Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dogwood Park, Knoxville TN

German shepherd, originally uploaded by phaird.

Well, I'm on my road trip and as promised, I'm stopping at every dog park I can find. A reader mentioned some dog parks in Knoxville and I was able to find Dogwood Park. It's a nice fenced in park that has the double gate to get in and out without loosing your dogs. Lots of people were there the day we went by. I got to talk to a nice lady who had 2 beautiful german shepherds. One she was training to be a service dog. The other she said was to scattered. He just couldn't focus.

There were quite a few dogs there but most were lounging in the shade with their owners. I think there were a lot of regulars. Many showed up with their folding chairs and just sat in the shade and let their dogs play. Some of the dogs were just hanging out. Others were looking for other dogs to chase.

I have to remember to bring my note pad with me when I go. I didn't write the names down of the dogs I met or the other park she mentioned. There is another park that isn't officially a dog park but a lot of people bring their dogs there. It is open and dogs are often running around she said. I can't remember where though.

This park is nice because it is right next to a long walking path, open fields, children playgrounds (where my son and wife went) and even frisbee golf. What is better then that.

I'm going to be heading to SC next and near Pickens County so if you know any place around there, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to stop by.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Anna - the sled dog reject

anna, originally uploaded by phaird.

Anna has become one of the regulars at the park over the past few months. She is only about a year and loves her time at the park. This weekend, her owner was talking about how she came about getting her. She was bread to be a sled dog but ended up not making the cut because she likes people more then dogs so she got to be adopted instead. She is also a little on the small size but she still has lots of energy. I often see her running with other dogs or just on her own. She'll jump in the water then through the bushes, picking up all kinds of stuff in her coat. Anna Really does love people though. She has gotten to know many of the regulars and will come up to get some attention when she can. Her owner takes good care of her to make sure she does become better socialized with other dogs.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Oscar's growth is back

Oscar all wet, originally uploaded by phaird.

Oscar is a wonder dog. About 2 years ago, Oscar was diagnosed with cancer in his leg and they were going to amputate. Oscar had lost lots of weight and the lump in his leg was getting big. He was given maybe 6 months if they took the leg. His owner decided to wait, and just give it a few days. Oscar was put on some meds and each day he did a little better. With in a few months, Oscar was running and going like his old self. He was only 3 at the time.

Now the growth is back. You can see in the photo the lump on his leg but that still isn't slowing him down. His owner is worried and is doing everything they can. Much of that is to see what happens. Oscar beat back the growth before, he isn't letting it slow him down this time. He is still running and swimming and playing with the other dogs in the park. His owner says he's sleeping more at night but he doesn't need much of a break during the day. Oscar has just decided that nothing will slow him down. He's 5 years old and wants to be as active as a 5 year old should be.

I'll be looking for you, Oscar, every weekend. We're pulling for you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Keeping up with what's next

Part of why I started this blog was to keep me focused on publishing a book on dog parks. I've lost site of that a little bit lately but it is still in the back of my mind. I've been also trying to start a pet photography business while holding down my day job and taking care of my family.

So in the spirit of the book and keeping my readers up to date I thought I'd share what I need to do next. As you can see by just scrolling though my blog, I've got lots of photos. That is my strength and what I love to do the most.

What I need to do next is;
Collect stories by interviewing some more people at the park.
Find a publisher or agent who will take on the project. (SO Difficult)
Find a writer who loves dogs like I do and would want to help create this book.

Once these things fall into place, I can move to editing, designing and printing the book.

I've been sending out requests to different publishers but they don't make it easy. If you aren't already part of their world, it is hard to get anyone to listen. I'm not giving up though. I know this is a good project and you and others have agreed with me. Just getting my foot in the door is becoming the hardest part.

If all else fails, I will take it the into the fine arts process. I create a limited addition publication with limited addition prints to sell to a small audience and show it though a gallery.

The more I do this work though the more I want to do. My next project will be called something like "Working Dogs". I want to travel around and photograph dogs that work. Police dogs, circus dogs, dogs that sniff out cancer cells (yea wild huh), service dogs, etc. There are so many. It could be great.

Keep reading and I'll let you know what happens or if you've got suggestions, please let me know. I've gotten some really good responses from my readers that have helped.