Dougie Howser

I’ve felt a little like Dougie Howser this week, where at the end of each episode he sits at his computer and contemplates what he has learnt. In a not too dissimilar position I’m also contemplating a life and death decision. That of my dog.

She’s 16 and a half and getting quite frail, and as she lives with me I have the ultimate responsibility, the only discretion, in whether she continues living or is put down. It’s not a decision I am looking forward to making.

While we were away at Uluru recently she was in a kennel, a supposedly very good one. However she came back with a UTI (urinary tract infection) and that necessitated a trip to the vets for some antibiotics. The vet informed me that she had very little muscle left in her hind legs and was very thin, the latter of which I knew already. She’s dropped to 18kg. It was suggested to me that she would be in pain, but wouldn’t tell me she was and would keep on doing her best for as long as she could. This I’m told wouldn’t be fair to her.

Trouble is, when I look at her she’s happy to see me, she doesn’t whimper and she does get up and move around. Sure, she’s a little weak in the legs sometimes, but she is the equivalent of 112 years old!

Over the past few days she’s had good and bad times. Bad times are when I find her effectively shivering, unsure if it’s cold or a muscle spasm. I don’t want to prolong her life if she’s in pain, but I don’t want to end it if she isn’t and I don’t want this decision in my hands.

If euthanasia is illegal, why can I put down my dog? Our bond is just as strong.

I have people to talk to, but at the same time I don’t want to speak about it. I have too many questions.

Rosser Park

Today we took Chilli on an outing to Rosser Park, otherwise known as the Gold Coast Botanical Gardens. It’s nice that they’ve always had a dog park attached, as it’s a really convenient location for us to take Chilli for some exercise off the leash.

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Despite her old age, she had a ball of a day. Running a few times, but mostly just jogging along and examining every smell she could.

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When we got home she even posed for some photos in ‘the studio’, which is rare for her as she usually doesn’t let me take photos of her. She must have felt really confident.

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Later that afternoon we had a brief adrenalin surge with a snake that was sunning itself in the backyard and for the most part seemed very curious with us and had the doors not been closed, might have liked to come inside. Mum seemed to think it was just a tree snake and non-venemous, despite it looking very “yellow bellied black”, a phrase that generally means danger!

Samyang 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye

Earlier this week I took delivery of a new lens that shall hopefully give me some artistic flair on my upcoming holidays. It’s a Fisheye lens from Samyang, so it was relatively cheap, but is also completely manual, requiring some learning of how to use the thing before pictures really start to work. I’d been told it’s more a ‘set up for 30 seconds, then snap’ than ‘snap away’ type lens, but I’m doing a little of both and enjoying what I can do with it.

I’m still studying quite hard, so that’s limited my use of it, as has some poor, gloomy weather, but I’d like to share some sample pics so you can get a feel for what it can offer.

Taking a stroll!
Taking a stroll!

As you can see, it’s taking some lovely photos, so long as you don’t zoom in too deeply, as then you see how soft the focus is.  Being completely manual and offering such a wide perspective (167º), it can be very difficult to decipher what is actually in focus when composing the picture.

This might not do much for portraiture, but should yield some great landscape shots.

EOS Remote

One of the cool new features I can take advantage of with the new EOS 70D camera is the built-in wifi functionality.  To be honest, I didn’t put much weight into the feature before buying, and am not sure I’ll actually use it much, but I thought I may as well set it up and see how it works.

The advantage to wifi is that I can set up the camera close to where something I don’t want to disturb will be, and then back off, letting that thing get comfortable.  Start the app on my phone and control the focus, aperture and everything else, then snap the pic.  Common example: a pet.  Therefore, I tested it on Chilli.

I’d read that setup was a maze, but I didn’t even open the instruction manual and had no troubles.  Seemed fairly straightforward to me.

EOS-70D Samples

Took some more photos this afternoon with the new camera.  I did try some plane spotting at OOL, but was in the wrong point to take any good ones (too far away).  Hopefully these give some more examples of the IQ from the new camera.

I know I predominantly take macro shots, but shall try include some more diversity when I can to show off the camera.  There’s a couple at the bottom.