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Best of 2018 Houston Dog Photography

Happy New Year! Can I still say that this far into January?

Sheesh, I don’t know about you, but I had a jam-packed holiday season. Then my sister and I took a little hiking trip in Utah to relax and unwind after said jam-packed holiday season. And now I’m back and January is almost over! Before we get too far into 2019, let’s take a look back at the fun puppies I had the pleasure of meeting last year.

2018 was a year of growth for my business. I took a leap of faith to go “all in” and had my busiest fall season to date. Let's take a look at the highlights by the numbers:

2018 by the numbers.jpg

Let me tell you, it is NOT easy to narrow down your favorite images from an entire year!

Nonetheless, I did my best and came up with these personal favorites from 2018. You’ll notice a wide variety of locations, from clients’ backyards, parks, graffiti walls, the beach, an airport runway, and even the Eiffel Tower!

And dogs aren’t the only thing I photographed last year!

I adore capturing the bond between dogs and their people. Here are my favorites showing those special relationships:

Thank you for following along on my adventures, and best wishes for a happy and healthy new year!

Want more cute puppies?  Find out which images were my favorites from 2017 and 2016.

Are you ready to document your dog's story in 2019?  Send me a note and let's talk about creating a personalized session for you and your furbaby.


Lola & Baxter, dog food so good even you would eat it

Have you ever made a positive change to your diet and noticed you start to look and feel better?  Your dog can also benefit from a healthier diet.  Today Iman is talking with us about Lola & Baxter, a business dedicated to providing the freshest nutrient-dense food for your dog!

Me:  How did Lola & Baxter get started?

Iman:  My mom, who loves cooking and feeding everyone, has been making food for our dogs for over 20 years.  It started when we lived abroad, where commercial dog food was not readily available.  More recently, our vet noticed how healthy our dogs were and asked what we were feeding them.  When the vet heard about the homemade human-grade recipes, they wanted to sell it to their other clients, and the idea for Lola & Baxter was born.

Mom, Iman, & Baxter  (photo credit: John Tran)

Mom, Iman, & Baxter  (photo credit: John Tran)

Me: Your company is named after your dogs Lola and Baxter.  Tell me about them!

Iman:  Lola is a sassy German Shepherd, who sometimes acts like an elegant princess and other times is a klutz.  I adopted her as a puppy, and she gallops in her sleep.  Baxter is a shiatzu with a zen Buddha personality.

Lola & Baxter (photo credit: John Tran)

Lola & Baxter (photo credit: John Tran)

Me:  What dog food recipes do you offer?

Iman: We currently have five different dog food recipes fit for dogs at all stages of life.  They are all made fresh from human-grade ingredients, and we work with a vet nutritionist to ensure the right mix of nutrients.  We are also working on our first cat food recipe and a line of dog treats.

(photo credit: John Tran)

(photo credit: John Tran)

Me:  Which recipe is your best seller?

Iman: Turkey is the most popular, and chicken is a close second.  We recommend rotating your dog’s food so that they get a variety of flavors and nutrients.  Plus who wants to eat the same thing every day?!

(photo credit: John Tran)

(photo credit: John Tran)

Me:  From someone who is addicted to the convenience of Amazon Prime, I think it’s great that you deliver.  Can you tell me more about this service?

Iman: For our subscribers, we offer delivery inside the loop, galleria, and memorial areas.  The food is delivered to your doorstep frozen – you can freeze it for up to 4 months or thaw it in the refrigerator and feed to your dogs within 7-10 days.  The temperature-controlled bags and containers are reusable, so when it’s time for the next delivery, simply put your empty containers and bag out, and we will swap for your next food delivery.

healthy dog food delivered straight to your doorstep (photo credit: Iman)

healthy dog food delivered straight to your doorstep (photo credit: Iman)

Me:  What’s your favorite thing about running Lola & Baxter?

Iman:  My favorite thing is connecting with fellow dog-lovers, their dogs, and other compassionate people we meet at the Farmer’s Market.  I also like the creative side of bringing our business vision to life.  For me, there is nothing quite like planting the business seed and watching it grow!

Me:  What tips would you give dog owners who want to improve their dog’s diet?

