Archive for February, 2015

28.02.15

3 year old Siberian Husky x Border Collie, Bazinga

Michele says ” We had no intention of getting a dog as we both work full time. I walk the dogs at Dogs’ Refuge Home of WA in Shenton Park at the weekend and one day when I wasn’t walking them we had to pick something up, so we did a quick round to say hello to the dogs. This big fluff ball came running up to the fence with a green plastic telephone toy and tried to play with us … it was love at first sight.

The next day I was walking the dogs, so I went into his enclosure and he jumped all over me, knocked me to the ground and stole my sunglasses. He was great (but pretty boisterous).

His description made him sound totally crazy, but I wanted to bring him home for a sleepover. We cleared the house expecting him to go through it like a tornado, but he knew what he was doing and was perfectly behaved the whole time.

We really liked him, but were still trying to be sensible. We came up with a huge list of reasons why we weren’t suitable parents for him, but the refuge didn’t seem to see any of these as an issue. After 2 weeks, we took him for another sleepover and he never left.

Then he showed his true colours, destroying the house for the first few months. But we’ve worked hard with him and he’s stopped trying to redecorate and is a great dog. We can’t imagine not having him in our family.

As his name suggests though, he is still full of surprises! He’s quite good at fooling us, especially if he wants to hunt. We took him to a friend’s house on a large property, they convinced us to let him off lead as it would take him weeks to find the small holes in the fence. Five minutes later, he was in the neighbour’s garden, looking for a way into their chooks.

Next time we go there, we had him on lead, and he looked relaxed so I decided to let him off (but ready to clip him back). He stayed close, smelling flowers, etc. Then he slowly wandered a bit further, still quite relaxed. I followed him and next thing he’s in thick bush chasing rabbits and near impossible to catch.After lots of persistence, pretending we are looking at something interesting in the bushes, his curiosity got the better of him and he came over to check it out. We quickly put him back on his lead.

On our third visit Bazinga stayed attached to a long lead, just lying down and observing. Once he figured we’re nice and relaxed, he managed in a split second to be out of his harness and chasing rabbits again.  Luckily we were able to catch him and tie his lead to his harness and collar, so he then proceeds to get out of both the harness and the collar! We don’t take him there anymore and after trying numerous types of harnesses, are still in search of one he can’t escape from.”

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28.02.15

4 month old Staffy x, Izzy

Renae says “Alex has photographed my other dogs before – our old shar pei, Gabbi and our shar pei x, Bruno.

The moment we saw Izzy we just had to have her in our family. We first saw her on the Houndstooth Studio Facebook page after Alex did a photo shoot for the Dogs’ Reguge Home of WA. The group of puppies were so similar to our other baby, who is very unique looking, and as he is the perfect dog – so we knew then we just had to get another one the same.

It was so hard to choose a puppy from the litter as they were all so beautiful, but the minute Izzy went up to Stefan, he fell in love instantly and knew she was the one for us.

She has fit into our little family so perfectly and we could not imagine life without her. It’s all thanks to Alex and her amazing work with the Dogs’ Refuge Home of WA that Izzy came into our lives.”

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28.02.15

Optimism

On February 19th I had the privilege of hearing Bob Brown speak about optimism at the Perth Writers Festival. As the former parliamentary leader of the Australian Greens political party, Bob is certainly not naive to the environmental assault we commit on our planet each day. He has protested and spoken out against environmental destruction many times and continues to do so even in his retirement.

Yet he still has faith in human beings as a whole and believes we can make a difference to the planet if we each reach for the same common goal of creating change.

And this got me to thinking …

People often ask me how I can handle the heavy stories of terrible atrocities committed against the animals I work with at rescue organisations.

Firstly I feel like I get off lightly compared to the people who devote their lives to the rescue and welfare of the defenceless. Those who put themselves out there to save animals, those who sacrifice their safety to stop a cruel act, and those who risk all to clandestinely document a vicious action.

They do this as much for us as for the animals they care so deeply about – in the hope that we too will take action as a result of our new and greater awareness. These people are my heroes. Photographing rescue animals (or in some cases, animals in need of rescue) is a walk in the park compared to what these people go through to help animals and to educate us.

But speaking for myself, yes – there are times when it feels like the whole world could well be filled with animal abusers. But I know better than to ever let that thought stick in my mind for too long. I’m a firm believer in the power of positive thinking, and don’t ever want to dwell on something so negative, lest it become a reality.

Maybe it’s my policing background where I was taught that the good guys will always win (cops will always catch the robber so to speak) but I really do believe that there is more good in the world than evil – more kind people in the world than abusive. More warm hearted than cold. More loving than hating.

