Ojo

Evaporated August


August was jam packed, so much so that I really didn’t take two many pictures. I did interval training with Ben, hiked something like a dozen times, and vacationed with family on the lake that our parents used to take us to.

Jax had many, many opportunities to shake off, but this was by far the best one.


I don’t know if you’ve ever stopped to consider the physics of a dog’s shaking off, but it’s really quite extraordinary. The movement is so much quicker than it appears to a casual eye, and because their skin is loose, there’s an amazing whip to it. I wonder if anybody’s ever tried to measure exactly how much water comes off a soaked dog on that first shake.

If you ever want to judge how amazingly quick a movement it is, try to shake off your hair after a shower. Unless you give yourself a brain hemorrhage in the process, you’re unlikely to get as much water out of your hair as Jax gets out of his coat in one shake.

At the end of the month, we had to give Ojo back to his family. It was harder than I thought to give him back. More than once I found myself plotting ways to keep him, but a dog belongs with his family.

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Rumble in the Marsh


The salt marsh is a summer favorite, as the entries stuffed with long grass and ospreys will attest.

The high tide in the grass brings out the monster in the brothers, and Comet is often the brunt of their desire to chase and bite. I always watch to make sure they’re not too hard on him, but he’s constantly going over, taunting them, and running off.

(Top to bottom: Ajax, Ojo, Comet)

It really does look like a whole lot of fun, especially if you like biting.

What would a trip to the salt marsh be without a chance to take pictures of Osprey? This is one of my all-time favorite Osprey pictures.

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Hopyard


Ben grew up in Eastern CT, so he knows many of the secrets of the backwoods there. He also knows where to get noodles and barbecue chicken pizza.

So, we set out early one morning to check out Devil’s Hopyard with the dogs.

(Left to right: Ojo, Ajax, Comet)

The Hopyard is famous for some unique rock formations, and popular lore says that the settlers thought the cylindrical holes in the rock were made by the devil. There’s also an odd cave called “The Devil’s Oven.”

Regardless of how the formations came about, it’s a lovely park on about 860 acres, which gives you enough space to wander without bumping into too many folks on the way.

(Photo credit: Ben Taylor)

It’s a dog’s paradise, with a brook running by a large section of the trail, big fern gardens, rotting trees, and all the mud you could ever want.

There’s even a viewing spot that’s not too hard to get to. The dogs, as always, couldn’t care less about views, but they were good sports about parking in front of the vista for a few minutes so we could grab some pictures.

(Photo credit: Ben Taylor)

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Before, After, and After


Since I was going through the same routine so often, I started posing the dogs each time. The photo post isn’t just an opportunity to take a picture. It’s also an opportunity to practice that all-important skill, the stay. In a semi-controlled environment (a familiar field with no other dogs or people), it’s a great opportunity to test them with a few distractions but nothing too tempting.

Ojo, as you can see, does beautifully.

(Left to right: Comet, Ojo, Ajax)

I really do enjoy snapping photos just as I give them the “OK.” You get the silliest expressions.

Since we head through the same field on our way back, I thought an “after” photo was in order. It’s coincidence that they sat in almost the same configuration.

And the requisite “OK!” photo.

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Catch Up


I’m writing this entry and the next few from a few months’ distance. I fell behind a bit, but now I’m making a little project out of catching up. I certainly have the pictures.

I spent July taking the dogs all over the place, but we consistently returned to our favorite river spot. Since there’s a field on the road’s side of the river, it was a nice spot to fetch for a few minutes and dry out the wet dogs before we returned to the car.

(Left to right: Comet, Ajax, Ojo)

Seconds after the last photo, Jax caught up to Comet and I caught him in the midst of a very bratty body check and muzzle bite. Comet will sometimes outrun or outfake Jax in the ground game, but Jax is a fierce competitor too.

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