Washing dogs and colouring in is not usually in a regular job description for a photographer, but Liz did say that the job was diverse and each day could bring a different thing and she wasn’t wrong!
A couple of days ago we had an invasion of the cutest, brightest little kids, Liz’s grand children. The twins who are 3 (and a half) and their older brother who is 5 years old descended on Brynoyre.
Having started nursery recently the twins with their new found confidence were practicing their social skills on all of us in the office between asking Andria to paint their “e-nails” or “ear nails” (I never quite grasped the pronunciation, but it was the twins name for finger nails) and employing Ann and myself to print out colouring pictures for them.
(The boys colouring in Dinosaurs- the specifics were ones with big scary teeth)
With Mary Poppins images floating around my head, Andria and I took the three of them off to try out something useful and got them in to tidying up the orchard by making a game of picking up all of the apples on the ground for Andria to take away for juicing. Her family makes Aber Valley Apple Juice (and a few ciders!) It didn’t last long with but they are brilliant workers! We filled 4-5 large buckets! And they got hot chocolate from mum as payment.
My next job after the kids had gone was the dogs. Finbar and Willoughby are two Labradors, one slim old boy and one fairly portly, but very timid youngster; both quite smelly. I wanted to wash Fin in particular as everyone has avoided stroking him or being near his breath for a while because the whiff and thought maybe he would feel more uplifted if he was stroked more. So one evening at the end of work I washed him!
Finbar was perfectly behaved and after taking him in to the walk in shower and washing him with some medicated dog shampoo I thought…”OH! This is so easy!” before moving on to Willoughby…which was a completely different story.
As soon as Willoughby knew I wanted to get him in a small space and pour water on him he really didn’t want to be in there with me. We had to battle and trick him in to the downstairs toilet after battling with him, where I bent my thumb back and sprained my hand I finally got him in the shower!
Although afterwards he really didn’t want to know me or even have a treat for putting up with it, he now smells great! Their fur is shiny and soft and the two boys, especially Fin are no longer smelling around the office and receiving a lot more attention.
(Finbar and Willoughby)
I managed to get some shots of the dogs recently (before the wash when Willoughby sort of liked me) and they were really good in complying. They say never work with animals and children, but I seem to have done both and loved it.