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Season’s greetings

Thursday, 11 December 2014 Written by // Bob Leahy - Editor Categories // Arts and Entertainment, Pets, Photography, Travel, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Bob Leahy

Bob Leahy and his dogs on doing what doesn’t come naturally, pet photography and Christmas spent away from home

Season’s greetings

Let’s face it. Truth be told, warm and fuzzies aside, Christmas is about doing stuff you don’t really want to do but do anyway. Because it’s Christmas. 

Don’t deny it, you know exactly what I mean. True, Christmas has more than its share of good things, even more if you are under five, but you don’t have to have the bah humbugs to understand that set against all this erstwhile merriment and mirth is a whole list of things we’d rather not be doing.

No more is this the case than if you are a dog in our household. Which brings me to that annual display of abject misery and “let’s get this damn thing over with” aka our annual Christmas card portraits which we use for our cards. Why we don’t do the Hallmark thing instead I don’t know, but it has become a tradition to make our own that goes so far back, I’m loathe to break it for fear of being visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, dragging his chains up our rural driveway. Alastair Sims I’m not.

Of course the “let’s get this thing over with” thing is a sentiment which is clearly expressed in the eyes not so much of us, but our canine family, pictured here trying their best to look merry in the face of adversity. Dogs, frankly, do not like this kind of thing.  On the other hands, dogs will do anything for a treat.  Where those two realities intersect is where we are today.

When our cards do go out, they will bear the image shown above this year, and people will ask, as they always do, “how do you get those little darlings to sit like that?”, as if the shot was the product of just one take, as if the dogs easily sit still, as if they just face the camera and put on a “happy” face (well, not all that happy, but you get the point.)

Usually, it takes about a hundred shots to get something like the above. Plus pocketfuls of treats. This year it only took 38, shots that is. The word "Hallelujah" was invented for such occasions.

Personally I like the shot below better. Our Dougall is actually about to stick his tongue out, which somehow seemed as appropriate as one could muster in the circumstances, given that hat he’s wearing. But I was over-ruled by my partner who wanted the trio of Dougall, our chocolate lab and basset hounds Dudley (left) and Ruby (right) on our cards as usual.

So . . . . Merry Christmas everybody, to you and yours from us and ours.


I am taking a three week break from this Christmas season. Something called vacations. I hear people in the real world take them too. We going on a cruise - once around the Caribbean. December 25 will be spent at sea. So will December 31. Who knows how these holidays are celebrated in nautical circles. It will be an adventure. will remain active, but less so, while I’m away. Unfortunately there is wifi on the ship.

Chat in the New Year . . . 

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