My parents have a big pile of crazy packaged into the form of a dog named Aster. We don’t know what happened to her in the first two years of her life, but it was enough to derail most every form of rationality and semblance of safety in her brain.
She fears big things, little things, patches of grass that are too dark, patches of grass that are suspiciously not quite dark enough, and no shortage of things in between. She has gotten better over the past 8 years thanks to the patience of my parents, and the companionship of their other dog Solo. He made her a bit less crazy while she made him a little bit more crazy. This year was a very impressive milestone, as she will now at times come up to me by her own will with her tail kind of wagging, looking for a scratch behind the ears. Her excitement usually lasts about a minute before she’ll worry she might be doing something wrong by standing near me, and go back to her rug to meditate.
There are certain circumstances that allow whatever clogs her brain with worry to shut down, though. One of those things is walking through the woods. It’s times like that where she becomes a happy dog again. Going on an adventure, scouting ahead, and wagging her tail. It’s nice to see.
During a hike with my mom that left me wishing I had brought water, we had a nice rest on the top of a hill, where she and Aster had a nice cuddle. This is what a happy Aster looks like.
This was shot with my 24-70mm f2.8 at 1/125 of a second and an aperture of f3.2. It was partly cloudy with the sun behind some clouds during this shot, allowing an ISO of 100.