The original Cowbelly

The question I get asked most frequently of my business is “Where did the name Cowbelly come from?”.

Well, I can tell you!

‘Cowbelly’ is my nickname for a dog I know. Not just any dog, but a very special dog. A dog named Gypsy, an english staffordshire bullterrier that has a very large spot in my heart.


I used to be Gypsy’s dog walker many ages ago and we had so much fun together. We’d hoof it around her neighborhood when the weather was nice, and when it was raining, which she hated, we’d stay inside and lay on the couch and get belly rubs (her- not me).

Gypsy is a shorthaired white dog with dark freckles on her skin. However, the freckles turn into more of a mottled pattern on her belly, reminiscent of a Holstein cow. So I gave her the name ‘Cowbelly’.

Gypsy is notoriously impossible to photograph. She hates the camera so much she hides under the bed when the camera bag is pulled from the closet. The shot above I got a few years ago from using a half-pound bag of stinky treats.

Since I love a challenge I thought it would be fun if I named my new photography business after her.

Last night while digging through old (old) film photos I stumbled on this shot of the ‘original Cowbelly’








REVISION 7/11/07:

I realized while reading the above that I had completely forgotten that I recently shot Gypsy, and she did great! No fear of the camera, no hiding under the bed. I was able to get very close to her with no problems, like in the shots on the bed below. Perhaps it was that last fun experience of eating a half-pound bag of treats (Gypsy is very food motivated, lol) that conditioned her to realize that the camera is a good thing.







Hope you love my little buddy Gypsy as much as I do! 🙂


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4 thoughts on “The original Cowbelly

  1. oh rebecca you have no idea. not only do I welcome challenges but I usually end up making even the simplest of tasks quite difficult for no reason! (dumb, very dumb)

    really the fact is that I bore easily. challenges give me stimulation and prevent me from uttering the inexcusable phrase “I’m bored”. I’d rather be dead than bored!

    ….or maybe I like challenges because I’m just crazy……. yep, that’s probably it, ha ha ha woohoo…

  2. I love this story and those freckles. How great that you chose her name for the biz because you love a challenge. What a hard headed determined woman you must be!

  3. Too funny- I’m sitting here right now looking at Gypsy’s belly while she’s lying on the bed next to me with the fan blowing on that cowbelly!!!

    She’s honored to have been the inspiration for your photography business’ name!!


    Gypsy’s mom

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