Do you know that last night when I started writing this, I had to walk all the way over to the main house, in the dark, to reset the modem because my internet went down. Something of the insect variety was buzzing in the hood of my coat. I still don’t know what it was, and I don’t think I want to know. I know I don’t.
I also know I have been the WORST BLOGGER IN THE WORLD. I haven’t blogged in over two months :( There are lots of reasons why. It was a busy summer and fall for me, lots of events to photograph, which is great fun (and an immense amount of work) – agility, lure coursing, dock diving, disc dog … just endless activities! But I’m cutting way back on event photography next year, because it’s a lot of investment and wear and tear on my equipment for not a lot of monetary return. I had a very busy Autumn with lots of fall colours sessions, which was also fantastic! And now I’m heading into Holiday Sessions – 2 of 3 full days sold out! Also great, but the editing will be endless ;-)
But I miss photographing my own dogs, which I hardly ever seem to get the chance to do these days. In part it’s because I’ve gotten a lot pickier about what photographs I’m happy with and I want to put out there representing my work. I was pretty laid back about my work on the blog and did a lot less “set up” of shots, and just kind of hung around with my dogs and photographed them at our leisure. And that organic feeling is missing now, which is largely because my home space is … ugly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful we have all have somewhere warm and secure to live, but the yard is nothing to look at it and even less to photograph. Also, it’s in a parking lot of a fairly busy building, so the dogs aren’t relaxed all that often (nor am I) as there’s a fairly steady stream of activity most days, which distracts us all. I admit I miss the lush variety of my old acreages, where we could just hang out and be in each other’s company and I could take photos at random. Now, because of the ugly, and the activity, I take my dogs off the property for exercise most days and it’s just not always practical to drag out the equipment with us. I need a lot of eyes on my busy crew when I’m out somewhere, and can’t do that when at least one eyeball is stuck to the eyepiece of my camera. So I feel like the story-telling aspect of my blog is missing, because I have fewer stories to tell because my dogs are *exercising* rather than *being*, if that makes sense.
So today I hauled my ass and the dogs and the camera up a mountain. Even Dexter was perplexed!
But (I think) happy?
Because it’s Vancouver, and it’s November, it of course started raining shortly into our hike, so I didn’t get a lot of photos. I also miss my studio quite a lot!
Anyway, how about a pupdate on all the beasts?
For a fun fall activity, I decided to stop feeding Addy, so she has resorted to scavenging for food wherever she can find it.
She got so skinny she was practically floating away!
According to that Facebook Memories thing, today is Arriva-A-Versary …. 5 years ago 9lbs of squirrel brain burrowed into my shirt and never left! She’s a lot greyer now. She also, we have discovered, has mild seizures randomly. Like maybe once a year – she had one a few weeks back, which was scary but very short lived. She is so ADHD she can’t even concentrate long enough to have a real seizure ;-)
Fae, always a keen observer, figured she was next on my hit list, so she’s taken to hiding from me so maybe I will forget to starve her. Or perhaps I’m hiding HER because my mom keeps threatening to steal her … on FB she threatened to run me over with her car and keep Fae for herself. Obviously, I hail from a very loving family …
Mr. Woo is not hiding, he just thinks he’s a super model and he knows what colours compliment him best. I actually have a HELL of a time keeping him OUT of photos these days, because he wants to be in every shot … because posing means cookies, and (hello) I starve my dogs. Also, he’d really like me to stop taking photos of his sad, pathetic excuse for a tail. And he uses his old-age deafness to pretend he can’t understand me telling him to get out of the shot.
(I’m thinking about having that growth removed from his eyelid, 10% because I worry it bothers him, and 90% because it bothers me in photographs. Also, his tail is actually growing in quite nicely, albeit slowly. I am hoping it will have recovered by spring and we can have a party to celebrate!)
And speaking of Spring, she has taken up Parkour (look at her back feet!).
