ADVENTURES IN NATURE – part 3 (See the bottom of this post for more from this series)
During my photographic forays through nature, I often come upon photogenic domestic animals and I always take the opportunity to capture a photo of them. Part 3 of my series will be devoted to some shots of those encountered pets, however first let me introduce you to my two house pets.
5 1/2 years ago I learned of a retired, racing greyhound that would soon be available for adoption. She had enjoyed a stellar career of winning races on three dog tracks and had recently retired from the Mobile, Alabama track. Her racing name was KittyHawk and she had raced for an usually long amount of time – about 4 ½ years. Her racing record revealed that her MO was to go to the front immediately which prevented her from being jostled by the much larger male dogs as they negotiated the rather tight turns of a 5/16th of a mile dog track, and win by running in first place from wire to wire. When I learned of her impending availability, she was going through transition training in a program called Second Chance at Life. She was in a prison up North living one-on-one with a prisoner who taught her the skills needed to transition from living in a very small kennel to being a domestic pet. In exchange, the dog taught the prisoner unconditional love. I particularly related to “Kitty” in that I was a retired running racer myself.
One day after getting Kitty, who was transported by truck from the prison to my house, we were enjoying a romp in the dog park. A reporter sensing a possible story (the dog and I had similar builds) approached me and asked if she could interview me and photograph Kitty and me. I agreed and the interview was published in the Tampa newspaper in a very cute way – from the perspective of an interview with the dog. If you are interested in reading this cute story, it can be found in my blog archives at the following location:
Here are two pictures of Kitty. The first shows her in her most frequent endeavor – lazing about the house. The second one taken just a week ago is one that I find rather amusing and I have captioned it, “Lady, does he bite?” It seems Kitty had been exploring the dog park when she suddenly spied me some distance away. She took off like a rocket and the acceleration brought her jowls back revealing her teeth. Here are the two pictures:
The second resident of the house is Libby the rescued cat. She was adopted from the local pound when she was just a few weeks old, and at the age of 14 is still quite active and curious about everything. The first picture of Libby depicts her in one of her favorite activities – watching lizards through the window in the entry hallway. I took the shot when I noticed the way the natural light was highlighting her beautiful green eyes. The second was taken just a couple of days ago as she enjoyed the sun on our back patio.
One day, I was in the local park photographing some mallard ducks in an out-of-the-way portion in the back. When I emerged back on the roadway, I noticed three people walking a dog with something in its mouth. As they got closer, I found it amusing and coincidental that the dog had his own mallard duck:
The owners informed me that the dog insisted on taking his mallard duck on his sometimes rather long walks and simply would not leave home without it. I thought the dog was a Labrador Retriever, but it was in fact the runt of the litter of Great Danes.
On another recent day, I was photographing in the park and I noticed a dog off in the distance watching me intently. I took a picture of the dog from afar with a 400mm lens and then approached the dog and its owners. The owners were visiting from Canada with their dog which they identified as a Labradoodle. Here is his picture:
The next photo illustrates the phenomenon of “things are not always as they appear”. My neighbor owns two bulldogs, a male and a female. They are perhaps the gentlest dogs on the planet. The below picture of “Trixie” the female, illustrates the above phenomenon:
We all know how frisky the various terrier breeds are. One day when I was out shooting, I observed this terrier trying very hard to teach its owner how to properly heal. The dog was obviously struggling with its teaching efforts:
And finally, I will leave you with a shot of this rather handsome boy that I met in the dog park last week:
After going to press with the above, I decided to add three more pictures of dogs relegated to the small dog park who obviously wanted to come play with the big guys in the big dog park – here they are:
And the smallest of all:
Keep reading! Check out: