Tag Archives: Dog photography

The Starbucks Dog-Thru

On my first morning in South Beach, I googled Starbucks locations on my iPhone (how anyone lives without one of these is beyond me) and I walked around the block to the nearest venerable institution. If you overlook the palm trees and the sun darting lovely rays on the large patio, it looked just like mine. I ordered my regular venti non fat latte with whole milk foam (a compromise latte of sorts), paid a dollar more than usual  for palm tree maintenance, no doubt, and sat on the terrace among the indigenous population and an unusually large number of dogs .

Not one minute after I deployed my stuff on the table (I never travel light even to Starbucks), a guy sitting nearby introduced himself , his friends, and all their pooches. Two minutes later, he was cracking a mildly tasteless joke – something about “hands-on work” (sigh), 5 minutes later he was informing me that his life revolved around making money and making love, and 15 minutes later, I had a new Starbucks family to come home to every morning. Voila!

sobe2_029Bob, Brian, Rich, and Meryl

I was settling in amidst the new compadres when a young guy walked up to the group and asked:

“Hey, can I borrow one of your dogs?”

Now, I thought that sounded a bit strange… until I saw the guy with the borrowed canine walk to the end of the patio, knock on the window which opened 5 seconds later, and get his drink almost immediately… as well as a cookie for the dog. The man had effectively bypassed a very long line of people waiting inside the store.

In light of the dog-thru, several facts appeared under a brand new prism of perception: the reason why so many people brought their dogs to Starbucks, and also the reason why so many dogs seemed so well fed.

In South Beach, if you like coffee and instant gratification, you must own a dog. Here are a few of these lovely Starbucks accessories:

sobe1_066Bentley (no Mike, this is not a Jack Russell! Or if she is, she must have eaten a copious amount of genetically modified dog food!)

sobe1_077Bob’s pooch, Malibu

sobe3_024Rich’s Zeta

sobe3_021Kenneth’s and Tom’s lovely Doberman Diesel

sobe3_028Branching out… A non-Starbucks dog on a wall

sobe3_032A very touching Basset Hound

sobe3_033The back of said Basset Hound… in precarious equilibrium

sobe2_040Yorkie transportation on Ocean Drive

And to end my Starbucks post which I segwayed into being about South Beach dogs, the Oscar goes to Alvaro and…

sobe2_025Alvaro’s seven Italian Greyhounds.

Even the dogs are Italian around here!

note to Razz: non Monsieur, don’t you dare sermon me about going to Starbucks in the land of Cuban coffee – after an incursion in Little Havanna and seven Cuban coffees later, I was unable to sleep for a very very long time.

He’s Fierce, He’s Flamboyant, He’s Attack Chihuahua

Soooo, Mister Chihuahua, you are currently seeking gainful employment in the field of law enforcement. You list on your application Homeland Security, police or border patrol, minute men, bounty hunter sniffing partner. Mmmhmmm. Could you give me a demonstration of the ferocity?

Ah very well. Quite convincing. Now, are you aware of the benefits attached to a life of leisure?

Oh I see I got your attention. Benefits include but are not limited to medical, dental, two meals a day, walks, raccoon hunting in the yard, lap time, TV time. Sleeping with a hot babe if you are lucky. Could be a big hairy dude. I won’t lie. There are inherent risks attached to the transaction.

Sign you up? But certainly…

Mighty Pepsi the Attack Chihuahua resides in an animal hospital and is currently up for adoption in Dallas, Texas. The little booger comes quasi-complete (the testicles had to go) with full history of abuse and neglect. The usual. The dog needs a lot of socialization work and could definitely benefit from a foster home environment if a good soul provided one.

If you live in the area and are interested in adopting or fostering Pepsi, please leave a comment and I will contact you with further information.

Hi Nat! Howdy? Your horse has cancer.

May 12 – 3 am – Brussels. The phone rings.

“Hi Nat. It’s Daniel. Virus can’t walk.”

