Category Archives: Humane Society

Today’s Running Partner

The more I develop myself over the years the more I learn that things I love and that are important to me fit together. I have been a long time dog lover. And over the last few years I have become an increasingly avid runner. I have been making more time to run than to do most other things in my life these days. I never thought I would say that. As I have been getting more into running I have really been wanting to be able to run with one of my dogs. I have tried in the past to run with one of our dogs but it didn’t really work out well for either of us. But I am thinking that I may try to get more dedicated to this idea. So today I set out with my new running partner today.


Running together will require a lot of learning and training on both our parts. Brynn will need to work on walking and running on my left so we can stay on the proper side of traffic when running and stay away from cars (something I should have been teaching her all along, my bad.) Brynn will also need to learn to stay by my side and not get too far out ahead. She will also need to learn to stay constant and not stop to sniff or investigate interesting things while we are running.


I will need to learn to modify my running plans to suit Brynn’s needs. Now I have to think about both of us instead of just me. That means extra water for her as well as for me if we are out for long runs as well as extra night lights if we run before or after the sun is out. More planning will be required on my part.


The best thing is that on what was basically our first run together it went pretty smoothly. Brynn didn’t get too distracted to stop and smell things or try to rip my arm off to run and chase things like squirrels and other dogs. I owe this to the hard work with training my wife and I put in when we first got her, although we need to be more consistent with it. “Leave it.” is a magic phrase that will make your life with your dog much easier if you teach them that cue. Trust me.


Brynn can dust me in a sprint or in repeated sprints over and over. She seems to have limitless energy playing n the back yard and fetching her Chuck It ball. or even just ramming around the house playing with her infinite number of toys. It was kind of nice to see that even though she can wear me out in short bursts of energy I can outlast her in distance running thanks to my training. We went out for what is a short run for me these days, just a 5k. Brynn started off strong, perhaps too strong. An error that I am sure many of my runner friends can relate to. I started off relatively slow for me.  Brynn started off out in front of me at the end of her leash. She still looked like she was just trotting along out in front, and not really exerting herself. However, by the time we were inside of a mile left to be done she had slowed considerably. She was either beside me or just behind me most of that last mile.


She didn’t seem to be working too hard nor panting much, but she was definitively slowing down and getting tired from the sustained exertion. It’s nothing like the heavy panting and raged breathing and rapidly expanding chest she exhibits during her sprints across our yard to fetch her ball. She is definitely a sprinter and not a distance runner at this point. Something I definitely would have said for myself at one point, even though I really never was even a sprinter.


So, Brynn and I will continue to work together. Hopefully frequently to work on her running with me on leash in hopes that I can run with her at events that welcome dogs some day. The sad part is I like that she is currently tired out and sleeping under my desk as I write this after our run. I am not sure if I really want to keep taking her out regularly and build up her stamina so that she will have even more energy and be able to run longer and longer and then require longer and longer runs to tire her out so she comes home and is peacefully sleeping at my feet. I like tired Brynn. I like that it only took 3 miles to tire her out. Here’s to the future of a new running-mate.


Now I just have to work on incorporating photography into my actual runs. But I have a few ideas about that too. Stay tuned.

Too Friendly?

I love dogs. I especially love dogs that are super friendly. I love big wet slobbery dog kisses. I love a dog that want to climb right in my lap and snuggle. I love the dog that wants to share the couch while I nap and the bed while I sleep. I love all of this dog stuff and the bigger the dog the better.

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I love the dog that wants to be right there beside you at all times. I love the dog that just follows you from place to place.

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The funny thing is that when I meet up with one of these dogs at the shelter, the ones that do all of these things that I love they can be some of the most challenging to photograph. That sounds counterintuitive, but fundamentally most lenses need a minimum amount of distance between the lens and the camera to be able to focus and create a photograph that is in focus. There are lenses specifically for photographing objects up close that require much less distance but in that case I would likely be taking a photograph of the dogs eye and maybe nose. While that can be a very cool photograph and I do take this style of photo at times they are not ideal for photographs of the shelter dogs as most people who are interested in adopting would probably like to see what the dog actually looks like and include more than just an eye.

