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Victory: One Wipe Charlies

Doug recently joined the Dollar Shave Club through the recommendation of a friend.  Doug also discovered One Wipe Charlies!  Doug ordered some for Victory (and himself)!  We have been using baby wipes on Victory before bed, as she sleeps with us in the bed and we want to ensure her bum is clean!  Fortunately, Victory consistently has ‘number 3′s’ on the Bristol Scale!  The One Wipe Charlies have been working great and they have a peppermint scent with aloe vera and chamomile!  Here is an amusing video about One Wipe Charlies!

Happy Wednesday!

 

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Meeting New Sheltie Friends!

Over the weekend, we took Victory for the first time to meet some sheltie friends at the Sheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue, Inc., which is the rescue where we adopted our precious Biscuit, and the rescue organization that played a vital role in facilitating Victory’s adoption!  (We also previously took Biscuit to meet the other shelties at the Sheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue, Inc., which you can view here.)  Victory had a great time and the weather was beautiful!  Victory did stay close by my side; and she got ‘humped’ again a few times — the male doggie friends are quite attracted to her as this is not the first time this has happened!  Nevertheless, Victory loved sniffing and meeting the other sheltie friends!

There are a few shelties still in need of new homes, which I will share more information about soon!

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Twist, the Sheltie/American Eskimo dog, shown below, loved playing fetch with Doug!  However, Twist also loved to hang onto the ball, as you can see below!  Twist is full of energy and wore poor Doug out!  Twist is also literally a jumping bean, shown below!

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Happy Tuesday!

Victory: Dog in a Cup

Earlier this year I interviewed Eleonor Boström, an artist living and working in Berlin, Germany.  I love Eleonor’s work, especially her Dog in a Cup series.  As such, I commissioned Eleonor to make one of our little golden Victory!  Last week, Victory’s Dog in a Cup arrived to us all the way from Berlin, Germany!  I love little Victory’s Dog in a Cup, which is now displayed in our china cabinet among our other treasures, which sits besides the Biscuit totem; the Cheetah and Panda totem; and our family heart totem.  Eleonor was wonderful to work with!  Thank you so much, Eleonor, we love your work!

Happy Monday!

 

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Victory: Together

Below are a couple of images of Victory and I at the dog park!  She loves to be held on my hip — she truly is our furbaby!  Victory continues to gain more confidence each day and her sheltie furs keep coming in, which is great!  She absolutely loves the dog park, and we usually go to the dog park at least once a week, in addition to our daily walks in the neighborhood, since she loves to go mingle with other doggies at the dog park!  This weekend Victory is meeting new sheltie friends for the first time!  We are sure that she will have a grand time!

Happy Friday and Happy Easter!

 

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Victory: Photography Project — 14

“All animals, except man, know that the ultimate point of life is to enjoy it.”  ~Samuel Butler

Beginning in January of this year, I began a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory! I will continue to share this project on the blog! I have also been documenting Victory’s milestones so to speak each month — you can read these here! I think that it is fun to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories.

Recently, we took Victory to Worthington Dog Park, where she has begun to run and she is beginning to learn to play fetch!  Victory loves meeting new doggie friends at the park!  She is really blossoming and coming into her own!  We are really proud of the progress Victory continues to make and she continues to do well in her training class, with a few more weeks to go!

Happy Thursday!

 

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Tips for Photographing Shelter and Rescue Dogs

Below are some photography tips for those people who photograph shelter dogs and rescue dogs to help increase their odds of receiving furever homes through photographs.  Photographs play a vital role in the adoption of animals, dogs in particular — so consider volunteering your time to help these dogs receive furever homes.

1. Use outdoor natural light: I find utilizing natural light is best when photographing shelter/rescue dogs.  The outdoors provides a nice backdrop as well.  I like to use natural spaces around the shelter when the dogs are not able to leave the premises of the shelter.  Alternatively, when dogs can be photographed in a different setting, I often like to use dog-friendly parks, which provide nice light and backgrounds.  However, when a park is not available, I try to use a natural background that is available.  I never photograph a dog in his/her cage, crate because you want to showcase the dog in a manner that makes each dog look the most attractive in a natural setting.  You want people to envision taking the dog home with them.

2. Try and have each dog bathed (or at least have each dog’s face cleaned): Whenever possible, I try to have each dog bathed prior to me photographing him/her.  However, sometimes, this request is not always possible.  In either case, I try my best to ensure that each dog’s face is free of debris to enable me to do less work in Photoshop during the editing process.

3. Use a dog handler, assistant: Whenever I photograph shelter/rescue dogs, I always have an assistant help me.  Since the shelter/rescue dog always needs to be on a leash, the assistant helps me position the dog in order for me to photograph each dog.  Thus, it is imperative to have an assistant while photographing the dogs outdoors.

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4. Introduce yourself to the dog: Whenever I meet a new dog, I always go up to the dog and let each dog smell me.  Each dog is usually quite excited to be outside and in a new environment.  Then, I talk to each dog and pet him/her letting each dog know that I am there to help.  Most every dog that I have photographed is so happy to be outside and the task of photographing each dog is typically not too challenging.

5. Allow the dog some time to roam around the new surroundings to in order to have the dog be more focused: Since I photograph all shelter/rescue dogs outside, the environment is typically very refreshing, full of new smells, and exciting for each dog.  Thus, I allow time for each dog to go potty, smell its surroundings, and get comfortable.  After this time, the dog is typically ready to be photographed.

6. Use treats and toys to show of the dog’s personality: I typically have organic treats with me when I photograph shelter/rescue dogs.  However, I always make sure that each dog is permitted to have treats, does not have food allergies, etc.  Many dogs are treat/food motivated, so this works well during photo shoots.  Additionally, if the dog has a particular toy that he/she likes, I incorporate the toys into the shoot with the assistant’s help.

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7. Use a shallow depth of field: A shallow depth of field blurs out any distracting elements in the background while maintaining each dog as the focal point of each image.

8. Be patient and have fun: Every dog is different, just like people. I find it best not to rush the photo shoot and just let the dog be himself/herself. These are the moments when each dog’s personality really shines through, and these are not contrived moments, they just happen naturally, and it is my job to capture these moments.

9. Remove leashes and ‘distracting noise’ from the image: After each photo shoot, I cull, select, and edit the images and find the strongest face and body image for each dog. In these images, I remove the leash and any other ‘distracting noise’ in the image, maintaining the focus of each image on the dog.

10. After editing, promptly share the images with the shelter/rescue organization to help get the word out via social media to help the dogs get adopted: After each photo shoot, it is my goal to cull, select, and edit the images promptly because time is of the essence — these dogs need to find a forever home as quickly as possible. As such, I send to my contact at the shelter or rescue organization the best head shot and body shot of each dog to enable the shelter/rescue to promptly post the images online via social media, etc. Every shelter/rescue organization that I have worked with is always very appreciative of the help photographing the dogs, and it feels good trying to make a difference in these dogs’ lives.

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I hope that you found these tips helpful!

Happy Wednesday!

Why Make Art?

Why Make Art?

because you feel the need and calling to create

your passion is at the root of creating art

your passion overcomes your fear of uncertainty

you cannot imagine a life not making your art

you feel more alive and fulfilled when you are creating

because, most of all, your art fuels your soul

this is why it is important to follow your passion and share your art with the world

“Don’t cheat the world of your contribution.  Give it what you’ve got.” ~Steven Pressfield

 

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