Be My Valentine

Valentine 2013 Kodee

Valentine 2013 Becky

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentines Day!
Joining the fun at "Daily Dog Challenge" FlickR group.
If you like the idea of a daily prompt for your dog photography, come join our group. You can post as little or as often as you like. I find this group really helps me to stay inspired and challenges me to improve my photography.

Do Not Disturb

Cappuccino Hangover
Cappuccino Hangover
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer .
~ Albert Camus

Expresso Required
Espresso Required
Perhaps I am a bear, or some hibernating animal underneath, for the instinct to be half asleep all winter is so strong in me.
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Becky was still lying low last week while on the mend from her agility injury so the mood here was all about hibernation. Lots of comfort food, herbal teas, Cavalier cuddles rounded out my week - I'm not complaining!

On Friday we were hit with a snow storm which produced the season's first deep powder snow. Suddenly there was no containing Becky - she let me know she was ready to cut loose.

Winter Freeze
Participating in Black & White Sunday

Original Cannington Dog Sled Race


For the last few years I have really been wanting to photograph the "Cannington Dog Sled Races" but between lack of snow or bad weather we always ended up cancelling.


Almost missed it again this year because conditions were touch and go with white outs on the roads.
Visibility was hard on the participants as well!


Over all most of the contestants were having a good time



This photo was taken 30 seconds after these dogs finished their run. I love how fit they are but what is more important to note is how their body language shows happy and relaxed dogs. Shortly after this I stood and watched them play a fun game of tug with their owner.


Beyond the dogs we also got to see local artists and view some interesting heritage displays; totem poles, bark houses and  ice sculptures. There was even a synthetic ice rink the children got to skate on.






I wish I could leave my story as a feel good one but sadly my experience did not end there.

While watching a few dogs pull the sleds more than once we witnessed one get tangled in the leg or around the neck by ropes. We heard a few times long and loud yelps but most of the dogs appeared in good condition. A few were obviously not as well socialized and appeared more wild animal than domesticated dog. Some had down cast eyes and avoided eye contact, they held their ears very flat back and some looked tired and unhappy.

We came across quite a few large patches of blood in the snow. There was no doubt one dog had a bad urinary track infection. Hopefully they were not doing an endurance race that day. It only takes a few of these images to squash what started out to be a fun day what I love doing most; photographing dogs.

It left a bad enough impression for me personally that I won't be back.
Adding this "Husky Puppy" to my
The Canine version of "100 Strangers".
A photographic record of all the wonderful dogs I meet in my travels.
 Began in 2012 and ending... TBD.


Physalis {Gluten-Free} Brownies

Physalis Brownies2
{ A Divine Marriage }

I know. Last week I said Dog Sled Race photos would be coming for this weeks challenge. Life just spiraled out of control (again) here and we had another unexpected trip to the Vet. This time it was my little girl Becky - my black & tan spitfire beauty. Becky has just started agility and loves it. She is known to be like a border collie but on steroids; fast and a bit reckless! She is going to be just fine, but needs to lie low for a few weeks to let her side muscles heal. That meant I was housebound and looking for ways to kill time. I decided to tackle one of the items on my {Photo Bucket List} and experiment more with "food photography". 

{ Physalis ~ Cape Gooseberry }

While shopping I saw this odd little fruit and stopped to do the "google" as I had not a clue what this creature was. Turns out it is called a physalis, part of the tomato family and a great partner with chocolate. Then I saw {THIS} an amazing cupcake photograph. I'm not a fan of spending time in the kitchen, but show me a great food photo and you have my attention!

Physalis Brownies
{ Pure Bliss }

The "ladies" in our household are all on gluten-free diets. Gluten-free baked goods are rarely healthy and often are tasteless. My girls are amazing cooks and come up with unique recipes, however, I myself lean towards lazy baking. That means I will take a gluten-free boxed recipe and vamp it up. Today I used a bag of {Bob Mills Brownie Mix} and followed the directions. Then I added 2 Tbs more milk, 2 Tbs cocoa, 2 Tsp sugar and one extra egg, and followed the package directions for baking. It was pure bliss!

{ Chinese Lanterns }

This fruit is perfectly paired with chocolate. If your short on time, try {Physalis Dipped In Chocolate} - these two flavours were just meant to be married. Which is what I am doing with my left overs tonight!


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