Archive for September, 2014

24.09.14

Tamron Australia

Up early to make some short films with Tamron Australia about the super performance series lenses I use. They help me create photos like this! Chameleons would have to be one of my favourite creatures – you just have to wait for their eyes to line up.

Taken at Taronga Zoo with 90mm macro Tamron lens.

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24.09.14

Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Spent a day in the sunshine working with Taronga Zoo, photographing for their Bird Festival next month and taking a set of new animal images for them. Check out the bird festival info at http://taronga.org.au/bird-festival and in the meantime, please enjoy this pic of a tiger with an intense stare. Alexxx

Image taken using Tamron Australia 150 – 600mm ‘The Beast’ lens.

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21.09.14

Sam and Bella

7 year old Greyhound, Sam and 11 year old Staffy X, Bella.

Rachel says “We’ve both had dogs on and off during our lives and had discussed adopting, but our time was committed to caring for my Mum who was living with dementia. We would always chat about which breed we’d prefer, which went from Doberman’s to Boston Terriers to Bull Terriers, but when we saw English Staffy’s at the Sydney Easter Show one year we looked at each other and agreed that was the dog for us.

We loved their nuggety bodies and the size was perfect for a villa with a courtyard (or so we thought). Shortly after mum passed, I happened to be on our local Council website and decided to check the list of dogs up for adoption. Bella’s little face appeared and at that moment I knew I had to meet her. I visited the council shelter the next day to meet ‘Velvet’ (her pound name) and the first thing she did was turn her backside to me as if to say “scratch my butt’.

I was told she was found wandering the streets of inner city Sydney just before Christmas and no one claimed her, hence spending almost four months in the shelter. A skin reaction meant she had to wear an e-collar, so was overlooked and being a middle aged girl, also slimmed down her chances of adoption. She was bigger than expected but totally adorable.

The following day, we both went back to visit her and decided she’d be the perfect addition to our family. That was four and a half years ago and in that time she has gone through a few challenges including a move to the other side of the country, a toe amputation, an ear haematoma, arthritis, has been diagnosed with Cushings Disease and is now deaf. We call her our ‘special needs’ child but wouldn’t have it any other way. She melts everyone’s heart and it’s normal for family members to ask how Bella is before asking how we are! She joined us at a highly emotional time but she was just what the doctor ordered.

After reading an article many years ago on the treatment of racing greyhounds I knew I wanted to rescue an ex-racer. I just never thought I would have a big enough yard to accommodate. It took a while to decide on adopting a second dog and when we did it was challenging working out which breed would suit Bella.

We had floated the idea of a greyhound but it wasn’t until we saw a pack of greyhounds sprawled out on the grass at the Million Paws Walk one year, that we had to learn more about them.

Once we knew of their gentle nature, pure laziness and the fact they don’t require a lot of exercise we agreed a greyhound would be the perfect match. Plus we hard a big house and yard to accommodate. I was constantly searching rescue sites to find the perfect male hound but there were so many to choose.

We stumbled across GreyhoundAngels of Western Australia and found Sam, a very handsome boy who also shared a very special birthday … with my Mum! I knew then we were on to a winner.

We were introduced to Sam by his wonderful foster parents Jacqui and Ray, and instantly fell in love with him. Jacqui and Ray also have a senior staffy who looks so much like Bella, so we knew it was meant to be. Three weeks later, Sam came home.

We were told of Sam’s poor start to retirement and the fact no one had taken any interest in him. This surprised me as he’s just so beautiful but in hindsight he was just waiting for us. It took a while for Bella to get used to her younger bigger brother and although they don’t snuggle or play together they share a certain respect.

Bella uses him as her ears, so when he gets excited and runs to the front door she knows we are home and does likewise. We are so in love with Sam and he gives it right back a zillion percent. He loves afternoon zoomies and has churned up each side of our back yard where he turns – so much for our prestigious manicured lawn.

An incident that really stands out happened whilst we still lived in Sydney. We had only recently adopted Bella and one afternoon Dave arrived home to see Bella running around on the roof of our villa. Panic (and shock) set in but on opening the front door a police officer walked up the driveway towards him. One of our neighbours could see Bella and called the RSPCA but they couldn’t act so he called the police instead!

