Muddy Love Pet Photography » Blog

  • Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

    "The story of our dogs is the story of us. A dog can't change the world but they can change your world.
    And if each of us can pass along even a fraction of the unmitigated, world changing love we receive from our dogs?
    Maybe we can see about that whole changing the world thing." - Will Kearney

I was soooo excited to do this photoshoot. Sonia got in touch with me about a month ago and told me about the awesome adventure she and her husband Dustin are going on. They’re going to take the summer off and take their three beautiful huskies on a cross country trip across Canada – in a hatchback. They’re going to talk about their adventures under the (very cool) name, Huskies in the Hatch so you can follow what they’re up to. 67 days from Tofino to Gros Morne Newfoundland in a hatchback with 3 huskies? Bucket list! They leave on April 27th so be sure to follow them here. 

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When Romeo’s mom Kym reached out to me and asked if I wanted to do a “styled photoshoot with a puppy in a Westfalia on the beach somewhere?” I think I almost spit out my drink. I quickly told her um, *yes*, and also let her know that she had said all of my favourite words together in the same sentence. Christmas Miracle!!

Kym and her husband adore Romeo, and what a small world it is, it turns out we were actually enrolled in the same puppy class and had met each other back when our pups were both even more wee. Kym has an awesome sense of style and design, and their Westie is just so COOL. I loved working with them so much and just can’t wait to do another styled shoot together in the spring. Romeo is a total character – he is small but big on personality and zest for life.

And the other bonus?? Kym submitted our photos to Style Me Pretty, and they decided to publish them. . Kind of a big deal in the photography world – check out the link here. 

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I have a special connection with Stewie and his people. I first met Tanya and Ken when I took their wedding photographs, ages and ages ago. Then later, they got this crazy puppy called Stewie, and we decided to do a “family” shoot. (Stewie was my very first ever official pet photoshoot.) Over the years I’ve done a few more photoshoots for the family – when Tanya was pregnant, and when the girls grew up. Stewie was always there, getting older and more diginified with each session. And so last weekend, when I went to Duncan to do this shoot, it was a special time.

Tanya wrote the story of Stu in her own words, and she’s kind enough to let me share it here:

It all began 8 years ago when we decided it was time to add a dog to our family. He was a little 6 pound puppy that kept coming up to us; he picked us to be his family.  From that day on, our lives have been forever changed. Stewie was an entertaining puppy bordering on neurotic.  Everyone who knows him can remember his crazy days as a puppy!

When we brought home our first daughter he decided to grow up and take the role of her protector. This continued with our second daughter’s arrival. Stewie tolerated the kid’s behaviours with love and grace and they both love him for that. His tenderness with the girls both surprised us and melted our hearts.

Then came the day Stewie couldn’t walk. Our hearts sank with grief and the fear of the unknown. His prognosis was grim without major back surgery. So, he went to see a neurosurgeon and went under the knife. Luckily he recovered but then our worst fear came true and a year later he needed another surgery.  We thought he had already had a lifetime dose of bad luck but then we found a lump on his shoulder. It was the big C, cancer. And off he went to see an oncologist for yet another surgery.

Today, Stewie is cancer free and a happy content dog.  Gray hairs are beginning to ring his soft muzzle as the years pass. His walks have gotten shorter and many days are spent snoring in front of the fireplace. He has aged more over the past years than expected but we are embracing this quieter time of his life.  Stewie has been a constant source of happiness and joy for our family; we can’t imagine life without his snorting, waddling and wagging tail. He is our happiness on four legs.

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2015-11-26_0018.jpgPINThe last photos of the series is a photo of the drawing of Stu that the girls made for me to take home. 🙂

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This past weekend was a whirlwind. I headed out to Victoria for two very special photoshoots. The first one I will share is Vern’s shoot. I think Vern’s new mom can tell his story better than I can, so with her permission I am sharing it here. I am so glad there are people like these two in the world and that this little love bug found them:

This is his/our story, in a nutshell. After our Border Collie cross died at the age of 14, every year at his birthday and Christmas my husband Glenn would say to me “I thought this year someone would get me a dog…” My neighbour up the street brings dogs up from a high kill shelter in San Bernadino, CA so I asked her about getting a dog last January. Sadly, there are so many dogs in the shelters down there it was hard to choose so going with what we already knew, I picked a small border collie cross and told my neighbour that was the one I wanted. For some unknown reason, this poor dog was euthanized that same day, prior to us getting our information to the shelter. It was strange because even though I had never met this little dog, it broke my heart. I told her that I would take the next dog that was going to be killed.

There are so many great people who pledge money and work with Rescue Groups to ensure as many of these dogs as possible don’t have to die that the adoption and delivery process was amazingly smooth. The shelter was contacted and advised that we would be adopting Vern, who I named after my dad. It was bittersweet to read his papers when he arrived at our home because they said ‘Is being adopted, do not PTS (put to sleep). That was Jan 23rd.

Vern was sent to the local vet and given a clean bill of health, then neutered. I believe he may have spent a couple of days in a foster home and then was put on a transport truck, Paws Without Borders, going all the way from California to Blaine, Washington. My neighbour picked him up in Blaine and brought him back on the ferry to Victoria on Feb 1st. When she arrived home I went up to pick him up and he was much bigger in person than in the pictures that showed on the website….and extremely strong! He pulled me all the way home!

As Vern was a surprise for my husband’s birthday I brought him into the basement and called Glenn downstairs. When Glen walked into the room I said “Happy Birthday!” He looked pretty surprised but didn’t say much…Vern wasn’t the furry border collie that he was hoping for I’m sure. But Glenn sat down on the couch and Vern immediately climbed onto his lap. The two of them have been inseparable ever since. A few days later Glenn said that he never thought he would ever have a pit bull as a dog, now he said he can’t imagine not having one.

Thank you Gail and Glenn for taking such good care of Vern.

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book2PINGus is truly a special dog – athletic, goofy, sweet, and spring loaded. When his human moms Sara and Jess got in touch, I was totally excited to go and do a photoshoot for them down at the off-leash area on MacDonald Beach, a beautiful place and doggie paradise I don’t get to nearly often enough.

The shoot went super well, other than the part where I accidentally asked Sara to sit down on a log that had FIRE ANTS on it (sorry Sara – you were a great sport!). After the shoot, we talked about what kind of products they might want. I love how this went down: Jess emailed me privately to say “we’re just going to order prints, but I REALLY want to surprise Sara with an album, k?” So, we two sneaky ladies built and ordered an album together, without letting on to Sara what we were doing. Her favourite colour is purple, so picking the album cover colour was easy. Here are some of the spreads from the album, and a few shots of the album itself.

I always really encourage people to go for an album – I try to keep the costs reasonable because it’s just super important to me that you have a tangible memory of your shoot. I hear so many times from past clients how they go back to their album again and again. It’s an awesome thing to have out on the coffee table or on the bookshelf, just to have those images and memories right at your fingertips. The companies I use to produce the books are very high end, and the quality really is awesome. If you have questions about getting your own album, pop me a note!  (Even if we did a shoot in the past and you didn’t order then but wish you had – you can still order one in time for Christmas, just ‘sayin!)

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And some more photos from our shoot:

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