Monday, April 8, 2013

Kaiser is a ROCK STAR!

If you ever wanted to know what a super awesome dog looks like after over an hour of modeling, here you go.  ;o)

Kaiser and I hit the road around 6:20 a.m. today for his gig with Target up in Minneapolis. Our time slot wasn't until 9:45, but I didn't know if there was any paperwork to fill out or if we'd run into any other things that would slow us down. As it turned out, we ran into a detour AGAIN that my trusty Garmin got us out of with only about a 10-minute delay.

The studio was in a large warehouse that really wasn't marked in the least. I wandered a bit and by sheer luck managed to find the right door. It was probably around 9:20 by this point and there was one other dog in the waiting area (a cute little Yorkie). Apparently they were getting started late, as that dog was supposed to have a 9:00 a.m. time slot.

Long story short, we waited. There were two sets going, but we were following the Yorkie on the side doing costumes -- Apparently the other side was doing side/silhouette shots that will be used to show breed recommendations and sizing on the packaging. Those shots were going fairly quickly, but the costume side not so much. They were having some sizing issues and they ended up using four costumes on the Yorkie.

It was probably close to 11:00 a.m. by the time they were ready for Kaiser. We experienced the same sizing issues as the Yorkie before us -- apparently the manufacturer was a little off or something. We used a mixture of sizes on Kaiser. He was supposed to be a "small" model, but we did end up using medium on him for a couple of things.

The first thing they put on Kaiser for a size reference was a T-Rex costume. It was too small and they moved on to something else without bothering with that one; not sure why we didn't try the next size up for that.

The first thing we shot him in was a hotdog costume. He ended up wearing the medium for that one because the bun didn't come far enough down on his back in the small. It was super cute. The hardest part was simply that Kaiser had to sit with his back to the camera and then I had to get him to turn his head and look back at me without moving his body. We worked just a little on this "skill," so considering how little practice he had he was pretty awesome. The only thing was that he would get up every time I'd reward him so he'd need to be repositioned. It didn't seem like a big deal, though, as it gave them more options to choose from.

The next costume was a skunk. This one was a little more complicated because it had to be positioned just so and it had a head piece. It was obvious that Kaiser would need the medium body for full coverage, but we shot it with both the small and medium head pieces. For this one we did body shots and head shots -- I believe the idea behind this is that they'd photoshop the better head shot onto the better body shot, as it was hard to get him to turn his head quite as much as he'd need to for them to be able to see the detail in the head. Who knows, we'll see what gets used.

His third costume was probably my favorite. It was a knight with a sword and shield riding atop Kaiser on his saddle. lol It was so super cute. We did squeeze Kaiser into the small for this one because the medium was too big. Kaiser preferred this pose because he got to stand in a more natural position without having to turn his head at odd angles. Once they got all of the costume shots they needed we set Kaiser up to get a few shots with his tail up. He never holds his tail up when he's standing still unless he's high as a kite or interested in something, but they wanted the option of having it up so the trainer on set held it up and then the photographer snapped several frames while it was still over his back. Seriously, the stuff they can do with editing is amazing...

Costume four was a bumblebee with light-up/flashing wings and yes, another headdress. The antenna didn't seem to bug Kaiser as much as the skunk head, though, so they probably got some cute shots where he didn't look too sullen. lol  He was a super good boy, but he definitely didn't look as "happy" in the shots where he had stuff on his head. But you have to give him this, he stayed put with every costume and didn't mess with anything. He was SO GOOD.

By this time we surely must have been going for about an hour or so. When we wrapped up the bumblebee costume they asked if I thought Kaiser had one more in him. We'd struggled a bit at the end of the bee shot with all of the head turning and I knew he needed a break, so we just took five and went outside for a few minutes. I couldn't get him to potty for the life of me, so I just let him run around and sniff stuff. He was much happier and more relaxed, so we went in for the last one.

Initially they wanted Kaiser to wear the hula/surfer girl costume (lol), but that ended up going on another dog model while we were outside. One of the assistants brought out a pink cowgirl instead. Ha! I just love these costumes where someone/something is "riding" the dog, I get such a hoot out of them. Again the small was actually the better fit and it looked super cute on Kaiser. This was one of the most "involved" shoots of the day as an assistant was holding/operating a fish line attached to the cowgirl's hat in order to maneuver it into the best position. Seriously, Kaiser stood like a rock through all of this, even when the photographer moved forward to reposition the cowgirl on top of him.

