Category Archives: Dogs

Portrait of Suzi


Suzi was born and raised in Lancaster, California, USA. She went to  Antelope Valley High School. Susie worked for an Insurance agency in Lancaster.

Suzi had Saint Bernards as companion animals for five years all together. The Saint Bernard she had when I met her was three-years-old and her previous Saint Bernard had passed away.

 

Suzi with her St. Bernard and a friend’s      St. Bernard

 

 

 

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

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Portrait of Netty


Netty and I met at  Antelope Valley Hospital, Lancaster, California, USA. Netty started talking to me about my shorts, of all things; she liked the pockets in my cargo shorts.

I realized right away, by how colorfully she appeared and spoke, she was an artist. Then I perused a fashion magazine and I saw someone wearing an outfit that I thought she might want to wear, so, I showed it to her. This prompted a conversation about photography and art. I showed her some of my portrait work which she admired.

I requested to include her in my portrait project. She didn’t want me to make her picture because she didn’t like how she looked in pictures, but she consented after I promised her I would make a wonderful picture of her.

We were outside, in front of the hospital’s volunteer office, by the memorial garden for the pet therapy program dogs that passed away. My dog, Hector, had participated in the pet therapy program until four years prior to this posting, when he died. Netty mentioned that she herself had two therapy dogs at some time in her life, so it meant a lot to both of us to be there.

I brought out a little stool and a Netty sat among the Roses. She felt very spiritual and suddenly put her hands in Namaste position. I asked her to keep her hands in that position and to look up.  I snapped a few shots like that and ended up with what we both agreed was a perfect portrait of her spirituality, colorfulness and hopefulness.

Netty was originally from Dillonvale, Jefferson County, Ohio, USA, which was very close to West Virginia, “in the sticks.” Netty said she was a Coal Miner’s granddaughter. Her family was the first and only black family in the town. She learned how to love everybody for just who they were and “I’m never going to change that.”

Artist Netty was a spiritual being who was, “trying to spread hope and love to everyone I touch. That’s what I’m doing here.” Netty’s art often had a message to it. “I don’t name my pieces because I want the pieces to bring out their own power.” Most of her work was recycled art, that is, things that “already passed” and needed to be “re-purposed.”

Netty said she did show her art “way up North,” but didn’t show anywhere in the Antelope Valley area. She was not sure if it was simply not important to show her work or she just didn’t have courage.

It was an honor and a pleasure to meet someone with as wonderful a spirit and heart as Netty.

Posted on:

21-N is for No

Also posted on:

Wordless Wednesday
My favorite thing about fall!!

 

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Dena


Dena was originally from Crowley, Louisiana, USA. She moved to the Los Angeles California, USA area because of the weather. At the time of this posting, she lived in Antelope Valley which was much more conducive to her asthma issues than living in
Los Angeles.

In the past, Dena had a disabling fall that required neck surgery. Dena was a retired registered nurse, RN, and at the time of this interview, did social work.  Dena studied general sociology at California State University Northridge and studied social work at University of Southern California (USC) where she received a Masters in Social Work (MSW.)

Dena acquired her female German Shepherd dog, Gracie, from a breeder, which she normally would not do. But Dena believed that since Gracie had a lot of problems, had someone else adopted Gracie, she would have ended up as an owner surrender, most likely in the pound. Dena had patience for Gracie and kept her and loved her. It was when Dena realized just how serious Gracie’s fear problems were, that she started training in agility with Mary, from Palmdale, California, USA.

Mary helped Gracie get over her problems by training her (along with Dena, of course) to participate in agility. When Gracie had it all together, Dena started her male dog, Harlem, a Siberian Husky, in agility training (see below). This was approximately three months prior to my meeting Dena. The fun run, where we met, was just the perfect venue and level for him (see my Portrait of Jean for more info about the fun run.)

Harlem was Dena’s daughter’s seizure dog. Her daughter was having 25 to 30 seizures a day and Harlem saved her life. Due to Harlem’s unique talents, Dena and Harlem were also training to be a therapy dog team with the goal of volunteering with pediatric oncology patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Harlem was very large for a husky and looked like a small Malamute to me. He was adorable and lovable and very friendly. Dena was a great person who I would be honored to have as a friend.

Harlem and Dena. What a team

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Taylor-2


Taylor was a 21 year old resident of Antelope Valley, California, USA who had three jobs. Firstly, she had her own photography business doing portraits and events.

She also was a pet care associate at the PetSmart in East Palmdale, California, USA.

Finally, she worked with animal actors at Birds & Animals Unlimited in Acton, California, USA. She was a kennel assistant who cleaned up after penguins, kangaroos, wolves, cats, dogs, bunnies, hours, hawks, eagles, peacocks, emos, pigs and goats. These animals acted in movies, TV commercials, news, and various videos. Her favorite animal was one of the wolves,  Cruz, who had been in the TV show Zoo.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Mona


I asked Mona if I could take her portrait because I couldn’t resist her two year old dog, Fluffy (see below.) Mona had Fluffy since she was a three week old puppy. The first time she saw her she fell “in love, love, love.”

Mona was in Lancaster, California, USA because she was visiting a friend. Interestingly, Mona and I met previously because she had Fluffy with her at Trader Joe’s, and I could not help but bestowing Fluffy with mass adoration that time either.

Fluffy was a Bichon Frise, and  I loved this breed not only because of the cuteness factor but because I had one in the past. Please see my poem about Parko, who is now deceased.

