Archive for the ‘Fund Raisers’ Category

National Canine Cancer Foundation to fund a new innovative Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) Research Project

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

I have some new exciting news. As you all know we are always trying to find an new edge in the battle against canine cancer. And Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is one of those cancers we would like to get a better handle on since it seems to end up being diagnosed too late to save the dog. In fact, we are so keen on finding out how to deal with HSA that we have actually initiated our own research project on HSA with G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. This is very exciting for the NCCF because this type of research on HSA has never been tried. Let me tell you how it all came about by first talking about a dog name Batman.

Batman was the first dog to undergo a breakthrough experimental treatment for brain cancer, led by doctors, G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. They developed a combination treatment plan for dogs with glioma, a very aggressive and relatively common form of brain cancer. First they removed the tumor surgically. Then, in some cases, they use local gene therapy to attract immune cells to destroy remaining tumor cells, and finally they created a personalized anti-cancer vaccine made from the dog’s own cancer cells to prevent tumor recurrence.

I personally love the thought of taking a cancer that was killing a dog and turning it into a personalized vaccine to kill the cancer!

Dr. Pluhar, a surgeon at the Veterinary Medical Center, and Dr. Ohlfest, head of the neurosurgery gene therapy program at the Masonic Cancer Center, gave Batman his initial treatment in August 2008. Batman led a normal life unaffected by his tumor until his death from cardiac failure in February 2010, there was no tumor recurrence. According to the Dean of the College, Trevor Ames, DVM, MS, “the far-reaching implications of this promising new treatment are almost difficult to fathom; not only could these treatments lead to a cure for brain and other systemic cancers in dogs, but because dogs and humans share many physiological traits, dogs could also be the missing link in the cure for brain cancer in humans.”

Then something interesting happened. Almost one year ago, Davis Hawn’s then 8-year-old yellow lab, Booster, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his nasal sinus. Booster was given three weeks to live. Hawn did not want to accept the death sentence and began searching the country for a cure. His search led him to doctors in Florida who removed Booster’s tumor and gave him chemo. An online search then led him to Dr. Elizabeth Pluhar from the University of Minnesota’s canine brain tumor clinical program. Davis asked her to help his dog, but Dr. Pluhar had never made a vaccine for this type of cancer before. But Davis was not going to take no for an answer so she did agree to try. She shipped the vaccine off and ten months later Booster is cancer free.

Then after Davis contacted the NCCF to tell us about how well the vaccine works, we contacted Dr. Pluhar to ask if she would be willing to try the same research that was successful with brain cancer and skin cancer, and use the same protocol to try dealing with splenic HSA. The NCCF’s thinking is that with all these other cancers, the similarities were that the cancer had to be removed and a vaccine needed to be created from the cancer cells. With splenic HSA, one of the more common forms of HSA, the spleen is typically removed so we felt that Dr. Pluhar’s research could possibly work. With that in mind, we asked her if she could try and apply her protocol on splenic HSA. After doing some initial research she agreed to do the study based on reaching certain goals before going on to the next level.

First, she needs to insure that we can culture the cancer cells in the lab,

Second, she needs to insure that the tumor vaccines stimulate immune cells to attack tumor cells. If she can achieve these two steps she can go on to treat the HSA cancer. We could not be happier and are guardedly optimistic over this research project.

The cost for this project will be $55,500. I hope you are all as excited as we are about this research and will help fund the project. If you want to help with funding this new innovative NCCF’s initiated project please CLICK HERE or got to this link

http://wearethecure.org/giving/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=70

Thank you

Gary D. Nice
President and Founder
National Canine Cancer Foundation

A Little Scare and Some Big Plans

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

My friend Porter is fighting stage 3 Mast Cell Cancer. He is really a champ, this is his 8th week on Palladia, and the lymph nodes have all shrunk to normal size and he is his normal peppy self.

Porter and I at work

Quite a big change from thinking we had 2-4 weeks left with him. We hike a lot, and at least according to some people, we hike too much (don’t get me started).  It is something that we have done together since he was a pup…

Baby Porter taking a break on top of Moxie Bald Mountain

…and someday (in like 100 years) when he is gone I will walk those same trails and think of him and maybe smile through the tears.

He woke up having trouble walking one morning 2 weeks ago, and together we made it down the stairs. I noticed it was his right front leg that he was having issues with.

