Category: Photography

Friendships!

Some dogs make incredible friendships!

Having six dogs here at home we are used to many of them making extra-special relationships.

It’s often the dogs that are extremely different, and I thinking of size here, that form the closest bonds.

More of that later.

But the reason I refer to our dogs here is to endorse in spades what is covered in this article from The Dodo.

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Shelter Dog Separated From His Best Friend Won’t Stop Calling For Him

“Rocky makes him happy.”
By Lily Feinn
Published on 9/18/2020

At Miami Dade animal services, a dog named Schwabo cried for days in his kennel. He missed his family, and most importantly, his best friend Rocky.

The lonely howls pulled at the heartstrings of shelter volunteer Jani Bradford, who watched him stare out the glass divider searching for his friend.

Facebook/Jani Bradford

9-year-old Schwabo and 11-year-old Rocky had spent their lives together until their owner surrendered them due to landlord issues. Without Rocky, Schwabo seemed lost and refused to eat.

“He grew up looking up to Rocky and now, even though he’s older, Rocky is like his big brother,” Bradford said. “He’s very, very attached to Rocky.”

When Schwabo and Rocky first arrived at the shelter, Rocky was placed on the adoption floor while Shwabo, who was limping due to arthritis, was sent to the back for observation. Rocky quickly received an application, but the potential adopter never showed up, so the two dogs were reunited — and Schwabo couldn’t have been happier.

“Schwabo was a different dog from the moment he saw Rocky,” Bradford said.

FACEBOOK/JANI BRADFORD

Though the two are bonded, they couldn’t be more different. “Rocky’s older but he acts like a puppy. He loves playing with the ball, he can play all day long,” Bradford said. “Schwabo acts a little older … He’s very calm, very low maintenance.”

While Rocky likes to live a more active lifestyle, Schwabo just wants to hang out and watch his best friend play.

“Schwabo doesn’t do much — he lays in his bed and loves watching Rocky doing all his goofy stuff,” Bradford said. “Schwabo needs Rocky. He just loves being around him, watching him play all day. Rocky makes him happy.”

FACEBOOK/JANI BRADFORD

Thankfully, the two dogs will never need to worry about being separated again.

FACEBOOK/JANI BRADFORD

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All I can say is well done Jani!

This is a very beautiful story.

And to come back to our own experiences here at home, here is a picture of Oliver (LHS) and Pedi.

Pedi is wonderful at forming very close bonds with all our larger dogs. That is Brandy and Cleo as well as Oliver above.

Picture Parade Three Hundred and Fifty-Five

No rain and for the time much being clearer air!

I have turned to The Dodo for this week’s Picture Parade. For although it was an article, and I shall briefly refer to it, the photos were magnificent.

By Lily Feinn
Published on 8/28/2020

Agnieszka Ciszyńska loves doing photo shoots with her three Swiss shepherds. And normally, the adorable pups are down for any activity their mom throws their way.

Fenris, Björn and Walkiria have traveled the world with Ciszyńska, giving the family plenty of bonding time and beautiful backdrops for their photos.

Here are the photographs.

AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

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AGNIESZKA CISZYŃSKA

These are incredibly beautiful photographs.

That last photograph is proof that Fenris, Björn and Walkiria (and I don’t know which of the lovely dogs this is) love Ciszyńska, following on from yesterday’s post.

This is very beautiful.

I probably wanted to say “This is very beautiful in a profound and spiritual way.

One of the many things that make this funny world of blogging so delightful is the connections that are made.

Recently Learning from Dogs got a follow from a person who herself was a blogger. This is what she wrote on her About page.

Endurance athlete, artist, and fourth generation Oregonian. I grew up on the central Oregon coast and lived in the Willamette Valley most of my adult life. My endurance work is an intersection of spiritual, personal and creative practices. I fall in love with places, like people, and dream of them often. I am not a travel writer, bucket lister, photographer, peak bagger or a competitive athlete. I seek only passage.

