December 6, 2015
I fell in love with Mabel.
Mabel is a calm, agreeable ten year old Boston Terrier. She has brindle hindquarters and a “splash face”: half white and half black, not typical for her breed. So cute, and so pleasant, she was unfazed by anything we asked of her. I love how older dogs seem to understand what you are after and go with the flow.
Mabel is the beloved pet of Tony Hicks, an excellent headshot photographer. Was I intimidated when another photographer called to have his pet photographed? YES! But Tony is a pretty great guy, and after talking on the phone, I just wanted to meet him and little Mabel.
Mabel is special, beyond her obvious charms of extreme cuteness and affable nature. She has a pacemaker. I know! A dog with a pacemaker? Dogs become ill too and last April, Mabel developed a heart blockage. A pacemaker is what saved her.
“The pacemaker is a human model (they don’t actually make them for dogs) . . . There’s no room for a human-sized pacemaker in the chest cavity of a small dog, so it sits under the skin of her neck and has a lead that runs down to her heart. It has a motion detector which regulates her heart rate from 70 bpm when she’s sleeping, to 160 bpm when she’s running full out and wrestling, etc. But because it has a motion detector, it means you have to be careful about vigorously patting the right side of her neck. They actually test the pacemaker by hooking her up to an ECG and then wiggling the pacemaker through her skin. It won’t hurt her if you pat the right side of her neck vigorously; it will just make her heart race and make her feel weird”.
Mabel enjoyed her time in the forest and meadow, taking in all the wonderful fragrances that late fall presents to a little dog.
A trooper, she hiked up the hill to where the long grasses grow and politely posed in a beam of late afternoon sun.
Mabel followed tossed treats under an evergreen tree, and stood glowing in a rim of golden backlighting.
And stared up adoringly at her (treat holding) owner. 🙂
Mabel would disappear periodically to explore while her owner, Tony and I talked photography. Tony would call for her. He assured me she will always appear if you called out “Treat!!”. After calling Mable a few times with no response, he would call, “Treeeat!” and Mabel would appear soon after, every time. Later when Mabel and I were chatting alone, I said “Mable!! You’ve totally got Tony trained to give you treats when you disappear for a while!” Mabel winked and said, “Shhhhh . . .”.