As luck would have it, when it was time to take yesterday's snapshot I was hanging out of my second story window (trying to fix a loose piece of siding that yellow jackets nested under last year) and I had my new camera with me.
( What might I take pictures of with a new camera? Dogs? Lichen? Drainage conduit? Urban Nature? Click to see!Collapse )
- Current Location:United States, Massachusetts, Dedham
- Current Music:Dogzilla - Brain
The new male markhor shows off his perching skills at Stone Zoo.
To say that Alexis is good with dogs is wholly inadequate. When Alexis is in the company of a dog, she becomes aware of its consciousness on a level most of us never get to. She becomes aware of the dog's mood, it's stress level, how the dog feels about the people and other dogs around it. She notices the position of the dog's ears and tail, how it is holding its head, whether its eyes are "soft" or not.
She gauges, usually accurately, what a dog means by a particular bark. She can tell what a restless puppy is searching for--a place to pee, a place to nap, a drink of water, or a playmate. She learns quickly what any given "reactive" dog will react to. She becomes aware of that dog's triggers, and takes pains to prevent situations that set the dog off. She honed this particular skill with Maggie, a dog that "reacts" in various negative ways to strange people, dogs, running children, motorcycles and lawnmowers, fireworks, thunder, wildlife, domestic cats, and even the mention of the word "cat."
When Alexis is with a dog, she is with that dog more than she is doing anything else. All other activities and interactions are secondary to her connection to the dog. She may suddenly break away from a conversation in mid-sentence without explanation to take the dog away from an interaction that she foresees. She may cross the street or change direction to avoid meeting up with someone, even if that person is an old friend, if it better suits the dog.
In almost anyone else's care, Maggie would have been put down years ago. Alexis knows that Maggie is not malicious (or this other very strange and inappropriate for animals word "vicious"), she is reactive and has (a long list of) specific triggers that can be avoided to keep her from acting out, or shutting down. Maggie has no idea how fortunate she is to belong to someone so attuned to her weird personality, weird even among the very weird species Canis domesticus.
Alexis has found an amazingly suitable profession for herself. I hope she gets deeper into it, and becomes a professional dog trainer. I am sure she would quickly be recognized for her extraordinary talents.
December third, still warm enough to hang out in the back yard.
Cammie and Maggie, frenemies separated by a baby gate.
Meanwhile, at the front of the house.
My dad said he's been looking at this journal a lot lately, and I should post pictures of my dogs more often. Notice objects in background, secured for impending hurricane.
To make sure these rocks don't blow away, I put rocks on top of them.
Unidentified fly on the recycle bin.
A recent permutation of the backyard rock balance.