It was so hard seeing him so confused and in pain, and being able to do nothing to help him.

When you are dealing with a complex medical condition such as cancer, you think everything that happens is because of the cancer. This isn’t necessarily so, but still, when the problem your buddy is having is on the same side of the cancer – the place you know it is likely to spread – you can’t help but worry.

What bothered me was that we hadn’t hiked or done anything to speak of for almost 2 weeks. If he hurt himself hiking, it would have shown up before then – which is exactly what freaked me out.

So we went to the vet, did x-rays, and determined that it was thankfully not cancer causing the problem, it was something else, likely a soft tissue injury or some sort.

I felt like we dodged a bullet. Since our vet wasn’t sure what exactly was causing his pain, she prescribed rest, pain medicine, and an anti inflammatory.

Within 2 days, he was back to himself. I kept him rested for another week or so, going on a few easy walks along the river/Wyman Lake.

Kennebec River near Wyman Lake

Kennebec River near Wyman Lake

Yesterday we went back up to Moxie Bald Mountain (and forgot our camera, but trust me, it is a freaking cool place).

Porter and I had big plans to do this epic back packing trip this fall to help increase awareness about canine cancer and to raise money for the National Canine Cancer Foundation, who funds grants to cancer researchers to help find better cures, treatments, and to find more accurate, cost effective ways to diagnose canine cancer.

Well, in light of Porter’s mystery injury, we amended our plans.

We now have a trip planned that is a little less epic, but still very cool! We are going to hike from Rt. 27 in Stratton/Eustis, across the Bigelow Range, and then home to Caratunk – 37 miles.

We are still going to work to raise money to help fund canine cancer research, in hopes it will help others facing the same issues as we are (click HERE to donate).

We are saving the epic trip for next year – we are going to celebrate him beating the odds. I can’t wait!

Thanks for reading!

Mandy & Porter

Story reposted from:
http://caratunkgirl.com/2014/08/17/a-little-scare-and-some-big-plans/

Written by: caratunkgirl

Dover couple fighting to save Bruiser the dog

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Carl Hofmann found Bruiser in a York County SPCA kennel about seven years ago while he was killing time between work appointments.

Carl and Danielle Hofmann's pit bull Bruiser has lymphoma and requires chemotherapy.

He didn’t go in expecting to adopt a dog. But there was Bruiser, a skinny puppy, “all legs” and playful.

Hofmann reached through the metal bars to scratch Bruiser between the eyes.

“When I stopped petting him, he started crying,” Hofmann said. “And he wouldn’t stop crying.”

That was it. Carl went to the front desk and asked to adopt Bruiser.

Today, Bruiser is a laidback, affectionate pooch who sleeps with his parents in bed each night. He’s a big fan of food and visits from other canine friends and young children.

“He’s just a happy dog,” Hofmann said.

A few weeks ago, Hofmann’s wife, Danielle Hofmann, said she was rubbing Bruiser’s neck when she felt two golfball-sized lumps. Just a few days earlier, Danielle said, she’s sure there weren’t any lumps.

Carl and Danielle Hofmann play with their pit bull Bruiser at their Dover Township home Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The dog has lymphoma and requires chemotherapy. The two are being helped financially by the Magic Bullet Fund which solicits money for treatment of cancer-victim dogs. (Bill Kalina)

In July, a veterinarian diagnosed Bruiser with lymphoma.

“I thought a piece of my heart had been ripped out,” Danielle Hofmann said.

Lymphoma moves fast, the doctors said. But, if treated early enough, Bruiser could survive and live a healthy post-treatment life.

Carl Hofmann said he immediately began searching for treatment options. He discovered canine oncologists aren’t exactly easy to find.

“I was calling 30, 40 vets a day,” he said. “You hear cancer, the first thing you think is death. And losing him would kill me.”

Finally, they located an oncologist in Maryland who could treat Bruiser.

Bruiser had his first round of chemotherapy July 22 and his second round July 29. He’ll continue treatments once a week until November, with a few weeks off to rest.

Treatment is not cheap. Bruiser’s chemotherapy will cost about $3,000.

But the Hofmanns, who live in Dover, said they’re willing to do whatever it takes to save Bruiser. They’ve spent about $1,600 so far.

“I’ve cleared out my 401K,” Carl Hofmann said.

The couple, both 34, said they’ve been through their fair share of hard times – from job losses to medical issues.

