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.)
It’s Earth Day, which means that we should be thinking of ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Today, I thought I’d focus on that middle one.
(Why? Well, Tavish is currently on a diet, so he’s got that whole reduce thing covered. With regard to recycling, I had to talk myself out of just posting this video again.)
The EPA has noted that the best way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. One way to create less waste is to reuse what we already have. When I was thinking about things I could reuse, it hit me. I have a dog. (Two, in fact.) Obviously, my dogs provide me with love, companionship, entertainment, and blog fodder. But… can they do more? I bet they can – and I bet your dogs can too.
Without further ado, here are five alternate uses for your dog:
Foot warmer – Are your toes cold? Don’t invest in a space heater. Just ask your canine companion to curl up on your feet.
Footrest – Why should you spend a pretty penny on a designer ottoman? The perfect footrest may already be under your nose… er, feet. (Obviously, please take the size and temperament of your dog into account. Not all dogs will be willing to put up with your nonsense.)
Bookmark – If you saw it, then you should have put a paw on it.
Shredder – If you simply must shred some documents (before you recycle the paper, of course), don’t invest in a pricey machine. Save your money and conserve electricity by giving your paper to the dog, nature’s shredder.
Doorstop – Pesky door won’t stay open? Perhaps your dog can help. They’re probably going to curl up and take a nap anyway – why not hold that door open while they snooze away? If your dogs, like mine, would never agree to sit still for that long, try using a dog toy instead:
Exercise equipment - Don’t buy a treadmill or an elliptical machine. Just clip a leash onto your furry beast and get moving.
Alarm clock – Don’t buy a new clock. Your dogs can wake you up each morning. Unfortunately, the canine alarm clock does not allow you to choose what time you’d like to wake up. It’s also missing a snooze button.
There you have it – seven easy ways you can reuse your dog. Have some ideas to add to the list? Thought of some new ways to go green? Share them in the comments!
Today, Petfinder is encouraging bloggers to talk about how awesome cats are. Now, don’t tell Bella and Tavish, but I happen to agree. My first pet was actually a pretty cool cat named Buttercup.
Fun fact: pom-poms can double as a cat bed
So, in honor of Buttercup and awesome cats (and cat lovers) everywhere, today’s links are feline-focused. Enjoy some kitty cuteness, and then get out there and adopt a cat! (Let me assure you – I would happily do so if Bella and Tavish were not champion cat chasers. Maybe they need to read this post.)
What should you name your new cat? Here are some punny pet names to get you started: Meowie Long, Rachel Scratch, and Meoward Stern.
Seriously though, in spite of all of the silly reasons I listed above, there’s only one reason you really need to know. Cats are awesome.
Also, I give a huge thumbs up to any animal that gives me a reason to make a Lionel Richie reference.
Hello, is it an adorable kitty you’re looking for?
If so, head on over to Petfinder and search for an adoptable cat near you! Then take lots of photos and tell everyone else you know why adopting a cat is the best. The Internet is sorely lacking in cat pictures, after all.
It’s time for another No Frown Friday. (I also hope that this post heralds the return of regular posting. I’ve been down with the count due to allergies this week. Allergies in February. What is this world coming to?)
First up, your punny pet names are Grammy-inspired: TayRoar Swift, Hairy Underwood, and LL Drool J.
The Grammy performances occasionally include some surprising duos… so, today’s theme is odd couples. We can learn so much from these unconventional pairings.
Let’s kick it off with a dog and a kangaroo. Maybe I’ll give some of them a celebrity couple name too, like Brangelina. I’ll call these two… Dogaroo. (Not to be confused with the Lemaroo, of course.)
Speaking of Brangelina, this Swiss Shepherd took a cue from Angelina and adopted some tiger cubs. Squee.