B.B. and Lucy!
11th August 2013 - 0 comments
It's time for another blog post! But we just had a blog post you call, not sure if another so soon is a good or bad thing. "It's a good thing!" I call back in a reassuring tone. It's a good thing because I have two very beautiful dogs to introduce you to. And while I love Facebook, you just can't really get quite the rambling in like you can with a blog post. And I like to ramble. It's my thing.

So who are the special girls who this blog post is for? Well none other than B.B. and Lucy! What kinda dogs are B.B. and Lucy? For those on the Memphis Mutts Facebook page, you have already been introduced to them and their gorgeous faces. B.B. is a 13 years young black toy poodle and Lucy is a 5 year old chocolate Labrador.

We met at Shelby Farms and went for a short walk in the woods to take their first pictures under some pine trees next the appropriately named Pine Lake. Hint: B.B. is the little one in this picture.

Apparently B.B. isn't typically a big barker, but she decided that in the excitement of this cool place, she was going to tell the world.

As we began making our way back to the open, B.B. started showing the first signs of what an awesome poser she was, despite at the time not seeming like it. Seriously, almost every picture I got of her was this adorable.

Lucy also started showing the first signs of her lab heritage, complete attention when I squeaked a ball I had brought with me.

B.B. on the other hand almost always had her eyes on her dad. And we learned very quickly to strategically place him. ;)

Another sign of Lucy's lab heritage was her love of food. She was willing to take any and all of the treats I offered her and complete focus became a strong suit if I had a treat to wave around.

B.B. on the other hand was a bit less trusting of me. She had a refined sense of taste and I suppose "do not take candy from strangers." Had been imprinted firmly into her. She would take them from me and then spit them out. After a few tries of this pattern she finally decided that the treats I was offering were good enough to eat, and I managed a few pictures of her focused on me as opposed to her dad.

After B.B. and Lucy had posed like models, and we had gotten Lucy hot from playing fetch we released her into the wild blue yonder to go swimming... or at least into the nearby lake. And like any good lab, she hopped in and began playing fetch: swimming edition. And every time she had to come out and shake on land, making sure that the majority of the stray droplets would land on me since I had the most expensive stuff at the time, and I was sitting on the ground, and I was too dumb to move out of the way. But... I GOT THE PICTURE I WANTED. Which is what is important. The sun was just right and turned the droplets to gold.

B.B. and Lucy it was a blast photographing the both of you. Lucy, I tried to convince them to let you have the squeaky ball, but they knew you would squeak it like a fool and get your priveleges revoked! B.B. I'm sorry for continually calling you Lucy during our session. I don't know what was wrong with me! Mismatched neurons or something going wrong in my brain.
Germany to Austria in Animal Pictures
03rd August 2013 - 1 comment
For those on the Memphis Mutts Facebook page (don't all my blog posts start out this way) and especially you few people on my personal page, you know that I recently came back from a trip from Europe. And well, I can't leave you out now can I? I have to show you a bunch of pictures. I won't post a bunch of landscape photography because I was being a "tourist" and not a photographer. I used my "nice" camera, but I wasn't overly worried about how my photography was going to look. I just made sure to take pictures of the things that were beautiful to me so that in the years to come I would have memories of them. There are a few pictures of non-animals. But I didn't post a bunch, because this blog has a total of 49 photos (or 48, if I forget to upload one more). I took nearly 2,000 photos and when it was all said and done, I had 45 GBs of photos.

So how did I get over to Europe? Aside from the smart-alec answer of "by plane you dummy," I have an awesome Nana (grandma on my Dad's side) who takes her grandkids to a place of their choosing when they graduate from high school. I graduated in 2012, but my Nana unfortunately had tumors on her adrenal glands and was in the hospital for a good portion of last summer and recuperating from surgery for the rest of the summer. But thankfully she is feeling better, and is back to being the person I adore, slightly sarcastic, cracking jokes all the time, and decided she was well enough for a two week international vacation. Along with my Nana, my cousin Kaleb also came with us to Germany and Austria. He also graduated in 2012 and while we could have gone on separate trips if we were incapable of agreeing on where to go, we agreed.