Iman:  Many dry kibble recipes contain preservatives and have lost valuable nutrients because of the high-temperature processing method used to cook the kibble.  We recommend introducing fresh vegetables for a more nutrient-dense diet.  Dogs are no different than people – we all look better, feel better, and perform better with the proper nutrition.  It's important to note that some people food is NOT good for your dog - refer to this ASPCA list of people foods to avoid feeding your pets.

Me:  What's in store for Lola & Baxter in 2018?

Iman:  We are finalizing our retail packaging, and soon the Lola & Baxter foods will come to a retail establishment near you!

Me:  Where can people get their hands (paws) on Lola & Baxter dog food?

Iman:  Come visit us at the Urban Harvest Farmers Market every Saturday morning, or order online at the Lola & Baxter website.

Lola & Baxter at the Urban Harvest Farmer's Market (photo credit: Iman)

Lola & Baxter at the Urban Harvest Farmer's Market (photo credit: Iman)

You can find Lola & Baxter at:

website:  http://lolaandbaxter.com/

facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/lolaandbaxter/

instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/lolaandbaxter/

in person: Urban Harvest Farmers Market (3000 Richmond)



Things to do in Houston with your dog - February 2018

Already a month into 2018, and I can already tell this year is going to fly by!  I don't know about you, but my calendar is filling up quickly - if you're looking for something fun to do with your dog this month, I've got a few ideas:

samoyed puppy with owner in warm coat

Things to do with your dog in Houston (February 2018):

  • February 3 - Meadowlake's Puppy Bowl.  Teams of puppies will compete for touchdowns and fans can watch on Meadowlake's Facebook and Instagram feeds.  Everyone wins!
  • February 3 - Champagne and Yoga in the Heights.  Dog-friendly yoga class followed by champagne social, benefiting Animal Justice League.
  • February 10 - 2nd Annual PuppyUp Walk in The Woodlands.  A fun walk with your dog, vendors, music, silent auction, and refreshments all to raise money for cancer research both human and canine.
  • February 10 - 5th Annual Best Friends Brunch at Hotel Zaza.  A charity masquerade brunch, pet fashion show, and silent auction benefiting aniMeals on Wheels.
  • February 11 - 20th Annual Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Mardi Gras Parade in Galveston.  Dress your dog in Mardi Gras attire and parade through historic downtown Galveston, benefiting the Galveston Island Humane Society.
  • February 17 - BYOD Houston Dogs & Roses.  Private indoor bring-your-dog Valentine's tea party, benefiting Friends For Life.
  • February 17 - BarkHappy Houston Valentine Pooch Pawty.  Family- and dog-friendly party with lots of games and goodies, benefiting Adore Houston.
  • February 21 - Yappy Hour at Midtown Park.  Check out this newly-opened park in Midtown with a dog park!  Treats, prizes, doga (dog yoga), and more!
  • February 23 - Yappy Hour at Bagby Park in Midtown.  A doggie playdate happy hour with treats, contests, and prizes!
  • February 24 - Portraits For Life fundraiser by yours truly.  This one-day pet portrait event will be held at an indoor studio, benefiting Friends For Life animal shelter.

Things to do with your dog in Houston any day:

Do you have an event to share with your fellow dog-loving Houstonians?  Send me a message, and I'll update the list!


Friends For Life update and a pet portrait event you don't want to miss!

What's Friends For Life Animal Shelter been up to? 

(and don't forget to read to the end for a big announcement!)

Last year I was proud to partner with Friends For Life Animal Shelter and Sanctuary, and we are doing it again!  Before I share the details of the second annual Portraits For Life pet portrait event, let's see what FFL has been up to since the last time we talked

Me: Happy new year!  2017 was an eventful year for Friends For Life, especially with the response efforts after Hurricane Harvey.  What was it like working at the George R Brown shelter?

Salise:  We like to describe it as "changing tires on a car going 100 mph."  After Hurricane Katrina, many people died because they would not leave their pets behind.  Because of that, the PETS Act of 2006 was put into place, which authorizes FEMA to provide rescue, care, and shelter to pets, service animals, and their people.  However, there was no plan on how to accomplish this, and Hurricane Harvey presented the first opportunity to do so.  The City of Houston asked Friends For Life to manage the care of animals brought to the GRB shelter, and our volunteer army stepped up without hesitation.  We completed intake of 671 animals on the first day alone, and 1500 animals received free vet care and supplies during the first week after the storm.

photo credit: FFL Army

photo credit: FFL Army

Me: That is quite an undertaking - how did Friends For Life do it?

