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Published:December 3rd, 2011 13:25 EST
When Pets Are Not Professional Models

When Pets Are Not Professional Models

By Donna Cavanagh

I saw that today is the day for Santa and Pets photos at my favorite pet shop.  Now, I know you want me to say that I do not waste my money on these photos, but I cannot. When my German Shepherd, Miss Muffie, walked amongst us, we did the professional photo every year because she was great at posing and obeying commands. She was a photographer`s dream,never once did he have to scream, "Work with me",  as he did with some of the other prima donna pooches who showed up in rhinestone collars hoping the other dogs in line would view them as God`s gift to canines. No. Muffie just posed and smiled.

Now, I have Frankie and LuLu, and both are a photographer`s nightmare.  LuLu quakes in fear and tries to hide underneath whatever there is to hide underneath, and Frankie, well, Frankie grumbles at anyone she meets for the first time. It`s not loud, but apparently she wants everyone to know that she is the Queen dog and they need to fall in line behind her. Unfortunately, a lot of other dogs do not share her royal opinion, so I am afraid they might grumble back and there could be some type of uprising leaving me with a big bill for property damage, and really, do I need this extra stress at the holidays?

So, I have decided to do our Christmas photo at home.  I will make the dogs don their traditional holiday garb and they can pose comfortably in front of the fireplace.  I know somewhere up there, Miss Muffie is a tad disappointed in Frankie because Miss Muffie won best dog poser two years straight when we got the professional pet pictures done.

I try not to bring up Miss Muffie and her accomplishments too much to Frankie and LuLu because I don`t want them to feel that they are second best. A pet psychic I met (yes, pet psychic--don`t scoff) said that I should be careful about telling the dogs how great Miss Muffie was, especially Frankie. She believes Frankie already has a bit of an inferiority complex and this is why she grumbles when she first meets other dogs. She is afraid that I am looking to replace her.  The pet psychic suggested that I have a heart-to-heart with Frankie every few months to drive home the point that we all love her just as much as Miss Muffie.

She also informed me that the reason that LuLu is afraid all the time is that she is remembering a past life experience  working in the military and she might be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress from that life.  She recommended an animal therapist who might help her overcome this anxiety issue with hypnotherapy and reiki.  Yes, that`s right. Someone wants to hypnotize my neurotic dog. While I am curious about how this would happen, I don`t think the curiosity is worth the $150 per session. I declined the referral because if anyone is getting the opportunity to go to therapy, get reiki and learn to relax on command, it`s going to be me.

Anyway, I got off topic.  Christmas photos.  Well, this weekend, I might try to take some pooch pictures. I can`t guarantee they will be pictures of MY  pooches, but hey, who will really care?