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Watching a dog during an obedience trial is like watching a dog put on a clinic of all the things a dog can do.

One of the most interesting things to watch the dogs do is on display in this photo of a Belgian Malinois.

For this objective a set of identical objects are laid in the grass. The dogs human keeps one and rubs there hands over it to put their scent on the object. Then the object is placed in the grass amongst the other objects.

It is the job of the Belgian Malinois to find the object that the human has touched,

The Belgian Malinois sniffs the pile of objects. Finds the correct object. Retrieves the object.

Then the Belgian Malinois brings the object back to their human. And to complete the exercise sits on cue next to their human.

Photo details: Nikon D500. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8. Focal length 175mm. ISO 400. 1/500 sec. f/2.8.

Belgian Malinois

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The Bedlington Terrier has such an interesting look when groomed for a dog show.

The dogs look is reminiscent of a sheep.

I don’t think I have seen another breed of dog whose look is anything like the Bedlington Terrier.

With the thick fluffy white fur across most of their body then trimmed short along neck, head and ears it is quite the contrast on the body of the Bedlington Terrier.

It is interesting how thick the fur along the top of the Bedlington Terrier’s snout is. Not many breeds of dog have that characteristic.

The tufts of fur at the tips of the ears wave like flags in the wind.

Photo details: Nikon D300S. Nikon 300mm f/4. Focal length 420mm. ISO 640. 1/1250 sec. f/5.6.

Bedlington Terrier

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Will I be the tortoise or will I be the hare? Pretty sure I won’t be the hare, but I am feeling a little swifter than a tortoise these days. It’s time for the next Finger Lakes Running Club trail race. This event is the Tortoise & Hare Trail Run, which has a distance of apx 10k. You know trail distances. It’ll be kinda close. This is the fourth race in the FLRC Trail Circuit.

Pre- Race

This race is held at another one of our beautiful state parks. This time at Buttermilk Falls State Park. I wanted to arrive a little early to have a chance to stretch my legs. And what better way to do that then hiking a little ways up the gorge and photographing one of the amazing waterfalls that this state park features.

Butter Milk Falls State Park

History

I have run this race two time before. Way back in 2016 and 2017. So it has been 5 years since I was last here. I am familiar with the course and I had some idea of what to expect. There was the one beast of a climb after the one mile loop around the fields and woods of the lower park. I was really hoping to just be a little bit faster than the last time I was here. Then at the pre race meeting they made an announcement that the course had to be rerouted due to a bridge we would normally cross being out. This year the race would run all the way around Lake Treman at the upper portion of the state park. And the RD said on of my least favorite words when in the setting of a trail race, STAIRS. WE would have to navigate some stairs. I didn’t know if that meant going up or going down or how many but for me stairs in general make a race course more difficult.

Time Warp footage of first half of Tortoise and Hare 10k

Run the race you’re in

And then it was time to race. I knew the first mile was essentially flat as we ran across the field and looped around through the woods. My goal was to run that at a pretty fast pace so I could try to get a little separation before staring the big climb to the upper part of the park. knowing myself, the climb is where I would struggle the most so getting out to a quick start was going to be a great help.

I finished the first mile in 8:31 and it actually felt pretty good. I was pushing, but not too hard. An 8:31 pace is good for me and is quite fast for me on trails. I was feeling pretty strong. And I was ready to take on the climb.

The climb

I am not a climber. When it comes to trail running large chunks of elevation game are me weakness. This is where I am most often passed by people. Then the big climbs leave me feeling sapped for energy even after finishing them and it takes a while for me to get my feet back under me.

I was really hoping to perform better on this climb than I did, but considering my volume of running has been pretty low for the past month I will take what I can get. I power hiked up the climb the best that I could. 515 feet of elevation gain over the second mile and that didn’t even complete the full climb. It ended up being another 10th of a mile to finish off the climb.

Then the course flattened out for the next mile.

2nd half of the Tortoise and Hare 10k

Upper Buttermilk Falls

The portion of the race run in the upper part of Buttermilk Falls State Park is not as flat as the first mile, but is much flatter than the second mile was. It is actually a nice section of trail. Mostly single track trails. A lot of mostly small elevation changes. And it is a nice scenic jaunt through the woods.

At the far end of the course that trail reaches the farthest part of Buttermilk Falls State Park. And that is also the highest elevation point of the race. So, thats good right.

Normally the course for the race is like a reverse4 lollipop setup. The runners run the loop through the field in the beginning then up to the farthest out point of the park with just a small loop at the top before retracing their steps back down the gorge the same way they had come.

Usually I see a lot of the lead runners pass by me on their way back down. But due to the change in the course this year causing us to run around the lake at the top of the park I only saw the race leader as he completed his loop of the lake and headed back down the gorge.

Running around the lake

I really wasn’t sure what to make of having to run around the lake this year. I had hiked the trail around the lake once before but I really could not remember anything about it. But, apparently, according to the race director there would be stairs.

The part of the loop that took us around the lake for the most part was a fun run. There was actually a good bit of downhill running, which is what I like. Unfortunately, the nice runnable sections were punctuated with a few steep stair climbs.

When I reached the first of these stair climbs I cursed under my breath. These stairs really slowed me down and that is where I began to lose ground. At each new stair climb I was passed by more people. But eventually that was over. I survived it and I still had gas in the tank.

I knew what was next. Descending that steep climb we had in the beginning. Time to see what I had left.

The final descent

After completing the circuit around the lake it was essentially all downhill from here. That included a steep decent that covered almost all of what turned out to be the final 3/4 of a mile.

This is where I was hoping to have a chance to put some speed on. I like downhill running and I am not afraid to try to go as fast as my legs can handle.

