FFP Tribute to Sneaky the Wonder Cat – Kitsap County Photographer ~ Four Foot Photography

You love your animals. All of them. Their quirks, their paws, their cold noses, their slobber, their smell, their attitude, the way they walk. Every pet you have ever had (and some of you have had a lot!) lives in your heart, I know that. You always wish you had more time with them, but there’s one who was special. Your heart dog, your soul mate. They might have been gone for years, or it is the rescue you brought home last week, your puppy or your 8 year old cat, but they just get you, there is a connection, a deeper understanding. This post is a tribute to Sneaky, Dr Monica Wlodarchak’s best friend, her love, her confidante, advisor, keeper of secrets. She had to say goodbye to 19 year old Sneaky last week, and while she has other pets and has cared for so many others through Tender Touch Animal Hospital , Poulsbo Animal Clinic, and as an emergency vet, my heart breaks for her. Is it inevitable? Yes. Does that make it any easier? Not at all. I covet your prayers and positive ju-ju for her to get through the next few weeks.

 

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If you click on the Tender Touch Animal Hospital link above, you can read Sneaky’s biography, and get a glimpse into his life with Dr Monica, from a tiny, abandoned kitten, to big cat on campus, to vet companion. 19 years of devotion. I first met Sneaky in the summer of 2011, while photographing the staff for their employee portraits – he lived up to his name! Dr Monica does have some beautiful artwork from that session to validate her years of memories, and I hope that is a small comfort. Many people tell me they are afraid they will forget the details of their furry companions, but I can tell you from experience I still remember each of my pets’ smell, their fur, their favorite things, although I last said goodbye in 2006. I saw Sneaky most recently at the Tender Touch Open House in September (the images with the blue sweater!), and watched in amazement as Dr Monica flipped him over and nonchalantly did a blood draw from his jugular mid sentence. He was really just there for her, hanging on to provide the love and companionship she needed. Sneaky was a one of a kind wonder cat, and to say he will be missed, well, it just isn’t enough. Love you little guy, rest well.

Sneaky, Cat Photos, Tender Touch Animal Hospital, Dr Monica Wlodarchak, Four Foot Photography, Tribute Session, Kitsap County Pet Photographer, Employee Photos, Mary Eklund, Kingston, Poulsbo, Port Orchard Photographer,

Zander the Magnificent

Sue, Zander’s mom, called me after seeing some of my work on display at Kitsap Veterinary Clinic. Zander is okay, but needed to see Dr Sarah Buck for an eye injury – check him out in his camo “Doggles” below, because you just can’t be too careful. Oh, and he has red ones, too.  Zander is getting older, and Sue wanted me to create a portrait of him that captures his fun-loving spirit, and celebrates the huge joy he has been to her and his dad, Harry, since they rescued him.  While he is as poised as a professional model and has the looks to be one, Zander is first and foremost a cherished member of the family. He is humble and well-mannered, great with the grandchildren, and enjoys the spectacular life he deserves, complete with RV vacations and his very own fire hydrant (no, really!!!) one of his human brothers installed for him when the back yard foliage had to be removed to protect him from damaging his eyes crashing through the bushes – is that not the coolest thing?  Sue always has a towel handy, but I managed to sneak a shot with a spit bubble, which is the image my kiddos ask to see the most. He is a big boy, but if I could have tucked him in my pocket and snuck him home, I sure would have. I like to think Zander is fond of me, but then I am the treat and attention lady. His devotion to Sue runs deep and true, and I am a better person for having witnessed it.

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Sue and Harry have invested plenty of time and training and love into Zander, and it has paid off richly, with many years of companionship and devotion. I love, love the people and pets I meet as a pet and portrait photographer in Kitsap County and beyond. *LOVE*

Mike & Duke

I received a call late this summer (last summer already? Ack!) from Mike, who had seen my display at Woodside Animal Hospital and was interested in getting some photographs of Duke, his black lab and especially an image of the two of them together for a holiday card. I met them out at the public pier on the Port Orchard side of Sinclair Inlet, which was a really fun spot to shoot. There were folks fishing and crabbing and the sun was really sparkling off the water. Poor Duke – sooooo many wonderful, fishy smells! It turns out Duke hails from Kelso, my old stomping grounds! He is one lucky dog – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love love my clients – people who value the companionship their four-footed friends provide. In return, Duke lives the life of Riley! 