So why Germany? I promise the pictures are coming soon! I'm just giving the pictures time to load. Well, I've been taking German in high school since sophomore year, and decided to continue on in taking it in college. I'm kind of good at it without trying, and I enjoy it. That said going to the actual country where everyone is fluent showed me that I speak at a five year olds level... but I know less words. I was very rarely willing to speak, and mainly just translated things in my head and smiled if I felt I was successful and would get frustrated when I got caught up on a word. Kaleb was willing to go to Germany as long as we went to Austria. So we did that as well.

We left America on June 13th, catching a flight out of St. Louis, MO to Charlotte, NC where we caught another flight to Munich, Germany. The flight was 8 and a half hours, but we sat on the plain for an hour before we could leave thanks to a storm rolling in right as we were all on the plane.

We stayed the night in Munich, and in the morning we met up with our tour guide thing since we decided to do a river cruise so we wouldn't need to worry about lugging our luggage around. The cruise was supposed to begin in Passau, but unfortunately Germany was having awful flooding at the time (thankfully receding when we arrived) and we couldn't begin where it was supposed to originally. So instead we took a tour bus to Passau (the original beginning, but too flooded for the ship) and then continued on with the tour bus to Regensburg.

Germany (and I suppose all of Europe) has huge churches that are super ornate. Unfortunately the first one we went in, was my favorite of the whole trip, so while the others were certainly fantastic, this one left the others looking too "simple."

While the church in Passau was amazing inside, many other churches had awesome outsides, like this one in Regensburg.

We also went to Nürnberg where the Nürnberg Trials were held. This is Hitler's congress hall that he wanted built next to the lake so that it would twice as big.

And while we were on the tour, I saw an authentic German Shepherd. I actually saw lots of dogs, and took lots of creepy pictures, but this is the only one I'm uploading. I was suffering from dog withdrawals for two weeks.

I can’t remember where the next picture is from, but I just know it was gorgeous and picture worthy. We unfortunately did not go inside it.

And my awesome Nana resting on a bridge in one of the many small German towns we visited.

We were normally cruising the river at night and docked during the day to explore the local towns. I enjoyed taking pictures of what we say along the river as the sunset.

After being on the rivers for a while thanks to the cruise we took, I realized we hadn’t seen much wildlife. No deer at dusk. No squirrels. Just a few birds and mainly water fowl at that. I did make friends with two Mallard ducks. I fed them Bavarian pretzel (a few days later an article about how feeding ducks and geese starchy things like breed is super bad for them showed up in my Facebook News Feed).

Germany also had swans. Swans are gorgeous birds. And huge. Brittany is the kind of dog (only 15 pounds and a foot tall) who normally has no issue chasing any kind of wildlife, but I have to wonder if they would have given her pause.

The first pair I met were pretty cool and had swum across the river (which was pretty wide) to come say hello, but after them any “liking of swans” that I may have had disappeared.

You can see the swan in the background which caused my swan liking to disappear. He would be the one biting the other. There were quite a few and we watched them for quite a while before deciding we wanted to return to our ship. When we tried to move past Mr. Vicious he hissed at us and if we moved closer would snake his long neck forward threatening to bite us. Luckily my cousin and I had an umbrella with us and used it like a shield to move past him since a wall and a long walk to get around the wall prevented us from turning back.

We entered France for a day, but decided to take a tour in Germany to visit the Black Forest and a local museum which was reminiscent of how people in the Black Forest lived in the days of old. As we were driving back to the Black Forest our tour guide told us about the storks in France and Germany and how they had nests built on top of houses and churches. We got to see a few pairs of them and I managed to snag this picture of them as we drove.

Once in the Black Forest museum we saw some “Black Forest Foxes” which are an old breed of horse. They were quite short for a horse, but super thick. Some info on Black Forest Foxes.

There were also sheep, pigs, cows, goats, chickens, and rabbits. But the only ones that had decent enough pictures to post were the rabbits. Which were adorable. Because the rabbit had babies with her.

After the Black Forest we headed back to our ship where we went to Switzerland (I think, don’t hold me to that, we were there for very little time) and exited our ship for the last time. We took a taxi to a train station and headed by train to Austria so that Kaleb could satisfy his need for Mozart. We went through the mountains and it was quite beautiful. I kept wishing I could go hiking through the woods (with my dogs!), but instead I was stuck inside this train as we traveled all day with our luggage in tow.

