Category Archives: companion animal

Today’s Running Partner

The more I develop myself over the years the more I learn that things I love and that are important to me fit together. I have been a long time dog lover. And over the last few years I have become an increasingly avid runner. I have been making more time to run than to do most other things in my life these days. I never thought I would say that. As I have been getting more into running I have really been wanting to be able to run with one of my dogs. I have tried in the past to run with one of our dogs but it didn’t really work out well for either of us. But I am thinking that I may try to get more dedicated to this idea. So today I set out with my new running partner today.

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Running together will require a lot of learning and training on both our parts. Brynn will need to work on walking and running on my left so we can stay on the proper side of traffic when running and stay away from cars (something I should have been teaching her all along, my bad.) Brynn will also need to learn to stay by my side and not get too far out ahead. She will also need to learn to stay constant and not stop to sniff or investigate interesting things while we are running.

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I will need to learn to modify my running plans to suit Brynn’s needs. Now I have to think about both of us instead of just me. That means extra water for her as well as for me if we are out for long runs as well as extra night lights if we run before or after the sun is out. More planning will be required on my part.

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The best thing is that on what was basically our first run together it went pretty smoothly. Brynn didn’t get too distracted to stop and smell things or try to rip my arm off to run and chase things like squirrels and other dogs. I owe this to the hard work with training my wife and I put in when we first got her, although we need to be more consistent with it. “Leave it.” is a magic phrase that will make your life with your dog much easier if you teach them that cue. Trust me.

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Brynn can dust me in a sprint or in repeated sprints over and over. She seems to have limitless energy playing n the back yard and fetching her Chuck It ball. or even just ramming around the house playing with her infinite number of toys. It was kind of nice to see that even though she can wear me out in short bursts of energy I can outlast her in distance running thanks to my training. We went out for what is a short run for me these days, just a 5k. Brynn started off strong, perhaps too strong. An error that I am sure many of my runner friends can relate to. I started off relatively slow for me.  Brynn started off out in front of me at the end of her leash. She still looked like she was just trotting along out in front, and not really exerting herself. However, by the time we were inside of a mile left to be done she had slowed considerably. She was either beside me or just behind me most of that last mile.

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She didn’t seem to be working too hard nor panting much, but she was definitively slowing down and getting tired from the sustained exertion. It’s nothing like the heavy panting and raged breathing and rapidly expanding chest she exhibits during her sprints across our yard to fetch her ball. She is definitely a sprinter and not a distance runner at this point. Something I definitely would have said for myself at one point, even though I really never was even a sprinter.

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So, Brynn and I will continue to work together. Hopefully frequently to work on her running with me on leash in hopes that I can run with her at events that welcome dogs some day. The sad part is I like that she is currently tired out and sleeping under my desk as I write this after our run. I am not sure if I really want to keep taking her out regularly and build up her stamina so that she will have even more energy and be able to run longer and longer and then require longer and longer runs to tire her out so she comes home and is peacefully sleeping at my feet. I like tired Brynn. I like that it only took 3 miles to tire her out. Here’s to the future of a new running-mate.

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Now I just have to work on incorporating photography into my actual runs. But I have a few ideas about that too. Stay tuned.

Luke

 

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Luke

I loved my time photographing this old man dog, Luke, back in 2014. He was such a joy. It is great to see it when an older dog still has the spark. This is some of the great work the Chemung County SPCA does. They make sure older dogs like Luke have a home to live out the rest of their years the way it should be.

I am currently working on a project to help bring more awareness to the amazing work the Chemung County SPCA does. The project will consist of an art exhibit, on display at the Chemung County Historical Society, featuring photographs of dogs that have been at the shelter. Learn more about this project ans support hit here: Shelter Dogs at the Museum: Part 2. The exhibit will begin June.

Kenya

Kenya seems to be the kind of dog that is ready for anything. She was not particularly energetic when I photographed her but you could tell she has the energy just ready to unleash it when the right activity is offered to her.

