Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kids, Dogs and Faces

The Royals have released a new family pic of William, Kate, George and family dog Lupo ahead of their proposed tour of Oz:

It sent an involuntary shudder through me and brought to mind advice my father use to give, but more of that later.

I was already going to post the item below when the above Royal photograph came out. It reinforces the comments made.

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There has been a spate of photographs that I have come across recently of babies being dressed up and photographed whilst asleep or lying down. I am in two minds about that. It’s cute but it makes me feel that the baby is a prop in the parents' activity. You decide. 

The first baby pic series that came to notice were the elaborate photographs of Queenie Liao, who must have a lot of time on her hands. Her series features her sleeping son Wenngenn in a display called Wenngenn in Wonderland. She has used household items and materials to create fantasy scenes on the floor with Wenngeen as the central feature:

See all 32 pics at:

Here are some examples:

Which brings us to Series #2: the work of Adele Enerson and her child Mila; Her work is quite similar to Queenie Liao:

Which brings us to the work of French photographer Malo, photographing his baby daughter June in a series called “One day, my child you will be”. He has dressed June in possible future careers. . . 

I don’t know whether June will be the first female Pope:

but I wasn’t enamoured of the boxer pic with the black eye:

Another mum and dad, Lilly and Leon, have recreated famous film scenes with their baby Orson and cardboard boxes.  According to them, having moved house and being housebound on weekends, they decided to have some fun with a photographic series they call "Cardboard Box Office":

Star Wars


Jurassic Park


Die Hard

Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom

(For those experiencing cuteness overload, we are nearing the end).

Which brings me to the last, a series of pics by Jessica Shyba of her son Beau asleep with the family’s adopted puppy Theo, a part-boxer, part-shepherd, part-labrador retriever. Here are some examples:

There are a lot more but you get the idea.

Which brings me to the advice of my father.

My Dad trained dogs, German Shepherds, and was a Chief Instructor with the German Shepherd Dog League. We grew up with dogs, mostly Shepherds, and with dogs being trained. 

One of my father’s cardinal rules was “Never put your face close to a dog’s face, even if you know the dog.” It was what he drummed into my brothers and I wand what he gtaught when giving obedience training classes.

A dog that has never exhibited any snapping or biting, that is totally docile, can suddenly nip or bite when it becomes excited, or if someone accidentally causes it pain. Even cute little puppies. Have you ever felt a puppy’s teeth? As sharp as needles. Years ago my local newsagent had his upper lip split to his nose. I asked what had happened and he told me that their small, old dog, which had only about 4 teeth left, had been sitting on his chest whilst he was lying on the couch. It suddenly nipped him, not a hard bite and only one nip, but it was enough to rip his lip apart. I still cringe when I see people plant a kiss on their dog’s head or hug their dog with faces next to each other. 

My father's rules and comments:

Never put you face anywhere near a dog's head/face.

That goes whether you are an adult or a child and no matter how well you know the dog.

A dog is still an abimal, not a person, no matter how long and how well the dog has been known.

Every dog can bite and will do so if the right trigger or icrcumstances occur.

Like my father to my brothers and me, I always told my family never to put their face next to any dog, even beloved Lucy, although I think they regard me as alarmist. 

Today I stand by my father’s rules, having seen the consequences of dog bites ion faces.

If any further convincing is needed . . .

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