Whereas her brother has taken up (mostly) coming when called. We got pretty lax in that department, and it has resulted in Winter obsessing about running after things he sees in the distance, like cyclists, or other dogs, or people minding their own business. And when Winter goes, Spring goes, and when 2 go, at least 5 of the remaining 7 figure SOMETHING IS EXCITING AND THEY SHOULD GO TOO. So we went right back to basics (as Winter is a simple man) and every time I say his name, I shove something delicious in his mouth. This month that deliciousness is chicken wieners, because they were on sale. His recall has improved about 90% and last weekend I managed to call him off of not one but TWO bicycles he was thinking about chasing. I’m super pleased with this, and he’s currently ranking about 7 of my top 9 dogs in the house as a result.
Also, he and his sister make a wonderfully delightful duo when they pose together.
They have supplanted their Senior Sibling Duo, because I DON’T PHOTOGRAPH SOFT CORE PORN, MR. WOO!
Hovering around the very bottom of my Top Dogs list is this asshole.
A few weeks ago she and Fae were sharing a recliner and she shifted around and stepped on Fae. Fae is, pound for pound, the biggest cow in the universe, so Fae snarked at her and told her off. This asshole retaliated by picking Fae up by the face and shaking her around until I punched her in the ribs and made her let her go. Fae had a little cut on her head, and a big pee on my recliner, and Peetie was very contrite, so I decided to chalk that one up as an anomaly from the world’s stupidest dog. But then about a week ago we were out playing ball in the yard and she bashed into TWooie (because she has zero sense of personal space) and he snapped at her, because it was rude. So she proceeded to kick ten kinds of holy hell out of him until I whacked her repeatedly with the Chuck It and drove her off. TWooie has a hole in his face, and one in his neck, and Peetie has all my intense loathing.
I don’t understand this dog at all. She is the first to befriend all new foster puppies, and is unfailingly patient with them … I used to catch Silly dragging her around the house by her face, which must have hurt (a lot more than Fae air snapping at her!) and She Who Is Not Friendly About Her Food can chew on a very high value pork bone while Addy furiously humps her (I don’t know why Addy does that) without so much as a glance at her tiny little violator. And 11 months of the year she is perfectly lovely with her siblings, but once a year or so she decides to visit some furious vengeance on them for no good reason. I don’t know what to do with her. I’ve toyed with strangulation, but maybe rehoming is the more humane option. Would you like her?
I mean, TWooie is an old man. He may be an old jerk of a man, but old he is, and I can’t have her trying to kill him. He’s pretty fragile these days – his legs give out on him sometimes in surprising ways, and while he is game for a full 1.5 hours of hiking and chasing squirrels, he also takes advantage of every opportunity to grab a nap.
And he Old Man complains about stuff. Like, “this cement dock is too cold and wet” and “I might fall in the water, so I don’t want to sit here” and “back in my day, dogs got THREE cookies for posing, not just one” and stuff.
And then there’s this thing. STILL HERE. Can’t seem to get rid of her. I haven’t found a home for her that I really think will utilize her potential. Which is ironic, because I also don’t and won’t use her to her full potential. Also, the number of people who don’t email back after I send them a lengthy, thoughtful response to their adoption inquiry is kind of appalling. Like at least half a dozen people who didn’t even have the courtesy to say “thank you for your time” is legit disgusting. With every passing year, I enjoy rescue less and less. I might be burned out, but I think it’s more that I just don’t like dealing with the people very much. Also, I might be getting old and complainy, like TWooie.
And my beloved Deafter remains … deaf. And nine years old. NINE! Where has the time even gone? I feel like it was just a couple years ago I was doing to the 365puppy blog (that’s a trip down memory lane!).
