Going on a family holiday to Culburra Beach for mine and Dave’s birthday week has become a bit of a tradition. It’s a time I try to take a bunch of photos of our dogs because I’ve come to realise that I’m a bit slack at photographing them throughout the rest of the year.

There are a few things we look for but the main thing for me is a nice big garden where the dogs can run and I can take photos of them. As soon as I let Bruno and Butters out of the car the phrase I found myself repeating for the whole week came out of my mouth … BUTTERS, DON’T BREAK HIM!

red pit bull type dog running in garden with ball
red pit bull type dog running in garden with ball
red pit bull type dog standing in garden waiting for ball to be thrown
red pit bull type running towards camera in leafy garden
Did I ever tell you that Butthead is 15.4% Neopolitan Mastiff? It’s not half hard to see it sometimes!
red pit bull type dog headshot drool
red pit bull type dog profile drool
red pit bull type dog laying on wooden table backlit
Butters never did break Bruno but Bruno did manage to break himself on Day 3. Our friend who lives on the South Coast brought her Amstaff over for a play and within minutes Bruno had hurt his foot (all on his own!) and couldn’t put weight on it. He spent the next three days on bed rest before he was ready to try and break himself again. It’s fun owning such a delicate snowflake!
two pit bull type dogs playing in garden
Begrudgingly posing for some photos. He’s become so grumpy and uncooperative in his old age.
blue fawn sable smut amstaff senior dog headshot
blue fawn sable smut amstaff senior dog standing in garden with toy
blue fawn sable smut amstaff senior dog laying on grass in garden
blue fawn sable smut amstaff senior dog posing on stool in garden

Back when I signed up for these timewasters I bought a bunch of fleece to make jackets for them. I don’t know what made me think I’d have time to foster four puppies, run a business and craft dog vests! They were long long gone by the time I got sick of looking at the pile of fabric and decided to make vests for my own two knuckleheads. Do I make them to sell? Hell no I do not! It’ll be a cold day in hell before I decide to undertake another dog vest sewing project!

The hoodies are from The Sophisticated Pet. Much better made than mine and they cost a lot less than the time I invested in my ones! Bruno wears an XL and I bought Butters an XXL. He kept ending up with his arm out the neck hole when he was sleeping so it has been gifted to one of his superfans. I’ll buy him a custom one, the correct size, next Winter.

two pit bull type dogs wearing fleece coats
two pit bull type dogs wearing hoodies
two pit bull type dogs wearing hoodies sitting in garden

Some photos I took while waiting for Dave to wake up and come for a walk. I’m sure the owner won’t mind that we broke a couple of the house rules for the sake of art.

bored red pit bull type dog laying on sofa
red pit bull type dog standing at front door waving
red pit bull type dog waiting at toilet door

On the drive home we stopped off at one of my favourite photo locations. Unfortunately the wind was 35kmph and there were a motherload of tourists (aka distractions) there. I only took a handful of photos before we packed up and continued on our journey.

two pit bull type dogs peering over edge of rock against blue sky
two pit bull type dogs standing on rock against blue sky with sun flare
blue fawn sable smut amstaff senior dog standing in quarry with wind blowing ears
blue fawn sable smut amstaff senior dog standing in quarry with wind blowing ears
blue fawn sable smut amstaff senior dog standing in quarry looking up squinting

Butters recall is less than stellar when we’re out and about but in this situation, where’s he’s put somewhere and told to stay until released, he’s pretty bloody excellent. Dave had dropped my camera bag not long before our holiday and even though Canon had checked to make sure everything was still working properly I still wanted to put it to the test. I was very pleased that my brand new body and lens combo didn’t miss a beat. 

red pit bull type dog running in desert
red pit bull type dog flying in desert

The video below is all the photos from one running sequence, it holds focus at a shallow depth of field for every shot. Even when Butters’ slobber tries to confuse the auto-focus system! haha

You can view in HD if you click on the cog wheel icon.

All these photos were taken with my pro gear but when we went for family outings I only brought my phone. If you want to see more from our trip you can do so on the @ruthlessratpack Instagram (scroll back to mid-August).

Everyone always asks where we stayed when we go on holidays with the dogs so for anyone wondering, here’s the link:

It has a great big garden and the bed was very comfortable. It’s less than a minute walk to Culburra Beach and the owner was very pleasant to deal with. The garden is secure but there’s a small area down the back where the fence is only waist high and there are a couple of territorial blockheads in the neighbouring property, so when they were outside it wasn’t very relaxing. I also got savaged by mosquitoes any time I stepped out the back door, so we probably won’t stay there again. Our quest to find the perfect Culburra holiday house continues!

You’ll probably notice that Bruno has a shaved belly. He was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor recently and just before our holiday the specialist vet did ultrasounds and X-rays to see if the cancer had spread to his organs. Thankfully it hadn’t. Bruno started chemo the day after we got home and he’s been doing well. We’re feeling quite positive about things and don’t think this will be our last family holiday together.

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