About this time last year, we had snow and I managed to photograph a few dogs on the Common and over at the bomb crater where loads of people were sledging.
One of the dogs I photographed last year was Nelson the Pointer and he was the first dog I came across again yesterday. He’s such a handsome chap and I love his black coat with grey flecks down the front.
I met a couple who had four rescue dogs from GRWE Greyhound Rescue (here’s the link to their Facebook Page Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue in the South East). From left to right they are Poppy and Tully (Whippet Xs), Lenny and Stanley (Lurchers). This charity does great work in rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming abused and abandoned greyhounds and lurchers. These four were such lovely dogs and were being very good considering all the fun that was going on around them. I love the way these jacketed dogs on different coloured leads are all looking out the picture the same way.
Leya is a Spanish Water Dog and I always like seeing breeds that don’t crop up that often. This is a breed of dog developed by shepherds in Spain as a multi-purpose herder. They’re sometimes used as a gundog, as well as an assistant to fishermen.
Others photographed were Hattie, the Border Collie, an unknown Weimeraner and of course a few shots of my Barney who raced around on the slopes dodging the sledgers.
A month or so back, we met up with a friend and her newly acquired Newfoundland, Rainzie, that the family had rescued. They have always had ‘Newfies’ and are big fans of this Giant Breed Dog.
Rainzie, is a great big, cuddly bear of a dog. Although they can be a bit stubborn, Newfies usually have a sweet temperament and are natural nursemaids (think Nana in Peter Pan).
But their real prowess is in the water. They are expert swimmers with a frame built for bouyancy and power. The oily, double coat is ideal in cold water. Their giant paws act as paddles, the large, thick tail a rudder and their lips and jowls allow for breathing and carrying something in their mouths at the same time. I have heard warnings from Newfie owners that if you do not wish to be forcibly removed from the water, then you had better not go swimming with one!
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to witness Rainzie in the water (apart from bounding along the stream in the woods). He gave Barney the chase for the first twenty minutes or so but that huge frame can’t be easy to lug around for too long. The little rests got more and more frequent and the drool came…and kept coming. Oh yes, this is a drooly breed of dog. Having a breed like this requires the owner to have towels and flannels to hand and any set up portraits start with a bit of a face clean. It also makes for extra work after taking the pics with more retouching. Just how much do you get rid of? After all, it’s part of the make up of the dog. There’s hair too…they can certainly shed the hair, often losing their coats twice a year. Not a breed for the overly house proud.
It’s great going for a walk with the more unusual, less common breeds. Because of his shear size, Rainzie towered over most dogs and he just becomes a natural conversation starter with other dog walkers you meet.
And did I mention that they drool a bit?
Just look at him go!