My book project, Dogs & Their Women, was initiated because I came to know the relationship of a 92 year old women and her Snoodle, Morgan. A Schnauzer/Poodle mix – Morgan, Anne and I, and my dog Ellie, met in basic obedience class. Anne was 81 with a puppy. Having heard from many of the women in my book that they think they will always live with a dog, I’m not surprised. I must confess, I fall into that camp as well.
Because of Anne and what I learned about her relationship with Morgan, I needed an older woman in my book. Paula, another entry in the book told me that I ‘had to meet Georgeanne.” I was enriched by our time together one afternoon this week.
Without giving away the whole story that will appear in the book, Georgeanne found Nile at the WI Humane Society when it used to be off of Capital Drive. He’s a Besenji/Terrier mix so Georgeanne thought an Egyptian name would be appropriate. The name of an ancient god came to mind but the name was too complicated for a quick recall of a dog. So Nile is named after the river.
As we sat talking, I noticed that Nile was always securely ‘parked’ between Georgeanne and I. “A protective posture,” I thought. If I moved, he moved. I realized quickly that my ability to photograph him was going to be challenging. So I pulled out a photographic trick that has worked well for me when photographing dogs. I set my focus point, and aperture and put the camera on my computer bag. I pointed it and shot. (So who says you can’t make a 35mm DLSR a ‘point and shoot?”)
Eventually Nile started to tire of his protective role and his eyes became heavy and closed. I’d slowly reach down to my camera, get my finger on the button and ‘bam’, he’d wake up again. Trust with a dog is built up over time and Nile and I were just getting to know one another. Thankfully, Georgeanne and I hit it off right away!
As usual for me, I learned a great trick from Georgeanne that I can use when I’m older. Being a former PT, Georgeanne was smart when she purchased an electronic collar for Nile. They take their walks with confidence as Georgeanne never has to worry about being pulled over by Nile. No “broken bones by dog” for her! At 85, she’s still learning new tricks! I wonder if Nile is?