Once we got to Salzburg, Austria we didn’t do much except for prepare for a night of sleep. The next day it was raining and we tried to decide what we wanted to do for the day. I convinced them to go to the Salzburg Zoo. Which if you are on the Memphis Mutts Facebook page, you know the reasoning for that. IT WAS FOR THE BABY SNOW LEOPARDS, NATURE’S CUTEST BUNDLE OF JOY EVER IN THE HISTORY OF FOREVER. We almost didn’t see them. And I squealed like the girl I am in my excitement. And instead of being cruel, I will just post those pictures right off the bat.

What they will grow up to look like for those not familiar with snow leopards.

So with the cutest things out of the way, we can almost relive my journey through the zoo, well the decent and/or cool animals I saw that we don’t normally see in our zoos around here. First up in the “cool not around here” category is the Maned Wolf. I had never heard of these before, but they were quite leggy.

And then we saw some rhinos. Which I have never developed much of an opinion about. I’m a predator kind of gal. Cats. Dogs. Ferrets. But rhinos are awe-inspiring and as has been said by many a person in many a book, they look like something from a different era in time with their armor plating and it upsets me that they are being hunted to extinction by people who believe their horns hold some mystical power when ingested.

Cute little deer thing.

Majestic looking peacock. He could have possibly, not actually been majestic.

Peacock chasing the peahen.

Zebras. For those that don’t know why zebras are striped, the best guess is that it is too confuse predators and make it hard to single one of them out. And despite the Salzburg Zoo having only two of them, I have to say, it is a pretty accurate guess.

Little adorable mustached monkey. Absolutely adorable.


Some parrots who fought the whole time and were screeching. They might not have been actually fighting. It was probably more the equivalent of bickering. “I’M NOT TOUCHING YOU!”

Mongoose. The Memphis Zoo (as of the last time I went) does not have these. We should have these. Kind of like Meerkats, but cuter.

The Salzburg Zoo had guinea pigs which I found hilarious since we keep them as pets over here. They had a nice enclosure and Kaleb made friends with them. You can see the mountains outside the zoo. The actual zoo was on a mountain as well which made the enclosures for the animals cooler.

Another little monkey. You can see how tiny he is. He was in love with the plastic bag over my camera since it had been raining all day. Since his area was indoors I could safely take it off and let him look at it close up. Curious little dude that he was.

The zoo also had a petting zoo and Kaleb, in his excitement, went and bought some food to feed the sheep. Well as soon as the sheep realized he had food, Kaleb realized his mistake. I, being free of food, couldn’t quit laughing. My Nana and I both got plenty of pictures of him and his bad decision. His hoodie needed to be washed. 

Little mouse thing.

Lazy Grizzly bear was lazy.

As we hit the end of the zoo, we saw one goat standing outside it’s little barn. The rest were all standing inside out of the rain. Kaleb tossed it a piece of food and suddenly every goat came hurrying out and mobbed the fence.

I’m leaving you with pictures of goats as your final pictures on this blog post of my trip to Germany and Austria. It was fun and I liked it. I think my favorite part was how dogs were welcomed almost everywhere. They were allowed at the zoo which was awesome. As a dog lover and someone who loves to frequent zoos (when the animals appear to be well cared for and given proper mental stimulation), I think the Memphis Zoo should change its policy and allow us to bring our dogs. Let’s lead a revolt! Bring your dogs anyway!

Or maybe not. I would spend so much time at the zoo I would get even less done then I already do. But at least I’d be happy and not feeling guilty when I spend a day at the zoo and abandon my mutts to the boredom of another day at home.
Winston and Lola
16th May 2013 - 0 comments
It has been a long couple of weeks recently, I'm a full time college student at the University of Memphis and with finals coming up I self imposed a ban of all things I enjoy, no updating the Memphis Mutts Facebook page, no reading my books, no training the dogs, and yet, somehow, I still managed to do very little studying. It is actually kind of amazing. But that's over with now, finals are done, and I'm free! During that two weeks or so, I opened Winston and Lola's gallery for viewing, so this blog post is a bit late in that regard as I try to use it as something of a teaser. Better late than never, I suppose, and Winston and Lola are definitely deserving of a blog post.

