Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kalli and Buddy

The Pearce family is blessed with one adorable group of kids and, well, canine kids. Justin, Trevor and Sophie just couldn't have been more easy to work with. The same for Kalli (the beagle) and Buddy (a doxey). The key to this shot -- which was really, really easy to get considering the number of beating hearts involved -- was that Kalli and Buddy are at their calmest with Trevor. Once we knew that the composition sort of took care of itself.

Thanks to Angie (mom) for bringing the kids over for this pre-Christmas siting.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


(Note: I'm playing blog-catch-up after a very busy 4th quarter and the Christmas rush. I count myself very fortunate to have been inundanted with Christmas cards and portraits. I hope to share many of them in the coming weeks.)


Hades belongs to Thomas Van Wyngarden, a local attorney I met through the City Pet Club (more on that in another post). At the time of this sitting, in mid-November, Hades was eight months young.

In spite of Hades' dark coat, we decided to see what we might get by going with a dark background. We weren't disappointed! This 'Cute Puppy' look is just adorable. Of the images we printed, Tom tells me this one gets the most comments.

But you be the judge. Here are a few others:

(Click on any of these shots for a bigger view in a separate window.)

All for this post...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to the pound...


I had absolutely no interest in making an addition to our family this summer when I started getting texts, and then photos, about this "adorable" little corgi-heeler mix at the local Humane Society Animal Shelter. Over my dead body, I told myself. Being a good sport (and a wise husband) I decided to go along and have a look, thinking I could come up with some valid reason(s) why we shouldn't bring him home. But a funny thing happened when I spent some time with the little guy that day at the pound.

"We can foster him," was my intitial justification for bringing him home. The very first week we had two offers from friends (who I know would have given him a good home), but I found myself making excuses as to why they wouldn't be a good fit.

Suzie and I have concluded that I suck at fostering.

So the dog then known as Bear, briefly known as Jesse James and now living up to that other outlaw moniker has found a home.

The relationship has not been without its trials.

Those were perfectly good slippers BC -- Before Cisco. And his vocal ablilities rival his demolition skills. Oh, and his relationship with the pack? The Steel Cage Death Match fights with Wyatt were hard to prevent and very hard to take. Josie initially feared Cisco so much she went into hiding. I don't think I've ever been read the riot act as frequently as during those early days. I can now admit that I privately had my doubts about whether it would all work out.

But ever so slowly, things did work themselves out -- maybe because they just do but more likely because we sought counsel from friends and trainers with FAR more experience than us in understanding dog behavior. And we worked with Cisco.

Cut to 6 months after putting the pound experience behind him and Cisco is a pretty happy boy with a pretty good life.

He's still a Bad Ass. Our friends Eric and Mia say that if Cisco had his own symbol, it would a skull and crossbones. I tend to agree. But he's very smart, has serious drive, and wants to work. And the more we work with him, the better his behavior and attitude.

Cisco's also fast, far faster than Wyatt (who can actually get up and go when he wants to). I see agility in his future.

As far as their relationship goes, Wyatt and Cisco get along far better now. (This photo is of the pair, begrudgingly but patiently posing for me over the holidays, which we spent in LA, far away from the cold!)

They mostly leave each other alone but they also play. It's funny how you get to know certain sounds, a certain look or other behavior that can signal that it's about to be 'on.' Having a better understanding of these triggers has made for a much more peaceful existence for them and us.

An unintended consequence of Cisco having found his way to us is that Wyatt -- as jealous as they come -- wants to train more when he sees me working with Cisco.

So I'm really happy with our new addition. On top of everything else, he's also a pretty handsome little guy who mostly doesn't mind being photographed!

(Click on any of these photos for a bigger view)