Easter Egg Hunts, For Dogs?

Yes! It’s a thing! Your dog can join in the Easter egg hunt! In fact, dog-friendly egg hunts are growing in popularity around the country.
Your dog can eat the boiled eggs, too. Real eggs are good for a dog’s health—including the shell, as it turns out. Cooking them reduces the risk of salmonella, though some dog owners swear by raw eggs for their dogs. Check with your vet if in doubt.

Alternatively, you can stuff plastic eggs with stinky, yummy dog treats, which provide a great opportunity for teaching scent work. (Just make sure you don’t let them crack the plastic with their jaws; instead, open the eggs for them. See more on safety considerations below.)

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Easter Egg Safety for Dogs

  • Supervise your dog carefully, as plastic eggs can crack and be dangerous if swallowed.
  • Keep your dog on leash while hunting, so you can make sure they don’t eat anything they shouldn’t—or get a little too excited when competing with a human child for treats.
  • Plastic eggs filled with dog treats should be large enough that they can’t be swallowed whole.
  • Don’t let your dog eat chocolate, of course. And while you’re at it, watch out for the little foil wrappers that might get dropped in the candy-eating frenzy.
  • Any eggshells for consumption should be dyed with non-toxic colors.

If this all seems like a bit more work than you’re up for, never fear. Give your pooch an Easter-themed dog toy, and she’ll feel included.

 

Will your dog have an Easter Egg Hunt this year? If so, Send me pictures!

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100th Photo-Shoot with Canine Commitment New England Dog Rescue

I have had a fantastic time working with Canine Commitment of New England over the past 6 months or so. I have had many beautiful dogs come through the studio doors. My goal has always been to help rescue dogs get re-homed. Well, that has happened, and more! I have made wonderful friends with Ross and Melissa the owners of Canine Commitment of NE. They are smart, giving and a joy to “work” with. I can’t really call it work when it is with them. I have met many amazing volunteers that work with CCNE each one loving and supporting the work they do.

Well, in true KSP fashion I could not let this milestone go with out a bit of a photographic celebration. What to do…? Celebration=100th Dog plus nine of his friends=Party Hats=Cake! The let fun begin! All 10 of these beautiful dogs are up for adoption with Canine Commitment of NE, please visit the page to adopt or make a donation to help them continue with the wonderful work they do.

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My next Blog will be about how these puppies got their start.

 

 

Guest Blogger – Ross Norwood from Canine Commitment of NE – Dog Rescue

Dear KSP Followers,

It is my pleasure to have Ross Norwood as a guest blogger today.

Ross began her non-profit in December, 2010. There are two locations that are licensed shelter facilities in the state of NH. In Manchester, Melissa houses pups in her home while awaiting adoption. In New Boston, the pups have their own building on Ross’ property. Between the two locations, and a wonderful group of volunteers that help us care for the dogs, advertise the dogs, and process applications, Canine Commitment is saving hundreds of lives each year – and they continue to grow each year!

Ross grew up primarily in Texas, and attended the University of Texas in Austin where she graduated with an honors interdisciplinary liberal arts degree. Professionally, she spent her career in marketing and PR in both Austin, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts. She became a stay-at-home mother in March of 2003 with the birth of her first daughter, Jamison. Annelise followed in November of 2006. In 2008 Ross and her family adopted a dog through Canine Commitment in Maine, where she met the director and told her “if you ever need someone to pick up a dog or anything, you should give me a call.” The rest is history. Ross and her family eventually moved from their home in Bedford, NH, to a home in New Boston on 22 acres, where the rescue pups could have their own building. Ross raises her two daughters with her husband, Scott Setzler, while managing the day-to-day activities of Canine Commitment. As a full-on ADD sufferer, Ross’ favorite saying is: Rescue is a lot of things, but it is never, ever boring. She has not been bored one day since starting this rescue journey. It provides the highest highs and lowest lows, but she knows she could never go back to not being a part, no matter how small, of a solution to our country’s overpopulation and killing. In the future, Ross hopes to work on educational programs to help teach children that animals deserve our respect and kindness. Perhaps, if we start with kids, we can all achieve a day where there will be no more dogs killed in our country for lack of a home.

I personally have had the privileged to work with both Ross and Melissa. When I tell you these ladies work hard it is an understatement. These ladies care for sick, injured, scared and abused animals all day every day. There’s is not a 9-5 job!  As much as Ross compliments me, she and Melissa are the ones doing the real work. I hope you enjoy Ross’ post and please consider adopting from or donating to Canine Commitment.

http://caninecommit.org/

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If you are lucky enough to know Kimberly Sarah Photography and you follow them on social media, you likely have seen Kim’s gorgeous photos of Canine Commitment’s dogs.

It was our lucky day, truly, when Kim reached out to us and offered her amazing talents to help us showcase our pups and help find their homes. Kim asked me to share a little bit about Canine Commitment, and I’m happy to do that!