Winston and Lola belong to Ashley Howell, who won the Dogs 2nd Chance giveaway in December. We waited to do our session until the weather was warmer. We had our session at Shelby Farms. Winston and Lola are both pit bulls, with I'm sure something else mixed in as well. Lola was adopted from Dogs 2nd Chance and Winston is a rescue himself. They are around the same age. Lola didn't feel good and spent most of her time in a doggy stroller. She was in kidney failure and very upsettingly lost the fight the day after our session, April 2, 2013. I was so happy to have had the chance to photograph the gorgeous little blue girl, and in my shock at her loss, I have not paid as much attention to Winston when it came to posting them on the Facebook page. I hope to correct that in this blog post as well as pay Lola the tribute that she deserves. As always I'll talk about them along the way as I post pictures, and because while I feel rather solemn now, this blog post wouldn't be official without the "ON TO THE PICTURES!" excitement... ON TO THE PICTURES:

So here is the gorgeous Winston, who I think qualifies hands down as the world's fittest dog. If you think your dog can beat him, book a shoot today and we'll let the people of Facebook land decide. Winston wasn't too motivated by the treats I offered him (his tongue being out is just to trick you). Not eating everything in site is step 1 to being fit (I feel like I could learn something from him...).

There is also jumping over logs... which was not his idea. That was my idea. Winston was just willing to play my games because he's a big lovable handsome dude, and who puts of with people like me easily. ;)

We also pranced around in this long grass stuff (you know, like a horse), which I don't think Winston really saw the point in, but was like "okay" and pranced. Because he's an awesome dog like that.

And then... we busted out a cheap little Frisbee, which I had brought with me when Ashley told me that Winston was a fan of them... she wasn't kidding. Also, for those that care, that Frisbee lasted about 15 minutes or so... Winston enjoyed it and loved it tremendously in that short time frame... I mean he's the reason it is no longer around, let's be honest here, but none the less, watching how happy he was with it made me laugh and made me happy, so I feel the Frisbee was a necessary sacrifice. The Frisbee may or may not have agreed, but hey, let's not get off topic now.

After running around after the Frisbee, playing my silly games, and some posing, Ashley let him cool off in the lake, which before spying the Frisbee, had been on his list of things to do. He reminds me of a seal. His coat is perfect... he just doesn't have ya know... the flippers and stuff. He spied a duck while he was wading in the water and had a stare down competition with it (the duck was not aware that this was happening, in case anyone wants the duck's side of things) before splashing back to Ashley and I in happy bliss.

And behind the scenes during all this was Lola, and Ashley's mother-in-law who had come to help tend to Lola. She of course wasn't feeling well, but that didn't stop her from being super photogenic, giving me one of my all time favorite images.

Ashley clearly loved her, and while I was only around the pair for an hour it was evident. Ashley might have been walking Winston most of the time, but she was always aware of how far away Lola was and to make sure that she was comfortable and as content as she could be.

While we were playing Frisbee with Winston, Lola managed to jump out of her stroller and come running over to Winston. Wanting to be part of the fun, and certainly not wanting her brother to get all the attention from us. So we obliged her and held Winston back while taking her photograph a few more times.

Lola was actually the inspiration for a dog clothing line that Ashley and a friend operate called Dame I'm Beautiful. I personally love the name and it makes me chuckle. Here's their Facebook page as well. You should go like it! So while Lola wasn't feeling optimum, she was still capable of being a brilliant model.

While Winston got to swim, Lola couldn't and sat on shore in her stroller. We brought her out for a few more pictures where she pulled off the "staring off into the distance" look.

Some words about Lola according to her owner, Ashley:
"We adopted Lola in August and knew nothing was wrong with her other than she had an issue with her eye. I kept taking her back and forth to the doctor, because, like a mother, I knew something was not right with her despite the doctor's reassurance that she was fine. She was diagnosed with kidney failure in late September / early October and she was given 4-8 weeks to live. Despite the prognosis, we held out hope and she almost made it to her first Birthday, May 6, 2013. I do not mind if you blog about her as she is an inspiration to us all. She was not supposed to make it past November and we got to spend 7 and a half wonderful amazing months with her."