Salise:  We have disaster-trained staff and an army of passionate volunteers.  Plus we had motivation and drive to prove to the world that sheltering people with animals during a disaster is not only possible, but the right thing to do to save lives and keep families together.  For us, it wasn't just about providing shelter for these animals.  It was also about providing full care - food, crates, leashes, vet care, and vaccines.  FFL is paving the way for how communities respond to sheltering people and animals during an emergency, and the country is taking note

Me: It's been unseasonably cold this winter, and I can see that Project Warm is still in full effect.

Salise:  Yes, we are busy making warm houses - just this year, over 230 of them have been dispersed around Houston to provide refuge for feral cats.

Harley, adoptable cat at Friends For Life shelter

Harley, adoptable cat at Friends For Life shelter

Me: Friends For Life is still the only no-kill LEED-certified animal shelter in Houston.  Can you give me an update on the Fix Houston and Thinking Outside the Shelter programs?

Salise:  Fix Houston provides free spay/neuter services to cats in low income communities.  Since 2013, FFL has provided 4420 surgeries, which translates to preventing the birth of over 88,420 cats!  And that number continues to grow. 

Thinking Outside the Shelter program continues to prevent animals from entering the shelter system by working with pet owners and removing obstacles to caring for their pets.  The food bank distributes 11 tons of food annually, and continues to offer free counseling, obedience training, and basic vet care to keep animals in their homes.

Callie, recently adopted!!

Callie, recently adopted!!

Me: What exciting things do you have planned for Friends For Life in the next year?

Salise: FFL is celebrating sweet 16 this year!  We also started a new FFL Young Professionals Group made up of Houstonians ages 21-40 who are interested in connecting with other animal-lovers, raising awareness about the no kill movement, volunteering, and fundraising. 

 

To learn more and get involved with Friends For Life, visit the shelter in the Heights or their website for information about adopting a pet, volunteering, or making a donation.

You can find Friends For Life at:

Don Sanders Adoption Center: 107 E. 22nd St.  Houston, TX 77008

website: http://www.friends4life.org

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/friendsforlifehouston

instagram: http://www.instagram.com/friends4lifeorg

twitter: https://twitter.com/Friends4Lifeorg


And now... for the big announcement!

Registration is open for the second annual Portraits For Life event!

Last year, 16 dogs and 1 cat joined me for a special one-day pet portrait event, and together we raised $1000 for Friends For Life!  If you've been thinking about creating a timeless portrait of your pet, now is the time AND you'll be helping other animals in need.  Click the button for more information and to reserve your spot!



BYOD Houston - bringing Houston dogs and dog-lovers together

Today I'd like to introduce you to Michelle Trejo, the person behind BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog) Houston.  We met at Bar Boheme's dog friendly patio , where I also got to meet her dogs Lily and Lylo.  Michelle is one of the most contagiously enthusiastic and upbeat people I have ever met, and I think you'll love her too! 

Michelle with Lily and Lylo

Michelle with Lily and Lylo

Me:  First of all, tell me about your dogs!

Michelle:  I have two shelties, Lily and Lylo.   Lily is three years old, super excitable, and drinks only Ozarka water.  She was the reason I started seeking out dog-friendly establishments and the inspiration behind BYOD.  Lylo is two years old, super chill, and a mama's boy.  We have a tradition of taking an annual photo every New Year's Eve:

photo credit: Michelle Trejo

photo credit: Michelle Trejo

Me:  Tell me a little about how BYOD Houston got started.

Michelle:  My dog Lily and I were regulars at a chill dog-friendly restaurant until one day when the waiter informed us that the restaurant had changed ownership and was no longer dog-friendly.  We were asked to leave.  I then began searching for other places where Lily would be welcome and chronicling our adventures on Instagram, where many other Houstonians followed along and joined in.  One such follower suggested a meet-up event, and I organized the first get-together at Cottonwood in the spring of 2014.  At the time, organizing events, Instagraming, and blogging about dog-friendly places in Houston was a hobby, but soon turned transitioned into BYOD.

