Crash's Fifteen Minutes
I'm sure everyone knows by now what an incurable stage mother I am.* ;D Crash was about two years old when he became a local celebrity. They say everyone has their "fifteen minutes." Well, Crash had fifteen billboards!
I was a graphic designer trying to build a portfolio to advance my career to art director. I was taking a class in which we had to design something for an ad campaign. Since we could do anything we wanted, I decided to design a poster for “Dog Day,” a fundraising event sponsored by the Nashville Humane Association. Naturally, I used Crash for all the materials.*
Crash absolutely loved to have his picture taken, and would pose for me endlessly. I have an entire roll of film taken of him posing with a three foot rawhide bone. He didn't eat it until we were done shooting...he just assumed various fetching, adorable poses. He put his paw on it, rested his chin on it, carried it about the yard. He was a very agreeable model.
Here is another good example of his willingness to please the photographer. This wagon was not stabilized in any way. He had to sit in it and be very still to prevent it from rolling. Looking back, I think this shows amazing trust on his part, to get into something so unsteady under his feet and sit there, very peacefully, while I took half a roll of film. (And doesn't he look sweet in the little red wagon?)
Anyway, back to Dog Day: When I had finished designing the poster, my instructor liked it very much and suggested I call NHA and ask if they wanted to use it for their campaign that year. I was a little embarrassed to do so, but I mailed it to them and received a call back saying that they would love to use it, and would I also design billboards, ads, t-shirts, etc.? Well of course I would, if Crash is going to be the poster dog!
I think in reality they might have liked to use a smaller, cuter, friendlier-looking dog. The coordinator mentioned to me briefly that so-and-so has a really cute puppy who would be great for the photos, blah blah blah. Deaf ears, baby. It's my dog or the highway. She quickly dropped the subject, as I* think she understood that it would be very much like telling a mother that her baby wasn't pretty enough.
It was so thrilling that fall, to ride around and see Crash’s face on billboards all over town, in the newspaper, on the backs of t-shirts. I think he was a marvelous example of a good old everyday dog. No pedigree, but smart and beautiful as could be. Which is what the Humane Association is all about, right?*
We were very excited to take him to Dog Day that year, as he was starring in all the collaterals. You couldn't walk three feet without seeing his face on something!
Now, I have secretly wanted to "show" a dog my whole life. Crash was, of course, a mixed breed, but the contests at Dog Day are specifically geared toward the pedigree-impaired. We perused the list for an appropriate category in which to enter Crash: Cutest puppy, Best Tail Wag, Funniest Trick. Then we hit upon it: Most Macho Dog!
Surely Crash was a shoe-in for this. He weighed 130 pounds and always received the same assessment from onlookers, "Wow, that's a BIG dog!" He was stout in body, regal in bearing and unflappable in nature. The true epitome of Macho. We couldn't miss.
Kevin decided to take him into the ring so I could take photos. I was so proud as I watched Kevin parade him by the judges. Look how beautiful he is! Look at the size of him! They just have to be impressed! I was shaking all over in excitement.
Then it happened.
Crash slowed a bit in front of the judges, assumed the position, and laid a big dump in the middle of the ring.
Now I ask you, friends: What could be more macho than that?
Incidentally, I was told it was the Dog Day campaign that clinched me for my current position. So you could also say that Crash helped me become an art director.
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever
Another wonderful story!!
What a warm (with alittle humor too) story! I just love your stories about this wonderful dog!
Terrific stories .... Thank you so much for sharing -- I'm sure it must be, in a way, bittersweet.
That's so neat!!! Crash was truly a star.
That was well worth waiting for! Thanks for writing,
The picture of him in the wagon really gives you a good idea of how huge he was. Such a handsome boy
Gosh, Connie. It must be so surreal to drive around town seeing your work on billboards, etc. But, to see your beloved dog's happy face peeking out at you from the billboards......Wow, what an accomplishment!
Murphy, Riley, and Piper
I love it. Thanks again for sharing.
Too funny! He was certainly a great model for the ads - that billboard shot is just something to treasure. Thanks for sharing these wonderful stories. ;D