But nothing compares to the pain of possibly losing Bruiser.

The Hofmanns began searching for help, and they found the Magic Bullet Fund – a nonprofit that provides fundraising assistance to families with dogs diagnosed with cancer.

The group donated $750 to kick off the online campaign, which ends Aug. 28.

So far, Bruiser seems to be doing well. He’s a bit more lethargic than usual, but he’s eating and using his outdoor bathroom.

Bruiser’s lost a little weight, but that’s normal. Besides, his parents said, Bruiser could stand to lose a few pounds.

Better yet, veterinarians believe Bruiser is responding well to the chemotherapy.

“I believe in miracles again,” Danielle said.

The couple said they worried whether their pleas for help would fall on deaf ears because Bruiser is a pit bull.

“They get such a bad rap,” Danielle said. “But he’s nothing but love.”

So far, the pit-bull stigma doesn’t seem to have mattered. Family members, friends and complete strangers have donated money to help the Hofmanns pay Bruiser’s medical bills.

News organizations responded quickly to a press release about Bruiser’s plight, something Danielle said she found hard to believe.

“I feel loved,” she said. “When it comes to animals and dogs, people just come out of nowhere.”

To help the Hofmanns, visit www.themagicbulletfund.org. Donations are tax-deductible.

Story reposted from:
http://www.yorkdispatch.com/ci_26272841/dover-couple-fighting-save-bruiser-dog

Written by: Erin James (The York Dispatch)

A Pet Owners Efforts For Her Rescue Dog

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Annie, a rescue dog, could not have known her life was in danger, but owner Alison Cole did. Ms Cole, of Woodbury, works at The Taunton Press.

(Photo: Alison Cole)

She noticed something was wrong the week before July 4, “just a little red bump; I didn’t think much of it.” Ms Cole left Annie, an 11-year-old, 75-pound hound mix, with her parents when she went away for the holiday weekend and upon returning, she noticed the bump “was swollen and infected.” After a quick trip to the vet, she learned that Annie did not have an infection.

“They said no, it’s a tumor,” Ms Cole said. Annie had bone cancer.

Ms Cole became worried about Annie, “the first dog I have owned on my own.” At the thought of a tumor, she began to worry about her close companion.

“It’s me and her — inseparable. I rush home from work to take her for a long walk, and you always see me with her, hanging out the back window of the car,” said Ms Cole. But July has been a “whirlwind” of highs and lows, she said, as Annie, an otherwise a happy dog, began to feel sick.

“She was unfazed for a while until the past week [July 20–26]. She grew lethargic and I could see that she knew something was wrong, she wasn’t herself,” Ms Cole said. Regarding surgery, she said, “I knew it had to be done quickly.”

The aggressive form of bone cancer had to be removed.

On July 24, Annie was coming out of surgery at Newtown Veterinary Services on Church Hill Road. T Chad Andrews, DVM, performed the surgery, assisted by Christopher Potanas, DVM.

“The surgeons said she is doing amazingly well.”

Her surgery “was better than expected from what I hear from surgeons … with this type of bone cancer, normally what you can see is just the tip of the iceberg, but the vet was impressed because what you see on her, nothing was hidden under the surface.”

She was able to raise funds to cover the sudden expenses for a roughly $6,000 operation, but will need as much as $4,000 more to pay for needed chemotherapy treatments.

Regarding the initial expense, and those to come, Ms Cole said, “I couldn’t afford it on my own.”

She started a fundraising page, Fundly.com/save-annie, to help pay for the costs of Annie’s treatment. In about a week, between July 16 and 23, Ms Cole had raised $4,800 of her $6,000 goal, and was able to book the surgery.

“I had to go through with it, I could see tumors growing,” she said. “[Annie] couldn’t eat and was very uncomfortable.”

Now Ms Cole is aiming to raise enough for the chemo, she said. By July 25, Ms Cole faced expenses for follow-up care. The tumor is gone, she said, “but mutated cells could still come out. I would hate to have done this for nothing. Ideally I would love to do chemo for her.” She now needs to reach an overall $10,000.

“I have promised that if I go above and beyond my fundraising goal I would donate it to DAWS. They’re a great community, they all helped me save my dog when I couldn’t save her,” she said.

