Spring colors start to pop for dog photos in Liberty Lake

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bella the maremma sheepdog in a field of buttercups

Spring is a time for renewal, refreshment and rejuvenation. We throw open the windows and get outside in search of all the things that signal summer is on the way.

Well, whoops. This little virus thingy is giving us a change of plans.

(Please note: “Little virus thingy” is not being dismissive. I am taking coronavirus containment very seriously.)

Except … and here’s some good news … it’s important we still get outside, breathe in fresh air and soak up Vitamin D from all this Spokane sunshine. Buuuuuuuuuuuut don’t forget about that social distancing thing.

Bella and I needed to break some cabin fever this week and we needed some fresh images for the worldwide pet photographers blog circle. Our topic this week is colorful.

We headed out for a spot in Liberty Lake, near the Spokane River, where I knew the buttercups were up. I saw them last week and started planning my images, knowing full well we’d be hit with a last blast of winter on the weekend. The snow was gone by Monday and Wednesday we hit the trail.

Trying harder for a great dog portrait

OK, she was not in the mood for that. You can tell, right?

We walked a little while longer so I could get some of the cabin fever burned out of her. Of course, the only time I ever see her truly pooped and submissive is when we’ve hiked for a several hours, like last summer in Banff, Alberta.

It wasn’t looking good to happen this week. That’s why I also didn’t pack my strobe for off-camera flash work, because that requires a ton of patience and lots of cajoling with Bella.

I opted to use some backlighting and do a little extra work in Photoshop instead.

bella the maremma sheepdog wearing a flower crown

My flower girl

We also found this awesome patch of red leaves.

bella in a patch of red leaves at Stateline, WA

In red

Spokane and spring colors

Even in spring we aren’t awash in colors here in Spokane. Our little corner of Eastern Washington is grassy and rocky and rugged. Our colors are often brown and brown and brown.

bella on a walk at saltese uplands in liberty lake

Saltese Uplands

I’m the crazy one who loves it for dog photos, of course.

How can you resist #dogsonrocks? We found lots of brown and lots of rocks on a recent hike at Saltese Uplands Conservation Area in Liberty Lake, one of our all-time favorite spots.

Bella poses for dog photos at Saltese Uplands in Spokane, WA

Golden hour at Saltese Uplands

The one thing you have to wait for, though, is sunset. We walked for a couple of hours to dim some of the defiance from Bella’s Maremma sheepdog attitude and she was ready for some off-camera flash work on the rocky ridges at Saltese Uplands.

How’s that for color?

bella in a sunset dog portrait at Saltese Uplands in Liberty Lake, WA

Sunset at Saltese

The only places I’ve seen a better sunset than Spokane are Calgary and Saskatchewan. Our wide open vistas are a real treat.

Dogs and the coronavirus

There’s lots to freak out about these days, aren’t there?

There’s also a lot of rumor and misinformation, borne by memes and conjecture and what-not. Look to the experts for the right information. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says our animals are not a source of infection for the novel coronavirus.

“At this time,” the CDC says, “there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals.”

The CDC has a special page dedicated to Animals and the Coronavirus.

A fellow member of the Dog Writers Association of America, Dr. Julie Buzby, also wrote a blog post recently on how dog lovers should be prepared during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is an integrative veterinarian of 20 years experience and is based in Beaufort, S.C.

Most important, Dr. Buzby says, we need to keep ourselves healthy, maintain social distance (six feet) and have enough supplies, including dog food and necessary medicines, on hand.

Out of an abundance of caution, I am not taking appointments for dog portrait sessions at this time. However, exceptions will be made if you’re preparing to say goodbye to your beloved fur friend. If that’s your case, please contact me immediately at 509-720-8784 or angela@nosesandtoes.com.

All around the circle

Social distance is vital, and that goes for dog-on-dog contact. Bella and I are avoiding the fenced-in off-leash dog parks in the area for a while, and I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to expect people to keep their dogs leashed in other areas, especially where it’s already required.

I didn’t see that happening where we were on Wednesday, so we boot-scooted our butts out of there. I’m of the “better to be safe than sorry” mindset these days. How about you? Are you changing how your dog interacts with other dogs right now?

Some of us are coping with all these changes and confinement by keeping our blogs going. It’s often cathartic to write! It’s been my go-to for decades. So now let’s take off on a little world tour and see the colors my fellow bloggin’ pet photographers found.

Start with Elaine Tweedy of I Got the Shot Photography, capturing pets and their people in colorful Northeast Pennsylvania.. When you get to the bottom of her post, click the next link and travel around the circle until you’re back here.

Home. Right where you belong. More than ever today.

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