Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Making the park fun again for Toby

toby on walk dec30-08, originally uploaded by phaird.

For the past few months, my dog Toby has been not enjoying the Sunday visits to the park. He relates it to thunder storms and gun shots so when we drive into the parking lot, he is shaking and doesn't want out of the car. What's worse is that he gets very defensive and aggressive. I have to keep him close and keep him from biting other big dogs.

He use to really love going to the park. He would get excited and run and play with lots of the regular dogs in the park. It's been really hard because I too love going to the park, talking with people and taking photos. I can't keep bringing Toby though if he hates coming. So this week, since I have off until Jan 5, I've been bringing Toby to the park on off days. We have been going for walks up through the trails behind the soccer field (where we normally hang out) and he has been really liking it. The first day was hard but yesterday was much better. He ran with a wippit and was happy to be there. My next goal is when I bring him on Sunday, to go extra early. I want him to be the first one there so he can feel relaxed and let the park fill up with dogs instead of everyone running around already.

The winters are a little slower so that should help but I'm sure before long, Toby will be running and playing with other dogs soon.

Have a happy new year with you and your four legged family.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Supporting local shelters

Photographer's Friend, originally uploaded by sthawk_ontheroad.

My Friend Jeremy, has had dogs in his life for as long as I've known him. He has always put his dogs happiness as a top priority. As a dog lover, he decided to start a group in Flickr called photographers friends. This group is to promote anyone to join and upload photos showing the person donating to a animal organization. For those how do, you can get a 1/2 dozen dog biscuits for your dog. Check it out and tell all your dog loving friends.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friends at park

alex and puppy2, originally uploaded by phaird.

Last Sunday, I brought my friend Jeff and his son Alex. Even though it was a cold day, Alex had a great time. When we entered the field, there was so many dogs and everyone was taking over the center of the field. Alex loved seeing all the dogs and any open space is great for him to run and play. He is a 2 year old with boundless energy.

Alex did get to meet this puppy who, like so many puppies, just wanted to share the love. Alex loved getting kisses and petting the puppy.

The cold finally got to him and he just headed back to the car so we had to follow.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Visting writer

I've gotten a response from a reader interested in telling a story about their dog. Teddi sent me a great little story of how they ended up adopted their first dog.

I hope you enjoy it.

My daughter Ashley and I used to frequent the local animal shelter to bring a little sunshine into the dreary days of the once loved pets. We did not want to adopt a pet, but we just thought it was a charitable way to spend a few hours, playing with the lonely animals.

One day, as we did our usual walk through the dog kennels, we saw the saddest, most pitiful dog I have ever seen. There was a German Shepherd mix named "Lola" who was laying in the corner of her pen with her paws covering her eyes. She just laid there shaking in fear as the other dogs barked anxiously around her. Immediately we asked the volunteers if we could get Lola out of her kennel for a while so that we could play with her and try to give her a reprieve.

As a safety precaution I took Ashley into the get acquainted room and placed her high on a ledge, out of reach of Lola. I didn't know how Lola would react to a toddler. After getting Ashley seated, it was time to bring in Lola for the introduction. In all the commotion of barking dogs, meowing cats and pet owners looking for lost pets, Lola lunged towards Ashley and the leash slipped out of my hands. As my heart started to sink and before I could gasp, Lola had jumped onto the wall and started licking Ashley's face as if they were old friends. Lola immediately laid down and placed her furry head in Ashley's tiny lap for a snuggle.

Needless to say, we rescued Lola. It was the last weekend before Lola was to be put down. I guess no one was interested in adopting a timid German Shepherd. The funny thing is that once we got Lola home, she found herself. She is not timid, she is not shy, she is just our protector and best friend. Things haven't changed much since the day we first met...Lola still LOVES licking Ashley's face.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

First early snow

bella watching ball, originally uploaded by phaird.

Well, it's cold and Sunday gave a small glance at some snow. It's going to be a long cold winter. For some dogs like Bella, that's good news. Many dogs love the winter play. Romping through the snow and running with other dogs. Paths are wide open or new ones can be made. I'm not so wild about the cold but it's not really about me is it. I'm all about what my dog wants and what happens at the dog park. My dog, Toby, isn't wild about the cold. He is happiest curled up in bed between my wife and me.

Toby hasn't been having much fun the last few visits. With all the trees bare, sound from the local gun club really carries so when he hears them, he gets super scared. I know he'll never get over that so all I can do is make him happy by doing leashed walks around the neighbor hood or out in the woods. I need to get him out around other dogs more but my time is limited. If I could just find that winning lottery ticket, that would free up my time to dedicate to my dog and photography. Until then, I won't quit my day job.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Writers who write

Hey Writers,

I'd like to see other writers who have a dog story to share. If you want to post a story to my blog, I would love to share it. I've had others in the past and it adds a nice change of pace. Please make sure it's dog friendly and not a rant or mean. It can be happy, sad, or just really out their. I'd just prefer it be a true story.

If you're interested, just email me at phaird @ or leave a comment. I know my followers would love to see what you can do.