Archive for the ‘Hershey’ Category


The temperatures are staying consitently above freezing, the sun is no longer sleeping behind clouds, and the ground is remaining dry.  Soon the landscape will melt from brown to green, and it will begin again.  The epic struggle of Labrador verses Woobie.


Goddamn spring is taking forever.


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She finally – finally – figures out what her webbed feet, otter-like tail, short hair, and third eyelid are for.


And the wet-dog smell isn’t so bad.  Always a plus.

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Saturday Emily and I took Hershey to my Aunt and Uncle’s.  Good times were had, jokes were made, stories shared, but this is not about then.


We played with our cousins, and my nephew; batting around a tennis ball, playing badminton, and even losing a game of ‘baggo’ a trademarked version of cornhole.  But this is not about that either.


The purpose of this tale, this rather odd blog post I never thought I’d be writing, is concerning my dog.  And a slide.


We took my nephew to the park, to run around and use up some of my, and his, child-like energy.  Played on the monkey bars, ran around a jungle gym, and in general had fun.  Emily climbed to the top of a small tower by hopping up a series of platforms to reach the pinnacle of a spiral-slide.  Coaxing Hershey up there, she had plans to take the dog down with her.  Emily does these things all the time; using her power as ‘alpha female’ to coerce the dog into doing things she might not…. well, let’s just say Emily has more fun than the dog.


But not this time.


For some reason, that orange spiral slide was something that Hershey had a strange affinity to.  To be perfectly succinct, she went on that thing 6 times before we finally made her stop.  I’ve never seen her do anything like it before.  Emily went on it once, Ny once, and the dog just kept going.  She got to the bottom, turned around, ran up the platforms and slid down again.  Six times.


I’m perplexed.  I understand the love affair with the rope, her chewy bone, the kong (woobie, for our regular readers), and even ice cubes.  They each reinforce an evolutionary drive that she has been given regarding her status as a member of the canine family.


But a slide?  Where in all of Darwin’s name does that fit in?

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Evening Trot


If there’s one thing besides eating, playing, eating, sniffing, and eating that Hershey loves to do, it’s going walkies.  While we were out, I snapped a few photos.


In certain circumstances, I really prefer having the light source in the photo.  Instead of the photo being a isolated snapshot of an object, putting the light source in it pulls your attention back and makes you pay attention to the rest of the composition.  It gives it some energy and can make the photo appear more dynamic.


Regardless, a friend of mine suggested that I compile an entire list of things that I would consider photography ‘cliches’.  Easy enough.  So I’ll probably spend this week shooting those things, and hopefully showing how you can make it look better.


I’ll give you a freebie now:  Myspace Photography.  Myspace Photography is the fine art of tilting a camera, holding it above your head, and taking a black and white photo of you looking away pensively.  The easiest way to fix this composition is to either have your friend take a picture of you (usually at a bar with your arms out in a ‘woah’ gesture – always popular) or just not do it at all.  It’s boring, it’s tired, and it just turns to static in the background.

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Emily did a great job training Hershey. Spent a few months with her exclusively teaching her to listen to various commands. Emily also did this degrading (I feel) thing where you place a treat upon a dog’s nose and tell them to stay until you let them take it off and eat it. I feel it destroys the dog’s dignity.

Then Emily showed me why she started with treats.

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Playing with Hershey at the park is like throwing a party and too many people arrive.  At first, it’s exciting – you have everything set up, the music’s going, the booze is ready to flow.  Then people arrive, and as the population increases, you start to second guess your decision to tell everyone ‘sure, bring someone, I don’t care’.  Soon people are hungry because you’re running out of food, and they’re all wanting cocktails because they didn’t think the term BYOB applied to them.  Later on though, things work out and go smoothly, and you wonder what the problem was in the first place.


Just walking Hershey to the park is a blast; she has no idea what’s going to happen, but she’s reluctantly hoping that instead of passing by the giant grassy area, we’ll actually get to go run around in it.  Once we make that left into the park, she’s wagging her tail, wining a bit – her excitement level increases.  It’s when the leash comes off and the toy comes out that you begin to wonder if this was a good idea.


To put it mildly, she goes apeshit crazy.


Our neighbors probably think we keep her in a shoe box and poke her with sticks, because she’s just losing control.  Throwing the frisbee becomes a life or death struggle, where triumph brings the victor the spoils of mighty nations, and each flight is a joyous occasion worthy of a choir.  Twenty minutes of this, and she’s just dead.  She’ll bring the frisbee to you, drop it, then lay down; she’s done.  Pick it up and throw it again, and she’ll chase after it – only her exhausted frustration begins to mount.  If the frisbee hits the ground and goes in a different direction than she expected, she groans as she struggles to contain her momentum and shift to the new vector.


And even in the midst of all of this, if you’re not playing, she looks at you with this quizzical sort of gaze.  Almost like she’s asking you, “Why are just standing there with that black thing?  Don’t you know we have a frisbee?”

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“Every day I’m at my desk / At my desk I’m like the rest / All I do / I want to do / With you”  – The Servant


Sun in the sky, 75 degrees, Em’s outside with the dog playing and doing some chores.  I’m inside, toiling away to meet a early deadline I accidentally set myself.  Try to impress the boss and you know what happens?  They expect you to deliver.  What the hell is that?


I did manage to get out and shoot a couple.  Including Em trying to get Hershey to not be so afraid of the hose.  Yes.  We have a Lab that’s afraid of water – afraid of nearly everything, really – so we have to acclimate her to the purpose of her breed very slowly.  

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