Shooting Blind

A Challenge for the Assignment 52 group was “shooting blind” meaning without looking at the screen or through the view finder. While I was having breakfast before hitting the road, I had my camera sitting on the table and captured this view simply by turning on the camera and clicking the shutter. It shows in the quality, but I still like what I captured.

“You gonna eat that last bite?”

You gonna finish those pancakes?

Another shot I caught “shooting blind” was Dazzle “helping” in the office. There had been a storm and he was actually seeking comfort. Thankfully I don’t have to work around him very often 🙂

Shooting blind for A52


Posted June 6, 2013 by dazzlesmom in Uncategorized

Leadership Retreat

Dazzle and I went to Michigan for the first of 4 trips up there this year. It was a great group of people and dogs and some interesting presentations. I was happy to be turning over the reins of running this event to Robyn, who I know will do a fantastic job next year! This year she planned it, but I was there to assist and helped a little bit with answering questions during the planning.

I didn’t have my camera out all weekend! Mostly I was either working, listening to a presentation or relaxing. The concrete floor of the lodge is getting harder and harder to stand on for extended periods of time, so I was rather sore as well. But it was an enjoyable weekend and I did manage to get a few shots after I packed up and before I left for home.

Dazzle playing with his longtime girlfriend Kozi Boxer mix) and his new girlfriend Caper (Cattle Dog mix). Dazzle and Kozi are about the same age and have attended many camps together, including TX when they were both puppies and got to room together.
5-27-13 Playing with Kozi and Caper sm

Still just playing
5-27-13 Playing with Kozi and Caper 1 sm

Put the treat/ball right here
5-27-13 ready for treat sm
Actually he was “yelling” at me over some percieved injustice when I snapped this. Don’t recall what it was, but probably a girlfriend not playing with him 🙂

One of the sessions was on “Doga” (Yoga with your dog). We didn’t participate much, but Dazzle enjoyed the massage and belly rubs. Photo by Kelly Ford (who was much better at capturing the weekend than I was!)
5-27-13 massage

A Belly rub is required to pass this point. Photo by Kelly
5-27-13 Belly rub req to pass by

Lonnie was walking down the hall and Dazzle was laying on his side, but when she asked him to move, he proposed a counter offer. 🙂


Posted June 6, 2013 by dazzlesmom in Uncategorized

Dock Diving

5/12/c One of Dazzle's favorite summer activities

It was quite warm today (May 15th- I know, I suck at keeping his blog updated!), so I took Dazzle to the lake to jump off the dock. I always get a kick out of people’s reactions to his obsession. 🙂 One person was trying to say hi and Dazzle kept completely ignoring him and trying to look around him like “Dude! Get OUT of my WAY! She might throw the BALL!” LOL

On Sunday, we went to an indoor event and I entered him in Ultimate Air Dogs Dock Diving. He had a BLAST and even won his division! He already has his title and we were just jumping for fun, so when I found out we were in the finals I was surprised. And when I heard his name called for first place I was even MORE surprized! He had saved his biggest jumps for the finals 🙂

It was so cute when we arrived for the event. At first, he though it was just going to be another boring event, then he saw the pool! When I sat down to wait our turn, he jumped up and put his paws on my shoulders and I swear he gave me a thank-you hug!

Photo by Rochelle Fugate
5-12-13 by Rochelle Fugate

Waiting his turn not so patiently.
5-12-13 Dock Diving sm
I had his head collar on because he was so excited, his manners went out the window and he was pulling me.

Posted June 6, 2013 by dazzlesmom in Uncategorized

Pro photo shoot

On Sunday I had an amazing opportunity to have Dazzle’s photo taken for free by professional photographer Brian Steege. Brian posted to the training club that he was looking for active dogs with which to practice studio action shots. Being that Dazzle is the epitome of action, I signed him up! This photo of mine was staged just to show the set-up.

5/12a Dazzle and the pro photo shoot

Brian got some AMAZING action photos of Dazzle for his portfolio and said he would share them with me. So when I get the link, I’ll post it here. Can’t wait to see the finished products! I did get to peek at the shots he was getting as they were loading to his lap top and there were SO many great ones!

Dazzle was “naked” for all the photos, so no collar/leash but it wasn’t needed. Brian was very impressed with Dazzle and with my ability to get him in position and in the air in just the right place (repeatedly) with a minimum of verbal cues. I had a bag of all his most favorite things and those items plus the squeaky tennis ball they had kept him 100% focused. 🙂
So proud of my boy!!

