A series of photos depicting some playful and reflective moments between Russian President Vladimir Putin and two of his dogs have been released to the public.
The photos, taken by Putin’s personal photographer, were made on a snowy day in March and show the president playing with his dogs Buffy (a Bulgarian shepherd) and Yume (an Akita-inu) at Novo-Ogariovo, his residence outside Moscow.
Both dogs were given to Putin as gifts, according to RT.com. Buffy came from former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Yume, which means ”dream” in Japanese, came from Tokyo as a gift to show gratitude for Russia’s assistance after an earthquake and tsunami devastated the country.
Putin has a third dog, Koni, a black Labrador who is 12 years old and sometimes attends official meetings with him. Koni was also a present, received from former Emergency Minister Sergey Shoigu in 2001.
(Photos: RIA Novosti / Alexsey Druginyn)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akita inu, animals, black labrador, bulgarian shepherd, dogs, koni, lab, official, pets, photographer, photos, president, public, putin, released, russia, russian, vladimir, world leaders
While taking photos of adoptable dogs at a California shelter, Maria Sanchez snapped a shot of a sad-looking man who lacked the money he needed to get his dog back.
Dave Thomas said he had been arrested for failure to appear in court for two traffic violations. Upon his arrest, his dog, a 2-year-old pit bull mix named Buzz Lightyear, was placed in the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.
Thomas, upon his release, went to pick up Buzz, but was told he needed to pay $400 in shelter fees first. He had $6 in his pocket.
Shelter staff did let him visit Buzz, at which point, after giving his dog some water, Thomas took a seat outside the cage and cried. That’s about when Sanchez, a dog lover and photographer, happened by and took his photo.
“He sat down next to him and started weeping,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez posted the picture on her Facebook page and soon complete strangers were pledging money to help, KABC in Los Angeles reported.
Sanchez, initially, was unable to pass along the good news, or the donations, because she hadn’t gotten Thomas’ contact information. She posted flyers in the community, urging him to contact her.
On Monday night, KABC tracked Thomas down and put him in touch with Sanchez.
“Everything is taken care of,” she told him over the phone.
“God bless you darling,” he told Sanchez.
The two had planned to meet at the shelter yesterday and get Buzz out, but the shelter declined to release the dog until he was neutered.
While Thomas maintains he was charged only with not appearing in court for traffic-related offenses, police say he was suspected of possessing drugs and was charged with a felony.
Thomas said he had marijuana when he was arrested, but he showed reporters paperwork on Tuesday indicating he’s a medical marijuana patient, the Redlands Daily Facts reported.
It also reported that $2,000 had been raised, and that Thomas, since all the publicity, had received both a job offer and a marriage proposal.
Meanwhile, praise keeps pouring in for the efforts Sanchez made on her Facebook page:
“Dear Ms. Sanchez, I have worked very hard over the last 47 years to keep humans and their dogs together. When I read stories like that of Dave and Buzz and the horrible position they were put in needlessly I just want to give up on humans all together. Then someone like you comes out of the blue and manages to see what is truly important. That Buzz and Dave needed to be together no matter how hard the system tried to foil this end. Yes you are an Angel. Not only did you orchestrate the miracle of reuniting two beings that should have never been separated you actually “SAW” through your Angel’s eyes the miracle that needed to be. In this you reunite my faith with human beings once again. This gives me hope. A gift that seems to be pretty spare these days. Thank you.”
(Photo: Maria Sanchez / Facebook)
(You can find an update on this story here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, arrest, Buzz, buzz and dave, buzz lightyear, dave and buzz, dave thomas, dog, dogs, facebook, fees, maria sanchez, pets, photographer, photography, reclaim, reunite, san bernadino, shelter
The problem with wall calendars, if you’re like me, is that you hang them on the wall and then realize, around July, that you haven’t flipped the pages since February.
The way to get around that is to buy one with artwork so irresistible you can’t help but remember to turn the page on the first of the month.
The underwater dog photography of Seth Casteel, which we told you about earlier this year — before it became a book, or calendar — fits that bill.
