Monday, January 31, 2011

Ghost Story

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
" 'Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door; —
This it is, and nothing more."

-- Edgar Allan Poe: The Raven

Dog Blog Post #220: Today was my first repeat assignment on The Daily Shoot:

Make a photograph using hard light today. Feature the crisp and strong shadows as a major element of your photograph.

Some people grumble about repeat assignments, feeling perhaps their best efforts went into the shoot the first time, or that it's hard to get inspired the second time around.

I can tell you that I was seriously unimpressed, as I had found this to be one of the hardest assignments so far. I don't have any interesting light sources other than the big one on the sky, and my "models" wouldn't fit on the kitchen table like a still life, even if I did!


It rained most the day - eliminating even that big orb in the sky.

Scary Light on Wet Dog Ear
(Fine, I did manage to find a few micro-seconds of sunlight, and I did take a few pictures, but they looked way too much like last time's shots to be satisfying.

We then decided to go for a walk, got caught out in the pouring rain, called my son to pick us up, discovered we (hubby and I) had both sets of keys with us, and ended up trudging home in the pouring rain - which stopped 2 houses before we made it to our own.

Henry was unimpressed.)

So there I was, wandering aimlessly around the house, trying to conjure up light from darkness (yes, candles would be cool, but flambe-of-dog? Definitely not cool.)

And then it hit me: The Maglite - that 4-D Cell behemoth, which you definitely do not want hitting you at all!

I closed the Slider curtains, took the dogs to the darkest part with hardwood floors, and took a lot of really bad, really blurry, really uninteresting shots. But amongst all that, was the shot at the very top.

I love it at once.

I have no idea if that's what's meant by "hard light", but I don't care. I think it's a great shot of Zachary!

(And really, how can you go wrong leading with Edgar Allan Poe?)

(... from the Communication assignment - just because I like it!)

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Dog Blog Post #219: Hmmm... I guess Large Objects is a personal problem. Oh well, I'll just add it to my (ever groooooowing) list of things to work on.

As for the bandana on Zachary's nose, which several people commented on yesterday - it was actually much easier than I thought it would be. I first left the bandana open, but folded into a triangle. I told Zachary to sit-stay, brushed it across his muzzle ("eewwwww....", said Zachary) and I gave him a cookie.

After 3-4 passes, the bandana wasn't nearly so icky after all. So then, instead of brushing it, I would drape it, let go for an instant, and then pull it away (cookies liberally applied).

When that was tolerable, I tied in a knot in the bandana that I hoped would make it big enough to slip over the muzzle, but not so big to fall off.

In a smooth motion, I slid it up his muzzle and then I pulled it off. (more cookies, more cookies, more cookies...)

After a few of those he was just sitting there, although I did stay within arms-reach. So then I slid it up one last time, snapped the final picture, and I was done.

I probably spent 3-5 minutes on it.

And after making that sound way-easy, I'll readily admit that little Mr. Evil Jingle Collar was having nothing to do with the nasty bandana, no matter how many cookies I trotted out. Oh well, different jobs for different dogs. The Trick-of-the-Week this week is one that Henry picked up in a few days, Beau learned instantly, and I've spent a lifetime (well, his lifetime) working on with Zachary with zero success.

So why is this post titled Communication?

Because that's the theme of The Daily Shoot assignment!

Make a photograph that illustrates an aspect of communication.

Whew - an easy one!

My first thought was the dogs asking to go outside, then it was the dogs wanting a cookie (hence the photo up top) but in the end I went with the dogs communicating with each other.

Floppy paws, ears, and tails, squinty eyes, plus the fact they are playing upside-down, communicate that the fearsome display of weaponry is all for fun. I could snap dozens of these each day (and I would never get tired of them!)

(Editors Note: Last time I checked The Daily Shoot site, my favorite non-dog idea was yet to be done - the back of a dirty car with "Wash Me!" written on it!)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Seeing Red

Dog Blog Post #219: Here's a training question for you - how close can you position your dog next to a solid object - say, oh, picking something at random here... how about a large BBQ covered in a brilliant red plaid wool blanket?

Or anything else large and solid?

I am having a heck of time getting the guys to sit next to large solid things, like cabinets or walls or the odd blanket covered BBQ I just happen to come across.

