<![CDATA[hollycookphotography.com - The Dog Blog]]>Mon, 22 Jul 2024 15:23:33 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Sweet Pea Patch]]>Mon, 15 Jul 2024 17:16:49 GMThttp://hollycookphotography.com/the-dog-blog/sweet-pea-patch
You may or may not know that I have been invited to spend 2 weeks with the sled dogs in Denali in the fall. I will be embedding myself in the sled dog life style (including working the kennels, working with the dogs AND learning to mush!) It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! 

Now, if you know me, you know I prefer to earn my own way, so with that in mind I am super excited to announce...

SWEET PEA PATCH DOG PORTRAITS in Discovery Park, in Seattle,

Here's how it works:

Simply visit https://ko-fi.com/s/f8bb6824a5

Pay what you want.

Once your transaction is completed, you will be given a link to schedule your session.

There are 10 sessions available between July 15-July 31.

This offer includes 3 digital files and the opportunity to invest in additional files, if desired.
Please note: Images may NOT be used for commercial use, such as photo contests, calendars, stickers or magnets created by other artists, etc.

Also, as a bonus, if you become a supporter of The Sweet Pea Patch project, you will receive treasures from me from Alaska!
The Sweet Pea Patch is located in Discovery Park, but not many people know that it's there. I found it by accident and it's there for only a short period of time during the summer. Once the blooms are done, the patch is mowed down and you'd never know it was even there!

There are 4 sessions left, all for next week (July 22-27). Hurry and grab your session!

Hugs to your dog!
<![CDATA[DENALI or bust!]]>Fri, 12 Jul 2024 17:52:50 GMThttp://hollycookphotography.com/the-dog-blog/denali-or-bust
 I am currently working on creating my third photography book about working dogs (which is available for pre-order, by the way) and in May, my husband and I made a quick trip to Alaska to meet and photograph Karelian Bear Dogs. We had only 2 days in Alaska, one being designated to the Bear Dogs, so, I figured I’d reach out to the kennels in Denali to see if we could visit.
I sent an email, which was answered quickly. The response was “fill out some paperwork and pay this fee”. I thought about it for a while and then decided to go for it. I mean, this would be an opportunity of a lifetime for me and a bucket list item, so paying the fee and filling out the paperwork was worth it.

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The manager at the kennel in Denali was unsure at first, but once we spoke, he understood that I am a dog maniac and was happy to let me meet a dog and photograph him/her for the book.

 The day finally arrived and we drove from Fairbanks to Denali, which took longer than expected because have you seen the roads in Alaska? =)
We arrived at the kennel and was greeted by Ranger Julie, who was skeptical of me but I won her over quickly. She loves her job and wasn’t sure I understood working dogs. When she figured out I did, we had a great time together.
We spend a few hours chatting and photographing the dogs. She was very helpful and informative. She then gave me free range of the kennel! I was stunned! So, I put on a volunteer vest, and spent time with every single dog in the kennel. The only thing that pulled me away was hunger.

 It was an extraordinary experience and one I will never forget. These dogs are simply amazing. Their desire to work, their instinctive knowledge, their ability to work together as a team and their love of their people was a thing to behold!
 We came away with enough information for the book, but not nearly enough information for my inquisitive mind. I wanted to know more, but our time was limited and we had a flight to catch. *sigh*
Once we got home, I edited the images and sent the gallery off to the kennel manager. He thanked me for the gallery and then INVITED ME BACK!
Yep, I am going to back to Denali for 2 weeks in the fall to WORK IN THE KENNEL, LEARN HOW TO MUSH and all the things they do up there. I am so excited! Of course, I’ll be taking my camera gear and have plans for the knowledge and experience I will gain. But, for now, I can’t talk about that. =)

 I’m furiously working throughout the next few months to be sure I can pay for this adventure. Air fare, car rental, food, etc. We have housing, so that’s super helpful.
So, if you are in the Seattle area, you can book a session in the Sweet Pea Patch in Discovery Park. It’s a “Pay What You Can” fundraiser, so pay what you can. =) The session includes 3 digital files.
If you are not in Seattle, but feel compelled to help a girl out, I am hosting a fundraiser for my adventure. No pressure, though.
In 73 days, we will be on our way to an adventure of a lifetime!
Oh, did I mention if you become a supporter of this adventure, I’ll be sending you treasures from Alaska? This is one of my favorite parts of having other people join my circle of supporters.
Thanks for reading!
Hugs to your dog!

