Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category
My full-blooded 11-year-old basset hound Carrie has mast-cell cancer. We chose to let her live out her days in comfort and dignity. We give her prednisone to slow down the tumor’s growth, anti-histamine pills twice a day to help her with the histamines the cancerous cells release, and antacids for stomach issues she may have digesting prednisone. I also feed her twice a day a grain-free dog food with a tiny bit of grain-free canned food to make it more appetizing. On top of it all, Carrie gets a midmorning or midday snack, which consists of a berry-type of fruit (in the photo I’m providing, she’s fed 1 strawberry and 6-10 blueberries), plain yogurt, and a raw egg. Carrie was given 3-months to live on November 2015. Today is January 3, 2016, and she’s quite healthy. I am hoping that my she will have many more birthdays to celebrate on April 15 (he birthdate). And I am hoping that my food choices for her and her younger brothers (the black-and-white dogs also in the photo) are responsible for her longevity.
Fourth of July is a big event in the United States. We celebrate our nation’s birthday, and we celebrate it with a bang, lots of bangs, actually. Unfortunately, many pets are afraid of the loud noises associated with fireworks. Here are some tips in helping your pets cope with the holiday:
- Leave your pets at home.
Many pets are not used to large crowds and a lot of noise. The noise and commotion can be extremely frightening
- Have quiet place to keep pets if you are hosting a party.
Fireworks make pets very uncomfortable and agitated, and can hurt their very sensitive hearing. Have a place for them where they will not become frightened and hurt themselves.
- Oddly enough, don’t comfort them when they are scared of loud noises.
Comforting a pet when they are scared of loud noises tells them that they have reason to be frightened. Turn up the radio to help drown out the noise and put lots of lights on so that the flashes are less noticeable. Act normally, keeping your voice light and unconcerned.
- Don’t tie your dog outside during fireworks.
This will increase their anxiety.
- Don’t leave your outdoor pets unattended, even in a fenced yard.
The chaos may cause them to panic and hurt themselves trying to escape. A scared animal is not careful, and many are hit by cars when running wildly away from something they think is dangerous.
A few days ago, I got my copy of Dog Fancy and in it was an article about “Memorializing Your Dog.” That article hit home. I had so many of my pets go to the Bridge. Of course, I have a multiple-pet household, which means that I will have many more pets leaving us at some point or another. So, I’d like to share with you how I handle my own memorial.
When our first pet died, a guinea pig named “Sparky,” we buried him in our yard and the children made some rudimentary marker that was way too fragile to put in the ground. Then other guinea pigs joined, as well as a number of hamsters and birds. I planted a small bush around the small-pet cemetery. Twenty-five years later, that bush is huge.
When our first dog, Ginger, died, we had her cremated. We were going to bury her in the “pet cemetery,” but never got around to it. My daughter didn’t want her in the ground where she would remain if we were ever to move. So, I put Ginger’s ashes in one of the shelves of one of our bookcases. Not too long later, other dogs followed.
The place where time stops
The boxes that the crematory gave us became too big and numerous to hide in the bookcase. It was time to look for another place. Just about that time, a faux grandfather clock that my Dad gave us when I was a young bride broke. The clock handles broke, and the clock no longer was telling time. I placed Ginger, Coriander, and Zack Curry behind the clock. They were placed where time stopped.
Now, that clock houses Cinnamon, Basil, Camembert, and my Mom’s cat, Cirmi. It is where all my pets will go. That’s my way of memorizing them. Someday, as this song says, I will be gone too. Then, my pets will be going with me. If I’m cremated, my ashes will be mixed with theirs and spread. If I’m to be buried, I want them in my casket. What is your way of memorizing your pets?
The Basics of Dog Photography
Other than baby photos, pictures of pets are among the most popular in any household. Unfortunately, they also tend to suffer the most from poor quality or, as we term it in the trade, snapshot-itis. You may have this problem if friends start walking away fast when you mention the latest photos of your cat or if your dog’s loving brown eyes end up glowing green like some malevolent demon in every shot you take.
Here Are Five Surefire Ways to Help Avoid Snapshot-itis
1) Change angles
Most pet photos are taken from the perspective of a human being looking down while the pet looks up. Bor-rinnnnnng! Try something different and get down at their level or, if they’re moving, pan with them as you take the shot.
2) Stick with natural light. Turn off or cover the on-camera flash
On-camera flashes are evil. They flatten everything out, cast harsh shadows and are the source of the infamous glowing green pet eyes. If you have to use a flash go with an off-camera one and bounce the light off a ceiling or wall.
3) Stay out of direct sun and shoot in the morning or late afternoon
Contrary to popular belief, bright sunlight is not a photographers friend. It wreaks havoc with your exposure and you typically end up with lots of nasty shadows in places you don’t want them. I avoid photographing subjects outside in direct light except first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon before sunset when the light is angled low.
4) Don’t wait for the perfect moment and don’t be afraid to take lots of shots but…
Most of us are shooting digital these days so you can essentially take as many pictures as you want. With pets, unpredictability is the rule of law. You never know how a shoot is going to go. All you can do is be there and hope you catch the moment. This requires taking a lot of shots in quick sequence and culling through them later for the best one.
5) …make sure you edit yourself
Some of the most important work happens after you shoot. It sounds cliche but less is more. It’s easy to become enamored of the 100 pictures you took of Spot playing with his new ball but chances are your friends won’t feel the same way. Limit what you show people to only the very best.