After two major health scares in the last 18 months I was worried Bundy might not make it to his 12th birthday (equivalent to approximately 75 years of age in human years). The fabulous news is that he did make it and apart from being hard of hearing and slightly more demanding, he is in great health and still capable of wreaking havoc on all stuffed and squeaky toys.
Happy 12th Birthday Bundy! Sorry, there is no cake (apart from the squeaky cake toy) but I can promise you lots of love, car rides, chicken pieces, squeaky toys, kisses and another year of being smothered with love.
It’s a hot day for a birthday, time to relax in the shade
Ready to party and waiting for me to hand over the presents
Halloween is not a huge event in Australia although it’s popularity is growing and if there are children in your neighbourhood you tend to notice it more. We don’t have children, so poor little Bundy bears the brunt of the Halloween costumes on offer at Kmart. This year it was a toss-up between a pumpkin and a glittering red devil costume, however, as a result of my indecision neither made it into the shopping trolley. Fortunately a camera-toting, dog loving friend had underestimated the size of her wolfhound cross when buying a spider costume, and apparently, an XL costume is more suitable for a staffy such as Bundy.
The first photoshoot was conducted in bushland, I thought a natural environment would suit a big, black spider. The messy nature of the background and the floppy legs made it a little harder to see the detail of the costume, and converting images to black and white didn’t seem to help. I then tried photographing Bundy in our backyard with a less cluttered background. At this stage Bundy was pretty much over the costume and I really had to bribe him to do more than stand there and look sullen, as you can see, he still looks sullen but he did cooperate.
More recently I bought a hooded skeleton costume which supposedly glows in the dark. The glow factor of the costume hasn’t been tested, a photoshoot in the dark isn’t something I am prepared for so I am happy to wait until Halloween to see if the costume actually glows. With props in hand and treats in my camera bag, Bundy and I headed off to our bushland setting. Bundy was happy to explore while I stuck fake spider webs on the trees and lit a few candles, thankfully the day was overcast and the rain had dampened the setting minimising any risk of a fire breaking out.
The results aren’t bad although there are a few things I would have done differently:
Sprayed for mosquitoes (huge and vicious things)
Take the time to set the scene up before adding Bundy
Used more candles
Dressed Bundy in a costume that you could easily see from any angle
What do you think? What could I have done differently?
My life is pretty quiet at the moment, when I’m not doing housework, drawing or hanging out with Bundy I am walking dogs at our local shelter and trying to get decent photos for their profiles. A good profile photo can help draw attention to shelter dogs waiting to be adopted and it helps me by allowing me to practice my skills while doing something I love.
Anyway, here are some of the beautiful kids that I’ve had the pleasure of photographing this year.
This week’s photo challenge encourages participating bloggers to think about where they would rather be at this moment. For me it is a no-brainer and although there are times when I wish I was in Paris or Venice or the highlands of Scotland, if given the choice I would rather be beside my little mate Bundy.
Travel is grand, a weekend away a delight but I hate leaving Bundy behind and wherever I go I wish I could have him with me. With Bundy I am never alone, even when he is sound asleep and seeing his happy face as he runs across the sand or grass fills my heart with joy.
My take on the theme for this week’s photo challenge has nothing to do with the delicious sweets, cakes and desserts I like to indulge in on occasion. For me there is nothing sweeter than a puppy, I love their tiny pink paws, fat little bellies and the way that they smell. Even though they have a tendency to make a huge mess and draw blood with their sharp little teeth and claws they delight me with their antics and always make me smile.
Yesterday we celebrated Bundy’s 11th birthday. A quiet affair, just the three of us, a bag of baked treats and numerous squeaky toys. It is hard for me to believe that he is no longer a puppy, far from it and yet he still bounces around the house with his toys, tears across the yard in pursuit of birds and loves to wrestle with his Dad.
My beautiful little boy is now my sweet little old man with the makings of cutest sugar face I’ve ever seen.
This is the last photo challenge of the year: 2017 Favorites and what a year it has been, plenty of ups and downs and far too much time spent in my head. My saving grace has been volunteering at a local shelter, being around dogs and working with people who love them as I do makes me happy so the fact that several of my favourite photos of 2017 feature dogs will come as no surprise.
Dear old Mason had a hard life, he arrived at the shelter in extremely poor condition and all he wanted was to be loved. A favourite with the volunteers, Mason would get lots of cuddles and he loved being out in the exercise yard if only to sit on or near you. Soaking up all the love and the attention he could, it was wonderful to see the expression on his face.
