Yeah, I will walk up to random strangers and ask to take a photo of their dog.
(With utmost respect and care for the dog’s personal space, of course.)
Every dog’s infectious enthusiasm and boundless energy fills my cup to the brim, especially when it’s running on empty because Bella and I are separated by an entire continent.
Last month, my two-legged best friend and I hopped onto a flight (er … a few of them because getting from Spokane to Halifax, Nova Scotia, ain’t easy) and headed east for a week of hanging out with my brothers.
That meant Bella got left behind with friends who watched over her for eight days.
Along the Cabot Trail
I drove sections of the Cabot Trail many times as a young woman, first on a Greyhound bus to visit a boyfriend in Sydney and then as a career woman, living in Newfoundland and coming home to visit my parents in Antigonish.
I never stopped to take it all in.
I was determined to this time and make sure my husband grew to appreciate the incredible scenery of Cape Breton and the Nova Scotia Highlands.
We landed at Inverness Beach for a rest top and that’s where I met this guy. I can’t for the life of me remember his name but I recall that he didn’t much care for the water.
Let that sink in for a minute.
A Labrador retriever. Who doesn’t like water.
A very moist New Brunswick
My eldest brother warned me before we landed in Halifax. It had been raining in Atlantic Canada for the better part of six weeks.
After our normal Spokane August of hot and dry as hell, I was looking forward to it. We were also leaving behind smoke-filled skies and the somber knowledge that more than 300 family homes were lost in wildfires in our immediate area.
Rain was a welcome respite.
After a couple of days in Nova Scotia, we jumped in the rental car and hopped on the Northumberland Ferry, which crossed the Northumberland Strait from Pictou to Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island.
I was giving this man an adventure of a lifetime, even if the gas did cost almost two bucks a litre! (That’s $7.60 a gallon for my American friends. Now quit yer bitchin’ about $3.50/gallon)
We had lobster rolls for lunch in Charlottetown and then crossed the Confederation Bridge from PEI to New Brunswick — a first time for me because it was still a ferry crossing when I lived in PEI for journalism school.
New Brunswick was even more moist than Nova Scotia, and amid the festivities of my younger brother’s 50th birthday party, I was treated to a pack walk with my future sister-in-law’s friend who is a dog sitter.
To the glittery lights of Las Vegas
I was home with Bella for a week when the neon lights of Las Vegas beckoned.
This was a trip I had been waiting for all friggin’ year. The Shutterhound Dog Photography Conference was announced in October 2022 and I knew I was going. Registration launched at 7 a.m. Pacific on New Year’s Day and the first 16 who bought VIP passes got to have portfolio reviews with one of the speakers.
I flew home from Vegas last Friday with my brain full of inspiration and a heart full from meeting friends I only knew through computer monitors.
And I felt validated.
For two reasons.
1. Kaylee has given me permission to pursue a certain style I’ve been yearning to adopt and to push forward with a personal project I’ve been working on. Her thoughts and encouragement have empowered me to realize a few goals I’ve had on the backburner.
2. The International Pet Photography Awards were held on the final night of the conference and I had no expectations for the night, given the finalists in all categories were announced weeks ago and I wasn’t one of them. I had a shocking moment, though, when one of my images flashed across the screen in the top 100 images of the competition.
I leaped out of my chair, pumped a fist a la Bender in The Breakfast Club and yelled out, “Oh fuck yeah!” I was immediately worried I had offended but everyone laughed and many have said it was the best moment of the night.
Moral of the story? Never hold in a fuck yeah when you need to let one out.
Oh and it was this image, of which I am supremely proud.
It’s 22 images stitched together to create a Dogscape panorama!
Summer’s over but it isn’t over
Summer is due to end Sept. 22 when the autumnal equinox moves us along in the year. We have one last vacation to look forward to and that’s our annual trip to the Oregon Coast.
Both “vacations” so far have been scheduled to the hilt, keeping me busy getting from place to place.
Our week in Oregon later this month won’t have any of that.
It will feature long days walking along the sandy beaches, lots of recreational photo-taking of my best model and copious amounts of beer and seafood chowder. The only technology I intend to bring — other than my camera — is my Kindle, so I can read if it rains.
And I will relax.
Oh yes, dammit, I will. That’s an order!
All around the circle
Does this feel like a “how I spent my summer vacation” essay from junior high?
It should! Hahahaha.
The pet photographers blog circle is all about summer vacations this week. Wanna see what everyone else has been up to?
Click the link at the bottom of Elaine’s post to continue through the circle. When you find yourself back here to canines from coast to coast, you know you’re home.
Right where you belong.
If you’re looking for an adventure that’s closer to home than Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, check out our guide to 5 favorite hikes near Spokane Valley.