Since starting the blog, we’ve interviewed many members of the hospitality industry, and one constant among the interviewees has been a profound love for their pets. We thought it would be great to share this love with our readers.
That’s why we launched an ongoing feature called “Wag Wednesday” to showcase industry peeps and their pets. Know someone who wants to be featured? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, we’re featuring Andrea Lorena aka Fujifilmgirl, Miami Food Photographer Extraordinaire, and her American Bulldog mix, Luke.
Your Name: Andrea Lorena
Your Pet’s Name: Luke
Breed: American Bulldog Mix
How did you come to own your dog? What drew you to him?
An old colleague of mine’s dog had a beautiful six-pup litter. After he had trouble finding homes for three of them, two staff members and myself decided to help out. My husband Renzo and I met three beautiful 11-week-old puppies in Wynwood on October 2015, right across from Bar Next Door. I couldn’t pick just one honestly — I wanted to keep them all. I originally wanted to pick the girl of the litter, but I knew Luke was the one when Renzo picked him up and fell asleep in his arms.
What’s the story behind your dog’s name?
Luke was originally named “Dough Boy,” but Renzo chose Luke almost immediately after meeting him. I wish I could take credit for this answer, but it was all him. It’s definitely a Star Wars reference. At home, we call him different things but mostly Lukey. We have a funny nickname for him, too: “Lukey Potongui.” It’s an inside joke that would take forever to explain, but it has to do with how he walks and moves his hips from side to side.
How would you describe your dog’s personality?
Luke is one of those playful, restless pups, and he has always been that way. He has an appetite for speed just as much as for baby carrots and antler chews. He loves to be under cozy blankets and will never wake me up; he loves to sleep in a lot. He is stubborn when he wants to be, but if treats are involved, he is the best boy and will give you high fives endlessly. When I wake up, he asks for belly rubs and will stretch for some time; it’s his way of saying, “Five more minutes please.” He loves making new friends and always remembers the names of his old friends.
How has owning a pet made your life richer?
One thousand percent, yes. I never grew up with dogs — my mother wasn’t really much of a pet lover until Luke. So of course once I moved out and was settled in, my first thought was that I wanted a pet. Like other dog owners will say, he’s more than a pet to me; there is a deep connection that is hard to describe.
For me, I can say I know how he feels just by looking at his eyes. He can feel when I am sad or hurt as well, and we always comfort each other. By the end of every day, the first thing I want to do is come home to Luke. On the weekends, I spoil him by taking him to dog parks all over town.
It’s said that dogs reflect their owners and vice versa. How does this apply to you and yours?
This is a funny question because I always say Luke is half Renzo and half me. He is like Renzo in the sense that he is outgoing and always has so much energy. He smiles all day, and it’s almost contagious. They’re also similar in the sense that they enjoy their down time just as much. We are alike in the sense that we always drool for anything that is edible. Were both super clumsy, too.
Tell us a funny story about you and your dog.
There are so many stories to tell — I can’t think of one that stands out as funny per se. He is so clumsy most of the time that a lot of the “funny” stories involve him being in an unwanted situation. The other day, he was playing outside by himself and then a cat came out of nowhere! Luke didn’t know how to react since he has never been face to face with a stray before. The cat hissed at him and smacked him in the face and ran away. Luke was confused and didn’t know what to do; he just came running back home.
Are you involved in any pet organizations or philanthropies?
At the moment, I am not. However, it is something that I would like to be part of. I am not too familiar with organizations around me, but now that I think about it, it’s making me want to draw attention to that. I am a huge animal lover and definitely need to be involved.
We follow a lot of dog social media accounts like Doug the Pug, Rocco’s Contemporary Life, and Menswear Dog. Do you? Which are your favorites?
I enjoy @TheDogist, a photo documentary series about the beauty of dogs based in New York. I have a love for street photography and dogs, so I am constantly browsing that account on my free time. I always imagine myself as TheDogist, and sometimes think about starting a similar account in Miami. Oh yeah, I also enjoy @PopEyeTheFoodie account; he is such a little cutie pie eating in all kinds of cool places.
See past editions of Wag Wednesdays here.