Winter Blah-Busting for You and Your Pet | Dogs and Cats

Winter Blah-Busting for You and Your Pet | Dogs and Cats

Are you getting that sad eyes look more and more these days? Winter officially arrives this month and, whether your pup is a snoozing-potato-on-the-couch or one who thinks that playing in the white stuff is the best, chances are that at least one of you isn’t thrilled about dropping temps. Of course, here in Canada, Winter is our middle name. In Toronto, every day is different – we run the gamut of beautiful white snow and milder temps all the way through to those icy, cold days when no one wants to venture out. And sometimes all those types of weather happen in the same day!

No matter what your Winter looks like, it can be tempting to spend these months holed up watching movies and cuddling on the couch.  And there’s nothing at all wrong with that – until you and your dog are ready for it to be done. So, whenever that hits this winter, here’s a handy list of blah-busting winter activities you and your pup can enjoy together!

1. Play Hide-And-Seek

Remember playing this as a kid? (99,100…ready of not here I come…!) If you’ve never tried this with your pup you are both in for a treat! Plus, it’s fantastic practice for recall and can be played anywhere your dog is able to be off-leash – even indoors. 

It’s simple: Have your dog stay in one room of the house while you go and hide in another. Call your dog and see how long it takes for him or her to find you. When they do, ensure they get lots of praise and treats.

If you are going to do this outside, hide behind an object like a tree. If you are not in an off-leash area, have a friend hold the leash, but let the dog lead the way to find you.

Did you know cats can play this too? I’ve often played hide-and-seek with our cat, Panda, who loves to show off how smart she is when she easily finds us!

pet photography session in winter with snow

2. Be Nosey

Dog noses are amazing things and can be the path to great adventures! Letting dogs sniff freely is a great way to let them explore and can lead you both to unexpected places and sights. So when the winter blahs get you, consider taking a short trip outside and letting your dog’s nose lead the way. You might be surprised where you end up!

pet photography session in winter with snow

3. Be Crafty

I never considered myself a ‘crafty’ person, but months of lockdown proved me wrong. I also learned that we can all express our creative side in different ways. No matter your personal crafting abilities, winter is a fun time to let those creative ideas flow.

For me, I experimented with artist materials like resin, alcohol ink, watercolour, and card stock which led me to begin Posh Pets® Ink! (You can see all the lovely pet-inspired goods here.)

 So, if there is something you have wanted to try, dark nights spent indoors might be the time to try. Looking for ideas? Find some fun ones along with instructions here

DIY things to do that involve pets

4. Create a Tunnel Maze

So many of us shop online and you can feel a little guilty when you see how much packaging goes to waste. Why not get some extra mileage out of your boxes laying around and extend the joy? Dogs love dens, so you can encourage them with a few treats and cozy blankets and they should love their temporary digs pretty quickly. And cats…well, just put the box down. We built a 3-story maze with entrances and exits last winter and the cats had a ball!

Have I left anything out? Email me and tell me how you and your dog and cat beat the Winter Blahs.

Winter Snow Sessions are a thing! Where would you like to go with your pup?

POSH PETS BOUTIQUE™ SESSIONS

Where it all begins

  • Pre-session Design Consult that ensures we create images you will be thrilled with.
  • The result is gorgeous custom artwork the life your pet shares with your family.
  • A personal Ordering Consultation to ensure you select the right images from the gallery.
  • Please note: The Creative Fee covers time and talent to photograph a maximum of four (4) subjects, which can be any combination of people and up to two (2) pets who live within the same household. Additional subjects may be photographed for a small additional fee.
  • Examples of portraits from Posh Pets Boutique™ Sessions can be found here.
There is No Time Like the Present | Hugo’s Winter Session

There is No Time Like the Present | Hugo’s Winter Session

I received the call one afternoon from Hugo’s mom. From the moment she spoke and her voice broke a little, I knew something was wrong. And, when you are a pet photographer, you almost always know what it is.

She told me about Hugo, all 165 lbs. of him. He was beautiful and, at 4 years old, in what should be his prime. But, the day before they had received devastating news. Hugo had just been diagnosed with lymphoma. A specialist appointment had been made to determine the course of treatment, so there was nothing more that could be done but wait the couple of days for that appointment. But now, what his mom wanted most of all were portraits. Portraits that should have been taken in the Summer but things had gotten busy and, well, they thought had all the time in the world. Portraits that would ensure that they had beautiful images of Hugo forever.

We quickly rearranged things and set a portrait date for a couple of days later. We were hoping for snow (there was woefully little of that this winter in Toronto!) and a nice day. And that is exactly what we got. The temperature was beautiful – maybe even a little too mild for a Bernese Mountain Dog – and we had snow on the ground! Plus our background was the lovely palette of winter. Hugo’s entire family came out for his photo session (even Grandma), so that they could get family portraits with him. He is one loved dog!

