And I’m really glad I only have three as I get my puppy-raising legs back underneath me.
After several different set ups, I’ve settled on having a big area (3/4 of the room) for their awake time and a small area (1/4) for bed time, nap time, and get-them-out-of-the-way-so-I-can-clean-without-helpers time.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Or a picture can launch a love affair. Either way, a good picture can be the key to a dog finding a family.
Often people tell me that when they saw a picture of their current dog, it was love at first sight. Capturing a dog’s personality as well as its physical features in a picture can work magic. It’s why shelters and rescues love when photographers volunteer their time (and why it would be great if more did!). For dogs coming out of shelters in the south, that initial picture is often all a rescue has to go on when deciding which lives to save. Suffice it to say, pictures matter.
Both of my current foster dogs, Argus and Marley, are adorable, but you might not know that from my pictures.
My snaps didn’t do them justice, so I asked my friend Caitlin, who is an incredibly talented photographer, to do a photo shoot.
Caitlin confessed right up front that beyond one lost dog and her own animals, she’s never spent a lot of time photographing dogs. If only we all could do this well out of the gate…
It’s been tricky to get good pictures of Argus, partly because he’s a puppy so he’s always in motion and partly because he’s a little on the insecure side. Just like that friend who always cringes or blinks when you pull out a camera, he often looked awkward in my pictures. Honestly, though, he is awkward. He’s like that gangly teen who is easily embarrassed and always apologizing for bumping into things as he learns to navigate the world with a growing body and mind.
He also sticks out his tongue when anxious, and even the tip of it appears when he’s distracted or thinking hard. He’s also a little shy around new people. So, not an easy dog to photograph.
Luckily, he warmed up quickly to Caitlin because she’s such a gentle, encouraging soul.
Marley, on the other hand, is friendly as an experienced salesman, ready to be your best friend upon introduction. The challenge with her was to make her look not so frantic – it’s mostly the blue eye that makes her pictures look a little manic. She is so much cuter in person than in pictures.
Her gray muzzle and those mismatched eyes do not come across well on camera, but I promise you, she is adorable. She’s also devoted, often she was too close to photograph well. And she has very light brindle stripes in her coat that look like wrinkles or dirt, also limiting her photogenicness. If you’re looking to adopt an Instagram star she’s probably not your dog, on the other hand, maybe her odd look on camera might work for you. She’s definitely got the personality for it.
Thanks so much to Caitlin Garvey (you can find her on Instagram at caitlingarvey_photography – look her up, you’ll be glad you did) for lending your time and your talent (and your patience) to help us find families for these two special dogs.
If you’d like regular updates of all our foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips, and occasional foster cat updates (!) be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.
And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org and subscribe to our blog where we share stories of our travels to shelters, rescues, and dog pounds.
It’s quite the dog party at my foster cottage. The last month with the hound dogs has been relatively quiet. Other than the occasional concert, they are a pretty quiet pair. Lots of sleeping, casing the joint for treats, and counter-surfing, but no real rough-housing.
Enter Gina, our party girl. She has definitely upped the energy level here.
Rufus is thrilled to have a playmate. The two have regular play sessions all day long – chasing, wrestling, rolling, and lots of keep away with a toy (but no tug, Gina doesn’t seem to understand tug, she just gives the toy up). For a dog who is supposed to be seven, Rufus has some serious game.
I’m pretty sure my neighbors know what kind of dogs we have squirreled away in our foster cottage.
Rufus and Bug sing lovely songs periodically that make me smile. I’m not even sure what gets them started or what they are singing about. The serenades rarely last long and sometimes happen shortly after I’ve left them, but sometimes two hours later.
I know that first hand, as does anyone in the rescue world. It’s part and parcel to the whole rescue mentality – you want to help and you can easily over-extend. You can’t bear for animals to suffer.
And sadly, lately, that proclivity to take on more and more has led to rescues turning into hoarding cases.
Two different situations came through my world this weekend that I could do nothing about, but a local wannabe rescuer’s overwhelm did spill into my world, or to be exact, my not-quite-finished foster cottage.
I’ve been watching Gina’s journey from a distance since I met her back in August at Saving Webster Dogs.
I actually must have met her back in June when I traveled there with Who Will Let the Dogs Out on a shelter tour, but at the time there were over 100 dogs and somehow, this large, muddy, sweet dog didn’t catch my eye.