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.
Meet Puppy. Puppy is a mixed breed, a friendly boy who found himself homeless and at our local shelter. His paperwork said Boxer x Bullmastiff however when I saw him on Sunday I found myself baffled, I just couldn’t see it. Puppy has a boofy head, short fluffy ears and his multicoloured coat is quite soft and almost silky feeling, size-wise he is about the same height as a Dalmatian. Thankfully Puppy got adopted and was going home on Monday, however I’m still left wondering with no chance of a resolution. What breeds do you think Puppy resembles?
One week ago today we said goodbye to our dear old Maxi girl, she was almost 16 and it was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. We have had Maxi since she was a tiny pup with huge ears and a dangerously happy tail. As a pup she loved to pull washing off the line and dig up plants, destroying garden beds and leaving unseen holes in the lawn. We called her the ‘Diggingest Dog’ after one of my favourite childhood books. As an adult Maxi loved going to the beach and bouncing through the waves, she still loved digging holes, we have several still to prove it. She had a phobia of storms and refused to walk through doors or gates if she thought there was any chance of them touching her. Her snoring was loud and so was her bark, she kept many a salesperson and religious door knocker from our yard. I loved her soft fur and her friendly, happy face, she was a beautiful, sweet natured girl.
Maxi had been struggling with arthritis for a few years yet still loved her walks and always had did a happy dance at dinner time. The memory of her goofy smile and dancing feet as she impatiently waited for dinner always brings a smile to my face. Recently her struggle intensified, her evening walks reduced in number and distance until she was restricted to sniffing around in the park next door. She loved that park. Hubby and I were preparing ourselves for the inevitable however it happened sooner than we thought and it makes me sad that we did not even get a chance to take her to the beach or let her eat all of her favourite foods.
I was not ready but I don’t think you can ever be ready to make a decision that will end the life of someone you love. Maxi was in pain, she was distressed after falling and not being able to get up again, it was heartbreaking and it was time. The vet came to our house and we took Maxi outside to her favourite spot in the yard, the spot where she can see everyone coming and going. It was a beautiful day, she had some roast beef and with her head resting on my lap I said goodbye as the tears rolled down my face. I kissed her forehead and closed her eyes, it was peaceful and quiet. Maxi was gone, she was no longer in pain. I sobbed for hours.
One week later and I still can’t believe she is gone, her absence all too real when I enter the house and see her empty bed. Maxi had been with me for a good chunk of my adult life, she was with me through many ups and downs, sensing sadness and knowing just when to rest her head in sympathy on my lap. Such a beautiful, sweet natured dog, everyone who met her fell in love and she loved everyone. Bundy still looks for Maxi, he is not anxious but will seek her out and he occasionally sniffs her bed and checks for leftovers in her bowl. I do not have the heart to put her things away, it makes our house feel empty and I’m still not ready to say goodbye.
Our baby girl, April 2001
Looking less than impressed with her baby brother
At home, avoiding the camera
Every now and then getting a good photo was possible
That can’t be comfortable
She loved riding in the car even when sitting was a little awkward
One of the few images I have of the two of us together
This rug was for her, to get her off the cold hard tiles, she lay next to it for a couple of weeks