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Monthly Archives: July 2010

We had to make the very tough decision to give Ivan his wings last night. He was 11.5 years old and he’d been sick for some time. We thought he was just getting old, but some blood tests done a fortnight ago revealed that he had pancreatitis. He was being treated for it, but unfortunately he went downhill quite rapidly and in the very early hours of this morning we said our goodbyes.

I knew Ivan was getting old and wouldn’t be around for much longer so I was planning to do a shoot with him when he got better. He’s had so many near death experiences I really thought this was just another one he’d bounce back from. I didn’t get the chance to though, so the most recent shots I have of him are from his birthday in March and one from Easter, when I subjected him to Chopper’s bunny ears!

I’ve uploaded an album of snapshots to my Facebook page if you want to see some more.

Ivan was my first dog. He was seven when my cousin asked us to take him. I knew NOTHING about dogs, let alone powerful headstrong Huskys like him. I remember the first day we had him we took him to Centennial Park for a walk. I thought it’d be fun to run with him, but he took off and I had to drop the lead. He ran into the duck pond and refused to get out for half an hour! Stubborn bastard! It took him a while to adjust to his new living situation. He wasn’t used to being on his own during the day so he cried a lot and tried to dig under the fence to escape. Our poor 80 year old neighbour kept having to find things in his garage to stick under the fence to stop Ivan getting out until we got home from work!! I remember coming home to an ironing board and a clothes rack rammed under there one day!!

We got him Angel for company and he settled down. I don’t think he ever really liked her, but he tolerated her and she liked to play with him even if the feelings weren’t mutual! Luckily for him Chopper came along shortly afterwards and Angel had a new playmate, so he got some peace. Ivan was a great early warning system. He’d always let me know when Angel and Chopper were up to mischief. He was never one to make noise for no reason, so if he started howling I’d come to see what it was about and every time I’d catch the other two doing something they weren’t supposed to!

Ivan was a bit of a loner, never one to cuddle in the bed with the other three or hang on the sofa with us, but he was still an important member of the pack and he’ll be sorely missed by all of us. RIP big fella. I hope there’s lots of cats and small fluffy things for you to chase freely up there!

Today I was accepted as member of an international group called HeARTs Speak. The vision is to unite animal artists and animal rescues into collective action for social change. As I’ve done some work for Pet Rescue, MDBA PACERS, Seniors and Silkies Rescue and Sydney Dogs and Cats Home I’ve shown a commitment to using my photography to help rescue.

I intend to continue working with the groups above and I’m also in the early stages of planning a 2011 fundraising calendar. If you’re a photographer or artist and you’d like to get involved you can contact HeARTs Speak via their website.

Since blog posts are more fun with photos I thought I’d add a few recent faves. Enzo the Frenchie was modeling a collar for me recently and thought that if he kept offering me his paw he’d get the treat I was holding. Such a cutie! Beside him is Eisha the Boxer, another gorgeous collar model I used recently. Her underbite just cracks me up. I asked her owner if she wanted to fix it for the photo, but she declined and said it’s 100% her!

When I was over at Castle Hill Showgrounds photographing Eisha, I ran into Pepe and Nossi‘s owner with her new pup Envy [Yurrugar Green WithNV]. He’s a 12 week old English Toy Terrier. I knew he was a character because I’ve been stalking him on Facebook for the last few weeks, so I was happy to take a few snaps of him while I was there. Clearly Enzo had had a word in his ear about how to get the treat from the photographer! He’s such a great little dog – another breed to add to the wish list.

Ruby’s owner was the 1000th person to join my Facebook page. I wanted to mark the occasion somehow, but with fans from all over the world I hadn’t decided what to do. When I looked at Alina’s profile I saw that she lived in Sydney so I offered her a free photoshoot and a mounted print. I was warned that Ruby can be a bit territorial and bark at strangers when they first arrive, but even Alina was surprised when after ten minutes she was still barking at me! She’s a very food motivated dog, so I was lucky to be able to get her to focus on the treat long enough to forget about the evil intruder.

Ruby has the best frinkles and wrinkles!

When the light in the garden started to fade we went to a nearby park so Ruby could have a run around. Look at her go!!

Ruby did some collar modeling while I was there too. You can see more of her striking a pose in the next Ruthless Leather update!