For 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 →
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.
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.
Many of the sessions at BlogPaws were about the nuts and bolts of blogging. After all, it’s important to know what you have in your toolbox when you’re building a blog. One of my favorite sessions of the conference sounded like it would also be about tools – but it was really about heart.
The session had an simple enough title: “Make Some NOISE – How to Connect All Your Social Media & Create Buzz.” The speakers for this session were Eldad Hagar and Annie Hart, two rescue rock stars. Eldad works with Hope for Paws, Annie works with the Bill Foundation, and they both work together to make a difference for animals in need.
It was a very informative session, but it was also a very emotional one. Eldad and Annie showed us two videos. I’d seen the first one before, but it rained on my face anyway. (Grab a tissue and go watch it. It’s about Janie, a dog with a broken back and a wounded spirit. As you’ll see, she needed more than surgery to heal her heart. I love a happy ending.)
I thought I’d share the second video here today. We got a sneak preview at BlogPaws, but the video was posted on YouTube this past Friday. It was beautiful to see two different organizations working together to promote each other’s missions. We really can reach more people together than we can alone.
In addition to giving my tear ducts a workout, Eldad and Annie shared a number of useful tips. However, the most important thing I took away that day was inspiration.
It’s Memorial Day here in the U.S., so I thought I’d take a momentary break from the silly. (Well, mostly. I just had to share this one.)
Today, my thoughts often go to the poem In Flanders Field. It turns out that I’m not the only one – you should hop over to Tales and Tails and My Brown Newfies to learn more about this poem and the Buddy Poppy. Like Ms. Taleteller, I didn’t see anyone selling Buddy Poppies this year either, and I was surprised. I actually keep one on my desk at work – it serves as a reminder of my grandfather’s service in WWII and all that he and so many others have given to protect our country.
Finally, we end with a video. I think I could watch this all day:
Still need more? Enjoy:
Obviously, today’s theme was partially inspired by Mother’s Day. This weekend, I’ll be rememberingthe wonderful lady who made me into the woman I am today. To those of you also making due with a memory, I’m sending you a giant hug.
Speaking of rhinos (as one does), you should head over to Tiny n Fit to read her recent post about visiting South Africa. She shares some sobering facts about rhino poaching, as well as some ways that you can help. (Spoiler: you don’t even have to leave your house, although you can if you want.) Finally, you can enter to win a cool Rhino Force bracelet (ends Monday).
The specials at this pizza place are a work of genius. I want to go to there… although then I might never want to leave. I am in awe. I mean, I almost didn’t finish writing this post because I wanted to read them all. (It’s hard to pick a favorite, but here’s a dog-related one for your enjoyment.)