Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pet Loss, Dog Shows, Blog Carnival, Show Advertisements

  • Pet Loss - a journey of grief

  • This has been a hard week for some of my pet-loving friends (both in real life and e-friends). Cindy at I Love Cuttables! lost her cat Missy after 17 years together, my friend Tina in Memphis helped her darling Cocker Shiloh (age 16) to The Bridge and a dear massage client of mine is mourning the passing of her 12 year old Standard Poodle, Kelev. My heart goes out to each and every one of them!

    We know the odds are there that we will outlive the pets we bring into our lives, and the grief is overwhelming. But we do it anyway. The joys, the love, the comfort, the companionship - they all add up to knowledge that the pain their end-of-life brings us is definitely outweighed by the good times and treasured memories. However this doesn't make the passage easy on us!

    How do you work through your grief? This answer is different for everyone and is a very personal process. What works for one may not bring any comfort to another. For some, bringing a new fur-kid into their lives is just what the doctor ordered. This doesn't replace the former pet, but it does help fill that hole left behind. Others prefer to heal in their own time before beginning the search for the new four-legged best friend. I fell between those two examples when I lost my first heart-dog, Kodak, in 2002. She was 14 and we had been together since I rescued her at 8 weeks old. Joined at the hip, bonded at the heart - she meant so very much to me! My emotions at losing her were too raw and jagged - I knew I couldn't committ to another companion until I moved through the stages of grief. But OH! How the house was empty! Fate stepped in and introduced me to the world of dog rescue one week after Kodak left this world and provided me with MY perfect answer - I began fostering dogs (and life as I knew it would change forever - for the better). I had the pitter-patter of little feet to fill my days, the satisfaction of helping a dog in need, the fulfillment of matching orphans to new families - and when I was ready (2 years later) I was in a position to look into a set of Cocker Spaniel eyes and know that I had found my new furry friend.

    I was fortunate to have been ready to accept my path when it was presented to me. Not everyone has that experience however. The grief can be truely overwhelming, engulfing, especially if you don't have anyone close in your life who understands what your loss really means to you. A support group might be the answer. Many local shelters or humane societies have pet loss support groups to help you at this time of your life. If you are in a smaller or more remote community, an online group might be the answer. Just google "Pet Loss Support" and you will find many options available to you - one should be just the right fit for what you are looking for. One article that I find to speak to me is about The Emotions of Pet Loss and can be found by clicking here. To quote from that site: "Perhaps the most vital step in coping with the emotions you will feel upon the loss of your pet is acknowledging them. 'Let yourself feel--write down your feelings, cry, be angry, call someone. Know that it is all right to be so upset over losing your pet and that it takes time to heal,' wrote Susan K. of New York". Feel free to leave a comment at the end of this blog post - tell your story, share your memories. If you have lost a pet - at any time in your life - my heart goes out to you and your family!

  • Dog Shows: Lake Mathews, Rio Hondo, Mt. Palomar

  • Lake Mathews photos are finished! It was a blustery, windy day and the dog hair was blowing all around. This made for some striking portrait shots - but also cut down on the amount of elegant stacked poses that I could capture. You can find all the photos in my online galleries. This is CH Kingsleah Shamal (call name Ben). He is a handsome Afghan Hound owned by Kathy Rich and bred by Gunilla Holgren of Kennel Kingsleah.

    Rio Hondo photos are being worked now. Each breed will be uploaded as they are finished into my online galleries. To tide you over until I am finished, I'd like to introduce you to CH Twisted Creeks Xlnt Adventure (call name Rufus): shaking it off and getting ready to be serious in the ring. Owned by/Bred by Michael and Christine Smith. Rufus is the #8 Redbone Coonhound in the country (Canine Chronicle breed standings thru April 30, 2011).

    Mount Palomar Kennel Club 2011 photos will be next in the queue. It was a beautiful day at Bates Nut Farm and I ran into a lot of show friends - canine and human. I also had the chance to meet two other freelance photographers who came out to capture images. What a wonderful way to spend the day! This striking boy is CH Kamikazi's Tokyo Rock Star, intent upon his handler (Tammy Miyagawa) as he took best in Toy Group during the Saturday show. Owned by/Bred by Jo-Ann & Roy Kusumoto and Moe & Tammy Miyagawa.

