Archive for the ‘dog art and photos’ Category

One of the delightful aspects of both working with dogs and dog people and being a photographer is that I get to share my combined interests in many ways. After an article that I wrote and photographed was published last winter in the German magazine, Der JagdSpaniel, it was read by an Italian spaniel enthusiast. Elaine just happens to be the secretary of the Italian Spaniel Club, and she was looking for some photographs of an Irish Water Spaniel.

As we all know, this is a rare breed, but they may actually be non-existent in Italy, and there is a subsequent shortage of IWS images to choose from. Elaine was hoping I could supply a photograph for their club booth at the 2015 World Dog Show in Milan (June 10-14, 2015). So I sent her a variety to choose from: images of our 3 dogs, plus a number of our friends’ dogs here in the Pacific Northwest.

Now, if I were to guess which image they would choose, my money would be on Ms. Tooey. She has graced the center spread of Gun Dog Magazine, had her portrait in Ducks Unlimited Magazine, and appeared on the title page of the Irish Water Spaniel Club of America’s book Irish Water Spaniels in Art. (Yes, I am her stage mom.) She is quite strikingly photogenic and makes the breed proud with her visage.

But no. They liked a puppy portrait of Mr. Carlin that I made when he was just 21 weeks old.

Carlin at age 5 months

Carlin at age 5 months

Well, I guess if you are going to enter the family business of being a model for Russ, debuting in Milan is a good start.

Club Italiano Spaniel booth, World Dog Show, Milan, 2015

Club Italiano Spaniel booth, World Dog Show, Milan, 2015
photo by Elaine Narduzzo

The family tradition continues . . . .

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Digging into the archives, I had an image of Cooper that was produced as a lesson for my digital illustration students that I thought I would re-post* today, President’s Day, 2015.

It was the combination of a studio portrait* I made of our top dog way back in 2011 and some digital manipulation.

Cooper, enjoying the view from Mt. Rushmore on President's Day

Cooper, enjoying the view from Mt. Rushmore on President’s Day

I compiled a video clip of the studio shoot and the computer work which is typical of my day job, but this is with a subject that I really like.

*Originally posted here: Cooper: Carved in Stone and Portrait Session with Cooper

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Our Irish Water Spaniel connections and friends are diverse and spread around the globe. Tooey is from England, but her puppies have moved on to all over the USA, plus Canada and Australia, with new friends in each country as a result.

From a subset of IWS aficionados, those who hunt with their pups, one I have been frequently emailing is Dagmar Lukas in Germany. As she is an avid hunter with her curly brown dogs, we have been comparing notes about hunting with IWS in our different geographies. Local culture, game laws, public and private land use, and firearms laws, all color how each country defines and regulates hunting. Our conversation prompted Dagmar to ask me to write an article for a German magazine about my particular approach to training and hunting with my dogs in North America, and specifically in the West.

This article was featured in the magazine, Der Jagdspaniel published by the Jagdspaniel Klub. Fortunately, Dagmar could do the translation from English to German and so I was able to provide my manuscript in English and the photographs. The only local term that did not have a corresponding word in German was “sagebrush”, but she figured out that it was “Steppe aus Beifußbüschen”.

And once again, I am delighted to see my two dogs in print. This is the fourth time for Tooey, most recently with the December issue of Ducks Unlimited.

First page in the article about hunting with spaniels in North America

Cooper and Tooey on the first page of the article about hunting with spaniels in North America

For those of you who want to see the entire article and all the photos, here is a link to down load the PDF that Dagmar supplied. Irish-Water-Spaniels-in-Nordamerika (note: The article is in German but the photos are universal.)

If you want to read the English version, here is a link to a PDF of the manuscript with no photos. Hunting Spaniels in North America

Dagmar maintains a great website for her group of dogs, and with stunning photographs. See her website here.

I can’t say enough about how delighted I am to have met so many amazing people through the world of dogs, especially Irish Water Spaniels, and even more so, the ones that hunt with their dogs. On the 5th page of the PDF, in the lower left hand corner is a photo of Rod Peterson hunting with Rio and Kasen. Rod and Renae Peterson, well-respected IWS folks in the US, have been great mentors. They also gave Tooey her first home in North America, before she made her way to Oregon. (Tooey is quite fond of Rod and Renae for good reasons.)

Also shown in the article are photos of duck-hunting partner Matt Johnson, Scarlett the Boykin Spaniel (Norm Koshkarian’s), Kent Koshkarian hunting with Tooey in Kansas, Patrice hunting with Cooper in Oregon, and other assorted IWS.

As soon as the planets align correctly, I hope to go hunting in Germany with Dagmar and her Lockenköppe pups. You can’t have enough good dog friends.

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While Ms. Tooey and I were on our road trip to Kansas for our 2014 pheasant quest, I received an email from the waterfowl conservation group, Ducks Unlimited. They were looking for a representative photograph of an Irish Water Spaniel to illustrate an article on waterfowl retrievers.

