The Dog Shakeera
is a book for dog lovers and children. It is telling the story of the daily life of a dog - a special dog of course: Shakeera is the daughter of the celebrated photographic model Pecorino. In this book she shows the first time that she has also become a beauty and a professional in the model business.
English translation of the book text:
Shakeera the Dog
by Regina Anzenberger
What’s the meaning of life? That should be clear enough… sausage!
As a puppy I was very shy, but my mistress soon turned me into
and the Madonna of the dog world.
and from the front
my favourite spot in the garden
as the garden zebra
on the beautiful blue Danube
and my mistress quickly discovered what the most important thing in my life was: a huge ball!
There’s nothing like having legs like Marlene Dietrich!
My mistress’s name, by the way, is Regina – you probably saw it in the title. She is a very busy lady. She’s very creative but she also has a good head for business (I probably shouldn’t have told you that). Photography is her love – she’s an “amateur” in the true sense of the word! And she always shows me from the most flattering angle.
I have to admit: my looks aren’t half bad..
This, of course, is just a photographic gimmick my mistress thought she had to try.
I’ve always had long ears
and a very long tongue!
When I was really young, some people thought I was spotless – but as you can clearly see, I do have at least one good spot!
To be on the safe side, they gave me a dog tag right away. So they could find me if I ever got lost. That happened once when I was young, and I won’t let it happen again. One night I got frightened and ran away from home, and it took my mistress and her brother, Toni, two hours to find me in a part of town where cars were everywhere. It was pretty funny to hear them running around Vienna at midnight yelling “Shakeera, Shakeera!” People were really giving them strange looks, and I’m glad they didn’t give up searching for me. They finally found me at two o’clock in the morning in the middle of a big intersection.
I was scared stiff, let me tell you. That’s why I’m really careful these days, and anywhere my mistress goes, you can be sure of one thing:
I’ll be there, too!
My mistress has taken good care of me, and that’s one reason I’m so bright:
she’s made me princess
and taught me to read. That’s why I’ve become such an intellectual dog.
But I’ve got a sense of humour, too!
Exhibitions, however, put me right to sleep.
And coffee houses, too. They’re always so smoky in Vienna!
My mistress went to see the film Ghost Dog and she was thinking about it when she took this photo, although it has nothing at all to do with dogs.
One day I decided that things were looking up.
I wanted to fly.
I tried simply everything.
I decided my goals should be a bit more down to earth.
Even as a puppy I loved to play with empty film cans.
And then I discovered my favourite toy: a ball!
I was fascinated.
I started to play and play and, to be honest, that’s all I wanted to do all day long.
One day in the garden, when Regina didn’t have a lot to do, the light was fantastic
and we discovered
playing with shadows.
I love this shot because it makes me look like a wolf!
But when things go awry, I can sometimes look like a poodle!
I often have to wait for my mistress because she has so much to do. Like here at the printer’s, where they are printing a brochure for her agency.
On the weekend, we often go for a drive in the country. I always sit in the back seat. When I was younger, I used to get so sick, but as time passed I got used to it. Still, I’d rather not think about it. At some point, however, my thirst for adventure got the upper hand.
I like horses
but only from a safe distance!
And where am I now?
Oh yes, there we are.
And this was my first swimming attempt!
I have to admit: Regina had to swim out into the water first; otherwise I would never have had the nerve.
But as you can see, I enjoyed it.
Then a nasty old Alsatian lady arrived and took offence at my youthful exuberance, although the lake was big enough for us all, of course. And that was the first time I was ever bitten by an Alsatian! But my mistress patched me up so well that it didn’t leave a trace.
Pretty exciting, all in all!
As you get older, of course, you become more cautious and wise, like this big old tree.
You prefer to hunt frogs along the Danube.
My mistress is always playing tricks on me.
Off I go, into the thick of things!
I love the water,
but when the Danube is at flood stage, you have to be careful not to slip.
I’d rather roll around in the sand.
This is my mistress’s favourite pond.