And I can work with those animals because each one is a living beacon of hope – rescued, saved or taken into care by a human who saw them as a sentient being and who considered them as worthy as we are to have access to food, shelter and medical treatment, all the while with a gentle hand now placed upon them.

There is no greater motivator for righting a wrong than public pressure – the gathering of like-minded opinions to demand the cessation of a despicable act. Never think that your voice is wasted or unheard. If we all speak together, as a unified community, we can effect change.

With love and hope,

Alexxx

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28.02.15

5 year old Flat Coat Retriever, Yogi and 3 year old Pug x, Lucy

Tracey says “We had moved to a house with a large garden so we were finally in a position to get a dog and at the time, I was working with a girl whose brother was looking for homes for Flat-Coated Retriever puppies he had.

It wasn’t a breed that I was familiar with, but once I heard the only male pup was called Yogi, I just felt he was the one! He was 13 weeks when he came to live with us and he’ll be 6 this July.

He’s quite boisterous but a faithful companion and does a fantastic job of guarding me, Lucy and the house when my fiance is away at work for longer periods.

We adopted Lucy just over a year ago as company for Yogi. I saw her on Gumtree, advertised by a rescue organisation but she was snapped up really quickly.A week later, I was on Gumtree and up pops her cute little face again. I called the number immediately and the lady explained she had adopted Lucy from the rescue organisation but she had ear issues and she wasn’t in a position to afford the ongoing care/medication for her. I went and picked her up that night.With a raw food diet and the guidance of my fantastic holistic vet (Dr Clare Middle), she no longer has ear issues and her personality has changed so much too. She is now a really happy (and spoilt!) little girl.”

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23.02.15

Chi Chi, Mars, Echo, Macy and Knox-The Famous Five

Here we have Candice and Marc’s famous five pooches – Chi Chi, Mars, Echo, Macy and Knox. I LOVE photo shoots like this with multiples of adorable pooches. It’s a challenge but also so much fun! Five times the fun in fact, LOL.

For this pic, I asked them to sit all proper and nice – and they obliged.

And how did Candice and Marc come to share their home and lives with these furry butts?

Candice explains “We never meant to end up with 5 dogs, but being animal lovers and being involved in rescue led us to this!
Macy and Echo came into our lives a number of years ago and were meant to be our only dogs (if only we knew!). These two have a bit of a love/hate relationship but this has improved as they have grown older.

Mars came to us through SAFE Avon Valley as a foster pupwith his brother in 2011. They were the funniest looking puppies, and were a great example of a ‘pound special’.

Mars’ brother was adopted fairly quickly, but after a month and three failed meet and greets I decided I couldn’t let Mars go. we adopted him and our two dogs became three.

Not long after this we became involved with H.A.A.R.T (Homeless and Abused Animal Rescue Team), who we still work with today. In mid 2013 a litter of cavalier puppies were born into care. I had always wanted a cavalier and I had a chance to adopt one. And then Knox became our 4th canine family member. He was by far the cheekiest puppy but has grown into a lovely dog.

Then about 6 months ago “Chi Chi” came to live with us. She was a private rehome and although she is only a tiny 2.3kgs she quickly learnt how to boss all the bigger dogs around. She now spends her days using them all as pillows.

Although we had never planned to have a large family like this, we don’t regret having any of them in our lives. They have all had their ‘moments’; Macy stole food out of the bin as a puppy one day and fell in. Mars ate all the corners of the skirting boards in our house as well and chewed a hole in the wall. Knox ate his dad’s $300 electric shaver … they are lucky they are cute and we still love them.”

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19.02.15

Hedwig the baby dove

Meet Hedwig the baby dove. Not only is she a happy, sweet little bird, she has beaten the odds to survive – thanks to the devotion shown to her care and quality of life by Kirsty (supported fully by her hubby Todd.)

I first met Hedwig a few weeks ago at Kirsty and Todds house and like most people who spend time with her, it was love at first sight. She sat in my hand, fluffed herself up and made herself at home. Now and then she gave me a CHEEP and it was the most delightful sound of contentment I’ve ever heard.

Hedwig deserved her fighting chance and she is determined to make the most of her time here. Perhaps her story is meant to inspire us, or to show us what the power of love can achieve, or to encourage us to always live in hope …

Whatever you get from her tale, she is an inspirational being who will never give up. And neither will her wonderful carer Kirsty.

Kirsty shares the touching “story of Hedwig.

“On January 2rd I was about to drive into the rear laneway behind our house when I saw a little grey lump in the sand. I checked it out and saw it was a tiny dove but I thought it was dead; when I picked her up to move it out of the middle of the road she fluttered her little wings.

She was tiny and still had all her baby feathers. One side of her face was all swollen and deformed; the eye was swollen shut and her beak was warped outwards. I called my local vet and he refused to see her, saying he would put her down.