Story reposted from:
http://newtownbee.com/news/news/2014/08/02/saving-annie-pet-owner-s-efforts-her-rescue-dog/221403

Written by: Kendra Bobowick

The dead dog that changed color twice

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

“Though dead, Jack is still on duty and solicits a continuance of your contributions in support of his good work for the Orphans.” So reads the plaque in London Jack’s glass display case at the Bluebell Railway museum.

(London Jack after being restored to his original color)

From the Victorian era until after World War Two, charity collection dogs were a popular sight in British train stations. They continued their charitable calling even after death.

Once famous for patrolling London’s Waterloo station, he was one of a group of celebrity dogs who made thousands of pounds for charity from the mid-Victorian era until the 1950s.

He and others like Brighton Bob, Bruce of Swindon, Chelmsford Brenda, Wimbledon Nell and Oldham’s Rebel mixed with commuters, sometimes boarding trains on their own to encourage more giving by passengers. They barked, “shook hands” and performed tricks for money, their exploits frequently reported in the national and regional press.

“They were cuter than human beings and people responded to that,” says Jan Bondeson, author of Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities.” There were very many postcards printed of them.

(London Jack before his restoration)

“If the dogs were docile enough, they were allowed to walk around the stations on their own. But some were tethered in case they walked in front of a train.”

This was not the only risk they faced. In 1896, a gang of criminals picked up Tim, an Irish terrier who worked at London’s Paddington station, and held him upside down over a suitcase, shaking him to free up the coins from his collection box. When released, he bit one of his assailants on the calf.

Some dogs were less than honest themselves. Initially they collected coins in their mouths and gave them in, but secure boxes had to be tied to them after a journalist for a Christian magazine discovered in the 1860s that Brighton Bob was using some of his money to buy biscuits at a bakery.

The dogs, usually looked after and trained by railway staff, proved popular and lucrative. For this reason there was a whole line of London Jacks. The first, who came into service in 1894, disappeared in 1899, but was later found in a house in Soho, where he was being held by criminals, after a boy heard barking and informed the police.

He retired, died and was stuffed and put on display in a cabinet with a slot for coins at the front. “From his glass case at Waterloo station, he still appeals to the passengers who pass by,” reported the Sphere newspaper in 1901. His son took over and was said to stop and look at his late father whenever he passed by.

The fifth Jack – the one now on display at the Bluebell Railway Museum in East Sussex – was born in 1917 and started collecting in 1923. He made more than £4,000 to help maintain an orphanage for railwaymen’s children in working, Surrey.

He wore, and still wears, a large collection of medals on his back, a silver one awarded for every £100 raised and a gold one for every £500.

In 1924 he was photographed with Jackie Coogan, the child star of Charlie Chaplin’s hit comedy film The Kid, as he passed through Waterloo. The event caused a shortage of luggage porters, who rushed to view the meeting of celebrities.

By 1930, Jack’s eyesight was going and he retired. The press showed him demonstrating to his successor how to board a train safely with a collection box.

He died the next year. He too was stuffed and mounted in a cabinet. But strangely at some stage during his journey from Waterloo to the Bluebell Railway, which bought him in 1967, he changed color.

For many years he was regarded as a golden, rather than a black, retriever. “He was in a case for a number of years and must have become bleached by the light over time,” says Colin Tyson, who edits the Bluebell Railway’s quarterly newsletter.

Jack went for a restoration five years ago and was dyed black once more after the taxidermist discovered that, judging by his roots, he was not a natural blond. He returned to the Bluebell Railway, where he still collects. For a while his takings went on funding his own renovation costs. Now these are paid off, he collects for Working Homes, on the site of the old orphanage, which cares for retired railway staff.

“People go to a museum like ours expecting to see preserved locomotives and carriages, not preserved dogs,” says Tyson. “But Jack is very popular, especially with the kids. Maybe they expect him to raise a paw when they put a coin in.” He doesn’t.

Station Jim

  • According to the station inscription at Slough, Jim arrived when he was three months old. He was described as a “ball of wool that could be carried around in an overcoat pocket”
  • He collected for the Great Western Railways Orphans’ Fund, but because of ill health, managed to collect only £40
  • He once boarded a train and travelled alone to Leamington. Another time, he turned up at Paddington Station
  • He could sit up and beg, bow or stand on his hind legs. A dropped, lighted match would be “extinguished with a growl”

Most of the stuffed former station dogs have disappeared or are in private ownership. The most prominent of those still on display is Station Jim, who died aged just two in 1896.

