Izzy (final act)

Getting home late last Sunday from Kenya was exhausting. I just wanted to curl up with my boyfriend and dogs. I love getting the jumps and licks from my pooches each time I come home from a  trip. 

"They DO miss me!"

I always tell myself that. It's comforting. What's not comforting is noticing one of your dogs isn't feeling well. Her activity level and demeanour was the same, nothing different except she didn't eat all of her breakfast and then none of her dinner. The next day, she ate mouthfuls, barely. We called the vet and brought her in for a checkup. They did a blood test and various numbers, I can't even began to know where to start, were completely OFF. After being put on IV, overnight in our vets office and then transferred to two other emergency vets for 5 days. Izzy died. 

She died by euthanasia after it was made clear she would not recover from acute renal kidney failure. We don't have any answers. We are still grieving. The vets did urine and blood testing and nothing conclusive came back. What we do know is that all the work in the world that was available, her numbers were not improving and her kidneys were at a state where they could not recover for any quality of life. 

We brought her home on Monday afternoon and cuddled with her and told her how much we loved her. It was so sad. We could barely mutter words through our swollen throats. At one point I got up and grabbed a leash to take Lucy to get some errands and Izzy stood right up, out of her bed, as if she was saying 

"Uhhh .. where do you think you are going without me???!!"

Fair enough. I looked at Ryan and he immediately grabbed her leash. How could one ever deny their dying dog one last walk. Walks that she loved. 

We did half our regular circuit and then Ryan brought her back in the house. I took off and then came back. Ryan had to pick up some items for a motorcycle trip so I stayed with her and while he was gone she started to breath harder and harder. She was literally lifting her neck, holding it, mid air in order to breath. Ryan came home right away and we just hugged each other .. and her and cried. 

It wasn't suppose to be like this! We had already arranged for an at-home euthanasia in the morning and now we couldn't even give her that. She was telling us she was uncomfortable and there was no chance we were going to let her suffer through the night. We called up Alta Vista Animal Hospital and spoke to the vet whom was treating her. Her shift was ending in 5 mins but she said to come and she would stay to see Izzy through. 

Ryan sat in the back seat and we drove the 10 minutes down Hunt Club Road to the hospital. We brought her in, catheter still in place in her leg, and Dr. Tobin gave us a few minutes before giving her the sedative and then the euthanol. We told her how much we loved her and how happy we were that she became our foster and then .. our failed foster. We joked how she was the BEST dog out of all of our dogs. She was friendly with other dogs and people and she had the BEST qualities of a Husky-mix, she was non destructive and she didn't run away and could be off leash. 

I scratched and kissed her forehead while her body stopped moving and she took her last breath. Ryan held her from behind and we just wept. Like now, as I type this .. we wept. 

Izzy came to us via Sit With Me. She was pulled from a shelter when they were no longer able to figure out her skin/health issues. We were able to determine she was hypothyroid and fortunately after 5-6 weeks on Synthroid, her coat and energy did a 180. When that was under control she went up for adoption. That didn't last very long. Ryan had fallen in love and he wanted to adopt her. That was a year and half ago. I must admit .. we thought we would have another 5, 6, maybe 7 more years with her. 

We may never know why Izzy wasn't able to push through the antibiotics and the treatment the vets gave her. It's possible, with her immune system, that she was never 100% and just couldn't push through. We tried, we tried so hard. 

We love her so much and although I know that 'life goes on', as it did when our Shamar died 2 years ago, right now:


Lola & Smokey for adoption - Standard Poodles in Need

This is Lola and Smokey. They are two LOVELY poodles currently available for adoption through SPIN (Standard Poodles in Need). Although this rescue is based out of the greater Toronto area, one of their co-founders, Paula, found out about me through HeARTs Speaks' Photographer listings.

Name: Smokey
Age (years/months): 11 Years 4 Months
Name: Lola
Age (years/months): 10 Years 8 Months

Smokey and Lola are an amazing pair. Friendly, cuddly, energetic! Smokey is just about the most handsome standard poodle we've ever met! Due to a death in the family they find themselves in search of a place to retire. Since they are a bonded pair, we're looking for that special home, willing to take them both and love them unconditionally. 

Smokey and Lola are friendly, happy, house trained. They will chase a squirrel or a rabbit if given the chance! Though they are 11 and 10 years old, they have a lot of life in them and are just looking for the perfect place to retire. 

Please contact, via email, Standard Poodles in Need for more information on this bonded pair. 


Met up with Nylah and her humans on Sunday night. Nylah was the winner of Sit With Me's spring auction gift. Funds were raised for the rescue and we scheduled for a session at Pinhey's Point National Historical Site. 

Nylah was very well behaved and was a super model to photograph. I'm glad to have been able to give this family some great memories and raise funds for rescue at the same time.

Some smiles for your day

Two boys and two girls

Malibu and Boz are two energetic males looking for a new home. Then we have the beautiful Meli & Delilah whom are also looking for a human to love them forever. Please contact Sit With Me for more information and see if you're a good match to any of these cuties.

