Holiday Photo Shoot!

It’s a tradition that every year I take a holiday photo of my dog. Although I don’t send Christmas cards, I still like to have a festive photo of Hunter to share with friends and family.

Lucky for me, Hunter is pretty good at taking photos. I usually only have to take a few shots to get a good one. He is always smiley and goofy, and he is very comfortable with the camera (he’s had a lot of practice).

Here are photos from our first Christmas together and last year, two of my favorite photos of him:

This year I had the challenge of getting a photo of Roscoe, my foster dog. Roscoe is a shy, scared dog who doesn’t know the sit command and doesn’t like being picked up or having anyone walk toward him. Although he is fairly treat-motivated, he won’t always go for the treat if he is too scared.

Needless to say, it took some time to get a good photo of him and even longer to get one of the two of them together. Here are some outtakes from the session. For some reason, I had a hard time getting the dogs close to my tiny tree.

And, here are the best photos:


Any my favorite:



Although I am no photo expert (as you can see above), I have spent a lot of time taking pictures of my dog and I think I’ve learned a few things. Here are some of my tips for getting a good “posed” photo of your dog.

  • Carry a lot of small, chewy treats. Choose a high reward treat, not something they get all the time, so that they are especially excited about the treat.
  • Keep a squeaky toy on hand or try the app “Pet Snap.” Pet Snap is a photo app that takes pictures and provides sound effects to get your dog’s attention. You can choose from noises like doorbells, meows, squeaky toys, barking dogs, crumbling paper, etc. (My favorite pic was a result of this app).
  • Set up your scene, whether it’s in front of a Christmas tree, out in the snow or wherever and wait. Sometimes your best photos will come after your dog has settled down and isn’t so focused on trying to figure out what you’re doing. Or, you may even get a better photo than you tried to pose. If you have to walk away for a bit, do it. It’ll be worth it to get a calm, relaxed photo of your dog (see the photo above of Roscoe laying next to the tree, this came several minutes after I stopped trying to get a posed photo)
  • Keep snapping! Just keep taking photos. It’s kind of basic, but important. Sometimes it’s hard to get your dog to be still but the more photos you snap, the more likely you’ll get a good one. You don’t want to get frustrated and give up too soon!

Here’s a cute one I got once the “shoot” was over. Back in their natural state, being best buds.


Happy Holidays from Hunter, Roscoe and me. I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing Holiday season!

It’s very tiring being a dog model apparently.

Around town this weekend…

It’s the last weekend before Christmas and I am all done with shopping! I think this may be the first time this has ever happened. Being done early means I can now focus on all of the fun holiday stuff going on this weekend. Luckily, there’s a few pet-related Holiday things going on around town this weekend. Here’s your rundown of what to do:


Pack Walk
Start your morning off with a pack walk through the Royal View Trails in Strongsville. The $10 suggested donation will go to Muttley Crue, a pit-bull rescue group. For more information, visit!/events/168249076717591/

Santa Pictures
Unless you have some inside connection and can get Santa to come by your house, this is your last chance before Christmas to get your pet’s photo taken with Santa!  Starting at 11 a.m. at the Petco in Strongsville you can get your pet’s photo taken. The cost of the 4 x 6 inch photo is $10, with all the proceeds benefiting the animals of Berea ARF.

All Weekend

Christmas Village
Lakewood-based pet store The Furry Nation, has set up shop at this holiday pop up shop at Crocker Park. The Village has gifts for pets, pet lovers and many more on your list. There are several other local vendors besides The Furry Nation, including vendors selling wines, natural soaps, ornaments and jewelry. If you’re looking for pet gifts, The Furry Nation has dog blankets, dog pendants and ornaments and other fun gifts for pets and pet lovers alike. The village is located next to the Coach store.

Santa Paws is coming to town!

Have you gotten your dog’s picture taken yet for Christmas? If not, don’t worry, there are still a lot of chances to get your dog’s photo taken with Santa. Here are some upcoming events:

December 3
The Furry Nation, 15800 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
Santa Paws will be at The Furry Nation in Lakewood from 4 – 8 pm. Call 216-539-8226 to set your appointment; reservations are needed.

Dec. 7 and Dec. 14
PetSmart, various locations
You have to bring your own camera, but Santa will be on hand to pose with your pet. A $5 donation will benefit a local animal welfare group. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m, check for locations.

Hunter, last Christmas

December 7 and 8th
Lake Humane Society, 7564-E Tyler Boulevard, Mentor
Pictures are $15 each or 2 for $20. Each additional print after that is $5. All proceeds made during Santa Paws benefit the animals of Lake Humane Society. They will also have a bake sale to benefit their homeless animals. Both Saturday and Sunday 12-4:30p.m.

Photo courtesy of Lake Humane Society, Santa Paws 2012

December 8
Paws By The Lake, 33757 Lake Road, Avon Lake
Paws By The Lake and Love-A-Stray will host a fun event with pet photos and raffles. There will be two photographers taking photos from noon until 4pm. The event also includes raffles, door prizes and free concessions. The $10 donation will go to helping place dogs into forever homes.

December 15
Style Mutt Dog Boutique, 3525 Warren Rd.
You can get your pet’s picture taken from 1 pm – 4 pm at Style Mutt. The $10 donation will go to Live Love Rescue.