Two Red Dogs

A personal blog documenting our daily life, but also our efforts to help change the lives of as many animals as we can through photography and sharing their stories.

Kaden is One!

I don’t know that I have met many babies that are as smiley as baby Kaden…in fact, I think the most I’ve seen him cry was at the beginning of this shoot! Lucky for us though, the tears didn’t last long and we got some adorable smiles!!

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Have you heard?!

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We’ve been published! A huge thanks to Bainbridge Island Magazine for featuring this photo of sweet Ruby in their summer publication!

Summertime Teaser

Wow! It’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged…it seems like every time I think about it and sit down to start a post, something else pops up that needs my attention! It’s been a busy month with lots of exciting updates, but I will leave that for another post! Although I’ve been photographing the rescues dogs when they’re ready to be shown to people, it’s been a long time since I picked up my camera and actually did a shoot, let alone a golden hour shoot, so last week Amy contacted me asking if I had any availability to shoot her two little ones with a couple HUGE balloons before the balloons deflated, I ecstatically said yes, and we set the date for the next day. Anyone who was in Kitsap knows how gorgeous it was…it seemed to be our first tease of summer, with one day getting up into the 70s! I have known both of Amy’s girls since each of their births, and have been lucky enough to photograph them multiple times…to say they are adorable is an understatement! It was so exciting to see how big they have gotten over the winter, and to be able to photograph their bond as sisters…they are one of the sweetest pairs of sisters I’ve ever met, that’s for sure!

Amy, thank you for contacting me and asking me to do this shoot, I know it was last minute, but it was great to get my camera out again and to see your beautiful family, I hope you enjoy your photos!

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A perfect life…and friendships past

The other day I came across a post by Courtney Dellafiora, who, in case you didn’t know, is an AMAZING wedding and boudoir photographer. Recently she started sharing more of her personal life, which was very inspiring to me (and I’m sure a lot of other people). Courtney is wildly successful, and at a glance, her life would make you assume that she’s got an easy, “perfect” life…however, that is not the case, as she shared in her blog post…and I for one, found her so much more inspirational after learning about her struggles.

Which got me thinking…Why are we so obsessed with trying to make everyone think we have a perfect life? That everything is amazing, and always wonderful? Is it because we don’t want to seem like we’re complaining? Because we want people to be envious of us? I admit that I too, want to have that “perfect” life…I often see people on Facebook posting about how “amazing” everything is, and how “perfect” life is…and I wonder, what is it like to feel that happy, that “amazing”, all the time? Perhaps it is just because I suffer from depression, but I can’t even fathom what a “perfect” day, without any feelings of sadness or being overwhelmed, would feel like. Am I trying to say “oh, poor me, I have such a rough life”? NO! I am thankful for (most) everything in my life, and know that I have it good…but honestly, that doesn’t always cut it. I often struggle with posting or telling people these kinds of things…especially on my “business” blog. Do potential clients really want to hear about how you struggle to make it through the day without a breakdown? I doubt it, but I hope posting this doesn’t make them too judgmental of me because I’m just trying to keep it real. Eventually I’ll have more photos to post, and will balance out the personal with the “business” blog posts…and who knows, maybe someday I’ll erase these because honestly, people probably don’t want to read about my struggles…probably because often they either think you’re doing it to complain, get attention, or they don’t know how to deal with it and it makes them uncomfortable. But hey; I’m just trying to keep it real here, because I hope, god I hope, that I’m not the only one that goes through this struggle, and I hope maybe this will help someone out there feel like they are not so alone.

But back to Courtney’s post…a couple days ago she posted a photo, along with this:
“True lifelong friendship is so extremely rare to find. When you find a friend of real character, one who truly loves you and has your best interest in mind, cherish them and never let them go. Treat them with respect, be one thousand percent loyal, be considerate of their feelings, pray for them daily, love them unconditionally. True friends are more valuable than gold. I am so blessed to have the absolute most amazing and loyal friends in my life. Like this little rainbow brite unicorn, named Brandi. :)) Tonight we shared a memory that we will never forget. I love you my best friend! Forever and ever.”

