thank Dog. photography » fun, artistic, modern pet portraits | Dallas,Texas

state fair of texas

The 2011 State Fair of Texas just wound up.  It’s a three week event, and has to be the greatest state fair in the world.  Obviously.   Anyway, this year,DFW Rescue Me, coupled with Dallas Animal Services, had a tent set up inside the Fair.  It was a huge success – over 150 dogs found forever homes, with more likely to come as applications continue to be processed.  I took the chihuahuas up there a few times, and, not surprisingly, the babies were a hit.  So much so that one of the DFW Rescue Me volunteers fell in love with Mr. Frankie and took him home.  I’ve since received a bunch of interest in Freddy and Pinky, so they may too have new homes soon.  Here’s Pinky working the kissing booth…

thank Dog. photography | dallas, tx

Last weekend while the boys were working it at the tent, I wandered around a bit with my camera.  Though the Fair has an impressive midway, filled with games and rides, and a cholesteroltastic food alley (overheard:  “this chicken fried bacon is good, but could really use some cream gravy”), I’m always partial to the animals.  I’m a born and bred Texan, but totally a city girl so I find the livestock and ranching areas fascinating.  Some pretty magnificent creatures.  Every year the large “petting zoo” type area has me yearning for a baby goat (so cute!).  Because it was the last weekend of the month-long Fair, the area was thinned out as some of the ranchers had headed home.  Even so, I watched a few minutes of sheep judging (actually judging the animals – just like a dog show) and a little cattle judging (I think it was a junior handler competition).  Anyway, I did a super quick and dirty edit on the photos – nothing spectacular, but an insight into a part of Texas I don’t often get to see or experience.

Lastly, thank Dog. is going to be set up at the West Village Trot and Treat on Saturday.  It was a super fun event last year — come by and see us!

Becky - Ahhh, the Texas State Fair. As corn as it is, Ryan and I have the TSF on our “someday” list–it’s the only one big enough to rival Minnesota’s. (And we have a maple sauce for our chicken fried gravy.) — Fantastic photos, Deb!

’tis the season[ish]… | 2011 holiday cards

The long, oppressive summer is *finally* over, so now it’s time to start thinking about holiday cards!

I’ve added 12 new designs this year (the last two years’ designs are also still available if you prefer – here and here).  As always, the card designs can be customized – mix and matching fronts, insides, backs; changing the color scheme; personalizing the message, etc.  I recommend first selecting the photos you’d like to use on the card, and then selecting a design that fits the images you’ve selected (for example, if you want to use a landscape-oriented photo, choosing a design with only portrait-oriented photos will end in tears, anguish and heartache… or maybe just slight frustration).

Set of 25 cards (with envelopes) are $75 (plus tax & shipping)

If/when you are ready to order cards, shoot me an email at debbie(at), and we’ll get the process started.  Orders must be placed by Thanksgiving to guarantee arrival in the first week of December.

Due to disgustingly brutal summer we just experienced, many sessions were postponed until the weather was more cooperative.  As a result, the next couple months are looking to be a very busy time for old thank Dog.  Therefore, if you’d like to schedule a session this fall – and especially if you are planning on ordering holiday cards – please contact me as soon as possible so I can get you on the calendar! (Regular session fees apply.)

So now, without further ado… the new designs….

ay… chihuahuas.

So it turns out chihuahuas are different than newfs.  Or big lab mixes.  Or even shepherd mixes.  These little guys are fearless.  And fast.  And have an uncanny ability to poop 3-4 times their body weight every day.  They are cute little buggers though.  And they ‘ll be available for adoption by next weekend (they’re going to get their second round of shots in the next few days, and then will be available a week later).  If you are interested in adopting one of them, please fill out an application at DFW Rescue Me.

First up is Louis, aka Pinky.  As I mentioned on facebook, when I look at the two light-colored ones, all I see is “Pinky & The Brain.”  The pink, the ears… I can’t be the only one, can I?  Anyway, Louis/Pinky is probably the funniest of the three.  He’s typically the happiest to see me, and he loves a good tummy rub (which, on his little bitty belly, is done with one finger!).  And those ears.  Those fabulous dumbo ears.

Next up is the munchkin, Fred aka Baby.  He’s significantly smaller – and calmer – than the other two.  He’ll get into wrestling matches with his brothers, but he really prefers to curl up and sleep on me.  He’s a little less bold than the others, though that may be related to his size.