Jim was part of what Bondeson calls the “golden age” of station dogs. By the time Britain’s railways were nationalised in 1948, numbers had dwindled. An Airedale terrier called Laddie, who worked at Waterloo until 1956, is thought to have been the last to work the platforms. Stuffed animals were also gradually removed.

(The original London Jack collected at Waterloo Station between 1894 and 1900)

“Under the more corporate British Rail, they didn’t want things like dead dogs in stations,” says Tyson. “But animals like London Jack and Station Jim are a proud part of our railway heritage. They helped a lot of people.”

Article reposted from:
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28420246

Written by: By Justin Parkinson (BBC News Magazine)

Gullivers Run : Run Against Canine Cancer with the NCCF!

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The National Canine Cancer Foundation is very proud to offer passionate owners the opportunity to remember and honor the dogs that have touched your heart. Through the Foundations work, in this case specifically www.RunAgainstCanineCancer.org, we are committed to providing dog lovers a voice in fighting back against canine cancer! 2013 was the Inaugural Gulliver’s Run, a tribute to John and Lisa’s beloved Vizsla running partner Gulliver.   Many are very dedicated and passionate following the death or diagnosis of their beloved dog, but it takes a team to put together and host a charitable event that gives others a voice to their story.  Because of these stories continually being told, awareness grows and research moves forward.  This is one story, of a dog that so touched a family that they have dedicated their efforts to his remembrance.  It was a pleasure to work with John and his team in 2013 and we are looking forward to an even bigger and better event in 2014 – Together, We Are The Cure.

- Chris Pike
VP of Marketing and Events National Canine Cancer Foundation

As many of you already know, Gulliver left us in November of 2012, after a 13-month race against canine lymphoma. He was a runner and a remarkable companion. Gulliver kept on running through all of the chemo and other treatments that were part of his battle. He stopped running only 2 days before he crossed the last finish line.

Gulliver’s loss devastated us, but he never gave up, so how could we? We founded “Gulliver’s Run” in January of 2013, went on to file for and receive status as a 501(c) 3, non-profit, public charity, became partnered with the National Canine Cancer Foundation, and held our first “Gulliver’s Run” 5k Trail Race in November , almost a year to the day that Gulliver left us. We were able to send a check for $5,000.00 to the NCCF as a result of our first year’s effort.

Gulliver’s legacy and his trail run continue. Our 2nd annual “Gulliver’s Run” will be held again this year on Sunday, November 2nd, at beautiful Pinchot State Park. It is held on the same trails that Gulliver ran on almost daily. It is comforting to think that his noble spirit still runs free there beside us!

Our work is far from over! Sadly, there are countless other dogs and their human families who are facing the same battles and challenges that my wife and I did when we helped Gulliver fight against canine lymphoma. Please join us in this battle against canine cancer by being a part of “Gulliver’s Run” in 2014. If you can’t be with us in person (and with your canine pal) on November 2nd then please consider a donation. All funds raised go directly to fighting canine cancer. All that any dog truly expects from us is our companionship. Such selfless friends deserve our help in finding a cure for this terrible disease.

Together—We are the cure!
John & Lisa Heycock, on behalf of “Gulliver’s Run”

Join online:
http://runagainstcaninecancer.org/gulliver/register/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_18&products_id=72

Download  printable registration form:
http://www.houndsandharriers.com/GulliversRun.pdf

Photo courtesy: NaterPix

Running for life

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Cancer-surviving K9 flies through 5K run at Copper Mountain

Charlie plops into the cool clear water of a kiddie pool. A moment later he rattles his diminutive body like a tambourine, spritzing water in all directions as he squints his brown eyes.

After running 5 kilometers on a mountain trail Saturday morning at Copper Mountain Resort, any dog would relish such a dip. But Charlie isn’t any dog. He’s a cancer survivor.

“We found out about a year ago that he had cancer,” said Karen Seitz of Breckenridge.

Charlie was diagnosed with K9 lymphoma at only 5 years old. At the stage the cancer was discovered, the vet predicted Charlie would live only a few more weeks at most without immediately starting chemotherapy.

But Seitz didn’t have the money on hand needed to start chemo treatments. That’s when the League for Animals and People of the Summit came to the rescue.

