Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Dog Park Totem*
Dog Park Tales
We took Jazz, our mixed-breed bow-wow, to the dog park on only two or three occasions. Although she loves people, she is ambivalent toward dogs. She is a rescue dog. Judging by her poor doggie social skills, I assume that her puppyhood was far from ideal.
Books on dog behavior stress the importance of a pup's need to interact with other dogs, especially littermates. The first six weeks are crucial. This is the time puppies learn the boundaries between playing and fighting, and dominance and submission. A puppy deprived from socializing with other dogs does not develop the neural pathways normal dogs do. A dog's brain is hard-wired in puppyhood to enable it to negotiate the complexities of canine society throughout adolescence and adulthood.
Poor Jazz, she is oblivious to the social cues and etiquette that normal dogs possess. Her third and final visit to the dog park ended badly. Jazz unknowingly antagonized a big dog. He lost his temper and bit her tail. There are multitudes of veins and arteries that traverse the length of a dog's tail. The bite was a bloody nuisance. Whenever Jazz wagged her tail, the bandage slid off and her blood splattered everywhere. It took a couple of days for the scab to form.
New Cameras and the Dog Park
Every three of four years, I replace an old camera with a new one. Digital technology moves along so fast that the shelf life of modern-day cameras is about equivalent to that of breakfast cereal.
Prior to this past Saturday, the last time I visited the dog park was to test a full-frame Sony digital camera in 2009. I wanted to try using the Sony outside the studio. Mostly, I wanted to see if the autofocus was fast and accurate enough to catch dogs-in-motion. The Sony really did not work well for that application. No matter, I purchased the camera mainly for studio photography. It is so much easier to control a canine subject in a studio. High-speed strobe lights freeze action—dogs are twitchy.
A couple of days ago, I went back to the dog park to test a new full-frame camera—this time a Nikon. My daughter Helen, and our recently rescued Chiweenie tagged along. The dog must have received coaching from his previous owner. He took to the agility course with aplomb. He was the talk of the park.
I went off on my own to test the Nikon. I used a 70-200mm zoom lens. The camera did not disappoint. It captured dogs-in-motion without a hiccup. Oddly, I prefer the static shots to the action photos. Aside from noticing improvements in digital photo technology, as evidenced by the new Nikon, I noticed that I am slower, stiffer, and creakier than I was during my last dog park excursion with the Sony. Woe is me.
I assembled "Dog Totem" from the pictures I took with the Nikon at the dog park. Dog park tales and dog totem: done. And now good news about wiener dogs and photography:
Wake up Orlando, Tampa Bay, and Lakeland! Wiener dog photo sessions are half-price at Top Dog Studios during the month of May. Schedule an appointment today— only five slots available. Call: (863) 607-9059.