my first day with Zada – also a long day of "firsts" for her. She'd never done a lot of things a dog owner sort of takes for granted when they bring a new puppy home...things like wearing a collar, walking on a leash (keep in mind she was 4 months old when I got her), going for a car ride, being used to meeting new dogs and seeing new places, etc.
Reading through my emotions of that day I'm definitely glad we've progressed to where we are now. Namely, I have a nearly-4-year-old German shepherd I can mostly trust around new dogs and kids and who motivates me to get out for walks. When I pick up her collar, she comes to me and puts her nose up so I can slip it on. I grab her leash out of the closet and she knows we're heading outside for an uber-fun walk (any walk is a fun walk for her). She rides in the car like a champ – she never threw up again after that first day – and is calm, doesn't whine or get excited and waits until I tell her she can jump out.
She waits at doors for me to tell her it's okay to go out (or come in). I never realized how NICE it is to have a polite dog until I see everyone else's dog rushing headlong through doors. I don't have to worry about her taking off to chase squirrels, rabbits, ducks or turkeys, though I do have to watch her around deer and cats. I can walk her off leash and trust she'll stick around (unless, again, there are deer...but we're working on that!).
She's been – knock on wood – healthy, with no major illnesses or surgeries (save for her spay and having to get her leg stitched up when she sliced it open 3 years ago). I did recently put her on glucosamine because historically she's been sore after a ton of exercise. She hasn't displayed that for a while (pre-glucosamine) so might not be an issue.
I get compliments all the time on what a good dog she is...and while she's not perfect, she IS such a great dog and I'm thankful – in spite of a few quirks – I have her. Here's to the time you've already given and those years left yet to give!
Needless to say it was a busy – and very fun-filled – few days. It was also very photography-focused. I always bring my DSLR when I go up there, but I don't think it's ever gotten quite the use it did on that trip: I ended up shooting over 1,500 images. Normally I don't get those types of numbers unless I'm shooting a wedding or on vacation.
The day after that I went ahead and kept right on shooting – for the majority of the day, anyway – in my cheater sports setting since I was at a horse show. Again, lots of shots snapped in order to get the good ones (in this case, it's so much about framing, lighting, etc. as it is about how the horse looks). I ended up shooting more video of the classes than images, and none of the shots were great, in my opinion. But, the weather was (mostly) good, ribbons were won and fun was had.
photos did well again this year :)
When I got home from that it was only natural to head out to our own horse pasture and continue shooting. Sometimes a horse of your own standing in a field evokes more of an emotional response than anything else...again, while not exceptional shots they're my family's horses and I just like the shots.
Thanks to the horses for posing for the camera :)
For that neighborhood the cuisine is shockingly cosmopolitan. My friend and I sat on the patio – which is cuter than the inside and according to our waiter, dog-friendly – and sipped our cold, adult beverages while said waiter explained their chalkboard menu (including how to say "charcuterie").
Since their plates are all small and we wanted so many items, we ended up ordering quite the parade of wonderful food. To accompany my waiter-advertised white wine and my friend's cocktail, we dined upon the following:
- Bacon fries (these were tasty, big french fries with crumbled cheese; we didn't notice any bacon)
- Scotch egg - absolutely to DIE for if you like scotch eggs!
- Charcuterie - their "meat and cheese tray" which is actually a lovely concoction of head cheese, liverwurst, paté and pickled veggies and overall yumminess.
- Seared scallops - extremely tasty.
- Dessert - a 2-part, delectable, sinful, utterly fantastic display of art which we also ate. FABULOUS.
We did spend a nice little sum of coin – although they're small plates the prices add up when you eat as many of them as we did – the quality of the food was definitely worth the price.
I'm thinking I'd love to head back sometime and try more menu items (and also the dessert...it'd be silly not to) and maybe I'll even bring the dog!