Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Our Daughter... the Dog Handler?

Well, thanks to Cousin Kim, we found out about a class for "junior handlers." There is a whole different culture of people out there who breed dogs, train dogs, and show dogs (Ever seen Best in Show?) and we got our first official taste of it. I have to admit that the dogs are really cute and that Ellie is SO in her element, it's not even funny. But wow, that is a lot of time to spend with a dog on a dog and for a dog. I guess you dog lovers out there say, uhhh.. yeah, and we love every minute of it, so get over it! Ok, I will try, but the dog handlers are so serious and competive that they will hide their dog treats in get this... their mouths! See below as one handler slips a cookie in her cheek for later. Why, you ask? To save the time of digging in the pocket and to provide more instantaneous gratification for the dog who may in turn look perkier and win the coveted 1st prize! Obvious question: when will little rookie Ellie learn to perfect such a sacrificial and selfless dog handling skill? Answer: she popped the doggie doobie in her mouth immediately. Yuuuummmmmy! Here is another dog handling skill she learned: leading the dog.and here is cousin Ana leading her little dog, Hazel.
So now I come to my favorite part of dog handling: photography. I know these are not fabulous pictures by any stretch. HOWEVER, I was quite excited as I recognized EWWW, a flash in this circumstance (dark building, no natural light, funky and reflective dog eyes) would be disastrous. See below. BLECH. So I snapped my ISO all the way to 1600, put white balance on "tungsten" (what a weird word) and worked with my camera until my shutter speed was about 1/200. I have no idea if that is right or not, professionally speaking, but look at Ellie's dog Walker. Are his eyes not amazing? I got that because I did NOT have a flash on! Woo Hoo! I never thought it could be done in such poor lighting. (patting self on back) Overall, it was a fun experience for our little dog lover, and we will see where God leads her next.

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