A Shag Rug and The Number 2

When I first moved to Savannah, my Dad did me a solid and offered to buy me some furniture so I wouldn’t have to sit indian style on my apartment floor while I ate my shrimp-flavored Ramen noodles. He took me to Rooms to Go and let me pick out a couch, a matching chair, and a set of tables. Because I was such a wonderful kid and made his heart swell with pride for starting pharmacy school, he even let me get a matching shag rug to go with the set. It was the best rug.

That living room set endured a hell of a lot.

One Sunday night, while I was diligently studying for Biochemistry, I left Baron (my miniature American Eskimo) unattended on the floor playing with his toys. He had been to the bathroom and was playing peacefully until bedtime… or so I thought. Suddenly, a horrendous smell crept through my olfactory, past my blood brain barrier. It was so offensive it cauterized my nostril hairs and resulted in a Niagra-esque cascade of tears. In search of the source of the odor, I scanned the room until my eyes fixated on my sweet little puppy. When our gaze met, he immediately interpreted this as an invitation to run batcrap crazy around the room. Before I could form the “N” in “NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!” he blazed past me, running circles, all over the rug, all over the couch, all over me, creating an all-encompassing vortex of sh*t and stink.

What I soon discovered was that Baron had produced the foulest of all poops on the rug (my beautiful rug), then proceeded to run circles through it more efficiently than any NASCAR driver I know… thus distributing it evenly all over the room. My fluffy white dog was now a gradient of doo-doo brown from his tip toes to his ears, and a feeling of helplessness overwhelmed me. I wept.

At this time, I concluded that there were 2 things that had to happen… Clean the dog. Clean the living room. Not in that order. Well, maybe in that order.

I grabbed the dog and threw him in the bathroom and slammed the door (as if he understood). I paced. I grabbed the cleaning supplies and emptied a bottle of Arm and Hammer on the carpet/rug/couch/chair. I called my Mom.

I’m sure she thought I was dying.

Me: *sobbing* “MOM OH MY GOD THERE IS CRAP EVERYWHERE AND BARON IS COVERED IN IT AND I AM COVERED IN IT AND THE RUG…. THE RUUUUGGGGGG. *incoherent babbling* IT’S ALL COVERED IN IT EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE AND I HAVE A TEST TOMORROW AT 8:00AM AND I AM GOING TO FAIL!!!”

Mom: “Okay. Baron. Number 2. Test. Gotcha. I’m on my way.”

And just like that, my Mother came to my rescue… all the way to Savannah. Mom of the freaking year.

I managed to wipe away my tears and wrangle Baron into the bathtub. I am pretty sure it was the worst bath of his life (and certain it was the worst bath of MY life). I uncapped the pet shampoo and covered him with the entire bottle. He was not happy, but neither was I. Unmerciful, yes. Cruel, no.

And I didn’t make an A on that Biochemistry test… or even a B that time… but I learned valuable lesson even more important than purine and pyrimidine synthesis…

Tears won’t wash away crap… but 16 ounces of “Perfect Coat: White Pearl”, 2 bottles of “Arm and Hammer Pet Stain and Odor Removal”, a roll of paper towels, and a phone call to Mama can sanitize even the most unfortunate “shituations”.

Baron

FYI… My arms aren’t that hairy… (that’s my Dad giving Baron a bath in the sink).
Baron now lives with my parents… NO, not because he made number 2 on my rug. I still love Baron very much. After my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 and underwent a radical prostatectomy, he was forced into retirement. You could tell it was really weighing on him. When I visited home, he seemed to thoroughly enjoy the company of my dog, Baron. When I moved home for advanced rotations, my Dad became very attached to him, so when I left home again (this time permanently), I let Baron stay. While it was heartbreaking to give away my sweet little bundle of fluff, I knew it was a sacrifice that would be worth it for my Dad. Those two are inseparable and spend every minute together. I’ve never seen either of them happier… and by the way, my Dad has been completely cancer free for over 4 years now. 🙂

{ Drucilla & Chuck }

As most of you know, I am somewhat of a regular at the local Humane Society. I show up ever so often, camera in tow, prepared to crawl into dog pens and photograph scared, dirty, and unhappy animals. It’s challenging to capture the spirit of an animal when they are often lost and heart broken. I am diligent, however, and will not leave until I catch a glimpse of this dog or cat’s soul, just so a potential adopter can see the beauty that I see.

I say all this, not to brag on myself. I need no congratulations or pat on the back. However, I would like to acknowledge someone else who is far more diligent than myself. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some very dedicated, amazing people. The director, George, his wife, Dee, some of the workers and volunteers at the shelter (like Reggie, Cindy, and Debbie, just to name a few) who have been more than helpful during my visits. One particular volunteer, however, I have become most fortunate to know.

This man is a Navy veteran, dog lover, and as a journalist, he is one heck of a good writer. His name is Chuck Warzyn, and despite ups and downs in his own life, one thing is certain: he WILL go to that shelter at least 3 days a week and walk those dogs, and he WILL go to that shelter and give them all fresh Kong balls filled with peanut butter, and he WILL ensure I am updated on what photos need to be taken/changed/moved/deleted/replaced. And he does it all so eloquently, whether it be by telephone or e-mail.

On my way out of the shelter on Saturday, Chuck mentioned that he wanted a photo of Drucilla, the resident Irish Deerhound, jumping up with her paws on someone’s shoulders, just to demonstrate her size to any potential adopters. He happily volunteered to be the “shoulders”.

