The other day when I got home from work I wasn't feeling very motivated to take Z on an hour-long walk. I figured we'd just stick to the parkway so she could be off-leash and feel like a country dog.
I hadn't walked that way in the daylight for weeks – it's part of our everyday morning walk but these days it's dark out until 7am – so I wasn't prepared for how beautiful it was. It seems almost everywhere else the leaves that still remain on the trees are sparse and everything is past its fall prime...but not where we walked that day!
The birches were in their full yellow glory, and while the sumac plants had all lost their leaves, the berries were a rich, deep red. It had been a cloudy, somewhat gloomy day, but of course on our walk the sunshine peeked through the slate-blue clouds and lit up those yellow birches.
Immediately I mentally kicked myself for not bringing my camera. Of course, I can't let conditions like that slip past me so we headed back home and I got my big camera. Back I went up the parkway – again – with Zada bounding ahead, joyous, as if it were the first time that day :)
She always likes to carry a stick with her so after she pulled a good candidate out of the woods I proceeded to use that as my "carrot" – she's a dog that prefers play over treats anyway – to get her ears up. I'm sure we made quite the picture to the passing cars: me on my stomach, camera held to my face in readiness with one hand while the other waved a stick about over my head, trying to get the perfect angle on her ears (and then rewarding her by throwing it, of course – which is NOT easy when one is lying down).
I realize dog photography isn't all about getting the dog looking perfectly cute in every shot – life isn't about posing so why would we want every picture "posed"? – but I know my dog and she gets bored quickly and looks it...so I worked on the "posing" a bit more than I normally would with a dog portrait session.
Plus, her ears have ever been one of my favorite features on this dog (I call it her "Zadar") and she just looks so damn good with them standing at attention. Maybe it all stems from the German shepherd I had growing up who grew too big, too quickly and his ears never stood up (unless he happened to be facing into a strong wind).
While I hadn't planned on being out for a long dog walk originally, once it was all said and done we were out for almost 2½ hours. Miss Z is ever so patient with me, doggedly doing what I request of her: stay here, come this way, down...she just does what she's asked with nary a complaint until I release her. Well, almost no complaining – at one point she looked up at me imploringly, stick hopefully quivering in her mouth, with a look that clearly said, "can't we just play fetch now?"
When it was all said and done I realized what a fun little impromptu photography shoot it was – just me and my dog enjoying a beautiful fall evening. I'm glad I went back for my camera!