Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More pre-firework madness

There were more fireworks tonight as part of the festival, so when I took Louise out on her evening walk, things were already quite busy. Still, she likes the added activity and had fun interacting with the people who wanted to say hi.

I had my camera with me and have to say, I am much happier with how some of these photos turned out than I have been generally. I'm just a little slow learning how to get the best out of this one, I guess.
For example, in this first shot, if you click on it you will even see the light reflecting off Louise's whiskers. I did reduce the contrast a little because there was so much light behind her and I wanted to draw out the detail in her face. I also dimmed the brightness to compensate for the 'washed out' look that less contrast can give.

This next shot was fun. The poor guy wasn't expecting a dog to come investigate his handiwork (he was smashing mussel shells with a rock.) Once Louise determined that there was nothing edible here she was ready to move on. Other than cropping, I didn't have to do much to this photo.

Just before we started to head back we noticed about six mounted police officers taking advantage of the empty street. (Several streets were blocked off from car traffic several hours before and after the fireworks event.) Louise was really interested in the horses - she is familiar with them from our time up in Vernon, so she was not barking and acting crazy.

This last photo is my attempt at a 'chase camera' angle, where the back of her head is in focus while still capturing the subject in the background. I am actually holding the dog in one arm and holding the camera away from me in the other, shooting 'blind' if you will. I guess the older camera was good practice because I like how this one turned out, especially with the sunlight reflecting in front of the officers.

I've talked a lot about the fireworks. If you are interested in seeing photos I took at the show tonight, you can check out my flickr page. You might find the occasional shot of Louise in there too.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Skateboarding in the office?

As usual today was a work day for Louise. For the first time in a while, it was also raining on the way in, which makes it a little trickier for me as I have to steer a stroller, take the dog on a leash and hold the umbrella all at once.

I am not the most coordinated individual, so it's tougher than it might sound. Especially when Louise starts to bark at traffic.

Not that I can really complain. Louise was pretty good on our walk in. I had the stroller zipped up for a change in an effort to minimize the rain that would get in on her, but really, it is only a mesh covering for about half of it, so it only did so much.

Once in the office, we got settled into our routine of me working and Louise napping or visiting other employees. Eventually we had a rather long meeting that she felt the need to attend but that only lasted for about the first half, at which point she had to go for a stretch. She didn't go far though, as I saw her checking out the receptionist's desk to see if she had any spare broccoli stalks. (In Louise's defense, our receptionist DOES bring broccoli in on Tuesdays because she knows Louise will be in.)

As usual, Greg was in and at one point he brought in an old Tony Hawk skateboard from the late eighties. It didn't take long before we had Louise on the board (it took a couple treats to get her to cooperate) taking a few blurry photos. Turning on the flash helped, but made the room look darker than it was.

The last picture is of Louise on my lap, which is a spot she spent a lot of time in today. We discovered that she has another wart on her paw, this time on the other side and luckily, higher up so she isn't walking on it. But it clearly bothers her as she has started to lick her paw quite a bit and it was inflamed today. The wart is basically in between her toes so I am not sure if it causes her discomfort or not. We will probably get her into the vet this week - the new, reasonably priced vet, not the one that does flowery casts. We haven't talked to the vet yet though, so I'm not going to get ahead of myself.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Admirers young and old alike

Louise and I were down to the seawall a couple hours before the fireworks show and the crowds were already forming. We were stopped by several people, but in particular were these two children who like most children, had dozens of questions for me about Louise, like how old she was, what her name was, the usual sort of stuff.

Louise generally likes times like this though, since she is what I would consider to be a 'people dog' in that she really enjoys the company of humans - especially compared to cats. Dogs can be okay, but they do have a habit of getting on her bad side if they act out. Like this one dog that was being held on a leash by this scruffy old man - as soon as it saw Louise it started to growl and bark and show bared teeth. It's owner just stood there and stared at it, and generally did nothing about the situation. Eventually Louise started to bark back at the other dog so I had to calm her down somewhat and give them extra room as we walked away.

But that was an exception. I would say that everyone else that met Louise that day was friendly and happy to see her, including one elderly couple who also had more than just a few questions about Louise, like how much does she shed, how old is she, do I think that pugs are a good breed of dog to own, etc. The questions were worded differently, but they were not all that different from the ones of the children.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This time we sniffed the sea at the Seawall

I think that one of the things Louise likes about coming into the office with me is that she gets to go on a walk in a different part of town. For example, we usually get to walk along a different part of the Seawall, or walk along the quieter blocks close by the office. Well that, and it is a day off from the cats at home.

Today was slightly overcast, so the Seawall made a good choice. The tide was out so we were able to climb down the stone blocks to where the water was, and Louise had fun running along the edge. She wasn't really interested in going into the water today, again probably because the temperature wasn't as warm. Well that, and there were no bothersome cats in the area to complicate things.