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When I first saw Mike’s lovely home (with all that clean, juicy wallspace!), I will admit I was thinking BIG CANVAS! However, I feel the artwork in your home is so personal (and that’s what I do!), it also has to mesh with your individual style. Mike selected a collection of 8 images in varying sizes, mounted on stainless standouts, for a very clean, modern look. It was also easier to choose 8 images than 1! I’m not going to share the Christmas card in case you are on Mike’s  list, but suffice it to say a Santa hat and reindeer antlers are involved…FABULOUS! Oh, and as we drove away after delivering Mike’s order, my 7 year old said, “That guy is AWESOME!” Right you are, buddy. Thanks, Mike and Duke for your business, for being such good sports, for looking after each other and also for sharing your relationship with me. I look forward to our shoot next year, and seeing you out and about on your bike rides/runs!

Grandma

Meet Grandma! I took some employee photos for the wonderful folks at Woodside Animal Hospital, but was quite distracted by resident feline “Grandma”.

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Here is the post from Woodside’s page September 10:  “In the spirit of Senior Pet Health Month, we would like to introduce the newest addition to Woodside Animal Hospital. This is Grandma. She came to us as a stray with a broken pelvis and severe dental disease. With a lot of TLC, she is doing well and gets to spend her days with our practice manager in her office.” She is hilarious. As you can see, Grandma has adjusted nicely to her new digs, and appears to be fitting in just fine!

Second Chance Care Fund Carnival

This doll baby is Barley. He is a Second Chance dog – arguably the poster boy. Isn’t he gorgeous? I had the good fortune of sharing my awning with him and his folks when it got too sunny for such a well insulated dude. LOVES!

This is the bite prevention talk given by Bethel Animal Hospital’s behaviorist, Jackie Kahler. Good information, people, and she is willing to present it to schools, clubs, etc! So in the top photo, which dog is more likely to bite, the cute little doxie in the man’s arms, or the gorgeously  intimidating Dobie? Yup, the little dog being held is far more likely to bite. In the bottom photos the kids are demonstrating two bite prevention strategies – “Be a tree” and “Be a log”

The pet costume contest entrants, clockwise from the top….Wonder Dog, Double Stuffed Oreo,  Seagull, Rich Lady. Bwahahahaha! So cute! The winner was Double Stuffed Oreo, but they were all worthy.

When was the last time you saw a dunk tank? Too much fun! Dr. Wempe got wet – some of the littler kids had a little help from some of the bigger kids…

More shenanigans from the good natured staff. It’s all to help the animals, right?

So we had to do a little comparison…medium brown in color, long white fluffy tails, four legs…who is bigger?

And my booth for the event. Thanks so much! I had a great time and met so many wonderful animal lovers. *Soon* there will be a colorful photographic display of Second Chance animals in Bethel’s lobby – please check it out! I am donating 10% of proceeds from sessions booked via the Bethel Animal Hospital back to the Second Chance Care Fund, to support their terrific work treating animals whose people can no longer care for them.  You can read more of their stories at http://www.bethelanimalhospital.net/second-chance-care-fund.html

Poodle-icious!

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Some of you may be aware of my 4 year old daughter’s intense, year-and-a-half-long obsession with poodles, which was apparently brought about by eating at “The Poodle Dog” restaurant in Fife. She has been on me relentlessly, “When can we get my poodle dog?” – to the point that ALL she wanted for her birthday was a poodle. Nevermind that the family dog is a rescued Bichon Frise, about the poodley-est non-poodle you can find. As an appeasement, for her birthday we gave him a poodle cut (sorry, buddy!), which made her happy. NOW she’s in heaven, as I’ve been editing my session with not one, but TWO poodles!  Ty and Brook are dear souls who reside with Janice in Bremerton. Apricot in color (it’s darker when it’s longer), Ty is a miniature poodle, and Brook is a teacup. They are 5 years old and love playing with their cousin, Oscar Meyer (!), a miniature longhaired dachshund, and gobbling up the delicious treats Janice bakes for them.  The admiration, in this group, is definitely mutual.

