Happy Howl-o-ween! We hope you'll have lots of fun and treats (and no tricks, unless it's the furkids playing them on the humans)! Our Flashback Friday post today is a little different - it's a combination of old and new, as well as a little play on words for fun. We are kicking today's post off with a "flashback" to the late 1800s out along the dusty Western trail. But first, a little back story. I am a big fan of Hell on Wheels, and if you have Twitter, you can catch me (@FiveSibesMom) every Saturday Tweeting live during the show, which airs 9 - 10 PM EST on AMC. The show served as my initial inspiration for this year's FiveSibes' costumes. So, why all the excitement about a Western theme? I'm a retired cowgirl! I'm the daughter of a cowboy - my dad in his youth, before enlisting in the Army, moved out to Montana, where he joined the CCCs (Civilian Conservation Corps), put electric/telephone poles in up the mountainside, and broke in wild mules. I always found this fascinating! I have a fabulous photo of him as a handsome young man with his black cowboy hat on, strumming a guitar while perched on a log. Priceless. Now I was born a city gal (New York) and when my father moved us upstate to the country when I was in my early teens, he sparked my love of horses and all things Western. One of the first things he did when we built our home, was get three horses, one for him, one for my mom, and one for me. He taught me to ride Western and how to respect horses, and all animals. He would sing Western songs to me, and to this day, I love hearing them. I love spaghetti Westerns, especially starring Clint Eastwood (for me, he was the epitome of the cowboy...okay, I admit it, I had a huge fangirl crush on him all through my teens!) While I no longer have horses (I like to say I traded horses for Huskies), I am ever the nostalgic, and do still have my saddle, bridle, chaps, as well as my Stetson and my Dad's, and yes - spurs.
As a professional photographer, I love shooting creative scenes. And while I've been dragged kicking and screaming into the PhotoShop generation (my true love and training was developing special photo effects using the enlarger and chemicals in a dark room), I will admit I am enjoying the filters and effects photo editing now offers. Since I couldn't bring the Huskies to an old house, through this type of process, I was able to bring the old house to the Huskies and give it all that "step back into the West" popular type photo you can pose for while on vacation! That spooky house in the background I photographed while driving through a rural town. It just reminded me of a building right smack out of a Western. It served as the perfect backdrop to my concept of the Wild West Sibes. So, without further delay, let me introduce you to our FiveSibes Gang (in true, no-filter portraits) and their stories...
How the West Was Won by Five Siberian Huskies...
Meet Saloon Madam Harley. Simply put, this alpha girl IS the boss!
The petite little queen of the town is afraid of no one, dog or human. Years ago, after retiring from acting in New York, Madam Harley caught the eye of the Marshall. He was smitten from the moment he rode into town and their blue eyes met. Harley runs the town's Saloon with four beautifully manicured iron paws, keeps the drinks and kibble flowing for all who visit, and always warms the heart of Gentleman Gib.
Next up is the town's Marshall, Gentleman Gib. He is just head over tails over Miss Harley (and her purple feather boa) and it was love at first bark for him. He will do anything to be by her side and vowed to protect her from all the dangers lurking out in the untamed lands, from disorderly saloon patrons to the bandits who ride into town wanting more than a cool drink of water and some kibble. Gib appears to be laid back, but he is confident, strong, and quick on the draw when the need arises.
Prairie Girl Chloe is just the most innocent of youngins. She is naive and sweet, but smart enough to know that staying close to the tough, smart Madam Harley and her gentleman furfriend Marshall Gib would keep her protected along the Northern Trail. When she settles into Huskytown, she is going to be the town puppies' new school teacher.
Wild West Wolf and Badlands Bandit are like the Siberian Husky version of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid...with a little Doc Holiday and Billy the Kid thrown in! Bandit is just that...she's a thief with smile that can melt anyone's heart. But, if there's a toy in town, she will find it and steal it. And don't even think about trying to sneak in and retrieve it...this bandita has eyes in the back of her head and is super fast on the paws!
There isn't a poker game in town that Wild West Wolf isn't playing and can't win. He owns the cards. He owns the chips. He owns the whole entire Husky Hotel! And if you even think about trying to cheat, he will stare at you with his cool blue eyes until you just throw your paws up in the air and fold! This brother-sister duo makes an unbarkable team! But, they better stay a paw or two ahead of Marshall Gib if they want to run free and not wind up behind bars.
To say the Sibes and I had a blast is a huge understatement! They loved all the props and, of course, the rewards for being such wonderful models! This is by far, one of my favorite photoshoots!
Here our resident couple, Harley and Gibson, in outtake photos...
~Stealin' a Kiss~
Our actual Flashback Friday pics are from last year when we carved pumpkins, and I chose to do a Husky (naturally!) and our Chloe girl braved all the glowing eyes to check it out (I think she just smelled pumpkin and she loves food)! Now, if you'd like to get some pretty (p)awesome Husky pumpkin stencils, like ours below, visit the Tails of the Tundra Siberian Husky Rescue's page HERE.
PS - remember to keep all your pets out of harm's way on Halloween. Keep them safely confined in another room, on a leash with you, or in their kennels. The ringing of the door bell, the people, and the calling of "Trick or Treat," flashlights, can all be very spooky to pets. Keep an eye on the safety of outdoor cats, especially if it is a black cat...incidents involving black cats go up at Halloween. Keep all candies and chocolates and flickering candles well out of their reach. Be safe. Be cautious. Have fun!