Bella was absolutely petrified of thunder and it seems she had freaked out during a storm, and in an attempt to escape she climbed up various ledges, on to the patio roof and then up to the main roof. It seemed we had a little Houdini on our hands.

Each day Bella and Sam make us laugh. Sam with his prancing around the yard throwing soft toys in the air and catching them and Bella thinking she’s a greyhound and trying to run like one are just a couple of daily events that make us smile.

Not only are we lucky to have such awesome dogs but we have met some really cool people through Greyhound Angels WA who have also opened their hearts and homes to these wonderful dogs.”

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21.09.14

Sasha and Molly

Border Collies, Sasha (3yrs) and Molly (2yrs).

Josh says “We’ve had Sasha since 2012, when she was adopted from the RSPCA in Bendigo. Sasha was a very nervous dog, who had massive issues at the Pound, and once adopted suffered from separation anxiety and fear of people. After about 3 months of love and caring Sasha began to trust us, and she has developed into a wonderful and loving dog.

Molly joined our family late last year, as we thought that Sasha would enjoy having another BC around, and ever since Molly has come into the family they have been besties – although you couldn’t find two dogs more different! Sasha is a little bit lazy and uncoordinated, and Molly is hyperactive and able to catch a ball in a back flip!

We had a problem with the dogs getting into the bins whenever we went to work and left them inside the house. It was a mystery as to which dog was the culprit. We both thought it was Molly as she is generally a bit of a naughty girl.

One day Erica left to go to the shops, and I stayed in the study working on the computer. I was disturbed from my work to hear what sounded like the bin being rifled through by one of the dogs.

I walked out into the kitchen and caught Sasha, head deep in the garbage bin, oblivious to me watching her. I called out to Sasha in a stern voice letting her know she was in trouble and she pulled her head bolt upright out of the bin. The only problem was, she took the lid of the bin with her like a necklace. She was standing there like a deer in the headlights trying to look innocent, with Molly in the background watching in amusement.”

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21.09.14

Guinness and Keets

Mini Daschunds, Guinness and Keets, both 4 years old

Candisse says “We collected Guinness from his breeder on St Patrick’s Day and with him being black and tan and Conor being Irish, Guinness was the natural name for him. A few months after we collected him his legs grew and his floppy ears folded back – we joke that he is from the lesser seen breed of very long legged Dachshunds (or Jack Russell Cross!)

Keets came along 6 months later as we felt Guinness needed a buddy. I’m Canadian so we felt it suited to have Keets named after a famous Canadian beer – Alexander Keiths AKA Keets.

When we first saw Keets we didn’t know which one from the litter we wanted but in the end Keets, the only chocolate in a full litter of black and tan pups, chose us. Keets took one look at Conor and thought CHUMP… and jumped in his lap, rolled over for a belly rub and that was it. Even from all his pup photos Keets had to be the centre of attention and being full of beans, he still is.”

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21.09.14

3 year old American Staffy, Armor

Kristie says “Armor came into our lives as a tiny pup. He still thinks he’s a pup but a 41kg pup. He’s our gentle giant that loves nothing better than to cuddle.

Armor likes to take things off benches, but he got a surprise when he stole my husbands shaving cream. He freaked out because he punctured it and foam was coming out of everywhere. It was pretty funny to see and he was ok but learnt his lesson.”

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17.09.14

Bandit and Honey

Bandit (3 year old Maltese x Terrier) and Honey (11 month old Maltese x Pomeranian.)

Rebecca says “I was in year 12 when Bandit first came to live with us. He arrived about a year after losing Chester, our Australian Terrier, to a twisted gut at the age of 17. At first I wasn’t sure I even wanted to have another dog in our house after the pain of losing the dog I had grown up with. But Bandit wiggled his way into our hearts and was a rock through my WACE exams and my first few years of uni.

Honey came to us early December last year, as a companion for Bandit. She has a completely different personality to Bandit. Where Bandit is rather quiet, obedient and cuddly Honey is cheeky, outgoing and wiggly.

She constantly bounds up to our cats and they either run or sink low to the ground. They love to rough play and Honey loves to give kisses.

