The wasp nest.
There were times I felt I had been transported somewhere very far north (or south)...
... or felt moody and dark.
There were times of remembrance,
and watching the water come in and cover the green rock,
and being captivated by the birds.
And I didn't forget my rocks.
This little gem was taken to the vet a few weeks ago to be euthanized.
Thankfully the vet knew they had a superstar in their midst and they contacted the Victoria Bulldog Society to see if they could help.
And VBS stepped up, because even though Kenny has a few issues - IVDD, skin issues and a wee bit of a cleft palate - they're all treatable.
And he's the happiest little guy!
One of the VBS volunteers brought Kenny over for a photographed with love session and he was so much fun. Could he sit and stay? Not really. But those who know my style, know that's not a biggie. Kenny did show me how he loves treats, his toys (especially tug!) and getting some bum and neck scritches.
He can catch treats and I'm sure turns into quite the cuddle puddle when he's sacked out.
His side eye is on point, he's got a classic wunderbite and a pointy little tail that doesn't stop wagging (please watch video at the end of the photos).
I think he should've been wearing a cape though because he can even do a superman pose!
Pretty sure Kenny's motto is play hard, nap hard.
Thanks to the VBS for helping this little man!
For adoption info, or if you want to donate to help with Kenny's vet bills, please contact the Victoria Bulldog Society!
And last but not least... Kenny, in slow-mo and real time...
Have you ever been to a bulldog parade?
Yeah, me neither.
But when I heard there was one happening this morning I just had to go and check it out!
The Victoria Bulldog Society set it up as a chance to take a little walkie and celebrate the hallowe'en season.
It was also a chance to introduce Lemon, their newest addition to the VBS crew. Lemon is the sweetest little being! From the moment I arrived, she came over to investigate and stayed for loves. She LOVES LOVES! And when all was done I lifted her into Mel's car (she's a wee bit heavier than a flower) and she fell asleep with her chin resting awkwardly on the console as Mel and I chatted afterwards. GAH!
Some squishies showed up in costume, some not, but they all showed up and it was so cute I thought I could just lay down on the grass and die happy. Even honourary squishy Hudson showed up!
My volunteer photography usually leans more towards shy or fearful dogs, so being amongst a bunch of social butterflies is a different experience. They all wanted attention and as soon as I would crouch down to try for a low-angle shot, someone would inevitably trundle over to check me out for treats or some bum scritches.
This made for lots of photo bombs and a few smudges on my lens.
But I wouldn't have it any other way.
Yes, there was lots of drool, a symphony of squishy noises, and a couple even tried to join in on the soccer games with the kids. Those that wanted to play, did. And others just sat and observed, did some stealth-sniffing or looked to whoever had treats on offer.
We even tried a group photo... bless them all for their patience!
I tried my best to get photos of them all and I hope I did... and I wish I'd gotten everyone's name - I like to make sure I get names - but that fell by the wayside. So until I can put names to faces, please just enjoy the photos for what they are... a bunch of cute dogs on a nice fall day who are all very much loved by their humans.
And every dog got to take home a stuffy!
If you know my style, you know, I share a lot of photos from sessions to help give a better sense of the personalities of our dog friends. Today was no exception.
So here are 100 photos.
Thanks to everyone for coming out and sharing your squishy with me!
p.s. Don't forget... if you're looking to adopt, Lemon is the sweetest little lemondrop you'll ever meet!
“Meeting Roe: summer edition” a mini book to celebrate the newest addition to a friend’s family. This wee Pyr is growing fast-can’t wait to see how big she is for the next edition 🐾
I love 📸 impromptu and casual visits, turning them into moments in time that can be held and held on to.
'Twas a big day yesterday.
I had the privilege to be a pinch hitter for my sister Jill -- who's a very talented photog up in Tofino, BC -- and help out with a palliative session for her friend. One of her two beautiful rescue doggos isn't well and has been going through tests and treatments at a local vet clinic, but there's not much more medicine can do so it's now about enjoying what's left.
Of course I accepted... how could I not?
