Sunday, July 28, 2013

Toby back at the park

_MG_1545.jpg, originally uploaded by phaird.
Had a short visit to the park this Sunday. Toby and my boy, Isaac, came to the park this morning. That meant, I had to focus on them then the people and the dogs. That's okay though because it's rare, that I can convince Isaac to come with. We tried to go for a walk up in the woods but since we were moving at a 3 year old pace, I was getting eaten by all the bugs! This photo was taken on the way up to the woods.
We tried to hang out but neither one was really up for it. Isaac got tackled when we first got in by a big dog that just loves kids. Isaac was a little scared but got over it quickly. I know it's a dog park, not a kids park so my boys are just going to have to deal with this once in a while.
I was just glad to be back. I hadn't been for 2 weeks and missed seeing all the dogs. We got to see another black and white little dog that kinda looked like Toby which was nice.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Toby was not up for the dog park this morning

It's hot! It's Muggy! But that still shouldn't stop me from going to the dog park right? I got up early and tried to get to the park before the crowds and was able to do that. It didn't matter to Toby though. He got out of the car, did his business and went right back. I couldn't get him out to the grass and I even brought the tennis ball. It's kinda a set back for him but I don't think it's to big a step back. He might have heard something or even thought it might rain. Rain means thunder this time of year so he gets freaked out about that. We at least have a thunder jacket for him and do what we can to make him comfortable.
But this Sunday's visit to the park was a bust. I opened the door. Took this photo of him sitting and we went home. By the time we got home, he was fine again and wanted a treat. Just like him.

Friday, June 28, 2013

More early mornings

_MG_0773.jpg, originally uploaded by phaird.
I've been super busy with photo events, I haven't had time to post lately. Last weekend I spent the whole weekend at Pooch-a-Palooza. It was SO hot but I'm hoping it was worth it. I've got some new photo clients out of it so that is good.

I'm hoping that if the weather is good on Sunday, I'll be back with the early morning crowd where Toby is happy and can chase a ball without feeling overwhelmed. Everyone has been so nice and there have been funny stories popping up. If there are thunder storms heading in though, I can't do it. Toby will be totally out of here and I'll be either dragged out or he'll just run off and hide. That already happened once and I don't want to do that again.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The early morning group

_MG_0585.jpg, originally uploaded by phaird.
Okay, don't be mad. I have been coming to the Acton park the past few weeks but most of you haven't seen me because I've been going between 7-9am. I've met a good small group of people who's dogs are great and are much better with just a few dogs wondering around. Toby has been so much better with the time too. He has been excited to get in the car to head to the park. He's been wagging his tail when he's interacting with the other dogs and has made fast friends with everyone. I'm so much happier for him. The only down side is getting up so early on a day I know I could sleep in.
This little guy remind me of Eeyore from Winnie The Poo. That face is amazing! He got up on the table on his own and just hung out.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Toby in grass at Delaney park

Toby in grass at Delaney park, originally uploaded by phaird.
For the past few weeks I've been going to Delaney park in Stow. It's a big beautiful park that is great to go to walk your dog. I went to the park years ago but wasn't really happy about it because it people didn't clean up and it didn't have any community of dog people that I could find.
Soon after that, there was a big blow out with neighbors and dog owners so the leash rules got serious and people got mean.
Now I'm going there because I wanted to give Toby a break from the Acton park to give him someplace new that he won't be overwhelmed by all the other dogs.
It worked out okay till the Yankee Golden Retriever Club group decided to have an event there. I really wanted to watch because they were showing their dogs how to retrieve. It was great except for the guns. Toby was NOT happy. I didn't go back the following week to change things up and keep Toby guessing. I really want to go back though because there are some beautiful places to shoot.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pano of dog park

Pano of dog park, originally uploaded by phaird.
Wow, It's been a while since I posted about the dog park. Sorry about that. I've been hit or miss the past few weeks and have been so busy. All this nice weather has gotten me out shooting clients and other family events.

It's also brought out the gun club and Toby has not been happy. I take him for leashed walks up into the hills to get his energy out. He's gettin old so he gets tired faster but can still outlast me. It helps him calm down a bit but we don't get to stay long.

Next Sunday is mothers day so it might be a short day at the park for me as I get my kids to do all those nice things for their mom, Toby included.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Puppy and the last snow

Acton Dog Park-130324-04.jpg, originally uploaded by phaird.
I'm so looking forward to April and seeing all the green back on the trees again.
This is another pic of the Golden Retriever puppy that was at the park. He's such a friendly little guy. He went up to everyone and wanted to play with all the dogs. Even my grumpy old guy was good about it so that says something.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

And they call it, puppy love

Acton Dog Park-130324-11.jpg, originally uploaded by phaird.
Sunday was all about the golden puppy. This little guy was taking everyone on. Especially the submissive other golden. They were having such a good time. I think this is a different golden puppy at the park. I wrote earlier of another Golden Retriever puppy that has been coming to the park but this little guy came with someone new (from what I could tell).
I'm guessing when they meet it's going to be a huge puppy love fest of jumping and playing. Can't wait!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring in New England

