A True Bond

Bonds. There are many different kinds of bonds in this world. For instance, there are the savings bonds that your grandmother probably gave you for a birthday years ago which you cashed in as soon as you could. And as I’ve mentioned in the past, I work in the legal field: Public Finance to be specific, otherwise known as municipal bonds. Does your community need a multi-family housing project built or an extra airport runway? Firms like the one I work for will be involved handling the sale of those bonds which pays for those kinds of infrastructure. But no, in this case, the kind of bond I’m referring to is the bond  you establish with a dog. That connection of the purest kind of love.

As part of a pet therapy team, it’s critical that Sam and I maintain a strong bond and that he responds to all commands. Sam relies on me to make sure he’s safe in a potential hazardous environment with patients where a wrong move with health equipment, bodily fluids, etc. could potentially leave either of us at risk. We work hard at connecting on the same level so that no mistakes result in any kind of problem for us or for the patients we see.

_MG_6285-(ZF-0799-11403-2-001)No where do I see that special bond more front and center than when I see this photo from the recent Bubbles and Balls rescue benefit where Sam is totally focused on me. I can’t get over how well Ariane from DelaFoto Pet Photography captured that bond. Sure, I joke about this doofas being dimwitted, (selectively) hearing impaired and downright stubborn at times when it suits his personal agenda, but when the chips are on the line, that face, that spirit is what we need when we go into a hospice room. I know then he’ll share it with whomever is in that bed, or with whomever is visiting the patient across from them. He’ll check in with me (after he tries to check out whatever might be in the wastebasket, of course-remember he’s still a doofas!) and then he’ll zero in on who needs him the most in that room.

We all love our pets dearly and they each hold a special place in our hearts for any number of reasons. With Sam and I, we have to expand that place for the work we do. And that is where this bond really comes into play. And it’s that kind of bond that means the world to everyone who sees or needs it, but no one more so than me. All told, I think he kind of likes me, what do you think?

Live, love, bark! <3


Bubbles and Balls – Update

Sam here.  Do you remember when mom and I recently participated in a rescue benefit for the  Misha May Foundation in Denver? Our friend, Ariane of DelaFoto Pet Photography donated half of her regular sitting fee to the foundation and gave everyone a photo magnet as well. We were thrilled to learn that $600 will help provide rescue and rehabilitation and find forever homes for dogs and cats at risk, regardless of age or breed, issue or amount of time needed in keeping with Misha May’s mission. Woof, woof!


It was a terrifically fun and successful event. Ariane gave me lots of ear scratches and paid lots of attention to me. All the dogs that participated on Saturday seem to be ‘senior’ dogs. A number of the dog moms mentioned they wanted to make sure they had a professional photograph of their fur-iend “in case something happened” which is a good idea. Oh, sure you guys whip out that iPhone all the time and take photos of us doing what dogs everywhere do, but a professional photo…wow, now that’s gonna be really something special because remember, like Ariane says, we’re family too. You’ll be able to look back and smile remembering how you tortured us got us a professional photograph with funny bubbles and dare I say, silly balls? You guys know I’m not into balls, right? They tried to get me to pose with one when Ariane took this photo. “What the…oh no you don’t,” I said. “I’m not touching that thing. You never know where it was last and besides, what am I supposed to do with a big blue ball anyway.”

_MG_6316-(ZF-0799-11403-2-004)Those bubbles weirded me out a little when they landed on me and popped. I’m not sure what is so intriguing about bubbles, can someone please explain that to me?  Mom said they make people smile but I just didn’t get it.

Have you ever had professional photos taken of your pet? What did you think? Do you have someone as talented and nice as Ariane? I’m a real handsome boy, aren’t I?


Live, love, bark! <3


Bubbles and Balls

bubbles-balls-pet-photo-fundraiser-22Sam and I helped our friend, Ariane from DelaFoto Pet Photography  on Saturday as she sponsored another rescue photo shoot over the weekend, this time to benefit the Misha May Foundation. We love ’em both and are always happy to be available to help out. I’m very passionate about rescue organizations and Misha May is a very special one. The event was a sell out with 50% of the sitting fee going to Misha May. The sitting fee guaranteed a free magnet photo for all attendees and additional prints are also available. It’s a great opportunity to have a professional photograph of your pup (with you if desired) for a reasonable fee. We can all take photos of our fur-kids, but not often do we spring for a professional pet photographer capturing those marvelous moments when the dog cocks his head just so with an adorable expression on his face to boot, surrounded by bubbles.

I wasn’t sure how Sam would react to the bubbles but pretty much knew he’d be nonplussed by the balls. Despite the fact that Standard Poodles were bred as water fowl retrievers, Sam seems to take the position that balls are a useless accoutrement in life. He always gives me ‘that look’ of puzzlement and if there were a thought bubble over his head it would no doubt say, “Yeah, what do you expect me to do now? You threw it, you go get it!”  He was a little unnerved by the floating bubbles initially until one landed on his flank and instantly popped. The puzzled look on his face was priceless. But then being the pro he is, he handled the puparrazzi session just fine.

