She said: ‘Finn is a real rambunctious, kooky character, so he was perfect for doing these photos with.
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Dogs that have been spayed or neutered live longer than dogs who are intact.
‘At the start of the pandemic, I got laid off from my job at an art gallery and was suddenly left at home with Finn, but he didn’t like being left alone when I went to paint.
‘My mum suggested that I do something creative with Finn to include him, so I started doing the art recreations, getting my inspiration from paintings that had dogs in them.
‘I realised he didn’t need to be just a dog – he could be anything – so that’s when we did a Van Gogh which had a mother and child in it, and he was the baby.
Make Yourself the Funnest Thing in the World for a Reliable Recall. When training your dog to “come here” make sure you’re giving out a lot of praise & treats. The goal is to make coming back to you the best decision they could have made, if not your dog is likely going to decide that whatever he was chasing/sniffing is more interesting.
‘It opened up a world of amazing photo opportunities.
‘It’s nice to see how many people enjoy art without knowing, by looking at our work.
‘Everybody should be able to enjoy art so if me and Finn can make that happen for some people, that’s wonderful, and I’m thrilled.‘Australian shepherds are a working breed, so they need a job to do every day, and, since I don’t live on a farm, that’s why we do this. He absolutely loves it.’
To construct the scene, Eliza makes some of her own props, putting her artistic background to use. She also uses things like Finn’s toys to give their pictures an extra dash of fun.
Plan for When You’re Not There. Make sure your pets are provided for during those long hours when you’re away. Dr. Becker suggests technological options. “DOGTV has stimulation and relaxation channels, and there are apps that control contraptions that talk to your pet, or dispense treats. Pheromone sprays can also reduce anxiety, creating that kumbaya atmosphere.” And, of course, daycare and dog walkers are a great way to enrich your pet’s day. “Know someone who wants exercise? Maybe they’ll walk your dog.”
‘There’s a comedic twist with what we do and people talk about our photos and don’t realise they’re analysing art which is incredible to me,’ she said
‘One time we recreated a painting of a girl getting ready in front of a mirror, so I put Finn in place of her and decided to switch the hair and beauty products to Finn’s brush, toothpaste and toys.
Most animals are creatures of habit. It will be important to develop a consistent schedule to follow with your new pet. Potty breaks at regular intervals, feeding at the same time(s) every day, playtime, walks – everything needs to be scheduled. At first, this can seem overwhelming but soon enough, you and your new pet will be on the same schedule.
‘Doing tiny things that switch it from copying it to reinterpreting it is really exciting.’
Now, Eliza and Finn have over 10,000 Instagram followers, with their photos earning a few thousand likes on every Facebook post.
Eliza said: ‘I never anticipated this little project to get this big online. It’s crazy – at first, it was just for my friends and family.’
She added: ‘I’ve always felt that there’s a strange stigma around talking about art, but this enables me to make art accessible to everybody.
Teach Your Dog to “Find the Treats” for a Fun Game. Teach your dog to ‘find their treats’ by hiding them throughout the house. Simple nose work games are a great way to keep your dog busy & mentally stimulated. It’s Laika’s favorite indoor game by far. (Looking for some more indoor games? Here’s 33 simple ways to keep your dog busy indoors)
‘I get so many messages from people who make it a daily ritual with their kids to look at our daily photos which is amazing.
‘It’s nice to let kids enjoy things like this and is a baby step into looking at other art.
‘There’s such a mix of people in the community it’s created – some like art and some just like dogs.’
Finn also seems much happier ever since they started their project, so Eliza is hoping to keep it going for as long as possible.
‘The benefit beyond me enjoying creating these photos is that it’s improved Finn as well,’ she explained.
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: The Saluki is the world’s oldest dog breed. They appear in ancient Egyptian tombs dating back to 2100 B.C.
‘He adores doing it – he won’t leave my side until we get the next photo done every morning.
‘I wish people could see him do it because he’s always so excited after he finishes each photo – he wags his tail and gives me high fives.
‘I’m hoping there’s enough art in the world to keep doing this with him because he loves it so much that I don’t think he could do a day without it.’
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