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Tag Archives: pets

Hippee Halloween dog

halloween_dog13Tonight was the annual Halloween costume contest at The Hungry Hound where dogs put up with their owners desire to make them look funny. Some dogs handle it better than others, wearing a wig and a hat isn’t something that comes natural to many pooches. My favorite of the evening, and the official winner, was Gia, dressed like a funky hippee from the ’60s. Gia was far out and groovy and matched the look of her handlers. She also was good at posing in the studio. There are more photos over on The Hungry Hound’s Facebook page.

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What’s good: A cat in the glow

A cat strolls past the historic Somerset County courthouse

I went to the Somerset County courthouse in Somerville tonight after the sun went down. The historic courthouse has great architecture, it was built in 1909 with lots of marble. There’s a walkway under the main steps to the second floor that has an arch. The lights in the walkway have a yellow tint and it catches my eye every time I drive. I was hoping a person would slowly walk through the arch but there isn’t much foot traffic in the evening. I stood there for a while and cat made its way up a sidewalk to the arch, stopped to pose long enough for me to take two shots and then it moved on.

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What’s good: Remembering an old friend

A print of Boomer hangs in The Hungry Hound.

Down at The Hungry Hound, the pet boutique owned by Robin’s sister Penny in downtown Somerville, there is a very large photo of my old buddy Boomer. Boomer was a Bernese Mountain Dog who was a great friend, he always met me at the door, loved attention but wasn’t needy. He’d hang around me for a while then head off to another room to snooze by himself. I could take Boomer anywhere and not worry about him running off, he’d come when he was called and never wander very far. He had a great smile and would always make me laugh. Boomer got cancer when he was way too young and was gone within a month. He can still make me cry, but I still have his smile to keep me smiling.

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What’s good: Getting a greeting from a real horse

A horse poses outside of Ringoes, NJ.

Yesterday I photographed the strange horse statue, today it is a real horse. I was on a grueling bike ride with Kathy Johnson through the Hunterdon County countryside. We are training for the upcoming MS Coast the Coast ride in three weeks. Please donate! It was over 95 degrees, which I’m not acclimated to and we were planning on doing 35-40 miles but I could barely make 25.

The horse had an interest in my camera.

As we were heading back to the cars, I saw two horses in a field. They looked nice, so I stopped to photograph them. I took some shots of them grazing and they came over to the fence. One was very friendly and it posed for a photo. It was a curious horse and wanted to check out the camera.

The horse had an interest in my bicycle

Then it obviously had an interest in carbon fiber and it went over to my bicycle to give it a lick.

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What’s good: The wet nose of friendly hound

Domino, a cocker spaniel

I had another day in the photo studio at The Hungry Hound. Today I photographed Domino, a black and white Cocker Spaniel. Most Spaniels are nuts, rather hyper and Domino wasn’t much different. I always give dogs time to acclimate to the studio, do their sniffing and calm down enough to After shooting for 20 he finally calmed down enough that I could get in close and tight with my macro lens.

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What’s good: Teaching dogs how to behave

Sophie relaxes after a hard session of obedience training.

We now have two Bernese Mountain Dogs, Sophie and new addition Zian. They are both about 85 pounds and our house only has room for 90 pounds of dog. It is tight in the house, everywhere I walk I run into dog. The biggest problem is training, Robin and I aren’t trained.

So we called in the expert. Kristian Hammermueller used to work for The Seeing Eye, that great place in Morristown that trains dogs for blind people. Kristian has been out on his own for several years and has a spa and grooming business in Lebanon, It’s A Miracle.

Our two dogs have recently decided to kinda attack each other every other day. It ain’t pleasant and that is the main reason we called in Kristian. Luckily while he was here for their first training today, they went at it and he had the pleasure of breaking it up. He made sure they weren’t going to do it again, today anyway. He gave us pointers on teaching them not to scrap. We’ll see how well we learned.

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What’s good: Up with people

I photographed Dash last Saturday. I love the way he paid attention.

I talked to kids at a local high school career day this morning about being a photographer. It was a small group of kids brought together by Middle Earth, run by Dan Puntillo, who I went with on the bicycle ride across America. The other speakers were a nurse, radiologist, police officer, attorney and dancer, who performed with Up With People for five years in the 1980’s. I only knew she was a performing artist when started talking but I was amazed by her pep and positive nature. It was easy to believe she was touring the globe with Up With People that long. She now works for the YMCA and does dance and music programs for kids. I wish I made a picture of her, she’s all smiles. It was a good group, it hit me that they all had jobs that make a difference in other people’s lives every day. Even the lawyer.

From there I went to Trenton with my boss. We were honored by the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities for the newspaper’s annual Wish Book project that tells the story of people in need and then we raise money to purchase the items. I got the Wish Book going 20 years ago and it has raised nearly $1 million. I was humbled by the other honorees and the difference they make daily. These people are in there fighting for people who can’t. We sat with a group of high school kids with developmental challenges who started a club that anyone could join, whether they were challenged or not. For most of them it was the first time they had been to a large banquet or luncheon. They were proud to get their award.

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