I have a lot of exciting news for you this week! It's been a slow blogging week for me because I've been a little backed up with editing and working on the Project DOG website and doing other stuff - aka editing, shooting, editing, shooting, editing, editing, etc...
First, let me tell you about the website! I've decided to start an official website (I think I told you last week)... because I wanted to have a place where people could go to connect with others as well as read the stories of other dogs. I started by adding all of the submissions in, one by one. There are about 300 submissions so far! It's cool because you can browse dogs by breed. I'm also going to add a page listing all of the different rescues where people got their dogs. I'm beginning to think that perhaps I should just use this site as the basis for barkbook instead of making something else - not sure yet what's gonna happen. So, since I started this site, it's been getting a TON of traffic, way more than this one, I'm so excited!! Word is definitely spreading, which reminds me - you haven't submitted your dogs yet... you should!
The focus of the website and project in general is shifting a bit - and the website is definitely helping to make the Project more inclusive - because although we can't include everyone in the book, every dog will have its rightful place on the website. REPRESENT! It's also a goal to get all pet dogs on the site - to see how many dogs we have out there, and read a little bit about them and what their stories are.
Last Wed I had a photoshoot with Lourdes, the winner of the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Cutest Pet of the Bay contest for the "other category". Lourdes is a 20+ year old Floridian Box Turtle. She is a spunky gal who loves to go to the park! We met up in downtown San Francisco, in the same park where the wild parrots of Telegraph hill like to hang out.
I didn't tell anyone you were coming along, so it was a big surprise when you emerged from my bag. When Lourdes saw you, she ran right over. She was so excited she wanted to give you a big hug! Tell me, how do those turtle claws feel on the face?
Did I ever tell you that I used to have a turtle? Her name was Olive and she was a Red Eared Slider. I got her in NYC back in February of 2002 . Unfortunately she was sick upon purchase and she passed away on Mother's Day 2002 (only had her 3 months). She was the best turtle ever... so cute, so small... all the pets loved her, even Gavie my hamster. Olive used to like runing around in the bathtub with Gavie (hamster). Big sister Ponette would watch over everyone. After Olive died, my friend help me send her up the big tree and we released her little body into the Delaware River, which was right near my apartment. She is one of 2 pets to end their journey in that river.
On a happier note, this past Saturday was Petchitecture!! This is the #1 Pet Fundraising event in San Francisco, and it's put on by the fabulous organization Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS). From their website, "Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) is a volunteer-based organization that provides for the comprehensive needs of companion animals for low-income persons with disabling HIV/AIDS and other disabling illnesses, as well as senior citizens." This year the big event was held at the Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco. The Palace is over 100 years old, and is one of San Francisco's oldest treasures.
I've had this event on my calendar since last year, THAT's how excited I was for this thing! I remember moving to San Francisco in 2004 and there was a huge advertisement for Petchitecture right near my house at the bus stop. I remember thinking to myself, "what the hell is that? ...I want to shoot that". Well, that was 6 years ago, and it took me 3 years to get my paw in the door. I'm so happy I did, it's right up my alley!!
Petchitecture is a very unique event in that designers and architects come together to create modern pet habitats, which are put on display on the big night. The event consists of an exhibition of all of the pet habitats, a HUGE silent auction (the biggest one I've ever seen), gourmet catering, entertainment and a live auction. It's really an amazing event - and it's all for a great cause. I'll be posting all of the event photos this week - but in the meantime, here are a few I snapped of my favorite sidekick!
Here she is sippin on some champagne with the awesome SF/SPCA team!
(left) Bronte the Irish Wolfhound. Bronte's a 1-year old San Francisco Irish Wolfhound. She wants to know if you've ever met an Irish Wolfhound before? ...didn't think so.
(right) Best friends Precious (cat) and Alloicious (mouse). Yep, take a goooood look. That's a CAT AND A MOUSE. They are best friends! I got the full scoop from their owner (who wants to be called) Fred. When I asked Fred if I could take a photo with you, she threw her arms in the air and exclaimed "I LOVE ELLEN!". I told her that I'd tell you that, she's a very sweet woman who's had a long hard life. Fred is a client of PAWS and she adopted Precious a few years ago. She thought Precious was lonely so she went and bought her a little mouse. "Snake bait" if you will. They were instant friends and have been inseparable ever since. Alloicious (mouse) is always by Precious' side no matter what. And get this! Fred rides her bike around town, with Precious riding on her shoulders, and Alloicious riding on Precious! Now that must be quite the sight...
Fred has been a longtime resident of the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, and there is even a mural painted on the corner of Geary and Jones featuring Precious and Alloicious. I'll have to go check that out for myself...
If you're wondering why I called this letter "The Golden Ticket" it's because I feel very lucky that I am able to do the things I am doing - taking pics at Petchitecture, working with the SF Bay Guardian, creating Project DOG and seeing it through... I'm trying to behave myself so that all my hard work pays off in the end (hopefully, someday). I think it will.
Okie well that's it for this week! Hope you had a great weekend, I know I did!!