Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Power of a Dog's Image

At the recent Northwest Colorado Products Hometown Gala, where I sold my book and note cards to holiday shoppers, I was taken by the response one of my photographic note cards had on those who passed by.

Placed on a carousel rack display, my photo of Brute, my son’s dog, seemingly stopped some individuals in their tracks. Some would step forward and pick the card up to have a closer look: Brute, dressed in an argyle sweater, on a snowy day, stopped still in his tracks. Other shoppers, traveling with a spouse or friend, would say, “Oh, look, look at that. That reminds me of the dog I had as a kid.” At times I thought they were caught by the image but weren’t sure why until they explored it--looking deeper into the photo. Who is that dog? What is he doing? He looks so cute.

As readers will see in the accompanying photo, Brute seems to easily capture one’s heart and attention. As shoppers looked the card over I would share with them the story of Brute’s walk that day. Although Brute looks almost philosophical, he was the furthest from feeling philosophical at that moment as he could have been.

On the back of the card I have recorded the following story about Brute that day, titled “End of a Winter’s Walk.”

“Short-haired dogs in ranch country need protection in the wintertime. One Christmas morning I gave Brute, my son’s Boston Terrier, an argyle sweater. While walking with me down our county road after a lovely winter storm he came to a premature halt. My family speculated that it wasn’t the weather or the walk that displeased Brute but the argyle sweater I thought would suit him so well.”

If Brute could have talked to me that day, I'm sure he would have told me how silly he felt in that sweater.

In some ways it's not surprising that Brute draws this kind of attention. He is probably the most well-liked and famous of all the Kurtz Ranch dogs. No matter where he is he can draw a crowd or find a friend. He was recently, unofficially, declared the mascot of theNational Stock Horse Futurity at Paso Robles simply by traveling through the crowd greeting one and all.

We miss Brute around here but we know he has been enjoying some good weather and good times at the Whitney's Wild Oaks Ranch in Exeter, California where he's been living with Andy.

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