Niagara Pet Photographer: The Power of Threes

Niagara Pet Photographer: The Power of Threes

They say that bad things come in threes and this week I have to say, was THAT kind of week. Monday, I had to replace my windshield after a meteorite of some sort smashed a gaping hole in it. On Friday I drove to Toronto for a photo session with a gorgeous Golden Retriever puppy and BAM! A rock and a not-so-hard-place – my brand spanking new windshield – (note to self, call Speedy Glass after this post). Then when I got home after a long drive in traffic, I went to pull my camera bag out of the car and my gear crashed down, damaging my favourite and oh so cher 24-70mm lens. UGH.

What’s the point of my sad sack tale? The fact that GOOD things actually come in threes as well! You see, last Sunday I met a transport at the Tim’s in Niagara-on-the-Lake to pick up my new foster for JRTRO. A comical looking little 6-8 month old (?) pup with a gorgeous disposition. Not exactly sure what his genetic pool consists of but he’s a beauty. His reaction to Indiana Jones’ (at times) somewhat volatile outbursts is “Dude? What the heck did ya do that for, chill out!”. He hasn’t chased the cat and he adores every single human he meets. As of this morning, I have officially declared my intention to the JRTRO to adopt him, thereby qualifying me to enter a wonderful club that many fosters enter: that of the Foster Failures. I never wanted a puppy, I thought maybe some day we’d add a senior, however, sometimes the universe conspires… and I couldn’t be happier.

Which brings me to THREE! I now have three fur kids. Maybe one day we’ll manage to add that senior to our pack, but that’s a few years off, I have puppy 101 to review.

So the fuzzy wuzzy dog, formerly known as Astro (he comes to us from Texas) is now known as Lucca (my favourite place in the world where I had so many wonderful experiences). His nickname is Luke (as in Skywalker, to keep within the Harrison Ford flick theme!). Welcome to the family sweet boy!

If you are thinking about getting a new pet, please consider this:

1. research the breed thoroughly and be sure that the dog breed/mix that you choose works with YOUR lifestyle and activity level

2. adopt don’t shop, so many animals are euthanized simply because they had the misfortune to live in an area of the world where people selfishly don’t believe in spay and neutering

3. consider a senior dog if you don’t have the time for a puppy, seniors have so much love to give and the time you have with them will change you forever (plus there is no puppy training required!)

4. don’t ever, EVER buy from a non accredited breeder, a pet store or on Kijiji-like sites. These places are where the backyard breeders/puppy mills market their dogs. Until we stop paying them money for their dogs, they will go on creating living hell for too many dogs who will never know love, cleanliness, warmth and a full tummy.

Now, on to a couple of pics of my new baby 🙂

Lucca's gorgeous eyelashes

Lucca staring down the lens

Indy and Lucca: Game on

Indy is very proud to be Lucca's big brother

Lucca destroying toys a la Indy


Niagara Pet Photography: JRTRO rescue Lilly

Niagara Pet Photography: JRTRO rescue Lilly

Loveable Lilly!

Recently I drove to Toronto to meet Lilly and her Jack Russell Terrier Rescue Ontario (JRTRO) Foster family. You see, Lilly’s journey is nearly complete, she is ready for adoption.

When I finally managed to get Siri to cooperate and give me proper directions to Lilly’s Foster home (technology, ugh), I gathered up my gear and rang the door bell. I was greeted at the foot of the stairs by a wiggly ball of Jack Russell. Lilly was so excited to see me that she could hardly contain herself. I had such a nice time with Lilly, Brooke and Tim, they clearly adore her. I can see why Lilly is loving life now that she is in foster care! She is now a princess who is waited on hand and foot, lucky girl!

We had our session before it was actually nice enough to want to venture outside, so we all stayed indoors where it was warm and toasty, except for when I saw the fabulous brick wall that I simply had to incorporate into a shot. She worked her angles and was compensated in treats for her super modelling capabilities.

This little angel is a breathe of fresh air. She’s so eager to please and absolutely adores people. She was pretty stoked to discover that my camera bag was full of treats too. Now, she may look like she could stand to lose an lb or two, but she had been pregnant not long before coming into rescue, so some of it will fall off with time. Plus, Tim and Brooke have her on a wee diet and take her for plenty of walks, which she can’t get enough of, she’s a curious little monkey. 

Lilly is only 2-years-old and truly has personality plus, those gorgeous big brown eyes can twist you around her little paw. She’s so charming and has a wonderfully sweet disposition. All I can say is, whoever adopts her will have a very happy companion and will be incredibly lucky to have her in their lives. 

Please check out her petfinder listing for more information or to apply to adopt Lilly; share her with your friends too! Do you think Lilly could be your forever girl?   Lilly was adopted on April 21st! Hooray for Lilly!


