This week saw the start of Dogs Trust’s new Christmas Campaign highlighting their trademarked motto, “A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas.” This year they are taking the campaign out onto the streets literally, with 12 Street Art paintings, highlighting 12 actual reasons why a dog was given up by it’s owners.
The 12 reasons they have chosen are all genuine even though when you first read them you think, “this can’t be for real.” Sadly, it is! There really are people out there who have abandoned their dogs for reasons such as, “He looked different after he’d been out in the rain” or “He coughed in the night and woke Dad up” or “He wags his tail too much.” Yes, really, these are reasons that people think are acceptable to abandon a dog. Would they abandon their children for the same reasons? When we adopt, buy, rescue any pet we have a responsibility to them, they need us to survive and we should honour that commitment because we are all they have.
As you can tell I do get a little passionate about animals and their welfare, so it was a great honour to be the photographer for Dogs Trust at the unveiling of the Manchester Street Art on Tuesday. Two adorable and very patient models were taking part in Manchester’s shoot, two little puppies from Dogs Trust Manchester, which is based in Denton. We had the very tiny, she slept on my lap on the journey to the shoot, Titch, a Staffy cross and the equally adorable, looking like she should be in an Andrex advert, Lily the Labrador. I was in puppy heaven!
The very talented guys who are Id-iom are going around the country painting each new Street Art each day, not previously printed, but created as you watch. They really are amazing because they are in a new town each day, so far this week they have travelled to London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Newcastle. 5 Christmas Walls, 7 still to go, each with a new reason. Below is a photo of the Manchester Street Art being painted.
Making it look perfect with a few finishing touches with his spray can.
Then we brought in the models for their photo shoot, the dogs who are the Dogs Trust Manchester representatives for the campaign. Posing with the Hugo and Sholto from Id-iom is little Lily.
Then we had the Dogs Trust staff representatives with the puppies. This is Assistant Manager Lesley with the adorable little Titch. She is so tiny and so cute to watch when she does her little puppy run following you around. Not on the streets of Manchester, but back at Dogs Trust’s office. Isn’t her little paw resting on Lesley’s arm just adorable.
And doesn’t she wear the Dogs Trust bandana well. That was small puppy size.
Next up was Lily with her canine carer Lucy. The canine carers work hard ensuring the dogs get not just food and water, but lots of attention and interaction throughout the day ensuring that they are happy and well socialised before they are adopted. If you visit Dogs Trust you will see that although they work hard they all love what they do and adore all the dogs.
A close up of Lily and Lucy. I love this photo of the two of them, they actually look like they belong together. Sure you have all noticed little Lily’s cute puppy belly, she’s just all puppy cuteness and yes, they both (Titch and Lily) have that adorable puppy smell.
Group shot of everyone under the sign, helping to spread the message during the photo shoot that A Dog is For Life not just for Christmas. As cute as a puppy is please don’t get one as a gift unless the puppy’s new guardian is able to give 10+ years to looking after all their needs.
Titch and Lesley reading the Street Art Message.
Lily only has eyes for Lesley rather than looking at the Street Art that she’s pointing at. How cute is she sitting there.
Now you have seen some of the photos of the shoot and you can see how young these little puppies are. What is amazing to me about this shoot is that the Street Art wall is actually on Trinity Way, Manchester. Those of you that know it will know this is an extremely busy dual carriageway. To get these shots I had to stand opposite in the middle area between the carriageway and grab the shots using a long 100-400mm lens in-between passing traffic. That is easy enough with people as they know to look into camera. Lily and Titch, were absolutely amazing because even with all the distractions of passing traffic and pedestrians and I was a good distance away, as soon as I wanted a shot and squeaked a toy or shouted them they looked straight into camera. For me they were dream doggy models and an absolute joy to work with.
Below is a shot that proves just how focused on me they were even with all the distractions. During one of the shots, a car went whizzing by and I managed to capture this shot, look at those 2 still looking direct into my camera! I love this hot, it might not be a prize winner, but it really captures the obstacles that we had in the shoot with the traffic and how those two little pups worked the camera like they were Pro’s. Whoever gets to adopt them will have a couple of fabulous dogs.
Or why not follow Dogs Trust Manchester’s Twitter
If you use Twitter or Facebook then please can I ask that you end your tweets with #ADIFL on the run up to Christmas, as this is Dogs Trust A Dog is For Life hashtag and wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could get this to trend to number 1.
Don’t forget Dogs Trust Manchester’s First Ever Christmas Fair is Sunday 7th December at 11am, if you can get down please do, as they are working hard to ensure you have a fantastic time.