Friday, October 28, 2011

Adopt a Pet in Kansas City - Current Adoptable Dogs at KC PAWS (Protective Animal Welfare Society) - Kansas City Dog & Pet Photography

As many of you know already, I volunteer regularly by photographing the dogs up for adoption at KC PAWS in Kansas City. A photo can make the difference for an animal waiting for their forever family in a rescue or shelter environment. I am also partnered with the lovely Kyndra Jade of, who generously donates her adorable bowtie and flower collar accessories to any adoptable dog that I photograph.  It's just an extra special touch that are giving these adoptables even more exposure to help meet their forever family.

KC PAWS (The Protective Animal Welfare Society) was formed in 2007 with the determination of working with animals in need. They specialize in working with animals who are the victims of abuse. They work in connection with local City and State agency’s to help investigate and report cases of cruelty and neglect as well as providing education and resources to the community on how to properly care for their animals.

Even better -- All dogs adopted from KC PAWS come with 6 months of free day care at A Dog's Fun Playce (a $2,700 value). All dogs adopted will be current on their vaccinations and spayed or neutered prior to their release.

If you are interested in any of these dogs below, please click here to fill out an online application.
If you would like to see a full detailed list of all the KC PAWS dogs up for adoption, click here to visit the rescue's petfinder link.

Please spread the word to others and promote adoption! For more information, call Sandi or Tiffani at 816-361-7829 or e-mail

7833 Wornall
Kansas City, MO 64114

Meet Gizmo!

Meet Buster!

Meet Bugs!

Meet Pepper!

Meet Kali!

Meet Blake!

Meet Sophia!

Meet Seamus!

Meet Captain Jack!

Meet Princess!

Meet Mossimo!

Meet Sterling!

Meet Darby!

Meet Herbie!

Meet Poindexter!

Meet Nina!

Meet Brandy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rest in Peace Sweet Sadie - Losing Your Pet to Canine Cancer - Kansas City Dog & Pet Photography

During these two years as a pet photographer, I have already photographed many dogs who were  terminally ill and passed.  So, my heart sank when I received an email from Sadie's mommy a couple weeks ago, explaining that her furry baby was recently diagnosed with Cancer (I HATE that word!) and had a huge mass in her stomach.  She was scheduled to have her photos taken during my special mini session weekend, but I knew I needed to move the appointment sooner.... just in case.  I photographed sweet Sadie on the Tuesday before her weekend session was originally scheduled.  Then I received dreadful news the very next day, Sadie had passed. I immediately was overcome with sadness and tears. If I would have waited one more day... it would have been too late to capture her.  As tragic as this was, I believe that the Lord leads us through life and gives us the intuition to help others when we can. I am confident it was no accident that I was led to move up Sadie's photo session. I also think Sadie sensed she was being called over the rainbow bridge and wanted to hold on until her memories were preserved for a lifetime and to give her family some comfort and peace during such a difficult time.

*Below information from*
What is Cancer?
Dog cancer, like human cancer, is the uncontrolled growth of cells on or within the body. Although there are many types of cancer, they all start because of out-of-control growth of abnormal cells. Normal body cells grow, divide, and die in an orderly fashion. During the early years of a dog's life, normal cells divide more rapidly until the dog becomes an adult. After that, cells in most parts of the body divide only to replace worn-out or dying cells and to repair injuries. Because cancer cells continue to grow and divide, they are different from normal cells. Instead of dying, they outlive normal cells and continue to form new abnormal cells.

Cancerous tumors can spread to other parts of the body where they begin to grow and replace normal tissue. This process is called metastasis. For example, breast cancer that spreads to the liver is still called breast cancer, not liver cancer. Regardless of where a cancer may spread, however, it is always named for the place it began.Not all tumors are cancerous. Benign (noncancerous) tumors do not spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body and, with very rare exceptions, are not life threatening.Different types of cancer can behave very differently. For example, bone cancer and breast cancer are very different diseases. They grow at different rates and respond to different treatments. That is why dogs with cancer need treatment that is aimed at their particular kind of cancer. Cancer rates increase in dogs with age. It is the leading cause of death in dogs over 10 years.

If cancer is suspected in your dog, a veterinarian may order x-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds. A biopsy (the removal of a piece of tissue) is frequently performed for confirmation that cancer exists and to determine the level of severity from benign to aggressively malignant (called grading).