Summer is here ... new dogs in rescue

Moving day is approaching in Quebec. The province is quite restrictive for rentals that allow pets. It seems to be more and more difficult every year. We have our frustrations with the public as well as many dogs get either left behind in the actual apartment (sometimes not being found by the landlord until days later) or genuinely not trying hard enough to find new accommodations that allow pets. I try not to be judgemental, as you never know the whole story but there is definitely a large problem with the accountability and responsibility towards their pets. 

Some of the pretty faces below are dogs that just got pulled from our local shelter. Some have been with their foster homes for a short time, and a few for a bit longer. Foster homes are vital to Sit With Me's programme. It allows the dog to 'decompress' after having massive changes in their lives. It allows them to become comfortable, settle and allow for a more accurate behaviour and medical assessment. With this knowledge, there is more success in adoption placement. 

The hardest dogs to place are pit bull type dogs. They cannot be adopted in Ontario, due to breed specific legislation, and therefore our main province is exempt. We adopt out to responsible homes in Quebec, but even in that province there are municipal bylaws that restrict the 'type' as well. We partner with Pit Bulls for Life in Edmonton Alberta. When possible, we facilitate transport via airline to the rescue for either adoption or homes they have ready to foster - and being allowed a larger audience to meet and view the adoptables. 

You will see many pittie types on this site, that I photograph. I try so hard for them because there are so many whom are wonderful and friendly and have been looked over, not because of anything they have ever done, but because of the publics perception (largely due to 30+ years of ignorant media reporting). 

They are ... just ... dogs. They are absolutely strong ... but so are many other breeds, some even stronger. A dangerous dog is dangerous due to exposure in it's life, sometimes genetic but more often by mistreatment. It's not dangerous because of what it looks like. 

Canvases for sale

I currently have 3 canvases for sale from my exhibition at the airport last year. If you are local to the Ottawa area we can arrange for delivery.

Mer Bleue Bog panoramic canvas

63 inches W x 18 inches H x .75 inch D
Large panoramic photo wrap canvas of Mer Bleue Bog in the Ottawa's Greenbelt. 

Parliament Hill in the fall canvas

29 inches W x 18 inches H x .75 inch D
Photo canvas of Parliament Hill. White border. 

Cormorants in Bic National Park, Quebec canvas

29 inches W x 18 inches H x .75 inch D
Photo canvas of cormorants jumping off a rock in Bic National Park, Quebec. White border. 

New faces in rescue


Had a visit to a local shelter last weekend and got to photograph some sweet dogs. Within a week, the Husky and the Beagle are with  now with Sit With Me Rescue (The Shepherd-mix is already with Sit With Me), the Boxer-mix is with Valley Animal Rescue, the brindle Terrier-mix is with the Montreal SPCA and the Chihuahua is with BARK Rescue. Thank you to all the rescues for helping out and taking these dogs. 

Please consider adoption.  



Looking for a forever home

We have some new faces at Sit With Me. I sent a message out to current fosters the other week to see if they could swing by my place with their dog for some updated profile shots. Foster homes are vital to most rescues, without them .. they would not be able to save the dogs that they do. Fosters help shape the behaviour of the dog, give them a loving and safe environment and prepare them for their new life, a better one. 

Thank you to all the fosters who help make Sit With Me a rescue worth volunteering for. 

New year, new faces

I decided to set up a photoshoot day for Sit With Me on Sunday. I knew a lot of the puppies, currently in their care, were getting ready for adoption and wanted to get some photos ready for their online posts. Last fall, with overlapping ages, some by a few weeks .. some by days, Sit With Me found themselves with about 37 puppies. Three of those litters had no nursing mother. A lot of hard work and dedication was provided by foster homes. In the next few weeks Sit With Me will be posting the puppies and trying to find forever homes for them.

Along with the puppies, I did a last minute call out to any other fosters (no puppiness required) who needed a photo as well. In the end, I photographed over 31 dogs. A few more will trickle in this week but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supports my work and to spread the word if you know anyone looking to adopt a dog into their home. 

There are many dogs waiting in shelters that still need help. Sit With Me is volunteer based so dogs that pass assessment can only be moved into homes once there is room. Please help promote responsible adoption and check out Sit With Me's current roster of available dogs.

Sit With Me's 3rd Birthday

Sit With Me Shelter Dog Rescue had their 3rd birthday today at Laroche Park in Ottawa. It was great to see so many people come out and help support our rescue group who has so many volunteers behind the scenes. Volunteers whom mostly all work full time jobs PLUS helping save the lives of dogs with no time left in our local shelters. There were activities for people and pets and Chuck Desjardins Photography was taking professional photos for the afternoon. A BBQ with meat from the Manotick Butcher, loot bags, Crazy Beautiful Collars and much more. Here are some photos of the very, very hot afternoon. The park had many mature trees throughout so people and pooches could cool down, which was very nice as well as a bit of breeze here and there. 

I had two of my previous fosters show up, Robyn and Wylie and it warms my heart when these reunions happen. Many dogs I have photographed in the past have been adopted but there are still many more that are waiting. 

If you are considering adopting a dog, I ask you to consider Sit With Me. Check out their Facebook page for their ADOPTABLES album and see if there is someone in there that might suit your lifestyle.