Bandit is the old man at age three whereas Honey is the wacky sugar filled child.  I can’t imagine life without them and the unconditional love they bring.

Bandits favourite thing is to be anywhere people are and his trigger words include “Walk”, “Car”, “Nannies”, “Treat” and some of the toys he knows by name including his “Chicken”.

Once he was chasing after the ducks at the park much to our displeasure and all of a sudden the large white father duck jumped out and proceeded to peck and swoop at him to chase him away. The shock on Bandit’s face was priceless.

He also has a small brown dog toy that he will carry around after a meal that he really enjoys, such as cooked steak, and whine with it in him mouth. We have had him checked for any stomach issues or health problems but he is perfectly healthy so it is just a little quirk of his.

Honey loves everyone and will enthusiastically bound up to greet you which is rather like a barge hitting you. She also loves water and will run and jump into it then proceed to swim around looking like a polar bear with her long wet hair and splashing style of swimming.

Once when I had some friends over and was showing them the house, Honey proceeded to jump up onto the spare bed, squat down and pee right onto a nice satin quilt cover while giving me a cheeky grin. I was absolutely mortified as I had been telling them about how fast we had toilet trained her and how good my dogs were. She showed me, haha.”

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15.09.14

18 month old Boxer Rhea

Andrew says “Rhea came top live with me when she was a pup. I went to visit her breeder and was drawn to her the minute i saw her. I knew she would be a great addition to the family and a lovely companion for me and my Mum and Dad.

We were out walking one day and Rhea slipped out of her harness, ran onto the road and was hit by car. She escaped any broken bones but had had air getting into lungs, so had surgery to correct it. She is pretty well right now, sometimes gets a little out of breath which may be related to her injury.

I would describe her as friendly, boisterous and playful. She is always happy and loves meeting new people.”

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15.09.14

Lumi the 2yr old Netherland Dwarf Rabbit.

Lumi has his own Instagram account at @lumirabbit.

Jodie says “I had just had a rabbit pass away, and was torturing myself by looking at photos of baby rabbits available online. I knew that I shouldn’t get another rabbit because of the huge medical costs when they get sick. But then I saw him, the prettiest baby rabbit I had ever seen in my entire life, and I knew he had to be mine. He had such vivid blue eyes.

I paid my deposit and went to pick him up on the day he turned 8 weeks old, I couldn’t wait any longer. He was even more beautiful in real life, I put him in the pet carrier and took him home, he was so comfortable that he flopped over and slept for most of the journey home.

About 6 months ago Lumi developed a slight head tilt due to a parasite. He is still happy and healthy though and it hasn’t affected his day to day life.

I also have two cats, Pumpkin and Astrid. Lumi isn’t a huge fan of either of them. If the cats even look at Lumi the wrong way, or approach me while I am patting Lumi, he will go absolutely berserk.

He is known to chase the cats around the house, growling, nipping at them, just to get them away. I don’t think the cats appreciate his behavior but it’s funny watching a 1.4kg rabbit try and show a 6kg cat who is boss.

Despite how mean he can be to my cats, he is very loving towards humans and he loves his head and chin scratchies. He loves showering me in bunny kisses and snuggling up next to me by the heater on cold winter nights.”

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14.09.14

Five year old Cocker Spaniel, Lucy

Almora says “We like to say that Lucy chose us rather than the other way around. We had the first pick of the two golden girls in the litter and couldn’t bring ourselves to choose one over the other, so we decided to bring a teddy with us and have whichever one came up to play with it – and so Lucy became our fur baby.

One of Lucy’s favourite toys is a Christmas carol singing teddy named Carol (how original!). She carries it around the house in her mouth and tells us it’s bedtime by standing watching us with Carol in her mouth until we go to bed. It has been awkward at times when we’ve had guests over and she signals that it’s time for them to leave, and gets sooky when we don’t send them home so she can go to our bed. In protest she cuddles with Carol in her bean bag giving us sad eyes.

Being a typical water loving Cocker Spaniel, Lucy loves swimming and her favourite spot is the dog beach at the end of Stock Rd. On one occasion she decided to swim really far out, not realising that there were sail boats coming up the river.

After anxiously calling after her to no avail, I ended up having to swim out to get her – fully clothed as it was winter!”

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