Teeah’s Float Wrap Is Up!

Teeah’s float wrap, won at Tender Touch Animal Hospital’s Open House in a raffle to benefit the Humane Society, is finished and hung! Please stop by and see it in person at 27099 Miller Bay Road NE, Ste C in Kingston. I could not have asked for a better model or met nicer people!

 

New Display!

On Friday I changed the display at Woodside Animal Hospital to feature Dahlia! The center is a canvas like last time, but on either side (with the ribbons) are metal prints, a new product I am so excited to offer! They are available in standard sizes or 30 different cutout shapes (displayed are #25 and #29)! Made from recycled aluminum, the image is burned on to the metal – extremely cool!  We can custom order images of your pets in the sizes and shapes you choose – I also think they’ll look great with the float wraps for a unique wall display. They can be hung from drilled holes as shown, or we can attach a float mount to the back so the image appears to “float” on the wall. Did I mention I’m SO EXCITED?! I will have information on the website in the next few weeks – it’s not too early to be thinking about Christmas…Stop by Woodside to see them in person!

Staff Portraits – Tender Touch Animal Hospital

I so enjoyed taking the staff pictures for Tender Touch Animal Hospital! Dr. Monica  and her staff are kind, professional, caring ladies I feel privileged to have met.

Hello, my name is Sneaky, and I was born in May 1995. This is my mom, Dr. Monica Wlodarchak, in the picture with me. She rescued me when I weighed only one pound; just a baby found stuck in some sticker bushes along the side of the road near Silverdale. I was really lucky because I had some facial injuries that were in bad need of care. After
my rescue, mom took me to Pullman of all places! Let me tell you, there is this white stuff there that they call snow – -not good! I was certainly not fond of the place, but mom said we had to stick it out so that we could go to vet school at WSU. So off to vet school we went. I honestly think that I got better grades than my mom in vet school, but for some reason, the institution gave her the graduation certificate and not me. I am still  considering an appeal! Once we graduated, we moved to Tacoma and my mom went to work at a really busy seven doctor practice. She had a great mentor there and really learned a lot. She got to do really cool surgeries like removing lung lobes and even heart surgery. She also fell in love with internal medicine, dentistry, and preventative care. I must admit that I didn’t have to coach her very much. After four years, we decided that we missed our roots and family so we packed up and moved back to Poulsbo. My mom worked as an emergency Veterinarian in Poulsbo for a few years and then worked at the
Poulsbo Animal Clinic as the sole veterinarian for four years. In December 2009 she opened her very own veterinary practice, Tender Touch Animal Hospital, in Kingston. Daily, I enjoy new experiences and learn more things while I watch my mom take care of our very own veterinary practice (It’s so cool to tell other pets about our hospital)!

Hello! My name is Lois, and I am in this picture with my brother, Bruce! My Claire took me home when I was three months old; I had a rough puppyhood, and she has been helping me become a good dog ever since! Bruce likes everyone; I think he’s nuts, but we are inseparable. My Claire has had him since 2005; wow, that’s a lot of dog years!! We both like to chase squirrels and lounge on the floor with the sun shining through the windows on us. Sometimes my Claire and Josh (her partner in crime) take us to the beach and go hiking! That is our favorite thing to do. Our family just keeps growing, my Matthew was born in December 2010, and it has been fun watching him learn how to sit by himself! I learned how to “sit” a long time ago in puppy class, and I don’t see why my Claire makes such a big fuss over Matthew doing it. My Nathan was born in April 2009 and, oh my goodness; he will throw a tennis ball for hours! Kids are soooo much work; we are doing our best to teach them to be good dogs, but I don’t know if they’ve got what it takes. My Claire also said to mention that she is looking forward to becoming certified in animal massage therapy so she can give us pups lots of hugs and rubs and loves!

