If you read yesterday’s post, you know that we went out with Flattery and Küster this weekend to take some pictures. It was a nice day, Flattery especially needed to get out and I’ve been wanting some new pictures of both of them anyway. We tried an outing together before Christmas that really did not go well for me, so this time, I reminded myself to “know your limits” before we even left the house.
Almost every year, we’ve had a funny post about getting our Christmas card photos done with the dogs. I can tell you that getting four dogs to pose in a photo is not easy and there were a lot of times I questioned my own sanity. Throughout all of those photo shoots, Bunny was the stalwart dog I could count on. She would stand in her spot, perfectly still except for the occasional eye roll as we wrangled old dogs, puppies and everyone in between into place for those pictures. Having one dog who would solidly stay in place and do what I asked of her made the magic happen in our group shots.
Flattery and Küster are a whole different mix. He does not like to sit still and often decides to exit stage left to go over to Mr. Taleteller in hopes of getting him to play with him. Flattery does not like sharing the limelight and will pull faces or put her head down when I try to get her to pose with Küster. Getting cooperation from the two of them is almost harder than some of those old Christmas card photos we did.
As I was thinking about it, though, it occurred to me that one thing we often did was try our best to set them up for success and know their limits when we did those photos. With Lilac, we tried to work it so that she could lie down because she was more likely to stay where we put her then and because she was old and standing in one spot was difficult for her. We also used to put Morgan and later Küster in last because they were the most likely to leave their spot to go over to my husband. Finally, we tried to keep those sessions short so that no one got tired, bored or burned out.
Going into our day out, I made a few decisions. As much as I want some pictures of the Black Dog Army together, I knew I wasn’t up for the frustration of trying to get them both to cooperate at the same time. Küster had been at training for the morning, so I didn’t want to tax him too much with a lot of requests for his good behavior that he might not be able to pull off. And Flattery was in need of some extra attention, so I planned to give her more of the spotlight.
The crazy thing is that it worked out. It wasn’t perfect, but we had a lot of fun and it was lovely to get out together and enjoy it without pressure that I put on myself and the dogs that we didn’t need. There are times when you need to stretch your wings and see how far you can go and other times when you need to know your limits to make things work.