September 19th, 2017
In my head, it was the perfect place to take the perfect photo of Bailey and her human pack. The execution of this plan was not so perfect.
Last month, we became official members of the North Western Ontario Regional Newfoundland Dog Club. You may be wondering why at this point. Labrador is a considerable distance from Thunder Bay where this club is located. However, this situation will be changing for our family. Adam, head of the clan, accepted a position at a mine near Thunder Bay last November. The boys, Bailey and I will follow once the house here is sold. In the meantime, our family decided to join this club with the hopes of becoming “active members”. Adam has already attended a BBQ social in August as well as the recent chiropractic therapy workshop. He misses being around his sweetness. Having an opportunity to hang with the other members and their giants is appreciated by him.
We are newbies to the club. So, it did not come as a surprise to receive an invitation to submit a bit of a bio and a photo of the family for the seasonal newsletter, “Newfie Tales”. The request sounded simple enough. Sunday afternoon was sunny after a run of rainy days. I wanted an outdoor shot highlighting our Labrador autumn. My walking partner agreed to take the photo. The family and Bailey loaded up in a very warm van and headed down to Jean Lake which is just below our house. It is a favourite walking area for us. We clambered out at the boathouse and made our way to the floating dock. Bailey was panting at this point with drool starting to drip. Rats! I forgot her drool rags. A quick wipe with the backside of my coat sleeve did the trick. I just needed to remember not to expose it when the picture was taken. Bailey was not put off by the swaying of the dock, although I was. The family got into position with Bailey front and centre. It was at this point that I realized things were not going to go well.
Bailey was clearly hot and the water was looking inviting. She was facing a huge, lake- sized water bowl. With each passing minute, Bailey was getting more difficult to keep under control. Our girl wanted to dip her paws. I should have known that a black, long haired Newf would not enjoy sitting in the sun. If that was not enough, my friend had brought her dog, Cas, and husband. Bailey loves spending time with both of them. They waited behind us – closer to shore. Bailey kept trying to turn her head to see what they were doing. Once Cas began calling to her, I knew the photo shoot was doomed. A series of snaps were taken before we decided to abandon looking into the sun. The brightness of the sun caused the photos to be overexposed and, our eyes were half shut from squinting. We moved to a new location which proved better with respect to the sun. However, the dreary storage shed behind us spoiled any hope of showcasing how beautiful Labrador West is at this time of year. We moved again. Bailey wanted to bolt. She was tired of the photo shoot. Cameron tried to appear casual as he struggled to keep her still. If I did not know better, the photos seem to show him throttling her. By this time, the black flies had decided to join us. Smiling casually while being devoured is an acting feat that I have never mastered. Still, we persevered on to capture the “perfect” photo. The fifteenth shot was deemed okay and we called it quits. Perfect or not, we were done….