Big Adventures For The Littles

by Kris Phillips

I met Patty and Bill on a wonderfully stormy Spring afternoon. As I watched the thunderclouds roll in and out over the valley I wondered whether we’d be able to shoot. Our beautiful, warm afternoon turned chilly and then sunny again. All I could think was, “man, I love Colorado!”

Upon arrival at our selected park location, I noticed the majority of the park had been closed for restoration, leaving only the area immediately surrounding the parking lot for our session. Photography, especially outdoor dog photography, is all about adapting to whatever gets thrown at you. And this wasn’t the first time I’d had my location compromised. So I suggested we head up the road to another part of the park. Though I saw another photographer hopping the fencing for some family photos, I’m a strong believer that togs need to respect the rules of the park they’re shooting in.


We didn’t make it far before I spotted this awesome outcropping of rocks that was just off the road, and not fenced off! The dark clouds gave us some marvelously moody shots. And when Patty spotted this gnarled tree and asked if I thought it’d be a good scene, I was elated! I had been eyeing the tree, but wasn’t sure whether it would appeal to their sense of style. I immediately climbed under this overturned tree, and guided Patty to supporting their little guys on the tree trunk one at a time, while Bill held on to the rest of the brood looking on as they waited their turns.

Charlie was first up, he seemed to be the most boisterous of the group. Ready for his close-up at every turn. He was so outgoing, I was surprised he was 9! Slightly larger than his lady-friends. He made it a point to take center stage. And the most difficult part about photographing this little guy was getting far enough back to get him in frame as he seemed really fond of my camera, or maybe it was just the treats resting on top of the lens.

Little Daisy absolutely won my heart! With several of her teeth missing her tongue hangs out the side of her mouth giving her the most adorable expression!

No seriously, how cute is this snuggle butt?! She was ecstatic about the goodies I brought. Though I had to break them up into extra small pieces.

Karli is the oldest of the crew at 15, and definitely the most self-assured. She may also be one of the smallest puppers I’ve ever photographed. As I laid in the grass, and stared through my camera lens at this adorable little old lady I couldn’t help but feel like Alice in Wonderland. The grass just seemed WAY bigger than it should!

At 8 years old, Pearl is the youngest of her Chihuahua crew. She’s also the most independent! She was happy to be photographed as long as I was quick about it. But quickly lost interest in me for all the interesting smells of the wild. This little crew spends most of their time hanging on the couch with Mom & Dad, so our excursion into the wild was a whole new world of sights and smells, and oh so exciting for the Chi’s.

Patty & Bill have HUGE hearts for these tiny Chihuahuas! And not just for their own puppers but they work tirelessly to make the world a better place for all these little bunny-butts through The Chihuahua & Small Dog Rescue. They foster, fund-raise, and sit on the board. In fact, while Charlie, Karli, Daisy, and Pearl are permanent residents, when I visited their home after our session there were 8 little puppers running around! Talk about a home full of love!

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