The girls are a playful as always. Really, no blood was shed.
It kind of looks like Latte ran up and smooched Java on the lips and ran away. Blech! Poor Java!

The following photos are actually from last July. Notice how much greener it was. Java has a nice wrestling move going.

Sometimes there are just too many photos to deal with and not enough time. But these were just too comical (at least to me) to leave hiding on my computer. So much can be communicated by a look in the eyes!

I recently bought the book “When Pigs Fly” by Jane Killion on training challenging dogs. Jane Killion also has a blog with more helpful training information.
I haven’t gotten past the first couple chapters of the book, but so far I’ve learned that what makes some breeds of dogs harder to train than others is what they were bred to do in the first place.
Java is a mix of service dog breeds – Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Malamute and so on. She is more aware of me, watching for clues of what I want her to do.
Latte is a mix of Corgi, Jack Russell, and maybe Beagle — breeds that were designed for more independent thinking. She is focused on how to get Latte what Latte wants and to hell with everyone else.
So the Brew Babes are two very different dogs to work with and teach. Neither style of thinking is right or wrong, good or bad. They simply have different motivation that I need to understand and learn to work with.
Do you think that’s possible?

Once again, I have a post on Vision and Verb titled “Doggone It!” on the joys and challenges of life with dog(s) that I hope you’ll check out.

The above photo and the ones that follow were taken as part of an assignment for my weekly photography class where we were supposed to try different aperture settings. It was also a good excuse for Steve, me, and the Brew Babes to go hiking at Jay Cooke State Park.

In most of my photos, I was trying to have the photo subject in focus while the background was blurred. I struggled a bit with ending up with too much light washing out the photo. Plus, in the pictures of Java, I didn’t want the water background to be quite so invisible.

In the photos of Latte, I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that the leaves so closely matched her coat color that she didn’t stand out as much as I’d have liked her to.

This was one of my favorite photos, where I got the effect I was looking for, with the colored leaves standing out from the background and the play of light on surfaces.

This photo accidently meets my next shooting assignment — to play with shutter speed with my instructor’s suggestion of photographing moving water and getting a “smoothing” effect with slower shutter speed. I hope to try this again this weekend (closer to home) to get this look on purpose and perhaps try some night shots at slow shutter speeds.

This was another accident today, where I moved and got a doubling effect. Kind of nice touch to the “Be Calm” on the coffee cup….

Sorry that this is kind of a dry post. It’s one of those “rough” work weeks where I’ll be doing a lot of deep breathing to try and be calm and where poetic, moving, or fun prose escapes me. I probably should be drinking tea but need the coffee charged energy to “Get er done!”

I was able to go to “Cavalia” last Saturday with my friend Cheryle and her husband and that guy you’ve seen in a few photos. I’m not sure whether he wants to “publicly” be a part of my life but hanging around me is, well, kind of public.

We started out the evening by having dinner at Toby Keith’s, not Toby’s actual house (although I’m sure he’d love to have us over) but the restaurant. We were very disappointed when we found the bull ride we’d heard about was not there. Dang! The only attraction was the young waitresses running around in microscopic shorts. But we all went there for the food, don’t ya know. Regardless of the atmosphere, the salmon Cheryle and I had was supreme!

You can’t take photos of the Cavalia performance so all I have is photos of the printed canvases you see as you work your way into the tent.

I don’t even know how to describe the show or I how I feel about it. There were several women around me that were teary-eyed because the horses and the interaction between the horses and humans was so touching and beautiful.

Even if you didn’t like horse (I can’t even imagine), the artistry and acrobatic feats were enough to keep you utterly entranced.

I am still trying to figure out how they did some things like there was some sort of mist coming down that they used to project images of horses walking across the stage — very haunting and mystical. And on a more basic level, how was it that none of the horses ever pooped on stage?

I loved the lady that stood on the backs of two side-by-side horses with two more horses in front that she drove at a high speed around the stage. This woman looked so happy and wild. It was a perfect expression of the unbridled joy and freedom you feel around horses — at least on a good horsey day.

(photo of photo in the event program)

Cheryle and I tried to emulate some of the trick western riding the day after the show but all I could manage was to gallop Luke around the outdoor arena while whooping and hollering and waving my hand above my head. Luke seemed to enjoy this non-dressage move.

Cheryle did some kind of graceful canter along the long side of the arena while she performed a kind of parade float wave. You know the kind I’m talking about…

Anyway, the joy and fun was on our faces and I wish we had it on video. Instead, you’ll have to settle for this exciting clip of Luke eating an apple. Tis the season!