No video today - I did take some time lapse footage, but at 30 frames a second, it only gives me 4 seconds of footage. Maybe if I can figure out how to stretch it out some then I can post it. And don't worry, there will be no cats in this video upload.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Beach dogs

We decided to take Louise down to the dog beach late this morning so that she could run around before it got too hot, as it was expected to this afternoon. She was pretty laid back as we walked the several blocks to get there, but once we got down to the water, she was able to meet a few other dogs, and that got her excited.

One dog we met was a little Boston Terrier that had a lot of white in her coat. The two dogs ran around and played for a while until Louise noticed some other dogs at the far end of the beach. In typical fashion, she darted off toward them and promptly forgot the little Boston. It wasn't until I was editing the photos later that I noticed that the person who brought the first dog was wearing fairly high heels down by the water. Not only did she not break an ankle, she didn't seem to be having any difficulty either.

Later on the way back, we stopped into the local pet store in part to cool Louise down as she was already starting to heat up in the sun. It was a task of walking from shady spot to shady spot but we made it back in good time. While I said we made our way to the store with the intent of cooling off Louise (they have dog water set out) we ended up buying another harness for her. We have been trying several to find one that doesn't make her feel uncomfortable as she will often pause to shake when she is wearing one. I guess our dog just likes being naked most of the time.

Like last time, I'm ending the post with a quick video of Louise. I'll probably tire of this quickly, or at least only post ones that aren't quite so shaky. I like how she uses a partially submerged rock in this one to get a better view of the larger dogs.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Camera, New Photos

Poor Louise. I got a new digital camera today, so she had to endure me taking over a hundred photos as I was trying to get used to it. As a result, I have at least one or two photos I can upload here, and a quick video too. Overall, I like the smaller size of the new camera and it does seem to take a good photo as I start to get used to it.
Louise endured multiple photo shoots and was rewarded for her efforts with treats and lots of praise. She also got to go on a longer walk than usual, so I think the trade off was pretty fair.

One of the things we noticed along our journey was the Celebration of Light barge has been set up already. This is probably the largest fireworks event in Vancouver all year and possibly the only fireworks event in Vancouver that even comes close to comparing to just about any American fireworks display.

On the way home, Louise met a nice lady who was out walking her dog. This lady offered a treat to Louise, so she was immediately promoted to the 'Best People to Meet on a Walk' list. Her dog was used to doing a bunch of tricks for treats, so he was able to shake paws, take a bow, etc. Louise wasn't even going to pretend to do all that, but she did consent to sitting pretty while the lady got the treat ready.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This requires more investigation

I took this shot last Tuesday when Louise was in the office. That's Greg peeking in the background and Louise is standing on the desk because she is more interested in the food I was eating than in the food I gave her. (See the uneaten carrot sticks and snap peas at her feet.)

Basically, it is just a goofy little moment caught over lunch time. Shortly after this Louise and I headed out for a brief walk - it was warmer that day so I opted to take her on shorter, but more frequent walks. It seemed to work out well, with Louise not getting quite so overheated as she would with a longer walk in the afternoon sun.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bath Night

We ran out of pet shampoo a little while ago, so Louise has been going a while without having to take a bath. As time went on, this became less and less acceptable. She's not the kind of dog that gets really stinky (or at least we don't let her get to that point) but after a day of rolling around on just about every lawn she came across, we decided enough was enough.

On our nightly walk we stopped into Bosley's, where she got her usual complimentary doggie treats - Louise has learned that if she sits, she gets more pupperoni, so when we entered, Louise decided the first thing she should do is to sit, right in the entrance. That of course didn't last long as she couldn't wait for the people in the store to bring the treats to her, so she had to run over to them.

Eventually we did get some shampoo and Louise finally got her bath. As usual, she is never really 'impressed' during these times, but she does tolerate things fairly well, so long as I can keep the water out of her eyes. I guess technically Louise doesn't bathe - she showers. It's just a lot easier to use the shower nozzle to point the water at her. I got a few of the obligatory dog-shakes, but other than that, she waits for me to wrap her in a towel and carry her into the living room to be properly dried off.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rollin' with Porsches

The other day Louise and I were out walking and it was getting pretty hot. When that happens, keeping her hydrated is kind of important. So when we saw a patch of freshly watered grass, Louise was only too happy to roll around in it to cool off. Rather than posting half a dozen nearly identical photos, I decided to do the next best thing and I roughly edited this one photo to have the best of the various shots I grabbed, all in the same spot-ish.

However, since some Porsche enthusiasts only like the older ones, I figured we could also include a shot that is more to their tastes. This older 911 was parked just a couple cars away from the gray one. While Louise wasn't in the mood to keep rolling around in the grass, she didn't mind relaxing in the shade.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Morning

Like a few other dogs in the area, Louise headed out early this morning to 'get her church on'. If you look closely, you can see the angelic glow in the first picture. Okay, that was me playing with the brightness and contrast, but it was taken on the church grounds, which just happens to be the closest place for her to sniff some grass and stretch her legs a bit.

