My intention for this first post of the year, was to delve into the symbolism of this period, you know, letting go of the old, making room for the new, and all that lovely, deep stuff. Except, stuff got a bit intense lately for me, again, and though I would like to share about it, I am not quite ready – other than to say that I pulled my back on Christmas morning and the past couple of weeks have seen me in and out of chiropractor, acupuncturist and massage therapist studios on a regular basis. Doing much better now, thanks. Given the regularity of rough stuff showing up over the past…oh…all of twenty years, I have recently figured that I must have come into this life to clear up all the crap from all the others! Such fun! Not! I hope I get extra points for all this work. Or at least chocolate!
Since I know that I am not the only one for whom the Holidays have been a bit rough-edged on one level or another, or all of them together, I thought some cute faces and wiggly tails were in order to cheer us up a bit. We’ll get to the deep stuff another time.
As you may have figured out by now, while living in Hawai’i I photographed a lot of dogs, and I mean a lot! Which is why this post is one of two, and both will show only a selection, or we would be here looking at cute dogs until next year. Not that is a bad thing.
It all started when I agreed to help out at the Hawai’i Kai Dog Walk, an annual event held in early June to benefit the dog park in my Honolulu neighborhood. In Hawai’i this kind of things happen early in the morning to avoid the heat. I would get to the dog park by 5:30 am to set up so I could be ready by 6:30 am when the event began. The photo booth was very much a haphazard set up, though I did invest in a backdrop + stand to help control the background (somehow there are always weird things and trash cans in backgrounds), and by the third year I was also bringing chairs and stools from my home to help structure things a little.
One year I did the same thing at the Da Kine Canine Festival in Kailua, another fun annual event organized by Island Dog Magazine. In any case, my photo booths were popular and there was usually a long line of people and dogs waiting for their change at immortalization. I met lots of wonderful people and dogs, many my neighbors of course, and many returning year after year. With some families, I would be a witness to their children growing up, especially pre-teens into teens, who seem to sprout all of a sudden. I saw pups grown into adult dogs, new additions to the furry families, new costumes. It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun! And people in Hawai’i are the friendliest I have ever met.
In most cases I don’t have names to offer you, so you will just have to enjoy the furry smiles and smile yourself. However, the German Shepherd a couple of images up is Koa, which in Hawaiian means warrior (it is also a type of tree/wood in the islands), and I remember him well because he came to all the walks and events I did, and also because there are not that many German Shepherds in the islands.
The pretty girl with her dog in the image below used to work in my neighborhood Starbucks for a couple of years, though I do not now remember her name. And I just love the big smile and happy faces of the lady and boxer puppy in the image further down. That pup is one of those I saw all grown up a year later.
The photos above and below always make me smile because I think of these two as the happy dawgs, especially the one above, whom I think must be a Ridgeback mix, while the one in the photo below is a Golden-Doodle, or maybe Labra-Doodle. Those something-doodle mixes are such sweet, friendly dogs!
This trio of long-haired Dachshunds I have baptized Huey, Dewey and Louie in my head, but those are not their real names, I am sure. I photographed them on the fly at my first dog walk, and had to do a serious amount of photoshop work to remove the human legs and sneakers and other undesired “debris” in the background. But the dogs looked so good with their rich coloring and now the image pops, don’t you think?
Below is the un-named Boxer pup. No, he is not the same one as the photo further up, but I can’t quite make up his name from the tag. Maybe Hapa, but that would be strange. This was also an on-the-fly photo at my first dog walk, and it is still one of my favorites.
Above and below we have two celebrities, aka cover dogs, as I photographed both for the cover of Island Dog Magazine. Above is sweet Tuffy, who was about 22 years old when I took these photos. His daddy George is with him in the image on the right. Sadly, Tuffy passed away about a year after these photos were taken, and George joined him over the rainbow bridge just a few weeks ago. They are both very missed.
Below is a white Poodle called Nice. Besides being a cover dog, this boy is also a show dog, and honestly I really felt sorry for him during the shoot. His mommy kept touching him up, brushing his hair, spraying hairspray to keep it in place, adjusting the props…. And he was just letting her with infinite patience. I personally feel that, though some dogs like showing off and prancing, dog shows are for humans. To each their own, but I like happy dogs, not stressed dogs. I do know Nice is very loved, though, and not just for his blue ribbons.
I will conclude today’s selection with one of my favorite images from a photo shoot I did with my client and friend Barbara and her furry kids, Cocoa and Muffin. Barbara is an English lady who lives in my old Honolulu neighborhood and she is one of the long-time volunteers of the dog park, which is how we met. We started the photo shoot at her house, then moved it to Portlock beach, which is a tiny beach nearby that is usually very private and quiet.
I hope you have enjoyed all these cute furry faces (and sometimes not furry). I also hope that any Holiday drama is over and done, and that you have started the new year on an easier note. Easier, on any level, is good.
Wiggles & woofs!
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