Bandit was another favourite among staff and volunteers at the shelter, he arrived in poor condition and was initially a little cautious. Looking at his scars it is possible he was used as a bait dog for fighting, but being a stray we’ll never know for sure. All Bandit wanted was to spend time with people and snuggle, a beautiful boy with lots of love to give. One of the volunteers adopted Bandit, no doubt he will now have the life all dogs deserve one filled with love and care.
8 year old Zeus would sit at the front of his pen and quietly watch everyone pass him by, dismissed because of age or possibly because of the way he looked. Zeus was a red staffy mix and some considered him to be a dangerous red nose pitbull, nothing could be further from the truth. Like Mason and Bandit, Zeus just wanted to hang with his people and he loved his time with staff and volunteers even if it meant he just had company while he rested.
Tigger the water baby. Never happier than when he was splashing around in water, you can see the joy on Tigger’s face as he sits under the running water. Tigger was a highly stressed boy in the shelter environment, getting him out of his pen and away from the noise of the shelter was a priority for staff and volunteers.
My boy Bundy. The love I feel for this little fellow borders on obsession, and as he gets older my desire to protect him and keep him safe and happy only strengthens. The poor boy suffers through endless kisses, photo shoots and tacky costumes without complaint although I am sure that the duck liver treats help immensely. At the moment he is lying outside my office door, stretched out on the cool tiles in an effort to remain cool. The urge to kiss his forehead and scratch his belly is strong however I know it is too hot for such a fuss and I don’t want to disturb him.
This year I made an effort to take more photos, not all of them are of dogs because we are lucky to be very close to nature and have access to local wildlife. Please enjoy my last few favourite photos from 2017.
After six years of spending my Sunday morning volunteering at our local animal shelter you would be forgiven for thinking that I’d be ready for a break. It’s true that some Sunday mornings it is a struggle to get out of bed at 6am and it would be easy to roll over and go back to sleep, but those thoughts don’t last long because I love my Sundays. They keep me sane. It is hard to resist smiling at the little faces, boofy heads and wagging tails that greet you, they’re so excited because they know that it is their time for pats, walks and most importantly, breakfast. For a few dogs, the interaction with volunteers and staff is the kindest that they’ve ever had and being in a shelter is the safest place they have ever lived. Their stories will break your heart, you want to take them all home, save them and love them but it is just not possible. Thankfully there are good people out there who will adopt shelter dogs, some visit the shelter regularly looking for the right dog for them and their situation and others only ever adopt dogs from a shelter, returning when one has passed or if they feel ready to add a second dog to their family. I am grateful for those people, they know that taking home a dog without having the details of their past means that they may take time to settle. They understand that puppies require work and that training is an essential. Yes there are people who are clueless, they ignore the advice of shelter staff and they expect that a dog should be toilet trained, quiet and easy to walk without any effort. In time the dog returns to the shelter, for one reason or another. I would like to think that for the most part people do the right thing and I try not to focus on the cruel and the stupid because it makes me sad.
These are some of the wonderful creatures that I have been able to spend my Sundays with, most of them have been adopted and the others, well the staff and volunteers will keep on loving them until the right family comes along.
Mason had a hard life before finding his way to the shelter. A calm and sweet boy who loves to cuddle.
Wolfie puppy, one of a small litter.
Good mannered Paso the American Staffy X
A sweet little boy, Ranger was scooped up quickly by some lucky family.
Beautiful puppy Neo, she is going to be a big dog with her mastiff genes.
Red is a calm, well mannered senior dog. He is still waiting for his forever family which is hard to believe given his nature.
Benji loves to play fetch and destroy tennis balls.
Dear Captain had a hard start in life, at 3 years of age he looked more like 6 or 7 when he arrived. Thankfully, with lots of love and care he blossomed and quickly became a favourite with all the staff and volunteers.
Sweet Ella didn’t stay at the shelter long, such a smart and friendly girl.
Pretty and sweet was Daisy.
Jess the Boxer x was another favourite of staff and volunteers. A shy, gently girl who loved to cuddle and she had the cutest derp face.
Stella was the last of her litter to be adopted. We couldn’t understand it, she was sweet, placid and barked very little. We were happy when she was adopted after a few weeks at the shelter