Every photo studio needs a good dog.

This is my studio dog. She prefers to remain anonymous....

I never understood just how wonderful a dog could be. We got this little girl from a dog rescue about five years ago and I've been in love with her ever since. She's at her happiest sitting in the middle of the family. Just sitting and taking in our conversations about the day. At dinner she waits patiently by my feet waiting for something, anything, to drop off the table. Once a piece of food goes airborne it's hers.

She used to spend a lot of time with my wife. For the first four years with us she luxuriated around the house while my wife did her graphic design business in a home office. For the last year Belinda has been working downtown at a big ad agency. So we shifted around a bit. Now, when everyone leaves the house in the morning, my dog travels the twelve steps from the front door of our house into the studio/office. She has a brown square of bathroom carpet (originally a prop for a photo assignment) that sits next to my desk and that's where she curls up and naps.

Every once in a while she'll leap up and run to the door to bark ferociously. It's usually to let me know that the UPS man is coming and bringing with him stuff she can't eat. She also barks to let the UPS man know that she's keeping track of him at every step.  

She doesn't like the look of soft boxes and moving light stands around makes her very nervous. When we need to do a lot of equipment rearranging she retreats to the house and finds a spot where sunlight comes slanting in. A good spot for a sunbathing nap. 

When she gets bored or I get bored I toss the keyboard onto the chair and we head out the door for a walk around the neighborhood. She loves the walks. And she's very friendly with nearly every dog she's ever met except for one mean-as-hell-psychotic Chihuahua that trash talks her whenever we go by its house. Every once in a while the Chihuahua gets loose and comes up to us all fierce and frothy. We do a "steady" command and walk past. If my dog can make it by without returning curse for curse with that tiny, mean excuse for a canine she gets a treat. A small dog biscuit that's just about bite sized.

No matter how late we human night owls stay up she hangs in there with us, yawning all the time. But when we finally go "lights out" she climbs up into the white chair in the corner of our bedroom and does one big, long sigh and then zonks out.

I consider my dog an invaluable member of the VSL team. Her input is never far off  the mark. And her ability to catch a tennis ball in mid-air is unmatched. Her only fault? She refuses to carry any gear. She is the Leica M3 of dogs.


  1. What a great post, Kirk! Pets are not just animals; they are important parts of our lives. They are members of our families. They certainly need to be photographed, so that we can relive our emotional ties with our pets long after they have gone to Pet Heaven.

  2. A good dog truly is "man's best friend". I miss my best friend.

  3. There is nothing better than a dog. Mine died two years ago and I haven't been the same since.

  4. You gotta love a person who loves a dog !!!!

  5. We have two dogs, both American Eskimo's. Both of them mean the world to me. When I sit, or lie down for my afternoon snooze, one comes up and cuddles with me to get a tummy-rub. My kids adore them.

  6. Your dog looks more pleasant than mine, a mix between a Chihuahua and a Yorkie, the result of which we refer to as "the warthog," among other names. And yes, our dog would be frothing and yipping as yours walked serenely past. And we paid for ours...

  7. Nice post, Kirk. Dogs are great mentors to us, if we pay attention.

    Sadly, today we had to put down our little terrier after 16 wonderful years of companionship.


    1. Oh Ron, I'm so sorry for your loss. 16 years is a long time. I'm sure he had a wonderful life with you.

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  9. Wonderful post, thank you for this. Though already getting huge ours is only a puppy still, so nowhere near the perfection of canine serenity you describe. But he's coming along very nicely, and is already an unvaluable member of the pack (huh, family).

  10. I live with seven dogs in the outskirts of Bogota in a farm inside a Forest Reserve. It is amazing how this doggies find what to do like playing, taking the sun or when I am working in my studio they all seat in their proper places just to make company. Regards from Luis in Bogota, Colombia, I really enjoy your blog.

  11. a wonderful tale.
    i walk Delilah, a Border-collie now 2 years old. Friendly, happy, with the occasional spurt of crossing the tundra, pulling me as the sled! D is learning to ignore, mean tiny excuses of rats, mean dogs.
    My folks had a black spaniel. In days of "slide shows" we'd all gather to watch. The spaniel in his appointed place.
    If we showed the same slides again(all 36), the dog seeing a repeat, would get up, go to His room that he shared with my parents..My pix were never worth a 2nd look!


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