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?

web size020
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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Bullish on Flower Dogs

Leah, of  Weddings and Blooms, in PA did the beautiful flowers for this wedding.  This cute French Bulldog, in her flowered collar, brought the ring pillow down the aisle and then posed for her cameo photos by Revelation Photography, also in PA.

From Leah McMaster of Weddings and Blooms, Mechanicsburg, PA:

“Weddings have always fascinated and delighted me.  It is such a special day in the lives of  a couple and their families.  So much preparation goes into making the day beautiful, unique, and fun!  Flowers are a very important part of a wedding.  They add beauty, interest, and a pop of color to the overall design of the event.  I have so much fun customizing flowers to compliment the personalities of the couples that I work with.  I am very privileged to have the opportunity to touch so many special weddings with my work.  It is truly an honor.”

From Cindy Strupp of Revelation Photography, Carlisle, PA:

“I started my love for photography through a high school photography class. I have been photographing sittings and events in Carlisle PA and   surrounding areas for over 20 years. Whether a portrait sitting, wedding, or event, I am dedicated to making your photography experience fun and memorable. I  donate a portion of all pet portrait sittings to Furry Friends network pet adoption.”

From It’s a Bride’s Life, “Puppy Love”…..

Puppy Love

Posted on November 8, 2012 by  Miss Elegant Bride   //   Comment

Whoever thought up the phrase “man’s best friend” really meant to say “bride’s best friend” since more than ever, couples are incorporating their puppies into their big day!  I mean, if you think about it…who better to be by your side, than the one who normally – is – by your side?  I am in love with these adorable photos of brides with their furry friends!

Photo Credit: LUCKY PICTURES PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: AMB PHOTOGRAPHY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: JOE MIKOS PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

Photo Credit: REBEKAH J. MURRAY PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: ZOOM THEORY PHOTOGRAPHY

Here Comes the Dog!

From the NJ Times Today!
Aaron P. Bernstein for The New York Times (photo)

INDIANAPOLIS, OCT. 20 The couple under the huppa at Oldfields-Lilly House and Gardens, with their bulldog.

 

By 
  • ARTISTS are visual by nature, but Tom Sachs, the artist known for his cheeky takes on consumer culture, first fell for Sarah Sanders Hoover without even seeing her.

Weather or Not

Us kids and dogs on the east coast have some wild weather coming up, and as scary as it can be for us, it can be even more scary for your dog.  There is a simple, comfortable solution that takes the terror out of thunder, lightening, fireworks, hundreds of cheering wedding ceremony guests, and other scary noisy things; it’s called the Thundershirt.  It’s a cozy little coat that acts like a big hug, with constant gentle pressure that has been proven to reduce anxiety in over 80% of the dogs who’ve worn it. (They also make a version for cats.)  It comes in several different colors (including a heather gray that goes with just about any color of dogl….) and it can be embroidered with your dog’s name.  At 39.99, (with free shipping!)  it’s a simple, inexpensive solution for all those scary times that send Sophie under the bed, shaking and unhappy.    And, as an extra bonus, they’ve partnered with Petfinder to make Thundershirts available to thousands of pets in shelters across the country.  It’s all good! Image

Paws for a Cause

Almost every bride (and lots of grooms) I know wants to get in shape for their wedding day, and Pure Barre, a fantastic, low impact exercise program has helped millions of them.  We love them for that, but, as if that wasn’t cool enough, they’ve also put out this amazing book full of fantastic photos.  All the dogs are the fuzzy kids of Pure Barre members, and the proceeds will go to the Dumb Friends League, a non profit that helps animals in the Rocky Mountain region.  What’s not to love?   (Oh, and if you can’t find a Pure Barre near you, you can get their amazing, butt changing DVD’s and podcasts right here!

Dressed to Thrill (your wedding dog, that is!)

Your dress was probably a joyous and welcome discovery at the end of a long search; finding the perfect outfit for your favorite furry flower girl will probably be a little easier (and hopefully, a little less expensive!) Our friend and colleague Carolyn Shepard, from Carolyn Shepard Design Group snapped this photo of this beauty at a recent wedding she designed.

You might love this look, but many dogs go down the aisle ‘au natural’, with nothing but a leash to match the bridal colors and big flower on their collar. Image

Here Comes the Ring (Zack, the Ring Dog)

Jane’s dog!