Zachary is actually the worst. He wants to sit at least 6" away - a foot would be even better - and since Henry won't sit closer than Zachary, pretty soon I have this big gap and ugly dark shadows.

(Sorry... just a moment of venting there - it seemed like I was seeing red!)

Today's Daily Shoot assignment:

Today's theme is red. Red hot? Red paint? Or something else? You decide.


Well, its marginally better than stripes, I suppose.

Hubby suggested the bandana idea again - pictured above. Not bad - if a bit conventional. Next I tried the "Outlaw Look" - too bad I couldn't find a cowboy hat! Zachary wasn't that wild about the bandana over the nose at first, but warmed up to with the liberal application of cookies.

Henry was convinced it was worse than the evil jingle collar and wanted nothing to do with it.

In then end, I decided to honor their Scottish Highland roots, and went with the picture below...

I think he looks rather regal, don't you?

Family Dog 2

Dog Blog Post #218: Today was Family Dog class #2. Once again, a very good dog showed up with me, and evil teenage dog was nowhere to be found. While it's hard to be upset about that, I can't help but wonder when he will appear.

I mean, you know he has to.

At some point.

And so I go to class each week, burst with pride that he's being a good boy, and dread how I will feel when his evil twin shows up.

It's like knowing the bill for Christmas is lost in mail, but that it must show up sometime.

Anyway, little sit-n-stare was lovely. He really likes his rawhide chew, and happily masticated it at every opportunity (ie: when Wendy was talking). He sat, and laid down. He laid down, and sat. And even did it when I asked. He recalled from Wendy's chicken (I had peanut butter - I guess you could say the price was right!) and ignored the chatty lab next to us.

I gave him lots of treats, lots of pets, and more than few well deserved kisses.

I, once again, froze my body parts off. Henry, once again, was oblivious to the cold, damp weather.

(Did I mention I was bursting with pride?)

Today's Daily Shoot:

Make a photograph that features a very distinct curved line or surface today.

Whew. Curves. Much easier to do with a golden than stripes!

I went back to the nose again, as I found yesterday's pictures intriguing. However, today I tried a full on nose and in the end decided it was a bit... much.

A chance shot, made toward the end (lending credence to my theory that only the first and last pictures are worth anything) turned out to be my favorite. Something about its curves are almost... sensual.

Once again, I took pictures of both dogs, and once again, these were both Henry.

I'm showing no favorites, honest!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bad Habits

Dog Blog Post #217: Ok, enough horsing around...

On the training front, we still have much to work on.
  • Pogo Puppy: Henry feels compelled to greet us by jumping up and down with paws outstretched, as though saying "mommy, mommy, mommy!" He loved being carried as a puppy, and since he was so sweet, we loved to carry him. Obviously, he's much too big for that now, but that hasn't changed his desire for it.
  • Counter-surfing: Pretty self-explanatory.
  • Sit by Doors: For reasons known only to him, Henry does stand-n-stare instead of sit-n-stare at the front door, and even saying, "Sit", is met with a blank stare. Watching Zachary sit doesn't help either. Walking 10 feet away works wonders, as does having a cookie in your hand. He doesn't try to go out, he doesn't bark, he isn't pushy, he just doesn't sit. Weird.
There are others, but those are the worst offenders at the moment. Ok... work done, on to the fun stuff!

Today's Daily Shoot assignment:

Make a photograph today with a central point of interest in it.

Central Point of Interest?

Blah blah blah... cookie?

After watching the "morning returns" (from those in an earlier time zone) it seemed like you just needed to focus on one important thing.

I'll give you three guesses what I chose...   :)

My favorite is the picture up top, although it wasn't the one I ultimately tweeted. I loved the clarity, the whiskers, the soft fur contrasted with his rough nose, and the little dark spots where the whiskers come out.

But I wasn't sure if it actually qualified as a "Central Point of Interest" as it took up pretty much the whole shot.

Another runner-up was:

His eye, his whiskers, the dark whisker spots, ... I liked this one a lot. It just seemed a bit too bright.

So I went with:

With such a soft expression, and his ear curling around to frame his face... I just melted.

(These are all of Henry. I took just as many shots of Zachary, but for whatever reason, Henry's came out a bit clearer today.)

