Archive for the ‘pets’ Category

Dogs in motion

I keep trying to get shots of the dogs when we’re out on the walks. I want to do a post about how CJ has grown, and I’m trying for the perfect picture to show this. What I get instead are shots like this: (more…)

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Today (7/18) is the first time I’ve had access to the internet in a week and a half. I wrote some “posts” while in camps, and I could post them separately, but I’m going to be lazy and do them all here. (more…)

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    Written at a motel in Ridgefield, Utah, the evening of 7/9/07

(This post will mean more to you if you’ve read the previous post first.)

So what am I grateful for tonight? (more…)

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    Written in camp, evening of 7/8/07

I’m going to have to start being really careful what I wish for, or even appear to wish for—the universe is taking me too seriously. I’m back to three dogs. I’ve lost my Shiba boy, the really pretty one. What I know is that he disappeared. What I’m pretty sure of is that coyotes got him, about 3 AM Sunday the 8th of July, somewhere in southeast Utah. (more…)

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Dog stories

First off, if you’ve read the last few posts, you know it’s been HOT everywhere (high 90s-low 100s), and the observant among you will have noticed a certain lack of shade in the pictures. What, you may be wondering, about the dogs? How are they coping? (more…)

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Aargh! Shibas!

I’m trying to take more walks with the dogs to get both them and me in shape for the trip, and it’d been several days, so out we went this morning. Drove to a spot that usually guarantees a walk uninterrupted by encounters with other people or dogs (my dogs are not well trained–Cesar would be ashamed of me).

But unexpectadly, a normally unused road that we needed to cross was carrying a fair amount of traffic. Our timing was pretty good–no cars in sight when we got to it–and so I figured I could hustle the dogs across and all would be well.

But no! (more…)

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All I can say is thank God I own dogs. I know, I know–whether or not one owns dogs is (mostly) up to the person, but still I say–thank God I own dogs. And why do I say this? Because guilt drove me out of the house this morning to take them for a walk. (more…)

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A friend and I took a walk this morning, and we ran across the biggest critter-tunnel I’ve ever seen around here. It looks fairly fresh, but the dogs ignored it, so probably it’s not currently being used–or at least, it wasn’t currently occupied. But we were wondering what dug it–maybe a coyote? (more…)

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Sunday walk

It’s been cloudy around here for several days, so these pictures are a bit dim, but I’m going to post them anyway. (more…)

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Yesterday was cloudy for the dog walk, so I didn’t get any great pictures, but I thought this was kind of cool. It’s a packrat nest up in a tree (at least I assume they’re packrats–that’s what I call them, anyway.) (more…)

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I’ve been in a bit of a funk since my last post. I’m coming out of it now, but blogging will have to go on a back burner for awhile–the workload for the semester is heating up, and I’m going to have to make teaching and program maintenance my priority for awhile.

So here are a few shots to tide things over. (more…)

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Sacred to me, anyway.

The trees around here are not large and magnificent. They’re scrub oak, and I’ve heard people speak about them very disparagingly. But there’s something magical about an oak grove, even scrub oaks. In fact, I have come to love the scrub oaks; all you have to do to appreciate them is scale down your expectations from the larger oaks found elsewhere.

The scrub oak are highly variable. Many of them grow up, and then send their branches sweeping back down to the ground, creating a sheltered space. Others send low branches out almost parallel to the ground. And some reach for the sky–at their own scale. They have their own kind of beauty and magnificence, but you have to be looking for it to notice it. Over years of walking among them, I’ve learned to look. (more…)

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Yesterday it had been almost two full weeks since I’d taken the dogs for a walk, and my Shiba boy was seeming a bit sad and desperate. He paced a lot, and stood and stared at me until it about made me nuts. So I decided to take the dogs for a walk around the block, just to get them out for a bit. Ten minutes, that was all, so I wouldn’t overstress and prolong my cold.

But once I got outside, it was so beautiful, and it felt so good to be ourdoors, and the dogs were so delighted, that I just kept going. I always think of the walks as an obligation to the dogs, but often realize, once I’m out there, that they’re really for me as much as for them.

