Sleeping dogs

Good Tuesday morning; I hope that all of you had a great Holiday weekend and your pups made it through all the booming. I spent a good part of the day photographing my dogs; it is one of those luxuries, having them there to shoot whenever the whim hits me. They are amazingly good sports and will do whatever I ask of them; but typically it is "be yourself." I love capturing dogs being dogs and yesterday after a long walk and spending much of their time outside they were very tired. They were all crashed in the living room so; yep, I got out my camera.

One of my favorite things to shoot is dogs in action; I love being able to freeze it and see what you would never see unless you indeed froze time. But I also love shooting sleeping dogs; when they are at their most relaxed state, the complete opposite of action. They are adorable aren't they? As a trainer I know that a tired dog is a good dog and a tired dog also makes a great model; especially when you want to capture them sleeping. Jessie was on the dog bed in the living room; Luke on the couch and Tilley at the front door on the floor. I have to be very calm and quiet; but even at my best I still cause a stir. Just a small one and they usually drift off back to dreamland.

Jessie was looking totally adorable sleeping; I snapped away and she woke up. She had a little grooming session and went off again. Luke was asleep but sort of with one eye open; things were going on and he hates to miss anything so I have some with eyes open and caught a couple as he drifted off. Tilley was out; completely out and never stirred as I shot her, she had a long day for a 13 year old and was completely exhausted.

There is something very serene about watching a dog sleep; it is at that very moment when they are at their most relaxed. A dog that is asleep is in a safe zone; a place where they feel they can close their eyes and rest, I love it. I often see Tilley out in the yard asleep in the sun and I love that she feels secure enough in her yard to drift off. Luke has a more difficult time sleeping in the yard; if he does it is on her lounge and it is not a sound sleep. He is a much more nervous dog so closing his eyes doesn't come quite as easy.

Creating an environment where our dogs can feel safe enough to let down their guard; throw all their cares to the wind and close their eyes is our job. Once you have achieved this and your dog feels at home as much you; you can smile at a job well done. And enjoy one of the simple things in life; watching your dog sleep.

1 comment:

  1. They're never more angelic than when they're asleep, eh? LOL!

    We adopted our Siberian Husky, Balto, when he was just shy of his third birthday. We were his FOURTH home so he was a bit stand-offish at first, and I totally understood his reasons for being so, since he probably figured he'd end up in yet another home before too long. Though he was quite playful and sweet, it sort of felt to me (I become pretty attuned to my K9 kid's *vibes*) that he expected to always be the outsider because he had been three times before in his short life.

    So right from the start I made sure Balto got lots of special time with me, without the other dogs around (he'd had two dominant, pushy *big brothers*, humungous Malamute littermates, very close brothers between themselves well before Balto joined their family, at his previous home, but with us he had a nice, laid-back Labrador brother that, and they became very close sibs.) I would cuddle up with him, give him little rubs and massages, quietly talk to him about what a wonderful boy he was and sing him little made-up songs [my dog-songs are usually something with an upbeat tune but with most of the lyrics replaced by the dog's name and observations on how awesome he is :-) [I often use the melody to *Woolly Bully* or that kinda zippy little theme to the old Canuck cartoon version of *Spiderman*].... and I've NEVER met a dog that didn't like to be sung to, no matter how badly their 2-leg-moms 'n dads sing! Being a Sibe, he began more and more often to sing softly along, which made my heart glad.

    When Balto REALLY started to warm up to us, I smiled all the time. He started adopting little spots in the house as his faves for napping, or for chew-toy time, or whatever, and I knew we were really on the way.

    One day I walked into the living room to unexpectedly find him in a true, deep sleep lying on his back on the couch.... LYING ON HIS BACK :-)!!!! Tears just ran down my face and merged with my incredibly huge smile (probably a huge goofy grin, more like), because for this sweet and sensitive breed to feel secure enough to lie on their backs at all in your home, never mind falling ASLEEP that way, means that they truly feel safe and loved in your home, in your arms, in your life.

    I couldn't help but stand there, silently hugging myself and grinning tear-ily whilst leaning on the doorframe, unwilling to walk further into the room and possibly wake him.... just enjoying watching him sleep the sleep that said, *Love you guys, I'm HOME!*

    I was SOOOO proud of my K9 son and how far he had come so quickly since joining our family. My hubby started down the hall and I quietly slowed him down and filled him in on the Siberian-lying-on-the-back thing, and then we both leaned on the doorframe to enjoy watching him sleep so sweetly.

    It was one of the most incredible moments ever in the world, I can tell you!

    He truly blossomed into the Sibe he was always meant to be. Affectionate, playful, silly, sweet, mischievous (exponentially so.... it's a Sibe thing!) and well and truly settled happily into our home.



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