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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Here’s your monthly round-up of rescue dogs needing homes. Please share it around, you never know who you know who might be looking for a dog or puppy just like one of these lovelies.

If you received this blog post by email, please click on the heading to open in a web browser and view the gallery as it was intended.

All the bull terriers are from NSW Bull Terrier Rescue. The smiley red blockhead and the Husky were at Renbury Farm Animal Shelter but have since been adopted. The puppies are all with Saving Staffies and will be ready to be adopted in about four weeks time.

As I was driving to Centennial Park last week for Fonzie and Luna’s session, I got a text from their owner to say they were early and the dogs were having a run. I was going to reply asking her not to wear them out, but I was behind the wheel so I hoped for the best. Little did I know that these two terriers have enough energy to power the whole of Sydney!


Fonzie and Luna’s owners are creating a new product for the pet market and these photos are to go on their website. They brought a shot list along and I asked them to bring any favourite toys belonging to the dogs. I’ve been in the pet industry a while and as the owner of four dogs I’ve seen a lot of toys but, I have to say, this giant red egg was new to me.


Fonzie LOVES it and took every opportunity to try and emancipate it from it’s carry bag when he was supposed to be giving me blue steel.


Luna isn’t without her quirks either … running with her tongue out is her thing.


She does a very impressive head tilt too. She practically tilted her way off the log a few times.


The end knot from a rawhide bone was brought for Luna, but big brother Fonzie stole it and did a few laps of honour before demolishing it. I wasn’t too sad to see it go. Not the most photogenic prop in the world!


After they’d burned off about 2% of the crazy we did some portraits. I managed to get three photos here before they were off and running again.


What do you do when you want to be in the photos, but kinda not at the same time? You do this!


After two hours of mayhem Fonzie was still ready for action. Gotta love that Staffy exuberance.


I generally bring a toy for my subjects, and this session was no different except I waited until the end to give it to them because I’ve seen firsthand how some dogs can react to a cuz toy. Fonzie was no exception. As I was saying he’ll probably chew the feet off he spat one out and went bouncing and squeaking into the distance with Luna hot on his heels. Apparently he fell asleep cradling it.

I got a massive warm fuzzy feeling when this email came through from my clients last night …

“What can I say … we have not stopped smiling all night! We are delighted! For us, you have really captured the heart of these guys and what they are about. Thank you so so much again for contributing to such a special time in our lives.”


Last week I went to Renbury Farm Animal Shelter with the other members of Team Dog – Darren and Mel – and we enriched the shelter using many tried and tested methods. These included:

• Clicker training the dogs so that they remain quiet and calm when people are coming in and out of the shelter. This not only provides a stress-free environment for all but also boosts the animals’ chance of being adopted, because they are happier and better behaved as a result.

• Installing treat buckets that can be utilised by visitors to reinforce the good behaviour. In conjunction with the clicker training (clickers will be available for visitors too), these are powerful tools in improving a dog’s time in the shelter, encouraging not only good manners but interaction with people too.

• Providing spray bottles full of interesting scents that can be distributed throughout the kennels. Rotating these smells can give the animals another level of stimulation each time. We also put some lavender plants outside, so when dogs are getting exercise, they have more of an experience. We hope to expand this collection of plants with your help and the staff are already looking at what other plants might be of most interest to dogs.

• Getting some calm and relaxing music organised for the pets and people. When the correct music is used, it can have a dramatic effect on shelter dogs, and sets them up for success in regards to all other areas.

• Demonstrating how easy budget puzzle toys can be to make and how hard they are to break! See how you can make yours here:

This is just the very basics of our enrichment program and we hope to help Renbury in any way we can to keep it moving forward, further benefiting the dogs. We’ve had feedback from them since and they are reporting back some really positive things. There’s been a big difference in the dogs’ behaviour already and the visitors have been excited to not just give a dog a bit of training, but actually have that dog respond so well to them.

The work that Team Dog does is completely voluntary. If you’d like to help fund more projects like this you can do so by pre-ordering one of our fancypants t-shirts. We’re also interested in hearing from wealthy individuals interested in philanthropy, you can email to discuss sponsoring future Team Dog programs.

On the Queen’s Birthday long weekend I escaped the rain in Sydney and drove to Canberra for a couple of shoots. When Mouse and Rosie’s owners first booked me they were only a one dog family and the shoot was scheduled to take place in Sydney in March. Bad weather and international jet setting got in the way for a while, so by the time we were able to reschedule they’d adopted a new family member.

We started in their beautiful apartment in Kingston. I had layered up for the cold weather in the capital city but I didn’t need them in this sun drenched abode.



When the formal photos were done we headed down to Bowen Park where Mouse got to stretch her lovely long legs.



I brought her a toy. A squeaky soft one. Her favourite kind.


Little sister Rosie stole it though and ran around like a lunatic, forgetting all the commands she was supposed to have learned since her adoption!


After all the running I did some portraits on the banks of the waterway. Mouse wasn’t too sure about it all, but she’s very food motivated so we worked it out. Rosie surprised everyone by being a great little model.



The autumn colours were almost all gone, but I think I managed to find the last of them.



The light as the sun set was so gorgeous and wintery. It even brought a smile to Mouse’s face.


We finished off the session with some stick chewing, before we all agreed that it was freezing and time to go home!


Canberra is such a pretty city. If anyone wants to book a shoot let me know and I’ll schedule it in for Spring/Summer, when it warms up a bit.