How I Turned a Mouse Into a Dog Model

So tomorrow is the 10 week anniversary of Mouse’s adoption. On one hand, I can’t believe it’s already 10 weeks; on the other, it seems like she’s still so shiny and brand new.

Very soon after her arrival (we’re talking hours), one of the many things that Mouse filed under “Things I Especially Dislike” was my studio. Specifically and especially: the strobes. She didn’t like how large they are; she didn’t like that sometimes they were off, and other times they were on, and she had no warning of  nor control over these states. She really, really disliked  the way they popped, kind of loudly, when they went off.

Being the street-smart little shelter dog that she was, Mouse quickly did the math and discovered that Camera Out = Large Thing Making Scary Sound = Must Run Away to Back of the House.

Truthfully, none of my dogs have been thrilled with sitting for photos, but they do love the treats they get afterward (and sometimes when they’re especially bored, during). With lots of positive reinforcement, kisses, scratches and dehydrated chicken, all my dogs have learned to simply LOVE getting their picture taken. Even as I watched Mouse dash down the hall while Jack was modeling for me, I knew that sooner or later, she would have to come to love the camera. I would have to make a model of her. A dog model.

And I did, so quickly! Just yesterday Mouse sat for her first “official” photo shoot, although it was a shortie, she braved those lights and that popping and she kept herself planted on those apple boxes like a pro. It wasn’t the first time I’d been able to take pictures of her in the studio, but the guys were always with her before. This time, they each went separately, hogging the boxes (thought process is: “the more I sit up there, the BIGGER and BETTER and TASTIER my reward will be) and Mouse lurked behind me.

When it was her turn, I scooped her up and placed her on her mark and you can see her courage coming out a little bit more in each photo. I think it’s darling. Here’s her process:

Step 1: “On the count of three, I will awake and find this has all been a horrible, terrifying dream.”


Step 2: “I believe there’s dehydrated chicken in that room over there.”


Step 3: “Alright. I acknowledge you. Is this what you wanted from me? Is it??”


Step 4: “Why you do this to me, Dimmy?”


Step 5: “I will give you a picture. My ears are down, but I am trying to go to my happy place.”


Step 6: “Wait a minute, YOU’RE my happy place! Ok, I am good. This is my serious face; you like?”


After another one or two frames, I called Mouse off the boxes and gave her some kisses and chicken, and all was good with the world. In her version, she feasted on dehydrated meat while the villagers danced and made her their queen.

No matter whose version you prefer, it was a damned good day for Mouse.

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  • August 15, 2013 - 4:23 pm

    Kim Kondracki - Amazing! Wonderful to be able to see her transformation. I think you will have a super model on your hands in no time!ReplyCancel

  • August 15, 2013 - 4:41 pm

    Roger - You have such a big heart!ReplyCancel

  • August 15, 2013 - 4:52 pm

    Karan - I LOVE each and every frame… good baby girl…ReplyCancel

  • August 19, 2013 - 10:07 am

    susan sabo - Thank you, guys 🙂 It’s amazing to see her personality unfold slowly (very slowly) over the past couple of months. The camera was a big foe to conquer, in fact I think she gained a bit too much confidence after this; the other night we heard her bark for the first time (ever!) since she came home with me.ReplyCancel

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