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Tree dogs

I’m still fighting that cold. I think I’m winning, but only time will tell. So far I’m lucky, because several colleagues have had a cold turn into viral pneumonia, and mine doesn’t seem to be going in that direction–but it’s still keeping me from walking the dogs, so I compensated by browsing among my old pictures taken on dog walks, and found this. (more…)

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Walk Photo Gallery

It rained yesterday, and is sunny today, so the dog walk this morning was truly beautiful. (more…)

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Essence of poodle

This is my favorite picture of my poodle. There’s just something about a poodle, and this captures some of it.


Part of its poodleishness is that you can’t quite see his front paws, and his hair is a bit blurry, because he’s running. Poodles are very bouncy and hard to pin down, and some of that is captured in this p[icture.

Another thing about poodles is that they’re very into their people, which makes it hard to take a picture of them. As soon as I point a camera at this one, he comes running and sits–or bounces–at my feet–not a good angle for a picture. That’s where he was headed when I got this shot–only he was far enough away to begin with that I was able to snap the picture before he got too close.

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. . .in the history of the universe. Or at least that’s what I tell him. And of course, as far as I’m concerned, it’s true.

Pretty dog

He’s also the stubbornest. And definitely not the brightest. A couple of summers ago he figured out he could squeeze through the railings of the deck (just visible on the right of the picture below–they’re spaced at 4 inches, mind you) and onto the roof, then squeeze through the cat door you see behind him, and get back in the house whenever he wanted. His conviction this would work survived many efforts to foil him, in the course of which he fell off the deck twice (once, OK, but twice?!) and hung himself through the railings once to the point of near paralysis of his hind legs (he recovered, mostly.) I finally managed to discourage him by blocking not only physical but also visual access to the roof for him–once he couldn’t see the roof, he was no longer convinced he could get to it.

I almost felt bad about winning the battle–he was always so obviously smugly delighted with himself whenever he got out onto the roof.

Dog on roof

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A goodbye to my cat

Allow me to introduce

    Theodore McTavish MacGregor McGee,
    otherwise known as Teddy McT.
    A mighty hunter of rodents is he.

He has

    Great magnificent scimitar claws
    hidden in soft, gentle, kitty-cat paws
    and scimitar teeth in his kitty-cat jaws.


    Very nice soft and velvety fur
    and his wonderfully loud affectionate purr
    make him most specially first-rate, I aver

And the last line shall forever be
Someone should finish this poem for me.

I had my cat put down yesterday. He’d been suffering from kidney failure for months now, and the evening before suddenly he couldn’t stand up, so I knew it was time. I got something from the vet to give him at home to knock him out so he wouldn’t be traumatized by the trip in to the vet’s office–I just can’t handle the idea that the last experience one of my animals has in life is the very scary experience of going to the vet. I sat with him and petted him, and he purred right up until the drug took over. He was an extremely nice cat.

This stuff is just hard for me. I knew it was coming ever since the vet diagnosed him some time last spring, and I knew he was getting close, and there’s no doubt at all that it was time. And still it’s hard.

Here are some pictures of him.

Teddy 1

Teddy 2

Teddy 3

Teddy 4

Teddy 6

Teddy 5

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And God said. . .

I’m busy desperately trying to get all my grading done–grades are due Jan 2– so just a quick post to tide me over. This one is another oldie but goodie, and as a dog and cat person I just love it.


A newly discovered chapter in the Book of Genesis has provided the answer to “Where do pets come from?”

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I decided this one was worth its own post.

This dog often hops up in trees when we’re out walking (she’s also the one that’s most likely to actually catch something–there’s a definite relationship between those two facts.) Anyway–when I brought up the background in Photoshop, the result was this sort of surreal landscape.


The thing that’s amazing to me is that, other than balancing the light so both background and foreground are visible, it’s all real–no special effects. Or maybe I’m just amazed because I didn’t see it coming–I was so intent on trying to catch the dog (who doesn’t often hold still for me) that I didn’t notice the background. There’s probably some kind of metaphor for life in there somewhere, but I’ll leave it alone.

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