He is so funny. Since this tin can we live in is so small, and meal time can get a bit intense, I have taken to feeding him in the bedroom behind a babygate so he doesn’t have to ugly-face off hungrier dogs who eat faster than he does. So now when I get the bowls out of the cupboard, he goes and sits in the little hallway between the main space and the bedroom with his back to all of us, then acts delightfully shocked when I appear behind him with a full bowl of deliciousness. It’s like he’s playing a little game with himself, and it makes me laugh every meal time. He doesn’t quite have Tweed’s finely-developed sense of humour, but he really is a character unto himself.
We’re still all adjusting to life in this little space – it’s not like we haven’t done the small space thing before! But sometimes it’s a bit up close and personal. I was trying to do some clicker training the other evening (trying to teach Fae the ring-stacking game …. right now she thinks it involves picking up the ring and then laying down on top of it and pretending she has no idea where it is, so we have a ways to go) and literally the only space we have to train is the 3-foot-in-each-direction space between the side of the couch and the front door, and the two stairs that lead up to the hallway. I have to fend off the other dogs with my elbows as they try to squeeze in on the action from behind, and occasionally a particularly daring (hungry) dog will launch an aerial attack from the end of the sofa.
At least when the weather is good we have our new outdoor space, courtesy of my mom and stepdad – my new deck!
This was my birthday present and it’s fabulous! It’s since been painted grey to match the tin can. It definitely makes coming and going a lot less perilous than the skinny RV stairs with the even skinnier dog ramp rattling atop them. After it was finished, it took Dexter three days or so to figure out how to get back inside … first he would try and walk “up” the dog ramp, which was laying on the ground and nowhere near the door, and would just stand on it staring at the wheel of the rv, tail gently fanning congenially in the breeze (the same breeze running through the space between his ears, apparently). When I’d get his attention from the doorway, he would then run under the deck and out the other side in a big circle and end up back on the Ramp To Nowhere again until I put on shoes and took him up the stairs by the collar. After a day or so of that, he finally grasped the concept of the *deck* but remained blissfully unaware of the whole “stairs” thing and he would leap on and off the deck from the side. I don’t know why, he is perfectly familiar with stairs in his life! He seems to have sorted it all out now though, finally.
Addy is very fond of the deck because when it’s raining, she can attempt to sneak in there and pee underneath it and risk only minimal exposure to the evil IG-targeting acid shooting down from the heavens. Though I am quickly filling up her would-be-toilet with stuff stored under there. I am still trying to sort out storage – I divested myself of a f*ck of a lot when I moved out of my last house, but I still have a lot of things that I can’t part with, but have nowhere else to go, so I’m paying over $200 a month for a storage facility so my stuff has somewhere to live. I am thinking I need to finance one of those shipping containers so a) my stuff can live beside me, rather than across town and b) once I pay it off, it’s mine and potentially added bonus of c) I can use half of it as a studio space, if it’s large enough.
But my immediate need is to insulate under the rig so everything doesn’t freeze this winter. Can’t have the band getting cold on their winter tour!
Which is why I made a calendar! 12 months of The Wootube Crew for you to enjoy on your wall in 2019. I ordered a sample from my photo lab to show you
(without sound unless you enjoy listening to part of an episode of Sherlock Holmes). They turned out very lovely, but they are not inexpensive because they’re from a pro lab, which means if I want to make any insulate-my-trailer money off of them, they aren’t inexpensive for you either :( Plus shipping. Unless you have a better idea of where to order them from more economically? I will have to sell them for $25.00 CAD, not including shipping, and even then I’m not exactly raking in make-me-rich profits. The post office tells me it’s about $5 shipping in Canada and about $7 to the US. Which makes them about $24 USD for American Wootubers, but $30 for Canadians, eh?
If it’s not too rich for your blood, then you can order by sending me an email with your order, your full name and postal mailing address, and how you’d like to pay – you can send money via paypal, or if you’re local, you can do an e-transfer. Once I have amassed all the orders, I will then order them in bulk and then ship ’em out!
Mr. Woo hopes you will order, and help him keep him as warm this winter as he looks in this photo!