Signs of Spring – At Last!

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The snow has all gone, the winds have dropped and it’s beginning to look a bit spring like in Brixham.

These days, in our house, one of the signs of spring is the annual “puppy party” for my little dog Fidget, and his siblings, who turn four later this week. Every March we meet up with his brother and three sisters, along with his Mum and Dad and a few guests, for what can only be described as slightly controlled mayhem and birthday cakes.

A great time is had by all, and it’s so lovely to see how they have all grown and how well they all get along.

Now we have to get back to working and we are hoping that the nicer spell of weather will motivate a few people to come and book their pets in for a nice portrait session, or an all action session running about on the beach.

In the meantime, Fidget and I are enjoying the lovely mornings and making the most of the town and it’s surroundings before it gets busy in the summer.

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We also have to decide which exciting place to visit for Fidget’s birthday trip out; maybe the woods or maybe a much needed trip up on the moors – I’ll let you know what we decide in next weeks blog.

Cold and just a tad breezy

To welcome in Spring we hosted a combination of weather events, “The Beast From The East” and “Storm Emma”, that pretty much brought the country to a stand still. Down here in Brixham we do seem to have missed much of the snow, but the coastline was battered by gale to storm force winds causing a lot of damage.

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As the snow came in on Thursday, we decided to close the shop and head off for a snowy game of ball. No blizzard conditions can stop Fidget from playing ball.

However, as we were playing things were getting just a little more windy, and the snow as beginning to settle more, and our trip back down the hill was becoming slightly more tricky; as I proved by doing some of the trip elegantly on my backside!

The following day, the snow had eased up but the wind had caused some deep drifts in places, and ice had formed in others. We were lucky as we were pretty much at home but many people got stuck in their cars, or caught out at work and unable to get home.

Fidget found it doesn’t take much snow to cause problems if you only have short legs.

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The wind caused the most problems, combined with very high tides, and many businesses around the coast are still mopping up and having to face up to the damage that has been done; we hope they can all get back up and running before the quickly approaching Easter week-end. Brixham’s breakwater was doing a fine job of keeping the harbour safe, but in doing so has itself taken quite a lot of damage.

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Weather-wise, we are all pretty much back to normal now; the wind as died down and it’s raining again.

Let’s hope we can start having Spring properly from now on.

What had I agreed to?

So last Sunday, Shooting The Dog became Shooting The Bunny, as we were tasked with photographing some house rabbits.

“Yeah, sure” I had said confidently. after all, how hard could it be?  Very hard is the answer,

I’m used to the dogs reacting when I say their names, or make a noise, or wave a tasty treat in the air – rabbits just ignore you, or glare at you as if you are totally insane and have no right to be in their space.

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So it was a challenge, and a first for me, but a great experience working with a new subject matter, and they were rather cute. Patience paid off in the end and I managed to get some reasonable shots, and hopefully we managed to get something that the client is happy with. But I must do some research into Bunny Whispering before taking on any more!

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Meanwhile, Fidget and I have been braving the VERY cold winds and having lots of nice walks.

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And he has been having lots of fun with his friends, old and new.

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I’ve been doing interviews with the nice people at Ruffle Snuffle that you can see here: An Interview With Shooting The Dog and Fidget has been finding internet fame in his little paw washing video, and you can see that here: Washing Paws.

Oh, and if you are very quick you could still be in with a chance of winning a free calendar; but the draw takes place tomorrow, so you really do need to be quick to sign up here: Competition Entry Form

That’s us blogged out for this week, we’re off to warm up our paws and dream of warmer weather.

A Chill Wind

As easterly winds bring a Siberian chill to Torbay, we realise that maybe spring is a bit further off than we were wanting to believe. It’s certainly very cold out there today. Still, as long as it stays dry then things aren’t too bad, we have had so much rain lately that everywhere suitable for a good game of ball with the dog is extremely muddy.

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The cold weather doesn’t seem to put off Fidget from taking a paddle in the sea, especially if he has dropped his favourite ball off a rock.

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And a frosty morning is no excuse for avoiding a game of ball in the park.

We are looking forward to some warmer weather in the not too distant future, and we have even started looking forward to a trip or two away in the tent soon.

We are off to dig out our shorts and t-shirts in a hope that this cold snap is not here too long.

Weekends To Forget …

Last weekend was definitely one of those.

As some of you will know, my little dog, Fidget, suffers from idiopathic epilepsy; and despite having very few seizures last year made up for last weekend. Starting at 5.45 am on Saturday, he had about 14 seizures; the last at 8.30 am on Sunday morning.

He was taken to the vets and kept in all day for observation, and of course he didn’t have another fit all the time he was there!

They carried out various blood tests on site and everything came back fine. More blood was sent of to the lab for testing, and this has now come back showing that we are in the therapeutic range on all his drugs, though one was slightly on the low side, so we have upped his dosage slightly on that one.

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It was amazing how much I missed tripping over him and being nagged to play games, and all the little things that I complain about when he’s there – he really has taken over my life, and when he is not there it’s like a little bit of me has gone.

Anyway, he was back home on Sunday evening and we are all none the wiser as to what suddenly caused this “blip”.

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By Monday he was back to his normal rambunctious self, and charging about chasing balls and rolling in the mud, as if nothing had happened.

Me, I’m just happy to have him home with me, where he belongs, and hoping that we won’t have another episode like that again. Now I just need to try and earn some money so I can pay the emergency vet bill!

If you wish to find out more about Canine Epilepsy then here would be a good place to start:
www.canine-epilepsy.com

 

My heart goes out to anyone who owns (or has owned) a dog that suffers from this, it is a really horrible thing to see, and to know that basically you just have to wait until it is over as there is nothing you can do.

Last weekend was definitely one I want to forget.

 

Finally .. a sunny day off.

For what I think is the first time this year, my day off coincided with some sunshine, so it was only fair that I headed to the park with Fidget. Due to the vast quantity of rain we have had recently the park had become a bit of a quagmire, but with some sunshine and a brisk breeze coming off the sea, things were beginning to dry out a bit.

So we did a bit of this.

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And quite a bit of this.

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Then a bit more of this.

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And that was all just in the morning, in the afternoon we went to the beach!

It’s All About The Dog

Here at Shooting The Dog the main priority is the dog. Your dog’s health and well being is foremost in our approach to photography.

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If we feel your dog is getting too stressed by the experience, we will stop and have a break – actually if YOU are getting too stressed by the experience we will also have a break. Your dog will pick up on your anxiety, and will lead to it in turn getting stressed out.

After stopping and having a game and (if allowed) some cuddles, your dog is still not happy, we will be more than happy to reschedule your shoot on another occasion, free of charge.
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A relaxed dog makes for a much better photograph – after all you would not want a framed print of you best friend freaking out on your wall.

We have no fixed time limit to our shoots, and it sometimes takes a little while for our models to calm down, but most dogs will get bored after a prolonged amount of time; so again, if we don’t get shots that you are happy with, then we’ll reschedule, free of charge.

 

 

 

Having studied dog behaviour, our photographer is pretty good when it comes to getting your dog to do what is needed, and whilst we want you to stay with your dog to keep it reassured, it really is best to leave things to the photographer to get the shots – nothing is more frustrating than getting the perfect shot lined up and just as you are about to press the shutter the owner says “Good Boy!!” and the dog looks in the opposite direction.

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We want your dog (and you) to have enjoyed the experience, so we will always make sure everyone one stays safe and goes home satisfied; and our photographer loves working with your dogs, so if he has to do it twice to get the end result, then he doesn’t really mind – it just gives him another chance to have some fun with your dog!