A Happy First Day Of Spring (I would just tell them I trained her with “love.”)

Happy Pixel 1/1000 sec at f/3.2 ISO 100 200mm

Happy Pixel
1/1000 sec at f/3.2 ISO 100 200mm


So today is the first day of spring although a bit cool and breezy with some clouds there was a lot of blue sky too. Even though it was not the beautiful warm day I had hoped for, I will still take it and be happy. And speaking of happy; today was International Happiness Day and I had asked everybody to get out and do something that makes you happy and then take a photo or photos and share them to social media of your choice.

Being a work day I kind of knew what it was that I wanted to do that would be fun but a little out of the ordinary routine for me. After work I went for a nice ride down the country roads where I grew up. It is not far away so it was easy and it was peaceful. The countryside was a little barren looking with the lack of green but still fun to see the sights nonetheless.

Then I arrived home and the real fun began. Last weekend I had bought a new toy for Pixie and I couldn’t wait to play “fetch” with her. Of recent it really has been too cool in the afternoon when I arrive home, so I would just take her out for her normal walk around the farm, trying to keep her out of the mud and cockleburs. But for today I was taking on a big challenge. I was going to play with her and photograph at the same time; all while staying upright and not falling in the mud myself. The toy is a flying duck of sorts and she absolutely loves it. My wife had her out the other day and she said they had a lot of fun.

Pixie is young and she is still learning, she’s not quite a year old. My previous Bichon Snuggs was so good at exploring on her own and I feel this makes up a big part of a dogs personality. I am not a canine expert by any means but I do know Snuggs was a very exceptional creature. Many people from vets to trainers and people I would meet would almost always comment on Snuggs amazing personality & behavior. I never really gave it much thought but it was always the main topic of conversation if someone was around her for more than 10 minutes. As the years went by I started to ponder this because I had done nothing at all to train the dog. The most I had done was yelling at her and when she was young and did something wrong, also I would swat her away if she was doing something annoying or dangerous and that is it. No formal training at all and when people asked I would just tell them I trained her with “love.” So today I let Pixie off her leash and let her explore an area that she has been just itching to get to. There is an old car carrier trailer and when we walk past she always wants to go underneath or climb up to explore. I know she is looking for that elusive field mouse or ground mole. So for about 20 minutes I kept a close eye on her and she had her fun. When I called she came back and looked as if her curiosity had been satisfied.

So now we bring out the duck and what a blast we both had. I would throw the duck and she would run out and retrieve it, rough it up and fight with it, then return back to me and do it all over again. I did manage to get off some good shots of her retrieving the duck. I even was able (with some fore thought) to put a little style in the shots by throwing the duck to the west in the direction of the sun. So when she runs to retrieve Mr. Duck the sun is behind and above her and I have the camera angled down to her so the darker ground (field) is her backdrop. With sun above and behind her it lights up her fur with some pleasing highlights. This technique I use a lot for females with lots of hair and it is even more awesome with bridal veils. All that sunlight is behind the subject while the face is in even light (a shadow), you meter the camera off the face and “bingo” you have a nice pleasing photo. I thank Cliff Mautner for that priceless piece of knowledge.

So to conclude; I did have fun taking some photographs and playing with my fur-kid. I am happy to share a few photos with you and I hope you like them.


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