Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It never gets old

toby as mountain, originally uploaded by phaird.

We got our dog, Toby, nearly 4 years ago and every day I see our dog, I'm a little happier. To combine my passion for photography with my love for dogs is really the best of both worlds. It never gets old and each time I bring out my camera I get exciting photos. It really helps that the Acton park is so active on Sunday but even those other days with only a few dogs, is great.

The whole process of photographing dogs is great. Shooting, editing, correcting, sharing and printing. I could spend everyday of my life doing that and be happy.

Hopefully, once this book gets published and I get my business off the ground, I'll do just that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Park basics

Hunter-pose1, originally uploaded by phaird.

Normally, I talk about photos, or fun park stuff. Today I've got a little rant and everyone reading this blog will say "I never do that".

Not picking up after your dog. Yea I said it. Heck, I've even been bad myself now and again (though I feel guilty so that's my punishment). To me it's really simple. You keep an eye on your dog until they do their business. If you know you're dog goes a lot, then keep watch until you know their finished. You know you're dog well enough to know their habits.

My dog, Toby will normally go once on a walk but at the park, he has been known to go twice and on a rare day, he'll go 3 times. There are so many good smells, he just goes wild. I know this and make sure I've got an extra bag with me and keep a really close eye on him until he does his first.

Like I said, I'm not perfect and know I've missed one now and again but I do my best to pick up after my dog. I hope you can spread the love and kindly tell everyone you see that first rule of any public outing with your dog. Always pick up after your dog.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Beautiful Fall Day

curious puppy, originally uploaded by phaird.

Sunday was a beautiful fall day. Most everyone was really just enjoying the park, the crisp air and the warm sun. Well, except for Toby. He was still nervous from last week and got really aggressive with some dogs when he shouldn't have. I had to put him on a lead to keep him close and stop him from causing havoc.

The beauty of dogs attitude though is that they forgive. Toby was a jerk to a few dogs and they just kept coming back to get a sniff and see if he was ready to play. Toby is picky about his friends and can easily feel cornered so he never let up but the other dogs around just let him be or kept hoping that this time, he'll be nicer. That is a trait that you have to admire about dogs. There ability to love and care for others (humans or dogs) no matter how bad they are treated.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Some things are just out of my control

toby_scared, originally uploaded by phaird.

I love going to the park. Toby normally loves going to the park. The one thing that will send him running though is loud noises. One thing I'm finding out about Massachusetts towns is that many of them have gun clubs. There is one about a mile from my house and another in ear shot of the Acton park. Toby HATES it. He gets so scared and will run for cover anywhere he can. That is how he got lost over the summer. I've tried all kinds of things to get him to relax but he's almost 7 and he'll never stop fearing loud noises. I just need to understand it and let him find a safe place to hide. I just hope that this won't put him off going to the park. It does take a while for him to remember that this is his favorite place to go after an event like this. It will take a few weeks of going back before he'll feel comfortable again.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why dog parks

There is many people who may think that dog parks aren't really needed. They think that walks around the neighborhood is fine or that they have a big yard for their dog and that's all that they need. For all the same reasons that children need play grounds, dogs need dog parks.

A happy dog is a well socialized dog. Even if you have more then one dog, that doesn't mean it can get along well with other dogs or people. By bring your dog to a park where they can interact with other dogs and people help the dog understand that their are lots of others out their and they can learn who they get along with and who to avoid. Yes, dogs make friends.

Being free to be a dog is another big plus. My dog knows that when on leash, he needs to be on good behavior (well, some of the time). When loose, he knows he can run and play at %100. He needs that time to get his energy out, play with others or just chase the ball. There is nothing better for a dog owner then seeing their dog happy.

Many dogs come from shelters or unknown breeding centers and we don't always know what kind of personality issues our dog may have. There are some really good owners who adopt dogs from very bad conditions and put lots of time, energy, and money into making their dog as social as possible. For some, they may not be able to socialize in a busy park situation with other dogs and kids running around.

It is the important progress of socialization of our dogs that makes them good citizens and having places to run and play allows that to happen. See you at the park.