They were so impressed with him -- and so was I! Everyone kept commenting how "calm and docile" he was. hahahahahaha  I don't think I've ever heard those words used with Kaiser, but I can't deny that he was acting like he's done this a million times. He hung out on the floor off leash on breaks between costumes and even visited some of the crew. The whole time he was just like, "I've totally got this."

I'm glad he made such a good impression on the whole crew, as apparently Target is in the habit of requesting dogs they like. Who knows, maybe we can do more stuff in the future! I still have no idea what these things pay, but I don't really care -- I just want to see my dog on stuff! That said, apparently Kaiser is getting paid "extra" because they kept him so long. Sweet. Guess I'll find out what that means in the next 60 days or so. Unfortunately I have to wait a lot longer than that to find out what they end up using in their costume line this year! The wait will kill me!!

I'm not sure how Secret would have handled this shoot. I know without a doubt she could not have done as much as Kaiser; I have a feeling she'd have been done after about two costumes. The pop of the flash didn't seem as loud on this set, but there were a lot of people and hands involved and I think that would have wigged her out -- but then again, I thought the same of Kaiser and he had hands all over him the entire time and did fine. Who knows -- But I do think they would have appreciated Secret for her "head posing" that she's so good at. For example, they're big on the open mouth panting look which Kaiser will simply NOT do unless it's a million degrees outside. That's pretty easy to get out of Secret, although they would have probably all gone deaf from the barking. lol

On the way home I made a detour through Northfield, MN to stop at a cupcake shop I've seen a Facebook friend post about numerous times. Everything she's ever posted has looked amazing, so I knew I had to check it out for myself. Totally worth it. Totally.  :o)

In other news, the yard is getting there! I was home Sunday and decided to test it out with a little speed circle using hoops. The right side of the yard was still a little spongy, though, so I kept it to the left side and made it more angled than I would generally prefer in order to keep within the confines of the "dry" portion of the yard. It worked, as the only area that got ripped up was by the first hoop to the left and the spot where they had to turn the hardest on the arc.

I took Secret out first and had her beloved Jolly Ball. Her first time around was about what I expected after our winter of no agility practice -- blah. But then the light bulb went on and she went, "wheee!" She had some super excellent speed and was really hauling ass. All of the dogs thought it was great, so we'll be sure to spend plenty of time on the speed arc in the coming weeks.

I did entries yesterday for our NADAC trial this coming weekend. As I posted previously, Secret is sitting out. It was hard. Very hard. I almost waffled and put her in some runs. In the end, though, I know it's more beneficial to keep her out until we have some solid, fun training time under our belt. Plus there was no way I'd get her to the chiropractor this week with everything going on, so we'll shoot for getting that done before her USDAA trial at Think Pawsitive at the end of the month.

The trail we walk on is almost completely snow free now -- but unfortunately that means one thing -- ticks. I stopped counting after pulling the first 20 off the dogs tonight when we got back from our hike. Sadly, no more trail hikes until I get everyone back on Frontline. And since I'm pretty sure we don't have any sitting in the drawer, that means I'd better buy some!


  1. The pet modeling thing is so fun! I had a blast doing the Banfield shoot with Lyric (still waiting for the stuff to come out so I know what you mean) and both girls have done work for a local photographer here-might get published might not. That's so exciting for Kaiser to be on all that stuff! I'll look for him! Oh, and those cupcakes look amazing!!

  2. Sweet! I guess that works both for Kaiser's photo shoot and the cupcakes :)

    That is just so awesome that he got picked! I'm actually a little surprised, not because I don't think he is an excellent model but they usually don't like to pick AKK because they look a full size husky without a size reference. That's what we went through for a PetSafe photo shoot. I'm so excited for you - I can't wait to see the pictures!! I hope they show all of them because they all sound just so cute :)

    1. I totally share your surprise! I was floored when Barbara called me and said they wanted Kaiser. It's so hard to tell scale with these dogs in photographs and who's to say people wouldn't be confused as to why their "small dog" costume has a husky on it? lol We'll see how it turns out -- who knows, maybe they'll get into production and make that realization for themselves and none of his stuff will get used. :o( There are more and more people becoming familiar with the breed, though, so maybe *some* people would figure it out.

      Maybe Kaiser won them over enough that they just won't care? ;o) I do wonder if they'll start sorting through their material in the coming weeks and a new pair of eyes will see Kaiser's pictures and be totally confused. This crew had the benefit of seeing him in front of them and making the connection, but someone not familiar with him or the breed could be completely befuddled.

      Ah well, for now we'll just cross our fingers and hope he gets used!