Lilly the JRTRO rescue on a colorful carpet and looking up

Lilly close up by Niagara Pet photographer Karen Black

Lilly is alert by Niagara Pet photographer Karen Black

Lilly the JRTRO rescue licking her chops by Niagara Pet photographer Karen Black

Lilly chewing a bone by Niagara Pet photographer Karen Black

Lilly the JRTRO rescue walking by Niagara Pet photographer Karen Black

Lilly the JRTRO rescue by Niagara Pet photographer Karen Black

Lilly looking inquisitive by Niagara Pet photographer Karen Black

Lilly looks like the RCA dog by Niagara Pet photographer Karen Black



If you are interested in Booking a photo session for your pet, Spring is a wonderful and busy time! Please email me for more information or call 905.932.1042, and get your Indigo Experience lined up soon!

The Hundred Acre Wood

The Hundred Acre Wood

As a volunteer for Jack Russell Terrier Rescue Ontario (JRTRO) one of my favourite things to do is to photograph dogs in Foster care for their Pet Finder bios and for social media. I love to meet each and every rescue dog, many of whom are experiencing love and care like they’ve never known before. Their stories range from the sadly mundane to the tragic, mostly their history is unknown.

I have had the pleasure of fostering two Jacks with JRTRO. It can be challenging! It takes lots of time and patience, sometimes you need nerves of steel, mostly you need to be willing to love them unconditionally. At the end of the day…it is incredibly rewarding. It’s also really tough to let go, even when you know the perfect match has been found for them! I surprised everyone who knew me when I didn’t keep my first adorable foster, and even more when I was able to let the second go. I really enjoy being the bridge between their sad pasts and their wonderful futures. Like I say, I’ve managed to do this only twice so far.

Recently I drove to Angus, Ontario to photograph a little miss who was looking for her forever home. I was a little excited and nervous, because I was going to be meeting the JRTRO’s most prolific foster parents, Julie Ann and Alan Sawden. This couple have extraordinarily big hearts. In fact, in just a few short years they have fostered thirty three (yes, you read correctly, 33) Jacks for JRTRO. And that is in addition to managing their own pack with ever fluctuating numbers!

As I drove down the street looking for street numbers I knew I had reached my destination when I saw a Jack Russell Terrier sign on the side of the house. Jack marks the spot! Since I was there to photograph Katie for the rescue, I thought I would ask Julie Ann and Alan if they minded if I also took a few extra  minutes to also photograph the five permanent residents of The Hundred Acre Wood (the Sawden’s nickname for their home). Lucky for me they were up for it, so after I photographed Katie, I took on the pack before heading to Toronto for my next shoot!

Kaleb James and Thomas Jacob were less enamoured with the idea than the others, but I did manage to capture all of these dogs who welcome, teach, coax and cuddle with each new foster. They too are a hugely important part of the bridge from the past to the future – which is bright for any little soul that ventures into The Hundred Acre Wood. Here are their stories as told to me by Julie Ann:

“Lucy Lou had been in seven homes before us, as she had separation anxiety that was mistaken for aggression. JRTRO spoke for her and we fostered and fell in love with her. Working with her we found out it was a fear driven behaviour with her and constant positive reinforcement worked with her.  Mel who rescued her from a horrible home was told Lucy would never be able to live with another dog. Having two of her own already, she entrusted JRTRO to find Lucy a home where she would be safe and loved.”

Lucy Lou, the happy JRT rescue photographed by Niagara Pet photographer, Karen Black a sweet and calm Lucy Lou, don't be fooled!

Michael Henri  had been fostered by the Sawden’s but there were issues between he and the dog in his adoptive home. “He came back to be fostered but he bonded so quickly with Lucy, it didn’t seem fair to let him go! His previous adoptive mom had been very upset that the adoption hadn’t worked out, but she got to remain his mommy and she has regular visits with him.”

 a rescued JRT sitting proudly for his portrait Michael Henri with his perky JRT ears

“Kalab James was a rescue from the pound, he was surrendered when he was just 6 months old. Ironically he had just lived down the street from us – and we didn’t know this when we adopted him!”

Caleb James the rough coat rescued JRT

“Thomas Jacob was from JRTRO. He came up from the States, he had been living on the streets and he had a heart murmur – they were going to euthanize him because of it and JRTRO saved his life. He lives a perfectly normal life,  only has to take a pill for his blood pressure and one to keep the fluid from building up. He is healthy and has no restrictions and will live a long normal life.”

Sweet Jack Russell Thomas Jacob nestled in his dad's arms

and last but definitely not least… “Matthew Benjamin is the last of our original Jacks, he turned 17 on March 23rd  we met him when he was six days old.”

Matthew Benjamin the 17 year old JRT 17 year old Matthew Benjamin yawning for the camera 

 Katie was lucky! She found her forever family just 2 days after our photo session. After being mistreated for her entire life, Katie learned to trust humans and how to play at the Hundred Acre Wood thanks to Julie Ann, Alan and their pack. Now she is now enjoying the good life with her own family!

Inquisitive Katie the JRT looks right into the camera

Interested in booking a photo session for your 4-legged pals? Please email Karen or call 905.932.1042. Let’s make some beautiful memories together!