KFrench Photography ~Pet Portraiture~: Blog http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) KFrench Photography ~Pet Portraiture~ kfrenchphotography@yahoo.com (KFrench Photography ~Pet Portraiture~) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:13:00 GMT Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:13:00 GMT http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v21/u356670693-o511060651-50.jpg KFrench Photography ~Pet Portraiture~: Blog http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog 120 90 What's surprising about Dog Parks http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/5/whats-surprising-about-dog-parks I've been bummed out lately, because of a sprained left foot, I haven't been able to take the dogs for our daily walks.  We were up to two miles a day, but because my foot got all banged up, walking just one block is very slow and it starts to ache badly.  The Doc says it can take up to 6 weeks to heal, that's a long time, and we are feeling it already. It's only been 2 weeks at this point.

So in lieu, I take them to the local dog park.  Tucker loves the dog park, Claire not so much.  She loves her harness, loves to walk and sniff and see new (or old) stuff in the neighborhood.  Tucker would rather run free and be careless. He hates the harness, he will zig zag to get in Claire's and mine way just because he can't be free.  But at the same time, if I leave him behind so Claire and I can walk alone, he has a fit and goes crazy. Go figure.  I endure this when we do walk, because in the end, it's all good.  But at the dog park,  Tucker will run like the wind, chasing every other dog who runs, and will play with any dog who shows enthusiasm.  Claire likes to sniff around for about 5 or 6 minutes, then will either plop down by my side or walk around to greet the other dog owners.  She doesn't do much, and the most common comment I get is "wow, what a mellow dog!"  yep, mellow is the perfect word for her.  Tucker on the other hand is a barker. He's mostly Terrier, and that's what Terriers do, they bark, that loud, high pitched, yelping bark, that most people can't stand to hear.  When he chases  other dogs he barks at them, mostly I think its to get them to play.  He's a very friendly little guy, just expressive when he plays.  Otherwise, he's kinda quiet at home.   So, at the Dog park, he's vocal, and wild, either people laugh and say he's high spirited, or they don't say anything and I can see the annoyance on their face ( it's not hard to miss folks)..   

There are two kinds of dog parks in my local area. A Park that is separated-by-size,  and a park that includes all sizes.   We have been to both but prefer the all included, mainly because I have two sized dogs, Claire weighs about 45lbs, Tucker about 16.  

Dog parks have their own fascinating culture within themselves.  I love it, and am surprised by it too. 

When I take my dogs to the separated-by-size  dog park, Tucker of course is welcome because he's basically the size of the others, in the small sized dog section.  What's nice, is that I don't see the annoyed faces directed at him, because the other owners simply know about Terriers, and the vocalization, the crazy while-at-play look.  What's bad, is I get the annoyed faces directed at Claire, because she does not like the big dog section, she doesn't want to interact with them, she'd rather just stay with me.  I've gotten comments like "my dog is intimidated by the big dogs"  or "your dog is supposed to be with the big ones, this side is for little ones" .  Well, OK.  I get that.  Truth is Claire actually prefers the company of smaller dogs  and Tucker will play with any size.   It's really surprising how indignant people can be when it comes to separating the sizes. 

At the All-sizes-included, both dogs are generally welcomed until Tucker starts in with his barking.   I've been told that it riles up the other dogs, that it creates an atmosphere of chaos. Really, I've been told that. One person who said that, immediately left the dog park, because she was fearful Tucker's verbalization would stir up the bigger dogs into fighting.  In all this time, I have never seen a dog fight in the park because of one dog's barking.  I've never seen it.  Tucker has gotten told off by bigger dogs, nothing violent, just a back off warning. Dogs are smart, they don't mess with other dogs who have issued this warning  (well, of course in the case of two Alphas, you may have a problem). But over all, they have some sense, Tucker isn't elusive to this sense.  It's really surprising how people tend to forget that. 