This is what we got…

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I just loved it.

Humane Society Furry Faces {{ DEC 7 }}

Dublin Laurens Co. Humane Society, Dublin, Georgia

www.dublinlaurenshumanesociety.org

Phone:   478-272-5341

 

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Look at that sweet spotted nose!

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Man’s best friend

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This is my happy face!

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Sweetest face ever!

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Big brown eyes and 2 pointy ears

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Are those treats you have?

 

 

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Dirty little face and a big sweet heart


Meeting Miss Lawton

In Boneventure Cemetery, there is but one monument that stands out among the rest. Although it is not towering high, or even massive in volume, it has drawn myself as well as hundreds of others to seek it. It’s a plain statue. A portrait of stone. To say it is simple would be unjust, but it truly is. It’s just a young girl, in the likeness of the deceased, posed ever so appropriately at the side of her own grave. She looks as if she is weeping for the loss of herself. But alas, she is not weeping. She has no eyes, no true expression, just spheres of stone. If you look close enough, you may see them. You may even believe them to move. Her mouth is posed open, in just a slight way. You cannot tell if it is meant to express surprise, loss, confusion, helplessness, hopelessness. Part of you wants to tell her that she will be okay. But then you realize, she is not real. It’s an illusion and an image which has ingrained itself into the minds and continues to haunt all of those who visit… Including myself.

Her epitaph reads, “Allured to brighter worlds and led the way.” What a beautiful sentiment. Such a nice way of indicating someone has passed. I can somehow picture the statue, coming to life, with her flowy dress and clutching her flowery wreath, running through the flowers and trees, finding a brighter world. All the while, the mortals (we) follow her lead…Not knowing what is next, but following, nevertheless…

There are many tails about Corinne Elliott Lawton, the person who came before the corpse who now lies in this plot. Stories have spun through the centuries until a tale of unattainable love and suicide is concocted, and is now fed to tour groups daily. Alas, it is but a fable.

Corinne, living in the dark times she did, was stricken by an illness. According to her mother’s diary from around that time, it appeared to be a severe respiratory infection of some sort. Or perhaps even a dreadful common cold. (Yellow Fever epidemic? Pneumonia? The Flu?) Days passed, and Corinne appeared to be doing better, however the illness reared its ugly head once more and finally took Corinne down with it. Written in her mother’s diary, Corinne drew her last breath on January 24th, 1877.

Corinne’s father was of nobility, of high rank in the confederate army, hence the elaborate statue you find in Boneventure. He commissioned a famous Italian artist to create the likeness of his beloved daughter and turn her into stone. Now she sits there eternally.

He did a fine job.

Meet Corinne.

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Animal Photography: Fuzzy Faces of November (Humane Society)

Last week was pretty exciting for me, because I broke down and bought a prime that I’ve been lusting after for quite a while. The 50mm f/1.2L finally arrived to my house after much anticipation. I’ve shot with the nifty fifty 1.8, upgraded to the 1.4, and found the focal length great, but the 1.4 wasn’t really up to snuff. So instead of buying a new copy of the 1.4, I decided to go ahead and get the 1.2. The ultimate prime lens for working in super wide aperture (1.2 to 2.8 is spectacular!) The images are beautiful, crisp, and I found that I had far less throwaways. The color is good, not perfect. It doesn’t require much adjustment in lightroom at all. The histo-curves are to die for if you have your settings right. Shooting in manual wasn’t hard with this lens. it gobbles up light and produces beautiful, creamy bokeh. 🙂

Now, to the fun part… Here are a few of my favorite HS shelter photos from last week. More can be seen on their website and Facebook Page.

Sally… my favorite dog of our session. Sweet as pie.

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The face of mischief:

 

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Dixie, the pit bull that ate her owners lawn chairs 😉

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Dash the super smart terrier:

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Hello….. 🙂

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Favorite beautiful kitty cat of the day… this guy… –>

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Stunning Red! –>

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And my boy Rocky, who finally got a haircut –>

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Another curious kitten –>

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Cats are quite fun to photo. So exquisite –>

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A Few Furry Faces

These are a few faces up for adoption at Dub Laurens HS 478-272-5341

It’s just a taste.. I have many more to come. Another volunteer project has come up, also pet photography related. You’ll see.

Here they are:

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These aren’t full res because they are on the Facebook page and I’m uploading mobile. Forgive.

Lastly, all were taken on 6D in outdoor light (overcast day) with the 24-70mm f/2.8L II

More to come when I’m not half comatose past my bedtime! 🙂

BB

Fabulous Furry Faces of September

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am going to have to start it off with my favorite kitten of the week… Meet Gizzie. What a spastic mess this thing is, but man, if I had room for 1 more cat, she’d be at my house. She is totally neurotic, looks insane, and meows constantly. I loved every ounce of her craziness…

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MEOW! — Not as sharp as I’d like the image to be, but this little thing would not be still! She’s too cute not to share.

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Don’t fall in love… this little one is adopted 🙂

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This little girl is also adopted and is now called Bella.

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Another very photogenic feline waiting for adoption.

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Meet Buttercup, one of the shelter employee’s own dogs. She was being so photogenic, I couldn’t help but snap her.

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Chewy is still available. Loved this girl.

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Maddie is still waiting.

kaycee

Kaycee is also still waiting.

 

All photos shown here taken with Canon 6D and 24-70 f/2.8L II lens. Processed in digital darkroom.