Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. After World War I the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war. Several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. You can read more about Memorial Day history at The US Memorial Day web site (which is also where I pulled up these facts).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

1 Town + 2 Thrift Shops + $7.00 = 3 new Cocker Collectibles!

Wonderful Additions to My Cocker Spaniel Collection

I can't believe my new finds! Being from the East(ish) Coast (Upstate New York), I'm a little less than optimistic when entering an estate sale, yard sale or thrift shop in Southern California. Seriously - a super antique dresser on the east coast may be found at a garage sale for about $50 ... out here it would go for over $500. Collectibles also have the "West Coast markup", usually. And when I narrow my search for something even harder to find (Cocker Spaniel collectibles) - well, let's just say that in SoCal I usually end up not spending much money, since I usually can't locate anything in my teeny tiny interest range.

All this to lead up to a fantastic couple of hours spent with my room-mate (and my Cockers' favorite groomer!) at two different thrift shops in our small-ish town of Santee, California last week. I'm seriously watching my spending while I catch up on some unexpected debts (a wonderful Rescue supporter was the Sponsor on a 3-month fundraising tour I scheduled in 2010 - and his life was cut short by a drunk driver before he could fulfill his part of our quest). I had $10 in my pocket, saved up designated as "mad money" and I was thinking it would be spent on a dinner out with a dear friend of mine. Until I entered these local thrift shops, that is!

The photo above is of a wall ornament - unfortunately a previous owner had used some sort of spackle on it, and any maker's mark on the back was no longer visable. But other than a speck on the nose (and the spackle-stuff on the back) it was in great shape. It wasn't priced, so I added it to my basket to ask about it at the front counter.

This adorable planter was at the same thrift shop as the wall ornament. The little guy on the right has a small nick in his outer ear, but other than that, it is in pretty nice shape. If any of my blog readers know anything about Napcoware, this Cocker planter is marked C7201 - I'd love to hear more about this piece! An initial search online gave me only limited information. The planter and the wall hanging together ran me $4.00 - who could say no to that?!

Rusty, written by Nason H Arnold. Published in 1930 by Lothrop, Lee & Shephard, Co. - Rusty is a Cocker Spaniel, and even tho this book is in poor condition, for $3.00 it happily found a place in my collection as a starter issue. As I find better quality editions, I'll trade up, offering the lesser book to another Cocker collector. Gotta start somewhere, right?

As I mentioned, I really don't expect to make many "finds" in Southern California. While on that Tour I mentioned, I loved stopping at various thrift and antique shops along the way. In Ohio, one stop yielded 5 Cocker items ... all with great prices! A beautiful red/white parti Cocker stayed with my friend Julie in Minnesota. She provided a wonderful working vacation for me (and Indie and Bennett!) while I did some healing from a broken foot. Her dining room table became my "office" every day and she was SO diligent about not bothering me while I worked on photos that needed to go out. Her nursing instincts helped me to not over-do things (which I am prone to do) and allow the healing process to do its thing. And Julie's two beautiful Cocker Spaniels were so patient about sharing their home with my kids (the cats, not so thrilled ...).

This wonderful pair was also a part of my Central Ohio jackpot. I'm hoping to find an artist friend to paint them up to match my parti babies, Indie and Bennett. There are no maker marks on them, so their history is bound to remain out of my reach. But they just had to come home with me!

What are some of YOUR favorite dog collectible items? What breed do you look out for? I'd love to hear from you - and I thank you for enjoying my new finds with me!

Monday, May 21, 2012

5/21/12: Breedz Wanted to Photograph

BREEDZ WANTED for May/June 2012

If you have one of the following breeds and would like a complimentary session before June 15, 2012, please do contact me. Your dog might appear in a national magazine, on a greeting card or in a calendar! I'm currently looking for the following breeds:

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

  • American Staffordshire Terrier

  • Berger Picard

  • Sealyham Terrier

  • Bichon Frise

  • Puppies, adults and seniors - I need them all! They must conform to breed standards, but they don't have to be show dogs; purebred-looking pets and rescues are available for this offer as well.

    Contact me at DogBreedz (at) yahoo (dot) com to arrange your free private photo sitting. Shoot participants that are chosen for the National Magazine will receive a copy of the issue they are published in. All participants will receive 20% off any prints they wish to order from the free session.

    Studio sessions will be held at my Santee studio and location candids are available at San Diego area parks or beaches. If you are in the SD, CA area and have a great house/yard to photograph in, then I may be able to come to you for the shoot. I would also love to do "lifestyle" shots and include the owner, if you are up to it (playing, walking, everyday life with your dog). Does your dog do a job or fun activity? That is a possible shoot, as well. I look forward to hearing from you!

