“Heartography” Creates the first PhoDOGrapher

Have you guys seen this amazing new invention from Nikon?  They invented a camera that takes pictures when it detects an increased heart rate in a dog.  In other words – every time a pup gets exited to see something…it snaps a pic.  What an awesome way to get a little insight into what makes our canine companions happy (or at least what grabs their attention.)

After watching the video I was curious to see more of Grizzler’s photos.  Not too many posted (I was disappointed) but I did manage to find a few here.  I’m hoping Nikon will keep up this experiment and share some more pictures with us.  What do you think?  What would your pup snap a pic of??

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Sketches + Bull Terrier = Smiles

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These pics gained popularity online months ago…but I just saw them for the first time over the weekend.  I thought they were too adorably creative not to share.

A project by artist Rafael Mantesso, the pictures combine silly, fun drawings alongside his bull terrier, Jimmy Choo.  While the pictures alone are enough to make us take notice of Mantesso’s talent – there is also a touching “man’s best friend” story there as well.  After his divorce – Mantesso was left with nothing but and empty, white-walled house, and his newly acquired companion, Jimmy Choo.

“One day I was playing with him in the room and decided to make this picture, holding his hand [while showing the] affection and friendship that existed there.”

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It wasn’t long after that Mantesso’s love of Jimmy Choo and love of drawing melded together to create what I think are amazingly unique, heartfelt, touching, goofy, smile-inducing pictures.

Check out Rafael’s Instagram page for even more awesome drawings and more Jimmy Choo.  Here are a few of my favorites:

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Is That A Weasel Riding a Woodpecker?

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Have you seen this picture?  I came across it on the Houston SPCA blog…and I thought it was too awesome not to share.

First of all – that’s a woodpecker…a GREEN woodpecker (pretty cool, huh?)  And that is a baby weasel riding it.  Now, unfortunately, this picture was captured out in real-life nature (and not a Disney film) – so the weasel is trying to kill the woodpecker…but what an amazing shot!

Fortunately, the woodpecker did escape the encounter unharmed.  

The picture was taken by an amateur photographer named Martin Le-May who happened to witness this amazing site while out for a stroll in London.  Read what he has to say about the whole ordeal here.

Countdown to Halloween – Pets in Costume!

It’s Monday….the Monday before Halloween.  Hopefully you’ve bought your candy, finished up your costumes, and now are just waiting for Friday.  To kick off this holiday week, I suggest you stop working immediately, and check out these list of pets in costumes.  (Because what is the internet for if not to look at pictures of cute animals??)  While you’re at it, make sure to take our poll and let us know if your pooch or kitty cat will be dressing up this year.

Happy Monday…and enjoy!

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26 Dogs Who Hate Their Halloween Costumes – This list is awesome because instead of focusing on the Halloween costumes…it focuses on the facial expressions of adorable pups who are obviously not thrilled to be dressing up.  Ah, the things that our pets do to make us happy!

 

Freddy Guinea

25+ Terrifyingly Cute Costumes for Pets – I love this list because it has lots of non- dog animals in costumes.  (And not just cats…guinea pigs, horses, lizards….) Make sure to click “show more” when you get to the bottom to check out all the costumes posted.  You can even add a picture of your own pet to the list!

 

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Adorable Cats Halloween Costumes – Cats in Halloween costumes.  Enough said.

Friday’s Fido Film (March 21, 2014)

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So this Friday…I decided make Friday’s Fido Film about photography instead of informative/often-adorable dog videos. (Remember?)  If you haven’t already seen them, these gorgeous surreal photographs are by Sarolta Bán. Bán is an artist from Budapest who manipulates pictures to create images that are…stunning?  fantastical?…really the only word to describe them is surreal.

In an quest to ensure shelter animals be seen – she created a collection featuring homeless animals.  I love them.  

Not only are the pictures incredible…they convey a sense of wonder rather than one of pity.  (I feel like some rescue organizations post pictures that are heartbreaking and pitiful – not pictures that encourage people to adopt.)  To me (and that’s the beauty of art…isn’t it?…you might feel differently), the images remind me that we will never know the world through a dog’s eyes…that they each have their own personality…that they dream.

Whether you appreciate them for simply their aesthetic or for the greater animal cause they are trying to shed light on, there is no doubt that these pictures are incredible.

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(I wouldn’t even consider myself a surrealist fan – but Sarolta Bán’s pictures are quite amazing.  Check out her website here and more about her work with dogs here.)

Stunning Photos of Photographers’ Daughter with Animals

Many of you have probably already seen these amazing pictures…but even if you have, they are worth a second look.  The pictures were taken in Nambia, Africa by French nature photographers who decided to raise their daughter, Tippi, alongside the native people and animals of the land.

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Tippi: My Book of Africa is a book chronicling Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degre first ten years of life as she was raised in the African bush.  She lived in a tent with her two parents…but had the freedom to roam among nature and animals.  She was therefore always at ease with animals; she had no fear.

Not only are the pictures visually stunning, but they also make you ponder how differently lives are led across the globe.  Makes you wonder if we really need all this “stuff” to be happy (says the girl typing on her brand new Mac Book Pro.)   Makes you realize how natural our relationship with animals can be…if we are raised to believe it should be so.

If anything they are simply beautiful shots to please your eye and get you going this Monday morning,  Enjoy!

 

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See the more information and many more beautiful pictures here or here.

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#40)

Happy first Wednesday of the month!