Glad folks enjoyed yesterday's Zebra shot. Zachary was soooo patient, and yes, he got a pile of cookies for it. Is it just me, or does his muzzle seem really long in that shot. Almost "horse" long! As soon as I saw it, I knew it was destined for Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Main Attraction

Dog Blog Post #215: Oh no, I've been found out! Bunny's mom from Tales and Tails has uncovered my evil plot to try and hook the entire dog blog following world to The Daily Shoot... 

or not...

Speaking of the The Daily Shoot...

Today's assignment was a fun one, for all concerned:

Make a photograph today that illustrates attraction. Pick whatever definition of the word you'd like.

I briefly flitted with ideas like the Tennis Ball (backyard is a mess) the Deli Chicken (don't trust Henry, but Zachary could do it) and a large dog biscuit...

But then it hit me - stuck in my brain, if you will:

Peanut Butter (aka Food of the doGs)...

And for kicks, an "out take" (not helping my anti-counter-surfing efforts here)...

... and the one only "dog people" would understand...

Wordless Wednesday is right around the corner!

Trick 4 and Daily Shoot

Dog Blog Post #214: This week's trick came about as a kind of a doodle - something done while one's mind is occupied on something else. It started with me tossing Henry cookies for offering downs in Family Dog class - that is, when he just happened to lay down, as opposed to me asking for it.

As Wendy was talking, and I was listening (really, Wendy, I was!) every time Henry laid down I clicked and tossed him a cookie.

Pretty soon, I noticed he would occasionally dip his head toward the mat. Well, how cute was that!

So I started clicking just for a head dip. At first he would dip just the tiniest bit, but with each click and cookie he grew more confident. When he was confident at one level, I would hold off clicking just bit, and he would often repeat the motion, but with more exaggeration.

"Hey, mom, didn't you see me? Look!"

... and the head dipped lower, and lower, until by the end of class his head was lying flat on the ground.

The rest of the week was just adding a cue and making it reasonably reliable.  I ended up with a cue of a closed fist held down on the surface I want him to put his head on. While I usually use the floor, I have tried it on the ottoman and he knew exactly what I wanted.

So, the featured trick of the week? Hmmm... what to call it? How about:

Look Sad

For those keeping score, the technique I used was a combination of capturing (rewarding the dog for doing something he naturally was doing - at first the down, and then the head bob) plus shaping (to get it all the way to the mat.) That means in the past four tricks, I have used luring, shaping, and capturing - the main ingredients for all the tricks I will be teaching this year.

As for The Daily Shoot for today:

Use hard light that casts sharp distinct shadows in a photograph today.

Wow, was Henry a pain! It seemed like he was either wiggling, trying to play, or just plain getting in the way.

In the end, I had to put him back in the house and just use Zachary.

This clearly shows a deficit in training - and something I'm going to bump up to High Priority. So high, in fact, that I have yet to post the Weekly Worksheet (although I made it yesterday) as I'm thinking of ripping it apart and making a photo-centric one for this week... plus the Trick of the Week, of course!

Anyway, "first alternate" photo was the teak chair slats shadow on Zachary's back. I took a similar one on Sunday for Stripes (but not posted here) which I tried to reproduce today, but the light just wasn't right.

My favorite was the picture below. It is the shadow only of a Hex Ball + Zachary on the BBQ Cover. Who knew the BBQ could come in handy in so many different ways. This is the same cover that made an appearance in the jingle collar Christmas pictures, and created the shadow for the dark background pictures I took Friday.

I tried to get a picture of Henry's tail (as folks who follow here might be surprised to see what it looks like now) but I just couldn't get him where I needed him to get a good shadow.

Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

You know, I think that's one of the things I like most about The Daily Shoot. Once done, it's done. You can just move on. Tomorrow you get to start over with a clean slate and a new assignment.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Haste Makes...

Dog Blog Post #213:  Lousy Pictures?  Well, maybe not lousy, but...

The Daily Shoot assignment was:

Celebrate the pretty things in life. Make a photograph of the most beautiful thing you see today.

Can't go wrong, right?

Alas, the sun failed me, refusing to shine when I needed it the most. Or the clouds refusing to part when I needed them gone the most. Yes, that probably makes more sense.

And so, not knowing what else to do, I panicked.

