Dogs that change your life

There are some dogs that come into your life and change it forever. At this time of year my memories on Facebook pop up all these posts about a former foster dog of ours, affectionately named Grandpa Dodge.

Already a senior dog of 12 years, he came to us with a clipped ear, an arthritic leg, a skip to his walk and some serious selective deafness. And a heart of gold.

Eight years ago today he left our house to go to his forever home with the gorgeous Chiara, Vince and Pepe. They gave him the most amazing retirement life. Seriously – I want to retire at Vince and Chiara’s. We loved to hear about Dodge’s latest adventures, his notoriously deadly farts and his weird habits of nibbling on his mum leg while she was in online meetings.

While Dodge is sadly no longer with us, in 2019 he came into the studio and we got some gorgeous photographs of this old boy. Photographing older dogs is such a different experience to puppies or young dogs. They are much more likely to be chill about the experience without getting too excitable. They are just as likely to pee on things they shouldn’t (which is no drama – we have clean-up supplies on hand). They are often harder of hearing, which means new methods beyond the squeakers and noise makers to get their attention. They still love treats.

I fell in love with one particular image and I had it all ready to submit to the 2020 Australian Institute of Professional Photographers photography awards.

And then COVID.  State and national awards were postponed, then cancelled. The awards had rules about the time frame in which photographs were taken, so I waited anxiously to see if the rules would be changed to allow me to enter Dodge in the 2021 awards.

The rules were changed, but this time not only were the awards cancelled, but the AIPP closed its doors for good. Luckily, before that happened the the fabulous Perth chapter hosted a photographic Salon at the Perth Town Hall, and Dodge had his moment to shine.

Today I picked his portrait up from his second exhibition of the year, this time at the City of Perth Library. I hope seeing him made some people smile as they passed by – I know that’s what I do when ever I think of him.

Now to find a good place in our home to put up this portrait of a precious pup.

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