Tuesday, August 18, 2009


HOPE....I believe, is one of the most powerful words in the English language. It means different things to different people but it is something that we cannot live without.

Hope is indispensable for survival and this is especially true when people are confronted by misfortunes, uncertainties, and bitter disparities in life.

Hope is faith holding out its hands in the dark.

I am reminded of this because this past week our Splash Dog family got some wonderful news--one of our sweet precious dogs, Ms. Talla Dega, got a clean bill of health that she is Cancer Free!!

For those of you who don't know her story, "Dega", a happy beautiful yellow lab, was diagnosed with cancer over a year ago and ended up losing her right front leg at the shoulder. She and her "mom", Gianna Telegan, are dearly loved in the Splash Dog family and we were all heart-broken over her loss. But it didn't phase Dega in the slightest. She went through the surgery and recovery to come back as strong as ever. When she appeared at the San Mateo Splash Dog event earlier this year, for her grand comeback, you could see all the excitement and happiness she has always had, and when she jumped there wasn't a dry eye to be found at that event!! It was such a wonderful moment!!

This past year or so has been a tough one for the Splash Dog family. We have lost a number of our favorite teammates for various reasons. I think of Chief, Snapple, Gabe, Sassy Girl and Einstein, just to name a few. Many have had to retire such as Sadie and Cisco. We love them all.

But Ms. Dega has done something wonderful for us---more than merely return to jump again. She has brought us happiness and renewed our Hope in the face of "misfortunes, uncertainties, and bitter disparities in life". Her spirit of excitement, infectious energy and warm smile (yes, dogs smile!) renews us all…and gives us Hope.

This coming weekend (Sept 22 & 23) Dega and her mom will be at the California State Fair, Cal Expo in Sacramento. If you’re in the area, please come by and see them—especially if you need a little encouragement in the area of Hope. Trust me, they have Hope enough, and to spare.

One thing I can guarantee, when Gianna and Dega get up on that dock to jump, there won’t be a dry eye in the house…..I know, mine aren’t dry now….

Blessings…and Hope,


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Gifts that We are Given...

This may not have anything to do with MaxDog but I just finished reading something from a fellow photographer's blog that punched one of my "hot buttons"--small-minded people!!! This particular photographer, who I really admire (Mike Olivella), has teamed up with another professional (Scott Kelby) to provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an amateur photographer. However, the buzz on the internet is "how dare they do this!!", "we don't need an amateur hanging around with 'us professionals'!", etc, etc, etc.---petty, small-minded, egotistical responses!! This opportunity is being provided purely out of the kindness of their hearts in wanting to give the "little guy" a chance to do something they may have always dreamed about doing. They are to be commended for their selflessness and generosity. What a wonderful thing to do!

I believe that the special talents and abilities that we have are gifts from God and when we share those with others our lives are enriched all the more. I know I will eternally admire and be grateful to my wife's boss, Dan Koukol. He saw a talent in me (photography) that I was totally unaware that I had. In his kindness and generosity he started me down a path that I would have never dreamed possible in a million years. Every photo I have published, every opportunity I have to photograph an event, is a tribute to Dan for his selflessness and encouragement.

I just want you to know that I also find joy and excitement in passing along to you the things that I have had an opportunity to learn and experience. So if you see me at an event shooting photos, please come up and say "Hi"---and bring your camera!! I would love to help you get some great shots and help you experience some of the excitement that Mike, Scott, Dan and I have enjoyed--because of the generosity and kindness of God and others.

VERY Sincerely,

Monday, July 27, 2009

"In the Beginning....."

Well, I did it! I finally gave in and decided to enter the world of the “Blogger”. Don’t know what direction it will take or if it will be interesting or not, but I’ve always enjoyed writing, so I figured “what-the-heck, let’s give it a shot and see what happens"! When I started my photography I had no idea I would be doing the things I am doing now. It might be fun to see if the Blog turns into a pleasant surprise as well.

But what I would really like from this Blog is for it to help put more of a personality or familiarity to the message of my photography. You have no idea how much I love taking photos for you. Our veterinarian, Dr. Al Raymond, has told us many times that he treats the animals he sees as if they were his own—and it shows! We’ve never had such a wonderful vet for the pets we have taken to him--and that has meant the world to us! I look at my photography in the same way. When I take photos of your pets I treat those photos as if I were taking photos of my beloved Maxx and Lucy. My pups are so very important and dear to me. I understand that you feel the same about your pets, so how could I possible treat what I do for you any less than I would do for myself.

Not only that, but in all the events that I have been covering, and in making so many friends at these events, I’ve come to love your dogs, too. I’m so happy to see them again, to watch and photograph them as they grow and compete. There’s nothing like a happy dog doing what he loves—it can’t help but energize you and put a smile on your face! The friendships I’ve made with their “humans” is something I treasure, too. Y’all are some of the most wonderful people I have ever known. Thank you for allowing me to share a small part of your life. I’ll try my best to photograph and preserve some of your treasured memories…as if they were my own.

VERY Sincerely,