Just one of those (important) days…

Two years ago today, this furry face joined our family. We adopted him from Friends of Homeless Animals, and the rest is history…

Gotcha Day! via wantmorepuppies.com

Happy Tavishversary!

Here’s to a snuggly dog that’s scared of his water bowl and of his own farts… but still struts around the neighborhood like he owns the place. (Bella taught him well. Following her example, he seems to believe that if he can see it, it belongs to him.)

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been two years. So much has changed since then… but not how awesome this little dude is. (He’s pretty darn awesome.)


Shelters you should know: Meet FOHA in northern Virginia

Blog the ChangeFor this round of Blog the Change for Animals, I wanted to (once again) highlight an organization that has been helping animals since before I was a twinkle in my parents’ eyes.

Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA) in northern Virginia has been serving the DC area since 1973. In 2012, FOHA gave me a wonderful place to volunteer and a new pup in the form of Tavish. In 2013, FOHA celebrated its 40th anniversary. This year, the fantastic folks at FOHA are continuing this important work into year forty-one. Continue reading


Calling all DC/northern Virginia dogs: #Barktoberfest is this Saturday!

Are you a dog? Do you have a dog? Do you like dogs? How about cats? Do you live in the DC/northern Virginia area? Do you enjoy seeing dogs in costume? Do you like fun? If your answer to any of those questions is yes, then I’ve got an event for you…

(As an aside, if your answer to my first question is yes… I’m intrigued. How did you end up on my website? Obviously, you have learned to use a computer, so maybe you can also write emails? If so, let’s chat. I have much to ask you, dog genius.)

Anyway… if you’re in the DC/northern Virginia area, get out your calendar and pencil in plans for Saturday. Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA) is hosting its annual fall festival – Barktoberfest – this Saturday, September 28! Join FOHA at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds in Leesburg from 10am to 5pm. Continue reading


How can taking a photo save a life?

I happened to see that Seth Casteel, the photographer behind Underwater Dogs and the founder of Second Chance Photos, was featured on Buzzfeed last month.  Through Second Chance Photos, Seth works with shelters and rescue groups to improve the quality of their photos in order to help more animals get adopted.

The cult of personality: I Still Want More Puppies

Just a goofy, lovable “shelter dog” (now adopted)

I’ve been a big fan of Seth’s work since 2011, when I had the chance to attend one of Seth’s workshops and to interview him for this blog. Since I last featured Seth on the blog, some big things have happened. In addition to Underwater Dogs being featured everywhere (it seems), Seth has partnered with Greater Good, The Animal Rescue Site, The Petfinder Foundation and John Paul Pet to inspire others to save lives through grooming and photography. Check out the campaign at One Picture Saves a Life.

Finally, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite quotes from my interview with Seth:

There is a great picture for every dog – you just have to find a way to figure out what that picture is.

If you try to force a photo shoot on a fearful dog, the photos are going to be negative. Try to understand what the fear is – the camera? you? the world? At some point, you may just have to put on a long lens and hide in the bushes.

The work you do will save lives. It may not always be easy, but shelter pets need your help. Be patient. Be dedicated. Shelter pets do not have a voice, but you can give them one.

If you’d like to read my full interview with Seth, check out Part I and Part II. If you’re interested in finding out what I learned when I attended Seth’s workshop, click here.


#SuperDogSunday adoptables in northern Virginia

I’m back with more adorable adoptables from Petfinder! Today, I’m sharing four fantastic adoptables who are ready for some football. (They’re all in the northern Virginia area, so I guess they’ll be cheering for the Ravens this weekend.)

These great photos are part of the big Super Dog Sunday event happening through February 3. (Get your photos in now!)

Up first, meet Bailey from northern Virginia.

Bailey - Super Dog Sunday

This playful Pit Bull Terrier/Boxer is an outgoing and friendly guy. Maybe you could be his new coach? He’d love to join your home team. For more info on Bailey, click here.

Up next, I’d like to introduce you to Dugal, a Foxhound mix in northern Virginia.

Dugal Super Dog Sunday

Dugal is a happy boy who likes other dogs and loves people, once he gets to know them. Looking for a champion snuggler? Then he may be the pup for you! For more info on Dugal, click here.

Next to run onto the field? Kayla from northern Virginia!

Kayla Super Dog Sunday

Kayla is a beautiful Greater Swiss Mountain Dog mix – she loves to run and play, and can’t wait to shower you with affection. Do you have room for this sweet girl on your team? For more info on Kayla, click here.

Last but not least, meet Shakira in northern Virginia!

Shakira Super Dog Sunday

This cutie pie is an American Staffordshire Terrier. All she wants to do is lay by your side and get some belly rubs. If you’re looking for a companion to watch football with, Shakira’s your gal. For more info on Shakira, click here.

Keep those Super Dog Sunday photos coming!