Today is a special day. Not for any reason big and popular or having to do with Carrie Fisher (though I have to admit, I think she’d approve of my day). No, dear friends… today is my dog’s birthday. And I am excited beyond comprehension to combine my love for my little moo-pig and my love for Star Wars into one amazingly fun first birthday shoot.
FIRST, STORY TIME: If you’ve met my dog, you know the depth of her ridiculous personality and the extent to which she will embarrass me in order to shove herself between your legs for butt scratches. She’s a frikkin’ 85-pound hunk of true love and affection. She’s god-damn ridiculous.
Denis and I got Max last summer on a pure coincidental whim. We’d (I’d) been talking about getting a dog forever and we (I) finally found a little ad on Craigslist for puppies that were nearly 8 weeks old. The owner’s dog and their neighbor’s dog had accidentally gotten together and this was to be their first (and last) litter of puppies. Even Denis couldn’t resist the temptation after seeing all their smiling faces and waggy tails! We went to check them out and, after choosing one originally and then backtracking, we landed on Max.
We knew we wanted to name our dog Max and were a little surprised when we chose a girl, so our little pup went from Max to Maxine. She shook the entire car ride home, nestled in my lap, barely the size of a football. She was ADORABLE. Denis’s mom cried when we brought her home (it was so cute) and from that day on she was my fur baby for all time.
I’ve worked with other people’s kids and I grew up with many animals, but I’ve never loved anything as purely and deeply as I love Max. Now, I recognize (kind of) that it’s not comparable to having children (or so some people say), but I would honestly give an arm and a leg and the rest of me to her if it would make her smile her goofy little dog grin. When she runs down the hall when I get home and wags her entire body, not just her tail, every bit of stress from my day instantly evaporates. She is pure joy personified into one fuzzy lovable package. Sometimes it’s honestly too much. I don’t feel worthy of it because, as I’m sure you’re all aware, NONE OF US are worthy of dogs.
So, today is her birthday and I wanted to celebrate. I’ve shot a lot of cake smashes, tinsel towers, snuggle sessions, and family huggles but I am yet to shoot a Star Wars-themed, partner duo, dog-and-person birthday adventure. Today with some good timing, a little luck, and a fabulous friend/assistant I was able to create a little bit of fantasy out of my fantastic reality with my little shmoo.
The photos may not be award-winning in nature, but our special friendship is forever captured. I love my four-legged monster, my licky-doodle, the baby Chewy Wookie to my Han. Happy first birthday Max. I frikkin’ love ya.