Canine Commitment is an all-breed dog rescue based in New Boston and Manchester, New Hampshire. We have been around as Canine Commitment of New England since 2010, and since then thousands of dogs – and even a few hundred kittens – have come through our doors. “We” is two of us who are licensed as shelters out of our personal homes. We are set-up a bit differently than most rescues in that we work hands-on with each and every dog that comes through our rescue, and also work with the potential adopters. We utilize a handful of foster homes when needed, but primarily keep the dogs with us so that we know them well, can answer questions, and have them ready to meet potential adopters.

But “we” is also dozens of dedicated volunteers and a few employees who care for the dogs daily, assist with medical records and adoption packets, and keep two crazy rescuers sane! Over the years, the rescue has grown in wonderful ways and brought so many amazing dogs and fantastic people to us. We are so grateful that the thing we hear the most from applicants is that they know several people who have adopted from us, or even that they have adopted from us in the past and want to work with us again! It is incredible to us that we find great homes for not only the cute fluffy puppies, but also the senior dogs with medical issues, and the three legged pups and the deaf pups … all because so many people in our area open their homes and hearts to rescue dogs.

New England is unique from many parts of our country in that we do not have overflowing shelters and puppies in boxes for sale at every flea market. That, and much, much more, is what our rescue partners in the south are dealing with each and every day. Through our wonderful partnerships with Tupelo-Lee Humane Society, Southern Magnolia Boxer Rescue, and several independent rescuers, we are able to help move dogs into New England that otherwise would have no hope of finding a loving home. Whether you are looking for a puppy to grow up with your family, or a calm, older dog who didn’t get the best start in life, or a fun-loving, ready-for-adventure goofball, you can find what you are looking for through rescues like Canine Commitment and many other wonderful, dedicated groups across New England. And if you are really, really lucky … it might be one who has a glamour shot done by Kimberly Sarah Photography!

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NH Magazine Cover Image

How one Dog Photographer got the Cover of NH Magazine

I was on my way home from a very needed week off in December, sitting in the airport in the Jet Blue terminal when my phone rang. Well as you know, my first reaction was “another sales call” or “Hi! This is Susan from Google and I can help you get more visitors to your website”…blah. blah. blah. For some reason I answered it anyway. It was a nice gentleman on the other end, he said he was from NH Magazine. I thought, so here it comes, they want me to buy advertising. Nope!

He said he was on my website and loved my images. He was in search of a Cover Image for the February edition called “Pets”. He fell in love with the Out-Take image I had of a sweet little French Bulldog called Fiona. Fiona belongs to a good friend and SOPHA member Sue and her adorable daughter Emma.

It didn’t really hit me at the time what he was saying and on top of that they were boarding the plane! I had to quickly excuse myself from our conversation and ask that we catch up on Monday to talk again. What I really wanted was to make sure I heard him correctly. My image on the cover of NH Magazine!? Really?

As you can guess, Yes, my image on the cover. I was flattered. It was an incredible feeling.

By the end of January I started to look on the news stands and in Barnes and Noble for the magazine, it was not out at those times. In fact I had some what forgotten about it, until one day standing in line at Market Basket with Bud. Out of the blue I had remembered the magazine may be out. As I said to Bud, we should look for the magazine, I turned and there it was. He said I squealed but I don’t think so. I was kind of awesome to see on the checkout stands.

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It was an unforgettable moment! So much fun!

Here is the finished cover.

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NH Magazine is a great read, a great way to get to know what the people around you are doing. There are some wonderful artists, business people, restaurants etc. in our area.

George Eastman Museum – A history of Dogs in photos

When did dogs come into our lives as pets?

Wikipedia and other sites will tell you they aren’t exactly sure. They know it was the Grey Wolf about 27,000-40,000 years ago.  These dogs were mainly seen as assistants to humans. The hunters-gatherers types. Some scientists argue that friendly wolves sought out humans. Friendliness caused strange things to happen in the wolves. They started to look different. Domestication gave them splotchy coats, floppy ears, wagging tails. In only several generations, these friendly wolves would have become very distinctive from their more aggressive relatives. But the changes did not just affect their looks. Changes also happened to their psychology. These protodogs evolved the ability to read human gestures.

As dog owners we take for granted that our dog can get the toy we ask them too. Or if we have taken the time to teach out dogs hand gestures, they can read us. They are reading us! All of the time.Some dogs are so attuned to their owners that they can read even a simple, subtle change in eye direction.

Throughout history, animals have played a key role in human life. People have come to rely on animals for food, clothing, and transportation. Even religious worship.

From what I have learned pet keeping wasn’t generally accepted in Europe until the end of the 17th century, and it wasn’t common among the middle classes until the late 18th century. Pet keeping in its present form is probably a 19th century Victorian invention. At this time, it was perceived as a link with the natural world, which itself was no longer seen as threatening. It also allowed a visible demonstration of man’s domination over nature.