 

Hello my name is Gizmo, and this is my mom, Jessica, in the picture with me. I found her in 2002 when I was born and left to fend for myself near Safeco Field. Thankfully, my mom was able to adopt me from the Humane Society and helped me heal because I was very sick at that time. Since then it has been one adventure after another with my mom. I live with another cat named Ashleigh. She opted not to pose with us because she is too shy. Ashleigh and I hang out together at home while mom goes to work. I spend most of the time sleeping on my very own pillow and knocking things over with my tail (really they shouldn’t be in my way to begin with). When mom is home, I get as many belly rubs as I deserve on a daily basis, and visit with all the company that comes to see me (mom just thinks they are there to see her, but I don’t have the heart to tell her the truth). When I get bored, I might play with my Mariner Moose (aka my baby) or splash around in the water for awhile. My only job is to wake my mom in the morning for work which I do with sloppy kisses on her face (she loves it)! Then of course I get rewarded with love and food. Mom has been working at Tender Touch Animal Hospital since February 2010 and really loves learning all about cats and dogs. She is a veterinary assistant and especially likes to help the sick pets get better so she see them come back again when they are all healthy.

 

Hey everybody! I’m Sebastian, and boy I’m glad I found my mom, Rachel! She and I met at Tender Touch Animal Hospital, fell in love with each other and now I am a part of her “gang”. The gang also includes Logan, a German shepherd mix, TJ, a Bernese mountain dog mix and of course, the cats, Tula, Andy and Danny. I just love them all and could spend hours giving them kisses and playing with them if they would only let me. My mom, Rachel, and my dad, Kyle, have given me a really big job. I have been instructed to teach my two girls, Abigail and Caitlin, how to have FUN! They are very special to me and are the smartest kids I have ever seen, not to mention that they are beautiful too. I just love to get treats out of my special Kong toy, and someday I will teach them how to help me do it! It keeps me busy and out of trouble. After my mom served eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard, she decided to pursue a career in the veterinary field. She attended St. Petersburg College online where she earned an Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology in 2008. She became a licensed veterinary technician in May 2009! My mom likes learning about and teaching animal behavior and pet nutrition, which is a good thing because raising a dog like me takes a lot of smarts in both areas!

 

Well gosh, hello there! I’m Diesel and I’m the best dog in the whole world! At least, that’s what my mom, Amanda thinks; she’s the one in the picture with ME! I live with another big dog, Bear, and we love to play fetch and destroy tennis balls together. I LIVE for tennis balls. I don’t want treats; don’t want belly rubs; just tennis balls!!! My mom and dad, whose name tag says “Baylon,” have been adding non-furry, two-legged girls to the family lately. Tierney and Rowan are their names and they are the cutest girls I’ve ever laid eyes on, even though I could be biased! Since my mom has always loved animals, she decided to become a veterinary assistant. She attended Pima Medical Institute and graduated with honors in October 2005. She is now working to get her veterinary technician license. Currently, my mom works really hard at this great place called Tender Touch Animal Hospital. I don’t have to visit it very often; I eat good dog food and exercise daily so I usually need my teeth  cleaned once a year! But when I do go to the hospital, it is fun to watch my mom at work. She really likes taking care of animals and learning everything she can, but she is most interested in pharmacology (wow)!

 

Hello there, my name is Bud, and I am very proud to be in this picture with my wonderful mom, Holly. My mom gives me all the attention that I need, and when I am not getting enough, I let her know by patting her on the face. I reward her with a lot of purring and kneading wherever and whenever I can. Occasionally when I get mad because my mom is not paying attention to me, and I will chase her down and grab a hold of her ankle. After all I am the one in charge and I must not be ignored! My mom is great because she brings people over to the house all the time just to visit me. I like to sit in the sun and have them admire my handsome hair coat and pet me on occasion too. Visiting with people became such an obsession that I would visit the neighbors and not come back home for days. Well, I guess mom loves me too much to share me for such a long time, she got this Invisible Fence put up and now I stay in the yard or house and wait for people to visit me. If people don’t show up, it just gives me an excuse to tackle mom’s ankle more often! When people aren’t visiting, mom and I like to garden and read together (I never get in the way but she is always pushing me off of the newspaper or book for some unknown reason – so picky)! I have this exclusive spot in the garden where I can just lay out and enjoy myself. Mom loves to swim and sail, but I don’t do those things with her after all, I am a cat; what is she thinking? My mom started working at Tender Touch Animal Hospital in February 2010 as a receptionist, and she really enjoys getting to know people and their pets. She likes to interact with the people and their pets; sometimes I even get just a little bit jealous of all the attention they receive!