I guess, we all want to protect our dogs to our fullest ability.  It's natural. We love them, they are family, it's a good partnership. I would never say "dont",  they need us as much as we need them.   But this culture of dog parks is amazing.  To me, they are dogs, animals that have been on this earth for thousands of years.  For the most part they haven't evolved outside selective breeding. Science proves that the DNA of a dog is linked to the Wolf and Wild dog ancestors. The fear we feel, the want to protect, is only bred into  humans.  The dogs senses haven't changed, they know what's up. I think for the most part, dogs would rather protect us, than us protect them, it's in their nature,  it's in their soul. 

We will still go to the dog park.  Tucker will still bark and chase and play.  Claire will still chill out and wonder why we aren't walking the neighborhood instead.  I will still see the annoyed looks on people's faces as Tucker barks, and gentle emotions lopped onto Claire as she gingerly stands by a their side.  I will still love to talk to the folks who feel like me, knowing their dogs are just dogs after all.  And I will still be surprised  talking to the folks who go overboard and forget that their canine isn't human.  

 

 

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kfrenchphotography@yahoo.com (KFrench Photography ~Pet Portraiture~) (san dog dogs jose) pets photography portraiture http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/5/whats-surprising-about-dog-parks Fri, 10 May 2013 19:48:22 GMT
I have an Idea... http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/12/i-have-an-idea  

~So, this is the letter I sent to our President, Congressman Mike Honda and Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Gov. Brown, CA, other politicians and even the head of the NSA.   I don't know what kind of response I will get, if any at all. I'll hope for the best. My heart is aching for the families in CT, I've got two elementary school age children, and their school could have just as easily been the one. I think, if there was a police trained dog on their campus, I would feel that much safer. I don't know how other parents would react, but something has got to be done, right? Any way thanks for taking the time to read this, I appreciate it. Feel Free to pass along the idea if you agree. ~

Dear (Mr. President, Senator Boxer , Congressman Mike Honda, Gov. Brown, etc.)

"AS OF TUESDAY , DEC 4, A BILL HAS BEEN PASSED BY THE US HOUSE AND SENATE THAT DECLARES THAT OUR MILITARY WORKING DOGS OF ALL BREEDS WILL NO LONGER BE CLASSIFIED
AS "MILITARY EQUIPMENT" TO BE LEFT BEHIND IN FOREIGN LANDS...BUT AS MILITARY VETERANS. THESE DOGS NOW WILL BE RETURNING TO LACKLAND AFB , FOR THEIR SERVICES AS US HEROES. THEY WILL BE EVALUATED, AND RETRAINED AND REHOMED IF NEEDED. WE NOW AWAIT PRESIDENT OBAMA'S SIGNATURE TO MAKE THIS LAW. WE AS DOG LOVERS ARE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL TO THE CONGRESS FOR DOING WHAT HAS BEEN LONG..OVERDUE. 
BRAVO."

I have an idea. I think it's a good idea. I would hope that as a nation of people who want to honor our Veterans who return home, many without a place to go, that this idea might serve everyone for a good cause.

In the wake of the Tragedy in Newtown, CT, many folks are calling for stricter gun control, while I agree with this, I don't believe it will be, and can be the answer. My idea rose as I walked my two dogs and thought about this new bill that has passed by the House and Senate.

What about training these Veterans and their dogs to protect our Children in Public Schools? Police Canines have proven time and time again their individual loyalty and overwhelming eagerness to protect those whom they are specially trained to defend. It would create jobs not only for the Veterans, who would most undoubtedly be willing to help, but the dogs themselves would be a valuable asset for the lives of many.

So many of our Veterans have families of their own, and I would believe they empathize with not only the families of Connecticut, but of all families who have endured the senseless massacres in recent history.

If one canine and its handler were available at the time of such horrible acts in our schools, it may not be that the perpetrator is stopped completely, but it would give school staff valuable time until Police & Authorities arrive on the scene. Maybe not every public school would adopt this notion, but it's worth a try, if taken seriously, it could in the long run, save lives.

It's a thought, an idea. I wrote this idea on some Facebook posts, and one person called me nuts. I don't think it's nuts. But I don't know where to start putting this idea out. I hope that you consider this, and pass it on to those who might listen.

