Dawg Gone Cute!

This is Nena – she’s one of my friend’s “kids” – she’s only 9.  I’ve known Nena since she was a puppy, and she’s been through more than any other kid I know.  She was born in Germany, but she barks fluent English as if she were born right here in the U.S.A.  Nena had a husband, a long-hair Shep, and they had a long love affair.  Last year Hammer passed on and it was hard on Nena.  Sometimes when you mention Hammer’s name, she still winces and cries.  But Nena’s also a tough girl and honestly, she’s a the sweetest “puppy” – that is, if you know her.  If you don’t, she’ll come charging at you with a stride that would make Secreteriat look like a slacker.  Needless to say, she’s one of the best alarm systems any house could have.



When I moved in with my friends in October for a temporary stay, it had been years since I had a dog.  I grew up with dogs just like Nena.  There was Alfie and Wolfgang then Duke then another Wolfgang.   Nena and M.C. (aka Chubbzulli, Chubbzilla, Chubbzulius and Dogfather) are huggable, loveable friends that have really tranformed me into a happier person – happier than I was before, which was pretty happy.  There is no way I can wake up in a bad mood – ever – not once I get a glimpse of their eyes that say “play with me.”  They are loyal, affectionate and the embodiment of unconditional love.Sometimes having a saving grace in your life, also known as a Godsend (or in this case Dogsend) can turn your whole world around and make you appreciate the little things, the things that matter.  Dogs remind us to laugh and play and strengthen our ability to care for others – even humans.  You can’t have a bad day when you’ve got that kind of love staring you in the face.

As I’m writing this, Chubbs is outside of my bedroom door, making noises like a horse – the heavy breathing, the snort – just to let me know he’s available should I want to play some more today.  And when no one is home, he sits outside my door like my own personal security guard – a sleepy security guard – more on Chubbs later.

I took this with my new Nikon 3100 DSLR.  I was playing with the black and white feature and some of the others.  Pretty nice shot for a girl who is still steering the camera on Auto Pilot.  Luckily I love to learn and I have a high respect for technical writers – the unsung heros of the writing world.  (Don’t you just love when people get new phones and cameras and gadgets and they don’t know how to work them – because they won’t read the instructions.)  I’m the geek who always reads the technical jargon – mine and everyone else’s so I can tell my friends how to use their stuff as well.

Nena is so sensitive – she rarely poses for pictures – actually she hates it, but I told her that I was trying to figure out all the tricks of my new camera and I needed a subject and of course, being the caring soul that she is, she said, “Okay” and posed for this picture.  Thank you Nena.  I rewarded her with a few tosses of the ball and a doggy treat.  I have a feeling she’ll pose for me again if I ask her nicely.


My Hero

After the demise of my precious Kodak Z1085, I admit, I was devastated.  She and I went everywhere together.  I haven’t lost hope that I’ll find someone who will tell me “I can fix that,” but for now she’s put out to pasture for a much needed rest.

My Hero

My Hero

In comes my new savvy purchase of a Nikon D3100 DSLR – my first SLR.  Like a girl with a new puppy, I couldn’t wait to get out and play with it, but the manual is extensive – although the controls are very intuitive – I just like to read the manuals.  Someone has to support the little-appreciated technical writers of the world.  After downloading a back-up copy of “Nikon D3100 for Dummies” by Julie Adair King, a great book by the way, I felt armed with knowledge but I lacked patience for reading when my new BFF was just sitting there staring at me saying “shoot me, shoot me” – I had to get out and just shoot.  In between cameras, I had seen a million things I wanted to shoot – plus, I missed the quiet solitude of going out and getting lost in some remote place and capturing moments in time.  I love the beauty in nature and I love the peace it gives me.

I lazily and anxiously set my settings to “auto” and went to the local lake, Lake Wylie, and even though it wasn’t a very sunny day, I thought I’d play with my camera capturing sailboats, fishing boats and the like out on the water.  I parked in a public access parking lot full of trucks equipped with boat trailers.  I walked through a few trees to get to a small hill leading down to the water.  What happened next was unexpected to say the least.

A ferocious, barking, growling, 2-ounce chiguagua came up the hill out of nowhere.  He was bouncing and barking and hyper – I’m not afraid of dogs, but small dogs like that freak me out.  I always think they’re going to go for my ankles.  In steps a young, handsome prince to calm the ferocious beast.  “Does he bite,” I asked.  He nodded yes and then he  quickly grabbed the ankle-biter and posed for a picture I hadn’t even thought of taking.  I didn’t even have to ask.  He and the dog were both so cute and I was pleasantly surprised at the results of my unintended photo.  The handsome prince, the ferocious beast he saved me from (he was on a leash) made the best shot I took all day.