I was intrigued. No, more than that, I was curious about her. I wanted to know more.

When I left a message of thanks over on her blog this is what I said:

Oh my goodness. I came here ostensibly to leave a fairly standard thank you for your decision to follow Learning from Dogs. But then I saw what you had written and, also, the beautiful photographs you have taken. I was just bowled over!

Do you have a dog or two? Because if you do I would love you to write a guest post over at my place. Or give me permission to republish one of your posts? But I would prefer the former.

My dear wife, Jean, and me are both British. We met in Mexico in 2007 and I moved out permanently in late 2008 with my GSD Pharaoh. We came up to the USA in 2010 and were married and then came to Southern Oregon in 2012. We live close to Merlin, Josephine County and just love it to pieces. Originally we had 16 dogs but are now down to 6!

Regrettably she is allergic to dogs but she quickly gave me permission to republish a post of hers.

This is it. It is remarkable!

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Into the fold: Basin and Range

May 26th, 2020

I guess I should have expected the snow, above 6000’ in the springtime. Flurries swirled around my car as I removed my leggings in the backseat and began cleaning my wounds. I was bleeding in four places, the largest of which was a grapefruit sized ooze of blood on my knee. What was supposed to be a quick, 3 mile warm up hike turned into an assorted practice of skills I’ve acquired over the last ten years in the woods.

How to navigate trailless canyons full of thorny brush.

How to step when gaining upon steep fields of melting snow.

How to traverses loose, snow covered boulder fields.

How to field dress a wound.

How to know when to turn around.

How to navigate by sight and evaluate terrain.

How to avoid getting your ankle crushed by a dislodged boulder.

How to stay calm when things get intense.

How to get your head back in the game.

How to self evacuate.

How to accept failure.

How to relish in it.

Just enough snow to mess things up.

Later, with my knee buzzing slightly from the pain, I make my way into a canyon on the western flank of the mountain. I know this canyon well. There is a safe place to hide from the rain, to collect drinking water, and I don’t have to worry about the roads turning to mud if the storms linger through the night. While my water filter drips, I follow the creek upstream. Wind swirls, aspens chatter, clouds are ripping across the sky. House sized, red violet boulders protrude from the hillside, they look like ships caught in the crest of a giant wave.

The sun is setting, the pain in my leg forgotten. I take my full water jugs and find a place to camp along the rocky beach of an alkaline lake. These lakes are the remnants of massive, Pleistocene era inland seas. Their waves are black. In the coldest parts of winter they freeze into a slurry of ice and the motion of the waves seems to slow. Like watching an inky black slurpee ocean crash against the rocky shore.

I eat instant noodles, drink tea, and think about the “real” ocean, where I was born.

To me, the desert and the ocean are like two sides of the same coin. I can watch the light change over the hills for hours, just like I can watch the waves break along the coast. Both are fascinating. The ocean always seems impassable, uncrossable, infinite, unforgiving. The desert is too, if you know the dangers well enough. I think about my close call on the mountain earlier. It’s like an old timer told me once, “…but only a fool tries to cross the desert”.

“Okay”, I said.

When the sun rises, I am already awake, shoving things around, getting ready to ride out to the canyons on the furthest side of the mountain. The dawn strikes a distant rim and is bright pink across the craggy face. I haven’t climbed that peak yet, either. I smile to myself as I toss my pack into the passenger seat, turn up the radio, and turn the ignition. I’m thankful for the warmth in my car this morning. Thankful for a shelter from the wind before my work in the canyon begins.

I found the place, but it took me a while.

After nearly 50 miles on gravel and dirt, weaving around the backsides of sprawling, ethereal lakes, several wrong turns, and a quite sporting, rugged road granting passage across the valley floor, I had finally reached the gates of this remote, unsociable place. Rimrock lined the canyon walls, massive boulders littered the valley floor, scattered throughout the mostly dry river channel. Each possessed its own creepy, brackish pond at its base, resplendent with robust algae colonies.

