Note from dog
I’m Ruby! I’m the star of this month’s Companionship story, Ruby, My Dear, along with my two humans, Lucian Truscott IV and Tracy Harris.

Astronaut Leland Melvin had to sneak his dogs into his official portrait.

NASA

This portrait is orbiting the Internet

Now retired Astronaut Leland D. Melvin’s official NASA portrait includes his two rescue dogs, Scout and Jake. But getting the pooches into the NASA photoshoot was no easy feat. Melvin told Gizmodo that he had to sneak them in.

“I had a van and I drove the dogs in,” Melvin said. “NASA doesn’t allow dogs to be on-site, so when I showed them my NASA badge, I kept the window up…and I had the stereo blasting because the dogs were barking. So I gunned it and the [security guard] didn’t chase me or anything.”

When he got to Studio 8 at the Johnson Space Center, Melvin took Jake and Scout up the back stairs and into photoshoot area.

“I had all these dog bones, and they were just sitting there eating the bones, just grubbin’ and happy,” he said. “The dogs just ran over to me. And [I said] the guy who took the picture, Robert Markowitz, ‘Dude, start shooting!'”

The portrait, which has been orbiting the Internet since 2009, appeared on Twitter recently with the caption “In a sometimes crazy world, never forget that this is Astronaut Leland D. Melvin’s official NASA portrait.”

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