It was very last minute, but that's how these are sometimes. So much unknown can make planning hard, but when it needs to work out, it does. We met at a local beach, but with strong winds and pouring rain, it just wasn't going to work. So we took a little drive to find some shelter and hoped that the weather would give us a break... and it did. Two dogs, two humans and one photog (me) found a window of space and time amidst a rain and windstorm where sun shone through the trees onto a magical rock covered with moss under trees covered with lichen.
Thank you L, P, K + J.
UPDATE: December 14/21: I just found out lovely, little Lily passed away. Much love to her humans for rescuing her and giving her a life of unconditional love.
A few hours later I was off to photograph 3 dogs. These would be former sled dogs coming into care of a local rescue. Three more dogs who were now going to be covered until animal protection laws. Bamboo, Meso and Saturn are #s 206, 207 + 208 in my decade-long project advocating for the adoption of former sled dogs. But numbers aside, they were beautiful beings, understandably nervous of all the newness in one day, but whose lives are going to change for the better with the love, care and support of a huge community.
I'm no stranger to photographing dogs who aren't feeling well - both mentally and physically. I think most of my work follows that commonality. I try to branch out, but I'm always drawn back to them. "Them" being those who've been discarded, left behind... utterly in need of help. And this year, well I just realized that the bookends of my work this year have been palliative pup sessions - as well as one in the middle too. So when I think back over the year, along with the last 10+ too, it becomes more clear, that this is me. My place. I want to be that person who can be there with a camera, capturing moments that may be otherwise unseen. Being a part of that sadness while being able to see some joy in the memories that are created. To take that pause and hold that space in time. It may take a bit to understand it all, but having lost one of our dogs this summer - not unexpected, but more quickly than expected - I wished I'd had someone there near the end, capturing our little Bella Boo surrounded by us and our love for her.
It was almost a year ago when I reached out to Mel and the Victoria Bulldog Society (VBS) to see if they'd be interested in participating in a piece for Wunderdog Magazine. They said yes, so we met up a couple times (in December 2020 & January 2021) for some photos and chats. I've known Mel for years, but this gave me the chance to really hear what her day-to-days are like running a rescue from her home. The piece made it into Issue #5 and is keeping company with the likes of Nowzad Rescue, Wuhan Rescue and sooooo many other like-minded people around the world who are doing their best to help dogs.
Thanks to Tonic for being the star of the piece and to Gerty and Tanker (RIP) for letting me photograph them for this piece.
VBS going global!
You can get a copy of the magazine through Wunderdog Magazine's website as well as Barnes & Noble stores (in the US only).
Since this piece, VBS has taken in so many more bulldogs and they could really use your help! To see what they're up to and to donate, visit them on social media (their website is under construction):
Here are some photos that didn't make it into the piece.
I bought a new camera last week, then returned it the next day because the lens stopped working.
It was smaller and lighter and meant to be easier on my body - the days of lugging heavy cameras and lenses around are numbered for me sadly.
Long story short, I decided not to get a replacement, but now I'm second guessing that decision. It ticked a lot of boxes on my wishlist, but it's kind of taking a step backwards in the gear world in some respects. And I didn't fall in love with it when I took that first image like I've done when pressing that shutter release for the first time on my other cameras.
As well as the camera tech stuff I take into account when photographing, there's also a connected feeling I get. It may be a wee bit different, depending on which camera I use, but it's always there, no matter what camera I'm using. I didn't feel it during that short visit and I questioned if it will ever come?
I know photography isn't just about the camera -- there's knowledge of the gear, the gear itself (camera bodies, lenses, filters), the human behind the lens, their unique perspective to their subject, post processing, etc. - reminding me of a story:
"a photographer goes to a friend's house for dinner and the host says 'you're a wonderful photographer, you must have a fantastic camera!'. At the end of the meal, the photographer says to the host 'what a wonderful meal, you must have a fantastic stove'!"
For now I'm mired in indecision so am sharing some of my test images, to "put them out there and add them into my work" to see if that changes anything for me. Some of the images have had post processing, some not.
Thanks for looking!
Moro + Saru on film
Thetis Lake, 2014.
After many years, I’ve finally confirmed who this dog is and who his human is (thanks M!) and sent it to them outta the blue because I know I’d wanna see other people’s of my dogs. Moro’s mom said it made her day, so yay!
So just to clarify, if anyone has of my dogs, I wanna see them!
More from this outing HERE!