Rachel Oates is lucky enough to spend her days surrounded by gorgeous animals as a professional pet photographer. But one of her own dogs, Winny the Corgi, adapted to life in front of the camera so well that he has now risen to Instagram stardom.
Rachel and her partner live with Winny in their London home, where the characterful corgi has his own decorated sleep crate in their bedroom. With 45,000 followers keeping up-to-date with Winny’s every move – from his walks in the park to his afternoon naps and some festive outfits – we asked Rachel what it’s like to own a famous dog…
This year, Rachel and Winny will be at our Country Living Spring Fair helping with our competition to find the most stylish pet around. We will be displaying the shortlisted photos on the Country Living Pet Wall of Fame at the Fair and one lucky winner will receive the fantastic prize of a pet photography session with Rachel, worth £250. You can enter the competition here and find out more information about, and book your tickets to, the Spring Fair here.
How did Winny come into your life?
I have always been a massive animal lover, with a special weakness for dogs, but my partner had never had a pet before so I spent four years convincing him we needed a dog in our lives and investigating what breed would suit both of us best.
Once we moved to a place in London where it was feasible to have a dog, I took him to a Discover Dogs event to meet Corgis in real life. In the end, we picked a Pembroke Welsh Corgi because they are big dogs in small bodies – they’re intelligent and easy to train, despite having an occasional stubborn streak! Winny was the last male in the litter when we went to visit his breeder and we were totally smitten from the moment he first waddled over to us.
Since then, there’s been three of us in our pack! I’m more of the boss, while my partner is definitely Winny’s playmate.
What is it you love about corgis?
Corgis are a fantastic breed and it’s such a shame they aren’t as popular as they used to be in the UK. On top of the fact that they are endlessly cute, with silly, little legs, Corgis are known to be independent, outgoing, playful and incredibly friendly. They are an active breed as they were originally bred to herd cattle.
All of these traits, and Winny’s own sweet personality, have made him the perfect Instagram dog – if he hated crowds or being fussed over, I definitely would not be able to do any of the exciting events or activities we do together now.
Winny totally laps up all the attention and loves nothing better than meeting new people – he’s even been known to work his way up and down a train carriage making sure everyone has had the chance to say hello to him! Corgis are big dogs, full of character, in small, short-legged packages. I wouldn’t have him any other way.
When did you realise Winny was so photogenic?
I always thought he was incredibly handsome, but it was just before his first birthday, when I decided to try doing a studio photoshoot with him, that I realised he simply doesn’t have a single bad angle! It was also the shoot where I started to think of changing my career direction from fashion to pet photography so I always feel like I owe him so much.
To read more please follow : http://www.countryliving.co.uk/wildlife/pets/ask-cosmo/a1625/famous-dog-winnie-corgi/