Doggone II

Minnie with kids March 2003
This is one of my favourite photos, for the charming expressions and poses of the girls, but I’ve never been game to show it in case I was accused of something. But it was made over 6 years ago and taken in a public place, and I’m now aware that the law is quite clear – there is nothing illegal about photographing people in public places, provided the photo is not used in a derogatory way. I don’t think this falls into that category.

Yesterday I wrote of the two dogs that adopted me and didn’t want to leave. Well, there’s been a happy ending.

I put them outside my fence as I said, hoping they’d get bored and move on. Unfortunately they sat there all morning yipping and whining and pleading to be let back in. Eventually my neighbour suggested ringing the council pound, which, amazingly, is open for business for two hours on a Sunday.

I made the call and they had had a call shortly before mine reporting two lost dogs. To cut a long story short, I was able to contact the owners and they came around to collect their obviously much loved dogs. They came from a street a full suburb away, about 2-3km! These dogs were way out of their territory. I said it would have been much simpler if the dogs had name tags and they said the dogs “chewed them off”. Huh? How can a dog chew a tag off its own collar? The collars were in fine condition.

Anyway, I asked what the dogs’ names were; how about Minnie and Bindi?! Minnie is my dog’s name, of course, and Bindi is/was the name of a little dog three doors down from me.

So all’s well that ends well there, but there’s a bit of tragedy too. Late in the afternoon I was chatting to the neighbour at 126, the owner of the Bindi in our street. He said his Bindi is no more. It has ceased to be. It was only about 5 months old and took off down the street recently. His kids chased after it, but the puppy ran out onto the road and was hit by a car and killed. His young son had to carry the dead puppy back home. What an awful thing to happen. The only mercy is that it died at the scene. It would have been worse if it had been badly injured and decisions would have had to be made about vet bills etc. Thank goodness I’ve never had to face that dilemma.

Also, while we were talking, his 4 yo daughter was playing with my Minnie and talking to me, when she suddenly said, “You’ve got a fat tummy.” Oh dear, the innocence of children. Ya gotta laugh, though.My beloved Boopsie, who died three years ago this week aged 8.

It’s big out there

Image:International Space Station

I said my next DVD project would be on Venice and Milan, but I’ve been hijacked.

A week ago someone emailed me a Powerpoint slide show of Hubble Space Telescope images, accompanied by “Wow, these are so good, you must see this…” etc etc. Trouble is, I’d already seen all the images and in much higher resolution. That set me thinking that I’ve been viewing and collecting these astronomical images for years, so I did a count (I don’t physically count them, my viewing software tells me how many there are). It turns out that I’ve got 324 of Earth and the Universe, 131 just of Hubble images, 11 of Jupiter, 193 of Mars, 6 of Mercury, 99 of Saturn, 29 of Titan and 3 of Venus.

So! There’s a challenge, if ever I saw one, and my next project is now called Reaching for the Stars: The Earth and the Universe. This time I’m using software called ProShow Producer which is designed for still images, rather than video, but it can incorporate video as well and I’ve got a few clips.

The result will be hundreds of stunning space images set to music, with motion and effects, and my jaw drops just in the process of making it. This software is great stuff and with images like this to work with, I’m in raptures. Of course, they’re not my images or my music; all I’m doing is pulling it together in sequence and timing. It should be good.

Pete

Doggone it


Yesterday two roaming dogs came sniffing around my front gate, and being a dog lover, I went out to say hello. One’s a Jack Russell similar to the one above, but much whiter, and the other is all black with white tips, looking like a labrador/staffy cross, maybe? (I didn’t take that photo above, but I don’t know who to credit it to or I would. It’s just one I found on the web a few years ago.)

They were obviously pals together, these dogs, very friendly and well looked after, with collars but no tags. But they were wandering all over the road and were heading across the street to Marmion Avenue, a very busy, 80kmh dual carriageway. I thought I’d better stop them doing that. However, with no tags, I don’t know where they’re from or how to contact the owner/s.

I brought them inside the yard and put a big sign up on my fence, “Your dogs are here. Come and get them” and my phone number, thinking someone would be out looking for them. I would be if it was my dog gone missing.

No-one came, of course, so they’ve stayed with me overnight, having a nice meal and sleeping on my bed. They think they’re in dog heaven, so what happens now? I’ve put them outside the fence, hoping they’ll roam off to their home, but an hour later, they’re still sitting outside looking wistfully at me and wanting to come back in.

Oh dear. Much as I’d love to look after them, it would be a disaster for my future plans. Much as I love Minnie, she’s a ball and chain around my leg. I think all the time about travelling or moving into a retirement village, but having a dog is not compatible with most of my plans. It breaks my heart to say it, but Minnie needs to pass on.

I guess I’ll have to make up some leaflets and take a walk around the neighbourhood, posting them in letterboxes and on the local noticeboards. I suppose taking the dogs to a vet to see if they have a micro chip ID is also a possibility, but I’d have to pay for that.

Meanwhile, they’re still there, sitting in the garden bed and looking through the bars, on the outside looking in.

Pete