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Category Archives: Saber

May 15, 2011

My Life Without Photographs

I was reading in the New York Times the other day that the more we tell a story, the more we change the details. In other words, the truest representation of the “facts” of an event are when we tell the story the first time. After that,the details all get murkier and murkier or, as is the case with most humans, more and more

Two years ago it was warm enough in May that I got to swim in my own little pool!

embellished and exaggerated.

This is, I suppose, why humans take so many photographs. Or at least, that’s my theory. They know, even if they don’t want to admit it, that their memories are malleable and impermanent. A photograph, they think, will sear the details into something tangible and solid, something not so illusive and annoyingly deceptive as memory.

This is also why, I suppose, Gretchen is so upset that 1) she still hasn’t found her camera battery charger and 2) has had a very difficult time locating one. In fact, we’ve been to parts of this city I never knew existed searching for the battery charger that appears to be no longer in use.

Last year it was so warm in May, Tyson actually panted. He rarely pants!

I find this very perplexing.¬† We bought the camera only 2 years ago and for some reason, the batteries, which I might add are exactly the same as the current model of the camera, require a special kind of charger and while camera shops around town might have the batteries, they don’t have the chargers. This makes absolutely no sense to me (or to Gretchen, for that matter) and so we’ve resorted to trying to purchase one online.

But this has proven difficult as well because the exact model must fit “H” type batteries and while we can find an abundance of chargers that fit A B C D E F G and I, we struggled to find H. Go figure.

But this has also proven to make my life (and my work) feel rather empty of late. Every morning I get up, put on my leash, and head out the door in anticipation of meeting up with my canine clients. I know there are some past photographs where I look bored with the whole “posing” scenario and I know our computer contains over 20,000 photographs (most of me and my friends), but I kind

Rosie pants, but last year's May was really pant-worthy!

of miss reviewing my week in pictures.

And what, then, does NOT recording my life in photographs do to my memories of the past week? How does an absence of digital photographic evidence alter the stories I tell?

These are the questions I’m pondering and while you see photos of the dogs we walked this week on this blog, please know they are

only representations. They do not, by any means, capture this week’s stories/memories that ranged from thrilling to annoying, glorious sunny to miserably rainy. No photos of soggy dogs hunched together under the umbrella of a cedar tree or happy pupssplashing in the lake on our one warm, sunny day. No photos of me sleeping, no photos of my friends romping, no photos of the spring flowers or the snowy (yes, still snowy) mountains. No photos of rain dripping from every surface and corner or the brief, but glorious sun shimmering off of the puddles (and poodles).

For the fear that I might alter these memories past the point of recognition, I am refraining from telling the stories lest the details morph or transpose themselves into something not quite as pure and remembered as each day of my life. Instead, I will hold these stories behind the squinted eyes of my memory and hope that soon the correct camera battery charger comes in the mail  so that I might capture the beauty of my life frame by frame.

Cross your paws everyone!


PS: Here are more photos of May not circa-2011…

Woobie panting underneath her long locks!

No panting, but flowers in bloom. We have flowers now, but the rain is rolling off of them!

Two years ago, it was warm enough that we could do some water therapy with Monty who sinks like a boulder, by the way!

But Gretchen and I helped him and he swam like a champ!

May 2010 had sunshine. You can tell by the shadows.

In addition to panting, Rosie is squinting in the sun. Remember those days?

We actually met Roux in the month of May last year. We don't have many photos of her, though.

We walked to lots of sunny places in previous Mays so we could stick out our tongues at the camera!

And yes, I got to do lots of swimming during a much warmer, drier May!

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January 15, 2011

It’s Time

I knew this day was coming, but now that it’s here I have mixed feelings.

Our business is changing. Now that Gretchen has a full time job at the pool as the manager, she’s had to cut back in other areas of

Gretchen in the pool with Tony the Face. He LOVES his massage!

her life. She says that if she were 20 years younger, she might be able to walk 7 miles a day, spend 6 hours a day in the pool swimming and massaging dogs, and survive 12 hour work days, but she isn’t so therefore something’s gotta give.