My first reaction to Courtney’s post was jealousy…that’s my reaction whenever I hear about people talk about their childhood friends that they are still close to. There are a few people that have been in my life a long time, a few people that have hurt me, that I have hurt, but that I thought were “lifelong friends”. Truth is, I guess they weren’t, sometimes I guess people can only see the wrong that was done to them, and not the hurt that they have caused the other person, and sometimes things just go too deep, or are left alone too long, to repair. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t have any friends…or special people in my life.) I don’t think I’m an easy person to be friends with, because if I were, wouldn’t I have those deep, life long friendships that I want so badly? Those people that would care about me, just as long as I care about them? Maybe I just expect too much out of people…I often wonder about that… One of my friends once gave me this advice when I came to her about being hurt “maybe it’s time for you to stop fighting for a one-sided friendship, and to let them go. There’s nothing wrong with you, and there’s nothing wrong with them, maybe it just means that their role in your life is coming to a close.” I have often found comfort in those words, because I tend to think anything and everything is my fault, and was caused by me, and that, because I verbalize my feelings, that I am the only one hurting from the end of a relationship…maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not, but the pain of it really sucks.

Truth is, no matter my experiences, Courtney’s words resonated with me because I completely agree, and, while I’ve never been a perfect friend (and never claimed to be), have always tried to show the people in my life how much I love and care about them because, lets be honest, I care about a lot of people, but there are some people that I have been through so much with, and who have been through so much with me, that I love them more deeply than anyone else I know…people that feel like family, that I cherish, would do anything for, and would never want to let go. Sometimes I feel like I love people so much I am crazy…or I act crazy…or that they think I’m crazy…because honestly, how could you ever love or care for someone that much? I don’t know. I just do. I’ve always been like that, and I know no other way. People who I love and who know I love them, say that makes me a “wonderful friend” and “amazing person with a huge heart”, and they always say they “love that about me”, until of course, they don’t…then they don’t think my friendship, or how much I care, is worth anything. I put an insane amount of time, effort, and energy to show people how much I care about them…and have yet to have a friendship where that is reciprocated…that doesn’t make me love less, or try any less although I wish I did, I simply don’t know how to not love the crap out of people that I care deeply about.

Unfortunately, loving someone that much also gives them the power to (even accidently) hurt you. The wrong tone of voice, a casual jab, a hurtful comment, or treating me like you don’t care, that cuts me deep…and I don’t deal the best with being hurt, often it causes me to retreat and cut myself off from whatever or whomever has hurt me, it cuts so deep that it almost consumes me, and I have to step back and let myself heal before I can address the problem…does that sound crazy? Probably…sometimes I hate how crazy my sensitivity makes me feel, and how no one seems to understand it, or worse, how they make me feel so badly about the way I deal with hurt.

If you stuck it out and read this whole post, I am impressed! Even more so if you stuck with, and made it through all the random tangents…I’ll leave you again with Courtney’s words…because I believe whole-heartedly in them, and hope that you cherish anyone who cherishes you, no matter the ups and downs, because remember, no one is perfect, and no one is a perfect friend, partner, etc., messing up, not being perfect, that’s to be human, but relationships are a two way street…and that street includes you.

“True lifelong friendship is so extremely rare to find. When you find a friend of real character, one who truly loves you and has your best interest in mind, cherish them and never let them go. Treat them with respect, be one thousand percent loyal, be considerate of their feelings, pray for them daily, love them unconditionally. True friends are more valuable than gold. I am so blessed to have the absolute most amazing and loyal friends in my life. Like this little rainbow brite unicorn, named Brandi. :)) Tonight we shared a memory that we will never forget. I love you my best friend! Forever and ever.”

This was a very random post with a lot of mashed up feelings crammed into it, that was triggered a few days ago by Courtney’s post, subsequently being followed by a photo of someone who’s friendship I lost, which was then followed by tears, and a very rough day…and it would certainly not be viewed as a “professional” post, I’m sure, but hey, its real, and that’s what I was trying to accomplish!

And, because posts are always better with a photo, here’s a picture of three “friends” that have yet to let me down 🙂

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Wordless Wednesday

The other day Jeremy and I had company over, and Sophie, who is usually very shy around new people, surprised us and without being coaxed, crept up to sniff, and be pet by, our guests. It started a conversation on how much love can do for a being, human or animal…and inspired me to share some photos of Sophie’s journey so everyone could see the change that fostering can make. If you want to see more photos or follow her, check us out on Instagram, or Facebook. Happy hump day!

