You’re Not Doing It Right

by Houndstooth on

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been trying to use Flattery more when I take photos, and let Bunny enjoy a bit of semiretirement.  Flattery is very eager to please, but she doesn’t have the intuition for what I want her to do that Bunny always has.  I try to plan a lot of time for our pictures so that it can be a positive experience, but sometimes it can still be frustrating.

The Unwitting Apprentice -- Tales and Tails

The Unwitting Apprentice

Bunny works for food, but she doesn’t lose her mind over it.  Make no mistake, she does not work for free, but she knows that payment is coming when we’re done. She keeps her eyes on the prize for sure, and the one thing that I’ve ever done that completely confused her was putting the camera on a tripod, using the remote and trying to get her to look at me somewhere besides behind the camera.  In her mind, the camera is always watching her, so she should always be watching it.  It’s just too ingrained in her for her to do anything else.  The only way I can explain it is to say that she truly does take modeling seriously.

With Flattery, I have to be more careful.  She works for food, too, but she can get so fixated on the food that she forgets everything else.  The other day, I wanted to try a picture where she sat beside a photo prop, which was a simple enough idea.  The problem was that she never wants to hold the sit for very long.  She thinks that taking pictures always requires a down and laying down is always what she wants to do anyway.   Some days, she tries to convince me that she can’t even lift her head.  Asking her to sit and stay is something we’ve been working on for awhile.  She will stand and stay or down and stay.  She will sit on command and she always uses the sit to try to convince us to share food.  In short, I don’t think it’s painful or uncomfortable for her,  I think she just hasn’t made the connection to hold the pose.

Sweet Shoppe -- Tales and Tails

Sweet Shoppe

So, the other day, we were upstairs trying to get a photo of Flattery, and we just couldn’t seem to get anything quite right.  Either she was laying down backwards, not holding a sit, or her head was wobbling.  I didn’t need to hurry, but I still found myself getting exasperated.  I didn’t want to sit up in the attic all night to get a picture.  My husband decided to up the ante and came down to the kitchen to get some cheese.

The cheese was a mistake.  Flattery promptly lost her mind, and Bunny decided that amateur hour was over.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that she marched over and stood right in front of me, then gave my husband and Flattery the stink eye that said “You’re not doing it right! Stand out of my way!”

Sweet Stuff -- Tales and Tails

Sweet Stuff

In two minutes, I had twice as many good pictures of Bunny as I did of Flattery.  Clearly, we have a long way to go with Flattery.  And while I had ideas of slowing things down for Bunny, she either didn’t get the memo or she put it in the circular file.  Even though I reward her when I work with Flattery, too, she still prefers to be the center of attention, and she knows where that is.  I can’t complain.  I still love working with her and I love that she still wants to work.  Nothing holds her back and I can only hope that when I get to be a senior lady that I have as much spirit as she does.

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  • Sue Dyer

    I love the first photo with Flattery looking up with her eyes:)

    Both my girls usually move just as the camera goes off. My camera doesn’t make a sounds, so I have no idea how they know when to move.

    Hope you have a lovely day. Sue, Polly & Honey

  • SGilbert

    Sometime silly pictures are great….it show their true feelings. Love your pictures. Have a great weekend.

  • Re Lindahl

    Burr seems to think that a sit always deserves a treat as well. If I have something that I don’t intend on sharing he will put on those Prince Charming eyes and then sit. And he has the cutest sit and look of anticipation on his face. It’s hard not to share when he puts on the show!

  • Vicky

    I do love the first picture of Flattery, where she is rolling her eyes up. Just very cute to me. She’ll get the hang of it, eventually. Bunny just does such a good job, that I am sure it is hard to be patient with a new, inexperienced model.

  • My dogs have become “pros” at posing for pictures too. I remember the moment when I realized just how attuned they were to my needs.

    I was walking on the beach with Ryder, and saw some beautifully weathered wood. I paused, looked at it, and said to both myself and Ryder, “that might make a great background.” Ryder immediately walked over, turned around and sat down, and began posing…I didn’t even have to direct him! You can see the picture here:

  • Wow look at you! If only I could get Beau to sit this perfectly !!