Some terrain cannot be run, and this was one of those places. I settled in to a comfortable, brisk hiking pace and made my way up the canyon; sometimes following the riverbed channel, other times taking the game trails through winding thickets of sagebrush and thorns. I never saw the animals, but I could feel myself being watched a few times. I do not mind; I always remember that I am their guest.

The otherworldly feeling of the canyon persisted, even as the landscape changed, flattened, rounded itself out. I took the old farm road out of the depths and up onto the flats again. The road leveled out as it wound it’s way around the mouth of the canyon, now obscured by the sagebrush sea spread out before me. You can see everything that is far away and nothing up close. The terrain is flat and easy here. I break into a run.

I love running downhill.

It’s all gravy until the weather blows in. I watch it coming across the valley. The first raindrops are warm and fat. A rainbow spreads across the horizon, snow clouds form on the rim of the mountain, and the wind really starts to rip. I resist the urge to increase my pace. My body is already sore; I’ve been out here nearly a week now. As the rain turns to sleet and then hail, it’s time to practice the things you’ve learned once more.

How to layer for various types of rain.

How to guard your face from the wind.

How to bundle your hands in your sleeves so they don’t go numb.

How to take your backpack off, open it and retrieve a snack without stopping.

How to run.

How to run when your feet hurt and you want to quit.

How to run when the rain turns to hail and catches you out on the flats with not even a rock to hide behind.

How to run when you are crying and you don’t know why.

Where do you go inside yourself when fatigue and boredom set it?

How do you stay present in all of it?

Everything is practice.

When I finally return to my car, the storm has passed, for now. The mountains beyond the valley are fully obscured by clouds. If I stay here, the road maybe be impassable by morning. I want to stay, but I decide the best course of action is to return the way I came. Also, the hot springs are over there, and my tired legs say, YES PLEASE. I hang my wet clothes up to dry along the windows of my car, crank the heat to 85, and hope my puffy dries out by morning. I rally back across the bumpy valley, behind the lakes, across the basin, up the face of the mountain all over again.

The hot springs are mercifully empty. I take off my clothes and stand naked in the cold air for a while, staring at the mountain. When I slip into the water, I feel like home. I feel like I belong. I am right where I want to be. Everything is just right.

But I don’t stay long.

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I subsequently asked where she had gone:

These photos are all from the SE corner of Oregon, reaching down into Northern Nevada. Hart Mountain, the Northern Warner Mountains, Abert Rim, Rabbit Hills, Summer Lake, and the formidable Catlow Valley.

Now you know!

But that doesn’t change my opinion that this is one unusual person who has the spirit of adventure truly in her bones!

The California Wildfires

And now also closer to home.

This is a post about dogs being of comfort to the Californian firefighters. A post presented on The Dodo that I am republishing.

But yesterday afternoon came news that here in Oregon we have a blaze. As the Washington Post reported it, in part:

An unusually expansive outbreak of large and fast-moving wildfires threatens communities in three states Wednesday, with the greatest risks focused on Medford, Ore., and Oroville, Calif., as large fires advance in those areas.

In Oregon on Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced that four towns have experienced significant damage, and she warned residents to expect news of fatalities.

“Oregon has experienced unprecedented fire with significant damage and devastating consequences for the entire state,” she said. Brown said the communities of Detroit, Blue River, Vida, Phoenix and Talent are “substantially destroyed.”

But back to those Californian firefighters.

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Dog Helps Comfort Firefighters Fighting The California Wildfires

Her hugs help them so much ❤️️

By Caitlin Jill Anders

Ever since she was a puppy, Kerith has been the bubbliest, most joyful dog, and her mom always knew that she was born to help people.