Kenya is a friendly happy dog who is ready to hop up on the seat with you and be petted or is equally content trotting around finding her own way to keep happy and busy.

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Kenya

Kenya wasn’t interested in playing with any of the tennis balls I tried to entice her with so she might be interested in other types of toys. Maybe she is just too smart for a game of fetch. Perhaps she thinks that since I threw the ball I should go get it.

I am currently working on a project to literally display how great shelter dogs are and bring more attention to them. You can learn more about my project here: Shelter Dogs at the Museum. Please consider contributing to the campaign or sharing the project with your friends on social media.

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Kenya

Great photos of dogs at the shelter help dogs find homes faster. The faster shelter staff can connect dogs with their forever homes the better for everyone. Dogs get to go home and humans get to start a life with a new best friend.

Help me make an impact on the lives of shelter dogs and the humans who adopt them by contributing to my campaign.

Meet Your Next Best Friend

I’ve made a lot of friends over the years and if you are a dog lover like me you count a lot of dogs among them. Two of my best friends became part of my lives completely by coincidence. We met our dogs Brynn and Kira at the Chemung County SPCA and they became family.
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Kira watching lure coursing.
You can meet your next best friend at the Chemung County SPCA too.
 
I am working on a project to highlight some of the amazing dogs that pass through the Chemung County SPCA on their way to their forever homes. This project will feature large print photographs of some of the dogs that have been at the shelter to see. It will be on display at the Chemung County Historical Society Museum for all to see.
 
Help me make this project the best it can be by contributing to my crowd funding campaign Shelter Dogs at the Museum and sharing it with all your friends and family on social media: https://igg.me/at/ShelterDogsattheMuseum/x/13239346
This is the final push to get this project fully funded. The campaign ends in one week. Please donate to help me support our local shelter animals.
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Brynn all muddy after playing in the yard.
I want to thank the Chemung County SPCA and the Chemung County Historical Society for making this project possible. I couldn’t be doing this without their support.

Happy Holidays from Us and the Dogs

As 2015 comes to a close I can’t help but feel how fortunate I am. I live in a great country. I have a great wife who loves me. I have family that is always there if I need them. And not least of all did I mention all the dogs.

We all have trials and tribulations in life. Things we wish we did or did differently. Guess what? Its in the past let it go. I know its hard. I struggle with it daily myself. Instead focus on those things that bring joy and happiness into your life.

For me one of the most constant sources of smile making and tear jerking moments are my dogs. If you are not a dog lover, yes I am that person who will not shut up about their dogs. Our dogs are part of our family just like anyone else’s children are.

In that spirit we try to make the holidays special for them as well. We bought them presents. We wrapped them. We had them open their presents. In some cases they ate their presents. There were dog beds, cat beds, cat towers, chew toys, squeaky toys, dog treats, and steak. There was even matching pajamas for my wife and two of the dogs.

I flooded everyone’s social media timelines with photos of my dogs enjoying their Christmas. And I enjoyed them enjoying Christmas.

So from The whole Reynolds crew Merry Christmas and Happy new Year. I hope 2016 brings you everything you are dreaming of and working hard for.

Tribute To Cami

This is a sad time for my wife Debby and I. Yesterday we had to make the toughest decision that any animal lover ever has to make. It was time to allow Cami to move on to the next phase of life. Cami now waits for us at Rainbow Bridge. The ravages of lung cancer and hip dysplasia were too much for Cami and it was clear that she was not the happy enthusiastic dog she had always been.
While I am deeply saddened by this turn of events I am trying not to dwell in the loss, but remember the life and times we shared together. Now I am more thankful than ever for my obsession with photography. It has provided me with a way to keep the memories of happy times fresh in my mind so I can be uplifted by Cami’s spirit by looking at her photographs. It’s funny because over the years as a photographer I have shared many photos of Cami and always tried to pick out the ones that were the best quality to share. But sometimes those great photos that look just right don’t tell the whole story. Its the odd picture here and there that looks a little goofy or that you just took for the heck of it with no planning or thought that truly depicts a life. So below I have posted many pictures of Cami, many of which I probably haven’t shared before. Some because they weren’t “good enough”. Some just because I have so darn many. Here are some of the photos that to me represent Cami’s life.