Thank you,

Mrs. Karen French
San Jose, CA

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kfrenchphotography@yahoo.com (KFrench Photography ~Pet Portraiture~) (San (police Connecticut Letter Newtown children dog jose) pets protection) school http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/12/i-have-an-idea Tue, 18 Dec 2012 04:32:02 GMT
when my heart takes a Flying leap. http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/12/when-my-heart-takes-a-flying-leap I heard it again the other day.  "I got him from a Breeder".  I've heard this twice this past month, one  Golden Retriever Pup and one Pit Bull pup.  My heart sank.  I didn't follow up on the conversation.  The two puppies I met looked healthy and were obviously loved and cared for, but my thoughts are not always good when I hear that sentence.  

Now, now, hang on, I will always say there are good, accountable, reputable breeders, the folks who genuinely care and go the extra mile for the dogs they bring into this world.  And there are folks who will only get their beloved pets from these breeders. I get that, and I say hey, as long as it's all good in person, not just on paper, I won't be the one to complain.   Puppy Mills, are a complete other story, my strong belief behind them, they need to be shut down completely, or severely regulated by top Authorities.  Puppy Mills have time and time again proven to be despicable, rotten places where the parent dogs suffer horribly, and greed is the only motivation for such a place.  Folks who don't do their research and who are moved by a photo on-line or a newspaper, without questioning are unknowingly, perhaps unthinkingly, keeping these places in business.   

Most of the dog owners I meet love their pets unconditionally, and when the discussion comes up about Puppy Mills, the conversation can become grave and unapologetic. The passion of hate behind the mere thought of Puppy Mill can not be mistaken.  No one I talk too, can think about  these places  without anger rising up in their eyes.  I am one of them,  It breaks my heart over and over every time I see a story about it.  Makes a person want to pound their head into a brick wall, screaming, "why why why!?!"  Because the unfortunate thing is, the general public across the nation,  especially in  places where Animal Education isn't a priority, or perhaps not even thought about,  they don't want to see the horror, they want to see a cute puppy face and hit the order button. It's the process of being duped into believing something that is not what it really is.  I could go on for pages but my rage might scare you off.  

Well, Let me tell you why my heart sank after hearing the sentence "I got him from a breeder".  It wasn't because I didn't think these two people didn't deserve the dogs they were holding.   I could tell these two pups were happy and being treated fine.  What got me sad, is thinking about all the dogs sitting in shelters, from age puppy to elder adult, who deserve the love these folks had to give. They spent breeder fees on a dog because, maybe it was extremely important to have a pure-bred,  maybe they saw the advertisement and couldn't say no,  maybe they've always had that breed and really didn't want to get used to something unfamiliar. I'll never know, I'm not sure I want to know.   Whaoh, again, I am not against reputable breeders.  I am, all for Shelter dogs, they need the chance we have to give. 

As I take photos of loved pets, and thier owners say "she came from the shelter", or "he was rescued from a bad situation", I love hearing this, and I think that owner is so awesome for taking time to save a life that may have been over, either physically or worse, emotionally.    That owner will always know that they saved a life from a sometimes dead-end, and the love they receive is three-fold.    Then my heart takes a flying leap. 

 

 

 

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kfrenchphotography@yahoo.com (KFrench Photography ~Pet Portraiture~) Pet animals breeders ca dog dogs jose love pets photography rescue san http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/12/when-my-heart-takes-a-flying-leap Tue, 04 Dec 2012 22:34:08 GMT
Getting the Dog home http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/getting-the-dog-home I was Fortunate enough to save the life of a dog.  One that had gotten away from his owners, I don't know how, but he just happened to be in my path, and I recognized that he needed help.  