So, she’s cutting back on the number of dog walking clients she’ll have per week.

What this means for me is that I’ll get more walks with Gretchen just by myself and

while I am very happy about this (I enjoy our alone time), I’m also sad because I won’t see some of my friends as often. It also means that I won’t be writing this blog every day. Again, it’s kind of nice to think about not having to write every day (sometimes, as you know, it’s been tough to keep up), but in one way, I’ll kind of miss it. Keeping a daily journal, as it were, is a great way for me to reflect upon my day and my life.

But Gretchen says that I shouldn’t dwell on the sadness, but rather embrace this day as a day to celebrate my friendships. So let me begin…

Waiting with my friends for a mid-morning snack!

My closest friend in all the world is Monty. We will be keeping him as a client so you’ll read more about our work adventures (days when I walk him), but you’ll also read more about our friendship adventures (days when we’re just hanging out and NOT working). Monty’s a special guy. He’s taught me more than any other dog I’ve known and I’m looking forward to more wisdom and fun with my big, woolly buddy in the years to come!

We’re also keeping Woobie who, as you know, has been staying with us this week. She goes home tomorrow and we know she’s very excited to see her family once again. Yesterday, when we were driving around on some errands, Woobie got really excited at one point in the car. “What’s with Woobie?” I asked Gretchen.

“Look where we are,” Gretchen said.

We were one block from Woobie’s house. I guess I’d be excited, too if I passed by my house after not being there for three weeks.

“Soon, Woobie, you’ll be home soon,” I told her and she wagged her big, wavy tail and smiled.

Gemma is a dog we’ve passed onto another dog walker (or two). I’ve known Gemma since she was a puppy and it’s been fun to watch her grow up. I will miss her lively spirit and her willingness to go anywhere and try anything. I didn’t think I’d miss when she bites my neck or pushes me around with her butt, but then when I really thought about it, I realized I actually would. Happy adventures, Ms. Gemma.

Oshi and Perrito will also be moving on. While I’m sad that I won’t see them as much as I used to, the live right next door so I will at least get to watch them on their porch as they scurry around and chase each other. When the weather gets warmer, I may just invite myself over there to scurry around with them.

And then Saber. I’ve known Saber since he was a puppy as well and boy, has he ever grown! I’m miss a lot of things about Saber but the one I’ll miss the most is his goofy happiness.

Every day, no matter the weather or my mood, Saber makes me smile. He loves life and has taught me to embrace every moment with exuberance and zeal.

I sure hope we can arrange play dates in the future because playing with Saber is about as fun as it gets!

Even today, when he knew this was his last day with us, he laughed and laughed and laughed in the rain as we watched Woobie battle the wind and Gretchen forced us to sit on a cold, stone bench and pose for yet another of her many (too many, I might add) photographs.

Okay, I’m gonna kind of miss all of this, but I’m not going to dwell on that…I’m going to dwell (and laugh) on the happiness of friendships…

And to you, my faithful readers, thank you for your support these past few years. Please keep checking in for I will still be writing about my adventures and my thoughts and everything in between. They’ll still be photos and witticisms and the humble contemplations of a maturing Labradoodle (that would be me), but they won’t be as often. I feel like I know each and everyone of you personally and I’d hate to lose that connection just because the focus of my work is changing.

And yes, it’s changing. Turns out I’ll be a pool boy accompanying Gretchen to work at Wellsprings K9 and assisting my friend, Paige as she blogs about her work at the pool.

It’s time and so I step forward into my new adventure in life and I sure hope you follow me! All the best to my four-footed friends and their families who have touched my life in such wonderful ways. I know I’ll see you on the streets of this fair (albeit wet) city and I hope your tail wags as much as mine!

Until next time,


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