“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” – Eudora Welty
“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” – Martin Buber
When the three dogs that live at my house have been outside, taking care of business, and are ready to come in, they line up outside the storm door and peer at my roommate and me with pleading eyes.
It’s pitiful. But it’s also priceless.
We’ve often said it would make a cute picture.
So, during the recent holiday season, we made it happen – with more than a little help from our friend, my co-worker, Lauren Wood.
An excellent photographer and fellow animal lover, Lauren agreed to give up some time on a pre-Christmas Sunday afternoon to shoot some photos of George, Thom and Sally.
A few folks have asked how we were able to get three dogs to pose for the photo you see in this column space today.
My short answer is – it wasn’t easy.
It was a group effort, for certain.
Lauren had the fabulous idea to snake a string of multi-colored lights along the floor behind the dogs to give it a holiday look. Thom wore a red bandana; Sally a green one. George would not let me remove his Ole Miss bandana.
This time, the pups would be on the inside looking out. We humans would be outside. Did I say it was cold? And raining?
We had no clue whether the three dogs would even line up and look out the door since they were in the warmth, not begging to come in.
But the moment they saw three crazy women freezing in the front yard, line up and look out they did.
Because we’d just walked from the warm house into the cold yard, Lauren’s camera lens fogged, which proved problematic for only the first of the photos.
Thom, the shortest of the three, sat on the floor, nearly hidden, until someone suggested I bribe him with a treat.
With treat in hand, I walked onto the porch and showed it to the food-loving black Chihuahua. That’s all it took.
He immediately put his front feet on the door closing cylinder, elevating him enough to be better seen in the picture.
Using the treat yet again, I held it aloft, moving it back and forth as a maestro waves his baton.
With their eyes on the prize, except for Sally whose eyes were fixed on her photographer, Lauren snapped the winning shot.
For one moment in time, three pups normally exhibiting unrestrained enthusiasm were still, peaceful and looking quite angelic.
It likely will never happen again.