I can't not agree that Lola is a huge inspiration. She made people smile when they met her, and she broke stereotypes and estimates about what she could do. I hope everyone remembers to take this moment and cherish their pets.
Jazzee and Mayhem
09th April 2013 - 0 comments
I hope you like black and tan because there is a whole lot of it coming your way. In this edition (because blogs now come in "editions") the Memphis Mutts blog is devoted to two gorgeous Rottweilers who go by the names of (take a moment to guess)... JAZZEE AND MAYHEM. It might have been a bit difficult to guess. The title did not give it away or anything. I met Jazzee and Mayhem on March 28th. We originally had to cancel because Miss Jazzee slightly injured her face, and her owner, Kacee, was worried about it not looking too great for the photos, and Jazzee wasn't feeling to well because of it either. A few days later, she was looking good and feeling great. So we met at the Atoka Ball Park (which I think has a different name, has an old train car in front of it, for you Atokans, that might know what I'm talking about), and went exploring through the woods taking pictures as we went. The cool thing about the woods is that it has two meadows (ish) in it, that make for a nice variety of pictures. So you get woods, the wheaty looking grass (that probably has a more scientific name then the aforementioned), and some green grass that may or may not be flowering. Jazzee and Mayhem had fun, although by the end of our session they were happy to get some water at the car. They were probably also harboring some dreams of a nice long nap as well.

So without further rambling (which if you are new to the blog, I do that to give the pictures time to load)... ON TO THE PICTURES!

First up is Mayhem:

We managed to convince Mayhem to jump over this log for our amusement and photo evidence. Jazzee did not think we humans had brilliant plans and decided under was better than over.

And then Mayhem, continuing on his braveness, stood on this bridge, which if I had a full picture of the state of this bridge, you would know why that made him brave. But I don't. So just trust me when I say he was brave, and that Kacee, Jazzee, and I refused to set foot on it.

Mayhem was quite hot at this point in our walk. It was the furthest point that we walked, and after this we got to turn around and head back. And that would be Jazzee making a guest appearance.

Jazzee and Mayhem are actually pretty close to each other and were constantly showing up in each other's pictures. Whoever was supposed to be in focus, in most cases the other happened to have a leg, butt, nose, head, paw, etc in the picture.

And here are their two cute butts together. For those on the Memphis Mutts Facebook page, I let you guess on who was who, for those curious of the answer (if you aren't on the Facebook page, have I mentioned yet that you should be?) Jazzee is on the left. She's got the longer tail of the two. ;)

Jazzee showing you another example of her tail for comparison.

And now for one of her pretty face.

On our way back to our vehicles, Jazzee was constantly turning around to make sure Kacee was still with us. She was on a 25 foot long line, but had to check and make sure her girl was still following. And in the event that she wasn't, then Jazzee would adjust herself accordingly so she was heading Kacee's direction.

And if her love isn't apparent in that picture, than the fact that Jazzee likes to seal her love with a Rottweiler sized hug should make it clear.

As we near the end of our photographic journey, I leave you with a before and after, Jazzee still being the star.

It was a pleasure to meet you Jazzee and Mayhem, and you too Kacee! Your pair are an awesome representative of the Rottweiler breed and could convert even the most hell bent breed specific legislation supporter. Seriously people should be jealous that I got to meet them and they haven't.

Memphis Mutts donates 10% of all purchases to a rescue of your choice. Mayhem was adopted from Midsouth Animal Rescue League, and that is who this sessions 10% will be going to once all purchases have been made. And don't forget to like their Facebook page! If this post has inspired you to get a Rottie of your own, check out Midsouth Animal Rescue League. They always seem to have a couple on hand who could use a good forever home.

P.S. Did anybody realize that Mayhem and Brittany have the same Lupine collars? Mayhem wears his much better. For one, he actually is quite peaceful, unlike a certain Jack Russell I own who thinks it is her mission in life to bark at every gust of wind about a hundred times before settling down. Mayhem would prefer to have his butt scratched.
Richy and Happy
30th March 2013 - 1 comment
It has been such a long time since I did a blog post. For those of you following the Memphis Mutts Pet Photography Facebook page (and you really should be following it, look, I even made that a direct link for you to click on and go to the page, so that you can like it and stay up to date on all the newest Memphis Mutts photos), you probably saw a few photos of Richy and Happy. Richy is a ten year old Greyhound and Happy is a 12 year old cattle dog mix; they share their home with three other greyhounds, whom I hope to eventually photograph. Until then Happy and Richy are here to tide you over. Richy and Happy's session was purchased as a Christmas present, by Richy and Happy's owner's son. Despite receiving their gift certificate a little before Christmas, Richy and Happy's owners decided to wait until the weather was a bit warmer. We first attempted to schedule our session in early March, but of course after a short stretch of warm weather, the day we had planned on was forecasted to be in the chilly thirties. So we rescheduled our session for March 17th. With full intentions of heading to a local park for our photos, the weather laughed at us and gave us some misty precipitation with a slight chill. After talking to Richy and Happy's owner, we decided to take the pictures at their house so Richy and Happy could easily go inside if they were getting cold. While it wasn't what I was planning for, I think the switch from park to home was a good one.