Casteel got intrigued with photographing dogs under water, posted some of the shots on his Facebook page and watched as they went viral. They show a side of dogs we don’t often see, and now you can give them a place of honor on your wall, or coffee table.
You can buy the calendar here.
You can buy the book here.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 3rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2013, animals, book, books, calendar, calendars, dogs, pets, photographer, photography, seth casteel, underwater, underwater dogs, underwater dogs book, underwater dogs calendar
Ripped apart by Sandy, some New Yorkers and their pets have been lucky enough to reunite after the storm.
Here are photos of a few reunions, courtesy of PeoplePets.
Above is OTIS, a pit bull rescued by the Humane Society of the United States from a second floor apartment in Staten Island and reunited with his family at a local shelter.
PRECIOUS (above) and the three cats he lives with had to be left behind when LeeAnn Rivera and her seven children fled their Queens apartment. ASCPA responders rescued them from the completely flooded building and brought them to the Queens College evacuation shelter where the family is now living.
MAGGIE belongs to the Schramm family in Breezy Point, who lost everything in the storm — including her. The Finnish Spitz-shepherd mix was found wandering by photographer Ann Lewis, who took her in and created a Facebook page in an attempt to find her owners. It worked, and Maggie and family were reunited.
You can see more reunion photos at PeoplePets.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ann lewis, aspca, cats, dogs, found, humane society of the united states, hurricane. storm, lost, maggie, new york, otis, pets, photographer, photographs, precious, reunions, reunited, sandy
A thousand words may be the generally accepted exchange rate for a photo, but here’s one that’s worth 2.2 million views, 230,000 likes, 110,000 shares and also just may help an old dog pay his medical bills.
Professional photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson took the photo last week. It’s of a friend of her’s named John, and his arthritic 19-year-old dog, Schoep, floating in Lake Superior.
John, who rescued Schoep as a puppy, says that the water is therapeutic for his achy dog.
“He is the kind of person who wants his animals to be comfortable. I wanted to capture their relationship. I told John, ‘I really need to get photos of you and your dog,’” Hannah explains on her Facebook page. “Last Tuesday, we met at the beach for the photo. While John swam with the dog, I got on the dock so I could be at eye level. It took five minutes.”
The result is a shot that captures the serenity dogs bring us, and maybe vice versa.
“My specialty is documenting relationships, whether it’s a wedding or a man and his dog,” the Bayfield, Wis., photographer is quoted as saying in a Pioneer Press article.
On Facebook, the photo has drawn more than 25,000 comments.
“In this photo, people have said they see everything from pure love to hope for the world,” she said. “They see peace, kindness, the relationship between man and dog. Two women, both whose husbands died from cancer, said they never thought they’d see love again, but this photo showed them love.”
“I know this is not about me — it’s about a guy who loves his dog — but I am in complete awe that my photo has had such an impact.”
Prints can be purchased from the photographer, and part of the proceeds will go toward vet bills for Schoep.
(Photo by Hannah Stonehouse Hudson)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 19 years old, animals, arthritic, arthritis, bond, comments, dog, dogs, facebook, floating, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, john, lake superior, likes, man and dog, pets, photo, photographer, photography, rescue, schoep, serenity, shares, stonehouse photography, therapy, views, viral
For two years, Yun-Fei Tou has been photographing dogs heading to meet their deaths at the Taoyuan Animal Shelter in Taiwan, providing in the process some last-minute affection to the animals and a message to all: There has got to be a better way.
“I believe something should not be told but should be felt,” says Tou, 37, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. “And I hope these images will arouse the viewers to contemplate and feel for these unfortunate lives, and understand the inhumanity we the society are putting them through.”
He has captured the images of some 400 dogs, most of which were pets abandoned by their owners, sometimes hours before they are euthanized, sometimes just minutes, according to an Associated Press story.
And once in a while, according to a recent piece in the Washington Post, he is at their side when the lethal injection takes place.
“You treat them like your own dog or daughter or son. And then you play with them, as if they are your friend … You just make sure that when they are facing euthanasia, they are in peace,” Tou said.
