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!
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 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!
The rain had been starting and stopping.
And then drizzling.
And then stopping.
We met a wee pup. An Icelandic Sheepdog.
And then a dog in the distance. Shannon wondered if she knew it.
Almost. Her name is Rainey.
She was out for a walk with her cousin Flaka, a transplant from South America who seemed to only care about one thing. Her stick.
The light drizzle was getting my camera a bit wet. Trying to keep the lens mostly dry, we ventured to the marker where a gull was hanging out.
It flew away when Tica arrived, but clearly wanted back because as soon Tica wandered away, the gull swooped back through my frames as I was trying to photograph some Common Mergansers out on the water.
We hit the beach to explore for a few minutes then it was on to the dock because Tica was feeling brave today.
I watched the haze of drizzle with my eyes
and then through my camera.
Thanks for stopping by!
Being the first Friday in February, I've decided it's the official, unofficial start of Fridays at Fleming, a weekly photo essay of my visit to Fleming Beach/Macaulay Point here in Victoria.
I've been going for about a year now with my friend Shannon, her dog Tica and sometimes my dog Mr Coco joins us. Sometimes my husband comes too. Recently I've started bringing my camera again because even though I know this place well now, each time I visit it's a bit different and I want to try to capture that same, yet differentness. Translating what I see and feel.
Here is installment one:
It all started with two seagulls just sitting on the boat ramp,
but then dogs were headed in their direction so that moment of peace was short.
The water was so calm -- literally the calm before the storm as the wind gusted up to blow-the-lid-off-a-garbage-can level in the afternoon.
Tica had her first treat on the picnic table.
Mr Coco wanted to be carried for a while.
We trundled along and happened to meet up with our friend from a couple weeks back, Rowan, who stopped in for treats. There were more dogs, crow friends, a face in the rocks.
A sky that tells a different story every time I visit.
Little surprises along the way and a seagull who could strike a pose.
A very happy dog and her stick, little Uncle the Schnoodle puppy and then Sophie, who was one of the friendliest dogs I've ever met, stopped by to say hello.
Then we were back at the docks where a little one checked out the scenery and then the geese flew overhead.
I had my first real and true Galgo at the studio today. Her name is Lili and she's a recent transplant from Spain after having ended up as a discarded hunting dog at a shelter.
I've been following the plight of the Galgo (Spanish hunting dog) for a few years now. They remind me of my sleddie friends... used and then discarded. Those who survive the hunting season but are no longer wanted can find themselves set loose to fend for themselves, dumped at shelters or tortured and killed. Those that make it into a rescue and eventually a home then have to learn to navigate our random domestic world. But they can do it with bells on and become beloved family members.
With rescues in Spain overwhelmed with the volume of dogs in need, they are doing all they can to fit them into their past-capacity shelters and keep them safe, fed and cared for. Sometimes they can adopt directly, but they often need the help of other rescues like Extraordinary Galgos & Podencos (EGP) and Extraordinary Galgos & Podencos of Western Canada (EGPWC) to help them find loving homes.
Which is how lovely Lili made it to Victoria. Although this young girl was pretty nervous of being in a new space and me moving around with my camera, when it came to treats she had no issue! And I discovered she liked the sound of a cat meow! She was super gentle... and calm through it all. The cutest thing is that she's apparently quite a lap dog at her foster home and is quite connected with her foster human, looking to her often for reassurance and ear and face rubs. Together they're working on her confidence and in the month she's been in Canada, she's come a long way... though she's apparently still not a fan of this west coast winter!
I'm thankful EGPWC reached out for a photographed with love advocacy photo session and look forward to the partnership and meeting more of their rescues. They may be a small group, but they're a committed one!
Here's what Lili's adoption profile says:
"Lili is a 4yr old galga from Fundación Benjamín Mehnert (FBM) in Spain. She arrived in Montreal on December 17th and travelled to Vancouver Island as a foster while we search for the right home for her.