So I guess it is at this point that I say, ON TO THE PICTURES!

This first photo of Richy is a great example of why deciding to do the pictures at home was a good one. Richy doesn't typically do much running, but since he was in his backyard, and the weather was perfect "be frisky" weather, he started dashing around the yard and gave us a few laps.

This second photo is the other reason why it was great to have switched to photographing at home, Richy and his football. Which he has had for years and likes to use as a pillow.

Then there is Happy. Who I was told typically refuses to look at the camera. But with my amazing mind powers I hypnotized her into looking. And by "amazing mind powers" and "hypnotized" what I really mean is with some of her favorite treats that her owners had and some that I had brought with me. At one point during our session, after taking a few photos, Happy walked up to me, wagging her tail and looking up at me. I thought we had really bonded and were now besties, when her owner told me she was expecting a treat. I couldn't help but laugh. I handed her her treat and she, living up to her name, was quite happy to receive her payment.

But she wasn't so enthralled with the camera that she wasn't capable of doing what makes every photographer's dog great, the pensive into the distance stare.

Richy's owner wasn't sure if she wanted to be in any of the pictures, but I managed to sneak this one in, and it quickly turned into one of my favorites.

Richy for the most part kept his ears back, but the few times his ears were forward I was surprised. I never realized that greyhounds' ears stand up (or maybe Richy is just special). When I think of greyhounds and their ears, I guess I typically think of them as back. Here's a photo of Richy to demonstrate the upright greyhound ear position.

And then there is the greyhound nose. Which, until you are staring at it taking a picture, you probably don't think much about either (or until you are editing the picture). Yes, their face is long and narrow (everything about them is streamlined for racing at incredible speeds), but the actual NOSE sticks out from their face. It fascinated me because it doesn't cause an overbite.

Not to be out done by all this greyhound business, Happy needed to show off her tongue. Which is purple. But it isn't JUST purple. No. It has Jaguar spots and what not on it. Her tongue wasn't seen much in our session since it wasn't hot enough to warrant too much panting, but I did manage to snag this picture of her awesome tongue. And really, who CAN'T love a purple tongue?

Here is the before picture of one of Happy's poses against the brick wall. I really loved her pose, and after some debate on whether the hand should stay or go, it was decided it needed to go. Because without the hand, Happy goes from just looking at a treat, to seeming incredibly proud and almost super hero-esqu as if she is ready to take off in a moment. Happy is meant to be the main focus of the picture, no need to have a competition between looking at her owner's hand and Happy's beautiful face (and coat). The red wall of the brick really exaggerated her black and just made her pop.

So here is the after. Hand gone, red popping, and her smokey colored coat visible, awesome, and beautiful.

I really enjoyed my session with Richy and Happy and hope to one day post a blog for the other three resident greyhounds. When I first realized I was going to photograph a greyhound I was insanely excited (and was excited the entire time I was taking pictures and saying hello to the five dogs greeting me at the door). Happy managed to slip in through my greyhound excitement and steal a chunk of my heart as well. She was adorable and made me laugh, reminding me of Brittany and Bello in the fact she was willing to do just about anything for a treat, but could be pretty obstinate without one. For those curious -- and I'm always curious -- Happy was adopted from a shelter in Boca Raton, FL and all the greyhounds are adopted retired racing greyhounds. This family has opened their heart up to FIVE rescue dogs, and those are just the current dogs, not even counting those who have unfortunately passed away. Richy and Happy's owners do a lot of work with Mid-South Greyhound Adoption Option, so if you have been considering a greyhound please check them out. Ten percent of all purchases from each session goes to the rescue of that person's choice, and of course Richy and Happy's owners chose Mid-South Greyhound Adoption Option.