    (pictured here: Penny the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Lucky the Sealyham Terrier)

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    May 2012 - Catching Up on The Blog!

    I looked at the date of my last post and all I could think (at the time) was WHERE did April - and half of May - get to?! And then I sat down to pull some images to share with you, to chronicle what I've been up to while absent from The DogBreedz Blog. After I pulled all of the images together, my question was answered ... but first, let's get on to the good stuff, the images, shall we? I know that's why you keep coming back!

    In April of every year the El Capitan Stadium Association hosts the Lakeside Rodeo in the small East County town of Lakeside, California. It's a major event, the largest fundraiser for the Association and the crowd was out in force, enjoying the weather, the entertainment and the atmosphere. This was my second year attending. I have to say, as an animal lover, I think Barrel Racing is my all-time favorite event at the rodeo! My gallery of 2012 Lakeside Rodeo images is online at

    I finished off April with my annual booth at the Springer Spaniel Specialty in Walnut, California. I take ringside candids in the AM hours, chronicle the Parade Of Rescue (celebrating the past year's work of English Springer Rescue America, Inc), and take portraits in my booth. The Springers participating in the Parade get free sittings, and all others make a small donation, benefiting ESRA. While a lot of Springers passed in front of my lens, a few of the two-legged family members had candid shots captured as well. I love this one - notice her stuffed animal? It's a Springer! The Parade photos and candids are online at

    The next day it was off to the Lake Mathews Kennel Club show in Chino, California. Much less windy than last year's event! I was able to visit with a lot of my show friends and clients - capturing some great movement shots of favorite breeds and a couple of new (to my camera) breeds. Pictured here is Gordon Setter GCH Blazen Mackhyber's Cosmic Voyage, owned by Martha Dorward - he took Best Of Breed this day - congratulations! All Lake Mathews photos from this day are online at

    In between my time with the animals that I adore, I spend some time with people sports, as well. Sports photography is one of my first loves, starting back in high school. This is an image I call "Third in Sight!" starring a player from the Volcanos, a part of the Santana National Little League. All Little League images can be found at

    And a weekend that had me in absolute, 100% triple-A HEAVEN! I was asked by a wonderful photography friend (Marty, of Photography By M) to fill in for him at an agility trial in the heart of stunningly beautiful wine country of Temecula, California. Combining two of my all-time favorite things - sports photography and dogs - you can imagine why I was positively over-the-moon with this opportunity. Jumpin' K9's hosted an ASCA sanctioned trial weekend and the fur was flying! Pictured here is Jumpin' K9 instructer Cindy Valdez's Australian Shepherd Latte in 16" Open Jumpers. Don't you just get caught up by the intensity in this Aussie's eyes? All photos from the weekend are online at

    Rescue is very close to my heart. Since stepping down as Founding Director of San Diego Spaniel Rescue in 2009, I've contributed to various causes through fundraiser shoots and donating professional photography for animals available for adoption. Meet "George" - the day he met me on set it was just hours after being sprung from a local shelter by the local Cavalier King Charles Spaniel rescue. Even with wind-tossed hair and still getting his bearings he is a stunning boy!

    Wednesdays have continued to be busy days in the Santee, California studio. Free sittings are offered to clients of Su-Et's Kennel who are scheduled for baths, groomings or nail trims on most Wednesdays (weather permitting). From a recent sitting, this is Scottish Terrier puppy Peter, enjoying his crib. (I have to give a special shout-out to my friend and client, Kate, for donating this wonderful vintage crib to my props - I LOVE it!)

    One Wednesday a month I take off from the studio and spend some time with my friends at Santee's Farmers Market where I talk to folks about pet photography options and also showcase my homemade Original Clip-N-Tote Bags. These are great for so many uses! Show peeps can find them retail at Davis Animal Products' dog show booths and they are also available online at my Etsy Store. Strong canvas construction, with an overlaying layer of printed fabric, the center of the Clip-N-Tote Bag is roomy, and the two outer pockets are deep and convenient for storage. Handy O-rings attached to the carabiner clips make an easy to find spot for keys or leashes. A friend of mine uses hers at the grocery store, clipped to the front seat of her cart: coupons, hand sanitizer and keys are all organized and easy to find!

    And I am very happy to say the May issue of Dog Fancy features a full page photo of mine - check out the Puli on page 48! For those of you who like to plan ahead: Brown Trout will be using three of my images in their calendars for 2013. And for the Agility Addicts in my fan base, my first 2013 Calendar has gone live in my Lulu store - enjoy!

    Well now, it is obvious to all of us exacly why April (and yes, half of May) has flown right by! I'll try to do better with regular visits and updates to this Blog for you. Thank you for visiting and enjoy the photography of!