 

Hello my name is Odie, and this is my mom, Stephanie, in the picture with me. For the most part I am a really good boy, but I know when I am not so good because that is when my mom calls me “Otis Spunkmeyer”! My start to life was not so pleasant, but when I was just about to give up all hope I was rescued and taken to a shelter where I met my mom. She brought me back to the Indianapolis Vet Tech Institute where she was attending school at the time, and got me all fixed up. I have been very lucky in life because my mom has been able to take such good care of me. Since then I have decided that adoption was the way to go and have gladly stayed with my mom even during the move to Washington State where it rains way too much in my opinion. Mom and I like to go camping, fishing, and walking on the beach – yes, I even take her out in the rain too. I also live with my sister, Bitty, the kitty. Since she is just a cat and my sister, I don’t have too much interest in her. What is it that they say; dogs rule and cats drool? At any rate, my mom joined the staff at Tender Touch Animal Hospital in May 2011 and has been very happy to be working there ever since. I get to visit as often as I please, and I really think that if my mom had a tail it would be wagging all day long at work!

 

Hello, my name is Lucky, and I am the small dog in this picture with my mom, Ann Marie, and my older and bigger sister, Betty. We make up part of our whole family which includes my dad, David, and the three cats, Lina, Tigger, and Piper. I sure feel fortunate to belong to this family because I was rescued by my mom at the last minute from an animal shelter. My mom has always loved animals and does a lot of rescue and fostering work. In May 2011 she started working at Tender Touch Animal Hospital and enjoys learning all about dog and cat medicine. She has a really cool job because she gets to meet all of the pets and people as they come in the front door. I think I would like a job like that except my mom says that I get into too much trouble to hold down a full-time job. I really do try to be a good dog, but sometimes my selective hearing gets me in trouble. So instead of working, I will have to chase the ball, watch birds, and play a good game of tag with Betty, occasionally biting her ankles (don’t tell mom). I also have to listen to Lina lecture me, watch Tigger sleep all the time, and stay far away from Piper so she doesn’t give me “what for”. I will still be able to look forward to my favorite time of day which is feeding time, YUM! And of course I can still indulge my only other obsession, catching butterflies. Every time I see one, I try to jump up and get it, but for some reason they are always just out of my reach. One day….. Hey, maybe this job thing is not such a good idea, I think I’ll leave it to my mom and stick with what I’ve got!

 

Hello, my name is Linus, aka “Don’t Eat That”. I was born in May 2010 and rescued shortly thereafter by PAWs of Bainbridge Island. When I first came to Tender Touch Animal Hospital, I weighed only three pounds! I was with all of my brothers and sisters, and we were here to get “fixed”. I didn’t think we were broken, but apparently we still all needed to be “fixed”. After being “fixed”, I was taken to the PAWs adoption agency to find my new home, except something went terribly wrong. Once there for a couple of days, I started to have a fuzzy head and then all of my muscles would tremble, and it was really scary. It kept happening so I went back to Tender Touch Animal Hospital where Dr. Monica said that I was having seizures, YIKES! I still couldn’t tell you what that means, but I never went back to the adoption facility. Instead, Dr. Monica and her staff decided they couldn’t live without me, and I became the clinic cat. I had to start taking two different medications to control my seizures, YUCK is all I have to say! I was growing so fast and changing so much that it was difficult to get my seizures under control, but eventually Dr. Monica was able to stabilize me. I have some long term coordination problems and lost some eye sight, but even though I am a little clumsy, I sure know how to have fun, and I’m never afraid of trying new things. I get to spend my time here at Tender Touch Animal Hospital as the clinic cat during the day, and then I get to go home with Dr. Monica at night and on the weekends. I have several duties at the clinic such as, keeping the chairs warm, being ready to give love to the employees at any time, keeping the office occupied to make it look like work is being done even when no one is in there, and inspecting the equipment.  Although, for some reason I tend to get told “NO” if I am inspecting equipment. Sometimes people just don’t appreciate my skills!