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Sophie (then named 0481) in her shelter photo.

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Her first day with us, you can see how nervous and uneasy she looks.

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Her first nap at our house, when she finally relaxed and could actually sleep.

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First couple outings, one to B.I. Barkery, and the other to one of Jeremy’s softball games…you can see in her face that she was still uneasy and scared.

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She took right away to our two boys (and loves all other dogs she’s been introduced to), these are some of the first times she was off leash in the field of our old rental…see that big smile? She’s so much more confident with dogs then with humans! Oh, and our first selfie together!

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Slowly she became acclimated to our house, and was able to be relaxed and just hang out.

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We soon discovered that one of her favorite things to do was snuggle…and sleep (perfect time to sneak in more selfies!)!

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And she loves going bye bye with momma!

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This is her with Pete, the first person she bonded to outside of Jeremy and I…as you can see, the feelings are mutual. 😉

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She loves to snuggle with her foster brothers and sisters…and is very good about sharing “her” couch!

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And she humors me for whatever I put her through when I need a beautiful model to practice on…

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She always sits down by my feet and waits for me…whether I’m cooking dinner, folding clothes, sitting on the couch, in the shower, or brushing my teeth (like I was here) 🙂

Needless to say Sophie and I are pretty bonded…I love her, her snuggles, and her happy morning wiggles so much, and can’t really imagine my life without her. It’s becoming more and more clear that she may be a foster failure, and if she’s not, how much of a hole will be left in my heart when she goes to her forever home. I love you Sophie girl!

happy birthday to my biggest hero!

Today is my mommas birthday! Happy birthday!! Although I am grateful for her every day, since today is her special day I wanted to take a moment to tell her how amazing she is, and how thankful I am for her. My mom has been my best friend for as long as I can remember, and I am beyond grateful that we didn’t really go through those teenage years that most girls go through with their moms where they fight all the time…My mom has always been my #1 fan and my biggest supporter, she hauled me all across the country when I was showing, she has encouraged me, dried my tears countless times, shared my grief and my victories, and has made me who I am today. I can’t express how lucky I am to have her as my mother, and don’t feel like any number of words will do her justice so: Happy birthday momma, I love you and I am so very thankful that you was born!

Jello, the happiest dog on earth!

Everyone, meet Jello, appropriately named the happiest dog on earth! Jello is a super sweet pittie that came to Project Buddy Rescue via Dancing Dog Rescue, after having a very rough start early on in life. Jello wags her tail harder then any dog I’ve ever met…her tail wags her whole body! She adores people, and is great with children, cats, and other non-aggressive dogs. She is sure to make one lucky family very happy! More information about Jello available here: http://www.adoptapet.com/pet/10166472-kingston-washington-terrier-unknown-type-medium-mix

This is a video that was taken of Jello before she arrived at Project Buddy Rescue…just look at that tail!

Also, here are some photos of Miss Jello, the first two are from her first couple nights with us, and the others are photos I took of her…although I don’t think they do her justice because you can’t see the big smile she usually has!

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New beginnings

Happy Monday! I have exciting news! We are about to welcome a new foster into our home, which you know can only mean one thing…CHARLIE BROWN GOT ADOPTED!! Everyone at Project Buddy Rescue is so happy for him, after almost a year in the rescue, he had stolen everyones hearts, but definitely deserved his own forever home. He now lives with a wonderful family and has a little sister (4 legged), two little brothers (of the two-legged kind), and a wonderful mom and dad. Congrats on your new home sweet boy. We are so happy for you! Here is a recap of Charlie’s life in our home, and a photo of his new brothers!!

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Just a bad day, not a bad life.

