CCI puppy raisers regularly receive emails alerting us to volunteer opportunities. Often these are events where pups appear as goodwill ambassadors for CCI or to educate the public more broadly about service dogs. I try to participate when I can, and over the years I’ve taken various puppies before school groups, to the county fair, and other venues.
Two weeks ago we received a more unusual invitation from the local CCI public relations coordinator. Apparently San Diego Magazine will be dedicating its upcoming January issue to the topic of enjoying San Diego with one’s dog. The art director had asked if CCI could supply some models for a photo shoot taking place at a private residence in Coronado 3 days before Thanksgiving.
I had nothing pressing on my calendar for that day, so I said yes. Then I got another email informing me that because rain was predicted, the shoot was being postponed for a week to another location, in Fallbrook. That would mean driving about an hour (instead of 20 minutes) each way. But I felt like we had already made the commitment. So yesterday I loaded Beverly into the van (into which she jumped very nicely!) and we headed north.
At the location, a beautiful backyard in a gated community, we found that two other puppies were also participating, both several months younger than Beverly. Florentine is a lively black female (whom we know from our San Diego meetings), and Rylin was a little blonde boy, very cute.
Even cuter was Chris, the LA actor who had been hired to be the human handler in the photos. The dogs were allowed to romp together for a few minutes, but then everyone buckled down to work.
The magazine ladies made us remove the dogs’ collars and halters, which considerably ramped up the challenge of controlling them. I have to say that Beverly was exemplary; everyone exclaimed about how calm she was. But the little guys were more inclined to squirm and wiggle and leap off Chris’s lap, and that in turn distracted Beverly. (They also smelled wonderful, Beverly thought.) And it seemed to me that someone was always scratching or blinking or sniffing someone else’s behind or having his hair fall down into his eyes (I’m thinking of you, Chris.)
My limited experience with professional magazine photo shoots is that they’re tedious. Indeed, after about 2 hours, all the dogs looked like they had had their fill of it. Beverly and Rylin did enjoy a few glorious minutes of playing keep-away with a banana tree leaf. But then we headed home.
The art director said she plans to use one of the photos for the magazine’s cover. They took a few of Beverly wearing her CCI cape, like this:
I think it would be great if one of those makes it in, but I’m not counting on it. I’m well aware that the editors might pick a shot of one of the younger pups. (That’s often how it goes in the modeling biz.) If Beverly’s pretty face does make it anywhere in that issue, however, I’ll be happy to report it here.