I don’t know how it came about that Kate from Jerrymara Estate and I set up a mutual appreciation society on Instagram but it’s been a lovely journey. I suppose the main thing we have in common is our love for rescued blockheads – her gorgeous 11yo blockhead Jetty is the cover star of my 2019 Rescued Blockheads calendar.

I adore their property (and ethos) so much, so I enquired about renting it for our annual family holiday. Unfortunately it’s not suitable for our bunch of misfits (farm fencing, farm animals and native wildlife aplenty) but Kate offered to let me photograph them there while we were in the area. I hadn’t pointed the fancy cameras at them since 2017 so these photos were well overdue.

First up was Bruno. It was very lucky he was first because a herd of cattle and a sheepdog arrived in the adjoining paddock when I was finishing up with him. Getting any focus from him after he’d clocked them would have been impossible!

handsome amstaff posing on a tree
sable amstaff headshot
handsome amstaff posing on a tree
handsome pit bull type posing on a stone wall country

Trixie was next. At 12.5 years she’s not the eldest pack member but she’s really starting to look it. She had three grade two tumours removed not long before the holiday, but she bounced back. Cows and another dog were of no interest to her when there was food on offer.

old blue brindle amstaff sitting in tree roots
senior blue brindle pit bull type dog headshot
old dog standing on a rock in the countryside

And because they looked ever so fancy (not to mention happy!) in their Sophisticated Pets hoodies …

two american staffordshire terriers wearing hoodies
two pit bulls wearing hoodies

The two big ‘uns were put away so these two pocket rockets could have their time to shine.

two old rescue staffies sitting on a wooden deck looking up at the camera

Angel has a long history of being a nightmare to photograph but she must have been having a good day because she looked at the camera more than once AND EVEN CRACKED A SMILE!! She turns 14 soon. All that shit eating, hole digging and back leg biting must be keeping her young.

little old black staffy looking up at camera
little old black staffy standing on black deck chair with a big smile
senior black staffy smiling headshot

Chopper, my original muse, still has it. He’s nearly 13 and not long after these were taken he lost 90% of the use of his back legs. He came good eventually but he gave us a huge scare and I cried a lot. I thought we were going to lose him. I thought these were the last photos I’d have of him and I was so grateful that I’d made time to take them.

old dog lying on wooden bench
old brindle dog looking up at camera
old brindle pit mix in half sit

What’s a family shoot without a group photo? I bought these beanies months ago for this very reason. I was surprised that no one (not even my chief hat adjuster, Daveless) shared my enthusiasm.

I didn’t think I got anything useable on the step so I moved to the grass. Trixie’d had enough by then and was refusing to lie down, so I sacked her. She wasn’t remotely upset about it!

pack of pit bull type dogs in woolly winter hats
three pit bull type dogs in woolly winter hats

Kate posted a photo of this beautiful big sculpture on her Instagram a while back. I told her it was missing something – a dog! I rest my case.

wide angle with flash pit bull type dog blue sky
wide angle with flash pit bull type dog blue sky and lens flare

This is only part one of “photos of my dogs taken when we were on holidays”. Part two, all taken at our holiday rental in Culburra Beach, will be coming soon.

Jerrymara Estate recently took out the Silver Medal in the Indulgence Category of the National Homeaway 2018 Awards. It is SO well deserved, the property is just stunning. If you’re interested in booking Jerrymara and you’ve never booked through Airbnb before you can use this code to get $55 in travel credit (full disclosure, I also get $25). Full terms are on their website. If you do go tell Kate I sent you!

Update 1 Oct 2018: When I wrote this blog post last week I had no idea that we’d be saying a very teary goodbye to Trixie just a few days later. She spent her whole life defying death but this morning we could see that the cancer had won and she had no fight left in her. She couldn’t stand up, she wouldn’t eat and her eyes were even sadder than usual. We didn’t want her to suffer so we made the kindest but hardest decision and brought her to be euthanised. It’s a sad day but she had a good life and we’re grateful that she lived to such a ripe old age. Rest in peace Trixiedog.

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