January 31, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Morgan

Lots of birthday here lately.  I think this is a real one, a yearly one and not monthly like yesterday. Perhaps monthy celebrations are okay up till 16 months.  I do not know many dog birthdays, so I am probably getting all I know out of the way.  It is zero on the thermometer out the window, so we are not going to the Island.  I went yesterday and it was not too bad, probably around 10 degrees. We just walked fast. But we took no pictures, too cold, so today we post a studio photo of the birthday boy Morgan.  He is 2 years old in this photograph I believe.

January 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Chocolate and Blanca

Choco and Blanca are sweet 16 today.  In the pictures above, Chocolate is shown at 6 weeks, and Blanca at 14 weeks.  I post these pictures today because we probably will not be going to Norms Island again this month because of the cold and because Blanca has hurt her foot and we want her to stay off of it for a couple of days.  We hope to be back at the Island on February 1st. I am sure everyone knows that is sixteen candles months.

January 28, 2011

Blanca's Good Friend Lily

Lily is an exceptionally nice girl.  She plays and runs nicely with Blanca and Choco.  She is 18 months, and she is lucky enough to come to the Island most days.  A Golden Retriever, she is. Obviously.
Lily loves to play in this tree spot, which most dogs do. We made sure she did not bother the bird feeder, which was empty at any rate. Half the dogs that walk by climb up into this tree at the beginning of the walk looking for dropped suet.

My Beautiful Girl

People are going to get the idea that I like this dog or something.  She is up on a rise and I am down in a draw, perfect set up.  I should explain about Blanca's eyes because it is interesting. Her eyes did not develop correctly and her pupils are fixed, they do not get bigger for the dark or smaller for bright light, so in the sun she squints.  I try to keep her out of bright light. Her pupils also are set low in her eyeball, which gives her a strange look, along with the fact that her eyes do not focus on the same spot, they tend to drift outward, the opposite of crosseyed - Strabismus Extropia it is called. It does not effect her, she is very on top of it.  Yes, I do love Blanca.  She is a wonderful dog.

Mac and Bitsy

I love this picture, I simply love the composition. Pat yourself on the back Ken ( it is all luck )  That is Mac leading the way, Bitsy bringing up the rear.
Great Picture of Macs eyes ;-). Mac is a beautiful dog. ( all dogs are beautiful ) Mac and Bitsy walk the island often with their friend Vicky.  They are both English Shepherds rescues.
I like pictures where the dog is in the rough, amongst the bushes and downed tree limbs. Bitsy is a very small dog for an English Shepherd. Very sweet girl.  We walked the circumference of the island with them, and Chocolate and Blanca both liked Mac and Bitsy. Thanks for walking with us Vicky.

Ranger and Wallace

Uncle? Two Doodles here.  Ranger is a Labradoddle, and Wallace is a GoldenDoodle.  Unfortunately The only pictures I got of Wallace are in the down side position.  He is a beautiful dog.
Can You Hear Me Now? Ranger is one happy dog.  He gets to come to the Island most days, and he meets and gets to play with a wide range of dogs.  These two, Ranger and Wallace were a great match.

Great Day for Ranger.  I got several great pictures of him this day.  Unfortunately I ran out of film (card full) I need to get a bigger card soon.

 I found a picture of Wallace.  I hated to let it go without a picture showing how happy he is. I passed on this the first edit through because it is slightly out of focus, a definite no no.  But It is okay here at this small size.  I must let go of perfection sometimes.

Generations, Max and Ranger

I see Max almost everyday, he is a regular with his buddy Sammy.  I keep trying to get a good picture of him, and so far this is my favorite.  Max walks very slow, he sits down and takes breaks alot, but he gets around the island.  He always smiles and speeds up when he sees me, which makes me feel good.
 Here is that smile. Nice dog, Max it is always a pleasure to see him. Great tail no? Max is probably a candidate for two Island regular distinctions, oldest and heaviest. He is a big boy.

January 26, 2011

A Day of Practice, Practice, Practice . . .

I spent the last couple days working on focusing and working with the hard lighting ( sun, no clouds ) we have been having, which I do not especially like.  With so much contrast and shadows it is difficult not to get ugly blotchy shots. Of course photography is constant practice and problem solving, one of it's great attractions. I love this photo.  I got Blanca in the shade with just highlights on her.  Focus is hard with such fast moving subjects like dogs.  Of course in this photo focus was not an issue.  
 Get to really work on focus here, shooting through grass and trees.  I love this back lighting on my alert Chocolate.

