Last weekend I had the opportunity to make some greyt new friends at the Greyt Global Greyhound Walk!
This annual international event aims to bring awareness to the awesomeness of greyhounds and sighthounds as pets. And I'm all for it. Every greyhound I've met, including the cuties on the weekend were so dang sweet! The turnout was great with 21 sighthounds and one l'il lab trotting along the trails around Beaver Lake Park.
On arrival there was lots of time for hellos for old friends and new. Before the walk we tried our best for a group photo (always a bit of an adventure) and then we hit the trail. Some dogs (along with their humans) who were just out for a nice afternoon trail walk were pretty surprised by the gaggle of greyhounds, and the "dog ponies" were very polite, as real ponies moseyed along the paths too. As we arrived at a big clearing surrounded by bushes near the end of the walk, some dogs were let off leash to "let 'er rip" and (camera-nerd talk here) though I didn't have the best lens for distance action, I focussed on the dogs, put my set up to the test and, well, I got a few shots, though I'd like to practice some more! In any case, there were games of chase between the hounds and even a Husky named Blue who was just playing ball with his person ended up getting in some play time with the group too! I'm sure there were some very tired doggos that evening.
At the end of the walk, there were a few more visits and the it was time for goodbye... until next time.
If you're new to my work, I not only photograph pets as my day job, but I also cover events like this as part of my animal adoption advocacy work.
In order to continue covering events like this at no charge, I offer digital images from these events, for sale.
Proceeds from the image sales not only help me continue to provide this work for free, but I also share proceeds with the non-profits. In the case of this event, that non profit will be Extraordinary Galgos and Podencos of Western Canada (EGPWC). EGPWC is the local chapter of Extraordinary Galgos and Podencos (EGP), an international rescue whose mission is to rescue, advocate and find homes for Galgos, Podencos and Salukis, and since the organizer of today's walk volunteers with EGPWC, it's a good fit.
HOW TO ORDER
- Scroll through the gallery and take note of the filename(s) of the image(s) you want (2309-wnesbitt-XXXX). This info is located at the bottom left of the image.
- EMAIL ME your choices and I'll send you the total amount along with payment info for e-transfer or credit card.
- Once payment is received, I'll email your images within 2 business days
-Hi-res digital images are $20 each and will not contain logos or text. In some cases I can do additional edits such as removing leashes or distracting elements, at an additional cost. Hi-res images are printable at a printshop of your choosing.
Please feel free to drop me a note with any questions!
Thanks to everyone who came out and especially to the dogs for being so magical!
I'm not usually one to be in front of the camera, so when Adam Sawatsky contacted me about doing a piece, I was veeeeerrrryyy nervous.
My hobby of putting googly eyes isn't something I share much publicly -- I mostly do it for me as a way to try to balance out life -- but after Adam told me he found joy when seeing the images I shared, it took some of those nerves away... so share it I will!
We met up this week at my studio for the interview and to play with googly eyes... and we also caught up. Many moons ago I was a tv producer of a live morning show at A-Channel (which became CTV) and Adam was one of our on-air hosts. He nailed it every single time because he is genuinely is interested in other people's lives, he's very easy to talk to, and though I knew his tricks for disarming a nervous guest, they some how worked and I was able to relax... sort of.
Our story aired yesterday on his Sawatsky Sign-Off segment on CTV News locally, and then apparently it showed up on the national version later that evening (gah!)
In any event, I finally watched it today and am thankful to Adam for making some sense from the plethora of words as they tumbled out of my mouth. He managed to tie in my advocacy photography, so a few adoptable friends are in there too!
Here's the link to the piece. You can watch it, read it...or both!
Because Faceboook no longer allows news links, this is the only way I can share it
Sweet Bear is just that a sweet, floofy bear.
His fur is soft and shiny.
His eyes are bright, though you can see he's spent some years on this earth.
He's kind and gentle. He offers his paw, though no one asks that of him.
Sweet Bear has lymphoma and is now nearing the end of his time in this world.
His days now are about managing the fun stuff he wants to do with what he can actually do, all without tuckering him out too much.
Sharing treats without giving him an upset tummy.
A bucket list not written in stone.
April doesn't let him out of her sight.
We kept his session short and took time to chat afterwards while Bear snuggled up to me on the plush rug and got the loves he asked for.
I'd met him briefly through a car window last year and then today.
But that's the beauty of Bear.
When he makes friends, you feel it.
And I did.
Thank you to Bear's family for helping him along this part of his journey with love, respect and grace.