Even after the treatments Charlie continued to defy the odds. Charlie looks a little different now. His eyebrows fell out from the chemo, but he remains a fighter.

“After the chemo, they said his life expectancy was only 330 days,” Seitz said.

There’s no cure for the type of cancer Charlie has. He’s currently in remission.

But it’s been a full year now, and Charlie doesn’t appear to be dying. Instead, he’s thriving. He and Seitz were one of about 80 pairs of dogs and humans who took part Saturday morning in either the 5K or 10K race at Copper Mountain’s inaugural “Copper’s Gone to the Dogs” event. It was created as a fundraiser for LAPS.

And Charlie showed up for the race, finishing third place overall in the 5K.

“He finds his strength by remaining active and spending time in nature and the mountains,” Seitz said. “He’s a mountain dog.”

Copper plans to make Gone to the Dogs an annual event.

“I think the turnout is pretty good,” said Erin Woods, marketing manager for Copper Mountain Resort Association. “This is the first time we’ve held this so we didn’t know what to expect. But this is a dog-loving community, and it’s a great chance to spend a sunny day outside with our dogs.”

But nobody probably appreciated the sunshine and mountain air that day as much Charlie and Seitz.

Article reposted from:
http://www.summitdaily.com/news/12018975-113/charlie-copper-laps-seitz
Written by: Brandon Evans

Man walking his dogs from Canada to Mexico for Canine Cancer

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

43-year-old Luke Robinson set off on a 2,000-mile trek along the West Coast from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.

He’s making the six-month journey on foot with his two dogs, Great Pyrenees Hudson and Indiana, to raise awareness about canine cancer.

Hudson and Indiana are outfitted with Tagg GPS tracker collars so their travels can be followed online. Track their journey here.

“We hope to encourage people to come out and walk a mile, walk a day, or walk a week with us since all of us have been touched by cancer,” Robinson said.

In 2006, Robinson lost his dog Malcolm to cancer. Malcolm’s death inspired him to start the Puppy Up Foundation, a national canine cancer charity.

“We know dogs get the same types of cancer that we do. The question is why? That is what our foundation strives for,” Robinson said in a news release.

Canine cancers affect between 4 and 8 million pet dogs a year.

This isn’t Robinson’s first big walk for canine cancer. In 2008, Robinson and his dogs Hudson and Murphy walked the East Coast, from Austin, Texas, to Boston, Massachusetts. Murphy was diagnosed with nasal cancer shortly after. He died in June of 2011.

“After the loss of Murphy, we just felt like we needed to get back on the road to continue our mission of education and awareness,” Robinson told People magazine.

The trio are hoping to walk 12 to 14 miles a day, with the goal of reaching San Diego, California, by November 1st.

“Hudson is already road tested,” Robinson said, referring to the East Coast walk in 2008. “Indy our newer one, he’s a road warrior. Indy will have no problem. He’ll tire me out at the end of the day. My job is to get my boys from point A to point B safely and securely.”

Story reposted from:
https://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/good-news/man-walking-dogs-canada-mexico-canine-cancer-144750465.html
Written by: Nadine Kalinauskas

Smile for a Cure Top Fundraiser – Kelly Schulze of Mountain Dog Photography

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Smile for a Cure Top Fundraiser – Kelly Schulze of Mountain Dog Photography

This week’s spotlight is on another of our Smile for a Cure photographers – Kelly Schulze. Kelly was the top fund raiser in the first Smile for a Cure promotion in 2011.

Smile for a Cure Bo and Delilah by Mountain Dog Photography

Smile for a Cure Bo and Delilah by Mountain Dog Photography

Name of business

Mountain Dog Photography in Monkton, Vermont

Favorite subjects to shoot

Animals of course! Wild and domestic animals provide a continuous challenge.

Are you exclusively a dog photographer or do you do other subjects?

I’ve photographed dogs, cats, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, a yak, chickens, llamas, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters, snakes, and lizards for clients. For private clients though dogs seem to be the most popular subject. I shy away from the term “pet photographer” as many of my clients own livestock, which they don’t consider pets. I also photograph wildlife.

How did you become interested in photography?

I was always interested in photographing my own animals, even at a young age. My father is an avid amateur photographer and my grandfather was a professional photographer in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I studied a bit more in college, but the thought of becoming a professional animal photographer never even crossed my mind until after I graduated and realized that I needed to find a career that I loved. I did a lot of research and found that other photographers were specializing in animals, so I figured I could too.