<![CDATA[support a working dog fundraiser]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2024 20:27:57 GMThttp://hollycookphotography.com/the-dog-blog/support-a-working-dog-fundraiser
I've been working with many working dog organizations since I began my photography journey, and there are 2 things they all have in common:
  1. They always need funding
  2. They rarely have time to create fundraisers
Enter Holly! I've appointed myself "Working Dog Ambassador" and have create a fundraiser (the first of many, I hope) to benefit 4 working dog organizations who need the help.

Steven's Pass Avalanche Dogs
Wind River Bear Institute
K9 Conservationists
Rogue Detection Teams
The fundraiser is pretty simple...I"m trying to raise $1,000 for each organization by August 1st. Easy, right? We'll see.
Here's how you can help!
  1. You can contribute to the general fundraiser. The total amount at the end of the fundraiser will be split between the 4 organizations.
  2. You can contribute to a specific organization to help reach the goal of $1,000. (Just click on the org listed above to be taken straight to their fundraiser campaign.)
As of today, June 13, we have raised $130. I have a lot of work to do!

Your contributions will help these orgs stay up and running while providing the best possible care for their dogs. I mean, without the dogs, there is no organization, right? The dogs need food, leashes, vests, first aid kits, regular vet visits and some even need medications. Think about how much you spend on your dog each month, and then consider if you had 10 dogs to care for. You can see how it would add up quickly. These organizations rely on outside funding to keep their dogs working.

What do these organizations do?

Rogue Detection Teams is a conservation dog organization. They collaborate with researchers and scientists to conduct noninvasive wildlife detection surveys for endangered species alongside the Conservation K9s.

Wind River Bear Institute is 90% bear conservation and 10% bear mitigation. You know, when bears and people end up in bad situations...the dogs are brought in to resolve the conflict without causing harm to the bear. It's fascinating work and helps other organizations, scientists and researchers stay safe in the field.

Steven's Pass Avalanche Dogs are NOT affiliated with the ski resort and are completely funded through contributions. The avalanche dogs are called in for snow emergencies and for missing skiers/hikers/etc. It takes approximately 3 years for a dog to be fully trained...that's a lot of time and supplies!

K9 Conservationists has dog conservationists on the ground working to help endangered species, but they also offer mentoring and coaching to other conservation organizations.
Without funding, none of these dogs would have jobs. You can understand why I am so passionate about this project. I hope you will join my little fundraiser to help these amazing organizations keep these dogs working.
Contribute now!

The Perks!

The organizations are excited about the fundraiser and have added some incentives to help you decide to contribute:
For $100+ you will receive:
  • K9 Conservationists will send you a handwritten card and some "fieldwork finds" (I've been assured it's not scat)
  • Wind River Bear Institute will send you a Soledad post cards and a WRBI logo sticker (Soledad is the matriarch of the WRBI crew. At age 14, she still works part time and doesn't know she should be retired.)
  • I will send you an exclusive "My Dog Says Hi" sticker.
Help me help these dogs stay employed. Contribute as little as $20 or as much as $500. With your help, we can achieve this goal!
Hugs to your dog!
<![CDATA[Gilligan in the redwoods]]>Mon, 29 Jan 2024 18:29:31 GMThttp://hollycookphotography.com/the-dog-blog/gilligan-in-the-redwoods
Last fall we traveled to The Redwoods in Northern California to photograph Gilligan, a scent detection dog who uses his nose to find several different things. Known as a conservation K9, Gilligan spends his days either at boat launch or in The Redwoods.

What is he searching for? Well, when he's working at the boat launch he is sniffing out invasive mussel species. These mussel species can devastate any water ecosystem and it's important that they stay out of the waterways. Gilligan works at several different waterways in California.

Gilligan, along with is co-woofers from Mussel Dogs, work to protect the waterways of California from invasive quagga and zebra mussels. The mussels showed up in the 1980's in Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Since then, they have spread throughout North America, impacting not only the ecosystems of the waterways, but also affecting the economy and infrastructures of cities and towns that depend on those waterways. It's important work.
While sniffing out invasive mussel species is important, that's not the only thing Gilligan searches for. His claim to fame is that he is one of only two dogs in the world to have found Marbeled Murrelet egg shells as a conservation K9 with Dogs With Jobs. He was part of a proof of concept experiment as Dogs with Jobs partnered with The National Park Service to see if dogs could, indeed, find the egg shells.

