The Busy Month Of May ..

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So May has been a rather busy time here at Shooting The Dog, the (mostly) lovely weather has brought a flurry of dog photography customers, and Fidget and I have been making the most of the bits in between to have some fun too.

First up, we finished off the Cockerpoo puppy shoot at the six week stage and put together the puppy boxes for our client; these were then received and dispatched with the puppies to their new homes.

The boxes were looking good and were filled with a USB drive of the pictures we had taken over each of the three shoots, along with a book showing the progress of the puppies, and some yummy bags of treats from The Dog Treat Company, who are based locally.

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So after a successful prototype, we launched our puppy pack service onto the world (well, to Torbay and the surrounding areas anyway).

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Then the glorious sunny Mayday bank holiday saw us heading to the beach with Buttons, for our first “in the water” photo shoot of the year; the lovely sunny weather meant for a rather busy beach, so things were far from ideal, but we had great fun and got some lovely pictures.

Fidget and I squeezed in some time on the beach too and he enjoys a nice swim when conditions are good.

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Last week-end saw us heading out on a covert “birthday surprise” photo shoot with Sam and Luna (Sam being a rather daft Staffy and Luna a typical Beagle). Lots of serious running about ensued, but the preconceived lovely picture of the two of them in the bluebells or splashing in a stream was unfortunately rather elusive. However, we got some lovely shots of the dogs and the client seems very happy with what we managed to achieve.

Finally this month, we had the fabulous Gracie in for a studio shoot last week, she was the perfect model and was so well behaved, not bad for such a young dog. She came with a few challenges because of her colour, black dogs are always troublesome when trying to get lighting right, and exposing for detail in the faces means the coats tend not to come out as black as they seem to the eye.

We are now off on a short camping break in Cornwall, so you can expect lots of news on that adventure in the next blog.

I think Fidget sums up how we are feeling after this month:

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Blue Skies, Sunshine & Puppies!

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You get the feeling that summer is just around the corner here in Brixham, we have blue skies (occasionally) and we have even had a few days of sunshine (and heat) – I was even wearing shorts the other day, so it must have been hot.

Fidget and I have been out enjoying ourselves, and generally messing about; the lighter evenings mean we don’t have to rush about after work to get home before dark, and we can take our time and have lots of games and a bit of silliness before heading home for our dinner.
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The sea is definitely not warm enough for me to venture in with the camera yet, so you will have to wait a bit longer for those shots. We have, however, booked ourselves in for a small break under canvas in Cornwall next month, so if you have plans for the middle of May that require dry, sunny days then you might want to reschedule, as we always choose the wettest week in May to go away camping!

We currently have an on going project photographing a litter of Cockerpoo puppies, which is great fun; and to be honest more puppy cuddling happens than photography. But at the end of my last blog I promised you puppies, so here we go.

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Four Weeks Old

 

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Five Weeks Old

Puppy promise fulfilled.

Next time: Who knows? But there might be more puppies, and some exciting new product information.

Winter hits back!

So, there we were all enjoying the first days of Spring – sunshine,  blue skies, everything was good in Brixham …
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… then WHAM!!!
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Winter came back with a vengeance.

Snow and ice, howling gales … what is going on? We don’t get snow down here, then suddenly we get it twice in one year and, just to rub salt in the wound, in the middle of March. Hate to think what effect it will have on my tulips.

Still it meant another snow day, time to close the shop and go and enjoy the snow; and Fidget had a wonderful time.

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Then, just as quickly as it arrived, we were back to sunshine and blue skies again.

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British Summer Time starts tomorrow, so let’s hope the weather gods are listening; we all really need to dry out down here now.

Back in the shop, and lots of framing work has been going on – a few of the jobs have been slight challenges but more of that in a later blog. We’ve had very happy bunny owners pick up their framed print, and discussions are ongoing regarding more work there. Lots of enquiries about different bits and bobs, so hopefully some of them will turn into paying work as well.

Is it too early for a Hot Cross Bun yet?

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.

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.