Acton Dog Park-130324-15.jpg, originally uploaded by phaird.
Yep, the calendar says it's spring but I'm not son convinced. Last week the park was a huge mud pit but it snowed a few days ago and now everything is covered up again. I don't mind too much but I think we might miss spring all together and one day, I'll wake up and it will be a hot sticky summer.
I'm glad I made it back to the park though. I've been out for a few weeks because of other engagements. Some photo related and others not.
This Sunday started out unique though. I was walking in with Tika and her owner when I noticed that Tika was caring something in her mouth. It was a turkey leg. No, it wasn't a bone or a cooked leg. It was just a leg and foot with tendons falling off. YUK! We're not sure where she found it but it really begged the question, where is the rest of the turkey? We didn't try to find out.
I'm guessing soon we'll be back to the mud fest and lots of dogs will be getting a bath when they get home. At least I hope so.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Waverly Oaks

chagall rolling in grass, originally uploaded by phaird.
Waverly Oaks was the first un-official dog park I use to bring toby when we lived in Watertown. It's a great big park with everything a park should have. Open areas, running water, Lots of trees and small nature walk as well as a paved path around the whole thing. What is better then that?
This is Chagall who is the dog of one of the great regulars who come to this park. Chagall was the king of the park at that time. He would stand around and let people know he was in charge. He wouldn't do much but he would let everyone know. A real sweetheart. It's amazing that it's been almost 6 years since We went there. I've been back a few times because Toby does really love that park but it's now very much out of the way to get there. Maybe this summer, on a slow weekend, I'll make that trip again.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Stoddard Neck Park

Neil with Jack, originally uploaded by phaird.
This is Neil with his dog Jack back in 2009 when I went to this unique park, Stoddard Park. It's a perfect little park because it's surrounded by water on three sides. It has a easy access from a parking lot and there is little chance of your dog running out into the street. It's a beautiful little space and if I lived near by, I'd be going all the time.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Other local dog parks

Sharon_Dogpark_101109_09, originally uploaded by phaird.
For years, I've been going to the Acton dog park for the simple reason that it's the closet park to me. This week though, I decided to share some photos from other parks I've visited over the past few years.
This photo is from the dog park in Sharon Ma. It's tucked into the woods in a perfect little spot. There is parking near by and you walk into the park. It's completely fenced in with a section for both small and big dogs. My friend, Angelo (a great painter) invited me and we got to spend a sunny October morning at the park.
As you can tell, Toby was his normal, defensive self through the day. He just doesn't do well with puppies no matter what.
If you get to Sharon, you could check it out. It is a nice place and I should make a point to get back there.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

First 100 posts

bulldogs playing, originally uploaded by phaird.
This was taken back in Feb 09. It was the 100th photo I took and about the time my neighbor at the time loaned me her spare Canon 5D. That camera has a larger (full frame) sensor and offered a lot of control my older Nikon camera I was shooting with didn't. That was the beginning of the end of film for me because I could get what I wanted without compromising. It wasn't soon after that I finally went out and got my own 5D. I had to sell all my old film camera gear to get it but it was totally worth it.
These 2 bulldogs show up at the park now and again. It's pretty rare but they have such a good time.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Looking back

Dusty tugs - a, originally uploaded by phaird.
Here is Dusty with his dad from way back in November 2007 when I started coming to the Acton park. Dusty, Amber and Rudy would come very week no matter what. Dusty was so ball focused that it didn't matter what else was going on, he just wanted the ball.
They moved back west (Portland OR, I think) and he was the first person I interviewed for my book. The hardest part for him was that Rudi wasn't his dog so he was worried that Rudi wouldn't get to come to the park any more. He was king when he was at the park and it was a little sad when he wasn't around any more.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Almost 6 years

hunter and chagall at acton park, originally uploaded by phaird.
I've been shooting at this park for over 6 years and even though some days are a blur, every weekend I make it to the park is a great day. When I started, I was still shooting film and processing and printing my prints. (now that's retro). It's weird looking back but since I didn't make it to the park on Sunday, I figured I'd go back and look at some of the 1500+ photos I shot and think about who I don't see anymore or those that have passed on; both people and animals.
This is Hunter and his mom who were huge supporters of my blog and book idea (still want to happen). Kinda crazy but more eccentric then anything. A good heart and loved her dogs.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Becky getting in the middle of the pack

Becky always comes with a pocket full of treats so she can get her wild bunch to come back to her.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bailey wouldn't sit still

Bailey is a young dog that came with his dad and human brother. He was so cute and was running around just keeping himself entertained. Some dogs run around in packs and play with each other. Bailey was just happy running around in the snow, checking in with his family and then running off again.
That is one of the beauties of the park. This is the one time of the day for the dogs that they get to run and play with no rules. They can just run around and be a dog. I just love that about the park.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lando with his mom

