I Love…

Video once again included at no extra charge.

I love…

We start so many sentences with, “I love”: I love you, I love pizza, I love ice cream, I love taking photos…I love life.

There are times, we all have them, when my system is so overwhelmed, so burdened by all the negative input from the world: North Korea, ISIS, the entire Middle East, national politics, local news and personal pain that I feel…just awful. So sometimes I just have to stick my head in the nearest cup of kindness to escape. I need to do, or be near, what I love.

The kindness runs the gamut from a good book to mindless fun like Seinfeld reruns. But most often, and my favorites, the things I really love, are just a walk on the shore or a bike ride on our Long Beach boardwalk.

Peddling along, a breeze at my cheeks, the sun above, the sea sprawling, and life all around me. I love it.

Sometimes when I’m out like this I think of people locked up, looking at bars and gray cement, missing out on all this. How can they risk losing this wonder? For what? For all the bigger and the shinnier stuff? Giving up this simplicity, this peace of mind…this freaking wonderful life? All these things to love in life?

Recently I rode the boards looking out for whales, dolphins, or any cool sights we’ve become accustomed to of late.

I saw the sun play upon the dark slate of the sea, a silver sliver of hope on a dark vista, much like our world today. Yeah,  I love that sea sight. It’s…hopeful. And it’s also a perfect backdrop for a photo op. But often I can’t find a subject for the foreground of such a splendid background.


I’ve spoken about my need to experience all this without any help from music. But I spotted a strutting lady so enjoying her audio that her arms swung, her hips swayed, her hair tossed, in free abandon. She seemed to be totally enjoying herself. She obviously loves it.


Way down by the jetty I spotted a man placing his dog onto a surfboard. “This could be cool,” I thought so I began my shoot from the boardwalk.


The man and pooch got off to an unsteady start but soon their headway was masterful…and daring.


They rounded the end of the jetty and met with surfers.


And slid down their first slope.

 DSC_5173.jpgI hurried down to the shore and spoke to Luke Vexler, a Long Beach local. His eyes lit up when he spoke about his pooch, Bumper. He said Bumper was a one-year-old lab he rescued on a visit to Utah.


I could hear the excitement in Luke’s voice when he told me this was Bumper’s first attempt at surfing.


I took many shots of the multiple paddle boarding forays into the sea. At one point, Bumper spotted me aiming my Nikon at him.


He was giving me a wide smile of approval. It’s amazing how my pointing a long dark lens at dogs surprises and often bring out the best in them.


Yes, I’m very familiar with this expression of delight. See “He was Grinning at my Groin”:

Bumper seemed unusually adept with his footing on his first surf, at some points it was debatable about who was teacher and who was student.


It was easy to see Bumper was liking his new challenge. But as the paddle morn went on I think I captured the love between Luke and Bumper.

My music photo video, “I Love my Dog”:


Be well,


See also: “A Wagging Tail…”

“Dances with Dogs”:



10 replies »

  1. That was beautiful! Luke is my nephew, thanks so much for this incredible video! I have a rescue in South Carolina called Laura’s Roadside Rescue and this video really shows how wonderful rescued pups are!


  2. Hey Bernadette, “freaking awesome?” Wow! Thank you very much. All I had to do was keep shooting. Bumper and Luke did all the rest. Glad you like it. Thanks for the fine response.


  3. Hi Chris, Wow, that must have been a sight with your bird on your head. Sure find that video and share it. Anything to put a smile on the face of others, Glad you liked my posts. Enjoy your retirement. Transit Forever.


  4. I used to walk my cat and rabbit at the same time. My bird was on my head. This was while coaching basketball at my house hoop with the kids from my team. The cat and rabbit were fine until they got on my house dock on the canal. When I got them on the boat they were fine. The bird would fly around and come back to my head out on the water. I have the VCR VIDEO somewhere in the garage. I will look for it. I loved your video with the dog. CHRIS KELLY retired NYCTPD -1984 Living in FL SINCE 1988-CAPE CORAL. GOD has been good to me, wife and kids.


  5. The video is awesome!!!! All of it, your shots, their relationship, Bumper! Lol. He was really enjoying that! Nice work!



  6. That was freakin awesome! That video made my day. Brought a smile to my face after a week in bed sick. Thanks for sharing your experience. Best of luck to Luke and Bumper. They are a great team and I hope to see more of them.


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