Lili is very shy but once she gets to know her people, she’s a very sweet girl that loves affection. We believe she would do best in a quiet detached home with another calm dog and patient people to help her feel safe in this new world of hers.
If you feel that your home would be a good fit for Lili or you’re interested in learning more about her, please get in touch!"
And also like the sleddie community, there's a great sighthound support group locally who meets regularly for walks. It's adorable.
For adoption info on this LOVELY LILI: https://www.facebook.com/egpwesterncanada
Tica wore her peace beads on our walk today.
Some may just think they're wooden beads strung together by her human, but they're actually magical.
Not only did Tica make friends with a giant bear of a Bouvier named Bizou, she also decided today was the day to walk all the way down to the end of dock.
We've been walking at Macaulay Pt for about a year now and though Tica always wants to walk onto the dock on the way to the parking lot, though she only ever makes it a little ways. Sometimes 10 ft, sometimes 5, once she made it about 20ish.
We do offer treats to see how far she'll go, but her fear always ends up overriding her love of treats and she lets us know she's had enough and will turn herself around to walk nervously back to shore. Not today though. There was no turning back. With some soft milk bones on offer, she put her bravest feet forward and made it all the way to the end where she got some "Yay Tica!" treats and I got a couple photos in and then she realized where she was and decided to head back.
So we did.
It was a big day.
Along with Bizou, Tica also met little Leeroy the Boston and Bodhi with the balls (the built in kind), who she flirted with. She also spotted Sidney, the seal who hangs out there too.
Throughout all this dog-ness, the sky and clouds made for an intense backdrop for this Friday adventure at the point.
Three bulldogs in my studio at once? Sure! What's the worst that could happen?!
We die from combined cuteness overload?
ok, I'm in.
Well, no humans died, but Lemon, Ruby and Tito worked their cute magic that's for sure.
This intrepid trio is currently in the care of the Victoria Bulldog Society.
Photographing adoptable dogs for me isn't just about an adoption profile photo. To be honest, I'm not sure how much weight they carry because I've known dogs to be adopted from some pretty sketchy photos. Whatever floats your boat and gets the dog adopted, I say. But as the person behind the camera who's thinking about how photography can help adoptable pets, I want these photos to work for the dog... for the rescue... for advocacy, for fundraising, or to just celebrate the dog.
So, to end 2022, I went out with a big, bundle of bulldogs who are loved and getting the care they need and deserve.
Thank you to all the people I've met who are loving their animals and helping to make this world a safe and loving place for everyone.
For more on the Victoria Bulldog Society:
Jackson and Luna stopped by the studio just before Christmas for a little session together. These two sweethearts are in care with the Victoria Bulldog Society, though neither are adoptable at the time of writing this. Sweet Luna is in palliative care due to an inoperable cancer and charming Jackson is on medical hold. Shortly after Jackson's arrival he required extensive dental surgery which took some time to heal from. Well, he got that sorted out, but now he has an ulcer in his eye that is being treated and monitored with the with help of their vet.
As Jackson and Luna are in foster at the same home, I was asked to try and get one of them together.
One thing I've learned about bulldogs (and pretty much any dog!)... if they don't want to do it, they won't. So with the help of a VBS volunteer, we managed to use our charm and wit... hahah! I kid!... it was patience and treats and patience and treats and a break outside, then more patience and treats. And it worked! I got a few more captures of these two together, but those are being held back to keep private, just for the family.
I hadn't spent much time with bulldogs prior to volunteering with VBS, so these recent sessions have been quite immersive. Mel, the director of VBS has been a wealth of info on the breed and the laundry list of medical issues that now seem more like common "features", than just one-offs, easily treatable issues.
I even wrote and photographed a piece on Mel and her penchant for bulldogs for Issue #5 of Wunderdog Magazine: https://www.wendynesbitt.com/blog/squishy-faced-wunderdogs
If you want to learn more about VBS: