Capturing the “Creative Light” of Your Special Moments …

124cdcf9a2e84742f4a285e9df4a750a1326396057My fiance and I can’t wait to have our wedding and include Sparky and Rocco.  How can you help  us?
Dogs are part of your family so why would they not be there? As your photographer we make sure to get photos of your loving four legged friend going down the aisle. We also have an uncanny ability to get even the most fidgety dog’s slobbery mug on camera. And if your dog needs a little extra attention to ease those spotlight anxieties both my assistant and I are more than willing to cater to Fido’s every need. Marchese199
 
Tell us about your business.
My business is Creative Light Studio, a photography company with an eye for the photo journalistic. We capture your day as it happens, not what we want it to be. Some of our favorite moments are completely unscripted. We have been in business since 2011 and specialize in weddings. We would love to be there for your big day!
 
Do you have a great dog/wedding story?

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I photographed a friend’s wedding in Virginia a few years ago. On my way there from Cincinnati, OH I had agreed to take a puppy transport run to her foster home in Maryland. She managed to wriggle her way away from me and play a crazy game of hide and seek in Pittsburgh (about gave me a heart attack!). After dropping off the foster to her new home I headed on my way to the wedding. The day was gorgeous – an outdoor ceremony with perfect weather. The bride chose her two nephews to walk their labs down the aisle. It seemed like an awesome plan except that one of the nephews was only 12 and the dogs each weighed close to 100 lbs. Wilco and Gibson performed flawlessly (thanks in part to some delicious treats)… until it came time to leave. Gibson decided the treats were way better than walking the other direction so he refused to move, eyes firmly planted on the treats. I have a photo of the 12 year old trying as hard as he can to budge Gibson but he was going no where. One of the members of the bridal party had to step in to get him to move. It was something everyone got a chuckle out of.Marchese290
 
Tell us about YOUR dogs!
Where do I begin?! We adopted our two loveable lugs two months apart from each other (to the day!). Both are 4 year old German Shorthaired Pointers named Zora and Porter. Zora is the smart hunter – she hunts everything from birds to spiders. Once she gets a hold of a scent she will not let it go. We also firmly believe that she believes human hands were made IMG_3875solely to pet her. You could pet her for an hour but once you stop she will shove her snout under your arm to make you aware that you happened to stop. Porter on the other hand is our less needy dog. He sighs and groans like an old man and is the best snuggle buddy you could ever ask for. We technically adopted him from a Labrador rescue because someone turned him into the lab rescue thinking he was a lab. They told us that when they found him he was probably about a week from dying. He had been chained up in a yard and left without food and water. As a result he has some scarring from the chain on his legs and he gets a little anxious when we aren’t around. Zora and Porter were made for each other – they are always falling asleep on one another and sharing everything. They are truly the perfect pair.
Marchese205
Jenn Dwyer
Photographer
(513) 265-6001
www.thecreativelightstudio.com
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Yappily Ever After !!

 

Originally posted in Women’s Voices for Change 

Yappily Ever After

 

Photo: Morgan Yang

Photo: Morgan Yang

  By     July 16, 2011

How do you feel about dogs being part of a wedding ceremony?  If you’re a dog person,  you’re probably thinking, “Great idea!” If you aren’t, it’s apparently like suggesting that aardvarks or squirrels be included in the wedding party. A likely response is, “Why on earth would anyone want to do that?“ From personal experience, I can tell you why.

 My son and his beloved are crazy about Jack, their Bichon Frise,so when they told me they were engaged, I joked, “I can’t wait to see Jack in a tux!” Little did I know that the kids wouldn’t dream of getting married without including not only Jack, but Jack’s “Uncle” Max, the Bichon belonging to the bride’s parents. Both dogs, wearing tuxes, would be part of the ceremony. Max, the older and better behaved of the two, would be the ring bearer. Jack would be the “flower dog.”

Photo: Morgan Yang

 When my son told me that Jack and Max would be members of the wedding party, I thought it quirky but adorable something that would make the ceremony uniquely theirs. My ex, who was footing the bill for the otherwise traditional shindig (and who is not a dog person), was less enthusiastic at first, but soon came around. He loves the kids enough to want to give them exactly the wedding they wanted. 

Telling folks that your son’s wedding will include four-legged participants is a litmus test for discovering how they feel about companion animals. People who see their own pets as “family” were charmed and delighted. “Wonderful!“ they enthused. “Tell me all about it.“  But people who don’t much care for dogs were repulsed. “That‘s  weird,” was not an unusual response.  I was also told that including Jack and Max was “offensive,” “disrespectful” and “ridiculous.”  

 When I told one friend that the kids were not only planning on a canine-inclusive ceremony but also planned to have a dog-themed wedding cake, she joked, “Better put plenty of nuts on it!“ As far as she was concerned, including the dogs at all, let alone putting them on the cake, was just a nutty an idea. Luckily, we’re not that close so she wasn’t invited. I hoped the nobody who WAS invited would be dismayed or repulsed by the sight of two beloved dogs in formal attire trotting down the aisle.

But what if they were? Tom and Amy love those dogs and it’s their wedding. The ceremony should reflect who they are as a couple (dog lovers!) and what matters to them (Living happily ever after — with Bichons!) and not be about the comfort level of my friends. 

Sure, a canine-inclusive ceremony used to be unheard of, but things are changing. Google “dogs in weddings” and you’ll find dozens of photos. Bulldogs in tuxes. Poodles in veils. Labradoodles wearing garlands of flowers. A beaming bride carrying an impeccably groomed Yorkie down the aisle in a small white basket.

Photo: Morgan Yang

The way I saw it, meeting the challenge of pulling off a wedding that included Jack and Max would bode well for Tom and Amy’s ability to meet the many challenges of married life. A wedding ceremony that ran smoothly despite the presence of two lively dogs would be a small miracle. But so is any loving, enduring marriage. And what mother doesn’t want that for her kids?

 “Are the dogs well-behaved?” one dog-savvy friend asked me.

 “One of them is,” I told her. Max, the older dog, is a perfect gentleman. Jack, the younger dog, is more mischievous. She laughed. “Well, it should be memorable.” 

And so it was.

Unique, memorable and joyful.

As mother of the groom and “grandmother” of the flower dog, I had the time of my life.

Thundershirts – an interesting way to help calm dog anxiety, reactions to loud noises…

Thundershirt: a tool to help calm dog anxiety and phobias

Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM 

By Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM
Veterinary Medicine Guide

The Bottom Line

The idea seems almost too simple to work; that a constant gentle pressure “hug” could calm an anxious pet’s nervous system. Based in part by the work of Temple Grandin, the Thundershirt serves this purpose for pets who are afraid of loud noises and other anxiety-based behaviors. It is an easy, relatively low-cost, and drug-free product to try out on pets who suffer from loud noises. My own dog slept through fireworks wearing it, so I will definitely continue to use the Thundershirt as needed for anxious times.
 
 

Pros

  • Drug-free help for anxious and stressed dogs.
  • The Thundershirt is well constructed – good fit and adjustability for size.
  • 100% money back guarantee.
  • This company “gives back” to help other dogs in need.
  • Great training and before-and-after videos on their site.

Cons

  • Velcro closures collect a lot of hair, but are necessary for snug fit.
  • Might be warm on a hot day, but could be soaked in water to keep dog cool.

 

Description

  • A snug-fitting garment used to calm dogs who are anxious about loud noises, visitors, car rides, and more.
  • An easy, drug-free way to help reduce stress and anxiety in your dog.
  • The Thundershirt web site has many helpful training and before-and-after videos about using this product.

 

 

Guide Review – Thundershirt: a tool to help calm dog anxiety and phobias

This product is based in part on the work by Temple Grandin, noted author, Doctor of Animal Science, and professor at Colorado State University. The thought is that gentle pressure provided by this shirt calms the nervous system. Does it work? I tried it on my own dog Sophie, who suffers from loud noise phobias.
 
We adopted Sophie as a 6 month old dog from the shelter. Sophie is now 8 years old. Noise phobias – fear of thunder, fireworks, gun shots – have been something we have dealt with from the start, intensifying as she has gotten older.
 
Last year, I was ready for the 4th of July. We tried out the DAP collar, and had amazing results. My previously noise-phobic dog was now sleeping through thunderstorms after wearing one collar for 30 days. It was so effective that I was unable to fully evaluate the Thundershirt, but did create a photo gallery of Sophie wearing the Thundershirt.
 
In fact, the DAP collar worked so well over the ensuing months that I became complacent. We headed into this year’s fireworks season unprepared. The fireworks seemed even crazier this year. I did not have a DAP collar. Sophie became upset, pacing, panting, whining, wanting to hide in the closet. I forgot I had the Thundershirt and made a makeshift one. I think it helped.
 
Then, on the next night, I remembered the Thundershirt and put it on Sophie. It fits perfectly in all the right places. It is well-constructed and snug without being too tight to cause discomfort. She laid down right away. That was a great first step. Then it was time for bed, fireworks still going on (ugh). I left the Thundershirt on Sophie. She fell asleep, which meant I could, too. The real test was at 5am. We awoke to a continual bam-bam-bam. More fireworks. I wasn’t sure at first though, because there was Sophie, sound asleep. This is not typical for her. In a situation like this, she would be nudging me awake, whining and pacing. She was slumbering away. Whew.
 
This is an encouraging test of the Thundershirt that I was unable to do last year, and I would recommend this product to those pets who suffer from loud noise phobias and other anxiety-based problems, either alone (mild cases) or in conjunction with other therapies.
 
Click for:      Thundershirt web site
 
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
 
 

Mojo and Jocomo leading the Pack, witnesses to Beautiful Dogs being included in Beautiful Weddings!

Vow-wow-wow is very pleased to introduce the newest addition to our roster of amazing Wedding Pro’s. Lois Heckman is a Celebrant, based in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennslyvania, and we very pleased to have her with us!  

 From Lois’s website:  

Becoming a celebrant has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I honor all philosophies, beliefs and traditions – secular, spiritual, religious and interfaith. I will create a wonderful and unique ceremony that respects and reflects your values, your style, and your life.”

 

1. My fiance and I can’t wait to have our wedding and include Sparky and Rocco. How can you help us? 

I will work with you to find the perfect fit for your pups! The most popular idea is having the dogs as ring bearers and/or flower-dogs, and I’ve done this successfully many times. But we might come up with other ideas based on your interests, ideas and personalities. Perhaps you’d like to give them a treat during the ceremony to show your marriage will not diminish your support and love of them, but only increase it! Maybe they have a trick that could be featured. The possibilities are endless! Let’s talk.

2. Tell us about your business. 

I have been a very active celebrant, and a graduate of the Celebrant Foundation, since 2005, and have officiated hundreds of unique weddings for today’s diverse couples here in the Pocono Mountains of PA. In 2010 my husband built me a gorgeous ceremony site on our large property in Saylorsburg, PA that we call Harmony Gardens. Since we love dogs there was never any doubt – it would of course be a dog-friendly wedding site.

3. How do you accommodate dogs and their owners?

You’re welcome to bring your dogs for your ceremony whether they are involved or not in the actual ceremony. We don’t offer any special accommodations, but our property is set back from any roads and is quite safe. Our own dogs are dog friendly, too!

4. Do you have a great dog/wedding story?

I loved the interracial couple who had one black and one white dog, had them dressed in contrasting tuxedos for their ceremony, and featured them so beautifully. They played up the black and white theme with love and good humor!  It was fun and a great photo op!

5. Tell us about YOUR dogs!

We have two English Springer Spaniels, Mojo and Jocomo. Mojo is an active guy, he’s so smart and tuned into everything. Jocomo would rather lay in a bed all day, he’s just a big old love dog. They are not only our best friends, but best friends to one another.

Great Picture of Mojo & Jocomo!!

Lois Heckman Celebrant

Saylorsburg, PA

in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains – 1 ½ hours from New York City and 1 ½ hours from Philadelphia, 45 minutes from Allentown and Scranton

www.LoisHeckman.com

blog: http://blogs.thepoconos.com/weddings/

570-992-5316

email:  ceremony@ptd.net

 

P.S. Lois and her husband have created a beautiful, intimate outdoor ceremony site, Harmony Gardens, at their home. Check it out, this could be just perfect for you!  Read about this here:

http://www.loisheckman.com/harmony-gardens

http://www.loisheckman.com/the-story-of-harmony-gardens

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