Client Session ~ Greta and Lily in Townsville
What an introduction to Townsville! The first of my Townsville dog photography sessions was very early in the morning. I met Greta and Lily and their Mum and Dad at their house and sat down for a chat and a cup of well-needed coffee while Judy told me the girls’ stories. It was also good to have some time for the girls, especially Greta, to get used to my presence. Would you believe that both these gorgeous girls were rescues? How people could ever give such beautiful dogs up I’ll never know, but I am so thankful for their sake they found their way into this wonderful home.
After the coffee kicked in, we headed out to the front yard to get some shots before the sun flooded in. Meet Lily and Greta!
Lily is four years old and an awesome mix of Dogue de Bordeaux (aka French mastiff) and Bandog. About a year ago, Lily was rescued from a small town right in the centre of Queensland called Muttaburra. Judy’s daughter was going to foster and rehome her, so Judy and her husband Derek helped out by travelling to Torrens Creek (halfway between Townsville and Muttaburra) to meet up with her former owner and collect her. Once they had her home though, she never left and ended up being adopted permanently.
It’s pretty easy to see why. Aside from her killer head wrinkles and fantastic expressions, Lily is a lovely big cuddly girl who just adores people and pats and is under the mistaken impression that she’s a lap dog. She has also been very good with some foster puppies. She used to view an open gate as an opportunity but now it’s either “happy, happy – they’re home!” or “awwww – will you be long?” – and seriously, how could you stay away very long when she’s pulling the face on the left?
If you can’t yet had enough of her luscious wrinkles, this should do the trick!
Four year old Greta has a rather more dramatic story. She was found in someone’s yard in Townsville, alone and terrified. It took four days to catch her and get her to the pound. When she went to her first foster family she had to be carried from the pen to the carpark on her bed as she wouldn’t get up. The first time Judy saw her she was lying on her bed in a pen at the pound visibly shaking in fear. Judy took her home, only for her to escape from their yard (complete with very high fences) in just a few hours. She had crossed the busy main road at the front of the property and gone to ground on the river bank on the other side, spending the night there before being discovered in the morning and having to be slowly coaxed out of her hiding spot.
In the year that she’s been with Derek and Judy, she’s come along in leaps and bounds. No longer immediately running and hiding from visitors, she is still cautious, but was coming up to me for pats within a few minutes of my arrival. What a difference! While initially a little less confident around Derek she bonded closely to him when he had time off work with a back injury. He has become her “safe place” when she is in unfamiliar situations.
Obviously Greta has a fair proportion of Great Dane in her breeding, with her gorgeous ‘merlequin’ colouring, blue eyes and sweet little pink and black nose. Her tail however is something else – long, thick and almost kangaroo-like!
After some getting to know you time at their house, we loaded the girls into the car and headed off to their favourite place, a beautiful fenced dog park amid landscaped parkland on the river. Luckily it was early in the morning and we had the park to ourselves. Although Lily is fantastic and gentle with people, she does still have some issues to work through with dogs other than her best friend Greta.
The girls absolutely love going to the park, especially Greta who really comes out of her shell running around, playing and exploring with her beloved sister. With all the space afforded by the dog park she doesn’t feel trapped by people and can relax and play and run to her hearts content.
Although from completely different breeding, the girls are very well matched in size and strength so have an absolute ball together!
For two rescue dogs who didn’t have the best start in life, they play so beautifully together and are very good at sharing!
I love this black and white of the two of them, tongues out, having a rest before racing off to further fun and adventure.
Their best trick at the park is getting up on the dog agility ramp. Usually only because it means they are at head level with their Mum and Dad and are guaranteed get lots of pats and cuddles, but we managed to convince them to stay there for this shot!
After a good run around and lots of playing, the girls were nice and relaxed and treated us to some great doggy expressions.
Greta had been taught by her previous owner this little trick of putting her paws up, very gently luckily. I love the way she gazes into her Mum’s eyes, how sweet!
It was lovely to see Greta so relaxed and happy, quite a different dog than the one I’d first met at her home.
How lucky were these girls to have found their new home and each other! It’s great to know there are stories with happy endings out there, and I’m so glad to have discovered this one.