One saturday morning, I leashed up Claire to do our 2 mile walk.  Tucker was supposed to come with us, but being we had a foster puppy  to play with, he was too busy.   So Claire and I started off on our routine.   There are three routes we take, I almost went one way, and decided at last moment to change and go the another way.  As I rounded a corner I saw this big black dog on the other side of the street just kinda wandering and sniffing, I didn't think much of it, there were people around and I guess I thought he was one of theirs.   But he continued in the same direction we were headed, and I kept my eye on him, no one had called to him, as they went on about their own business.  About halfway up the street, this big dog,  crossed into the middle of the very busy street, cars whizzed by him, maybe slowing a little, and one or two actually weaved around in order not to hit him.  I knew he was in trouble.  But in all honesty I was a little afraid, one never knows what an unleashed dog will do around a leashed one.  I did call him, and after avoiding yet another car, he came to our side of the street, but went onto someone's lawn and sniffed around.  I stood there, watching him, and called to him to see if he would come over.  But Claire did her "back off growl" and he only got close enough to take a sniff then wander onto another lawn.   I walked on a little, but I was worried, I could tell he was lost.  So I called to him again, patting my leg, yelling "come on big fellah!"  and he indeed followed me, at a bit of a distance, but he did follow.  My goal at that point was to get him to a safer street, with less cars.  I was also desperate to see someone with a Cell phone, in case I could get him to stay with me, I would read his tag and call his owners.  After some coaxing, and a simple command of "sit!"  he did, and I was able to see that he only had a rabies tag on his collar.  This saddened me. My next thought was to get him to follow me home, and get him to a Vet or shelter, hopefully he'd been chipped, and we could contact his owners that way.  

We made it home, I got him leashed up in our front yard, my children  gave him a biscuit and water, and my husband tried unsuccessfully to reach the SJ Animal Shelter or HSSV.   I took a few photos just in case, if we needed to keep him, I would post the photo where ever we could.  You see, this big dog, was so  sweet, totally obedient and happy (albeit scared). He was in good shape, I could tell his owners loved him and they were probably in a panic.  I know I would have been!   

So, then we put him in our SUV and took him to the Folks at Banfield Vet Hospital, to see if they could read a chip with the wand. He did not have a chip.  The rabies tag was well worn and mostly unreadable.  But the nice woman who helped me, recognized the clinic where the tag came from, and she had the phone number on file. Oh Yes!   She wrote the ID number down and went inside to call the clinic.   I am happy to say that , the dog's owners  had called the clinic to alert them of their missing dog, Max.  I was so happy, so relieved, and just joyful that Max was going home safely.  We left him in the good hands of the Hospital and went home.   For the rest of the day, my children asked me, "What do you think Max is doing right now?"  I'd say "he's getting hugged by his mommy and daddy". 

I would never venture to lecture anyone on dog ownership, especially a loved dog such as Max, but I will say, please, ID tags are important. Just a name and reachable phone number will do.   A chip is a good thing, no matter how people think, it does work, I know personally, it brings your dog home with a short, simple phone call.  If you are worried about the price, the Humane Society offers specials through out the year, we got our dog Tucker chipped for $10, and It hurt the Vet Tech more than it hurt Tucker.   Max got away, most likely unexpectedly, a lot of dogs do, and so many owners have the right to be frightened because of all the danger their dog could be in.   A ID tag or chip can make a person just a tad, just a tad, less worried.  

So Max, where ever you are,  my family and I are happy you are home safe and sound with your family.  I am glad it was me who, maybe because of fate, chose to walk in the same path where you were.   

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kfrenchphotography@yahoo.com (KFrench Photography ~Pet Portraiture~) animals ca canine dog found jose lostdog pet photography san http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/getting-the-dog-home Mon, 22 Oct 2012 19:01:06 GMT
Dogs at the beach http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/dogs-at-the-beach My family and I enjoy the Beach, especially the Dog Beach in Santa Cruz, California.  I find it natural to photograph dogs in a great setting.  

We have two dogs, and one Foster dog at any given time, and the Dog Beach is an ultimate destination for family fun, human and canine children alike.  

Contact me! I can meet you and your canine companion at the beach for a photo shoot!

 

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kfrenchphotography@yahoo.com (KFrench Photography ~Pet Portraiture~) Santa Cruz, CA dog beach dogs portraiture http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/dogs-at-the-beach Fri, 05 Oct 2012 00:47:45 GMT
Watching our two dogs, it occurred to me.... http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/9/watching-my-two-dogs-it-occurred-to-me It occurred to me the other day, while watching our two dogs play, that having two dogs, ages apart, is really a good thing.   I mean when a family adopts dog siblings and raises them together, that is a fine option, they grow together and will have each other until the end, it's a wonderful thought. 