Why did you chose to include dogs/pets in your business?

I had a lot of animals growing up – cats, dogs, rats, gerbils, hamsters, and horses. I volunteered at an animal shelter, attended an agricultural high school, majored in Animal Science in college, worked as a veterinary technician, and worked as a dairy records specialist and milk tester. I’ve worked with a wide range of animals my whole life… there was no “non-animal” option for my career. I left my dairy career a year and a half ago to go full time with photography.

Smile for a Cure Session for Charlotte Willis and Jack by Mountain Dog Photograph

Smile for a Cure Session for Charlotte Willis and Jack by Mountain Dog Photograph

Why did you join Smile for a Cure?

The first two dogs my family had, Tristan the golden retriever and Samantha the lab/golden mix, died within two weeks of each other from different cancers. Tristan had malignant melanoma and it was a fast moving, devastating disease. Samantha’s cancer was never diagnosed because by the time we knew she was sick, it was too late to treat her. Many of my clients know the same heartbreak. One in particular lost their beloved Hannibal, a sheltie, early last summer. He had about 3 weeks from diagnosis to the end of his life. I was very close to Hannibal and saw him often, so when the Smile program started last summer I wanted to find another way of honoring him. The Smile For a Cure program lets me use my talent to do some good. We all hope that cancer is eradicated, but easing the treatment process is just as important. I appreciate that the NCCF supports research to cure cancer and to find better treatments.

Tell us your favorite Smile for a Cure session story.

I photographed 3 Smile sessions with a total of 10 dogs. They were all such different sessions. Delilah and Bilbo were special because Delilah was Hannibal’s best friend. The family adopted Bilbo last summer and it was bittersweet because I wished more than anything that Hannibal was my model, but Bilbo had such infectious puppy energy and has helped Delilah heal. Charlotte, Jack Maroo, and Willis were special because Charlotte is a cancer survivor. She lost a front leg, but she doesn’t let it slow her down. One portrait of Jack from that session recently earned me a blue ribbon at a print competition. My last session was with 5 newfies; Neeka, Ruby, Sparrow, Marley, and Mr. Spatz. Neeka is the mother of the others and all are beautiful dogs with wonderful personalities. The day of their portrait session threatened to rain and dark clouds loomed overhead. We were able to get all 5 together, relatively drool free, for a beautiful family portrait. Just after I got “the” shot it started down pouring and we ran back to the van with all 5 dogs loping along.

5 Newfies all in a row by Mountain Dog Photography!

5 Newfies all in a row by Mountain Dog Photography!

Canon or Nikon? Nikon D700. It’s been a workhorse and has never let me down. I also still shoot with various medium and large format film cameras. Film photography is my hobby.

Tell us about your dogs:

My husband, Ian, and I currently have a pack of 4 motley mutts. Our oldest and largest is Logan, a 5 year old great Pyrenees mix. Strangers are usually intimidated, but he’s a big teddy bear once he feels comfortable. Jackson is a 3 year old collieish mix. He loves agility and meeting other dogs. His motto is “strangers are friends I haven’t met yet”. JB is a 1.5 year old min pin. She’s 10 pounds of pure attitude, but she has her silly moments and is quite photogenic. Molly is our most recent addition, a 1.5 year old berner/aussie mix. She’s incredibly smart and motivated to learn. Last month we lost our beautiful German shepherd, Maple, so it still feels odd to have 4 dogs. Also under our care are 6 cats (Miss Kitty, Luci, Bink, Dorie, Masson, and Judy), and 30 laying hens.

The Mountain Dog Photography Pack

The Mountain Dog Photography Pack

Contact information:

Kelly @ MountainDogPhotography.net
www.MountainDogPhotography.net
802-989-5707

 

 

Spotlight on Smile for a Cure creator and coordinator, Nunthany Johnson

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

The Smile for the Cure fund raiser is the brain child of Nunthany Johnson.  Two times a year, a group of photographers across the country donation 100% of their session fees to the NCCF.  Since Smile for a Cure started in 2011 it has raised $12,756 to fight canine cancer!

I would like to introduce you to all the Smile for a Cure photographers so, I thought there was no better place to start than with the organizer of this great fund raiser, Nunthany!