My reason to today’s blog is not to school you in the history of pet keeping but to answer my curiosity of when were dogs important enough to photograph?

The George Eastman House Museum

In my on-going quest to answer this question. I stumbled upon some answers. While Bud and I were attending the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY for a class in Daguerreotypes, we had a chance to visit the museum, or “George’s house”. I was surprised to find these four photos hanging in his private family collection.

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Be Sure to look closely at the dates. The 1800’s!

When I travel through a museum I have this thing about seeing how many paintings include a dog, I want a better understanding. It’s quite a lot actually. Dogs by themselves hunting. Or a girl in a beautiful dress holding a dog. Dogs at the feet of their masters. One of my favorites is of a dog “relieving” himself in what seems to be a church. Come to find out Emanuel de Witte painted this scene quite a bit. Were dogs even allowed in Church? Not in my day, that would have been cool!

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It seems as though dogs for pets were for the wealthy. I suppose so were photographs and paintings, so who’s to say the un-wealthy didn’t keep any dogs for pets. It could be that it just was not recorded.

 

In my travels I keep any eye out for old photographs of dogs. Here are some I have come across.

Do you have any old photos of a dog?

Being a Dog Photographer means helping other Dog Lovers!

Being a Dog Photographer means helping other Dog Lovers!

As I find myself with what feels like less free time than when I was working 50+ hours for a large hospital, I still feel the need to help. Help other humans and especially help dogs. As a Dog Photographer I have led a class called Sit. Stay. Smile here at the studio, we worked in conjunction with ARLNH- Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire. We had 8 puppies that day, a class full of eager photographers and a check for ARLNH! I will be running this class again in November. (sign up here to join me)What a treat! But I wanted to do more…

I scoured the net to find smaller Shelters or Rescues; I came across Mary’s Dogs. They are located in Northwood, NH just outside of Deerfield. Please read about Mary’s Dogs here. They re-home dogs and puppies from shelters in North Carolina and South Carolina. It’s not that we don’t have homeless dogs from NH or New England, we are lucky it is not the problem that the south has. Mary’s likes to point out the larger goal is to educate and support the spay/neuter movement in the south. This is a very large problem for dogs and puppies. People don’t love their pets any more or less because they live in one geographic region or another. But kill rates spike in high poverty areas with limited access to affordable veterinary services for spaying and neutering. In the rural South, unsterilized dogs are often allowed to roam outdoors. Many counties have weak or unenforced leash laws. Shelters in such areas are overrun, with kill rates ranging from 50 to 95 percent. Even where adoptions are encouraged, low population density makes them rare. Here are a few articles you can read if you were unaware of the issues:

The Bark

The American Humane Association

The Animal Mission

On the day I was to photograph a transport of puppies, 22 pups were scheduled to arrive! Yes, 22! That means 88 Paws, 44 silky ears, 22 wagging tails and a load of cuteness! Well, I was not disappointed.

I arrived at 9:00am, what seemed like a small house quickly became clear at how organized and accommodating the space was. The counter was lined up with dog food bowls, Allyson was hard at work checking and rechecking her list to make sure all went well. An amazing aroma filled the room, it was a large Tupperware tub, Allyson was scooping spoons full into the dog bowls, I asked, what is that??

Mary made homemade chicken soup! Yes you read that right! HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP!  Funny, it was just like my mom makes, real chicken, carrots, rice and potatoes! Wow! I knew these puppies were going to get a great welcome to NH!

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9:30 the Howl on Wheels transport van arrived, run by Kelly Ivory. She had a great team with her!

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The pups were unloaded one by one they were in such good shape, I wasn’t sure what to expect since they came all the way from Forgotten Tails in SC. They were all beautiful!

Happy to be out of the van, the pups got to run around in the play area, have some water and do their business before heading inside for lunch. I have to remark on the orderly fashion this team from Mary’s was working. A fast pace but nothing went unnoticed, each pup got individual attention, all their needs were met. Ears cleaned, eyes cleaned, fed and watered. I loved seeing a room full of happy dogs. Most of the dogs at this point were already adopted. I believe there were 4 puppies without a new home when I left that day. Of course it was difficult for me to leave a pup behind, but the care and love they were getting filled my heart. Yes it wasn’t even noon and my day was complete! I spent 3 hours with puppies and dogs also with great people, people who care and give of themselves. This team was just amazing and I cannot say enough good things about them. I was so happy to be a part of it. My little part in all of this was to get Mary some nice photos for her to post on social media to get the word out. So please if you feel like doing a small part as well, like Mary’s page on Facebook and help spread the word about spay/neuter movement in the south.

On a side note, I totally fell in love with Noah. Good Luck Noah, where ever you are! Enjoy your new family!

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You can find more pictures from the day on my Facebook page. Kimberly Sarah Photography