neige

We managed to make it up to one of our favourite places to frolic in the last snow of the season, bask in the sunshine, take 1000s of photos of our dogs running, and enjoy each other’s company. We hiked for probably 11km and stopped at the town nearby for kebabs on the way home. Lumen didn’t run off once, Mal wasn’t too tired, Loki didn’t smash himself to pieces trying to go very fast. It was lovely.

Here are my favourites:

Ready, set, go!!!

Ready, set, go!!!

I love the trees up here. Some are burnt and are just white trunks... some still have splodges of colour and are all twisted and cool shapes.

I love the trees up here. Some are burnt and are just white trunks… some still have splodges of colour and are all twisted and cool shapes.

She's just so beautiful and so photogenic...

She’s just so beautiful and so photogenic…

Sometimes she even poses majestically...

Sometimes she even poses majestically…

Mal is, as usual, yelling at everyone. Loki's trying to round up Lu, and Lu is just having the best time because snow.

Mal is, as usual, yelling at everyone. Loki’s trying to round up Lu, and Lu is just having the best time because snow.

Badgers are pointy and handsome...

Badgers are pointy and handsome…

And you can race fast dogs across nice scenery and backgrounds...

And you can race fast dogs across nice scenery and backgrounds…

And Mal, even at nearly 12, still walked the 11km without pulling up lame or being too sad.

And Mal, even at nearly 12, still walked the 11km without pulling up lame or being too sad.

I <3 these guys

I

Loki can do it better than his biggerer brother. ;)

Loki can do it better than his biggerer brother. 😉

3 proud dogs on a rock

3 proud dogs on a rock

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things are weird up close

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a ‘clip on’ lens for my iphone – actually it came with 3 lenses – marco, fish-eye and wide-angle. I got it for the wide angle because I film most of my agility stuff in slow-mo and in the iPhone it crops it so much… The other two just came along with it. I tried the wide-angle the other day and it didn’t seem to work – kept having the edge of the lens in the frame so I’m not sure if that’s operator error of what but I thought it would be fun today to get a photo of Loki’s toe to show how it’s healing… I’ll put that and the rest of the photos under the cut. Some people don’t like this stuff and I think everything looks all weird.

Loki got an off-lead run with Lumen today, with his foot bandaged. I had taken him for an off-lead walk yesterday but it’s so wet here at the moment that I think it softened and came back a little less stable than it was when we left. So I kept an eye on it today and as soon as I felt it was too soft, we went home. But he got to run with Lumen through the burnt bit of the forest we visited, so plenty of ‘natures cavalettis’ to navigate. Plus he actually got to RUN – because what better to really stretch out and run than to try and beat Lumen nowhere.

Still waiting on the yeast thing to clear up. I think it’s focusing all its strength on the webbing between two of the toes and is fading out slowly on the rest of the foot. VERY SLOWLY. I got some wipes from the produce store (um… that’s like a store which sells things for horses, in Australia. Not a fruit & veg store) which are meant to be anti-bacterial & anti fungal. Figure it can’t hurt.

On to the photos!

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sneak

I have one very, very sleepy Border Collie snoozing near the couch. Yesterday after the seminar he came home and wanted to chase Lumen and wrestle. No such wrestling tonight.

I don’t have the energy to debrief the whole thing right now and I’m trying to find some mad EDM music for the video (everything is too pretty and dreamy – I want fast and frantic, like how I felt running Loki). Once I have the perfect music, I’ll set it to upload overnight because our internet uploads at less than .4 mbps, it apparently shouldn’t take THAT long but trust me, it’ll take about 5 hours. Not kidding. Unless I upload it from school. Might do that, hey?

In the meantime here are a couple of sneak-peak photos that Nic took while I was out there madly trying to get from one place to the next. By the end Loki felt less frantic (tired) and therefore I felt less frantic. Watching the video though, I don’t know how it felt slower. This dog doesn’t do slow.