And, last but not least, the confident Frank.  He’s the biggest and the boldest.  And, in my opinion, the most traditionally handsome.

These guys are really hard to photograph, particularly outdoors.  I usually like when it’s just me and the pups, but these guys are very difficult to corral.  They’re either under foot (literally) or they’re all running off in different directions.  I typically am able to easily get a few good shots of the little ones by putting them up on my front porch (you’ll notice quite a few photos of Finn, Moose and Lil Bit taken on the porch) as they are a little hesitant about tackling the steps.  After a few minutes, Finn discovered leaping off into the ivy, but Moose and Lil Bit never did quite figure out the stairs.  They’d hang out there, waiting for me to help them down — making them easy targets to photograph.  Yeah, well, the steps didn’t even register as a possible obstacle with these tiny boys.  I’m not sure they wouldn’t leap off the roof given the chance!

Ay, chihuahuas!

Rhianne - that last photo is perfect!

bittersweet | dallas dog photography

I knew I’d make a lousy foster.

Both Finn and Moose went to their new forever homes this past week.  I knew I’d be a lousy foster (I still miss Cash even though I know he has a great family!), and sure enough, the tears started when I dropped Finn off with his ride down to Houston (if Belle wasn’t such a diva, I would have been a foster failure).  I’ve heard from his new mom, and she’s thrilled to have him and seems as enamored of him as I am.  So I know he’s in good hands (and one of Finn’s brothers, Huck, was adopted by Finn’s mom’s good friend and co-worker, so he’ll have lots of super fun brotherly playtime).  Then, the next day Moose went to his new home.  I swear they know and do their damndest to make it as difficult as possible to give them up!  Moose spent his last day with me playing with Bear – actually playing – for the first time, sitting still for a bath, and dozing all snuggled up on me… making it that much more difficult to let him go!  But he has some great new parents and a new brother (2-legged), and I’m sure they’ll soon be inseparable (assuming his new parents will be able to stop cuddling him for a minute – that big boy is as sweet and laid back a pup as you’ll ever find).

So both Finn and Moose went to great homes and I know they’ll be spoiled rotten.  Doesn’t mean I don’t miss them something fierce though.

Catching Moose up a bit on the photo count…  We had some mini shoots on Bear’s Molly Mutt bed, and then on my bed (where he had an accident – that I luckily caught immediately before it could seep through to the mattress)

The flat cow was a hit with all three puppies, including Little Bit (now “Zoe”), who would drag it around and sleep on it despite the fact it’s double her size.

They’re really starting to become dogs (rather than babies).  The two of them played – mostly chasing each other (Finn in the lead) and trying to steal sticks from one another.

Finn’s a lot busier than Moose.  Always on the lookout, always wanting to check everything out.

Moose is more content to just hang.

For Finn though, there was little time for lounging when there were so many sticks that needed chewing.

Moose was easier to shoot in a lot of ways, but I ended up with less variety since he’s less animated and much more chill.

I should note that it was possible to catch a rare still Finn moment.

More often, Finn found things to occupy himself.  Including his foot.

Love that mug.

Moose’s lip gets stuck from time to time – sometimes with some teeth showing, other times, just a smirk.  How you doin’?

Moose was a little timid about going down the front porch stairs.  Finn?  Leapt off the side into the ivy – again and again and again.

Moose was quite concerned that Finn and I were three steps down.  (He did finally go down once – and up a couple times.)

I’m wondering if Moose’s funny little ear will eventually work its way up.  I seem to remember Bear’s looking a little similar to Moose’s so it just might.  And you know I love a lopsided dog.


I already miss having a puppy or two around so I’ll be bringing a couple more from DFW Rescue Me home with me later tonight.  This time it’s a pair of baby chihuahuas – a breed that I like, but that I have never been overly tempted to own and that I have no illusions would ever fit in well with my beasts.  So… I’m hoping that means it’ll be a little easier when they find their homes.  Maybe.  Fingers crossed.

I asked Belle what she thought about me bringing more puppies home….

Such an attitude.

Val - No wonder you had a tough time…with all that cuteness going on! So awesome that you fostered them and now they have forever homes 🙂

v.schweiss - These shots are all adorable. I can’t wait to see your new foster babies.

Elizabeth Tyre - Your photos are incredible! So much puppy cuteness!! 🙂

Rhianne - I would have cried letting them go too, they are adorable. I’m so glad that they have gone to great homes though.

