About two months ago I got a frantic call from a woman who spoke very little english but found my info on Yelp after her chihuahua’s sudden death and her subsequent decision to have him preserved. Pair her muy poqueno English with my very limited Spanish and you get one very stilted conversation. I was able to text my address to her so she could have it in writing and when she dropped off her little guy she was so upset. Because of the language barrier, my usual line of questioning in which I feel out the client to suss out if this is really something she wants done (or are they making a grief induced, regrettably rash decision) and tenderly discuss options in regard to poses, all the while trying to provide some comfort- all that went out the window. Payment options and pricing were sorted out immediately and I acted out several posing options on the floor since I was caught off-guard without any photo examples.
She expressed to me that she wanted Hector in the pose you see above, since that’s how he would sit on the window sill and wait for her to come home from work each day.
Unfortunately she had not one photo of Hector to give me a better idea of his facial expression and sadly, didn’t tell me that he was always smiling with his giant row of teeth exposed. When she came to pick him up yesterday, although she was pleased with the work and wanted to take a stack of business cards so that she may pass them onto her employers (“white people crazy for their pets” -guilty as charged!) I could tell she was disappointed that Hector wasn’t wearing his trademark grin. I’m saddened over this but there is nothing I can do at this point. I never thought to ask, she never thought to tell. I have to chalk it up to the learning process and in the future keep this feature in mind.
Another feature which is new to me is genitals. Sure I deal with them every time I skin something but this was the first time I tackled the job of mounting them. Okay, deep breath, lets shake off our fourth grader giggles right now before I proceed.
Alright. So, due to this pose with legs spread and belly exposed, there was no avoiding the genitals. A blank spot would just seem bizarre. So, I mounted my first dog penis and testicles. It was surprisingly easy once I shook off the pervy feelings in my head over handling something I would most likely never touch in any other circumstance.
But that’s something I love about my craft. It’s a never-ending string of unusual circumstances that keep me out of that mundane trance life can lure you into, which can make some people forget they’re alive. I have never felt more alive than when I’m dealing with death.
Adios, Hector. It was great working with you.