A very nice little backside-going collie, letting me get some distance on him for a second. ;)

A very nice little backside-going collie, letting me get some distance on him for a second. 😉

I love this photo very much. I made an effort over the weekend to pretty much reward Loki no matter what. I knew that most of the time, his mistakes were a result of my mistakes, or him being a baby. Here we've just stuffed something up but I love that you wouldn't know it by looking at the photo. So much happiness. :)

I love this photo very much. I made an effort over the weekend to pretty much reward Loki no matter what. I knew that most of the time, his mistakes were a result of my mistakes, or him being a baby. Here we’ve just stuffed something up but I love that you wouldn’t know it by looking at the photo. So much happiness. 🙂

And he didn't knock as many bars as I thought he might. LOTS of bars on Saturday when he was fully hyped to be there and we were doing little 3-bar 1-tunnel things... many less bars when shit got real. ;) (and real technical)

And he didn’t knock as many bars as I thought he might. LOTS of bars on Saturday when he was fully hyped to be there and we were doing little 3-bar 1-tunnel things… many less bars when shit got real. 😉 (and real technical)

family photos 2

I wanted to learn how to take photos into the sun like fancy people do so I taught myself.

Here are some more photos to choose from, one of which I might blow up big and put on my wall.

Which do you like most:

DSC09817 DSC09828

I have this same one less "bright", too, if you're not a fan of effects

I have this same one less “bright”, too, if you’re not a fan of effects

DSC09855

family photos

I’ve been on a bit of a photo-spree in our house, as we had some frames lying around that we hadn’t put up yet, and some with just Lu & Mal, etc. So I took some nice family photos today and these were the best of them. Do you like #1 or #2 the best? Or maybe you don’t like my “artistic effects” as Dad calls them, so maybe you like neither.

Very nice family portrait #1

Very nice family portrait #1

Very nice family portrait #2

Very nice family portrait #2

Here is the original of that 2nd one.

posibility2

And here is a nice one of Lumen because she’s very pretty. I can’t get that one to quite cooperate how I want it to.

A very lovely photo of a lovely dog.

A very lovely photo of a lovely dog.

Also, Lumen would like you to know that kangaroos have been visiting next door. Yes, kangaroos. We’ve seen at least 4 of them, but apparently there were 30. When we were doing photos this morning the kangaroos weren’t there but Lumen could do nothing beside stare and stare and stare into the paddock where they were.

All of Lumen's dreams have come true.

All of Lumen’s dreams have come true (taken with a zoom lens, but probably only 300m away, I guess)

"Please. Please stop making noises, stop singing, stop trying to bribe me with squeaky toys. I KNOW there are roos over there..." (there weren't) "so please just shut up and let me go hunt them. I don't want to be doing your stupid photos, I want to be checking for kangaroos. Why is this so hard to understand?"

Lumen: “Please. Please stop making noises, stop singing, stop trying to bribe me with squeaky toys. I KNOW there are roos over there…” (there weren’t) “so please just shut up and let me go hunt them. I don’t want to be doing your stupid photos, I want to be checking for kangaroos. Why is this so hard to understand?”

Mal: Yes, yes. We’ve been doing this camera thing for 11 years. Can we just get it over and done with please?

Loki: Ok, sit very still, be a very good border collie, does she have a toy?! Maybe, maybe she does. Be very good, look very nice, maybe you will get the toy. But if you don’t, Lumen will, and that’s ok, you can go very fast, yes, very very fast… but not yet! First you have to be very good and look very nice.

irony (I think)

I just finished my novel, last night. All 100,622 words of it. I make Nic tell me over and over the things he likes about it, to reassure me that it’s ok, because I can’t believe that what I’ve written is actually any good. He reassures me that he doesn’t like it because he’s my husband, but because it is genuinely good and he enjoyed reading it.

Still don’t believe him.

One of the main themes in my book was the idea of fate, being in control of it, or under its control. Today felt like one of those days to me.

We started the day with some amazing agility photos:

Such a lovely tunnel shot. <3

Such a lovely tunnel shot. ❤

Nic took this photo and it is so so so so so perfect. I can't stop looking at it, I love it so much.

Nic took this photo and it is so so so so so perfect. I can’t stop looking at it, I love it so much.

This one is pretty cool too. Doesn't look like too safe of a hit, unless you knew that her front foot had already hit the middle of the contact-zone.

This one is pretty cool too. Doesn’t look like too safe of a hit, unless you knew that her front foot had already hit the middle of the contact-zone.

