Life with the puppies
We have spent the last 10 weeks raising puppies. Here's the story. My husband Ian, a Plumas County Resident Deputy Sheriff, came upon a beautiful Neapolitan Mastiff in town. He came home and told me how much he really liked this dog and that the owner wasn't really in the position to care for her like she would like because she had to work all the time. The owner bought Kira from Dooley Hills Kennel in Michigan for 3000 she said. Kira is UKC papered and a gorgeous Tawny (rare color in the noe world) Neapolitan Mastiff. The owner called me and said she had to give away her Mastiffs, she also had a Tawny Male she purchased from New York for 2000, she gave him way to someone in Oroville. Her male was un papered and the breeder she purchased him from, she said, promised to follow through with the paper work and did not. Kira and her Male had mated and Kira was pregnant. I took Kira because of her very sweet demeanor and gentleness with my children. But we are not fooled by her power. We have 140 LB. pure breed Rhodesian Ridgeback. She could have him for lunch of she wished. She has shown no aggression toward any of my children ever. She even let them into her whelping bed from the day the puppies were born. She had a 100 percent Tawny Neo litter. Unfortunately the pups aren't papered although that has not been an issue with the other buyers. What has been an issue is that I am not charging hardly enough. People think there is something wrong because I am not asking 2000. I also did not dock their tails. I think it’s unesescary and under my vets advice it throws off their balance and makes for all sorts of injuries of the front ankles elbows shoulders because of the balance being front heavy.I have been screening vigorously and have 2 decades of doing phone. I can distinguish through a conversation if I want to even meet with a person. A skill that has served me well. I find that this breed attracts people that want to use them for negative purposes. I don't want them breed and thrown in a yard alone all week to be shown off on the weekends. Most people that I have talked to don't realize this breed is not to be fooled with. The puppies by nature are very aggressive and need a very consistent strong Alfa leadership to tame them. They do not respond AT ALL to hitting. They have a very high pain tolerance they were bread to guard and kill. So hitting isn't a good thing with them, ever. I have had people want to buy them to keep their Pomeranians company while they are at work or as a companion for their 4 year old. The perfect buyer for this breed would be an adult who can spend at least 5 hours a day and weekends with older children and other large, fixed dogs. These dogs have to be socialized everyday.Otherwise they will revert to what they were initially bread for. If you leave a lab alone all day it will chew things up and eat your furniture. A neo will do the same thing plus try to eat your neighbors animals plus maybe your neighbor if they come over unannounced. If you think you fit the proper criteria for these puppies, call, lets talk. I am looking for over responsible owners that will take the power of these dogs very seriously. They are also so loving sweet funny and fun, but calmer than most puppies I have been around. They have been a great amount of work and a great joy.
My photo session
I have put off my own photo session for 2 decades at least. For a former model I hated loathed despised being in front of the camera...TOO VUNERABLE. I'm 44 soon, I can be vunerable now. I also waited because I wanted to look my best. I wanted to lose 15, instead I packed on 10. It is what it is. Another of my favorite sayings. Obviously, I don't want to stop eating moose munch or ice cream yet. I set up the shot and had Olivia shoot it. After I got frustrated with her because the images were blurry she sent her dad in. Guess which one is my favorite image. The blurry one. I will be eating crow. My genius husband who is so talented in my eyes. I know he can do anything except 2 things. Plumbing without a small leak and a great picture of me. So here’s to husbands and daughters willing to put up with me.