We do not know how dogs get cancer most of the time. There are many types of cancer and many possible causes of cancer (chemicals in our environment, sun exposure, assorted viruses and infections). There are important genetic factors as well. Feeding your dog a healthy diet and keeping them away from known carcinogens will help. Spaying or neutering your dog will also reduce their risk for developing certain cancers.

Each diagnosis of cancer requires individual care and treatment planning. Conventional treatment may include a combination of treatment therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, cryosurgery (freezing), hyperthermia (heating) or immunotherapy.Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM) therapies include acupuncture, behavior modification, homeopathy, herbal medicine, mega-nutrient augmentation therapy, nutritional therapy and chiropractic therapy. Once diagnosed, your veterinarian will discuss the best treatment option(s) for your dog. In some instances, your veterinarian may refer you to a board-certified oncologist (cancer specialist) depending upon the recommended course of treatment. It never hurts to get a second opinion and to research clinical trials for which you dog may be eligible.

Treatment success depends upon the type and extent of the cancer, as well as the aggressiveness of therapy. Some cancers can be cured and almost all patients can be helped to some degree.Another critical point is to understand exactly what is meant when data on efficacy of treatment is presented. Useful terms include:Median - this is used in the context of survival, a median survival of three months means that 50% of the animals are alive at three months, but 50% have died. It does not give you any information of the range of survival of individuals from within the group. For example, individual animals may have survived for only a day to several years. A median survival is very useful to allow comparison between different types of treatment.Survival means just that: how long an animal stayed alive, usually from time of diagnosis, but it could also mean from time of treatment, or from time the owner first noticed signs of a problem. It does not give you any information on what the animal's quality of life was during that time.Progression free survival is the time the animal survived without progression of the clinical signs. This gives you a better idea of the quality of life.

Common Cancer Terms
Cancer: any malignant, cellular tumor; cancers are divided into two broad categories of carcinoma and sarcomas.

Neoplasm: an abnormal new growth of tissue in animals or plants; a tumorTumor: 1.) a swelling; a cardinal sign of inflammation. 2.) neoplasm: a new growth of tissue in which cell multiplication is uncontrolled and progressive.

Benign tumor: one lacking the properties of invasion and metastasis and showing a lesser degree of abnormal cellularity than do malignant tumors. These are usually surrounded by a fibrous capsule.

Malignant tumor: has the properties of invasion and metastasis and displays cells with widely varying characteristicsCarcinoma: a malignant growth made up of epithelial cells tending to infiltrate surrounding tissues and gives rise to metastases.

Sarcoma: a malignant tumor originating from connective tissue or blood or lymphatic tissues.

Metastasize: spread throughout the body, of cancer cells

Growth: can refer to any kind of an abnormal increase in size of tissue

Lump: can be a growth or fluid filled cyst or any structure raising above the normal surface of a tissue plane.

Run free over the rainbow bridge, Sadie! I know you are free from pain and are joyfully meeting all of the other pets who have passed. You will be greatly missed by everyone you touched during your life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rest in Peace Sweet Gus- Coping with the Loss of a Pet - Kansas City Dog & Pet Photography

There are really no words to comfort someone when they have lost a pet. Everyone needs their own time to process and grieve their loss. Click here to read an article on about coping with the death of your pet. For animal lovers, it is not "just losing a pet", it is losing a furry child and companion who loved unconditionally and whose life always seems cut far too short. "Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really," - Carlotta Monterey O'Neill

Gus the Pomeranian was rescued from an abusive home by his Mommy Sarah.  She spoiled him and showed him what true love should feel like. He was aging and had some medical issues and crossed the rainbow bridge peacefully in his sleep yesterday. I still remember falling in love with his sweet little face from the moment I met him.  Sometimes during a photo shoot, I can feel a pet's soul radiate very strongly and with Gus, I could especially sense this with intensity.  He was literally smiling almost every second during his photo shoot. Just like this.

Rainbow Bridge
Author Unknown

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Romeo the Schnauzer - Kansas City Dog & Pet Photography

OK, Remington, don't be jealous. I photographed another Schnauzer last weekend.

