Let me preface this post by saying, once again, that I'm not a crazy dog mom, toting around my fur child like a pageant parent on speed. No, really. I mean it.
Yesterday Alice's favorite store, Wylie Wagg, had Houndstooth Photography in taking pet pictures. I found out about a week ago that they were coming and scheduled an appointment.
I spent a couple days this week driving the Human Male and my Urban Family nuts, trying to get opinions on what she should wear. Alice typically trots around in a pink and black collar with pirate skulls on it. It's the cutest thing and fits her personality, but it's starting to get a little rasty and I just wasn't sure it had that kind of classy look you typically go for when you have a professional picture taken. I also thought about having her go naked, but I started thinking about how she was picked up as a stray and I wanted her to look like she has a family and belonged to someone (again, I'd like to reiterate that I'm not a crazy dog mom). We even thought bout a strand of pearls, but Alice isn't that... fancy. So I ended up making her a little velcroed collar out of pink with white polka-dotted ribbon and three fake pearls. Without going to Jay Manuel on everyone, I think it ended up being the right look for her pictures-- not too fussy, not too casual.
Houndstooth Photography was fabulous. Gracy and Lara are professional photojournalists with really impressive credits (made even more impressive when you see them-- they both look like they're barely out of high school), and from the few shots we saw, they took some really pretty pictures of Alice, both posed and candid.
Alice is pretty hyper at home, but when she's out in public or put on the spot, she's quite calm and attentive (something that always made us laugh when we went to Dog 101 class and was used as the example dog-- she was never the same at home), so we expected her to be pretty good. The poor girl, she was actually nervous! She doesn't like it when people stand around her in a circle, and the photo set they had set up between two display tables must've thrown her off a bit. She walked "off set" a couple of times. Fortunately, Lara's absolutely adorable cousins (and her equally fabulous aunt, whom we spoke with for a while afterwards) were there to tempt Alice with treats. Once she realized that if she let people take pictures of her, she got more, she was okay. By the end, she was posing and giving people looks that clearly said, "Where are my treats, humans?"
I'm not entirely certain, but I'm pretty sure that because of the angle at which she was sitting, they might've gotten some pictures of her scars. I really hope they did. Not only are they part of who she is, it's important to us to get to "tell her story". I do feel it's my responsibility, as the owner of a previously-abused dog, to show that this happens everywhere (even in the leader of the free world's neighborhood) and that there's no such thing as a dog who "deserves it". Her scars and past aren't something we hide; we want others to see them and ask. And personally, I love getting to say "Can you believe some crapbag would do that to a dog?"
They said that the pictures should be ready in about a week, and I'm so excited to see them. Gracy mentioned that they might put a few on their blog beforehand, and I've been checking so often in case they post one of her, I very well could've doubled their number of hits. I just can't wait to see the photos.
While she was having her photo done, I was thinking about this picture:
This is Alice's first picture in the shelter, the one that was posted on Craig's List when the Human Male found her. I look at her in this photo, barely recognizable except for the white streaks on her chest. She just looks so sad, scared, and unhappy. She didn't even have a name when it was taken. And now just six months later, she's having professional photos taken of her. To me, this was a nice reminder that when the chips are down against you, always keep on going-- you might not end up where you belong the first time around, but you eventually will.