By Prathima Pingali*
“It’s just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn’t it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal.” – John Grogan
I had never met a Saint Bernard before in my life. I grew up watching the film Beethoven and just assumed that Saint’s are like any other breed of dogs, but I couldn’t have been more wrong (and I mean that in a good way!)
I met Alex 2 days before our shoot was supposed to take place and wasn’t sure what to expect. I had only ever seen Saint Bernard’s from a distance and couldn’t even take a guess as to what was going to happen next…
The door opened & a 62kg ball of fur came up to me, stood on his hind legs and gave me the biggest hug I could have ever gotten. Alex is a slobbery kisser & his drool was all over my face!
He then got on all fours, turned around and leaned onto me for a butt scratch. Now this wasn’t unusual, my dog Prancer does the same, so I was prepared. But, what I didn’t expect was for Alex to be putting all of his weight on me, pushing me onto the bed so that he could come and sit in my lap.
It was the best first visit ever!
Next Up, Shoot Day!
Alex’s sister – Sush had just started college in Canada. They both loved each other dearly & wanted to get a shoot done together so that she has his photographs to take when heading back to college.
Alex’s life hasn’t always been the best.
He was the runt of the litter, which meant that his immune system was weak & overall strength was less than those of his siblings. The breeder was about to put him down when his hooman mother fought for him & finally took him home. Alex has had a rough ride in life as a pup. He’s been through tick fever, jaundice, and currently has early onset arthritis, but nothing stopped him from becoming the happy-go-lucky dog that he is today!
He was up to do anything during the shoot! Alex was so excited to be in a park; he climbed all the rocks and ran around in the grass, once nearly pulling off Sush’s arm! He was so happy to be outdoors and unleashed. It was beautiful to watch.
Pawparazzi is all about capturing the relationship that you share with your furry one. Apart from the photography side of things, I try to observe all the quirks that my client’s dog has & try to figure out how to work them into the photos I take during the shoot!
It helps me in portraying the true personality of the dog instead of a posed version for the camera.
What made me laugh the most during my visit to their house was the fact that both Sush and her mom had to carry around a roll of tissue paper to wipe Alex’s drool! So when I saw that they carried a roll to the photoshoot as well, I didn’t want to miss the chance of capturing that moment!
No matter how big or small the dog, it’s the little things they do that are the cutest, the little bleps & funny faces & weird habits that bring a smile to your face; the small things, even if they come from a GIANT dog!
*Author is the owner & photographer at ‘Pawparazzi’. She has a bachelor’s degree in filmmaking with a specialization in Photography. She started Pawparazzi in 2017, in her last year of college & in July 2020, she was voted as one of the TOP 25 PET PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE WORLD!
Prathima started her journey in photography and entrepreneurship in class 10 and after that she went on to win the WES Biennial Photography Competition in 2013 and won First Prize in the Under 18 category, with a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh. You can visit her website https://www.pawparazzi.in/ and Instagram handle @pawparazzi.petphotography.