I can’t wait to hear about the chihuahuas with Bella and Bear 🙂

Claire - Could you please tell me what type of dog the little brown one is?! It is so cute and I am on a hunt now! Thank you!!

Debbie - Moose (the brown one) and Finn were actually brothers from the same litter (about half the litter looks like Moose, the other more half like Finn). Their mom looks like a aussie shepherd mix of some sort, but we have no idea who the dad was. So… probably not very helpful — but good luck!

Sherry - *swoon* I look at this page almost every day. Moose has stolen my heart. I wonder what he looks like now.

Your pictures give me such joy. I live in a condo and am unable to have a dog.

Your talent to capture a dog’s expression is magical. Thank you so much.

sad news and the value of pet photography

The past weekend was a rough one.

First, my close friends, Renee and Adam (and their little girl, Annika), very suddenly and tragically lost their kitty, Argyle (so named for the cute pattern on his leg).  It was their first loss of a pet, and I think it hit both of them even harder than they would have thought.

And another gut punch…

Lilly, the adorable little pocket boxer also passed away suddenly this weekend.  As I mentioned in the previous blog post, Lilly was the first boxer placed by Legacy Boxer Rescue (the outstanding organization that helped me with Cash).  She so charmed her parents that they became active volunteers, adopting the goofy Guenther, and frequently fostering.  They are understandably crushed by the loss of their little girl.

I hope this doesn’t come across as self-serving, but both of these deaths drove home a big reason I do what I do.  I know that some people think that the idea of spending good money on professional photographs of your pets is silly and frivolous – and for some, maybe it is.  But for those of us that consider our pets to be members of our families, having beautiful images that truly capture their personalities is priceless.  Losing a pet hurts.  Badly.  And it hurts even more when you realize you only have a couple glowy-eyed cell phone photos of your pet to remember him by.  When I lost my first dog, Scout, suddenly years ago, the first thing I did was dig up photos of him and make a little book.  I had several photos, but wished I had more – better ones (I was just learning my way around a camera).  Nevertheless, the photos I did have really did help me through the grieving process.  Time faded my grief, but I still look at his photos from time to time, grateful for the time I had with him and the memories I had captured.

And I’m not alone.  Lilly’s mom sent me the following message to let me know the heartbreaking news….

Hi Debbie,

I’m afraid I have some very difficult news to share.  Lilly passed away yesterday.  Jay and I were on our way home from a weekend trip when we received a call from our boarding/vet facility that she collapsed and they were not able to bring her back.  They suspect it was a heart attack; it all happened so quickly.  She wasn’t sick.  The potential loss of her wasn’t even on our radar screen.  We haven’t processed it yet but as I sit in front of her life size canvas picture and cry, I wanted to let you know the news.

We are so thankful we did the pictures when we did and grateful to have found you to do them.  We look at them every day and now for Lilly it has a different meaning to us.  We miss her terribly.  Our little pocket boxer girl is gone.  Life seems cruel as we loved her so much and just wanted her to be with us forever.

Thanks again for capturing her spirit!  I know it is and will be something we cherish always.

Similarly, Renee posted the news about Argyle on facebook…

Lost my first pet yesterday. Made the day seem surreal. Everything continued as it should, but we felt half a pace behind. Searched for pictures of Argyle after the fact, and realized we didn’t have many good ones. Always thought there’d be more time.

I’ve taken many photos of their adorable little girl, Annika, but only had a few snapshots of the cats taken a couple years ago.  Renee and Adam had actually forgotten I’d gotten a few of the kitties during a day spent with Annika, and when I shared what I had with her, the tears started again and I got a grateful “thank you.”

Our pets have a knack for worming their way into our hearts – much further than many of us even recognize until they are gone.  Despite evidence to the contrary, I like to think I’m not a complete and total crazy animal lady, but my animals are, and have always been, my little family.  I know objectively that the day will come when I’ll lose Bear, Belle, and Harley (despite my instructions to them to live forever!), and when the awful time comes, I know I’ll be comforted by the many photographs I have of them.  I hate for others to not have the same.

Angela - So sad to read about Argyle and Lilly 🙁

We lost one of our beautiful dogs on Sunday 🙁 I’m incredibly glad and grateful that I have lovely photos of our dogs. They do help with the healing process and remembering the good times.


debbie - So sorry for your loss, Angela.

mischka & charlie | dallas cat photography » thank Dog. photography - […] suddenly and tragically losing their cat, Argyle, my friends enlisted me to photograph their remaining kitties.  Cats definitely require a […]

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