Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This Week: Meet the Breed - Labrador Retriever

Originating in Canada, the Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog breed in American homes since 1992 and keeps his first place ranking once again, according to the American Kennel Club Registration Statistics. The ancestor of the Labrador Retriever was the St. John's Retriever, a smaller version of the Newfoundland. These dogs were brought to England, probably on fishing boats. Gamekeepers crossed these Canadian imports with various breeds of gun dogs, always striving to improve the breed's hunting and retrieving instincts. By the middle of the 19th century, the Labrador's characteristic water-resistant coat and otter tail were already apparent. By the late 1880s, the breed was sufficiently distinctive that "Labrador Retriever" became the generally accepted name of the breed. Originally black in color, the first recorded yellow Labrador appeared in a litter born in 1899. Chocolates were also recorded at about the same time, but never achieved the same level of popularity as the blacks and yellows. Originally bred to retrieve from water, the modern Labrador Retriever has proven to be one of the most versatile breeds, excelling in hunt tests and field trials, in obedience and agility events, and also as service dogs. The Labrador Retriever is AKC recognized (since 1917) and is a member of the SPORTING group. The Labrador Retriever is UKC recognized (since 1947) and is a member of the GUN DOG group. The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc. is the official Parent Breed Club for the Labrador Retriever.

Shop my exclusive line of greeting cards, featuring your favorite: the Labrador Retriever: click here! Shop for Labrador Retriever gifts at Zazzle: click here! Shop for Spoiled Rotten Labrador Retrievers on Board stickers: click here!

The Lakeside Rodeo photos are all posted! I've decided that barrel racing (for the sportsmanship and horse/rider atheletic abilities) and bull riding (because the bull is big enough to fend for itself!) are my favorite events to watch. You can view all of the 2011 Rodeo photos by clicking here. The final Easter shoot of the year was held last weekend, and thanks to Su-Et's Kennel in Santee, this was a FREE shoot for participants. We had a great turnout and it was hard to pack away the Easter props - they were so much fun! Photos are being worked and should be online in their own gallery soon. This cutie is Bella Woods, a regular visiter to the set. She is a Cairn Terrier. Coming up: April 30 - Fundraising photos at the Springer Specialty and Parade of Rescue in Walnut, CA; May 1 - Ringside Candids and private photo shoots at Lake Matthews Kennel Club Show in Chino, CA; May 7 & 8 - Ringside Candids at Rio Hondo Kennel Club in Pomona, CA. Contact me if you would like me to capture your dog showing in the ring or for a private photo shoot. The full shooting schedule can be seen on my main website. See you at the shows!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 2011 at

There is so much to do in San Diego County on any given weekend - and I suspect that it is due, in part, to the wonderful weather we tend to have. I grew up in Upstate NY in what is known as the Snow Belt. Cold isn't something I enjoy, so it should be no surprise that I relocated out to SoCal! I am very excited to announce that I am now a contributing photographer to Brown Trout Calendars. I'm busy gathering images to submit for their 2013 breed lines and we all have our paws crossed here that some of my clients are chosen for publication. If you haven't yet found your perfect calendar for this year, take a look at some of my privately published offerings from Lulu. My friends at Camp Bow Wow El Cajon scheduled another fundraiser day to benefit Bow Wow Buddies Foundation. This is one of my favorite locations - the animals are always so well-behaved, the camp workers are fun, and the owners are true animal lovers. I love supporting Bow Wow Buddies Foundation - I think it is wonderful that all the Camp Bow Wow locations across the US support their local rescue groups with foster spots. This is Buddy, a darling Basset Hound who sat for me at Camp Bow Wow. My next stop was in Orange County for a very fun day spent at the Papillon Club of Southern California Specialty. I spent some time with my Cocker friends watching the obedience, then turned my attention to the afternoon classes in the main Papillon ring. Such wonderful cuties parading in front of me! This is Adfams Mighty Aphrodite. She is looking at her mom with absolute devotion and intensity while stacking in the ring! The next day I headed a little further north to West Covina, CA for my turn as official photographer for the Scottish Terrier Club of California's Spring Puppy Match. Besides ring candids and winners photos, I also had my portrait booth set up and was able to meet some of these feisty darlings one on one. Congratulations to Morgan's Tam O' Shanter for the Best In Match win! I can't remember the last time I attended a rodeo - and it was time for the famous Lakeside Rodeo, practically in my own backyard. To make it even better, all workers at the event were volunteers and all the money raised was for local charities. The skill of these riders was awe-inspiring! And while the excellent riders were definitely caught on film, sometimes the great shots are of the "oops!" moments. I can't decide if I aspire to be one of the official photographers or if I would be too scared to be IN the ring with all the action! I don't have my photos finished an in a gallery yet, but here are two of my favorites in the meantime. And then back to Orange County for The Hound Classic (photos still being worked ...)! I had a chance to meet a breed that is new to me. In the AKC Miscellaneous Class, meet the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno. This cutie is Gabriela Da Casa De Maio. I spent most of my time with the Borzois (Russian Wolfhounds) as I arrived too late to hang with a couple of my favorite breeds (Beagles and Ibizan Hounds). This is Zabava Atlantis. What a graceful breed! Easter is only a few days away - have you sent your Easter Greetings yet? With Greeting Card Universe, it's not too late! Order your cards online, and pay regular postal shipping costs - the fine folks at GCU will drop it in the mail for you! And if you've waited just a little TOO long ... you can change the inside of any card easily yourself. For example, my DogBreedz Easter cards by default read "Somebunny special is thinking of you - Hoppy Easter!" You can order yours, and change the inside to something like: I got distracted hunting for chocolate bunnies - Happy Belated Easter! Here are a few breed samples:
Or you can take a look at some of these cards from other artists - designed especially for the procrastinator!
Upcoming Shoots: Ongoing studio portraits at Su-Et's Kennel in Santee, CA, April 30: Fundraising Portraits at the English Springer Specialty in Walnut, CA. May 1: Ringside Candids and Scheduled Private Shoots at Lake Matthews Kennel Club show in Chino, CA. May 7 & 8: Ringside Candids at Rio Hondo Kennel Club in Pomona, CA. May 21 & 22: Ringside Candids at Mt. Palomar Kennel Club show in Valley Center, CA. All events are listed on my Shoot Schedule. Contact DogBreedz (at) for more information.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