  • Blog Carnival Winner!

  • The community of artists at my greeting card community are wonderful at inspiring and teaching their fellow artists. Earlier this month the GCU blog owner Corrie hosted a Blog Carnival, with the theme "Summertime and the Living is Easy!". She challeged us to create a summer-themed post that was relevant to our blog subject. This was the inspirtation for my last blog post. The Carnival Winner was chosen at random - and I won! It was a fun challenge and there was a wonderful group participating - you might enjoy visiting their blogs as well:

  • Mariana Musa - Summertime at Greeting Card Universe

  • The days are full of sunshine and the temperatures are slowly rising...
  • Catherine Sherman - Summertime Flowers and Fruit

  • The fragrance of roses all summer long, the juice of ripe fruit on our lips...
  • Sun at Night - Summer Celestial Events and Art

  • The summer month of June is just around the corner...
  • Maryann Nolan - Discontent for Summers Past

  • Ah summertime, full of sunny days, steamy temperatures, blue skies ... I long for thee!
  • Cindy Johns - More Father's Day Cards

  • While I'm on the topic of Father's Day (see the 'funner' stuff below)...
  • Naquaiya - Summertime, and the Living Is Easy

  • Summer is a time for a little fun, a little soaking up some nice warm rays...
  • Shelley McLeod - Is Summer Almost Here?
    Well, after two 80 degree days, we are back to 50s and raining...
  • Judith Cheng - Summertime

  • Nothing beats sketching by the water after our long winter...
  • Betsy Bush - It's Summertime and the Living is Easy!

  • It’s hard to believe it is approaching summer what with all the rain ...
  • Doreen Erhardt - Ah, Sweet Blessed Summertime

  • I was born in 1961 in a suburban area and the memories of those summers ...
  • Denise Beverly - Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Sum, Summertime

  • That song always makes me sing it whether I want to or not...
  • Cherie - Summertime, and the Living Is Easy

  • One of the things that I love most about summer is being able to lay outside...
  • Janet Palaggi - Summertime Food 'n Fun

  • That`s right folks, Summer Is Finally Here...
  • Sheryl Kasper - Summertime Grilling

  • Have you been thinking about the warm days of summer during the cold days of winter...
  • Sue Baumgardner - Summertime and the Kids' Education Goes Out the Door?

  • Learn how to teach your own children and as many others as you decide to include...
  • Aura2000 - I Love Summer!

  • Maybe it's because I'm born in Summer, but I just love this time of the year...

  • Dog Show Advertisements

  • The day has come! I've been spending six months immersed in the dog show trade magazines, going over the ads with a close eye. What do I like? What makes me linger over an ad? Does it speak to the intended audience (is it for the judge? is it offering a dog for stud? is it announcing a Kennel's acheivements?)? I have finally reached a place where I am comfortable offering my services in this niche and here is a look at my first advertisement (created for Sue Annette Maniscalco of Su-Et's Scottish Terriers). Gracie is growing up and ready to hit the show circuit - she'll be making a splash at the Scottish Terrier National Specialty in June.

  • Coming up:

  • May 26 - Ringside Candids at West Coast Cocker Spaniel Specialty Show in Pomona, CA; May 27 & 28 - Ringside Candids at the Mission Circuit in Pomona, CA; May 29 - Private Shoot in San Diego, CA; Contact me if you would like me to capture your dog showing in the ring, for a private photo shoot or to participate in a mini-session in Santee. The full shooting schedule can be seen on my main website. See you at the shows!


    1. Great pet shots, I know they are not easy to get and yet you have done a wonderful job with them. Best of luck!

    2. Losing a pet is like losing a member of our family. Pets are just like human, we are emotionally attached to them, intentionally or unintentionally. I'm sorry to hear about the loss. But be happy that she has served you for 17 years.