A selection of some of the 40,000 dog pictures Tou has taken are scheduled to be exhibited in August in his first full-scale show, at the Fine Arts Museum in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung.
A few others are on display at Taoyuan city hall, aimed at heightening citizen awareness of the responsibilities that come with raising a pet.
Tou first became interested in photography in 1991 as a student at The American School in Switzerland. In 1998, he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a major in photography.
His softly lit photographs reflect the dignity of the soon-to-be-killed dogs, who, despite often being mangy and emaciated, seem to have a grace about them.
Shelters in Taiwan will euthanize 80,000 dogs this year. In the U.S., between 3 and 4 million dogs are euthanized a year.
You can find more of Tou’s photos here.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, death, death row, dignity, dogs, euthanasia, exhibit, grace, memento mori, pets, photographer, photography, photos, shame, shelters, taiwan, taoyuan animal shelter, yun-fei tou
There may be nothing new under the sun. Under the water, though? That’s another matter.
Photographer Seth Casteel got intrigued with the idea of photographing dogs under water just a few months ago. He splurged and brought a special waterproof camera case, shot some photos and posted some of them on his Facebook page.
Last week, the Los Angeles photographer learned they’d gone viral after being reposted to Reddit and Google+.
In just a matter of days, money was pouring into his bank account and he was getting so many orders for prints that his newly established online store was experiencing stability issues.
Photographing dogs under water, he says, shows a side of dogs that people may have never seen before. (To see a full slideshow, click on the photo above.)
“Over the course of several thousands of years, we’ve taken wolves and made them Boston terriers,” Casteel told the Huffington Post. “But still, at the heart of it, dogs have wild instincts. For me, it’s all about seeing those wild instincts come through underwater. They’re getting back to being wild. They really love being wild. And under water, they have the best chance of doing that.”
His photos of underwater dogs posted to Facebook have gotten nearly 30,000 “likes” and been shared almost 22,000 times. His website, which typically handles around 200 visitors a day, is now drawing more than 100,000 a day.
He’s getting deluged with good press, too.
Business Insider called his photos “astonishing … The near-weightless conditions, coupled with the drag of the water, do odd things to a dog. Lips go flying. Fur and ears lie flat. Eyelids are peeled back … Most of all, they reveal the intense determination that dogs bring to having fun.”
Casteel has two dogs of his own — a mini Labradoodle and a Norwich terrier, and he volunteers his time to take photos of shelter pets in the area to help increase their chances of being adopted.
Casteel has a calendar, “Ruff,” coming out soon and is in talks with publishers and agents for a book.
The photo above shows Scott Dunn of Marietta, Georgia, burying his dog Duncan, a boxer who died after waking his master and allowing him to escape from his burning house.
It was taken by John Spink, a photographer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, whose coverage of the story has prompted many offers of assistance for Dunn.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says offers have come from as far as Washington to help the man, who lost all his possessions, including the boxer that he called the “best dog in the world.”
Dunn’s dog woke him during the blaze, and they ran out of the house together. During the confusion, though, the dog ran back inside and when Dunn tried to rescue him he was beaten back by the smoke and flames.
The story seems to have touched the hearts of many.
“I breed boxer puppies, and I know that they are the perfect family dog, and more,” wrote a man from Iowa. “This story goes to show how much they care for the ones that take care of them. I would like to offer this fella a pup, free of charge, if and when he is ready for one.”
Two other readers wrote the AJC saying they would like to purchase a new dog for Dunn, and another offered his own 6-week-old puppy.
“I am not wealthy by any means, but it would be a good gesture to give to someone who needs a hand,” wrote a woman from Washington. “I have no family, just my four-legged family, and they are the very best and mean the whole world to me.”
The AJC says it will be putting all of the readers who have offered assistance in contact with Dunn.
(Photo: Scott Dunn, after burying his dog, Duncan, in his back yard; by John Spink, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ajc, animals, atlanta journal-constitution, awakened, awoke, boxer, buried, burying, dog, dogs, duncan, fire, georgia, help, house, john spink, marietta, offers, outpouring, pets, photographer, saved, scott dunn
If you’ve strolled by the Captain’s, you might have seen my sign out front, a piece of which is shown here.