Trying to photograph dogs can be a challenge as any of us know who try to get them to pose. “Look at the camera, boy.” And just as the shutter clicks, a lightning quick glance away or they’ll suddenly lay down. Argh. Add manually dispersing bubbles to that situation, a photographer with a large camera pointing at them, controlling the lighting and getting the perfect expression, well I think you’ve all seen my limitations photographically. Unless it’s a 700 year old Bristlecone Pine tree that wouldn’t move without benefit of dynamite, I’m sure I can figure out a way to make it somehow look bad. 🙁

But as always, Ariane delivered once again. Sam and I greeted everyone and handled the administrative details (wrangling attendees, getting releases signed and scheduling preview sessions). Some dogs and their owners needed some calming down ‘help’ more than others. spot the confident dogs. They arrived at the third floor walk-up studio with their head held high, purposefully walking toward the sign-in table. Dogs that were stressed by the stairs and the next door musical festive blasting heavy bass music (I still can’t identify the genre-not exactly rock n’roll, not dance music, not punk, not sure what to call it other than very loud noise) and throw in the unfamiliar surroundings and well, it’s understandable they’d be stressed. Sam and I did our best to get everyone at ease and all went well. As usual, he was a great ambassador. One woman mentioned she couldn’t schedule the preview session during the allotted time slots because she has numerous foster kids ‘sucking the life out of her and her time was simply too crazy next week to schedule something.’ Talk about ‘TMI!’  While I had no doubt she genuinely cared about these kids (she brought a really sweet little boy with her and the dog), I suppose she was feeling a bit overwhelmed at shuffling kids to dentist appointments, soccer practice, camp, the usual summertime overload of activities. I can totally understand that, and have felt it myself more than once, but would I rather set my hair on fire than ever say it out loud, nope, that’s just not happening. To each his own, right? I felt badly for her dog, a sweet but very nervous mixed breed pooch. But when I saw the photos of the boy with the little dog though, it really warmed my heart that for a few moments, both were captured naturally and with some joy on their faces as well on their guardian’s. And that’s what it’s all about.

So we’ll be keeping our paws crossed there will be an adorable photo to share. Have a marvelous Monday and an even better week. Here’s to staying cool to all our friends baking in heat and humidity and warmer days for our friends in the southern hemisphere who are shivering.

Live, love, bark! <3

So Shines a Good Deed

So shines a good deed in a weary world. [William Shakespeare]

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love dogs and that I’m a huge advocate of rescues and fostering. So when I had the recent opportunity to help out someone who shares that same passion, I was super excited to be a part. I offered to help out Ariane of DelaFoto fame with her signature Glamour Shots 2015 pet photo special, benefiting My Fairy Dawg Mother Rescue. Ariane (the fabulous photographer who shot my own “Mr. October” at Wash Park last Autumn) hosts this benefit every springtime, having had a special connection with My Fairy Dawg Mother since she began her business a few years ago. Ariane actively works to help animals find their ‘furever’ homes with these benefits. This two-day event was sold out and brought in quite the collection of adorable pooches and even a cat. The turnout ultimately raised $525 for the rescue. Way to go, Ariane!

IMG_1783  The location for this photo shoot was not your usual benefit  venue, it was the fabulous Balistreri Vineyards, a local gem in a most unlikely location. This family owed vineyard is located just 10 minutes from downtown Denver in a mixed use industrial/agricultural area. After photographing all the pups, we were treated to a personal tour of the cellar as well as checking out all the winemaking facilities by our gracious host, Julie (daughter of John & Birdie Balistreri). Julie provided us with a fantastic tour thoroughly explaining the entire process.  Their award-winning wines are traditionally handcrafted, without adding sulfites and having recently taken a winemaking class, it was impressive to see a commercial operation that goes the extra mile in the whole process to produce tasty wines the old fashioned way.

IMG_1787  Following the tour, we noshed on fabulous bread and antipasto and tasted some lovely fruit wine. All in all, it was totally beyond any expectations; all I had intended was to help out a rescue group by providing assistance for Ariane so she could focus on what she does best but was so warmly rewarded with a great experience, some great pooches and a great cause. My only regret was not having Sam with me but I’m sure he would have loved all the pups and their owners but sometimes a girl’s gotta do things on her own for others. I know he was with us in spirit and no doubt equally pleased that the rescue benefitted some well-deserving pups on their quest for finding the perfect ‘furever’ home on a gorgeous Spring day in the city. Cheers!

Cin cin!
Cin cin!

Live, love, bark! <3

We’re famous!

Beautiful Smith Lake at Wash Park
Beautiful Smith Lake at Wash Park

Okay, maybe we’re not exactly famous but we are very well-known. Uh yeah…that too is probably a stretch, but Sam is beginning to make his presence known and during this election season, I’m doing what everybody else does…I’m hanging on to a real winner’s coattails.

I recently had the opportunity to have a local pet photographer take photographs of Sam for next year’s hospital pet therapy calendar and while we were there, she graciously took a few snaps of us together as well. Can I just say having my picture taken is the pits? I mean I’d rather set my hair on fire than pose for a camera. Photos of me are always disappointing and usually come off contrived or downright funky. I really do want them to turn out nice, but it’s super awkward for me to look at a camera and feel relaxed or confident even with a great sidekick like Sam. Yeah, it’s true, I have no photo mojo but have always admired those who seem to look so effortlessly fabulous in photos.  The truth is, I’m kind of jealous of them, too.  How do they do that so easily?!  And why is that so hard for me?  Talk about self-conscious angst. Ugh.

Well, I have to say I am over the moon thrilled with the results! Ariane from DelaFoto: Elegant Pet Photography did an amazing job with our photo shoot at Denver’s famous Washington Park and featured us on her blog! “Wash Park” as it is more commonly referred to is one of Denver’s most beautiful parks with gorgeous trees, well manicured flower beds, oodles of bike and running paths, wide open grass areas, a gorgeous lake and boathouse and we were there on one of those fabulous picture-perfect Colorado autumn days.  The light was beautifully golden and really captured Sam in all his glory.

So check it out at Ariane’s blog.  Thanks again for doing a fabulous job, Ariane! You even made me look good, and that’s no an easy task. Now the trick will be picking out the best ones. 🙂

Have you ever had professional photos taken of your fur-baby?  Did you love ’em?  How did the shoot go? Do you think Sam will become famous after his ‘glamour’ shots?