I have to admit, I like it, too.
Especially when there’s a game involved
So is she going to throw it, or not?
I love to swim out to fetch my ball!
And when the game is over, it’s time to sunbathe on the shore, although my friend Faiska would rather roll around in the grass.
My mistress likes to sleep in. So I tiptoe around in the morning, listen to see if she’s awake, and if she’s not, I carefully try to wake her, being as funny as I can. The whole procedure, of course, serves only one goal:
to occupy the bed!
And once she gets up, I can have a nice nap.
The sun wakes me up.
No, I think I’ll sleep a bit longer.
OK, OK, she wants to go for an outing!
Wow! I love snow!
Although there’s always work to be done.
I can’t believe my eyes,
is that a white ball…
mpff .... g ... n ....?
Yes, and then another… and another… and another…
Where have they all gone?
They’re certainly hard to find.
Time for a little snack
and then hunt for my lost ball
before heading on.
I can never get enough.
Playing is simply fantastic!
Even in the garden where the snowballs are a bit smaller.
And when the storm is at its peak, you feel like
Sir Edmund Hillary on Mount Everest.
There’s something special about every season:
springtime makes me really happy!
We go for long walks in the vineyards,
the flowers bloom in the summer,
and then comes autumn, and I eat apples in the garden,
while my dad, a famous photographic model, takes a break. Most of the time he’s travelling with his master, touring Europe and working.
There are fantastic balls hiding in the leaves.
But there are times I like a lot less. For example, after Christmas, when my mistress has less time for me. Sigh!
And getting a bath before the dog show is also a pain.
Getting dry is better!
Especially when you get all the bones you want afterwards.
This was after a nasty accident with another dog.
His owner threw a stick way up in the air, and when we tried to catch it, we had a head-on collision. My mistress was really worried.
It was already dark, and she couldn’t see if I’d hurt my eye. When we got home, she breathed a sigh of relief. I was just bleeding a bit. She did a great job of patching me up.
The next day, my friend Nicholas came to see us with his mother.
We had a picnic in the garden.
Things were all right again, and we forgot about it.
My dad worked hard to give us a proper education.
He taught me how to dig holes in the garden,
and to howl like a wolf.
But if I talk back to him,
he gets really angry.
So I give him a kiss to make up
and we patiently wait for the next adventure.
When the weather’s nice, we like to hang out in the hammock.
I’m so proud of my famous dad!
This is my first picture with my mistress, Regina.
It was love at first sight!
And we drank a toast to having met.
I had wild dreams afterwards.
In any case, it was soon clear who was in charge of the couch!
- The End –
Dedicated to my father, who taught me to love animals in general and dogs in particular, and to my mother, who takes care of Shakeera when I’m away. To my brother, Toni, who first had this crazy idea, and my friend Martina de Carvalho Hutter, who loves dogs even more than I do.
About the author and photographer Regina Anzenberger
Born in Vienna, Austria, where she currently lives. Work as an illustrator, photographer, journalist and painter. She developed her love of photography through her work as a picture editor. In 1989 she founded the AnzenbergerAgency, which she manages: www.anzenberger.com
In 2002 she founded the Anzenberger Gallery, a platform for fine art photography: www.anzenbergergallery.com
Her work with Shakeera came about by chance. Initially, she only wanted to train Shakeera for her brother, Toni Anzenberger. But he continues to prefer Shakeera’s dad, Pecorino, as his model. Meanwhile, Shakeera has also become a fine model and enjoys being photographed by her mistress.
Born in Graz and currently lives in Vienna, Austria.
Father: the celebrated photographic model Pecorino (Labrador, Maremma, etc.).
Mother: Jessica (pointer)
On the street, she is constantly being asked whether she’s a spotless Dalmatian... but as anyone can clearly see, she has ONE spot on her right ear! But she doesn’t mind, as long as she gets petted.
She occasionally growls at women in fur coats because they smell like dangerous animals. Favourite food: pig’s ears. Favourite film: I Dream of Jeannie.