I grabbed the camera, and made do with what I had. Later, of course, after I uploaded to The Daily Shoot (convinced the sun would never shine again) the haze parted, the sun shone, and there was nothing but clear blue sky.


But enough chatter - here's what I uploaded:

I loved the gentle expression, the fact it was crisp and clear, the little fuzzy bits of hair on Henry that show up against the background of Zachary, and that I had remembered to completely clean off the dogs faces before I started.

(But wait, isn't this supposed to be a training blog? Well, yes, it is. But darned if taking pictures isn't more fun than teaching Stay, and some days I find it a heck of lot easier to write about. I mean, "Today, Zachary stayed. Henry didn't. Henry's trick is coming along. Zachary's isn't. The End." Yeah, there's literary greatness for you.)

Finally, as mentioned before, the haze parted, the sun appeared, and through my favorite winter window shone a dazzling beam of light.

So I grabbed my camera, a dog (or two) and decided to bang off a few for the heck of it, and got...

The window frame in the way...

My head in the way...

Henry sticking his tongue out at me...

... and a blurry shot of Zachary sticking his tongue out...

Is it tomorrow yet?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

All the Pictures

Dog Blog Post #212: You asked for it, you got it.

Here's a pair of Scrapbook pages containing 33 of the 34 pictures I took yesterday (Friday) for the Monochrome daily shoot.

(Yeah, "just" 33. I seem to have "lost" one when I was moving them into PowerPoint, and I was too lazy to figure out which one I was missing!)

These are totally raw, no clipping, cropping, no color fidgeting, or retouching. All were taken between 11:58am and 12:11pm (ie: quickly).

If you click on the two images, you'll see much larger versions.

Is that the way I normally "work" (mindlessly banging off shots?)


But on that particular day I was just looking for "gold" and "in the sun" and "black background". I wasn't even sure if I wanted a recognizable piece of a dog or just fur.

Anyway, there you have it. It was a lot of fun and I think the dogs enjoyed the shower of cookies for doing very little - a pleasant change from the more "staged" pictures with props and body parts needing particular placement.

As for today?

Today's Daily Shoot assignment was:

Make a photo that features stripes of some sort today.

Yeah, stripes.

Do you have any idea how many stripes my golden's have?



So I had to enlist the help of a little striped friend.

Boy were the dogs interested in my little friend. I'm actually surprised they held still for all my fidgeting with them and my friend. Out of a dozen+ shots, here are a couple favorites, minus one.

The missing one?

Well, you'll just have to stop by on Wordless Wednesday to see it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Shades of Gold

Dog Blog Post #211: The Daily Shoot for today was:

Take color out of the equation and make a monochromatic photograph today.

Uh oh, as my teenage son would say, "big words hurt brain!"

A quick check of the dictionary for monochromatic gives, "having or consisting of one color or hue."

A quick check of the AKC standard for Golden Retriever color gives, "Rich, lustrous golden of various shades."


And what a lovely day for photography, it was. The sun was shinning, the sky was blue, the shadows long and dark.


Yes, dark. I need those nice long, dark shadows to create a nice dark background for my lustrous dogs!


The boys were actually in a cooperative mood. I had them next to one another, in front of one another, on top of one another (a bit of challenge there.)

Fifteen minutes later, I had 34 pictures and hardly a dud amongst them.

(Really, a child with a polaroid could have taken these. No props, no worries about lighting. This was about as easy as it gets!)

I took pictures of fur, of feathers (of the canine variety), of ears and whiskers and fluffy tails...

In the end, the hardest part was picking my favorite - but I did. See below. There was just something about the soft look on Zachary's face that won me over!

Family Dog 1

Dog Blog Post #210: The bad news is that the weather was cold but clear, despite my best efforts at a rain dance, so Family Dog class #1 was a go.

The good news is that Henry was practically perfect. The sort of dog that anybody would love to have in class.

So good, in fact, that it pretty much has to be all downhill from here (and not in the good sense of the term) as it would be hard to make him any better.

He gave me flawless attention - no, really, flawless!

He probably only looked away from me a handful of times, and saying his name snapped him right back into sit-and-stare...

... and speaking of sitting - it seems the cramming we did yesterday and today paid off, as he suddenly became little Mr. Sit, sitting pretty much any time I asked (unless he was laying down. He still isn't very good at going from a down to a sit.)