HEIDI CARMAN

Kerith was originally being trained to be a guide dog for individuals who are blind, but ended up changing career paths to become a therapy dog instead. For the past year she’s been working with local firefighters, providing them comfort in times of need — and with the recent wildfires spreading across California, they need her now more than ever.

HEIDI CARMAN

“Kerith has been going to base camps where the crews start their day before they roll out to fight one of the many wildfires in CA,” Carman said. “She lightens the mood first thing in the morning. We walk around to visit all the crews while they are getting ready for their day of fighting fires. Everyone wants to see her to get some love.”

HEIDI CARMAN

As the fires rage across California, the firefighters’ jobs become more and more stressful as they work hard every moment of the day to save homes and lives. Kerith provides them a moment of relief and joy from the realities of their job — and when many of them see her, they can’t help but envelop her in a huge hug.

HEIDI CARMAN

Kerith loves all her firefighter friends so much, and is more than happy to let them hug her close. She seems to know that what she’s doing is important, and that the hugs she’s getting are more than just hugs. She’s helping to bring comfort when the firefighters need it most.

“Kerith clearly loves what she is doing,” Carman said. “When she sees a fire engine she gets so excited because she knows she is going to see her firefighter friends.”

HEIDI CARMAN

Hopefully the wildfires will be under control soon, but until then, Kerith will continue to give her firefighter friends as many hugs as they need.

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I find it amazing that there are dogs such as Kerith who love to be loved. Now plenty of dogs fall into that category but Kerith is part of a team; the rest of the team are human and working their backsides off fighting fires.

I will leave you for today with a random photograph I found from the ABC News website of one of those fires in California.

Roll on the rain!

And a photograph taken at 11am PDT today of the hills to the East. It includes our own property.

It shows the extent of the smoke; the nearest run of trees across the photograph are on our property.

Haircut!

How hard could it be, really? Just a few snips here and there should do it.

I hadn’t intended to publish a post for today. But then I saw Stephen Messenger’s post over at The Dodo and I thought that it was far too good not to share with you.

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Well-Meaning Mom Decides To Try Cutting Dog’s Hair Herself

“I fell on the floor laughing.”

By Stephen Messenger
Published on 8/15/2020

How hard could it be, really? Just a few snips here and there should do it.

That, apparently, was what one well-meaning dog mom thought when she decided to cut her dog’s overgrown hair herself at home.

And, well, you’ll see how that turned out.

SUSANA SOARES

The other week, Susana Soares was hanging out with her dog, Mano, when she realized his hair had gotten rather overgrown. It’d been a while since Mano had been to the groomers, and his shag was becoming a bit of an issue.

“Hair was getting in his eyes,” Soares told The Dodo.

Mano wasn’t loving it.

SUSANA SOARES

Soares, who’s actually worked as a hair stylist for humans, figured that taming Mano’s unruly mane would be no sweat.

“I decided to cut his hair at home,” she said.

So, Soares grabbed some scissors and got down to business — and this is what resulted:

SUSANA SOARES

Soares had solved Mano’s hair-in-the-eyes issues sure enough.

She gave him bangs — bangs that inadvertently gave Mano a questionable new look.

It was almost as if the little dog had cut his bangs himself. Without a mirror.

SUSANA SOARES

Mano didn’t have to ask Soares how she thought his new ‘do’ turned out.

“I fell on the floor laughing,” she said.

SUSANA SOARES

Did the cut look ridiculous? Yes, of course it did. But Mano’s not vain. He could see clearly again, after all.

“He likes it,” Soares said.

Fortunately, when tussled, Mano’s haircut looks less silly. If only slightly so.

SUSANA SOARES

Despite how things turned out, Soares did have the best intentions — and that’s what matters most.

SUSANA SOARES

Bad haircuts come and go. And thankfully, in time, Mano’s bangs will grow back into a more natural look.

When it comes time to trim them again, Soares plans to keep her scissors in the drawer and leave it to the pros.

“I will not be repeating that!” she said.

