Tag Archives: Lacie

Project 52 Week 7 – Tales of Tails

The theme for week 7 of the Pet Photographers Project 52 blog circle is “Tales of Tails”.

And I have just the tail, er, tale…

But first, we will have to go back to when I first met Lacie.

She arrived at Animal Services as an unclaimed stray… a timid little 4-year-old gal of undetermined lineage. With her pointed nose and wispy ears, she was listed as a spaniel mix… your guess at her breed being as good as ours. I even thought she kinda resembled a mini Saluki.

Very soon after that that we adopted her and our home became hers.

A couple of weeks later I started noticing a change in her coat… the hair was longer with curls and waves.

And her tail… it slowly transformed into this most marvellous feather-like plume.

Now when I look back at Lacie’s first photos, I’m not sure how I missed that she had been recently clipped. With the realization came many questions only adding to the many I already had… who had clipped her? Why did they clip her so short? Are they missing her? Are they looking for her? So many questions of which I will never have the answers to… but will always wonder.

Once her coat had grown in she looked completely different from the little shelter dog that I had adopted and I once more began to speculate on her breed. These days I am leaning more towards a collie/retriever mix although her ears still have me ponder on the spaniel bit. But definitely no Saluki.

And to this day, I marvel at her tail.

“In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag.” ~ W. H. Auden

Project 52 _______________________
This post is part of the Pet Photography Project 52 blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “Tales of Tails”, visit About A Dog Photography in St. Cloud, St. Paul, Minneapolis and central Minnesota. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!

Project 52 Week 5 – Lacie in Red

The Project 52 theme for this week is “Red”.

When I think red, I think… Intense… Bold… Defiant. It is the colour of extremes with its various shades representing everything from passionate love to anger and danger.

Me being me, there’s not much in the way of red in my closet, mostly greens, blues, earth colours. But when I do wear red, I feel empowered.

Lacie doesn’t own much in the way of red either, except for, perhaps, her very own coat which is a lovely variant of red. I guess she can’t get more red than that!

In our search for props for this theme we did come across this lovely red scarf in our pile of doggy stuff.

So, now we proudly present…

Lacie in Red

With all this talk of red I started to wonder, “Can Lacie see red?” A little bit of research determined that dogs do indeed see colours, but many fewer than we humans. For dogs the spectrum of colour consists of basically yellows, blues and grays. It seems that they see the colors green, yellow and orange as yellowish, and violet and blue as blue.

So… apparently no red for Lacie, at least not in the way that I see it. Through a dog’s eyes, red appears as a very dark brownish gray or even a black.

I had heard that dogs were near colour blind so to find out just what colours they do see is interesting stuff.

More Interesting Red Trivia (from the human perspective)

  • – Red is the international colour for stop.
  • – Red is the most popular colour used on flags.
  • – Red is one of the top two favourite colours.
  • – Red is a primary color. That means you can’t mix two other colors together to get red.
  • – Red is the highest arc of the rainbow
  • – Bees can not see red, but they see all other bright colours.
  • – Red is the first colour that a baby sees after black and white.

And now, here’s one more of Lacie with her lovely red bow.

“More than any other colour, red is loaded for action.” ~ Robert Genn

Project 52 _______________________
This post is part of the Pet Photography Project 52 blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “Red”, visit Elaine Tweedy of I Got the Shot Photography, serving pets and their people in Northeastern PA and surrounding areas Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!

Project 52 Week 4 – The Eyes Have It

The Project 52 theme for this week is “The Eyes Have It”… a most relevant and interesting topic in so many ways.

Being a photographer much of my focus is on the eyes, whether they be canine or human, for it is our eyes that connect us and give us insight in to what the other is seeing and feeling.

My Lacie Girl is no exception. I love her eyes and how expressive they are.

I have been a volunteer / photographer at Winnipeg Animal Services for over 8 years. The experience has taught me much about dogs and how they interact with their eyes. I have come to realize that making eye contact with a dog is a complete different experience from making eye contact with a human. People make eye contact to connect and show interest… with dogs its a whole different story.

For many dogs direct eye contact is not something they seek. And for the fearful dogs who somehow have found themselves in a noisy and scary shelter, eye contact is often strongly avoided… so much so that they will turn their heads and even their entire bodies away in their attempt to avoid interaction. In their minds, direct eye contact has come to signify a threat or a challenge and they have no wish to be on the giving or receiving end. Their safe place is found in appearing non-threatening and invisible.

I have come to greatly respect a dog’s eyes and what they are trying to tell me. This is something I consider each and every time I enter into a “new” dog’s kennel.

A dog’s stiff stance and hard stare at the entrance of the kennel will have me back off and try again later. But I may slide a cookie through the bottom of the kennel gate as I leave.

A turned away gaze or diverted eyes will have me pause and assess before opening the kennel latch. Once inside, I turn away my own eyes and crouch low if it is safe and possible to do so. Soft words, slow movements and a few tossed treats often work wonders in these situations. But I am always mindful not to push their limits and to respect what they are experiencing and expressing.

For the most part, these scared dogs simply need a little more time to adjust to their new situation. Hard to believe but this next photo is this same dog a few days later and away from the kennel environment.

I love these dogs and I love being able to work with them, the end goal being to find them homes. To do this I need to present them in their best possible light, sometimes not easily done in a shelter setting. Fortunately Animal Services has an outdoor enclosure that I use for the photo sessions. Once outside and away from the kennel environment, the scared and fearful dog persona often simply drops away and we get a glimpse of the real dog… the one that loves to run and loves to play. Throw in a toy and more treats and we have a photo session in the making. Their seemingly innate ability to be happy in the moment is awesome. These dogs teach me every day.

For the still fearful ones we take it slow, let them sniff and give them a little more time to hopefully relax. For these dogs the camera itself can be seen as a threat. It’s almost as if they perceive it as another eye staring back at them, only this one is very big and very black. They quickly revert to turning away their eyes, their heads, their bodies. Not the best circumstances for getting a good adoption photo. This is when a zoom lens and lots and lots and lots of treats comes in handy.

When the dogs appear more comfortable, I once more focus on their eyes. Not only because they are so very beautiful but because eye contact takes on a whole new meaning in an adoption photo. Now we are hoping to stir an emotion, to make a connection and give to the dog what they need the most, a second chance.

Four years ago Lacie was one of these fearful dogs, cowering at the back of her kennel, tail tucked, eyes averted.

Today her story is different, she feels safe and she is loved. Thanks to the shelter dogs I realize what a special gift I have been given when I look into her eyes and she looks lovingly back into mine.

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” ~ Martin Buber

Project 52 _______________________
This post is part of the Pet Photography Project 52 blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “the eyes have it”, visit Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography fetching portraits in Coppell and surrounding communities in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!

Related Links:
City of Winnipeg Animal Services
Winnipeg Animal Services – facebook page
Winnipeg Animal Services Petfinder page

Journey 2018 Day 353/365 – rain in December

Our December has been surprisingly mild. Today we experienced rain… which later turned to wet snow. Not the usual December experience here in Manitoba. The field was a little too mushy for a walk so Lacie and I settled for some back yard fun.

“The rain without season is like a delicious mango in the month of December.” ~ Khyati Khuble