Daniel, valiant Keeper of Virus the Schnookie Pookie and Peyote the Alligator when I’m away. Fantastic with my two aging Jack Russells but not so much with keeping track of the 7 hour time difference…

“What do you mean “he can’t walk?” I ask, suddenly wide awake.

“He can’t walk on the hardwood floors. He takes a step, then slips and he can’t get up no more.”

“Daniel, please go to Target, buy 20 bath rugs and put them all over the house.”

Virus le Schnookie Pookie

Virus the fabulous Schnookie Pookie

Same day, 6 hours later, still Brussels. The phone rings.

“Nathalie? Hi! It’s Anita. How are you? Toy has cancer.”

Not to dwell on cliches, but when it rains… Toy. Dinky Toy the Stinky. My little 27 year old horse. A happy Belgian retiree since my departure to the States, 17 years ago. The horse does nothing. He eats twice a day, goes to pasture, and he lives in a damn castle. I’m not kidding. He lives MUCH better than I do. That horse leads a charmed existence and has no right to get cancer.

“Nathalie? Are you still there?”


“Toy had not shed his winter coat so the vet told us to clip him. Well, that was a whole ordeal! We did what we could but you know Toy… He’s kind of clipped. Under all that hair, he did not look good. The vet is coming back later. Would you like to be there?”

When I arrive at the stables, I am truly horrified.

Dinky Toy

Had I seen the poor thing in a field, I would have suspected abuse and called the SPCA. The vet arrives and examines him. He says it’s Cushings Disease (which perhaps is NOT cancer!) He also says the horse appears very skinny but it is due mainly to his loss of muscle tissue. He is not suffering. If we manage to make him retain some of the food he scarfs down, he could still have a few years in front of him.

The next day, I visit him in the field. Out in the open space, he looks a tad better. But not much.

Dinky toy the Stinky

My instructions are: “The day you actually manage to catch him in the field, I guess that’s when we’ll have to start really worrying. Until then, you’ll just have to keep on running after him every evening…”

When I return to the States, the two dogs greet me at the door. The house’s hardwood floors are covered with bath rugs of varied vibrant colors. I guess I should have mentioned one color only, beige or black… but at 3 am, it just did not come to mind. I just hope that when my time comes to slip and fall on the hardwood floors, someone will love me enough to make that special trip to Target. I hope this person will have good taste.

Camera hog

When your dog is a natural, that makes my job so much easier!

Idefix a Dallas

Idefix in Dallas

Idefix Ikinni

The 3 Cs of Fierce Canine Fashion

Being addicted to America’s Next Top Model and inclined to procrastination, I represent a danger to those living with me: that would be my two ferocious Jack Russell Terriers: Virus the Schnookie Pookie and Peyote the Alligator.

On yesterday’s show, I learned about the three Cs of fashion: Commercial, Catalog and Couture. Well, today, The Schnookie got victimized at my hands. I was working on a new pet photography brochure (“agonizing” would be a decisively more appropriate term), and da dog came beggin’. Needing a little breaky-break, I made him work for his cookie.

Jack Russell on a sofa


Jack Russell for Christmas


Jack Russell in a Burberry raincoat


To those of you who might hint that I should get a life subito presto, I concur somewhat with your position, but you have to admit that it is a formidable quality to be amused by so little.

A tooth for a tooth

I hope Michael Vick enjoys a REAL good time in jail. Details emerged today in The New York Times about the treatment of his pit bulls at Bad Newz Kennels. One of the female dogs has no teeth left, all 42 yanked out so she could not resist being mated (repeatedly and unhumanely so.)

Now I hear – I do not know first hand whether there is truth to the rumor – I hear that sometimes in jail, male prisoners get their front teeth knocked out. If such an unfortunate event should happened to Mr. Vick, I feel that such occurrence would easily fall under “divine retribution” or, at the very least, “poetic justice.”

Dog fight

Here’s to you Michael: in Texas, we like them dogs with teeth…

I know this may have sounded quite uncharitable and totally unforgiving, but honestly, if you harm wee children or animals, I actually do have a problem sharing this earth with you.