Fall Session: Dorothy of Dottie Dog
Last weekend I had the great pleasure of photographing sweet Dorothy, the four-legged muse behind the brand Dottie Dog, and her charming family. The weather was chilly, the neighborhood streets were quiet, the leaves were vibrant and the models were ridiculously adorable with one another. They are truly in their element when they are together!
I fell in love with little Dorothy and her independent personality – and her name is so fitting, she looks very Toto-esque! She looked like she was in OZ with the old fences and vibrant yellow leaves. It’s easy to see why Beth named her awesome company after her. She is such a sweet soul!
Dottie Dog is all about custom pet illustrations + portraits, plus animal art prints and notecards. The business is a two-gal-show: Beth Meyer is the artist, and Dorothy (Dottie for short) is her canine muse + sidekick + BFF. Together they spend their days illustrating and celebrating animals in whimsical detail!
Their art is characterized by striking color palettes, and a uniquely precise yet playful style. Every illustration is drawn by hand in Adobe Illustrator using a digital Wacom tablet. All Prints + Notecards are printed with love and care in their home studio located in Cincinnati, OH, USA.
The name “Dottie Dog” comes from our sweet dog Dorothy (Dottie for short), because she is the inspiration behind my animal art! Dorothy came to live with me in 2011. I was living in a tiny studio apartment near my college campus at the time, and I was not at all prepared to care for a dog! But when a friend invited me to have a look around the local SPCA, all bets were off. As soon as I my eyes met Dorothy’s, I could feel that she was my kindred spirit. And the rest has been true love!
Fast forward 4 years: Dorothy and I now live with my husband Jacob, (Dorothy totally has him wrapped around her little paw), and we spend our days at home together working on art. Dorothy’s unique looks inspired me to start drawing dogs. Her features are so striking, and I think she’s the most delightful creature! I love her smile, her thick scruffy coat, and her strangely disproportionate little body!
But it’s not just her looks that inspire me – it’s also her hilarious personality. Dorothy is a lady of many mysteries, and she likes her independence. She will cuddle with you, but only if you’re not paying attention to her. Once she’s in the limelight again, she’ll go back to her post on top of the couch. She does not like other dogs, but she does have one dog friend named Benji. She seems to like him best when he is sleeping. Dorothy truly watches TV, and also listens closely to humans talking amongst one another. …Believe it or not, she has been known to scoff at appropriate moments in conversation! She is a pretty epic food snob, and will sometimes attempt to get many after-dinner-treats by eating her dinner in teeny courses. (We call that move her “long con.”) She loves classical music, as long as it’s upbeat. And she genuinely likes to wear sweaters.
Dorothy also has a lot of awesome skills. For example, she’s shockingly adept at mole-hunting. She recognizes a ton of English words, and has even learned to recognize when we spell some words (i.e. w-a-l-k)! She has apparently mastered the Wookie language, and is very vocal about her opinions (especially when her Dad leaves for work each morning). She’s a tug-of-war master, and also loves to play challenging games like sniffing out toys around the apartment. And once Dorothy learns a boundary, she really sticks to it. For example, when she visits my Grandma, she knows not to go on the porch alone, and will lay her nose riiiight inside the doorway. (However, this extreme obedience may be influenced by the fact that Grandma has been known to give Dorothy ice cream cones.)
And finally, Dorothy has the sweetest smile, and on a day when you really need some love, she’ll kiss you like there’s no tomorrow! Despite all her grumpy independence, she’s loyal to a fault, and a lover at heart! We couldn’t imagine life without her!
Our photo shoot with Sarah was fabulous! She was so sweet to our Dorothy, and the whole session felt relaxed and fun. Dorothy can be pretty high energy, and also pretty stubborn, so we weren’t sure what to expect in a photo shoot. But Sarah was a pro, and was totally prepared! She brought a squeaker toy to grab Dorothy’s attention, and really went with the flow to follow Dorothy’s lead. We also really appreciated that Sarah planned low key locations, as Dorothy has a lot of anxiety about other dogs. Every aspect of the custom photo process was just super positive, and we can’t wait to see all the photos! I can tell that they’ll be amazing because Sarah had a smile on her face the whole time, and is clearly in her element working with dogs. Dorothy recommends Chic Sprinkles one hundred percent! – Beth