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

If your dog is going to be part of the wedding party, they should match the rest of your attendants!  We  can help by designing florals for your dogs; boutonnieres, flower decked collars, even ring pillows so they can bring those rings down the aisle.
 Tell us about your business.
FlowersFlowers is a quaint European style flower shop in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb just north of Chicago, and we always have flowers available to buy by the stem or to have us arrange into a bouquet or arrangement. We focus on high quality unique flowers that you won’t find ‘just anywhere’ and we provide the best in individual customer service. In addition to every day occasions, FlowersFlowers designs wedding flowers, from small and simple to luxurious and elaborate. With over 25 years of experience, our customers can trust that we will make their weddings beautifully memorable.
How do you accommodate dogs and their owners?
At my shop, all pets (and children!) are welcome as long as they’re well behaved. 🙂  Not all shops allow dogs, but I do….we have a shop filled with good smells. And, one of the big hotels here, a Hilton, is dog friendly – how great is that?
 Do you have a great dog/wedding story?
Loved working with the owners of a dog kennel who own six Australian shepards of their own!  One of their dogs, SO well behaved, was the ring bearer. He wore a tuxedo, and I attached a ‘corsage’ with ribbon to the tuxedo, at his neck, and then I also helped the owner attach the wedding rings as well. He waited behind the scenes until the rings were needed during the ceremony and then Zack called to him, and he went bounding down the aisle to Jane and Zack, and Zack took the rings from him. He is part of their family, and he was part of the wedding party. 🙂
Tell us about YOUR dogs!
I grew up with a great mutt who we named Tiffany so she would have a pretty name. 🙂  She was a real mix of a dog, and the sweetest most friendly dog to have growing up. I currently have two cats, Humphrey and Lauren, brother and sister, 11 years old. They meet me at the door when I come home; they actually think they’d dogs.

We all do!

 

Joanne Leiman
FlowersFlowers
1110 Davis Street
Evanston, il 60201
847.328.7110
Www.flowers-flowers.com

Can Bulldogs fly? Well, if they could The Pooky Professor will get them their Wings!

1. My fiance and I can’t wait to have our wedding and include Sparky and Rocco.  How can you help  us?
I have unique wedding services for Dogs. I am a dog trainer in northern New Jersey, and I teach dogs whatever it takes to have them be included in weddings. I train your dogs to walk nicely (on or off leash ) down the aisle.  I will transport your best friend to and from the wedding, as well as provide pet sitting services after the ceremony. I can help you design outfits and/or costumes for Sparky for the wedding, and I can also help the photographer get that perfect shot, and much, much more!! 
 
The Pooky Professor 
Dog & Puppy Training Services
Lynne M. Petermann
163 E. Main St. Suite 109
Little Falls, NJ 07424
(973) 444-5880
Visit our Website
Follow us on Facebook

Who Brought the Dog?

Image

We love the dogs who are our wedding guests!

You did! Maybe! The first question is CAN you bring the dog?   If you’re having your wedding at home or at a park that welcomes pets, you’re all set.  If you’re at a restaurant or a hotel, you’ll want to check.  We know that the chic W Hotels are, offering all kinds of treats for your furry friends. The funky, unique Kimpton Hotels are too, welcoming pets of all sizes and breeds.  (And if you don’t have one? They’ll lend you a goldfish to keep you company.)

In the weeks to come, we’ll profile some of our favorite venues and pros that will make your pet feel like the special guest they are.

Sophie at the W Hotel

Sophie at the W Hotel

Sophie, my personal dog, relaxing at the W hotel after a great wedding reception

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Here Comes the Bride (and her dog!)

Dierdre, from www.Deevabeauty.com, make up artist and dog lover, sent me this beautiful photo, taken by Abella. Everyone looks PAWS-ATIVELY gorgeous!

We all do!

With This Ring Weddings

Rev Carleen Burns from With This Ring creates interesting, personal weddings in Michigan and parts of Indiana.  Her joyful, compassionate approach to her work clearly sets her apart, and I’m happy to count her among my colleagues.

Image1. My fiance and I can’t wait to have our wedding and include Sparky and Rocco.  How can you help  us?  
I can give you several ways to include your pet in the fun and encourage this. They are truly a part of your family and their presence need not be hindered. From being a flower dog or ring bearer to mentioning them in the ceremony, you want to know that the professionals you booked are going to treat your pet(s) as good as their own.

2. Tell us about your business. 
We are Michigan officiants based in Kalamazoo, providing service to all of SW MI and parts of NW IN. We strive to make your ceremony so much more than “that boring part you have to endure before the party”. As such, a large percentage of our business comes through professional and past client referrals. We average close to 100 weddings a year, and I have taken on an associate.

When not uniting happy couples in wedded bliss, I occasionally sub and volunteer at our schools, enjoy crafting and writing and am a bleacher cheerleader for my sons. I love what I do! I truly feel honored when a couple chooses me for such an intimate day of their lives, and take that trust very seriously. I strive to make the ceremony something they don’t have to stress about and will remember fondly. 
 
I try to run my business by this motto: To live as Christ is not to demand it of others, but to find it in myself, so that others may see.

3. How do you accommodate dogs and their owners?
I offer suggestions for ways to incorporate the pets into the wedding party or ceremony. I try to anticipate any hurdles we may have for including them and they can be assured that I will treat their furry baby as a real member of their family.

4. Do you have a great dog/wedding story?
I don’t have a story that stands out, but for the weddings I have performed with pets included in the wedding party, the dogs have been better behaved than many children in those roles! It always brings an “Awe” and laughter when we mention their furry babies in the ceremony, as well.

5. Tell us about YOUR dogs!
Our current furry child is 4 year old, Duke who has been with us for 3 years now. He is a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, whom we refer to as “the sweetest dog in all the land.”Image

With This Ring Weddings

Rev Carleen Burns from With This Ring creates interesting, personal weddings in Michigan and parts of Indianna.  Her joyful, compassionate approach to her work clearly sets her apart, and I’m happy to count her among my colleagues.

Image1. My fiance and I can’t wait to have our wedding and include Sparky and Rocco.  How can you help  us?  
I can give you several ways to include your pet in the fun and encourage this. They are truly a part of your family and their presence need not be hindered. From being a flower dog or ring bearer to mentioning them in the ceremony, you want to know that the professionals you booked are going to treat your pet(s) as good as their own.

2. Tell us about your business. 
We are Michigan officiants based in Kalamazoo, providing service to all of SW MI and parts of NW IN. We strive to make your ceremony so much more than “that boring part you have to endure before the party”. As such, a large percentage of our business comes through professional and past client referrals. We average close to 100 weddings a year, and I have taken on an associate.

When not uniting happy couples in wedded bliss, I occasionally sub and volunteer at our schools, enjoy crafting and writing and am a bleacher cheerleader for my sons. I love what I do! I truly feel honored when a couple chooses me for such an intimate day of their lives, and take that trust very seriously. I strive to make the ceremony something they don’t have to stress about and will remember fondly. 
 
I try to run my business by this motto: To live as Christ is not to demand it of others, but to find it in myself, so that others may see.

3. How do you accommodate dogs and their owners?
I offer suggestions for ways to incorporate the pets into the wedding party or ceremony. I try to anticipate any hurdles we may have for including them and they can be assured that I will treat their furry baby as a real member of their family.

4. Do you have a great dog/wedding story?
I don’t have a story that stands out, but for the weddings I have performed with pets included in the wedding party, the dogs have been better behaved than many children in those roles! It always brings an “Awe” and laughter when we mention their furry babies in the ceremony, as well.

5. Tell us about YOUR dogs!
Our current furry child is 4 year old, Duke who has been with us for 3 years now. He is a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, whom we refer to as “the sweetest dog in all the land.”Image
 

Stacey, Andrew, Torque and Tink

Stacey, Andrew, Torque and Tink

Image

Rev Carleen Burns

Link

“Man’s Best Friends” – Gorgeous ‘Dog in Wedding’ Pictures from Elizabeth Anne Designs

Reposted from Elizabeth Anne Designs

Man’s Best Friend

I recently crossed over from bride to wife and have how caught the wedding bug! I love to gather new or fun ideas in hopes of inspiring future brides. My husband and I have a home in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania where we live with our dog, Nala.

I hope you’re ready for another post of cuteness overload! We’re loving doggies this week, and helping Chicago rescue One Tail at a Time win $25,000. So we thought we would throw in some puppy wedding inspiration with bow ties, ribbons, floral collars, and even capes to make your pooches camera-ready for some fantastic wedding photos!

pug-bowtie-wedding
{bow tie pug photo by Dottie Photography via Love and Lavender}

king-charles-cavalier-spaniel-wedding
{Benfield Photography via Style Me Pretty}

wedding-puppies
{We Heart Photography via Style Me Pretty; Sharyn Peavy via Style Me Pretty}

clumber-spaniel-wedding
{Rae Leytham via Style Me Pretty}

great-pyrenees-wedding
{Hillary Maybery via Style Me Pretty}

chihuahua-wedding
{Amanda Thiessen Photography via Style Me Pretty}

beagle-wedding
{Altura Studio via Style Me Pretty}

wedding-dogs
{Michael Norwood Photography via Style Me Pretty; Thayer Photo via Merriment Events}

wedding-bowtie-puppy
{EE Photography and Amanda Marie Portraits via Style Me Pretty}

More Great Dog in Wedding Pictures from Elizabeth Anne Designs …

National Puppy Day

Posted 03/23/2011 by Christen in good things, photography \ 21 comments

I recently crossed over from bride to wife and have how caught the wedding bug! I love to gather new or fun ideas in hopes of inspiring future brides. My husband and I have a home in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania where we live with our dog, Nala (see picture at end of post)

Hi everyone!  It’s Christen here, back with some puppy inspiration for your wedding.  According to my pet insurance newsletter, today is National Puppy Day! What better way to celebrate it than with some photos of man’s best friend celebrating his people’s big day right along with them?

Groomspuppy-Wedding-Dog
{Groomspuppy photo by Amelia Lyon via La Belle Bride}

Wedding-Dachshund
{Dachshunds photo by John Solana Photography via Style Me Pretty}

Great-Dane-Wedding
{Great Dane photo by Davina Plus Daniel via Style Me Pretty}

em-blog027

em-blog030
{Vizsla photos by Erin Hearts Court}

Bulldog-Flowergirl

Bulldog-Bridal
{French Bulldog Bridal Party photos by Simply Bloom via La Belle Bride}

3-08-09+Joe+Mikos-1
{Bulldog bride and groom photo by Joe Mikos Photographers via Snippet & Ink}

Wedding-Puppy
{Puppy photos by Jen Curtis Photography via The Wedding Chicks}

Boston-Terrier-Wedding
{Boston Terrier photo by Jenny Ebert Photography via Mr Boddington}

Pretty puppy collars! These flowers are enough to make any bride jealous.

Wedding-Puppy-Flower-Collar-copy
{Flowerdog photo by Celeste Duran via The Wedding Chicks; Puppy ring bearer photo by Jenna Walker via Elizabeth Anne Designs}

Wedding-Flower-Dog-Collars
{Lab photo by Cedar House Photography via Style Me Pretty; Rhodesian photo by Steven Steinhardt via Style Me Pretty}

charlieaisle1
{Charlie! photo by Jessica Claire from Ami’s Vow Renewal}

And one more…always nice to come home and cuddle up with loved ones after a long day! Me and Nala after our wedding.

Christen-and-Nala
{Photo by my sister}

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.

An Interview with Celia

Vow-wow-wow is very pleased to present one of our own, our Co-Founder and President, Celia Milton, in a very engaging interview reposted from Sage Wedding Pros …. 

Insider to Insider: Celia Milton, Wedding Officiant

Friday, July 16, 2010
*

What do I like best about Celia Milton?  She is REALLY funny.  And, given
that she is a wedding officiant, I think that is the best trait.  I can only
imagine how comedic, warm and personable her wedding ceremonies must be!  So
much emphasis is put on the wedding reception in our industry.  But, I am still
a firm believer that the ceremony is the most important part.  This is where the
magic happens: a couple makes the simple promise to love each other forever.
And, how lucky to be able to guide a couple through this pivotal point in their
lives!  Celia, you really do have the best job in the world!

Celia Milton
North Haledon, NJ

www.celiamilton.com

Established 2005

Why did you start your business?

I owned an upscale, catering company for almost 18 years (OUCH! THAT HURT!) , and as much as I loved it, I began to doubt my ongoing enthusiasm for digging guacamole out of the delivery van’s dashboard for the rest of my professional life. I needed to figure out what to do next. Having been a business owner and entrepreneur for that long, I was completely unemployable as an underling of any type.