Mona was an Otolaryngologist , that is, an ear nose throat (ENT) doctor, for almost 10 years. She graduated from Ohio State University‘s  medical school. She completed her residence training at University of Southern California in Los  Angeles, California, USA. After she completed her residency, she worked for a private company that hired young doctors to travel around from one site to another.

Mona decided to go into the ENT specialization because she enjoyed working with the face and ears. That was her “choice field of science.” Mona had her own practice in Orange County, where she also resided.

Fluffy the Bichon Frise

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Peggy


Peggy was a groomer at PetSmart for a year-and-a-half, but was was a professional groomer for over 20 years prior to this portrait. Peggy was originally from San Fernando Valley and went to Cleveland High School. She studied grooming in the Valley from an individual who had been a groomer for over 30 years. She believed that was the best way to learn. Peggy at the time of this posting, lived in Palmdale, California, USA. She had two children and two grandchildren. She only had one dog, a Yorkshire Terrier.

Peggy hoped to get more dogs, and was affiliated  with Halfway Home Dog Rescue, who came to adopted out dogs on the weekends to PetSmart in Palmdale, CA.

What I like about this picture is the shape of Peggy’s body as one arm is up with elbow bent and the other down with elbow bent. I also like the Schnauzer in the back photobombing the pic.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Carrie


Carrie worked the wine tasting room on the weekends at Souza Family Vineyard in Tehachapi, California, USA. She was originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, specifically from Walnut Creek , California, USA. She went to high school in Delano, California and attended UC Davis, Davis, California, USA majoring in Communications for her university studies. At the time of this posting, Carrie was 27 years old.

Carrie came to Tehachapi because her boyfriend was a facility engineer for Lockheed Martin. They lived in the Bear Valley Springs area of Tehachapi. Carrie liked to be outdoors, and liked to ride horses. She had two horses, a quarter horse Arab and a Mustang she acquired thorough Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Internet Adoption, which she called a “BLM Mustang.” She also had three dogs: a German Shepherd Husky mix, a beagle mix and a a Golden Retriever mix.

This is my 50th posting. I’m really glad I was able to have such a beautiful portrait for this Jubilee. I’ve been wanting to get a portrait of someone with a wine glass at a winery that looks like something that could go in a magazine, an ad for a cruise or an ad for a winery. It seems I accomplished that goal.

It hasn’t been easy to do this every day. Taking the pictures is fun; I like doing that. But doing these write-ups and editing them towards perfection is the hard part and I don’t like doing it. I also don’t like having to do it every single day. But I committed to doing this so I’m going to keep going for the full 365 days. Thank you for staying with me.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

 

Portrait of Daniel


Daniel, a happy 26 year old, originally from Lancaster, California, USA, went to Quartz Hill High School and then did did grocery stocking. His parents were long time friends of the Hemme Hay & Feed owners and he used to hang around the store. That led to getting the job driving a forklift to help customers get their hay and feed onto their pickup trucks.

Daniel loves  “messing around with hay all day” and has been doing it for little over a year now.

As I spoke with Daniel, something interesting happened. I showed him some of my portraits, but when I got to the first portrait, the Portrait of Ido, posted on Jan 1, 2017, Daniel asked for his name and said he looked familiar; he thought he knew him from when he did Motocross, before he was injured and forced to sell his bike and discontinue participation in this exciting sport.

I guess it’s not unexpected that my portrait people will know each other, but it was a pleasant surprise when it happened for the first time.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Hay Supply at Hemme Hay & Feed

Posted on:

F for Ferry

Portrait of Chris


Chris was a Piitbull lover. His wife had an adult Pitbull, who became his through marriage.  After living with him for just a short time, Chris grew to adore him. Unfortunately, he was 11-12 years old, sick and passed away.

After several years, Chris and his wife were ready for a new “son,” Chunker, who was about 11 weeks old as this post was published. He still had a touch of puppy breath.

I met Chris and Chunker at Pets R Us in Palmdale, California, USA. Chunker needed some more vaccines, as is the way with puppies.

Chris was friendly, cheerful and pleasant. He loved his wife and his dog and despised cancer and leukemia.

Here are pictures of Chris with Chunker and one of Chunker alone. Even though this project was intended to showcase only humans, Chunker was such a cute, sweet puppy, I could not resist posting a dog photo.

Image Credit: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Posted on:

The letter “H ” for ‘olly ‘ock

Hurricane and Jordan: White House Protectors


Hurricane and Jordan the Belgian Malanois security dogs that help stop White House intruders this week.

Hurricane and Jordan the Belgian Malanois security dogs that help stop White House intruders this week.

Hurricane and Jordan: White House Protectors

invitation to White House, never sent.
unknown suspect calls for attack:
an issue of trespasser versus master.

trained to highest degree,
their world is to bark an alert.
watchdog inclination; vigilance strong
sufficiently powerful to kill a bear
they might, to kill, as well as guard.

peaked species. barking in this case,
would not protect at word of command.
an act of whim, seen in expression.
lead removed, in existential wind.

were punched ‘til they cried,
but held on, with calcified canines
tearing flesh and bringing down
the gatecrasher.

praised with delight for
performance, outstanding
impressed by a touch.

though trained to pounce,
each would rather wave a tail, actively
through the wind, beckoning stray cats
to play in the garden.
life is not easy,
when always on alert.

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Hear this on Sound Cloud

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Written for:

Meeting the Bar ~ I’ve Got a Little List

Today, Tony Maude prompts a list poem.

Image credits: Meet White House guard dogs Hurricane and Jordan In USA Today