I was slowly picking up the pace. But I was also trying to pace myself and not push too hard too soon. I wanted to have something left to go hard on the long descent and push through the flat to the finish line. Going hard all the way down was going to put a pounding on my legs and tire them out so I had to conserve them a little bit leading into this final drop down to the finish.

Then the moment arrived. Down hill we go. This is what the whole race is about for me. A chance to run this very runnable and steep descent. Downhill running is my favorite especially on runs where I have enough left in the tank to try and go fast. And this race did not let me down. I was actually able to catch and pass a couple of people who had passed me previously.

Then I was down the hill and across the finish line.

I grabbed a bagel and some Gatorade and walked back towards the area directly preceding the finish line to wait and cheer on my friends who were also running the race. They both finished shortly after I did. And we celebrated a well run race together.


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The Beauceron is a beautiful breed.

I have not had the pleasure of seeing this breed very often. I hope to see more of the m in the future.

It is really nice when there is a breed of dog that I don’t see regularly and I get to see it in both the conformation ring and out on the agility course.

Seeing a breed of dog like the Beauceron in more than one context helps me to feel like I know more about these dogs.

Dogs composed in conformation. Dogs in frenetic motion during agility.

Photo details: Nikon D300S. Nikon 300mm f/4. Focal length 420mm. ISO 400. 1/2000 sec. f/5.6.

Beauceron

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Bearded Collie in full extension.

There are a lot of features of this photo that I really love.

I love the full body profile view. Fully showing the motion of the dogs body.

The Bearded Collie with their head held high. Then at the opposite end the tail is held high as well.

The foreword leg fully extended at the peak of the dogs stride. The rear leg fully extended backwards.

The two inner feet of the Bearded Collie meeting in the middle in stride.

I love the long beautiful flowing hair.

The sweep of the dogs fur flowing from front towards the back as the strands of hair are pushed back by the friction with the air as the Bearded Collie moves across the field.

Photo details: Nikon D300S. Nikon 300mm f/4. Focal length 420mm. ISO 400. 1/2000 sec. f/5.6.

Bearded Collie

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Beagles in a lot of ways seem like the quintessential dog.

They are probably one of the most familiar dog breeds.

They are a medium to small sized dog.

A Beagle’s long floppy ears just scream adorable pup.

When you see a Beagle you just see a dog.

There is no particularly distinct feature in looking at a Beagle that draws the eye.

The dog in the photograph is just happily trotting across the dog show ring.

And that is how I think of Beagles. As happy jolly dogs. Just enjoying life and finding things to bring them joy.

Beagle

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Basset Hounds are adorably goofy looking dogs if you ask me.

The Basset Hound has ears that are longer than its legs. That really does not bode well for a gracefully moving dog like I imagine.

Lots of loose saggy baggy skin all over the body.

Face with skin and jowls hanging loose.

Feet that seem larger than a dog of that stature would require.

Basset Hounds seem to lumber along with more effort that a small dog should require.

This image captures quite a noble look of Basset Hound look as one moves across the show ring.

I think that capturing the photo at just the right moment as the dog is in motion helps create this look.

Photo details: Nikon D300S. Nikon 300mm f/4. Focal length 420mm. ISO 400. 1/2000 sec. f/5.6.

Basset Hound

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Dogs in action doing things. That is always great to see. It creates great photos.

But one aspect that is less often seen and even harder to photograph is the quiet moments.

The moments shared between a dog and their people.

For me the close quiet moments are more indicative of what life with a dog is like for me.

I love this photo of a Basenji being held by its human.

They are snuggled up close and relaxing before their turn in the dog show ring.

The Basenji is calm and relaxed with a slight curve to its lips that almost looks like a little smirk.

This photo was taken in the more behind the scenes staging area of the dog show.

Under the big tents. The tents are white and create nice shade so the lighting is much dimmer. So the combination of the white tents and looking out towards the much more brightly lit scene out from under the tent creates this bright white background.

I did a little post processing work to lighten the foreground and dim the background a little in this photo.

Photo details: Nikon D300. Nikon 70-200 f/2.8. Focal length 98mm. ISO 400. 1/1250 sec. f/2.8.

Basenji

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I personally love big dogs. I don’t know if I would ever want a small dog at home. But a lot of little dogs have very interesting looks.

Little dog. Tall pointed ears. Long fur. Thick looking fur. The fur even looks stiff and course. However I have never had an opportunity to pet one of these cool looking dogs to find out.

I can’t say enough how fun dog shows are for discovering different dog breeds.

This is especially true for dog breeds that one would not necessarily consider for a companion at home.

Just because I might not want to share my home with a small dog doesn’t mean I don’t think they are cool, interesting, or cute. And I love learning about dogs of any type.

So finding out about the Australian Terrier through dog shows is really cool. I never would have known they existed without the opportunity to go to dog shows.

Photo details: Nikon D300S. Nikon 300mm f/4. Focal length 420mm. ISO 400. 1/1250 sec. f/5.6.

Australian Terrier

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One of my long time loves when it comes to dog breeds has been the Australian Shepherd. This is one dog breed I always dream about sharing my home with. But if it is going to happen it has to be jus tthe right time.

Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent and highly energetic.

That makes them great at doing things like agility with the proper training.

Proper training, exercise, and jobs are important for harmony in a home with a dog, but the more intelligence and energy the dog has the more important that can be.

If a dog isn’t given direction and taring they are more likely to get into mischief. That is why if I am to have an Australian Shepherd I want to wait until the time is right and I can commit to providing for all of their needs.

In the meantime I am always excited to watch and Australian Shepherd run through an agility course.

The Australian Shepherd pictured below may not be using perfect form on the teeter totter but it is an exciting photo.

Photo details: Nikon D500. Nikon 300mm f/4. Focal length 420mm. ISO 400. 1/3200 sec. f/5.6.

Australian Shepherd competing in agility

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