I took her to the emergency vet as it was a Friday night and they gave me pain killers and granivore baby food to keep her going until the next day when I could get her to an avian vet. The staff all looked at me like I was crazy because doves would normally be euthanised as they are an introduced species and I wanted to pay for her care and give her a chance.

No one expected her to live through the night. I got up twice overnight to change her hot water bottle and give her food and water so she was comfortable. The next morning the avian vet was dubious about her prognosis. She told me that she had a large infected cyst in her face which was causing the swelling and deformity; we could make her comfortable until she passed away or we could try surgery to remove the cyst and then antibiotics to treat the infection, but even then chances of her surviving were very slim.

After the vet examined her, poked and prodded her sore face, she placed the baby back on the examination table. She toddled over to me, climbed onto my hand and in the tiniest little voice she said ‘cheep’. Twelve hours after I had picked her up she knew she had found her new human mummy. I asked for the surgery and we booked it in for the following Monday.

Throughout the weekend I was up through the night again to change her hot water bottles and feed her to get as much weight on her as possible before the surgical procedure. Come Monday morning I was exhausted and a nervous wreck. I insisted on taking her into the back of the vet surgery and set up her cage like she has it at home with her hot water bottle so she’d be comfortable. I even slept with a washcloth overnight and put it in her cage so if she died she would feel like her human mummy was close.

A couple of years ago I was privilleged to meet a Rinpoche in Bhutan and he gave me a blessing in the form of a red cord. I put that in her cage too, I figured she’d need all the help she could get.

My husband and I named her Hedwig after the owl in Harry Potter. We felt it was important to give her a name so she knew who she was and that she had a family who expected her to come home. A friend later told me the name means ‘fighter’ which seems completely appropriate for our girl!

I drove to work and sobbed all morning until the vet called, but it wasn’t to tell me about her surgery. They had done the x-rays and the infection had eaten part of her skull. Instead of a 30% chance of recovery she now had much less, but since she was going to die for certain without the procedure I told them to go ahead.

After what felt like forever the vet called to say she had miraculously survived the procedure and woken from the anaesthetic. I was over the moon! I walked around the office smiling from ear to ear all afternoon.

When I collected her late in the day, she literally had half a face and the wound was completely open and raw. It was really confronting. The vet surgeon emphasised how high risk a patient she was as she was very young, fighting a serious infection with a massive open wound.

I took her home (and to work with me every day) and for the next three weeks she was on a regime of two antibiotics and a painkiller. She was never aggressive or difficult, nothing bothered her, she just got on with things even when everyone wanted to look at her and touch her and I was sticking syringes with food and yucky medicine in her face all the time.

After a couple of weeks of her growing and getting stronger every day I noticed a lump near her cheek on the good side and took her back to the vet. She had a fungal infection. Apparently they are common in doves and because half of her beak is open she will be vulnerable to this. It is easily treatable and we added another medicine to the list.

At that visit to the vet, without warning he pushed off her scab which was loose and came off in one who massive piece… I nearly had a heart attack but he was really pleased. He took as much infected tissue as he could during the surgery without killing her, but the tissue around the wound was still brown and necrotic. When the scab came off it was pink and moist and viable tissue. Success! He couldn’t believe it and showed her off to his colleagues. I was really proud of my little survivor and so was he.

A week later Hedwig started vomiting and after another trip to the vet he said she had a crop infection, which is a common secondary infection to the fungal one … more antibiotics. More stressed mummy.

A few weeks later I have had her for 6 weeks and she is just finishing off the last of her medicine. The vet is amazed at how her wound has healed, almost completely, and how she has adapted. She is so easy compared to my pink and grey galah – she doesn’t want toys or demand constant attention or stimulation.

She just likes to sit outside and listen to the other birds or sit on my head watching tv. I stopped taking her to work this week as she has started to fly and I thought having a bird flying around the office pooping on everyone else’s desks might be pushing my luck a bit too much.

One thing Hedwig has taught me is to have faith in my other humans’ ability to offer compassion for vulnerable animals. When I took her to the office on the first day after her surgery I thought people would hate her because of her ‘ugly’ face. I expected to be told to take her back home. I was genuinely surprised at the love and compassion people showed for her, and I know she’s missed because people keep stopping past my desk and they’re so disappointed she isn’t sitting there watching me work.

I also posted her story on a couple of facebook bird groups I’m a member of and there was such a huge outpouring of caring for her and encouragement for me when I was emotional and fretting and in need of expert advice.

Today all her grown up feathers are coming in and she’s starting to get her beautiful black and white tail feathers and speckles around her neck. Soon she will be a grown up.