January 22, 2011

Happy to see you too Ferguson

This is one huge dog.  He may be small of stature, but Ferguson stands up next to the biggest dogs and holds his place.  Great dog Fergus. Fergus is a Cairn Terrier.  Ferguson and his friend Larry are regulars at Norm's Island. We all are always happy to see you too Ferguson.

Grand Old Lady Sydney

Sydney is a very lovely girl.  She is 14 years old, but still has a bright spark in her eye, she is very beautiful. Sydney is an Australian Shepherd and is always very happy to see Chocolate and Blanca.  She has had ACL operations on both of her back legs so she now walks slowly, but enjoys every moment.  Wonderful dog Sydney.  I learned a lesson today, I must learn to carry a note pad with me, because despite seeing her quite often, I was not able to remember her name when I sat down at the computer. ( I am 14 too ) Her best friend Barb has emailed me and stirred my memory.  Sydney is a great name, how could I forget that? Thank you Barb.

January 21, 2011

Walking Down the Path is Lex

Lex is an English Shepherd rescue.  His friend Ron worked on the rescue of the 200 English Shepherds and was able to take his very grateful friend home.  Lex is very attached to Ron and was very shy of me and my camera.  In the top photo you can see my well trained Aussie Blanca greeting Ron in an appropriate manner. Ahem, Blanca.

January 20, 2011

Mike and Diego

Love this shot.  I know this is a dog blog, but when one gets a shot this great, people are allowed.  There is a dog in the picture after all, Diego.  Anyone that walks the Island in the morning has seen Mike as he works the Island looking for that perfect shot, which we all seek, especially of that elusive fox. Nice lens Mike.  It was pretty cold this morning, so it takes some fortitude to keep at it.  I love Diego's focus. He has done this before. He will hold position even with the fox running across the field. Great dog.  Diego is a German Shepherd / Belgian Malinois cross.

Camoflage Dogs

Is it possible for me to have too many pictures of my own dogs?  Ha!! Not when they look this good. In the right setting, I have two camo dogs, each designed for a different environment. Having fun is their favorite environment.

Five Pack of New Friends

The picture says it all.  Dogs love one another when they are hanging out at Norm's Island. Chocolate and Blanca ran back quite a way on the trail to meet this group of dogs coming toward us. Nice looking group.  We unfortunately did not get any names, they were on the move. Next time.

January 18, 2011

Introducing Jake

Jake is a regular at Norm's Island.  He goes everyday with Kelly, K9 Playtime. This is one of my very favorite photos, and a good way for me to begin introducing studio portraits to the blog.

January 17, 2011


Morgan is a Corgi Border Collie mix.  He absolutely loves to play ball.

My Friend Madison

What to write.  Madison was my friend.  She was the sweetest dog. Maddy past on almost a year ago now, and she is greatly missed.  This is my favorite photo of her, at Norm's Island, of course.

Dog Happiness!

Blanca and Lily enjoyed each other very much.

Best Friends

Blanca and Chocolate, best friends.

Snow Play

Niña Blanca and Niño Chocolate enjoying the snow. The snow makes it easy for them to roll about and fall, being a soft mat to fall on. The love it. They were overjoyed when the first snow fell earlier this year.  Their first season in life was winter, so it is their preference.  They get too hot in summer.

Strike a Pose Ranger

Ranger is a Labradoodle. Here he is I believe 6 months old. His friend Robert is doing a great job of raising him from what I see. He brings Ranger to the island often, and he is working diligently on training him in basic obedience. Chocolate and Blanca like Ranger.

My Girl Niña Blanca

My girl Niña Blanca. I love trying to catch her white on the white snow. Her coat is so light that under most lighting conditions I must deal with much of her being blown out ( over exposed ) But this day we got a great shot which shows the details of her beautiful fur.

Joy At Norm Schoenthal Island

Today we have decided to begin putting photographs that I take at Norm's Island on the Blog. I go to the Island everyday for a couple hours and many days I take my camera. I often get really good shots of dogs, but never see the owners for days or weeks, then I forget and they never see the great photos of their dogs.
Norm's Island is a joy. The dogs absolutely love it, the people are friendly, and the exercise for all is a good thing. I have been to many dog parks across the western United States, and the best public place I have found to take my dogs is right here in Billings Montana.
My dogs and I thank everyone who is responsible for the existence of Norm Schoenthal Island. The volunteers, whoever it is that owns the land, and especially for Norm for making it happen. Thank you all.
Today I put up a picture of my Spanish Shepherds Nina Blanca and Chocolate, expressing their joy at being at Norm Schoenthal Island.Add Image