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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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

Three Great Dane Puppies, One Darn Good Dog Photographer

July 30, 2016

Ok, all kidding aside, I do not boast about my work or talents.

As a Dog Photographer we meet all kinds of people and dogs. This particular day I was about to meet three 4 1/2 week old Great Dane Puppies. Oh. My. Goodness! I could not wait! As you may have seen Wilson was in a few days before for his fine art dog portrait. He was to be the first of our newly announced 4 Legged Newborn Sessions. Wilson as you may recall was 8 weeks old, well these amazing Great Danes walk in at 4 1/2 weeks and are the same size as Wilson! A Dog Photographers dream challenge.

For me, I form a concept (thank you Bud Thorpe for driving this home) before the shoot. My concept was for these three puppies all sleeping nicely in a dresser draw I brought to the studio from home. It was silver so I knew it would work well with their coloring. It helps to get a picture of your subject before they are in your studio.

I started, one puppy at a time. They were wiggly, squirmy and full of life! A challenge indeed. Sit, Stay, recite the Battle Hymn of the Republic all meant the same to them, remember they were 4 1/2 week old puppies. Not much time to lean anything, they just opened their eyes 3 weeks ago. But it was great fun. Their human mom’s were fantastic to work with. We made some adorable photos in the first concept I had. Here is Spree in here pink basket.
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Now comes the challenge – Three sleeping dogs…

It took time, talent and lots of hugging and whispering to each puppy. First JuJu, just the sweetest, blue eyed puppy. She was on her way to tired so that seemed easy. Next was Pixie, the runt of the litter and most curious. She took a bit longer to get to sleep, holding her like a newborn baby, she eventually feel asleep too. Phew! Ok, now for Spree, she was all the way awake. Was not at all interested in slowing down. However, time and talent was at play and asleep she went. Each puppy, one by one was placed in the draw. One waking while the others sleep. On and on it went. Until, our serendipitous moment….

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All three sleeping like the adorable puppies they are! Oh the joy!

You can see more images on my website or Facebook page

Learn more about SOPHA! The Studio of Photographic Arts

 

 

 

Wilson, The First of the 4 Legged Newborn Session at Kimberly Sarah Photography

July 28, 2016

I started my 4 Legged Newborn Sessions with Wildrose Wilson an adorable 8 week old full bred Black Lab. He is part of Wildrose Kennels – Gentleman’s Gundogs. This puppy will be fully trained by Tim Clancy and ready to live with his owner in a years time. I however, reaped the benefits of this beautiful creature. He was a perfect Black Lab, show quality, and a puppy with lots of energy! Here is how my day with Wilson went…

Dog Photographer, Interior Decorator, International Woman of Travel, all titles I have dreamt of for myself. Today I got to be at least two of them.

One of the more enjoyable aspects of being a Dog Photographer is set designing, like interior design, just on a smaller scale and a lot less permanent. Something happens to my mind every-time I have a dog portrait session. This time for the 4 Legged Newborn Sessions, and after seeing a snapshot of Wilson, my mind exploded! I had a few days to prepare, which yes, meant SHOPPING!!! I wanted a more Artsy, High Styled shot. As rambunctious as he was, I got the shot. One down!

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During my phone consultations with my clients, I find out what they are about, what they do for work and how their dog is a part of their family. I like to learn as much as I can about the puppy/dog, energy level, age, any health problems etc. Since Wilson was a friendly referral, Bud told me Tim, his trainer was a fireman. Of course we want his coat and helmet! Two Down!

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So on we went, now I have to mention that Tim and Danielle (owners/trainers)were very helpful in wrangling Wilson. No dog should be left alone on a table or set. Ever. I have to be behind the camera most of the time so with puppies you certainly need a handler.

Concept number 3. Howdy Pardner! A Western theme came to mind. Boots from home, cowboy hat from the prop room and a purchased great looking old fashioned wooden bucket. Insert puppy and you have a nice warm and friendly image.

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We continued to concept 4, 5, 6 and lastly 7, an adorable set up for an adorable puppy. It’s simple but I believe it let’s you really see how cute Wilson is and let’s you connect with him. Sleepy time for puppy, getting ready to chase some squirrels in his dreams. Thank you sweet boy for being, well…just you…

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Are you ready for your Professional Dog Portrait? Are you expecting? Book a 4 Legged Newborn Session! I’d love to see what we can create.

http://www.KimberlySarahPhotography.com