Lily at Bar Boheme

Lily at Bar Boheme

Me: So what does BYOD look like today?

Michelle:  Currently BYOD Houston is a membership community that connects dog lovers to Greater Houston's best dog-friendly deals, events, and recreational activities.  The website was launched in October 2017, and members can join for $2.99/month which gives them access to special deals from partner businesses and free admission to BYOD events.  Non-members can also use the site to find dog-friendly parks, trails, campgrounds, and businesses.

Me:  What do people ask you the most about BYOD?

Michelle:  Many people ask if they have to have a dog to participate in BYOD, and the answer is no!  Everyone is welcome, whether you have a dog or not. 

The second most frequent question is whether you have to be a BYOD member to attend the events, and the answer to that is also no!  While members enjoy certain perks (deals and free admission to events), all are welcome.

Lylo at Bar Boheme

Lylo at Bar Boheme

Me: Do you have a background in the dog industry?

Michelle:  No, but I have a passion for helping others and making an impact in the community.  In undergrad, I volunteered with an organization that supported troubled youth, and while earning my masters from Rice, I opened an online jewelry shop where a percentage of the proceeds were donated to different causes.  The customers voted on which organizations would receive the donations, and many were animal rescue groups.  Once I got Lily, I became more interested in promoting responsible dog ownership and making our community more dog friendly.

Me:  What is your favorite thing about BYOD?

Michelle:  My favorite thing is knowing that the BYOD mission is bringing the community together to create experiences for people to share with their dogs.  Occasionally I receive emails from Houston dogs thanking me.  For example, Lucy wrote to tell me about an awesome kayaking and camping trip she experienced at Riva Row Boat House in the Woodlands based off information her parents found on the BYOD website.  That's awesome!

photo credit: Lucy's parents (Instagram @lucylatitis)

photo credit: Lucy's parents (Instagram @lucylatitis)

Me:  What are some of the challenges as you get BYOD Houston off the ground?

Michelle:  While Houston has come a long way, it is still not the most dog-friendly city.  Some laws and old-school ways of thinking have presented challenges in making Houston more accessible to dogs.  I get told "no" a lot.

Me:  Tell me about the BYOD Launch Party that's taking place on Saturday January 6.

Michelle:  The Launch Party is going to be fabulous!  It will be held 8-11pm on January 6 at the Sharespace Studio.  BYOD is rolling out the red carpet for you and your dog - enjoy music, small bites, wine, beer, contests, raffles, and meeting other dog-loving friends.  Local celebrity pooch Griffin from JW Marriott Downtown will be in attendance, and the event will benefit Houston PetSet, a local charity organization supporting animal welfare in the greater Houston area.  Tickets are $10 presale, $15 at the door, and free for BYOD and ClubPet members.  Dogs are welcome, but not required!  Get your tickets here.

Me:  What's in store for BYOD in 2018?

Michelle:  We are planning to organize at least one event each month for dogs and their people to meet and socialize.  New business partners are joining the BYOD membership site all the time, so stay tuned for more fun dog-friendly deals around town!

Michelle with Lily and Lylo

Michelle with Lily and Lylo

Thank you Michelle for sharing with us! To learn more about Happy Dogs, Happy Places and to become a BYOD member, visit the BYOD website.  Hope to see you at the BYOD Launch Party on January 6!

You can find BYOD Houston at:

website: https://byodhouston.com/

facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/byodhouston/

instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/byodhouston/

Want more?  BYOD Houston was also featured on Houston Life and Great Day Houston.

Lily, the inspiration behind BYOD Houston

Lily, the inspiration behind BYOD Houston


Things to do with your dog in Houston - January 2018

Happy New Year!

And brrrrr!  Goodness it is cold outside this morning.  My dogs usually linger in the backyard, but they took care of business and were back inside under the covers in record time. 