Normally, I would have access to thousands of images of IWS retrieving waterfowl, but I was sitting in a Motel 6 in Utah with only my laptop and limited bandwidth.

However, I had been making some images during our hunting trip, and so I forwarded a few from earlier in the week when Tooey and I were chasing roosters in Kansas. The photo editor for the Ducks Unlimited magazine replied that he could use one for the November/December issue of their magazine.

November - December issue of Ducks Unlimited

November – December issue of Ducks Unlimited

The photo appears in a little time-line history of retrievers.

Tooey, as published on page 54

Tooey, as published on page 54

It was cropped from one of the photos of Tooey scanning the horizon of western Kansas, looking for more pheasants to flush and retrieve.

Ms. Tooey, my most accomplished bird dog

Ms. Tooey, my most accomplished bird dog

Tooey has retrieved her share of ducks, and she really excels at flushing, marking, and retrieving pheasants. It pleases me again that Tooey is such a versatile and all-round Irish Water Spaniel.


Note from Patrice:

There are folks out there who will argue that the photo Russ sent to Ducks Unlimited is not representative of Irish Water Spaniels because Tooey’s topknot, a characteristic of the breed, is clipped short. When you look at many breeders’ websites or even the AKC website, you’ll see IWS with long, luxurious topknots and ears.

Tooey with both duck and traditional topknot

But in my experience, long topknots are just burr, bramble, and debris collectors. In fact, on several hunting trips, both Cooper and Tooey came back from a retrieve with their ears velcroed to their topknots by burrs and other sticky, brambly plants. So while they were still being shown in the conformation ring, we tied their topknots back.


Now we just clip them short.

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Tooey was hot. She’s going through a false pregnancy, it’s hot this summer in Portland, and she wanted the show coat off. IWSCOPS Specialty (coming up in late August) be damned. Get the coat off, please, and get it off now.

But you’re so beautiful with your long show coat, I thought.

Get the coat off now, she panted. I’m hot.

Okay, okay. I’ll clip you down, but first we have to have a portait, captured specially by Russ.

So this past Friday night, Russ captured this photo of the girl. It was tough because it was hot and humid, even in the cool of the evening, and especially even more hot under the studio lights. So for many of the shots, she was panting, her tongue was lolling out, dripping saliva. Just looking at her made us all hot.

But finally, we got a good one of our beautiful girl, her last time in a long show coat.

Tooey, 5-1/2 years

Tooey, 5-1/2 years

Then, of course, Cooper, our camera hound, had to get into the action. He’s pretty easy to take pictures of — he loves the camera and will sit for quite a while during a shoot. Lights, cameras, all part of the action.

Cooper, 7-1/2 years

Cooper, 7-1/2 years

This whole time, Carlin had been hanging out, wondering about all this stuff that suddenly appeared in the living room — lights, reflectors, cables going everywhere, sandbags — all kinds of new things. So we thought we should give him the opportunity to practice sit-stay in a new location with a whole bunch of new distractions.

It took longer to get his portrait because, unlike Cooper and Tooey, he doesn’t have this camera thing down, his sit-stay is shaky, and he doesn’t appear to enjoy being photographed just for it’s own sake like Cooper does. But finally, we got this of happy Carlin Baby.

Carlin, 21 weeks

Carlin, 21 weeks

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Cooper is dog with tenacious drive mixed with the perpetual motion of a compulsive retriever. But he will always sit calmly in front of my camera and pose with the sparkling demeanor of a show dog at Westminster. It is one of his many charming virtues.

So once again I asked the boy to step in front of the lights for a few shots. But before he jumped up on the table, he snagged his photo buddy, a.k.a. “Rubber Duck”. The duck has been his companion since August of 2007 when he was awarded it as a participant in a Bird Dog Match as a 6-month-old adolescent. (This specific duck is actually the second generation duck, thanks to Ms Tooey.)

Cooper and dear duck friend

Cooper and dear duck friend

Now Ms Tooey doesn’t like to left out of anything. It doesn’t matter if Cooper has to go to the vet, she wants to go first. It is her nature as HBIC (Head Bitch in Charge). And so when Cooper stepped down, Tooey jumped up to stare into lens as well. If Cooper gets this much attention, she wants more.

Ms Tooey

Ms Tooey

The reason for the photo event was quite benign. I was testing a new camera and wanted have some familiar subjects to compare to photos taken with other equipment I use. As both pups had just finished getting a bath and some grooming for the recent dog here in Portland, this shoot was the convergence of having the studio set up and two clean dogs.

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If one is in need of fun, and the day is sunny and warm, and you live near the west coast, and it’s a Monday off work, and you have a Favorite Photographer and a couple of Water-loving Spaniels who love to go along, where better to go play than the beach?

Just make sure you have a camera and toy to take along!












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