Actors know never to work with a baby or dog because they know they’re going to get upstaged. Journalists need to be aware also, otherwise you could end up like me and my pooch Lucy. We were upstaged by an unusual-looking, big dog named Bird, whose personality and stature outshines my pint-sized pup’s cuteness.
It happened during a photo shoot at Le Marcel doggy bakery in San Francisco. A photo of me and Lucy on the “pawtio” was to be used for a dog travel story I wrote for Sunset, pegged to my new book, The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel, to be released April 1 by National Geographic Books. Not only is the bakery incredibly pretty but there’s a rear “pawtio” where pets and their humans can hang out. People are allowed to bring outside food to munch on while their four-legged friend enjoy tasty, wholesome treats from the bakery.
While there are tables and chairs, customers have to bring the rest. So I acted like a prop master. I went to a store and bought a tablecloth, plate and wine glass. I went to the grocery store and bought a colorful lunch for me. I bought a new dress, got a mani and pedi, had my hair done and had Lucy groomed. I lugged all of the props, including a change of clothes, per the photographer’s request, to the salon to have my makeup professionally done. And then I lugged everything to the next block for the shoot, which went well. The photographer was fantastic and so easy to work with.
He had asked in advance if he could bring his dog Bird and of course I agreed. I love dogs and the more the merrier. He kept the dog out of the way when he snapped photos of me and Lucy enjoying our bonding brunch experience. I was so attracted to Bird’s unusual coat that I asked if the photographer’s assistant could take a photo with of Bird, Lucy and me using my camera. And then we went inside the bakery for more photos. Needless to say, a big dog standing up on his hind legs at a bakery, tail wagging, tongue out, looks a whole lot more interesting than a purse-size pooch on the floor or counter looking like a pampered pet.
Still, I was excited to see the magazine. But imagine my surprise when I turned to the article and saw a quarter-size photo of me and Lucy across from the huge, fabulous photo of Bird. My heart sank. I don’t have the guts to show the article to Lucy. She already has a complex around big dogs and always has to show that she’s the top dog. I can only imagine what this will do to her.