What better way to ring in the new year than a fun dog-friendly party?  There are a few this month... enjoy!

bull terrier in midtown houston

Things to do with your dog in Houston (January 2018):

  • January 6 - BYOD Unleashed Pawty at Sharespace Studio.  Enjoy music, food, drinks, red carpet, and raffle prizes with your dog at this indoor venue to celebrate the launch of Houston's newest community for dog lovers, benefiting Houston PetSet.
  • January 6 - Mutts Movement Benefit at 2929 Weslayan outdoor terrace.  Cocktails, light bites, and raffle prizes supporting K-9 Angels Rescue.
  • January 17 - Yappy Hour at Midtown Park.  Check out this newly-opened park in Midtown with a dog park!  Treats, prizes, doga (dog yoga), and more!
  • January 20 - BarkHappy Houston New Year Pawty at Under the Radar Brewery.  Bring your dog and relax on the outdoor patio.  Games, freebies, and more benefiting Adore Houston.
  • January 26 - Yappy Hour at Bagby Park in Midtown.  After you recover from your turkey coma, join your neighbors at a doggie playdate happy hour.  Treats, contests, and prizes!

Things to do with your dog in Houston any day:

Do you have an event to share with your fellow dog-loving Houstonians?  Send me a message, and I'll update the list!


Best of 2017 Houston Dog Photos

To say Houston had a memorable year would be an understatement... from hosting the Super Bowl, enduring the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, cheering on the Astros as they won the World Series, and then waking up to snow on the ground!

2017 was also a memorable year for my business - several "firsts" and big accomplishments.  Let's take a look at the highlights by the numbers:

2017 by the numbers

And to go along with those countless puppy kisses, none of this would have been possible without puppies!  84 to be exact.  Believe me, it wasn't easy to narrow down, but here are my top twelve personal favorite images taken in the last year...

My favorite images from 2017:

Maggie with her mama

Maggie with her mama

Bentley

Bentley

Brinkley

Brinkley

Sophie

Sophie

Riley

Riley

Ari and his mama

Ari and his mama

Lucy

Lucy

Truman

Truman

Roscoe, Daisy, & Rosie

Roscoe, Daisy, & Rosie

Maggie

Maggie

Jane

Jane

Floyd

Floyd

Thank you for being a special part of my year.  I am grateful for each of my clients, past, present, and future, and wish you a happy and healthy new year!

Want more cute puppies?  Find out which images were my favorites from 2016.

Interested in documenting your dog's story in 2018?  Send me a note and let's talk about creating a personalized session for you and your furbaby. 


Most Popular Posts of 2017 - Houston Dog Photographer

One thing I love about this time of year is reflecting back on all the good things that happened and dreaming about what next year will bring.  Let's look back at the top posts from the past year.  Enjoy!

rescue dog plot hound mix houston texas brindle

1) #Goals

One of my 2017 goals was to enter print competition for the first time - I did, and you cheered me on as I earned 2/4 merits (one image will be published in a book!)  Check out the four images I submitted and the results.

2) Work hard, play hard

In February I traveled to Costa Rica for a pet photography retreat.  Spending a week learning from and bonding with other talented pet photographers from across the world was fantastic, not to mention the puppies, sunsets on the beach, monkeys on the rooftop deck, luxurious accommodations...  yeah, I definitely need to do this again SOON!

3) Every animal matters

Friends For Life is not your typical animal shelter.  They step up to help when others can't or won't.  I was so impressed by the work Friends For Life continues to do that I organized a fundraising event to benefit them, and it was a huge success!

4) Getting in the picture

I always encourage my clients to participate in the photo session, and I shared some examples of dogs with their people.  Believe me, you will treasure the photographs of you with your best friend.

5) Home is where the heart is

You might think your house is too small or too messy, but there are several reasons why your home is a great place for a photo session.

 

Hope you enjoyed the most popular posts from 2017!   Curious what was popular last year?  Here are the top 8 posts of 2016


Things to do with your dog in Houston - November 2017

First things first:  Go 'Stros!!

What an exciting World Series!  And I love how Houston is coming together to celebrate this big win!  I didn't go to any of the playoff or WS games, but instead, I curled up on the couch with the puppies to watch the Astros each night.