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I generally use a 70-200 f 2.8 telephoto zoom lens for photographing shelter dogs. I love this lens for a lot of reasons. I won’t go into the specifics here. (That’s a whole different post) This lens just gives me the most options of what I can do when photographing the dogs and allows me to work in the widest array of conditions and circumstances. By the way did I mention it helps me create stunning images. If you have seen a photograph I have taken of a shelter dog, for example the ones in this post, there is a 99.9% chance it was taken with this lens.

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If you have any questions about the equipment I use or my process for photographing shelter dogs please feel free to get in touch.

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I am currently working on a project with the Chemung County SPCA and the Chemung County Historical Society to create an art exhibit featuring photographs of shelter dogs. If you are interested in supporting this project please go to my Indiegogo campaign at this link and donate:


Brynn Loves Her Jolly Ball

After not really caring for the Jolly all dog toy we bought for a long time. Brynn has finally come around and embraced it. It has become her favorite toy lately. She often caries the largish ball around the house with her. This looks both goofy and adorable as the ball is about about as large as her head. Brynn is a dog who is a chewer so it is very important that we find toys she can chew. It is also good if these toys are not easily destroyed. We have not found many of these types of toys. But so far the Jolly Ball is proving to be one such toy. Today Brynn just sat up on the couch chewing her toy. So I took the opportunity to take some photos and videos with my iPhone. This is a time lapse video of her and her favorite toy.

We first met Brynn back in March of 2014 at the Chemung County SPCA. Back then her name was Zoey. My wife who worked there at the time fell in love with her. We adopted her shortly thereafter. Help support my project featuring photographs of shelter dogs showcased at a museum so we can spread the word of shelter dogs in our area and help make more wonderful connections like ours a reality. Click the link to learn more about my project and support and share it:

Our newest addition

This is our newly #adopted #dog #Beethoven we just went and met today and brought home.  We are hoping he will integrate ok with our 4 other dogs. We also are planning to change his name because he doesn’t even respond to his current name and we want to have a name for him he can associate with his new loving fresh start. So what are some #name #ideas. #suggestions foreverhome #fureverhome #adopt #home #dogfamily #doghome #pitbull #pitbullsofinstagram #pittylove #pitbulllove #instagood #instagramdogs #dogsofinstagram #dogstagram

Foster Kittens

For me one of the most important words in life is passion. I believe that it is critical to have passion in life. I try to plug into as many things that I am passionate about as possible. My beliefs are based on what I am passionate about. I study psychology because I am passionate about it. I am a photographer because I am passionate about it. I have companion animals because I am passionate about them. As my life has gone on, I have developed new passions.

I love dogs and animals in general. My wife and I currently have four dogs and two cats. We are also providing foster care for six kittens and their mother until the kittens are old enough to be adopted from our local animal shelter. When I say we I mostly mean my wife but it was a joint decision for her to do it since they would be in our house. There was a time when I would have worked hard to persuade my wife not to do this. This time was not too long ago in fact.

I had been against the idea of us providing foster care for cats not because I didn’t think it was a good thing to do, but because my wife has such a strong connection to animals that I feared she would not be able to let them go to be adopted and we already had sufficient commitments to our current companion animals that I did not think we could responsibly handle any more.

Not too long before the six kittens we have now my wife persuaded me to that she should provide foster care for one kitten who had no mother and would require bottle feeding. After discussing the matter and coming to the understanding that no matter what we would not be keeping the kitten we decided she should give it a shot.
People who know me probably know that I have resisted providing foster care and may wonder why I changed my mind. So I thought I would write about it.

The biggest reason why I have reversed my position on us providing foster care is related directly to passion. Over probably the past year, I have become increasingly educated on issues relating to companion animals. I have become increasingly informed about the past and present of our sheltering system in the United States. I have become aware of the No Kill movement in America. As I have become educated about animal sheltering the No Kill movement has become an issue I am passionate about. I firmly believe it can be achieved by any animal shelter that commits to doing it. I do not believe it will be easy but I believe there have been enough success stories to prove that it can be done.

It is this passion for the No Kill movement that convinced me to change. A key component in creating a no kill animal shelter is having concerned citizens volunteer to provide foster care for animals that the shelter cannot provide are for. This created a lot of dissonance in my mind. How can I truly support the No Kill movement and be unwilling to allow foster care for companion animals to happen in my home. So Finally it crystallized in my mind. If my wife is passionate about fostering companion animals then we should do it.