Project 52 Week 5 – Lacie in Red

The Project 52 theme for this week is “Red”.

When I think red, I think… Intense… Bold… Defiant. It is the colour of extremes with its various shades representing everything from passionate love to anger and danger.

Me being me, there’s not much in the way of red in my closet, mostly greens, blues, earth colours. But when I do wear red, I feel empowered.

Lacie doesn’t own much in the way of red either, except for, perhaps, her very own coat which is a lovely variant of red. I guess she can’t get more red than that!

In our search for props for this theme we did come across this lovely red scarf in our pile of doggy stuff.

So, now we proudly present…

Lacie in Red

With all this talk of red I started to wonder, “Can Lacie see red?” A little bit of research determined that dogs do indeed see colours, but many fewer than we humans. For dogs the spectrum of colour consists of basically yellows, blues and grays. It seems that they see the colors green, yellow and orange as yellowish, and violet and blue as blue.

So… apparently no red for Lacie, at least not in the way that I see it. Through a dog’s eyes, red appears as a very dark brownish gray or even a black.

I had heard that dogs were near colour blind so to find out just what colours they do see is interesting stuff.

More Interesting Red Trivia (from the human perspective)

  • – Red is the international colour for stop.
  • – Red is the most popular colour used on flags.
  • – Red is one of the top two favourite colours.
  • – Red is a primary color. That means you can’t mix two other colors together to get red.
  • – Red is the highest arc of the rainbow
  • – Bees can not see red, but they see all other bright colours.
  • – Red is the first colour that a baby sees after black and white.

And now, here’s one more of Lacie with her lovely red bow.

“More than any other colour, red is loaded for action.” ~ Robert Genn

Project 52 _______________________
This post is part of the Pet Photography Project 52 blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “Red”, visit Elaine Tweedy of I Got the Shot Photography, serving pets and their people in Northeastern PA and surrounding areas Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!

Project 52 Week 4 – The Eyes Have It

The Project 52 theme for this week is “The Eyes Have It”… a most relevant and interesting topic in so many ways.

Being a photographer much of my focus is on the eyes, whether they be canine or human, for it is our eyes that connect us and give us insight in to what the other is seeing and feeling.

My Lacie Girl is no exception. I love her eyes and how expressive they are.

I have been a volunteer / photographer at Winnipeg Animal Services for over 8 years. The experience has taught me much about dogs and how they interact with their eyes. I have come to realize that making eye contact with a dog is a complete different experience from making eye contact with a human. People make eye contact to connect and show interest… with dogs its a whole different story.

For many dogs direct eye contact is not something they seek. And for the fearful dogs who somehow have found themselves in a noisy and scary shelter, eye contact is often strongly avoided… so much so that they will turn their heads and even their entire bodies away in their attempt to avoid interaction. In their minds, direct eye contact has come to signify a threat or a challenge and they have no wish to be on the giving or receiving end. Their safe place is found in appearing non-threatening and invisible.

I have come to greatly respect a dog’s eyes and what they are trying to tell me. This is something I consider each and every time I enter into a “new” dog’s kennel.

A dog’s stiff stance and hard stare at the entrance of the kennel will have me back off and try again later. But I may slide a cookie through the bottom of the kennel gate as I leave.

A turned away gaze or diverted eyes will have me pause and assess before opening the kennel latch. Once inside, I turn away my own eyes and crouch low if it is safe and possible to do so. Soft words, slow movements and a few tossed treats often work wonders in these situations. But I am always mindful not to push their limits and to respect what they are experiencing and expressing.

For the most part, these scared dogs simply need a little more time to adjust to their new situation. Hard to believe but this next photo is this same dog a few days later and away from the kennel environment.

I love these dogs and I love being able to work with them, the end goal being to find them homes. To do this I need to present them in their best possible light, sometimes not easily done in a shelter setting. Fortunately Animal Services has an outdoor enclosure that I use for the photo sessions. Once outside and away from the kennel environment, the scared and fearful dog persona often simply drops away and we get a glimpse of the real dog… the one that loves to run and loves to play. Throw in a toy and more treats and we have a photo session in the making. Their seemingly innate ability to be happy in the moment is awesome. These dogs teach me every day.

For the still fearful ones we take it slow, let them sniff and give them a little more time to hopefully relax. For these dogs the camera itself can be seen as a threat. It’s almost as if they perceive it as another eye staring back at them, only this one is very big and very black. They quickly revert to turning away their eyes, their heads, their bodies. Not the best circumstances for getting a good adoption photo. This is when a zoom lens and lots and lots and lots of treats comes in handy.

When the dogs appear more comfortable, I once more focus on their eyes. Not only because they are so very beautiful but because eye contact takes on a whole new meaning in an adoption photo. Now we are hoping to stir an emotion, to make a connection and give to the dog what they need the most, a second chance.


Four years ago Lacie was one of these fearful dogs, cowering at the back of her kennel, tail tucked, eyes averted.

Today her story is different, she feels safe and she is loved. Thanks to the shelter dogs I realize what a special gift I have been given when I look into her eyes and she looks lovingly back into mine.