Now... let's talk about what else is happening around Houston this month...  and get ready, this weekend looks like a lot of fun!

couple walking with big dogs on forest path in fall

Things to do with your dog in Houston (November 2017):

  • November 4 - Bark in the Park in Conroe.  Explore the great outdoors through Grand Central Park's community trails with a fun after-party, benefiting Operation Pets Alive!
  • November 4 - The Bonfire Texas festival Gone to the Dogs! at the Blisswood Bed & Breakfast in Cat Spring.  Good ol' country fun: live music and dancing, BBQ, hay rides, bonfire, and s'mores!  Benefiting All Border Collie Rescue and Fosters of Blisswood.
  • November 4 - DogPop at Steel City Pops & Birds Barbershop in the Heights.  Bring your dog to this fun outdoor pop-up market featuring music, vendors, and food trucks.
  • November 5 - Doggies Who Brunch at Around the Corner.  Brunch with your pampered pooch and meet new dog-loving friends.  Benefiting Friends For Life animal shelter.
  • November 15 - Yappy Hour at Midtown Park.  Check out this newly-opened park in Midtown with a dog park!  Treats, prizes, doga (dog yoga), and more!
  • November 18 - Celebrity Paws Gala 2017 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.  Get dressed up and join CAP for a night of fun to celebrate Honorees and benefit Houston's homeless pets.
  • November 24 - Yappy Hour at Bagby Park in Midtown.  After you recover from your turkey coma, join your neighbors at a doggie playdate happy hour.  Treats, contests, and prizes!
  • November 24 - Home for the Pawlidayz adoption event at CAP.  Zappos is sponsoring all adoption fees at CAP animal shelter for the three-day weekend.  Give thanks and consider adopting a new member into your family.

Things to do with your dog in Houston any day:

Do you have an event to share with your fellow dog-loving Houstonians?  Send me a message, and I'll update the list!


Dog-friendly activities in Houston - October 2017

Do you have your calendar ready?  October is a huge month for fall festivals, costume contests, and dog-related fundraisers.  Plus as the weather cools down, we'll all be flocking to the dog parks and dog-friendly patios.  Enjoy!

scruffy dog with red and yellow flowers

Things to do with your dog in Houston (October 2017):

  • October 1 - Blessing of the Animals at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in the Heights.  Stay for beer, hot dogs, and live music!
  • October 4 - Wag Tantrum Launch Party at The Owl Bar.  Come out and celebrate a new Houston-based dog food line made from human-grade ingredients.  Proceeds benefit Save-A-Pet non-profit.
  • October 6 - Rebel With a Cause gala at Silver Street Studios.  Dinner, drinks, music, and auction benefiting Friends For Life animal shelter.
  • October 6 - Yappy Hour at Bagby Park in Midtown.  Monthly pet-friendly happy hour with treats and prizes.
  • October 7-8 - PetFest in Old Town Spring.  This outdoor festival features parade, wiener races, costume contests, dog shows, and over 60 exhibitors.
  • October 14 - Strut Your Mutt 5K at Stude Park.  This annual charity walk put on by Best Friends Animal Society helps raise funds for many of Houston's animal rescue organizations, and you get to choose where your money goes.  Also includes a festival, doggie yoga, pet portraits, music and contests.
  • October 21 - BarkHappy Halloween Dog Costume Party at FM Kitchen & Bar.  Benefiting Adore Houston, this party will have dog costume fashion show, raffle prizes, and samples.
  • October 21 - 9th Annual Howl-o-Ween Fest in the Bridgeland neighborhood.  Featuring The Super Collies from America's Got Talent TV show.  Food trucks, shows, adoptable pets, kids' activities, pumpkins, face painting, vendors, and more!
  • October 21 - Mutts & Melodies at Green Street downtown.  Enjoy live music while playing with puppies!  Pup Squad Animal Rescue will host pet adoptions.
  • October 24 - BYOD Houston launch.  Ever had trouble finding information on dog-friendly businesses around town?  If you haven't yet heard about BYOD (bring your own dog), head on over to the website and check it out - you don't want to miss it!
  • October 31 - Boo, Brew & Bridges at Under the Radar Brewery.  Dogs welcome, costumes encouraged, and Pup Squad Animal Rescue will be there!

Things to do with your dog in Houston any day:

Do you have an event to share with your fellow dog-loving Houstonians?  Send me a message, and I'll update the list!