Lando with his mom., originally uploaded by phaird.
I brought my boy Isaac to the park and found out that Lando, really loves little people. He loves them so much he wants to come up and lean up against them and play. That's why Lando's mom came over to make sure Isaac wasn't at the bottom of the dog pile. He was a really loving dog who doesn't know how big he is.
Funny how that always happens. Dogs don't know their size. My little dog thinks he's the biggest one at the park and big dogs just want to be lap dogs.
Just got to love it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Best friends greeting

Best friends greeting, originally uploaded by phaird.
another fun shot from this weekend. I saw this happening and had to shoot it. It was a great moment of dog and owner greeting. So happy to see them come together. Warmed my heart on the chilly morning.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Kids playing with the dogs

Kids playing with the dogs, originally uploaded by phaird.
Sunday at the park was a lot of fun. It was another day where it had a light snow but the sun was still bright. I got to meet a few fun dogs and nice people but I had to cut it short because I brought my youngest who didn't think the pond was as fun as going to the beach.
These kids were running around having a great time with all the dogs.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Who is the park for?

Hey park lovers.  Just came across this article from the ASPCA site about if a dog park is the right place to bring your dog.

What do you think?  Most readers who read my blog bring their dog to the park.  Most get along and have a good time.  I've been really concerned that I might not be right to bring Toby, my dog, to the Acton park anymore.  I think he likes going to parks and can be social but he has a history at this park and not always a happy one because he can hear the gun club or thunder storms in the past.  Now, every time we go to the park, me associates those noises with the Acton park.

I love coming to the park and enjoy all the park friends I've made so much of me going to the park is for me and I hope Toby enjoys it too.  But it really shouldn't be about me. It should be Toby's time to enjoy the park and get some energy.  I'm going to explore some other parks and see if I can help Toby enjoy our Sunday play time and get some new shots of some other fun parks in the area.

If you've got some recommendations of parks, close to Maynard, please let me know.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Let it Snow!

Tika coming to greet me, originally uploaded by phaird.
This sunday was a real snow day and I was super excited to get to the park. The previous week was the blizzard and didn't leave my house so I was glad when I could go out to the park and take pictures with fresh snow on the ground.
To make Toby happy, I wrapped him in his Thundershirt so he would stay a little warmer and not get too overwhelmed. We weren't there very long but I got to take some fun photos and see the few hard core pet owners who showed up despite the storm.
Weekend storms seem to be the norm this winter. The forecast for this weekend also has a chance of snow and I hope to get out again and shoot. I love the photos I got and It's always fun to see the puppies who have been showing up.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Toby needed the walk

Acton Dog Park-130203-04.jpg, originally uploaded by phaird.
Well, Toby is at it again. He's shaking and being too aggressive at the dog park on Sunday's. I'm thinking I should find a new park to go to and that makes me so sad.
I love going to the Great Hills Park, seeing all the dogs, and the great people I've gotten to know over the years.
For Toby, it's where thunderstorms happen and gun shots can be heard so every dog that runs around him, while he is nervous, is a threat. He gets aggressive and knows just where to bite on the jaw. He can be good but I'm at my wits end on what to do. That is why I haven't been coming or even writing the past few weeks.
Sunday, we came early and decided that instead of hanging out around the field, we went for a walk in the woods. There was a dusting of snow and everything was so quiet. It was beautiful and calm and Toby really needed that. He needed to just calm down, get some energy out, do his business and try to mark every tree and rock he walked by. After about 1/2 hour, we walked back down into the park and he was a bit better. Still nervous but not too bad. He kept walking toward the car but then would come back to get me and then do it again. I want to make it a fun experience for him so that when he goes to the park, he will know that is where he can have fun and play. I love my time with Toby and hope he can enjoy it too.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Photo shoot at the park this weekend

looking for trouble, originally uploaded by phaird.
So this is my attempt of crowd sourcing for support on a photo project. I'm planning on doing a photo shoot at the Acton dog park this weekend and I wanted to let you know. I'd love it if you could help out and have your dog included in the photo. I'm planning on creating a photo of all the dogs running down the hill and then collage them all into one photo. I'm hoping I can get a bunch of dogs so it looks really packed. Should be fun and won't take much time.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year Park Fans

Pano of snowy park, originally uploaded by phaird.
So the new year is here and my mind is racing about photography projects I want to be doing.

I was super excited to get to the park this past weekend. I've missed out for the past few weeks because of the holidays and family stuff. Sunday, Toby and I made it to the park again but it didn't last. Toby wasn't as excited as I was and he heard gun shots from the gun club down the road. He gets so upset and I've been trying to help him through it but my visit to the park wasn't longer then 5 minutes. I had him on a leash so he wouldn't run off but the other dogs were coming around, sensing his fears, and Toby got agressive with the other dogs. It makes it hard to hang out and talk if my dog keeps getting in fights. I don't want to be "that guy" at the park with the uncontrollable dog but I know he can like going to the park too. It's really hard to deal with.
So anyway, on the way out of the park, I took 2 photos, stitched them together and got this fun pano. What do you think?
Hope everyone had a great new year and I hope to get more involved with everyone at the park this year. Also, if you didn't know, there is a Facebook page just for this park.  If you want to keep up with others who come to the Great Hills Park in S. Acton, check it out.