This week, I officially went on maternity leave.  (A big THANK YOU to all my clients who have been understanding and flexible about this change!)  Only a few days in and I’m feeling a wide arrange of emotions.  At the beginning of the week, I was feeling just plain sad.  The dogs I hang out with every day truly feel like my friends.   Not only am I sad that I’m not seeing them every day – the thought of not seeing them for 3 or 4 more months is heartbreaking.

Today, the word I would most use to describe my emotional state is frustrated.  I don’t know if I decided to take a leave of absence at the perfect time – or if my body was just holding on until I gave it a break…but this week even the slightest task feels like a major chore.  Bending down to fill the dogs’ bowls for their dinner leaves me breathless and sore.  Walking laundry from the dryer to the bed for folding feels like running a marathon with 20 lb dumbbells.  With a to do list as long as my arm…frustrated about sums it up.  I’m use to walking miles and miles through the elements with energetic dogs!  How can a quick trip to Walmart exhaust me??

The one thing I’m doing a lot of is reading…reading every baby book I can get my hands on!  Surprisingly, many of these books center on the same principles as the dog training books I’ve read.  More on that later…  (In the meantime, check out my own new parent advice here!)

…now it’s time for cute dog pics!  These shots definitely cheered me up…hope they put a smile on your face today and help you get through the rest of your week!

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I wish everyone who had an irrational hatred of pit bulls could meet this sweetie pie!

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…and you said dogs don’t smile!

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When you look up “puppy dog eyes” in the dictionary…

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#39)

Happy middle of the week at the end of the month!

I feel like all I do these days is prepare prepare baby boy’s room, prepare my dogs for the life changes they will be facing soon, prepare my business for the upcoming months. Oh yeah, and somehow attempt to prepare myself!!

I’ve come to believe that dogs and puppies really are the best way to prepare yourself for a baby. Now, now…I know what all you moms and dads out there are thinking. (Probably something along the lines of “Hahahahahaha!!”). But hear me out. A puppy (or new dog) is this little living creature you bring into your home who you must protect. They need constant supervision, they can’t tell time (as in – knowing when sleeping time is!), and they don’t understand proper potty etiquette. And while I’ve heard crate training your newborn is frowned upon…I think we can all agree that all this boils down to one thing – patience. Patience born out of love.

That’s just one more reason I’m thankful for the dogs in my life!

I’m also thankful for adorable dog pictures!!! They seem to de-stress me like nothing else! (Along with cute dog videos…did y’all see this?).

Our pictures this week were submitted by our Twitter friend Clay over at Cool Dude Air Conditioning (@TheCoolDudeAC)  Here are two of their FOUR rescue pups.  (Looks like they enjoy pool time!)  Check out their blog at www.cooldudeac.com…and make sure to give them a call if you you’re here in Houston and find yourself with a busted AC or heater.  Who wouldn’t want to support a dog rescuin’, dog lovin’ company!?

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Lily!

 

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Lily & Ally

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#38) – Special Announcement!

Happy day before Valentine’s Day!

This is an exciting (and scary and a bit sad) time over here at Wags & Whiskers.  My husband and I will be welcoming a new addition to the family soon…and this time I don’t mean 4 legged.  I’m pregnant!  Obviously, it goes without saying this is this is a joyous time for me…just as I’m sure it is equally obvious as to why I am scared out of my mind.   I say it is a bit sad because (at least for a few months) I will be forced pull back from the business and essentially stop working.  Years ago, when working meant sitting in front of a computer, behind a desk, next to a constantly ringing phone…months off from work (even when that meant facing a screaming baby) would have seemed like a dream.  Now, work is something completely different.  Work is something I love.  Work is dogs.

Not to say that I shouldn’t put family first.  When Baby Boy arrives, I’m sure my perspective on work (heck, on life!) will change dramatically.  But I can’t imagine my life without caring for dogs.  Clients – daily walk service will be suspended as of March 31, 2013.  Pet sitting will continue as long as I am able (I am due at the beginning of May.)  Please contact me as early as possible to book pet sitting services.  Regular clients should have already received written notification, but please email me with any questions or concerns – jessica@wagsandwhiskershouston.com

And what of my own dogs?  Amigo is relatively new to the family – but as an attention hog and professional lap warmer, I think the adjustment might be a bit hard on him.  Then there is Buffy.  Buffy…my “first born”, my constant companion, my coworker.  Buffy seems forever adaptable. Both my husband and I are sure that our baby boy and Buffy will become the best of friends.  Buffy has been my savior through my pregnancy thus far – knowing when I need a shoulder to cry on, when to take her brother in the other room to play so I can get some alone time, and when to simply sit by my feet to let me know I’m not alone in this.  (Not to discount my amazing husband…but unfortunately he does have a job!)  The wonderful thing about love is we have an infinite amount to give – and I don’t think Baby Boy will diminish the love I have for my four-legged kids.  

For the next few months, you might see more blog posts on kids and dogs….and how to prepare everyone for such a life changing event.  I would truly welcome any personal advice, any books to read, or any articles/websites/resources to help me and my family. I have been able to find very little so far…but I know you, you fabulous blog reader you, have the knowledge and experience to guide me into this new phase of my life.

So today’s Wags & Whiskers pics are all courtesy of my own two pups.  I want to celebrate all they have done for me in the past….all they do to support me now…and all they will do for my family in the future.

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Buffy

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Amigo

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Sibling Love!

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Sorry, Mom & Dad, no room!