So, I went to seminary in NYC, graduated with my Masters’, but soon realized that I wasn’t really cut out to be a parish minister with an unruly ’flock’, never ending administrative tasks and the politics inherent in any corporate situation.

I took a long hard look at my limited array of saleable skills; I love to write; I love to talk, I love to make people laugh in situations that are not typically thought of as funny. What else would I do except become a wedding officiant? It’s the perfect job, and I get to wear black, which is very slimming.

All kidding aside, I felt that ‘non-traditional” couples (gay and lesbian couples, couples with mixed religious traditions or no spiritual traditions) had no one to turn to for ceremonies that were important, joyous, and welcoming. The public declaration of a union is always a significant cultural, social and often political act, and should be treated with great care and creativity. Every
wedding should be a gift from the couple to each other, but also to their larger community. And I get to wear black, which is very slimming….I believe I mentioned that.

What book (business or soul-searching) do you recommend to new business owners? Why?

Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside, both by Seth Godin, who is a marketing genius. (Actually, anything by Seth.) He suggests audacity, authenticity and uniqueness as the biggest factors for business success. To paraphrase his philosophy ; don’t offer something for everyone; offer the ultimate “everything” to someone. Stand out. Be different. Be unique; your potential clients are
craving a singular experience that validates their style, taste, and personality. They will pay for that experience. We’re not all driving Kia’s are we? Nope…some of us are driving Jaguars.

I also love Raving Fans, by Ken Blanchard; same basic philosophy…..our potential clients are so used to getting mediocre service from lackluster vendors that it is almost embarrassingly easy to stand out. All it takes is a singular commitment to impeccable, startling, and sometimes wacky customer service.

The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris, which isn’t exactly what you might think, but a great read with some totally inspiring messages for anyone looking to become an entrepreneur. One of his exercises involves literally writing down every expense you have in a month. Add it up. Get rid of the stuff you really don’t need, (like 100.00 ,monthly cable bill to watch
reruns of Gilligan’s Island and Die Hard II). When you really see what it costs you to live, (which is less than you think, in most cases…) your entrepreneurial dreams won’t seem so impossible to fulfill.

Soul searching? Hmmm……Frankly, I think we are compelled to search our souls by inspirations we might never expect, though Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird, Traveling Mercies, Plan B, Grace Eventually ) is a pretty reliable source of inspiration, both spiritually and for the craft of writing.

Do you have any cool goal-setting tips to share with us?

You know, I’m really not a fastidious goal setter; I think that sometimes, being too focused on what number, how many dollars, what measurable progress we’ve made can stifle our openness to the next big surprise the universe has in
store for us. This is not to say that we should set the bar comfortably low for ourselves; “To Do” lists that include “Get Up” , “Take Shower”, “Feed Sparky”… those list probably won’t get us anywhere except fully dressed with a happy dog. But, at the risk of being very, very corny; life IS about the journey, not just the destination. And every interesting person, every successful professional I
know has walked a crooked path full of delightful detours.

Okay, a tip. Do something everyday. Do something that will get you closer to where you want to be, even if it’s a really little something. And do the ugliest something first, before you answer your email, go to the gym, any of the things
you do to procrastinate. Make the unpleasant phone call or the cold call; do the icky task. Call the people who you think will tell you ‘no’ ; then that anxiety is over….the worst that can happen, the saying of “no” has happened: you can move on to the person who will say ‘yes‘.

What do you find to be the biggest challenge as a business owner?

HA HA HA…. That would be actually “being a business owner”! Almost every single wedding pro I know got into the “wedding business” (an unfortunate and vaguely mercenary term), because they love doing makeup, they love baking
cupcakes, they love making balloon animals, whatever. The problem is that someone has to be the adult and send out the invoices, return the calls, pay the phone bill, or we don’t have the opportunity to do what we love. My solution to that is to make all the ‘business’ stuff as fun as possible, from the little stuff , (like colored staples and confetti printed email stationery) to the big
stuff. (My contract is the funniest contract that my couples will sign in the process of planning their wedding. The details are highly confidential, but I do have a “Dunk Tank” clause. It’s a wedding, not a memorial service. It should be fun all along the way.)

If you were starting your business all over again, what would you have done differently?

Not a thing, honestly. I think we’d all like to have more capitol and more clients from day one, but running lean is a good thing. It teaches us what we really need; it makes us depend on our creativity, and it keeps us from getting lazy.

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.
 
 

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