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.
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.
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!”
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.