And for allowing me to share a little piece of him here.
The last image is the front cover of the custom monograph I provided so that Bear's family can visit his session photos in a book format.
Click here for more on my Before I Go pet sessions.
As the first week of August is already gone, I figured I should an update from July... but then I realized I haven't really shared any updates from June, May, April...
Well, it's not been an easy spring into summer...
After my March 31 post, I was going to take some time to regroup, but in May, my nephew -- the 21-year-old son of my brother and sister-in-law, little brother to my niece -- was tragically killed and it rocked our family to the core.
And at almost three months later, time isn't necessarily healing, it's just providing time to try to live with a type of grief I've never known before.
But I know that photography is something that I need to do. It's a therapeutic tool that forces me to focus, literally, on whatever's in front of my lens. Maybe there are moments of grief-avoidance, but what is the right way to feel what you're feeling? What does 'managing grief' look like to each person who's in the throes of it? I've been reading a lot about it and talking to anyone who'll listen and the one common theme that appears is there's nothing common about it. It's not linear, there's every other emotion involved in it.
So when I was ready to pick up my camera again, I stayed close to home and just went out to my garden. On the day a memorial tree would be planted for my nephew, I took my camera along. Not knowing if I would bring it out, I decided to and I'm thankful I did. It helped me connect with that event and with most days being a blur, it's part of the literal photographic memory being created.
When June arrived it was my dad's 93rd birthday. No one felt like celebrating, but we came together for cake and companionship. I also photographed some new-into-care sled dog retirees, as well as some cats I was looking after across the street. Again, only choosing subjects that I felt I could handle.
Slowly, I ventured further out and encountered more people. Some adoptable bunnies, a bulldog meet up. Animals being safer than human subjects.
Then in mid-July we headed out on a road trip to Saskatchewan to visit my husband's sister, brother and extended family to hold a memorial for their father who passed away last September. While out there I made time for a couple jobs with people I knew I was comfortable with, but mostly I spent time in my own world amongst the farm, the horses and the landscape, camera in hand, documenting the trip.
Once back from our trip there was a hockey tournament in memory of my nephew - lots of people and once again being forced to confront what happened. But there was comfort in that group, of being around people who spent so much time with Dayton.
Anxiety and grief are still hovering at the surface of my being and I'm still pretty much sticking with non-human subjects, but photography is doing what it does for me. Between adoption advocacy sessions and end-of-life pet sessions, I'm finding more solid footing.
If you've read this far, thank you. There's always that feeling of oversharing, but this is me... where I'm at. I love doing what I do here and look forward to trying out some new ideas this fall.
My nephew, Dayton, was a total ham and he was never shy when I turned my camera on him, so for that I am grateful. The lessons I've learned from his easy-going nature is helping me learn to "roll with it" a bit more. So, thanks Dayter.
Snort, grunt, snuffle.
So goes the soundtrack of this morning's Victoria Bulldog Walks Summer Meet Up.
It was already pretty warm by the 10am meet time at Lambrick Park so the gaggle of bulldogs and their family and friends mostly stood around laughing, admiring, getting bulldog slobbers... I mean kisses... There was a short walk around the baseball field and then back to the fenced-in park for more water and cool down time.
Though my photos focus primarily on the dogs, believe me when I say all the humans had big smiles because you can't not smile in a group of these squishy faces.
With the warm temperature today though, overheating was a real thing for bulldogs so there was lots of water on hand, some cooling shirts and shade, though a few preferred to zoom and romp with the utmost of bulldog decorum.
Organized by the Victoria Bulldog Society (VBS), this was a chance for bulldog enthusiasts to gush to each other about their dogs and it made for a super fun photo op, for not just me, but everyone!
I captured last fall's Halloween parade and I'm hooked!
The VBS brought along adoptable Lemon and Lola and they are featured in the photos. Also in attendance were Dudley and Henry who I got to meet at the Valentine's photo booth fundraiser I did with VBS and there were other alumni in attendance today as well!
I tried to get names, but it was near impossible!
I'm thankful for VBS and their commitment to helping bulldogs through education, advocacy and adoptions. As a very small rescue they're always fundraising through a number of avenues -- bottles, online auctions, chocolates and even garage sales. If you'd like to make a donation to help them along, all the info is here: https://victoriabulldogsociety.com/donate/.
Speaking of fundraising, if you're interested in a non-watermarked, printable digital file of any of the images in the gallery, they are available for $10* each and all money will be donated to VBS.
Please send your request via email to: hello[at]wendynesbitt.com
*some conditions apply
Thanks to everyone for coming out and hope to see you at the next one!
