For Christmas I was generously gifted an hour photography session for Bloo, with a professional pet photographer. The weather was finally nice enough for me to book our session.
I was so excited. Two days ago I bathed Bloo and spent two days making sure all her mats were out, her face was trimmed just so (gotta have that perfect, yet casual I-woke-up-like-dis shaggy fluff), and keeping her out of dirt.
We spent the morning taking my dear friend Mara around, who is visiting from The Netherlands, around the Niagara region. We went to see The Falls. If you’ve never been, it’s quite misty around the Niagara Falls. So even without rain, there are quite a number of puddles. I spent our walk along The Falls, carefully maneuvering Bloo around puddles and even carrying her over the bigger ones. Bloo has no qualms about trudging right through a good puddle. (Unlike Molly, who would carefully step around and jump over any kind of water, bless her doggy heart.) And given how crowded the sidewalks around The Falls are, I was very happy that Bloob stayed nice and dry. Didn’t want to ruin her perfectly groomed.
When we arrived at the leash-free dog park, the photoshoot was going very smoothly. I was very proud that Bloo was putting her sits, stays, comes, to good use. She was friendly with passerbys, humans and doggos. She came back when called. Everything was great.
Except Mara wanted to go for a walk to find some water with which to refill her water bottle.
Now, the thing is, the less you’re obsessed with Bloo. The more obsessed she’s going to be with you. She’s used to being the popular girl on the playground. Play it cool if people want to say hi to you. But if there’s someone who just isn’t giving you the worship you deserve, well, isn’t that a novel situation to turn around?
Mara is a cat person.
As soon as Mara started heading down the pathway towards the non-leash-free zone, Bloo took notice immediately. What if she was going to go play with other dogs?
I successfully recalled Bloo a few times when she wanted to follow Mara. But she just wasn’t willing to sit for any more photos when suddenly….she BOLTED. Like running full-speed down the trail back to the parking lot and park full of unsuspecting civilians. There were kids playing soccer out there, there were picnics happening, there were people enjoying their weekend. I didn’t want my ginger fluff to scare anyone or steal food from anyone’s picnic! But I also kind of knew that she was on a mission to find Mara.
Just as Mara was turning the corner of the building to head into the women’s room, she sees a dog running wild and free straight for her.
I grabbed Bloo by the collar and walked her back down the pathway, carefully around the mud puddle, and back towards the photographer. I even grabbed a stick for her to fetch. But two thirds of the way back to our photoshoot location, she bolted AGAIN.
It was embarrassing that I couldn’t control my dog. Bloo ran full speed back to Mara in the women’s washroom. She was having a great time greeting everyone in the bathroom. Followed Mara into the stall even. I mean, I love dogs but even I would be freaked out if a small mammal popped up between my legs while I was having a private moment.
Once again, I dragged Bloo by the collar back down the trail and around the large muddy puddle. I thought she was definitely going to chase me, or come after me, so I let her go when we were insight of the photographer, patiently awaiting our return. But you know what’s more fun than taking pictures? Not taking pictures. And cooling off. Because phewwwwff, all that sprinting makes a fluffy doggo hot.
A wonderful place to cool off your paws is in a nice, cool, puddle. Conveniently there was one right there. Ooooo but then the human is trying to catch you and you know what’s SUPER FUN? Jumping around a mud puddle! Splashing your human!
Bloo is jumping around this puddle like a bunny that can hop in reverse. It’s ridiculous how agile she is. And then….she sat down. Right in the nice deep mud puddle.
But you know what’s special about this puddle? It’s a giant puddle. It practically takes up the whole width of the path. So to really optimize for maximum joy in this situation, it just makes sense to lie the fluff down in the fluffin’ mud.
At this point I’m just in shock. We’re half way through the shoot and my dog’s entire underside is sopping wet and dripping mud.
And then. She. Rolls. Over. On. To. Her. Side. To. Get. Comfy.
I had an audience, who I dub the Pity Committee. They were some people who were walking their dog through their park earlier and knew that we were doing a photoshoot. They couldn’t believe it. My dog was sitting in mud, covered in mud. The couple discussed how they could help me. “Try grabbing her collar,” they suggested. At that point, I knew if I was going to make a grab for my dog she was going to do the thing where she rolls onto her back and wiggles around to get the dirt nice and embedded into her fur.
Thankfully that’s when the photographer’s husband/assistant/animal wrangler arrived with my leash. But he arrived at the same time as Mara. Poor unsuspecting Mara who was about to have a muddy dog run at her. It’s a real problem when the more you want to get away from my dog, the more she wants to be ATTACHED to you.
I was so frazzled, I don’t know how exactly it happened, but Mara was given reprieve and my dog was clipped into her leash.
I dragged my sad, wet, muddy, dog back to the photographer, who’s initial reaction was just a complete loss of words.
At first I was like, oh god, this is going to get canceled. But thankfully we forged onward with the second half of the session with Bloo on leash. The upper left half of her body was not covered in mud and was still ginger, dry, and fluffy. With Bloo positioned in some tall grass, you can barely tell how disgusting she was.
Upon some reflection, I wouldn’t have minded some pictures of the True Bloo, in her natural muddied state. But transporting a muddy, damp dog, who has an affinity for attaching herself to your leg and asking for belly rubs, is not pleasant.
People always comment on how soft and well groomed Bloo is. It’s purely because she’s such a dirty dog, she has to be bathed every week and brushed every day. That’s how you maintain a beautiful coat people. With a lot of time and effort. And a permanent mud guard in the back of the car.