Friday, October 23, 2009

Dog Days

I haven't been stitching much, lately. I've been having a hard time trying to figure out a plan. Not just for stitching but for--you know--all of it. I am boring even myself with the depths of my self investigation.

Stella and I have been experimenting with a new dog park. This one is fenced--the original was a beautiful 30+ acres but once she realized there was no fence, she wasn't as easy to corral at the end of the session. But because the new park is fenced we have to be more mindful of who and how many whos are in it. Stella loves other dogs. She just doesn't love too many of them all at once. On Tuesday when we went at 12:30, there were about a dozen dogs that greeted her with butt sniffing and barking when she came in. Waaaaaay too many. She freaked. We had to go squat on the little dog side (there were no little dogs) until some of the big dogs cleared out. Yesterday we went at three and *bliss* two boxers who love to chase and be chased. She was tuckered out.

But in reality I am a horrible dog mother. I let my dog chew sticks. Usually sticks of unusual size. Inappopriate on so many levels. But they bring Stella such joy. Honestly, you've never seen an animal get so much pleasure from a pile of yard waste.

I've tried to find a stick substitute. I went with the ORKA stick. My sister calls it Stella's dildo. And I'm not going to lie to you: that's exactly what it looks like, especially once she pulls those colored cords out of it, which is the first thing she does. She takes some pleasure from the rubber version, but she will not pleasure herself with it out of doors. Stella has some definite ideas about toys. Some are indoor toys and some are outdoor toys. Outdoors belongs to sticks.

Coral asked how I get such great photos of Stella. The answer is the same I give to any question about taking better photos: take more. I take hundreds. In the act of taking hundreds of snaps, you're bound to get one very good one. Also, always get closer than you think you need to be. Frame filling is far better than having too much white stpace. Check the scrapbooking section of your favorite box craft store for photography books--they're aimed at regular folks who want to take better pictures not Photographers who want to Study the Art.

14 comments:

Kathy said...

Love the photos of Stella. And the sticks....... Well, my Rory is also a stick dog. He will take them from the back part of the yard and drag them to the deck. I just try and take them away once he starts really chewing on them. Dragging them and breaking them up are okay. :) Have you tried tennis balls? They also make other shape toys in that fuzzy yellow material. most dogs love them.

Irene said...

My Tiger is also a stick dog, loves to chew them to bits. She also loves nose diving for rocks :)

Lee said...

Our Penny was a lab and she had this thing for anything made of wood. Unfortunately, besides sticks that included woodwork, chairs, and anything made of wood pulp. Paper, tissues, toilet paper, and the occasional $20 bill.

I've always wondered if the fondness for wood was a lab thing?

Wish I could help you with the life plan/introspection thing, but I've found that it evolves and changes all the time. The only two things I've learned about life are that we should never say never and never say always. Good luck!

mainely stitching said...

OMG. Dog dildoes. There's a hole in the market. No pun intended. OMG!!

Our Rigby chews sticks, too. Or bits of wood. He LOVES to chew tree-type wood. And then happily barf it up once he's indoors. Ugh. Lola loves to chew furniture-type wood. She does not barf. TMI?

Kathryn said...

You said what most people need to get about photography perfectly. Just shoot. Get closer. You could also add: Watch your background (to avoid those telephone poles growing out of people's head thing). My husband is a professional ART photographer and he is glad if he gets one usable shot from a "roll" of 36 (OK, he hasn't shot film in years). It used to be expensive to throw away shots, but with digital media, it isn't, so you have NO excuse not to shoot lots. (Even with film, my husband always was of the opinion that time was way more expensive than film, so shoot lots).

Kristen said...

She's a cutie! :)

doris said...

I've never even thought about the existence of dog dildos. I'm not sure what that says about me. Whatever it takes to make Stella happy.

Terri(TerriBoog) said...

My dogs like sticks, mulch, dirt - whatever! The littlest one, Gracie, walks around with great big branches that are way bigger than she is - much like Stella is doing. I find it quite humorous.

I had the same philosophy about snapping pics of the kids - had to take a ton to get a couple of good ones!
Stella's a beauty!

Coral said...

Patch used to eat her stick a lot, she had it for years. It never harmed her, her teeth were pretty blunt tho' by the time she died. But who wants sharp teeth on your pooch?

Your photos are great. Clever you!

Introspection, sometimes good, sometimes bad, if you start spending more time introspecting (is that a word?) than living life, you fail! So balance is the key!

Anonymous said...

what about rawhide? our lab/shep mix loves rawhide retriever rolls. they're 6-7 inches long and last about a week. our vet says that the party line in veterinary school is that rawhides should be frowned upon, but he's never seen a case where rawhide was the culprit. the american beefhide ones at target are pretty affordable.

Alice said...

Grace Kelly loves those huge rawhide bones, but like Stella they just don't take the place of sticks! Tree limbs are better. Grace mostly just likes to break them into smaller bits and doesn't really chew them much. I wish we could go to a dog park, but Grace is a Saluki and not recommended off leash, also a bit intolerant of other dogs. So I get to walk a couple of hours a day to tucker her out.

Life plans are notoriously hard to figure out. Just keep swimming.

Catherine G. said...

Thanks for the description of the doggie "toy" - I needed a laugh this evening!

Annemarie said...

Doggie dildoes, Anna? Who knew. Wonder if they make anything like that for cats. Although they wouldn't be much use to Pantoef now. Or at all. Since he's a boy. And has been fixed. Hm.
Anyway, I love your pics and Stella seems to be enjoying her sticks :o)

Aussie Stitcher said...

Love the doggy dildo LOL!!! I had a German Shorted Haired Pointer, he was a gorgeous dog. He loved empty plastic soft drink/soda bottles. Not sure if it was because of the bounciness of them, or to get the remaining drink, but he would chew on them for hours. Belated happy birthday also.