I had planned some summery shots with sunshine and blue sky in December but the Australian Bushfire Crisis happened. Although we live on the coast, and are some distance from any fires, we were still affected by smoke and haze. I created this first image in my studio because being outdoors for much of the month was hazardous for humans and pets.

We were lucky the following week to get an evening with nice weather. A lot of my free time around then had been spent taking Angel to various vets for tests so Peanut Butter was feeling attention-starved and in need of an outing. I took him into the city to a spot where I didn’t think there’d be a lot of dogs for him to lunge at. It’s hard to photograph a reactive dog off-lead, unless there’s a second set of eyes to keep look out. I didn’t have Dave with me so thankfully we only saw one dog, when I didn’t have my hands full of camera gear, and I was able to keep Butters distracted with food. We’ve been working on him not carrying on like a porkchop (he just wants to play) and he’s improving, slowly but surely.

We don’t know if Angel will be with us for much longer and since she’s Butter’s favourite playmate I wanted her to feature in his book as well. She’s notoriously awful to photograph but she actually blew us away this day with her eye contact and level of cooperation. She’s a good little piglet sometimes.

“Dave, I know it’s a million degrees outside but can you wear a Santa suit and play tug with Butters for a photo?” He’s a good boy.

In case you’re wondering this scene didn’t really happen. I don’t know if Butters is afraid of fireworks or not but we had plans on New Years Eve that didn’t include trying to find an empty piece of real estate in Sydney with an excellent view of the fireworks display. Hooray for Photoshop, we finished with a bang!

You guys, I did it! I finished a personal project which is unheard of! If you’ve enjoyed this series and would like to buy a copy of the book, while supporting WIRES, please click the link below for full details.

Also, if you want more of my dogs in your life you can follow them on Instagram – @ruthlessratpack.

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