Remember how I said in my last post that 2013 (particularly the end of 2013) was hard on a lot of the people that I care about? Well it seems like so far, 2014 hasn’t been much easier. Although not many of them have said straight out that they are struggling, you can tell…the tone of their voice, a certain facebook post here, a certain text message there…I’ve always been highly sensitive to other people’s feelings, it’s something that I hate at times, but also something that I consider one of the best parts about me. To everyone out there that is struggling (especially those closest to me) I wish there was something I could do to ease your pain, to lessen the burden of your struggles; all I can do is acknowledge that I know you are feeling that way, that it’s ok, and that I am here for you. You are not alone. Those that I care about know how far I will go to help…but I know there are simply some things that can only be fixed with time, and only be soothed by love. To all of you that are struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out…so often we are obsessed with acting like our lives are perfect, so when we are going through heartache or pain we isolate ourselves so that no one sees that “imperfect”, vulnerable side of us, when in fact, it’s that side of us that makes us human and makes other people so able to relate to us! So please, reach out, there are so many people out there that want to help you. On the flip side, if you see someone struggling, reach out to them, show them you’re there and that you care…just give it a chance! And, just to inspire you, here are some quotes from Pinterest to help you get through your bad day (or week, or month).

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Welcome, 2014!

Happy New Year you guys! 2013 FLEW by, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store! Despite how fast 2013 went by, it was still jam packed with “life” some good, and some not so good. I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook from people about their “awful 2013” and how they can’t wait for 2014, and while I can totally understand that feeling, I still have to appreciate all the amazing things that 2013 gave me. In February 2013 my beautiful Godson was born, he is such an amazing little life and I am so blessed to be a part of his family! Also, thanks to him I was able to meet Delayna of Quiet Stars Photography, someone that I admire and appreciate so much (especially her patience when answering my silly questions)! In May I graduated from WSU, and in July I married my best friend. In August one of my longest friends got engaged to a guy that makes her happier then I’ve ever seen her.  I got a promotion and a new office at work, but also discovered that rescue and photography is where my heart is. Throughout the year I was blessed to develop a friendship with Ashley of Project Buddy Rescue who has become not only a friend, but also a rescue mentor; and was able spend lots of time with her and her amazing family. I was able to help people make their lives better, and through fostering and photography, I was able to help rescues rehome animals that needed a second chance. Throughout 2013 I was surrounded by beautiful and supportive people, and for that I am grateful and blessed.

2013 also had it’s low points; I lost some people and animals I really cared about, said goodbye to one of my best friends when she moved down to California, canceled our wedding celebration, and I gained 65lbs in 5 months despite the fact that there was no change in my diet, exercise, or lifestyle in general. I spent a lot of time at the doctors, naturopaths, and at the gym with no change, and with my depression at an all time high this year, I often struggled just to make it through the day. Despite all of that, I dreamed big in 2013 and I’m excited and optimistic about 2014!

Rachel Brenke of “The Law Tog” had some great advice for her followers, “make goals, not resolutions”, and I have loooots of goals for 2014. First goal, continue to seek out answers to my health issues, don’t be discouraged! Second goal, house research. Jeremy and I are now eligible to buy a house, although we’re in no hurry, it still make me feel very grown up! Third goal, show at a big AQHA show (or two!) We recently put my horse back in training so I can start showing again in 2014 thanks to the support of my parents and husband. ANNNNND fourth goal, after years of dreaming about being a photographer, I have *finally* taken the leap! In 2013 I was constantly inspired by (and, if we’re being honest” envious of) Impulse Photography and Kirstie Marie Photography and their beautiful horse photography. I also swooned over Skai Photography and Meg Borders beautiful senior photos, Munchkins and Mohawks magical work, and McGraw Photography’s pet photography, among others. After following these and many other artists throughout 2013, I have decided to jump on in, although my natural tendency is to be cautious and wait until I feel like I have it 100% together before going pro, I realized that starting your own business is a lot like having a baby, you will probably never feel 100%  ready! That being said, I am so excited to announce that Two Red Dogs Photography is no longer just a dream, it’s official! I’m scared and excited and a million other things, but mostly I am overwhelmed that I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to even attempt starting my own business!

Before we close the book on 2013, here are a few of my favorite photo moments taken throughout the year!

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Daisy, one of the sweetest dogs I know.

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Sean & Lydia’s Burton of “Burton’s life

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Cameron’s 1 year photos

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Amy & Justin’s beautiful family

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Ashley, Dan, Rai & Spree

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My beautiful Godson, Jack Brenton (Photo by Quiet Stars Photography)

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Sophie, the rescue dog I couldn’t imagine my life without

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Sean’s homecoming

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Andy & Lindsay’s maternity photos (taken only a couple days before baby Lucas arrived!)

Goodbye 2013, thanks for everything you’ve taught me; and welcome 2014, I can’t wait to see what you have in store!

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