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” ~ Martin Buber

Project 52 _______________________
This post is part of the Pet Photography Project 52 blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “the eyes have it”, visit Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography fetching portraits in Coppell and surrounding communities in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!

Related Links:
City of Winnipeg Animal Services
Winnipeg Animal Services – facebook page
Winnipeg Animal Services Petfinder page

Project 52 Week 3 – About the Photographer

The Project 52 theme for this week is “About the Photographer”… a tough one for me as I prefer my place behind the camera, rather than in front of it. But none the less, here we go.

For myself, photography is about sharing moments, memories and the sensibilities that bind them together. My “happy place” is often found in the simple times, the quiet moments and I relish the beauty that I find there. My hope is that, through my photography, I am able to depict and share the essence, not merely the existence, of what I see.

For many years I have shared my life and my home with dogs and it is now to the point where I can imagine my life in no other way. For a long time my pack consisted of three…Sadie, Coco and Lacie. Sadie and Coco were the two seniors with Lacie entering the picture about 4 years ago. Along with Bear, the manx cat, our home and hearts were full.

Bear, Sadie and Coco are gone now and my heart aches with the loss of these three souls but I am forever grateful for having been able to share my life with theirs. Lovely Lacie remains and these days I hold her close.

To be able to combine my passion for photography with my love for dogs has been a blessing.

Several years ago I was given the opportunity to photograph the shelter dogs going up for adoption at our local Animal Services. Today, 8 years later, this is where you will still find me. I love these dogs, they have come to own my heart. Being able to work closely with them and assist in helping them find good homes has become a passion and a joy.

Here are some of this week’s adorable, adoptable faces…

  

This recent photo taken at the shelter makes me smile. Being the photographer I don’t have many photos of myself, let alone a photo of me taking a photo. I love it. Thanks Leland!

Photo Credit: Leland Gordan

And, in case you are curious… these are the photos of beautiful adoptable Balto from that day.

“Love what you do, do what you love.”

Project 52 _______________________
This post is part of the Pet Photography Project 52 blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “about the photographer”, visit Elaine Tweedy of I Got The Shot Photography, serving pets and their people in Northeastern PA. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!

Related Links:
City of Winnipeg Animal Services
Winnipeg Animal Services – facebook page
Winnipeg Animal Services Petfinder page

Training Day for Adira

Adira is a bubbly, happy girl who has been waiting for far too long at Animal Services for a forever family. She came to the shelter last August as an unclaimed stray and shortly after that, entered into the adoption program.

Adira is a wiggle bum… I can think of no better way to describe her. She is also a bouncy, strong gal with boundless energy. Although Adira loves attention and loves people, it is apparent that she has had little, if any previous training. She needs an experienced owner… someone with the knowledge, time and patience to teach her doggy manners and help her to reach her full potential.

Sadly, after 6 months, she still waits.

Being in a kennel environment takes its toll on these dogs, often the high energy ones and especially the ones that see the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months.

Enter Yury of PAW & ORDER Wpg. a dog trainer and behaviorist. He is donating his time and talent to help Adira and other dogs just like her.

I just happened to be on hand the day Yury came in to work with Adira.

On this day Yury had a special helper named Daisy. She came into W.A.S. with her “mom” to assist with Adira’s training. Miss Daisy is a gal who had been under the care of Animal Services for over a year before she found the perfect owner. She was much loved then, as she is now.

Adira has been showing signs of reactivity so the plan was for her and Daisy to walk together both as a training and an assessment strategy.

Both dogs did amazingly well.

It was awesome to visit with Daisy and witness her happy life.

And it is wonderful that Animal Services supports Yury and the idea of additional training to help dogs like Adira. I am so proud to be a member of their team.

“Understanding your dog and knowing how to control him, develop his potentials, and resolve behavior problems, emotional conflicts and frustrations are no less essential than love and respect.” ~ Michael W. Fox

Post Update:
Happy News – Adira has been adopted!

Related Links:
PAW & ORDER wpg
City of Winnipeg Animal Services
Winnipeg Animal Services – facebook page
Winnipeg Animal Services Petfinder page

A New Year – A New Challenge

Now that I have completed the Journey 2018 challenge, I am on to something new. This year I will be participating in the Pet Photography 52 Weeks Project. This will involve one post a week with an added twist… a blog circle.

You are probably wondering how this will work… and I was too. I must have read and reread the directions about five times, but now that I have a better understanding, I am ready to jump in and have fun.

With this challenge we are given a weekly theme. All participants will post a photo related to the current theme and then will link to the next person in the blog circle. By clicking on the link at the bottom of the post, the reader is taken on a journey from one blog to the next, all connected by the same motif. How fun is this!!

I can hardly wait to get started so stay tuned for the first post. All the posts in this challenge will have “Project 52” in the title. Look for the first one in about 2 weeks time.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ~ Walt Disney

The ending marks a new beginning…

A new year with new beginnings… I am so excited to see were the days will take me.

Here is an encapsulated capture depicting yesteryear’s 365 photo challenge.

Now, onward we go.

Happy New Year!

”For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” – T.S. Eliot