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Photographing Milly the Chinese Crested Powderpuff

Lesley O'Donnell - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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Until I photographed Milly, I had never heard of a Chinese Crested Powderpuff. 


Unlike the more typical Chinese Crested (who have hairless bodies and humourously sport long scruffy tufts on their heads, feet and tails) the bodies of Powderpuffs are completely covered with long flowing coats. 

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If they remain unclipped they tend to resemble miniature versions of Afghans (which you can clearly see in profile). However, keeping this elegant look takes hours of devoted brushing so Margaret decided it was easier to keep Milly tangle free if she had regular haircuts.

This decision seems better suited to this highly spirited, athletic and inquisitive dog who rather enjoys leaping over the high fence to explore outside, of what others would view as, a secure backyard. 

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I suspect Milly sees this activity as a sport because she is certainly not out to separate herself from the close affection bestowed on her by Margaret and her daughter Marita.

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Usually reserved with strangers, I was flattered to find Milly a friendly and willing photographic subject. Surprisingly it was Trixie, her canine companion, who needed a little more coaxing to stay interested. 

Margaret is a talented painter of folk art and I loved being able to incorporate her artwork into the photos to give them just that little bit more of personal meaning. 

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Many of the terracotta pots she has decorated over the years have been generously donated as fund raisers for her gardening club. I found a lovely example of one that unfortunately had no plants growing in it. To enhance our little setting I promptly filled it with dirt and stuck a piece of flowering geranium in it. 

Much to our surprise this little cutting took root and I now have a memorial pot plant in what Margaret and Marita refer to as Lesley’s Corner. What a lovely honour!

Read about Margaret and her previous dog Xisca who I had the privilege of photographing five years ago.


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