But this is what got me thinking.  Claire, our 6+ year old has been with us since she was just a little over a year old.  She's learned our rules and the way we love her. She has learned our routine, and who is who around our house and has settled in as a  member.  She has always been a great dog, super intelligent, and so gentle, it didn't take much to train her.  Claire is friendly (if not just shy) around other animals, people in general, she even likes cats.  She has never chewed up the children's toys, she never put her paws on the bed, or table or couch.  We prefer it that way, she may have done it once, but with knowing it is not acceptable to us, she's never done it again.  She knows she has to go outside to bark, that standing in the kitchen while food is cooking is out of bounds (only because she's on the bigger side, its dangerous for her to stand in the middle while we carry hot food around,  I don't want to trip, would you?)  She knows when someone comes home we are going to lavish attention on her and talk to her the way we talk to each other.   She knows that we want to take her for a walk, and will gently remind us by standing next to her leash.  

So this year, we decided to get a second dog, for many reasons, but for the most part we wanted to expand our family.  Having another human child is out of the question, so getting four-legged furry K9 child was the best option. We have Claire, and my Cat ( really, he's the family cat, but he's MY cat, I love MY cat) Sammy, whom Claire loves too.  So the search was on to find the perfect fit.  We spent months looking in shelters, scouring Petfiner.com and looking at the many SFBay Area Rescue groups.  There was quite a lot of discussion on what kind of dog to get, age, size, color, temperament (no, breed never entered the list).   We attended quite a few dog adoption events, but being four individuals with four different opinions, we just couldn't decide.  Then one day I see an Event happening not to far from our home, I take my children over to have a look. My heart wasn't really in it, I thought because my husband choose not to attend, we would come home empty leashed, again.   There were many lovely dogs, but the one we didn't look at, was our now Tucker.  He had curled up,  was non-engaging with anyone who attempted to pet him, and was plainly uninterested in being there.   I had found one older dog that I liked, and my daughters naturally fell in love with a little puppy who was too young for me.  So I called my hubby to come be the judge, bring Claire too in case she had some kind of sense.  He showed up, met both of the dogs and as usual it was total disagreement.  But then he surprised me, and walked over to Tucker, and asked to meet him.  Tucker perked up a bit at my husband's attention, then suddenly nestled into our little circle, cozying up to Claire and jumped up on my leg as if to say, "Yeah, I was waiting for you!"  

So, now we have two dogs, and our home life is quite content, if not loud.  But here is the reason why I think having two dogs ages apart is the best option.  Claire knows the ropes.  When we got Tucker, he was fresh out of the gate. We have no idea what kind of background he had, he was rescued from a CA high kill shelter, and brought to this event after just a few nights after being fostered.   Claire has been the best teacher, and we've hardly had to train Tucker at all.  He has his own personality, but he mimics Claire 90% of the time. She has taught him to bark outside, stay off the furniture, and stay out of the kitchen during meal preparation time. It took him a little time to learn not to chew up the kids toys, but with patience on our part and him observing Claire, he only plays with the dog toys we provide.  He gives Sammy cat space and actually wants to play with him sometimes.  Tucker is the perfect fit, and I'm so glad we found him.

Someday when Claire passes, we will still have Tucker. I have no doubt that we will always have dogs, its part of our life.  But I believe the cycle will live on, and Claire's gentle ways will be passed down from one four-legged furry member to the next.  Each dog might teach the next dog member our ways, and we will always co-exist, peaceful and loving.  I don't know what we were thinking 4 years ago when we said we didn't want any more animals, althoughClaire Tucker , it could have been because our children were very young, and Claire was such a good girl. Getting more animals may have upset the balance.  But today when I look at my entire family,  my thoughts have completely changed, then it occurred to me, why didn't  we do this sooner?

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kfrenchphotography@yahoo.com (KFrench Photography ~Pet Portraiture~) Pet animals ca dog dogs jose pets photography portraiture san http://kfrenchphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/9/watching-my-two-dogs-it-occurred-to-me Tue, 25 Sep 2012 19:59:29 GMT