*Gasp*.  But you always do know when I've been off photographing another dog because when I arrive home and you come running to greet me, you immediately stop and sniff me in confusion.  You give me that perplexed and serious Schnauzer look that says.. HEY. I thought I was the only dog you pulled out your big camera thing for and gave special treats, right?  Sorry, my best furry friend... there are others, but you will always be Number 1 in my book!

Meet Romeo, an adorable Schnauzer who modeled quite lovely for me in Antioch Park on a gorgeous Fall day. I will say that the magic phrase for him was "Do you want to go for a walk?" and he would come galloping toward me in pure excitement as his response.  Good thing my camera is fast!  Sometimes I have to... fib (OK.. lie) .... to get a dog's attention or perk up their ears. This may mean asking them various phrases in which the answer is not going to happen at that moment.. such as going for a walk.  Romeo, in typical Schnauzer form, gave me a little Schnauzer-tude (aroooooooo-roooo)  when I did not hold up to my random phrases. I couldn't help but laugh because my Remington does the same thing. Gotta love those Schnauzers! Much love to Veronica and her boy Romeo!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

All About Mimi - Puppy Mill Rescue & Up for Adoption - Liks LLC & HeARTS Speak - Kansas City Dog & Pet Photography

You may remember my recent post about the ugly truth of puppy mills. Puppy mill rescues can initially be absolutely terrified of everything.  This is because during their life in a puppy mill, they were kept in horrid conditions, locked in cages 24/7 and were only used for the purpose of constant breeding.  They stand and sit in their own urine and defecation. They do not know or understand love or the human touch. Therefore if they are lucky enough to be rescued out of these conditions, they literally are petrified of experiencing a normal life.  Puppy mill rescues need an adopter with patience and love and who is willing to take the time to help them learn they can trust a human again.  It is an amazing feeling to watch the transformation of a puppy mill rescue and know they will be forever grateful for your companionship.

Mimi is an ADORABLE little black poodle I met and photographed yesterday. However, she is a puppy mill rescue and was literally frozen in fear when I first met her. She needs time and understanding to help her learn what a normal life should consist of.

I want to give a quick shout out to a couple of my favorite organizations who assist in my rescue efforts:

Liks LLC contributes greatly to my cause of photographing rescue dogs.  Owner, Kyndra Jade, donates fabulous flower and bowtie collar accessories to any adoptable dog I photograph. Not only do they look beautiful while modeling the accessories, but they get to keep the product at no charge! How can you NOT love someone who offers that to the rescue community? If you are inclined, take a moment to send Kyndra an e-mail at and thank her for her generosity.

HeARTs Speak is an organization I am a member of.  They are working to unite the individual efforts of animal artists and animal rescues into collective action for social change. Their goal is to connect animal artists to animal rescues to improve adoptability and ultimately, to reduce the number of animals euthanized each year. They just recently introduced a wonderful new watermark for their members to use on adoptable dog photos. I have implemented this on the photos below!

Heather Zimmerman is fostering sweet Mimi.  Please call 913-710-2466 or with any inquiries.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bo, Winner of the Pet Photo Contest and Sisters Zoey & Belle - Kansas City Dog & Pet Photography

I occasionally have pet photo contests on my Facebook page as an incentive and thank you to my loyal fans. I would not be where I am today without the support and encouragement from others, especially those who follow me on Facebook. I remember starting my page in 2009 and hoping to have 100 fans. My work was substandard and I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I self taught myself everything and learned along the way by following fellow photographers who I only dreamed about coming close to their caliber of work.  Sometimes I look back at my older photos when I first began and shake my head. Really..... I called that professional pet photography???? What was I doing??? Well I am here to tell you that with practice, determination, love, patience and support from others, anything is possible. I can't wait to continue learning and growing along this journey. And I have all of you to thank for it, now having over 3,800 fans and 13,000 current monthly active users on my Facebook page.

Bo was the most recent winner of my pet photo contest.  Fans on my page posted photos of their beloved furry children and asked their friends to join my page and vote on their photo by "liking" it.  The photo with the most "likes" by the end of the voting period won a free pet session and 20 digital images! Here is the humble winner Bo, a senior Basset, who made me smile with those classic Basset expressions.

Bo's Mommy had 2 other pets she brought along to have their own sessions as well. This sweet girl is Belle.

And Zoey!

And the happy family! Whew! It was hard work achieving a photo where everyone was looking at me and smiling... but it can be done with PATIENCE.