Hedwig can never be released because with one eye and an open face she’s too vulnerable to predators and infection, but I have promised her I will give her the best possible life and all the love in my heart for as long as she’s with us. She has cost a lot of money and taken a LOT of energy but she has given me a hundred times more than I could ever give back to her, I’m so grateful that we were brought together. The universe gave me a very special little person to love.”

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16.02.15

Outdoor Photography Workshops

When you have an itch you just have to scratch it. Or when you have a sneeze you just have to sneeze it. We met this adorable joey last week during our Outdoor Photography Workshop at Caversham Wildlife Park.

Thanks to our course partners Whiteman Park and Tamron Australia.

Check out the dates for our 2015 courses at http://www.houndstoothstudio.com.au/se…/photography-courses/

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16.02.15

11 year old German Shorthaired Pointer, Lily

Margaret says “Lily came to me from some breeder friends of mine at 6 years of age . She had lived mostly in a kennel, has had 2 litters of pups pre sterilization and now has a number of great grandpuppies.

It has taken quite some time to gain her confidence as she is quite shy but was never treated badly. I first saw her at my friends’ kennels the day I picked her up.

Madam Lily was going to be an outside dog during the day while I was at work, then inside when I was home. Wrong. She decided she wished to live in the house full time, wrecked the back door, tried to get in the window and has taken to the indoor life as though she was born to it.

Since I retired she has been my constant shadow (except when on a stalking mission when she has selective hearing). I can’t imagine my life without her.”

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13.02.15

18 year old Corgi X, Sassy and 9 year old German Shepherd x Lab, Marley

Melissa says “Sassy came from a Mandurah Rescue when she was about 18 months old. We have never seen a dog like her and have been arguing for 16.5 years what we think she is! We have been through some ups and downs with her but wouldn’t have it any other way.

When we first got Sassy she had a lot of problems. She was terrified of men, had bad anxiety and obsessively chased shadows and pounced on them until she had sores on her nose. After many years gaining her trust she became so loving, not afraid of men at all and she got out of her habit of chasing shadows.

At almost 18 she still does zoomies around the lounge room trying to get our 9 year old to play with her, who usually gives up before her!

Marley came into our lives about 5 years ago. At the time we had two elderly dogs, Sassy and another girl named Jessie who has sadly since passed away. Marley, who can normally be selective with other dogs, was so gentle with the two old girls.

Marley would put up with Jessie barking in her face to play, falling on top of her when she didn’t see Marley laying down and was always perfectly gentle with her. When Jessie passed away, she helped Sassy not be alone and kept her distracted after losing her sister.

My brother thinks we have turned her into a “sook”, but how can you resist that face when she is asking for a cuddle?”

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13.02.15

9 year old Rottie, Layla and 9 year old Griffon, Roy

Cherie says “I was looking for a little dog and was looking at tenterfield terriers. I went to a dog show at Southern River but I thought the terriers were too timid. I walked past these two little dogs and fell in love. I had no idea what type of dog they were, so when I asked the owner. She said “Do you know the movie ‘As Good As It Gets’, well that’s the type of dog they are”.

I found a breeder in Melbourne and Roy was sent over to begin his new life with us.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I were watching the AFL grand final. I always make little party pies, sausage rolls and little quiches for the occasion. I’d had a couple of drinks, so when my husband went out, I had a lay down.

After a couple of hours, when my husband returned home, we found Roy had scoffed most of the party pies, sausage rolls and little quiches from off the low coffee table. He was so swollen, poor love! He just wants to eat absolutely everything, although he’s not fat!

I wanted a Rottweiler and found some for sale through a breeder in Albany. The breeder emailed me photos and they were all named after colours.

I originally loved “blue girl”, but she was taken. All that were left were “purple” and “yellow” girl by the time I’d decided I wanted one. I asked for “yellow” girl only because I wasn’t that keen on the Dockers at the time.

The breeder said, “Really? If you ask me “purple” girl has got a real personality.” So I went with purple girl and to this day I can’t believe I could’ve missed out on having the best dog we’ve ever had.

When she arrived she was the cutest bundle of soft black fur, it was love at first sight.

I took Layla to dog training at Southern River when she was six months old. For her certificate she and another dog, a kelpie, had the highest points so we had to play off for there to be a winner. They wanted us to get them to fetch and return a toy (I had an old gardening glove).

Well Layla didn’t know how to fetch at the time, so what I did was I had some polony left over from her rewards and I rubbed the polony on the glove and made sure she got a whiff of it before I threw it and without ever playing fetch, she ran after the glove and brought it back to me giving us first prize!

Layla recently had major abdominal surgery and four units of blood to save her life after a large 15cm tumour ruptured on her spleen.  Unfortunately her tumour has come back as a haemangiosarcoma  and we are now cherishing every moment we have with her.”

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