Stevie the shop dog at Colours May Vary Leeds
Say hello to the newest member of the Colours May Vary team, Stevie. She (yep she's a gal) was found roaming the streets of Galway with her sister, Queen (yep Steve McQueen), by local charity Galway SPCA. Colours May Vary is an independent book and homewares shop with an exhibition space celebrating the local independent creatives of Leeds and beyond. I visited Becky and Andy in Stevie's third week in the shop, and I couldn't believe how quickly she'd settled in. It's as if she'd been there for years ...
I walk in to find Stevie in her little den - a Klein Blue cushion, perfectly placed under the counter. She's a cross between a Jack Russell and a Border Collie, but the way she emerges from her cushty spot, greeting me with a gentle nuzzle and a wagging bushy tail, you'd think she was part fox too. She's got her harness on, but Becky whips it off saying, "Come on let's get yer bra off." HA! Stevie's so sweet natured, and I begin to realise how wild my own little puppa Alan is in comparison.
Stevie fetches her toy (a beautiful design object in itself) from the gallery space floor. She's cooler than me for sure. I'm trying to imagine Alan in the shop, feeling slightly on edge at the thought of him parkouring off the beautiful furniture, swiping at delicate objects and magazines in the process. I ask Becky if Stevie ever nabs things off the side to play with, but I'm told she's never even tried. Clever girl! When she's out on a long walk in the morning it's the squirrels that hold her attention, and Becky tells me that she's worried for the day when she eventually catches one.
Stevie's day-to-day at CMV mostly consists of sleeping - with highlights including when she gets to greet customers. Now and again she sits with Andy in one of the beautiful Mid-Centrury armchairs. She likes sitting on his lap, just casually checking up on passers-by out of the window.
Being so new to the shop, Stevie has a few 'firsts' while I'm there. Her first time on the counter. Her first time playing customer with her paws up at the desk. Her first time sitting by herself on the furniture. I'm humbled by the fact that I get to witness these first moments and even get to capture a few of them. Oh and of course - her first photoshoot.
One of the best things about my job is being able to capture candid moments like the one above. We had an absolute laugh on this shoot. Dogs, infact all pets, bring out our silly sides - and Becky and Andy got to take five, have a cuddle with Stevie - getting some great snaps along the way. Becky later told me ...
"We actually don't have any photos of us that we really like so this shoot was a real treat! If you had told me a year ago I would be doing a photo session with my dog I would have laughed at you!"
But it just goes to show, it's not just a photoshoot of the dog, it's about capturing those happy moments that the dog often triggers, and just so happens to be part of.
You can keep up to date with Stevie's day-to-day at Colours May Vary by following her Instagram page, Steviedogcmv
Visit the Pet Stories Instagram for a first look at our latest shoots and stories.