I had only met one vizsla in person before this pup, and he was an older dog, so I was very excited to see a puppy vizsla. Plus it's always great fun to see a puppy, no matter what breed! For those not familiar, vizslas are a hunting dog, part of the retrieving group. They are smaller than most of the breeds in their group, which consists of German short-haired pointers and Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers. I was more familiar with those latter breeds so this was a great way to get familiar with the vizsla.
Here is Kona at just 12 weeks of age. Sweet, floppy, happy, excitable, tired Kona. Her owners actually threw her a "pawty" to welcome her into their lives. They had over 50 people come and meet the pup as of way of introducing her and socializing her. I can't imagine how tired she was after that.
When I met her family at their home for a consultation, they walked me around the house to give me the lay of the land and I noticed they had a couple books on vizslas. Immediately I had this idea for a portrait of Kona reading their books on vizlas. I went to the library and grabbed all the books I could find on vizslas - which was one - and books that had "dog" or "puppy" in the title...hence the book "What the Dog Saw" by Malcolm Gladwell, which is a sociology book. In fact the librarian and I got to talking about vizslas and she knew exactly what they are since she said she has a weimaraner. Small world!
This looks like a studio shot but I set up my backdrop roll of paper and the books in their living room. Kona did an awesome job. Just 12 weeks old and no collar and leash needed to get her to sit and look at me! The first shot I posted was just too cute - it was her impromptu gnawing of the book that adds so much character to the portrait.
Disembodied puppy! It's not an illusion or trick of the eye - it's actually Kona lying in the little hammock at the bottom of a cat tower. The day before our photo shoot she climbed in on her own and looked so cute that it was a priority for her family to get a shot of her like that while she's still tiny and able to fit in there! A couple more days and she's probably going to outgrow the hammock. We had just finished a bunch of action shots and she was all tuckered out. She had fallen fast asleep curled up into a tight little ball and her owners said it would be the perfect time to set her in the hammock. Kona is so floppy and flexible that her body was facing the window and she turned her head to look at me at the sound of my squeaker.
And speaking of action shots! Look at this pup on the move! The duck she's carrying is her favorite toy. It was a present from a guest at her "welcome home pawty." The duck is almost as big as she is! Kona is expected to grow to about 40 pounds. Right now she's putting on two to three pounds a week. Guess that's why she's so sleepy - it's a lot of work to do all that growing!
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