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Sunbathing with dogs (and cats)

Posted August 25, 2011 @ 7:42pm | by Anne

This is probably my favorite photograph. Ever. 

But! Before everyone gets all excited and thinks that *this* is all it's about, the best part about this photograph is that it actually could have been better! It was, like, seconds away from being monumentally better.

This is how things unravelled;

Somewhere in the deep recesses of psyche that get all worked up about sunny days, exists this strand of DNA that compels certain individuals to strip down and lay out in the yard at the first sign of warm weather. Jen is one of those people. 

It's super awesome that she is, considering we have a dentist office right next door. A dentist office where people routinely go and spend long periods of time, laying on a chair, with nothing better to do than stare through the gaps in the fence at the naked girl next door. Oh, did I mention they're usually on drugs when this occurs? In a foggy state of dental druggyness, this must seem pretty wacked out.

Anyway. It was one of these days, and at one point I happened to look outside, notice Jen sunbathing, and Holy shit that's the cat laying there as well!

I don't actually have a photo of this (as is explained here) so you're going to have to take my word for it, but I looked outside, and I saw this;

For reals.

Max, being a cat, obviously wasn't bribed into that position, cats just don't do that sort of thing. Which meant, amazingly enough, he actually ended up like that on his own accord. The cat-exposure part of it wasn't very shocking. Max is the type of cat that's super comfortable with totally interrupting nice dinner parties by wandering into the middle of the room and licking his no-longer-existant-balls for long enough to turn casual conversation into awkward silences. He's cool with exposure.

Cat dinner parties:

So anyway.....I look out the window and see this;

And obviously something this amazing needed to be recorded on film.

Normally, from inside the safety of your own home, getting a camera together and snapping off a few happy snaps is a pretty mindless procedure. Doing so quietly, so as not to disturb a sunbathing cat, only ups the ante slightly. 

But, to the mind of a cat about to be 'caught' participating in any sort of behavior that a cat might not normally participate in, i.e. thus creating a precedent for potential future obligations to do so again (read; if he did it once, we might force it upon him next time....) this sort of thing being recorded on film was highly unacceptable. And so my attempts to quietly aim my camera out the window and take a picture were met with complete rejection.

And then complete refusal to participate again, despite the best efforts.

Which is a bummer....I was this close to having this shot;

Which I think we can all agree would have been way better than one of a dog......

But anyway, on to Plan B. Bring the dog out.

At this point I had too much invested in the idea of the photograph, and since the cat had now completely disappeared over the fence and escaped his captors, it was time to move on to other options, because, damn it, I wasn't walking away empty handed on this one.

Our 'lush' dog, as we call her, will do about anything to get a belly rub, and so was the next logical choice knowing that once I got her in the position she needed to be in, she'd probably stay at least long enough for a photo. There was only one issue; Jen was in the backyard. The backyard is also where horrible, awful, terrible things called 'baths' happen. And the dog has figured out that if we show the slightest inclination to lead her out to the backyard against her own free will, then the percentage chance that a horrible, awful, terrible thing might happen to her goes way, way up.

Once our dog has plastered herself onto, under, behind, etc. a safe get away from the terrible, horrible, awful thing that might happen in the backyard though, she's impossible to move. 

She actually holds her own impromptu, civil disobedience protests circa 1960's sit-in style where she refuses to budge, despite even last resort offerings of 'people food' treats like last night's chicken.

That leaves us having to physically pry her away from whatever object she's hiding on, and pick her up. The act of which results in several minutes of ear splitting, blood curdling yelps and screams done at full volume.

This goes on and on and on and on.....

....until we concede and put her back down. 

Every once in awhile she relents and will allow us to carry her to wherever she didn't want to go in the first place. This is usually after she's worn herself out screaming. Which is how on that sunbathing day, I found myself like this;

Until, Success! Belly rub!

All the terrible, horrible, awfulness was forgotten about. No baths had happened, the universe was in alignment again and our dog happily rolled over into primo sunbathing position, accepted a belly rub, and stayed long enough for me to take a photo.

And that's how my favorite photo came about.

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