Everyone should have one gorgeous portrait of their pet

Hugo’s mom said that, if she could get nothing else, she wanted ONE gorgeous portrait of Hugo looking happy, majestic and healthy. I knew the second I took it that this was the ONE. It’s now a beautiful, framed print, hanging in the family home.

fine art portrait of bernese mountain dog

The family also selected a custom folio box for their family portraits and some smaller portraits of Hugo. (It’s so stunning that you will see that I decided to update the official Posh Pets® Folio images for the website with it.)

bernese mountain dog portrait toronto

dog in forest in Toronto, Canada

Why choose to photograph your pet now?

Simply put, because it is important to capture the life of your pet as they are now. In all their stages – the wiggly new-to-life stage, the goofy teenager, the athletic adult stage, and the sweet senior. And because honestly, we never know what tomorrow brings.

I’m happy to report that Hugo has begun his treatment and is tolerating the chemotherapy well! Last time I saw him, he was perky and quickly greeted me at the door. He’s ravenous too, so he eagerly searched me for treats. Believe me when I tell you, everyone here at Posh Pets® Photography are all wishing very hard (with fingers and paws crossed!) that Hugo makes a full recovery!

If you are looking to book a session for your pet, the place to start is here. (Please see the update, below.)

beautiful mountain dog in snow in Canada

Update: Hugo passed away in August 2016 after bravely fighting his battle with cancer. His Mom sent me the most beautiful note regarding his session:

“I called Posh Pets® Photography in a panic the day after receiving the devastating news that my 4 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, Hugo, had been diagnosed with lymphoma.  I wanted to get  professional photographs done before he started chemo.  Karen was so understanding, compassionate and accommodating.  She made herself available within a couple of days.  Hugo was already quite ill but Karen worked her magic and took amazing photos that caught his spirit!  Karen was very supportive and a great help in choosing the photos (not easy when there were so many good photos to choose from).  The finished products are beautiful and we treasure them everyday, now that our beloved Hugo is gone.   Karen is clearly an animal lover and very talented – the perfect combination.”

Sleep well, dear Hugo.

POSH PETS® HERITAGE SESSIONS

Celebrating the life, love and legacy of your pet.™

starting at

$400

  • High-priority sessions are reserved for pets that become ill or are simply elderly. We make every effort to schedule these on short notice.
  • An opportunity to take time out of your busy schedule to spend some quality time together, celebrate the life you have shared and create images you will treasure forever.
  • Please note: The Creative Fee covers time and talent to photograph a maximum of four (4) subjects, which can be any combination of people and up to two (2) pets who live within the same household. Additional subjects may be photographed for a small additional fee.
  • More information can be found here.

Chubusz – Fun in the Snow! | Toronto Dog Photographer

Chubusz – Fun in the Snow! | Toronto Dog Photographer

In case you haven’t heard, let me tell you: it has been COLD in Posh Pets land! For most of this year, I have watched heavily-bundled people and lot of bundled up dogs too, go for their daily walk. You can always tell the dogs who would rather be sitting at home, cuddled up on a couch – the slow gait, combined with the frequent stopping and looking up at their human tell me that they are only going for a walk because they think their people need it. However, they are dogs that simply love the snow and cold and cannot wait to get out and have some fun! And, my furry little client, Chubusz (pronounced Chub-oosh), is such a dog.

During our Pre-Session Consultation, Chubusz’ mom shared with me how much he loved the snow and cooler weather. In fact, Summer, with its accompanying heat, rendered Chubusz and almost exclusively indoor dog. So, it made absolute sense that we plan a Winter session.

We started our time together at his gorgeous home where Chubusz showed me all of his favourite ‘spots’. He loves the couch, but where he looks most regal is right here – on the rug in front of the fire place.

spaniel lying on rug before fire

After posing like a model (and receiving lots of treats as payment), we all headed outside into the snow! This boy showed me how much he loved to run. And run. And run. Finding a stick to run with, was just the icing on the cake.

dog running in snow with stick

We ended up with a snow-covered muzzle and lots of smiles.

smiling black dog against blue background

Finally, once the humans were cold, we ended up back home where Chubusz settled in for a nice, long sleep…

black spaniel lying on his bedChubusz was such a gentleman and an absolute joy to photograph. The weather was perfect, the snow clean and white and the images we created…beautiful! Chubusz’ family now has gorgeous art work to treasure forever.

Are you looking to capture the joy of Winter with your furry face? Contact me here.