The Marbeled Murrelet is a threatened species along the west coast of the United States (except in Alaska). These little sea birds are also forest birds and nest in the mossy old growth forests, like The Redwoods. They build their nest high atop the large redwoods and make their way out to sea for food.

Gilligan and his co-woofer, Hexxer were tasked with finding the egg shells that had fallen to the ground once a baby bird had hatched. Since Marbeled Murrelets only lay one egg per year, the teams had to be in the right place at the right time. And they were!

Gilligan and Hexxer were the first canine teams to be used to find Marbeled Murrelet eggs ever. Using dogs had never been tried previously, so their success is kind of a big deal.
Gilligan is being featured in my next book "Working Tails of the Pacific Northwest" so we traveled down to the Redwoods to see him in action.

This sturdy, yellow lab lets nothing stop him as he searches. His nose to the ground and his ear to his human, Gilligan searches quickly in the dense forest. He's lightning fast and always ready to work. His powerful legs propel him through the forest as his keen sense of smell guides him along. His ears are always listening for his human partner's voice as he races through between the trees. When he's found what he's looking for he stops and alerts.

This once homeless dog has found his place at Dogs With Jobs and loves the hunt as much as the toy he gets at the end of the hunt.

He is missing a toe on one of his front paws, but that doesn't stop him....or even slow him down. He loves to work.
The Redwood Forest is a magical place, with trees that are larger than you can imagine. The ground in the forest is soft and absorbed all sound, so it's eerily quiet, except for an occasional caw of a crow or raven. Everything is large and lush. The trees themselves can reach into the sky over 200 feet and I was intimidated to try to create images that would convey the sense of wonder and magic. "
We spent several hours in The Redwood Forest with Gilligan and his human partner, Debi. Debi explained how Gilligan works in the forest, how she trained him to find the Marbeled Murrelet egg shells and how no one was sure the dogs could do it. Using dogs to find the egg shells had never been done before, so expectations were low. After searching for 10 days, Gilligan and Hexxer had found 2 egg shells and solidified their place in Conservation K9 history.

I'm Holly and I specialize in photographing working dogs. I am currently creating another book for and about working dogs. If you'd like your working dog to be featured, registration is currently open to any working dog in the Pacific Northwest (or beyond).

I'm also available for private sessions for working dogs and for companion dogs.
<![CDATA[Interquest K9s]]>Wed, 24 Jan 2024 18:24:20 GMThttp://hollycookphotography.com/the-dog-blog/interquest-k9s
Interquest K9s is the nations oldest and largest contraband detection and drug dog serves provider. It was founded in 1979. They provide School Drug and Contraband K9s, Workplace Drug and Contraband K9s and Counseling Assistance & Comfort Dogs. Each team is highly trained in the real world.
Bear, who I met in the fall of 2023, works at schools in his area, looking for contraband to help keep kids safe.

The idea is that every kid should feel safe and secure at school. Drug and contraband deterrence and prevention is a key piece of any school safety protocol and Interquest K9s is set up to be a friendly, unintimidating, yet effective presence with a focus on keeping contraband off campus through K9 inspections and education. 

They train the dogs to find and their handlers to identify substances that are of concern to the school environment: Illicit drugs, alcohol, gunpowder based items and medications.

The dogs are trained in live school environments to ensure they are absolutely safe around students, yet have the focus to work effectively. There is no need to “lockdown” a campus or prevent students from being in the vicinity of the working dog, in fact, the visibility factor is a big piece of the deterrence. The goal is not to scare students, but instead to be a positive presence to help everyone on campus feel safe.

Commonly inspected areas include:

  • Student vehicles
  • Backpacks or belongings in the classroom
  • Athletic and PE locker rooms
  • Restrooms
  • Gym
  • Library
  • Tech/shop areas
  • Perimeter and outdoor areas
  • Academic lockers
If contraband is located, it is turned over to the school administrators. Any further action is taken by the school, not the dog or the handler.
Bear and his human partner work as a team. They are well liked in the schools in which they work and Bear loves his work.

What is Bear's reward for a "find"? A game of tug!
Bear will be featured in my book "Working Tails of the Pacific Northwest". The book is for and about working dogs.
Registration to have your working dog featured in the book is currently open.
Any working dog who actively serves in the Pacific Northwest is invited to register.

Publication date is set for late 2024.

 I'm Holly and I specialize in photographing working dogs. I am currently creating another book for and about working dogs. If you'd like your working dog to be featured, registration is currently open to any working dog in the Pacific Northwest (or beyond).

I'm also available for private sessions for working dogs and for companion dogs.