This Week at DogBreedz

It's been a hectic six weeks, although it seems like just yesterday I posted last. I want to start this update with a huge congratulations to ANGEL (CH Cross B's Divine Gabriella) and her mom Sonia. Angel is representing the Chow Chow breed in the May issue of Dog Fancy magazine. Look for Angel and revel in her beauty! Here is another image of her: At the end of February I headed up to Del Mar for the Cocker Spaniel Club of San Diego Specialty Show and caught some ringside candids (in spite of the lousy indoor lighting). Cockers are my special breed and I am drawn to the partis. While I usually am drooling over the black and whites, this red and white was just SO stunning to me. Every photo I have of her - she is such a lovely girl! Meet Sherwood's Frosted Mini Wheat. Owned by Eva Cerna and Dana Copjakova and handled by Bryan Santos. The next two days were in the same location for the Silver Bay Kennel Club all-breed shows for more ringside candids. This weekend I was following the terriers and had a blast with my Scottish Terrier friends! On Saturday, Red Cloud became Champion Su-Et's Fire Dancer. Owned by SueAnnette & Andrew Maniscalco and handled by Bergit H. Kabel. It sure has been fun watching this boy grow up! A few weeks ago, Camp Bow Wow in El Cajon held their third birthday/anniversary party and combined it with their fourth annual adoption event. It was a beautiful day and a great turnout of both adoptable dogs and members of the public. I had a free photo shoot booth there and Marge was just one of the cuties that spent some time on set with me. Spring is here! The flowers in the front yard container garden are blooming and between the weather, the color and the fragrance, I love being outside! The Sour Grass (oxalis) blooms were perfect for a bright "thinking of you" greeting card. About this time the Super Moon made an appearance - and there was just enough of a break in the clouds out here in Santee for a clear look. I wasn't able to get out at moonrise for any neat horizon shots, but I think what I got was amazing enough to work on a Friendship greeting card. And then it was time for another great dog show! I headed to Valley Center for the Del Sur Kennel Club all-breed show, ready to spend some ringside candid time with the Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels and Border Terriers. In between the classes I was asked to cover, I had a chance to marvel at the movement of the Afghan Hounds. Being new to the breed, I didn't realize they came in a brindle color - this girl took my breath away! GCH Countrywinds Calico Queen, owned by Catherine Harker and handled by Sara Lopez. The German Shepherd Club of San Diego County held their annual Specialty Show. I wasn't able to be there for very long, but I sure enjoyed meeting some handsome dogs and watching their movements in the ring. This is Nike Clayfield Paladin Romeo, HT, PT, CGC, TC, owned by Sharlonna McGaha, Dr. Gloria Rice, Debra Kaser, Joyce Shelp and Cind Tellefsen. Little Salsa (CH Ott to be Hot Salsa) is a regular playmate with my Cocker kids and she had a couple of private sessions this last month. We went out pre-grooming and played in the woods. Here she is in her blown-coat, feeling all "Queen of the World" up on a rock wall. Bennett got all spiffed up and gave the Easter Set a try. I don't think he has quite figured out what the bunny was up to when I took this photo! This set will be featured at the on-going Su-Et's Kennel shoots for the month of April ... Bennie should have time to understand the rabbit ... Kaiyou (SunRumbas Life's a Beach) came to visit me on set and introduced me to the breed known as the Ibizan Hound. What a regal breed - with just enough of an impish side to keep me laughing! I am looking forward to seeing more of this breed, and their owners. In Salsa's other private session, we set a date for the beach - she loved stretching out her legs and running thru the surf! I'm now working on finishing up the Camp Bow Wow Easter Shoot, ringside candids from the Papillon Specialty and ringside, fundraiser portraits and official win photos from the Scottish Terrier puppy match. I'll share those with you at a future update. Easter is around the corner! I have a full line of dog breed Easter Cards at my Greeting Card Universe store. Here's a look at the French Bulldog Easter Greeting.
The Easter card design translated so well onto the oval ornaments that I had to do a full breed line in my Zazzle shop. Dress up your Easter Baskets with my Dog Breed Easter Ornaments for a unique gift - one that will last longer than the chocolate bunnies! Coming up: April 16 - Lakeside Rodeo, April 17 - Ringside Candids at Western Hound Association of Southern California, April 30 - Fundraiser Portraits at Gateway Cities English Springer Spaniel Specialty. All events are listed on my Shoot Schedule. Studio portraits are available at my Santee location - just email for an appointment. Enjoy your week - see you on Monday for another update!