All Paws Retreat is a Daycare and Boarding facility in Franklinton, Ohio. I started working with them last year doing Back to School Portraits of their pups. The photos were a hit.
Casie, the owner, has allowed me to spread my creative wings with her pups and after a few more sessions, we decided in January to sit down and plan our calendar of the year of sessions. We painstakingly planned out every date and theme.
Little did we know what the next couple of months would hold.
Two days prior to the Stay at Home order, Casie and her fiancé and I even had gone out and done their engagement photos.
So here we 2 months later and working with face masks, and gloves, and hand sanitizer everywhere. Our hands are dry and flaking from soap and alcohol, but we are back to work on a limited capacity.
I stepped into the daycare full of anxiety but loaded with pink backdrop and flowers galore.
We wanted to do SOMETHING special to honor the Moms in the lives of the dogs, and what better than pretty pink flowery and bow tie laden doggie?
I adored this session so much. It turned out dainty, and sweet and beautiful.
a Name for the business
I don’t talk much about my personal life here, but i feel like I should probably talk about this. I made it an “official” business around 2006 and struggled for a long time to come up with a clever quirky name. I didn’t want to use my own name as it was too long, and settled on a name that was even longer. The irony is not lost on me. I wanted to somehow incorporate my heritage, and my name, but Lucky Photography was taken, and nothing i came up with the Gaelic Translations sounded good to me. I also knew somehow my pets would be part of the business as well, and couldn’t decide how to incorporate them either.
At the time when i was creating this, my best furry pal, my faithful follower and protecter, was and is Lola. Lola is my beautiful redheaded (now white) shepherd mutt. Ive had her since 2000, when she was a wee pup. Today, however I look upon her old white face and thank the heavens for each day she is with me.
I did not initially adopt her, a friend did from Greene County Animal Shelter, and turned out she couldn’t keep this adorable fat puppy. I was a total sucker for her from the moment I met her. Lola has been my partner in crime and constant companion. She traveled with me everywhere, she loved to climb out on the roof with me and watch the world from up high. She protected my property, and myself.
She was my husbands first dog love. She was his his constant running parter while they both could still get up at 5am and run 4 miles. She taught him how great life is with a dog. They played fetch for hours, and she greeted him happily at the door every evening with her big dopey grin, even when she had just emptied the entire contents of the kitchen trash can all over the floor.
She was my Muse, OUR Muse and still is. She would sit pretty for me and let me practice my photography on her for hours, giving me soulful eyes and sideways glances. It clicked finally that to me that she, while having an expiration, had to be part of my studio name.
Its 10 years later and we grow nearer that date by the day instead of the years, as I had once thought would take forever to happen. I have worried about how I will handle having my business named after my long lost pal, and now have come to realize it wont matter. It was my way of honoring her then, and will always be a way to honor her.
As a child, I had an aussie, and she was the coolest dog. She was my best friend. I loved her so much. She, of course, stayed with my dad when I moved out and took care of him once my Sister and I were both gone. As I grew older and rescued my own dogs, I always had a special spot in my heart for Aussies. One day, I will rescue one for my own family.
I have volunteered for PetPromise.org for the last 2 years, and have loved every minute of photographing the dogs that have come into my studio. I feel bad that I don’t more time to photograph more animals for them.
This week on Facebook, I happened to come across another rescue I haven’t heard much about. It popped up in my “suggested” feed. (Thanks Facebook for stalking my life).
Speak for the Unspoken is a foster-based animal rescue based in Columbus, Ohio. The goal is to do what they can to put an end to careless breeding practices that overpopulate the streets and shelters. They believe that special needs dogs are capable of doing anything you wish as long as you provide proper training and patience.
I was hooked when is saw they had a couple of special needs Aussies in transport to Ohio. I knew I needed to photograph them. I knew that I just had to meet these sweet girls and be part of their life travels.
I was right.
Alexis came to the studio first with 5 puppies, and the mother to three of the puppies, Judy.
Alexis is deaf, but dont let that fool you. She was cute and sweet and explorative. She checked out all the puppies and we opted to let Judy out of the crate to hang out with her while I photographed the babies. Judy and Alexis explored the studio from top to bottom, sniffing and climbing and having a great time.
Like any aussie though, she is a jumper and when my assistant Barb left to let in Alexis sister in, She couldn’t contain her curiosity and jumped the tall gate at my door to go follow her. Fortunately there isn’t many places to explore in my building.
Enter Analie. She is a kinda and gentle soul who is blind and deaf. Her sweet face and calm demeanor make you want to snuggle her forever. She seems a bit fearless as she had no issues exploring my studio without assistance. She used her nose to explore and while she’s blind her optic nerves are still there and can notice light changes. This sweet girl will happily be your best cuddle bug.
If you would like more information on adopting, fostering, or donating to help out these girls get their furever home, check out SftU Facebook page, as well as their website.