... and speaking of laying down - he did that, too! Sits and downs, and downs and sits. He was on a roll!

I even did some "show dog stands", and he froze and stared off into space as though contemplating world peace.

He was gorgeous.

(I was also frozen, but in the thermal sense, and contemplating how long it was going to take to get feeling back into my body parts.)

Henry barely noticed the other dogs and hardly sniffed the ground. Really, it was almost creepy. You just know the wheels are going to come off here at some point. He'll be six months old next week. Six month old (intact) male dogs just aren't this good. At six months old I could have been on the moon for the amount of attention I got from Beau. Even Zachary had his moments (and sometimes entire days!)

But I'm enjoying it while it lasts, storing it up in memory (and on this blog) to read over and reminisce about when I become less interesting than dirt.

Finally, The Daily Shoot was:

How low can you go? Make a photograph today from a low point of view.

... and despite a few tries at something creative, my first instinct at a shot, shown below, was my favorite. It's neither fancy nor novel, but it's my favorite none-the-less.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Dog Blog Post #209: Last night, as I was wrestling Henry in Yet Another Position for Yet Another Lousy Triangular Pose picture, I came to a shocking realization...

Henry has "forgotten" how to sit.

Well, not the mechanics part. He's really good at the physical act of sitting. He still sits for treats, he sits for petting, and he sits when the camera comes out...


But his understanding of the verbal cue seems to have been dumped like last night's garbage. Gone. Poof! Here no more. I said "Sit", and he looked up at me in total confusion. You could tell that he knew that there was something he was supposed to do upon hearing that "Sit" sound, but for the life of him, he couldn't remember what it was.

And so he stood there.

And stood there.

And stood there some more.

It was impressive. It was amazing. It was so not what I wanted.

I wanted him to sit, right next to the cabinet door, if you please, so I could try Yet Another Ridiculous Triangle Pose picture.

"Down" was even worse. At least with "Sit" you could see a glimmer of recognition. When I said "Down" he wandered off and chewed on Uncle Zachary's ear.

(Needless to say, neither I nor Zachary were impressed.)

And, of course, tomorrow we begin Family Dog class. Oh, yeah. That's going to be fun. Wendy, if there was every a night for it a rain out, this is going to be it. (sigh)

Tonight we began a crash course in sits and downs... we'll see if it helps.

If next week's Trick of the Week turns out to be "Sit" I don't want to hear a word from anyone!

Finally, The Daily Shoot:

Make a photograph featuring a path, road, or trail that leads the eye through the photograph.

I was never quite able to capture the picture I had in my head (and only had about 15 minutes to work on it) but it was certainly easier than yesterday's Terrible Triangles (and required no sitting!)

Out of far too many shots, I picked this one because (a) I liked the "wall" (b) it actually had a dog in it and (c) I managed to not get either the hose nor the sprinkler riser, who made guest appearances in at least half the shots.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Triangular Dog

Dog Blog Post #207: The Daily Shoot was "Make a photograph with a triangular composition."


That's what I get for crowing about how easy yesterday was.

Must have taken 1000 pictures for this one, and in the end, I'll only own up to the first...

... and the last.

I sure hope tomorrow (Wednesday) is easier. Something like, "Take a picture of something with fur," would be nice. Or food. Food is easy. Or something with fur eating food.

I could do that.

... I hope you read this fast, as Wordless Wednesday is hot on it's heels!

Trick 3 and Daily Shoot

Dog Blog Post #206: This week's trick is:


Here's another shaped trick, which turned out to be harder for little sit-n-stare than I would have thought! The idea is simple enough - dog puts front paws on a raised object. I taught this one to Zachary in a few minutes while doing meet-n-greets in front of the library. I used luring in that case, putting the object between him and me, holding a cookie in front of me, and encouraging him to come get it.


It was a no brainer.

This time, lacking an object solidly bolted into the ground, I switched to shaping and an upside-down basket. Little sit-n-stare immediately lived up to his nick-name, and sat. And stared. And stared. And sat.

(Yes, it was just as boring as it sounds. He was convinced we were playing "Watch", and that basket between us was irrelevant to the exercise.)

