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Category Archives: Giving Back

If you’ve followed me for a while you might remember a couple of years ago, when I was a founding member of Team Dog, we went to Renbury Farm Animal Shelter to set up an enrichment program for the dogs. I met an incredibly gorgeous blockhead there who did the most adorable happy dance when you approached his run. I quickly fell in love with him and named him Flatley (Lord of the Dance!). I could not stop thinking about this dog. He was very strong, had zero leash manners and was on the urgent list with no adoption interest. I went back a few days later to exercise him and try to burn off some energy so potential adopters might see beyond the fact that he needed training and see what I saw, a loveable clown.

We already had four dogs and it’s not easy for us to foster an adult dog as it upsets the balance more than a puppy, but I couldn’t stop thinking about him and was on the verge of plucking him from death row when I heard the amazing news that he’d been adopted. Being the crazy dog lady that I am when I saw his new owner comment on a photo of her new dog on the shelter’s page I decided to friend request her (that sounds much nicer than Facebook stalk, right?). My favourite part of this story is she actually went to the pound that day to adopt a little dog but he had already been adopted by the time she got there. Rather than leave empty handed she decided to have a look around and ended up leaving with meathead here!

Fast forward to today, he’s now called Chopper (yes, I know, Flatley was a much better name), he fosters for Fetching Dogs, he’s still more brawn than brain and he’s a calendar model – meet Mr June in the 2017 Rescued Blockheads calendar.

pitbull type dog running through water with blue ball in mouth

pitbull type dog running on beach with blue ball in mouth

pitbull type dog running on beach with blue ball in mouth

pitbull type dog running on beach with blue ball in mouth

pitbull type dog with blue ball in mouth

pitbull type dog sitting on rocks

shifty looking pitbull type dog

red nose pit bull type dog

If you haven’t bought a calendar yet they’re still available online or from Rupert&Dora in Paddington. If you like blockheads you neeeeeeed this in your life!

I promised you in my last post that I was going to share some exciting projects I have lined up for 2017 – here’s one of them …

Every Rescued Blockheads calendar that I’ve published to-date has been made up almost entirely of images taken during adoption photoshoots, but not any more. For the 2018 version I’m switching things up and inviting owners of rescued blockheads*, young and old, to apply for a spot in the calendar. Full details will be announced shortly, you can sign up to my mailing list if you don’t want to miss out.

* A blockhead is a Staffy type, Amstaff type or Pitbull type dog with a blocky head and a muscly, very smackable, butt.

When I was overseas I heard the really sad news that this guy passed away from cancer last year. We fostered Jackson for about six months in 2013 and if we didn’t already have four dogs at the time we would have kept him for sure. His temperament was so good he was invited to be an ambassador for dogs like him at the BSL rally in the city that year. What an amazing dog. Everyone who met him loved him and he’ll be deeply missed. Rest in peace buddy.

red nose pitbull type dog lying on bed with paws crossed looking judgmental

You can see more photos of Jackson here, here and at the end of this post.

Happy New Year everyone! I actually started this blog post on Christmas Eve but there came a time when I had to silence my inner workaholic and step away from my computer. It seems like a lifetime ago since these puppies were here. I’ve since been to the US and back and I’ve also done more manual labour than anyone should ever have to do during a heatwave! I officially go back to work tomorrow but I’ve already photographed ten puppies, answered a million emails and written three blog posts, so I guess you could say the silence has been well and truly broken.

The first post I’m going to share is some snaps I took of our last lot of foster puppies. Some time in December when I was in the thick of packing Tails of Sydney book orders I was sent a photo of a puppy with the same markings as Bruno, by one of my contacts at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, and asked if I’d like to foster her and some siblings. Because I’m a sucker with a capital S I said yes and our dog pack grew to seven the next day when I brought Mars, Sprinkles and Lollipop home. Through fostering and my volunteer work I’ve been around a lot of puppies in my time and I have to say that these were the most full-on ones I’ve ever encountered.

Bruno has always been great at teaching puppies boundaries but he really had to turn it up a notch with this lot. They weren’t here for long but they still got to learn some important life lessons in that time. I fell completely in love with Mars (the blue fawn boy) and wish with all my heart that we could have kept him. The bromance that was forming between him and Bruno was all kinds of adorable. There is a limit to my crazy dog lady tendencies though, and I know four dogs is enough, so I dropped him and his two sisters back to the shelter on Christmas Eve, where they all got adopted that day. (I thought Lollipop, mini-Bruno, was staying a bit longer so I didn’t take as many portraits of her.)

If you received this blog post by email, please click on the heading to open in a web browser so you can view the gallery properly. Click on the first image to open and then scroll using the next and back buttons or the arrow keys on your keyboard.

To ease the blow slightly I was given another puppy, their sister Starburst. She never got to meet the big camera in the short time that she was here but I posted some stuff on my BTS Instagram account and here’s a video of her playing with Bruno on her last morning. Cute, much?!!

Much as Daveless and I both love having puppies here we’re taking a break from fostering. Angel, Chopper and Trixie are getting old and it’s time to let them enjoy their senior years in peace. (Don’t worry about Bruno, I know enough puppy carers to be able to arrange playdates for him, he won’t be deprived!)

I already mentioned my book but I’m going to give it another plug, because I can! Sydney Dogs and Cats Home are one of the beneficiaries of the Tails of Sydney project. Please buy a book to help support the great work that they do.

It’s definitely worth celebrating that all but one of these puppies spent Christmas with their new families. I got to see photos of those festivites too and it was very heartwarming. Little Sashi (second from the end) is still available and with a smile like that I’m sure she’ll have her own fairytale ending in no time as well.

If you received this blog post by email, please click on the heading to open in a web browser so you can view the gallery properly. Click on the first image to open and then scroll using the next and back buttons or the arrow keys on your keyboard.

A few months ago I worked with Gap Marketing on the #WDpets campaign. They very kindly donated $200 worth of toys from Rupert&Dora in Paddington for me to give to Fetching Dogs. I did the handover at a shoot and afterwards the puppies got to have a play with some of the goodies. Much fun was had.

Fetching Dogs is completely self-funded. If you’d like to help support the work they do you can purchase a 2017 calendar and/or diary either from their website or from Rupert&Dora. They’re also a beneficiary of the Tails of Sydney project, so buying a book from either my website or Rupert&Dora will also help raise some much needed funds for them.

If you or anyone you know welcomed a new furry friend into the family over Christmas I’d love to hear from you.

I was asked to do a pro-bono job for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home recently. The brief was to create minimal studio images which could be used on promotional material for an upcoming gala event. Since I love working with puppies I asked them to send a couple my way. I was in fact sent nine, so I had a variety to choose from! They had a bit of a drive to get to me so, when they arrived, I suggested we take them straight outside to go to the toilet. I sat down on the edge of the deck while I watched them enjoy a lawn for the first time (their carer has no grass) and before I knew it these five week old puppies had worn themselves out and were starting to fall asleep! I did have a sleepy puppy pile photo in mind but I was going to do that at the end, after the awake shots. With pet photography, especially baby animal jobs, you need to adapt, so I let the sleepy puppy theme run for the whole shoot. What choice did I have?!

yawning puppy on black background

tired puppies on black background

tired puppies on black background

tired puppies on black background

sleepy puppies on black background

sleepy puppies on black background

sleepy puppies on black background

sleeping puppies on black background

pile of sleeping puppies

I did manage to get at least one awake photo of each of them.

puppies on black background

All the puppies have since been adopted.

SDCH are one of the beneficiaries of the money raised by my Tails of Sydney project. Pre-order your copy today to support SDCH, Fetching Dogs and ABR.