The exhibit is a benefit for Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter, once the home of my dog, Ace, and a passing through point for another 11,000 or so dogs a year.
All profits, once the costs of the exhibit are recouped — and I sure hope they are recouped — will go to BARCS, a non-profit agency formed in 2005 in an effort to upgrade the former city animal shelter and reduce the rate of euthanizations.
All photos are for sale and can be taken home with you. The grand opening party starts today at 6 p.m., with Captain Larry’s offering some “Hey That’s MY Appetizer” and “Hey That’s MY Drink” specials. The evening may also feature some musical entertainment, depending on the weather, and whether Sierra the singing dog shows up. (City laws don’t allow dogs inside dining establishments, but Sierra plans a sidewalk performance.)
There’s no charge for admission. Donations to BARCS are welcome. The event’s Facebook page can be found here.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: arts, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, benefit, entertainment, event, exhibit, facebook, fundraiser, hey that's my dog, john woestendiek, ohmidog!, photographer, photographs, photography, photos
From Angel to Zeb — with 24-plus dogs in between (including Yuki, above) – author/photographer/dog lover Pamela B. Townsend has put together a book of her dog photography that, in addition to spanning the alphabet, provides a heartfelt look at the bond between dogs and their humans.
“A is for Angel, A Dog Lover’s Guide to the Alphabet” is the second book by Pam, who is also vice-president of the SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George’s County in Maryland. Her first was “Black is Beautiful: A Celebration of Dark Dogs.”
A dog-lover since childhood, Pam’s goal is to pay tribute to the animals she shoots. “I try to capture both the outer beauty and inner spirit of each subject, preferring to photograph them in their own environment rather than in a studio for more natural images. The results, I hope, will make viewers smile, remind them of animals they have known and loved, and increase their appreciation of nature’s beauty and diversity.”
In “A is for Angel,” Pam features at least one dog for each letter of the alphabet (Xander, in case you’re wondering, represents X), along with essays written by their owners.
My favorite is Y — for Yuki, whose human, Tracy Long, penned this (reprinted with permission) entry:
Yuki is the antithesis of the description, “What you see is what you get.” She has taught us that there is so much more—to her and life in general—than meets the eye. Wonder is waiting around every corner. Each smell and sight and sound contains worlds within it. And if you stare into the pools of Yuki’s eyes—those windows to treasure houses of mischievous love—I think you’d see, as we have, a small child laughing.
Yuki loves life! For her, its daily routines are events to be anticipated and celebrated. She has taught us the beauty of welcoming every moment as if it were a gift…even the moment in the car when, without warning, she looked right at us…and pooped in the back seat.
There are times we’re convinced she’s hoarding stubborn wisdom in the folds of her skin, the kind of wisdom that—like Yuki—may not come easily or quickly, but if asked and sought for will eventually come…the kind of wisdom that says, “Don’t be afraid to contain multitudes.” Yuki certainly isn’t.
She is Shar-pei, she is shepherd, part terror, part teacher. Her lessons: forgive often, love well, and dig it all! Though she is undoubtedly one of the clumsiest dogs I have ever seen, sometimes when I see her running towards me—those ears floppin’ and that skin flappin’ as she barrels clumsily into me, licking my face—I think I am witnessing pure grace.
What a gift it is to be given the opportunity, every day, to love Yuki and have her love us back.
The book — available at Paws Pet Boutique in Annapolis, The Big Bad Woof in Takoma Park, and The Grapevine in Frederick — can also be ordered from Pam via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To see more of Pam’s work, visit her website, digitaldoggy.com.
(Photo courtesy of Pamela B. Townsend)
(To see ohmidog’s archived coverage of dog books, visit our “Good Dog Reads” page.)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: a is for angel, black is beautiful, books, books on dogs, digital doggy, dog books, dogs, pamela b. townsend, pamela black townsend, pamela townsend, photographer, photographs, photography, prince georges, spca, yuki