Client Session ~ Riley and Vash
Although it’s sometimes a struggle (for both me and my clients!) to get up for an early morning session, the benefits always far outweigh any inconvenience. Especially at such a beautiful location as the site of my second Townsville session. The northern beaches of Townsville are just gorgeous – calm water, sand and pebble shorelines, heavily forested mountainous islands out to sea and looming green mountains inland. Some might call it paradise!
My doggy models this time were Vash the German Shepherd and Riley the Great Dane cross. Unfortunately this mischievous pair had somehow devoured an entire bag of fertiliser overnight so were both feeling a little worse for wear in the morning, more so Riley who I suspect consumed the majority of it!
For the first hour or so of our session, Riley was not her usual bouncy self and spent most of the time wandering around looking very unwell and feeling sorry for herself.
When Ruth and her partner Nick decided to bring a puppy into their family, Ruth knew that she wanted a Great Dane. She’d done her research and was ready to wait for the right one, until she saw and ad in the paper advertising some Great Dane cross pups and decided to investigate. The mum of the litter was a sweet, gentle harlequin Great Dane and the dad a huge Great Dane x Mastiff. After the long drive out of town to the cane farm where the pups were, Riley ended up choosing Ruth, being the first of her littermates to say hello and sit at her feet, then never leaving her side while she met the others. In Ruth’s words, “I just had to have her so we bundled her into the car and drove the hour and a half back home on a Sunday afternoon with nothing and totally unprepared to have such a little puppy but we managed and spoiled her rotten afterwards. She was so small her head easily fit in the palm of my hand, now both my hands easily fit in her mouth!”
That was two and a half years ago and Riley has had a pretty blessed life so far. Fortunately on the morning of the shoot, after drinking copious amounts of water and making some very weird and growly stomach noises, she was feeling a little better and went and found herself a coconut to play with.
Soon after bringing Riley into the family, Ruth and Nick decided it was time to get another dog. Nick had grown up with German Shepherds and they were also looking for a good guard dog, so a Shepherd was the obvious choice. A breeder in Brisbane was chosen, the litter was born and Vash was picked out for them to take home at 8 weeks. From the day they brought him home, he was instantly the boss of Riley. Although independant when younger, as Ruth says, “I spoiled and cuddled him too much and now he is a sooky little boy who loves people and would walk off with just about anyone who gives him a pat or throws a ball. But he is still our little Prince.” He certainly looks like royalty this shot!
Vash never used to be interested in chasing balls, sticks or toys, much preferring to tackle his big sister while she was playing fetch. One day though it just clicked and now he’s unstoppable. He is so intense and focused while playing fetch that his front leg usually comes up in a “point” while he’s waiting.
I love their shadows in this shot.
When Riley isn’t off destroying coconuts, she joins in with the fun and games too.
These two just love exploring, often with Riley following Vash’s lead.
With the sun rising higher into the brightening sky, we moved into the backyard, literally still right on the beach. The early morning light coming through the palms was amazing and Vash soon proved to be an excellent model.
He did need constant rewarding with a game of fetch though to keep him happy!
Meanwhile, Riley had brought her coconut along and was quite content ripping pieces off the outside in games of tug with whoever would play! The game involves completely stripping the coconut of the husk, then when the husk is off Ruth and Nick drill a hole in it and let her drink the milk. Needless to say, Riley loves it!
As I know myself with Luna (she also has a coconut obsession whenever she can get her paws on them) you need to stay well aware of where they are at all times to avoid being clocked with these rather heavy and hard ‘toys’ that are swung around with great force! Riley seemed to have no qualms about constantly hitting herself in the head with it, along with anyone else who managed to get in the way.
Due to her love of coconuts, the best way to get Riley’s attention proved to be stealing her coconut. If you look closely in her eyes in the image below, you can see me holding the coconut in one hand and camera in the other to get this shot. What an intense look!
Riley is a very ‘sniffy’ dog, she loves to check everyone and everything out by thoroughly smelling it. She was constantly pausing to sniff the air, I wonder what she could smell?
Both Riley and her little bro Vash are living the life. Their mum and dad quite obviously love them to bits. I don’t blame them, what a gorgeous pair! To finish off the blog post I just had to include this shot of Miss Riley on one of her many trips to the tap for a drink, displaying her big wet slobbery chops. Lovely!