Posted May 9, 2013 by dazzlesmom in Uncategorized

Visit to the Butterflies of Morocco

Dazzle and I visited the butterfly show at the Krohn Conservatory. I also got a photo for this month’s challenge. The goal was to use color and the song “It’s a Wonderful World”. I think a Belgian in America visiting Morocco qualifies 🙂

5/12/b Belgian in America enjoying Morracco (Dazzle)

Another shot

Butterfly Show

And Dazzle met some of his fans

Dazzle meets his fans

I’ll be uploading some of the butterfly photos I got to the other blog. Link is at the top left of this blog page.

Posted May 9, 2013 by dazzlesmom in Uncategorized

God speed little man

His last photo- showing me his heart to the end

4-22-13 His very last photo

We had a lovely day together strolling the trails as he sniffed and peed and trotted along. We also took another boat ride – 2 hours this time as I found a place to let him out to pee. 🙂 He had a grin on his face the whole time. And over the course of the day, he ate an entire steak I was using as treats!

When we were both worn out, we found a picnic table in a quiet location and I sat and held him and cried into his fur while he fell asleep in my arms. His need for his next pain pills forced us home and after they had a chance to work we headed to Medvet. He quickly passed away in my arms and his cremains are now home and next to Hunter and Buster. I know he is no longer in pain and I pray that he has found Hunter and Buster and all the dogs and people he has known and loved before they passed over.

It has been SO HARD and I keep thinking about all the things we did and that we won’t do ever again. But I know it was the right thing to do for him. The pain meds were being given frequently and in high doses but his panting and little bit of shaking when he was relaxed let us know they were not enough.

I put together this tribute video to his life well lived using the many photos I had taken of him during his life with us.

He had a GREAT life.

Here are some photos from his last day…

4-22-13 Last boat ride

4-22-13 Last boat ride

4-22-13 Spring flowers

The land of tiny trees

4-22-13 Land of tiny trees

Meeting friends till the end. This Beagle’s owner said Bear couldn’t be full beagle because I was walking him off leash 🙂

4-22-13 Meeting friends till the end


4-22-13 Posing

Natural frame

4-22-13 Even nature smiles at him

Exploring the creek

4-22-13 Exploring the creek

Cooling off

4-22-13 cooling off

Bear Tracks

4-22-13 Bear tracks

Into the light

4-22-13 Into the light

Friends forever

4-22-13 Friends forever

At the bridge

Love you forever little man


Posted April 23, 2013 by dazzlesmom in Uncategorized

Monday- Our last day together

4/12/c Bear's Journey

Bear came to us in Nov. 04 when he ran up to my Husband’s truck. He was wet and very cold, had never been inside a home, was intact and peed on everything and he had zero training. He was about a year old at that time.

Training started immediately and after we determined that he was likely abandonded and no owner was coming forward, he was neutered and joined our family. Over the past 9 years, we have had many excellent adventures together including several trips to Dog Scout camp, kayaking on several rivers, many fundraisers in which Bear raised thousands of dollars by collecting money from people and dropping it in a bucket and earning 31 different Dog Scout badges. I found he had a knack for Search and Rescue, was obsessed with lure coursing, loved agility and that kayaking was one of his favorite activities.

In February, he lost an eye due to a tumor and on April 10th was diagnosed with an inoperable prostate tumor. It was estimated he would have about 2 months, but it hasn’t even been two weeks. We have increased his pain meds, but he still has times when he’s uncomfortable so when it warms up tomorrow (Monday), we will take one last boat ride and hike and then say our final goodbyes.

I wish I could capture time in a bottle to enjoy this special boy whenever I wanted. But photos are as close as I can come to that. This little Beagle is truely one of a kind in his fearless ability to learn and try new things, enchant every person he has met and flirt with all dogs. And he’s been a teacher, best friend and snuggle buddy for me like no other dog I have had or worked with.

I’m typing this through tears because it is ripping my heart out to know that soon I won’t be seeing him zipping around the yard or laying out back watching for rabbits to chase or sleeping on the couch looking more comfortable and peaceful than any dog I have ever seen sleep. And I know that no other dog will ever be like my Bear Bear. And no other lyrics express how I’m feeling better than Time in a Bottle:

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

It’s been a wonderful ride Bear and I will treasure the memories forever. Love you little man.

Posted April 21, 2013 by dazzlesmom in Uncategorized