In other news, we got a different harness for Louise, and it seems to work pretty well. The two black straps go under her forelegs and hook into the top of the collar - the effect is that when she pulls against the leash, she doesn't also choke herself half to death. (Yes, we have experienced the choking as she dashes after a car, only to catch the full length of the lead after about three strides and plenty of momentum.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Watching the cars

Sometimes Louise just has energy to burn. On days like those, her habit of chasing cars can be harder to control than usual. This shot, taken back in early May, was taken on a day such as this. Even the parked cars were suspect to her that day and she was watching them, waiting for any one of them to make a move.

Since my memory isn't that great, I can't remember what happened next. Most likely, I convinced her to move on but it's hard to say. There could have been another dog just outside of the photo that she was paying attention to instead. All I can say for sure is that at the time I took this photo, Louise was ready for action.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sitting in the sun on the sand

I keep meaning to post to my other blog, but of the photos I take the ones of Louise keep turning out best. I guess it does help that she's really not that big so I can crop around her easily.

Today's photo was taken on the beach along the seawall - it was sunny, there was little to no breeze and people were out enjoying the weather. Just the kind of day Louise likes, but I think that has more to do with having people along the way to stop and give her attention, or possibly some food. (Not that she gets any food, but a little dog never seems to give up hope on this.)

Later this evening she was napping on the sofa, and then woke with a start. She started barking and was so mad that she had to eat a bit of her food to calm herself down. It was all over in about five minutes, and it left my wife and I mildly amused and bewildered all at the same time. The reaction from the cats was more indifferent.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Tired, but wanting to walk anyway

I took Louise out for a walk around nine in the evening and could tell that she was not feeling very energetic. Just the same, she was pretty determined to go for a good walk, and if I slowed the pace or sat on a bench for a bit, Louise was the one who looked impatient. Not that I really minded though. It's just that I could tell she was tired, so I was making sure that I didn't walk her too far.

It was a nice night for a walk though, and a little bit cool - perfect temperatures for her, as we are now in the season where dogs like Louise can overheat easily. In the first picture you can see that her tail is down, and not curled. This is Louise's 'energy meter' on most days, with it going down only when she is exhausted. This is why I was stopping at the park benches - I figured she was done.

The last laugh was on me, when she wanted to go out for a brief run at about eleven thirty.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A new look for the blog

As you have probably noticed, Louise's website has had a bit of a freshening up recently. I updated her template in blogger to take advantage of some of the new functionality that lets me edit the layout the way I like.

I hope you like the new look.

This photo was taken today when Louise and I were out walking just before supper. She was in good spirits but wasn't overly active as we had her up late last night as friends were over for a birthday party. Louise didn't mind since they spent a lot of time petting her and trying to feed her drinks. The crazy dog actually tried to drink it too! I was amazed, because usually Louise wants nothing to do with what I am drinking if there is alcohol in it. Of course, I usually want nothing to do with the glass if she was to put her muzzle in it, so I don't try very often. But here was this pug trying to get her drink on at the party - it's a good thing it was a tall glass and she couldn't get to the drink. I don't want to imagine how unruly she might become while under the influence.

Enough jokes, she was very good while we had company in, which is always nice. Our condo isn't very large, so if people come over they generally have to accept that we have animals about - we aren't really able to shut them into the bedroom while entertaining and besides, that wouldn't be very entertaining for us.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Still posting pictures

We are still posting pictures of Louise on this blog. I took this one yesterday with my broken camera - it just takes a little luck since I'm shooting blind. The banner shot was also taken last night on our walk. If I was faster with it, I could have caught Louise sniffing the roses, but I wasn't ready so I had to work with what I got.

I'll probably talk about my camera on my other blog, and focus this one on the main subject matter - the dog.

On today's walk an elderly man heard her breathing and remarked 'It sounds very tired!' Louise wasn't interested in stopping though, so I just let him know that it was pretty normal for her and we continued our stroll along the beach.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Looking back through the archives

When I upload photos from my camera to my computer, I tend to make a folder and name it after the current date. I haven't replaced my camera yet, so today's photo is from June 20th. Given the title, I figured this was a good photo to include.

For Canada Day, we packed Louise up in her stroller and headed down to the seawall. From there we took the aquabus across False Creek to the Granville Island Market, where all kinds of things were going on. The stroller turned out to be a very good idea, since it helped prevent Louise from getting trampled in the crowds. After spending the morning there, we crossed back over False Creek and headed up to Robson street for cupcakes and a live jazz performance. I got a few pictures on my cell phone, but haven't been able to upload them yet.