Hmm.... so I started tossing cookies on either side of the basket, to get his little velcro butt off the ground. Worked great. Sort of. He would happily go around the basket and jump over the basket, sniff the basket, nose the basket, etc., but there was no way on God's green Earth that his paw was going to actually touch that basket.


I even tried dropping cookies on the bottom of the basket. Happy day! He snarfed them up eagerly, but the paws remained firmly on the ground.

Thus ended day one. And it was not so good.

Day Two - I flipped the basket over to see if I could get paws in the basket. Hit myself on the head for my stupidity at not picking that trick, as he happily put one, and then the other in. Still using shaping, mind you. A click at a time. A click for his head in the basket. A click for a paw raised. A click for a paw in the basket. A click for two in the basket, a jackpot, and thus ended two. And it was a lot better.

Day Three - flipped basket over again, so now it was bottom-side up again. What do you know, little sit-and-stare immediately started putting a paw on the bottom. Yeah!!!

And the rest was easy (as the first should have been!)

As for Zachary, since he already knew this trick, I shaped him to do a lovely heads-up look (away from the cookies) instead of the Vulture Stance you see in little sit-n-stare above. Took about 2 minutes. It was really good!

And finally, The Daily Shoot:

Make a photograph with a soft look today.

Yeah, I know. I gimme if there ever was one.

So first I went for the Studio Look...

... once again, set up in the dining room. While I don't like the lighting, I defy any to tell me it doesn't look soft!

But it just wasn't what I was looking for. Then I saw the sunlight peaking in through the front window, and remembered how nice those have pictures have come out in past.

Grabbing my camera and a dog, I got this:

And finally, at son's request, we have "Henry Fur":

(Zachary's doesn't do soft so much as silky!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Blues

Dog Blog Post #205: Ok, I'll admit it. I'm having waaaaay to much fun doing these Daily Shoot assignments!

Today's*** assignment?

Today's theme is blue. Make a photograph dominated by the color or that otherwise illustrates the theme.

Ok. Blue. On one level, how hard can it be? All I need is to make it blue. And I like Blue. I have lots of Blue. Pretty much every dog video you'll see on my YouTube channel has me in either blue jeans or blue sweats.

Of course, my principle subjects aren't Blue. At least not on the outside.


Well, not much to be done about that. I might be enjoying this, but the thought of dying them a color... the thought my bathroom after I have dyed them a color...


My bathroom is definitely not blue, and I want it to stay not blue.

Plan B: Surround the dogs with blue. Hubby offered up the idea of blue bandanas, I grabbed my son's blue beach towel and an old blue sheet and headed toward the dining room - the one room of the house that gets descent natural (albeit northern) light.

(Isn't that suppose to have a blue cast to it?)

I tossed (figuratively, of course!) the dogs in the kitchen, then took advantage of the ex-pen that was already in the dining room protecting the shoes (long story) to create my "set".

I draped the towel over the ex-pen, put the sheet on the ground, grabbed my camera and then released the hounds goldens, slipping bandanas over their heads as they went charging by.

Zachary, an old paw at this, spied the sheet and immediately ran over and threw himself down on it in perfect sphinx pose.

Click! (goes the camera) and a cookie for Zachary.

Next I wrestle Henry in place, and waved my fingers off the side. Click! (goes the camera) and cookies for all. Repeat, repeat, repeat! (One of them was bound to be in focus.)

But my favorite photo turned out to be the one below, as I felt it not only captured the color of Blue, but the mood of blue as well!

(You know... I probably should have "saved" that one for Wordless Wednesday!)

But don't let that sad face fool you - so long as I have cookies, they have patience!

*** And finally, I'm having a hard time deciding if these should read "Today's" or "Yesterday's", as I wrote this on Sunday ("Today's") but the date stamp at the top will read Monday ("Yesterday's").

I'd say the Devil's in the Details, but that's a theme for another day!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Complementary Objects

Today's The Daily Shoot assignment was:

Make a photograph of two complementary objects arranged to show their relationship to each other.

As the boys spent the greater portion of the day at "the day spa", I had to improvise...

(Welcome to my world... now you'll have to excuse me while I sweep the rest of the floor!)


I need an actual dog in it?

Very well - how about this one (taken a few hours later):

Which reminds me, I really need to vacuum!

(Cats don't like chewies, do they?)