Georgia by Nunthany Johnson Photography

Georgia by Nunthany Johnson Photography

Name of business:  Nunthany Johnson Photography
Location:  North Carolina
Favorite subjects to shoot;  Dogs! (of course).  Horses, Nature.
Are you exclusively a dog photographer or do you do other subjects? mainly dogs ( allow a few cats from time to time. :) )

How did you become interested in photography?

I was the photographer for my high school newspaper (yes, a very long time ago!) and ever since then I’ve been hooked! I’ve always been interested in people’s stories and I think that’s part of what appeals to me so much about photography.  Its an opportunity to connect with someone (or something), learn about it, and then share it.  Its all consuming and has always been a form of expression for me. I love that its an ever changing craft and there is always more to learn and master.

 

Bruno by Nunthany Johnson Photography

Bruno by Nunthany Johnson Photography

Why did you chose to include dogs/pets in your business  /  Or make it your exclusive business.
It sort of happened by accident.  I started out using my own dog as a subject to practice different techniques or in different lighting situations. I ended up having so much fun with it that I decided to begin photographing dogs for other dog parents.  It was like a whole new world opened up!  I love that dogs are so open and real.  Photographing dogs is challenging and super fun all at the same time.  I love capturing how they just live in the moment and take things as they come.  One of the things I enjoy the most is connecting with other dog parents who appreciate the canine species and want to celebrate everything that’s special about having a dog.  It’s also very meaningful because I can combine my passion for photography with my love for animals and give people beautiful photographs that they are so grateful to have.

Louie by Nunthany Johnson Photography

Louie by Nunthany Johnson Photography

Why did you join Smile for a Cure?

Smile for a Cure is very near and dear to my heart because I started it in honor of our wonderful dog Max who passed away from cancer in 2009.  Max was a wonderful dog, a good friend, and such an important part of our family. He had a contagious zest for life & taught us so much about living in the moment and really appreciating the simpler things in life.   I think many people can relate to the fact that losing a pet is like losing a member of the family.  I wanted to do something special not only to remember Max but also to raise awareness of cancer & better the odds for the other dogs and their families dealing with cancer.   What’s so great about this effort is that I’m now joined by pet photographers nationwide & we are all working together to make a difference in the lives of dogs with cancer and the people who love them.

 

Tell us your favorite Smile for a Cure session story. ( Tell me about a dog that touched your heart, or a funny behind the scenes story…)

Solow was the first Smile for a Cure dog.  He was a senior dog with lung disease and a pituitary tumor.  I was expecting a pretty mellow shoot…but not this guy! You wouldn’t know he had any problems.  He was happy as can be, just enjoying life in his great backyard with the rest of his pack (3 other dogs and 1 cat…who was a pack member but probably not by choice!:)).  It brought home for me just how much we can learn from dogs and their great attitude about life.  The other part that was so memorable was experiencing how Solow interacted with the kids in his family.  He was so gentle and loving with them.  He had several spots on his tummy, one of which was shaped like a heart. The kids told me that was there on purpose because Solow had such a big heart with lots of love to give.  It was so touching and beautiful to see how much they loved and respected their dog Solow.   After this first Smile shoot, I knew I could make a difference with Smile for a Cure!

Nunthany Johnson Photography

Nunthany Johnson Photography

Canon or Nikon?  LOL

Nikon.  I shoot with a Nikon D700. My go to lens is typically the 28-70/2.8 when shooting dogs.  I also love to use my 50MM prime lens especially during closeup shots to get great shots of those expressive eyes!

Tell us about your dogs.

We have a wonderful family of rescued dogs that includes Scout, Toto, and Benji.  We love our guys so much! They bring so much happiness and fun to our lives.  Scout is our crazy little black poodle mix.  He’s super high energy and obsessed with one thing and one thing only:  THE BALL.  Toto is a shitzu mix (we found him running for his life on the interstate!) who enjoys cuddling, chewing on his bone and roughhousing with his older brother Scout. Toto is a registered therapy dog with Therapy Dog International and Scout is working on his certification.  We take both of them to visit with the elderly and children and we are so proud of their ability to bring a smile to everyone they meet.  Benji is our older wheaten terrier mix who can be a little cranky at times but tries his best to keep up with the younger guys.  When he’s not napping on his pet bed, he likes to run real fast from the top of the yard to the bottom.  They are all great dogs and a big part of our family.

Contact information:  www.nunthanyjohnson.com/blog