My best plans
What a day I had. It started with a Monday morning commitment to get to the gym, walk the dogs 4 miles in the meadow, attend a board meeting, and two other client meeting, cook a meatloaf for my party of 6 plus 5 dogs, drop off client photos, pay bills , study marketing, create a strategy, run errands. I began the day with the realization that the puppies needed to be moved inside they are 9 weeks tomorrow and need training. Potty training, manners, etcetera. As I moved them in I brought them to my husband in bed to play with them and I couldn’t resist the light and their blue eyes against my blue comforter. It’s now 10 , no breakfast for me 1.5 cups of latte ( I make my own) phone rings…Liv has strep “Come get me mom”. Off I go, I get her home and on the way she tells me her teacher threw a pen at her, so before I move on I make a call to him the principle and write a sharp letter to them, just in case they missed my voicemail. If I don’t get to throw stuff at my children no one else does. Make a Dr. appointment for her. Then I am attempting to hit the meadow and Jane calls.” Mommy I fainted at school and I have a fat lip and a headache.” I go get her and take them both to Dr. Ward our family doc and friend. Liv gets anti biotics, Jane gets a referral for an echo cardiogram and she also has to see another Doc and ENDOCRONOLOGIST? We’ll be making some long trips to the Bay Area (just to spice things up). She’s not growing. 2 hours later, after the bank deposits (the house payment is due), post office, (drop off the bills to mailed), take a client her DVD of her photo shoot…Home to pinini sandwiches for lunch let puppies out to play and potty training, lunch clean up and dinner prep….I made the meatloaf (too spicy) I went back to the store to pick up prescriptions and picked up real bones for all the dogs. Came back threw dinner in the over and took the other 3 dogs of the meadow walk, but it’s now dusk and my girlfriend Molly reminds me I am coyote and mountain lion bate and shouldn’t go all the way out in the middle like I like to do. Instead I do about 1500 paces, hardly enough to cover all the chocolate I am going to eat tonight because I am so stressed about my children and puppies. Are they getting the proper care? When I know I’m not.. And the whole time all I can think about besides please let theses puppies sell to good homes, please keep Jane and Liv in perfect health is how am I going to fit in my work out and my photography. I cancelled all of my meetings including tomorrows as well and turned them into phone meetings. I didn’t go to the gym or do yoga or take a shower or make my bed or put away my clothes. But I did care for the beings and I did 4 loads of laundry and I did do the dinner and I ate lots of moose munch chocolate and I will walk (in the rain) tomorrow,…AND THEN ( now comes the rant) I studied the greats tonight, like Scuvullo and Testino and OH MY GEOD Terry Richards (what a bad boy) I can‘t believe he was one of my test photographers, married one of my models, shot my husband and son (nude GORGEOUS photos and published then in Paris magazine), I fell in love with all over again Sante D Orazio (genius) Paulo Rousi, Ellen Von Unworth…I spent 2 hours viewing their work and I feel passionate about their work. The wedding market is saturated with so many photographers whose work looks all the same to me. There is Jose Villa ( he gets it, he would have been on my test team) he‘s great and I love Beckstead (He is an artist!!) there are a few rare ones. I know I’m not one of them at least not yet. It’s rare I feel excited about my own photos I am too close, they are mine. So I look everyday at photographers and I have found some GREAT photographers with awful marketing skills or editing skills…I am not talking about Photoshop here. But just an ability to pick the best pic in their own work in a series.. Then there are the master marketers whose things are packaged so very Boutique (pretty word) or Martha Stewarty, the Knotish style, but I see nothing the moves me beside the packaging and I am trying to find my voice, my style, my passion and the beauty. It is just like these puppies, I don’t have to sell out. I have screened and fielded hundreds of phone calls from people who want a tough dog, but don’t know jack about raising a puppy never mind Neapolitan Mastiff that would happily kill their neighbors cat of neglected too long. So the dogs will stay with me and be raised and cared for until the appropriate owner comes along. The same thing goes for weddings with me. I can pic and choose. I don’t have to make my work look like the masses ( or in the fashion industry, go commercial). I always believed that God (the universe, creation) doesn’t resond well to desperation and I am grateful I can spend 2 hours looking at the greats and not feel I wasted my time…Because I didn’t come up with the next great thing tonite..Except if I did come up with it, it would be, to tell 90 % of the wedding photographers and this includes me “Let a photo editor (not developer or Photoshop master) decide what pictures to post on your site. And if you have a great pic of a particular shoot, don’t put up 10 more of the same, it diminishes the work.” And also as I write this I realize my expectations of myself are just nuts. I want it all. And anyone who knows me, knows I really try to have it all. I have a veracious appetite for life. Sometimes it works out and sometimes I need a break from the drill sergeant I call me. But the truth is a lot of days are like these and I think it might have something to do with having 5 children, five dogs for now and insisting on owning a creative business where I am supposed to be the talent. And I have to and want to create. What I want for Christmas…An agent, an editor, a bookkeeper, housekeeper, part time sitter, personal trainer and another 20 hours in my week…I am tired and didn’t accomplish the things I set out to do today, despite my best laid plans it was a good day. Everyone is healthy…amen