Below are just a few of the images from today, so be sure to click on the link below to the FULL gallery... all 110 photos!
fridays at fleming, vol 9
two crows seemed to want friendship today
one big, one little
they followed us around
while we gazed out to the ocean
stopped to say hello to George
one showed off its meal of a poor crab
good job crow
then we continued on
one stood on the fence while the soft rain landed on its feathers
all the while being watched by big black eyes
then I make a 'click click' sound
and they came closer
hoovering up the crumbs of dog treats
modelling, questioning, scavenging
and being a bit human too.
fridays at fleming, vol 8
the tide was low so the heron searches for food at the dock
a gull waits in the wings, pretending not to watch the hunt
those two rocks, have they always been there?
the daffodils are showing their faces to the sun, which isn't showing itself today
and a gull glides on the wind over our heads
I follow it's path with my camera, arching my neck back
click, click, click, click
tica poses, thinks a rock is food and runs to her heart's content
the tall ship in contrast to the cargo ships in the distance
the peanut shell
the merganser rests on a log while gulls watch
the merganser leaves and more gulls arrive
there's more going on here than we humans can figure out
the sand pile that's growing with the help of sticks and stones
Friday's at Fleming, vol 7
I arrived a bit later than S + T and they were out walking the breakwater so I wandered to the end of the dock to get some photos of them with a cute little bufflehead in the foreground as we've turned into full on bird nerds (or bird enthusiasts) in our aged years. I thought I was being stealthy for this photo op, but Tica, she sensed the disturbance in the force and knew I was around, somewhere.
I walked back to land, along the path and rounded the corner and Tica came a-running. I recently noticed that she often does a little tongue out as she runs and this time I caught it on camera. One of the cutest little things.
The sun was out though it was chilly. It still didn't stop us from taking a moment to just stop and face the sun and feel some warmth on our faces while Tica felt felt the breeze in her ears.
Spring is on its way.
Fridays at Fleming, vol 6
This is it. The only subject of today's walk.
It was cold and rainy and I opted to only take my phone camera.
But Buddy hopped up on this bench as we walked by. No prompting, no ask on either side.
It was the place he had to be at that moment, clearly.
He's such a funny, sweet little dude who'll be adoptable through the Victoria Humane Society once he gets his medical stuff taken care of.
Fridays at Fleming, vol 5.... aka "The Buddy Walk"
A bit of a buddy theme today:
I went for a walk with my buddies,
Birds flew with their buddies,
Dogs played with their buddies,
And I got to meet an actual Buddy!
Buddy is a 13(ish)-year-old poodley mix of cuteness who's currently in care of the Victoria Humane Society (VHS) and is being fostered at Tica's house.
If you look closely at Buddy though you'll wondering what's up with his eyes.
Well... after a visit to the veterinary eye doc the other day it turns out he's blind in both eyes. They suspect he may have been blind in one eye before, but the other one is definitely messed up because l'il Buddy was found OUTSIDE... in Manitoba... in -46 degree weather... in the snow... with a super fluffy matted coat... and his eyes were FROZEN.
Through VHS's network, Buddy made the trip to the west coast where he's now in a foster home and enjoying the warmth -- good thing as he got a hair cut too.
He's a confident little guy and his lack of vision did not slow him down. He loves treats and chin and neck scritches and he has great stamina.
He also has a very active sniffer so he sniffed and sniffed and sniffed... and left his mark on all the places he felt necessary.
Because of the freezing of his eyeballs he's got a ruptured corneal ulcer so he's getting all whole host of eye drops, and he may still have to get one or both of his eyes removed. But I get the feeling that won't stop him. He's a confident little guy and seems to be up for adventure. Just don't leave him alone. He doesn't like being left alone. At all.
Understandable considering he's had a whole lot of change in his world.
Buddy also has a cute little snaggle tooth but he's in desperate need of a dental, so not sure if he'll get to keep it.
Once he's had his medical taken care of he'll be ready for adoption so if you're interested watch the Victoria Humane Society facebook page!
Other highlights of the walk:
- our crow friend stopped to say hi
- yellow and purple crocuses emerging
- a swimmer
I also took our walk as an #advocacyandart opportunity and created some adoption profile pics for him (his leash has been removed in a couple of the photos because I found them a bit distracting, he was not off leash... safety first!) as well as a short video so adopters can see though this little guy may be blind and old(er), he's got loads of spirit in him!
Click here to see more of my Home Away from Home advocacy photography!