go slow, no need to go fast with four that don’t know what they’re doing (or me never having worked four at once).

 four_dog_team 
There they are! Wheel dogs – Nikon (near), Kodak (far), and ead dogs Brill (near) and Shine (far).

There are many new things to keep on top of with four. I’ve got to keep the lead dogs in the lead – much easier said than done! The wheel dogs are used to working next to other dogs – not behind them so they are trying to rush up to the lead dogs. The lead dogs are used to being in a heal position (sort of) so if I drop back to slow the wheel dogs the lead dogs drop back. Turning is something else with a long rig like that as well.

four_dog_team_02

It’s a good thing that all four were solid in working with a cart because it could have been a disaster. We had no wrecks, the girls stop very well when asked. Their backing is not quite there as four together – but it will get there. The turns are getting better. After about and hour of working everyone was getting fairly good and becoming a good team. At one point I switched Nikon and Brill – whoa! That didn’t work well at all – goes to show that the dogs all have to be in the right order and place to make it work. Ah yes, just one more thing to do. Oh yeah – and trying to take a picture – yipes! I did set up the video on the back of the van to catch the action – maybe that will get up on Youtube later this week.

Photos taken with Nikon D200 18-200vr

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“The Rest of The Story”

In the previous blog post I told everyone about this year’s Christmas photo shoot. This year’s photo had a lot of Christmas cookies in it and it was difficult for Brill, the very well trained dog, to take and hold a pose. Her problem was not that she wanted to eat the cookies (well she probably did) but her better judgement in being that close could put her in a tough spot.

After the shoot her daughter Nikon came down to help clean up. Much to my surprise, while she was sniffing the cookies oh so very intently, just my saying not to eat them was actually something that she listened to! So I thought what the heck, give the girl a shot. Got the camera and set everything up one more time and went about letting her find the right pose. I knew I’d probably be pushing my luck if I were to stack cookies on top of her paws and expect her to keep her lips shut! So it was up to Nikon to do the posing. The only guidance from me was to have her lay down, and of course reminders to please don’t eat the cookies.

So, after a handful of shots I took a look at what I had. I was very impressed with her composure and actually self control to not eat the cookies. I’d be fibbing if I told everyone she didn’t eat the cookies. She did manage to snag one of the small green cookies – but that’s all!

When it came time to pick the photo for this year’s card there were two shots that I liked. This year, the understudy almost usurped the star!

Here’s the shot that was runner-up. Some may say it should have been the pick for the year it’s that good.

Nikon_christmas_2007

No she didn’t eat that cookie. I told her no (gently even) and she picked her head up.

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It’s the annual Christmas card shoot here at the house. Every year I have some idea that I’ve been stewing on for several months, and yet it still comes down to the beginning of December to be the “time to take the picture”. This year was no different than any other. The dogs knew what was up. Brill, who has been the subject of most of the cards definitely knew something was up when I was piling Christmas cookies on the platter.

We worked with her resting her head on the table next to the platter. That was really difficult for her to do. Without the cookies she could hold a pose forever, but WITH the cookies she did not want to put her head on the table! Plan B – move to the floor! OK it wasn’t much easier, but it was possible. Got the shot! Yay, I was happy and this is the shot.

Brill_Christmas_2007

BUT, the Christmas card story does not end there! After knowing that I got the shot, and that was securely on the computer, I went to pick up the cookies. Nikon (Brill’s daughter) came to “help”. I told her not to eat them, and she actually complied! Oh my gosh, could it be that Nikon could handle the temptation? Watch for the next blog entry for “The Rest of the Story”!

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Cardigan Corgi

It was a cool morning, starting out in the upper 40s and reaching highs in the 80s today – a working day for my camera and I. An AKC Herding Trial and Test at Action K9 Sports was our destination. Starting early in the morning and working through until the light disappeared 730 clicks later here I am at the computer. Lots of photos to get up on the website by Thursday.

Photo above just a sample of today’s shoot. Cardigan Corgi in Herding Tested class.

Photo taken with Nikon D200, 18-200vr @170mm f8 1/350sec

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working_dog2701

The communication between dogs and livestock is something to behold, especially with dogs who are fully trained and know what they are doing.

This border collie is doing the back-up work at a practice herding trial. He moves the sheep in position for another to work through a course. In this shot Laddie is moving a rather cantankerous ewe nick named Stripe into position.

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