This one isn't a good hit AT ALL, but I love how you get a real sense of the momentum and speed from both of us.

This one isn’t a good hit AT ALL, but I love how you get a real sense of the momentum and speed from both of us.

So after that I took Lumen and Loki to the beach.

I worked it out earlier, I reckon I’ve spent at least 12 hours walking on that beach over these 5 weeks of holidays. Every time, safe and fun, everyone has had a great time, no real incidents.

Then just as we’re heading home, 1.5 hours into a 2 hour hike, Lu runs with Loki past a stick (not carrying it, just a piece of driftwood sticking out) and cuts open her front leg and some skin on her ribs. And instead of pretty agility photos, I get photos like this:

After visiting the vet. They had to make the wound bigger to get enough skin to stitch it back together, or something.

After visiting the vet. They had to make the wound bigger to get enough skin to stitch it back together, or something.

Which is so, so frustrating, not only because it’s Lumen and we just can’t seem to go injury/sickness/something free for more than 6 months, but because you can’t possibly predict or plan for this. Unless you cotton-wool ball your dogs, or only take them walking on lead (which then risks agility injuries!!!) or, I dunno, make them wear jousting-knight’s armour…

Nothing is going to injure my damned dog now. NOTHING! Except a snake. And possibly injuries from carrying too much weight all the time.

And I got one really, really helpful comment on my Facebook status about her injury:

“I alway worry about that at the beach. Poor lumen”, which is like, really? Do I need your fucking guilt trip right now? Is it really necessary for you to make me feel bad about walking my fucking dogs on the beach so we don’t run into snakes and so they don’t get injured doing the sport we love? Like, what does that even mean? I know this woman walks her dogs on bush tracks. Does she worry about them there? There’s plenty of sticks to injure themselves on there! Take them to an open field then, but wait! Then there’s holes for them to fall in and hurt their legs that way! You can’t fricken win, so don’t fricken guilt-trip me it gives me the shits.

Fuck.

So there you have it. Fate is a crafty bitch. The end.

pearry funny

I haven’t photo-dumped here in a while so here’s some nice shots I took of the dogs running around yesterday. Please enjoy the multiple pear-related puns within.

Yesterday we went for a nice bushwalk and the dogs sniffed a writhing mass of ants. Loki got a bit distressed about his back leg so I figured he’d been stung but when we got home Lu went crazy. Even though he’d hiked 7km, up and down hills, she wouldn’t settle, was scratching/digging the carpet, couldn’t lie down… she looked super happy though so I just thought she was being weird… but then I found bumps on her legs and so I reckon she got bitten even worse than Loki. Seems better now.

Loki’s DW is giving me nightmares. One minute it’ll be good, it’ll be great if I start him with his paws at the beginning of the up-ramp but add speed and it all falls apart. So, rather than tear my hair out, I’m putting our progress in someone else’s hands, and I’ve signed up for RC class with Silvia. I’ve been thinking about it for a few weeks but finding myself sitting on the ground in tears (I’m blaming PMS because I’m tearing up right now and that’s just dumb) over a really awful DW session just isn’t good for me OR for little Loki. It’s not fair. So I need Silvia to say things like: “just keep going this” even though it doesn’t work because I have such a strong need to change things if they don’t work that I’m really, really bad at being consistent. Isn’t there a quote about only a fool trying something again when it failed the first time? Oh, not even a fool, the insane. Apparently that’s an Einstein quote. So I try and avoid being insane and change things around to try and get better results, as any good scientist would, when in fact he might just need to figure things out before the picture changes, I’m just not very good at knowing when it’s a matter of holding out and waiting for improvement, vs. changing something (whether it’s height, carpet, apex, starting spot, starting thing (eg. tunnel, wrap, jump etc), reward placement, etc). So I’m hoping Silvia can help. If SHE can’t help us, nobody can and we’re going to do 2o2o. Yuck.

Only a week and a half of school holidays left. Which is horrible.

Oh! And I’m up to 80,000 words in my novel, 130 pages. Not sure if I’ll finish it by the end of holidays. I’m AWFUL at solving the problems I write. This is where I get really stuck. Blergh.