Waiting until the tail end

Curse you, Mother Nature!

To hell and back with your Snowmageddon this week.

No, not really. I love snow. Hey, I’m from Canada; I kind of have to.

The weather really screwed with my plans for this week’s blog post, though. The topic for the Project 52 blog circle for pet photographers around the world is tails.

I scheduled a date with my favorite loaf, good old fluffy butt Maverick.

I should have known better about Spokane weather.

I mean, I even scheduled dog portrait sessions, one at Garland district and one at the Bowl and Pitcher, for today, Friday the 15th.

I should have known better than to think our spring-like January was nothing more than a tease.

I should have known to expect the unexpected.

(Side note: I’ve been watching CBS’s Big Brother since Day 1.)

spokane pet photography

Onto Plan B

I get worried sometimes if you see too many pictures of Bella.

But when the chips are down and I gotta file a post, she’s right there for me.

She’s not always happy about it. Sometimes, she gets downright grumpy.

See? I cannot get her to crack a smile.

P52: Waiting until the tail end 1

Unless I can get her out on an adventure.

She chatters the entire drive to our destination, and chatters some more while we’re poking around wherever we are. It’s only when we’re back to Eddie the Edge after a good, long walk that she settles down.

Here’s some chatterbox video from last summer to give you an idea:

And so it was that she chattered all the way to Falls Park in Post Falls, Idaho, on Wednesday.

And all the way around the park and then some.

Post Falls Idaho

A tale of the tail

I spend a lot of time looking at Bella’s tail during our adventures.

A livestock guardian dog, she wants to be at the head of the pack and keep an eye out for any threats she may have to thwart.

When she’s relaxed and enjoying the walk, her tail is at half mast, waving along with the swing of her hips.

If she sees or hears something nearby, it lifts up. High and curled. And it’s soon to be followed by her “I’m here, you’ve been warned” bark.

As soon as it dips down lower and starts wagging maniacally, I know she sees someone familiar.

A slight tuck means we’re probably at the off-leash park at Stateline and she’s protecting her “privacy area” from the sniff of a curious new friend.

A full tuck means “I’m stressed” or “I’m scared.”

It’s hard to believe a big dog, like Bella, can be afraid of anything but it happens.

The recent high winds.


Someone she doesn’t know and/or doesn’t particularly care for.

That’s when I have to step in and say “hey, my dog isn’t always fond of new people; you have to back off some.”

maremma sheepdog in guard mode

I call this The Lookback. She stops every once in a while to look back at me and, I think, make sure I’m still following.

Watch for the signs

Dogs have their own way of communicating with us.

From tails to ears and eyes, and even to the way their fur sits.

As their partners (leaders, owners, parents, whatever suits you), we should pay attention to what they’re trying to tell us and ensure their safety when necessary.

As pet photographers, we should pay close attention and ensure their safety and our own safety during every session.

Now let’s pay attention to what’s happening around the world in the blog circle. We’re going back to New Zealand and Lynda Mowat of Heartstrings Photography.

Let’s see what her tale is about tails. Read her story then click the link at the bottom of each new blog post to make your way through the circle.

Once you’re back here, you know you’re home.

Now enjoy a few more shots from Bella’s adventure to Post Falls. I even got her to smile a few times.

12 replies
  1. Lynda Mowat
    Lynda Mowat says:

    You can never give me too many photos of Bella. She’s gorgeous, and reminds me of my Pippa….always there if needed for a shoot, but happiness about it not guaranteed! Lol.

  2. Linda Perdue
    Linda Perdue says:

    She is beautiful! I turned on the sound to listen to her chatter and 3 of my dogs were immediately running to the speakers to see what the problem was! So I wonder what she was saying….. Love the photos, I am really enjoying what everyone has learned about the tail of a dog. It’s great!


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  1. […] up in our blog circle is Angela Schneider of Noses & Toes Pet Photography puts your pet in focus for your family portrait…. Follow along and check out some wonderful Tales of Tails from pet photographers around the world! […]

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