Monday, March 9, 2009
Client's Dogs - The Relationship We Have
Working with my client's dogs is an honor and something I take very seriously. I also treat my client's dogs as if they were my own.
My dogs are my "children" in that they are a part of my family, I love them, I care for them, I think of their best interests and I want to provide positive experiences for them. I approach the relationship with my client's dogs in much the same way, while also keeping in mind the goal for which I was hired to achieve.
The relationship I have with my client's dogs inevitably becomes bonding and personal for both of us during the training time. Don't get me wrong, the dog's still LOVE thier owners, but I do get a chance to step in as a surrogate 'Mom'.
What makes it personal and allows the bonding to occur is that I let the dogs see my silly playful side, sometimes they live in our home for an extended period and I always rejoice & share in the excitement when they're successful at something.
The point is, I often do bond with the dogs and get to enjoy their distinct personalities. Tala, pictured above, is one of my favorites. Her Mom, a client who has become one of my best friends, brought her over to my yard for some fun playtime during one of our many snow storms over the last few days. I took the snow opportunity to take pictures of my dogs and also Tala. In the past, I've only photographed my own dogs and so it was an honor to take some time to photograph her.
It's interesting, but not surprising, that I was drawn to Tala's eyes. The eyes say a lot about the soul and Tala's a very neat dog. She's very smart, intense, honest, she loves attention, but she's also an independent & thinking dog. She's not the type to be won over with just food or toys and she's not the kind of dog you could try to force into doing something she wasn't subscribing to. I think that's a big reason I like her so much! With Tala, you've got to be an open book and while you can't be a pushover, you better have your ducks in a row and be clear on your training expectations because she'll call you on it if you're not!
After taking about 30 pictures of Tala (on top of the many pics of my own dogs), I took some time today to crop them. I was amazed at how consistent Tala was in the pictures. She was as solid as a rock and there were so many good shots. Enough that I really started to play with the cropping and cut out all but her eyes in several shots as a different way of looking at her.
I've since uploaded the pictures on my facebook.com account so her Mom & Dan could enjoy them as well. I guess the creative part of me was wanting to come out and I wanted to share a little gift with her human parents as well.
Thanks Tala for the great shots and for posing in the snow for me! : )