This is a photograph of Cami when she was a puppy. Such an adorable little bundle of fur. She always had that cuteness factor.

This photo represents what my wife and I now call the awkward phase. She has gotten taller and longer but hasn’t filled in yet. We thought she was so cute then, but when we looked back at the pictures later we always thought she looked so goofy compared to when she was fully grown.

Cami has always loved being out in the snow. Just prancing around the yard looking gorgeous.
With her thick long fur it was never a problem to just lie down and relax in the snow and just enjoy the weather. She never cared about what we humans complain of as bad weather.

She always looked like a smiley happy dog.

This was just one of those moments that just happened and was so cute. Cami just decided to lie down right in this bed of wild flowers and I could not resist taking a photo. Cami was always so photogenic and willing to sit for a photo.

Cami was always so playful and happy. She could always find a way to have some fun. One day she sat under our oak tree in the front yard and just started ripping the leaves off the branches. She was having such a good time. I had never before seen a dog do that and I still have never seen another dog do it.

The snow does not bother Cami at all. She always just sat there soaking it in and laying and rolling in it. I think if we didn’t have her come back in, she would have stayed out in the snow forever.

Cami always made the most out of everything. Normally going down to our pond to get a drink of water, but what do you do when the pond is frozen over? Of course you just lick the ice.

One of Cami’s defining characteristics was always the huge blaze of white fur up her chest and neck. The fur was always so thick and soft. I love how you can see it just billowing out in this photo.

Cami was never above rolling around on the ground for a good back scratch.

Cami liked to walk around the yard and survey the area before finding a place to settle down. Her happy tail always help high and wagging.

Despite my wife’s insistence prior to owning a Bernese Mountain Dog that they are quiet dogs, Cami was always quite the barker. She even had this strange howling like bark. You would think she was calling out the the rest of her pack.

I just love this photo.  I think she looks so noble in this image. I didn’t even remember seeing it before as I was looking through all the pictures. That is why I will always love photography. It has allowed me to enjoy moments I had with her that I don’t even remember.

Happy Cami. She always sat and cooperated so well for me when I took her picture. I was always able to get nice profile photos of her. I think she just humored me because she new it was my crazy human obsession.

Cami always loved to spend time down by the pond. That was one of her favorite places to lie down and relax on a regular basis. Step one go get a drink of water. Step two lie down and relax a while.

I love this image for one little thing that you might not be able to see. In this shot you can read her name on her name tag. I just thought that was cool.

I have always thought Cami had gorgeous eyes. I tried over the years to get a good shot of them and this is probably the best one I ever got.

Cami was always so alert and focused to every noise around her.

Cami and Buck asleep on the floor. She was so small compared to her big brother. 
Cami and Buck we inseparable as puppies. They were always together.
They even still cuddled sometimes when they got bigger.

Cami and Buck loved to play in the snow together.

Cami with her brothers and sister down by the pond on a nice winter day.
Cami and Mojo playing when Mojo was just a puppy.
Cami and Buck at the park. This was a hard day because it was when we began to realize that we just couldn’t do all the same things with out dogs that we used to anymore.
I don’t think I have any more photos of Cami after this day. I love her some much and always want to remember her, but you could see in her face that she was sick and I made the conscious decision that I did not want to remember her that way. I simply didn’t want to be looking through pictures and be reminded of how she was sick and the toll it took on her. I wanted to remember her with the happy pictures.
Here’s to Cami. A great loving dog who was always happy and affectionate. You will always live on in our hearts.