A Dog and Her Guy

Holding paws, a dog and her guy. Senior Guy Photo with Dog, photo by Polar Bear Studio

This photo shoot can make me go misty-eyed for all sorts of reasons. First being, that Dustin was one of the first babies I'd ever held, and now look at him. High School Graduate! And another reason being the incredible bond he has with his rescue Nala, a lab/retriever mix. She has the look of total admiration, undeniable love. 

Florida Senior Guy Photo with Dog, photo by Polar Bear Studio

Dustin is my second-cousin, on my Dad's side of the family. He's quiet, and doesn't usually appreciate the spotlight. However, I found that using some of my attention-grabbing tricks that work great for dogs, also crack up quiet high school-aged teens! Ha! Ha! 

These were taken in a park near their home in Punta Gorda, a small portion of a larger Senior Session. Nala greeted me as soon as I got out of the car, a big, gentle girl who was wagging her tail appreciatively before I'd even had the opportunity to love on her. Dustin is completely outdoorsy. Fishing, camping, kayaking...all of it, and Nala is the side kick on all of Dustin's adventures. 

Florida Senior Guy Photo with Dog, photo by Polar Bear Studio

Couldn't resist this moment... 

Florida Senior Guy Photo with Dog, photo by Polar Bear Studio

Nala is a little..crooked? No one knows why her skull/facial features are out of alignment. Birth defect, or possible abuse by her original owners when she was a puppy? We'll never know. She's been living the furry fairy tale with Dustin and his family since 2012, and that's all that matters to us. Personally, I think unique is more beautiful than perfection. 

Lab Retriever Mix, Palmetto Fronds, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

Lab Retriever Mix, Palmetto Fronds, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

I love the symbolism of the two palms in the background, my cousin April pointed that out to me, and the way Nala tilts her head. So sweet. 

Lab Retriever Mix and her Guy, Senior Photos, Palmetto Fronds, Photo by Polar Bear Studio


Small, but Mighty on a Surfboard

I don’t think it is common for dachshunds to surf, or even swim for that matter. Greta the dachshund has 2 human siblings that surf/paddle board/boogie board, AND one chocolate labrador retriever as an older sister named Chloe. Well, enough said, Greta was destined for the water!

Dachshund Surfing, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

Chocolate Labrador Swimming Photo by Polar Bear Studio

It was a foregone conclusion that we needed a dog beach, and I love the safety and seclusion of Riverview Pointe Preserve. Greta and Chloe’s Mom, Tiffany, and I both agree that the public dog beach along the Palma Sola causeway would make us both a nervous wreck. An off-leash park with no fence right off the shoulder of a busy road, frequented by tourists behind the wheel, wide-eyed at the first sight of water? Um, no thanks!

Amongst the locals, the Riverview Pointe Preserve is probably one of our best kept secrets! All the dog owners practically do a secret handshake upon meeting, and most know each other by name because they’re regulars.

Admittedly, there’s something irresistible about big dogs and little dogs playing together. It is instant storytelling without props or even much of a scene.

Dachshund and chocolate labrador diving into the water backlit, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

Dachshund and chocolate labrador running together, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

Chloe the labrador is a chocolate bundle of joy and enthusiasm, bright-eyed, and happy as can be. Chloe was ready for anything and everything, and never tired of fetching a ball. I think the only time we received a dubious ‘Are you crazy” look was when we tried to put a life-jacket on her. It was probably a low-blow to her ‘labrador-ness’. She’s probably a better swimmer than I am (wouldn’t take much!!!), but it was too irresistible so Chloe humored us for one quick shot.

Chocolate labrador offended by wearing a life jacket, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

Greta is sassy and confident, and well-aware of her status as the baby in the family. While she is an excellent swimmer, she preferred being on top of the surfboard, and comfortably swayed with the water beneath her while enjoying an excellent vantage point of Chloe and her human siblings swimming.

Dachshund surfing, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

Chocolate labrador fetching for surfing dachshund, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

At one point we became a sideshow for a kayaking tour. I completely lost the attention of my subjects when we were nearly surrounded by 20-30 tourists in kayaks who felt we were fair game for souvenir photos, just as any pelican or an island sunset. It is weird knowing that you’re likely in a souvenir photo belonging to a stranger!

Surfing Dachshund Observing Kayakers, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

But, its hard to blame them! Greta and Chloe were quite the sight to behold! And admittedly some of the tourists are in my photos, but tastefully blurred of course!

Dachshund and Chocolate Labrador Playing in the Water, Photo by Polar Bear Studio

Thank you so much to Tiffany, her kids (I won’t name here for privacy), Greta and Chloe! Tiffany, I really appreciate you taking the time and effort to bring the surfboard and helping me get the shots I need! It all paid off fantastically! I love how this shoot turned out!



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