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See what I mean. This was a delightful story and I really have nothing to add other than joining in with the laughter!

Wonderful story of a reunited dog and its owner.

This is just a beautiful story!

Dog lovers have two fears in their hearts: their dog dying and their dog going missing.

I think in many ways a dog going missing is the more difficult of the two to handle. There are so many questions unanswered!

So when The Dodo published this story earlier this Summer I immediately put it in my ‘blog’ folder. Somehow I overlooked the story but that is remedied today!

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Dog Is Overjoyed To Reunite With His Mom After 2 Years Apart.

“[He] looked me straight in the eyes as if he was saying, ‘I gotta see that this is really you.’”

By Lily Feinn
Published on 7/1/2020.
Two years ago, Linda Harmon’s beloved dog Twixx went missing from her yard.

Twixx had been a bit of an escape artist, known for digging tunnels under the fence. That’s how he ended up with a little scar on the top of his head.

Harmon’s husband had recently installed metal posts around the fence making it impossible for Twixx to get out. After checking the gate and the fence, they couldn’t find any signs of tampering — it was as if Twixx had just disappeared.

Linda Harmon

Harmon began searching the neighborhood, making posters, posting on Facebook and checking with the local animal control. Then a woman who had been following Twixx’s story on Facebook reached out to Harmon via text.

“She said, ‘I’m so sorry to send you this, but I found your Twixx. He’s been hit on the side of the road and here’s his picture,’” Harmon told The Dodo. The woman sent Harmon a photo of the top of the dog’s head, and there was Twixx’s little scar.

Linda Harmon

Harmon reported Twixx as deceased to the microchip company, but still had difficulty accepting that he was really gone. “I never truly believed it in my heart,” Harmon said. “My husband said, ‘You’ve got to let this go. You’re grieving over him.’ But I said I would never get another dog and I didn’t for two years.”

Then, earlier this month, Harmon was sitting with her church group when a miracle happened — she received a call from the local animal shelter asking if she had ever owned a chipped pet.

“I just started bawling. I was crying endlessly, and I was around quite a few church members and they rushed to me, thinking I had bad news,” Harmon said. “But when they looked at me I was smiling.”

FACEBOOK/MOBILE COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER

After so long apart, Harmon worried that Twixx wouldn’t remember her. And the last thing she wanted was to make her dog feel scared or uncomfortable.

So the shelter came up with a plan: When Harmon came to pick up Twixx, they would hold him behind the gate while she called his name, and shelter staffers would watch the dog’s reaction.

FACEBOOK/MOBILE COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER

When Twixx arrived at the shelter gate, Harmon began to gently say his nickname — Tootaroota — and as soon as the dog heard her, he put his snout on the ground as if sniffing for his mom.

“Finally, when I bellowed out ‘Twixx’ he ran to the gate and stood at attention,” Harmon said. “And I heard the lady say, ‘Let him out because he’s trying to find her.’”

As soon as they opened the gate, Twixx turned the corner and ran straight to his mom. It was as if he remembered every minute they had spent together, and the two years apart faded away.

“He couldn’t stop wiggling — oh my goodness — and he just jumped on me,” Harmon said. “Then he laid his head in my arms and looked me straight in the eyes as if he was saying, ‘I gotta see that this is really you.’”

FACEBOOK/MOBILE COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER

Soon everyone watching the reunion had tears in their eyes — including Harmon.

Now, Twixx is home safe and sound with the family that loves him. And he hasn’t dug another hole since.

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Dogs store the scents of humans that have loved them forever. In a very real sense it is part of their memory system albeit it is very different to the memories that you and I have. For dogs have a scenting ability, call in a nose, that is 100 million times better than ours. It is impossible for us humans to truly comprehend what that means to a dog.

But Twixx demonstrated this superbly because the first thing he did was to “put his snout on the ground as if sniffing for his mom.

So many stories about our wonderful dogs!