August 28, 2009

four of usOne Moment

We went through our Wags n’ Words photographs this morning and were overwhelmed by the over 4000 pictures in the album. Yikes! We take a lot of photographs, though you only see the cream of the crop. We also delete a lot, but still to end up with over 4000 is quite a feat.

I asked Gretchen, “How do we show all of these photos to our clients?”

“We don’t,” she said. “How about today we just focus on one moment for each dog.”

“You mean, just one photograph for each dog?”

“Well, maybe two,” she said, “but tonight, because it’s the end of a long week and because it’s hard to publish them all, let’s just do a few. What do you say?”

“Okay, sounds like a plan,” was my response.

But which photos? This is much harder than you might think, but I’ve winnowed it down to the following with a brief tale (tail?) of why I think these one (or two) moments capture the spirit of each dog. regal Monty

First up, Monty — my best friend and our current house guest. As the picture to the right illustrates, Monty is regal in many ways. He can lie in the shade of a hot day, his long legs outstretched, and look like he’s posing for a painting. Everyone stops us on the street to ask what kind of dog he is and Monty always responds with a tail wag, a sniff, and gentle hello.

But there’s another Monty that only his closest friends (that would be me) and his family know about. Monty is a goof as illustrated in this next photo.

goofy MontyMonty loves to play fetch, but more than anything, Monty loves treats and Gretchen’s pockets are always filled to the brim with some kind of treat. Monty knows this and when asked to sit or wait or come, he is eager not to please, but to retrieve a treat.

What I like best about this picture, why I think it captures his true spirit is because of his inquisitive nose, but also his bottle-brush tail. That is Monty through and through and even though he’s begging for treats, he does it in a way that can only make you laugh.

Next up today was Wilson. It’s taken me awhile to get to know Wilson, but here are two photos I think really capture his spirit.

friendly  Wilsonhappy Wilson

The first is Mr. Friendly Wilson. He has never shown an aggressive or irritated moment in the time we’ve known him. Every dog and person is a potential friend and when he meets someone new (like Dixie here) he invariably says, “Aw shucks, it’s nice to meet ya!”

The second photo demonstrates Wilson’s happy-go-lucky nature. This guy is always smiling…always. He is as happy to walk to the beach as he is to play some fetch. We’ve never seen him have a sad or angry moment and whenever he sees the camera, he smiles one of the biggest smiles of any of our dog clients.Dixie lick

Next up, Dixie, who isn’t our client, but we see her (and Gypsy) enough that we have to include them. When we first met them, I was a little shy. They looked like mean dogs at first, but the second they greeted me, they were all wags and wiggles. I liked that because, as a puppy, that was me — Mr. Wags and Wiggles.

Dixie has a bad habit of running off every now and then, but we learned yesterday if you have a treat, she’ll stick around. As I’ve stated, Gretchen always has treats and now that Dixie knows it, she comes whenever Gretchen calls, eager for any tiny morsel from her pocket.

Gypsy stoppedThe first time I met Gypsy, who lives with Dixie, I was amazed by her short legs and her ability to race around faster than a squirrel. Gypsy likes to play chase and in a burst of speed she’ll get a pack of dogs to chase after her in a heartbeat.

It’s funny because I like to be chased, too, but when Gypsy’s around, even I feel compelled to chase her. She just has this engaging smile that taunts you — bet you can’t catch me — and then it’s game on!

But when Gypsy is done, she’s done and often rests in the shade until her family is ready to go home.

Still, there is that smile — inquisitive, curious, mischievous, and playful. I don’t know why I was so worried about her when we first met. So glad I got over it, though because when we get a chance to play at the park, it’s guaranteed fun with Gypsy around!

Oh, and I like her human family, too. They are very nice to me and it’s clear, they love Dixie and Gypsy very much…or maybe it’s just the treats in Jacob’s pocket?

happy dogs

After Wilson and our unexpected play time with Dixie and Gypsy, it was Oshi and Perrito’s turn for a spin. They actually walked Wilson home today and then went for a stroll in the park.  Mr. Youth

Perrito is the youngest of the two boys and you can see it in every photograph we take of him. Whether he’s flying across the field chasing after me or a ball, whether he’s greeting a new dog or saying hello to an old friend, Perrito does everything with enthusiasm.

On a walk, he’s always out front. Always. He weaves left, then right, and stops at a tree for a sniff and lift of his leg. He can puff up to look bigger when needed or curl up by your feet for some extra special loving. He’s a clown and a love all in one dog.

Mr OppositeHis brother (though they aren’t related), is in many ways Perrito’s polar opposite. Oshi is Mr. Serious. Some might see him as Mr. Humbug because he’s not very fond of leaving the house, but once you get to know him, you realize he’s just shy and contemplative.

He meditates on his walk, thinks deep and real thoughts, and encourages us all to slow down and feel the world around us. Though he comes across as a loner, if there are pets and love to be given out, Oshi is first in line. In many ways, he acts very much like a cat (and in fact, he likes cats a lot…imagine!). Now if only he could purr. He grunts, but I have yet to hear him purr.

boys together

Finally today, our last walk was with Bella. Even though I’ve only known Bella for a short time, her dog-anality burns bright. Bella is playful, goofy, and a free spirit. When she comes over to our house, we laugh because she’s always moving. I mean, always moving. There isn’t a part of her body that holds still. That’s why these next series of photos are so astonishing. She’s actually holding still. Yes, she’s practicing the wait command (quite well, I might add), but she’s pretty much calm and relaxed. We never see Bella calm and relaxed. Still, if you look closely you’ll see, that wily Bella is just itching to get a move on!

waithow much longer?

what's that?

“Is that a squirrel?”

Only 15 photos today — 15 from the 180 total we took, 120 of which we deleted and 60 we saved. Maybe we should write a book?

Hey Gretchen, what would it take to write a book?

Oh Rubin! It’s late. Finish up and let’s go to bed, okay?

Okay…goodnight all and have a great weekend!


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