Ever need a Dog Walker or someone to feed the cat?

Well, it has been a busy few months for me and I have sadly neglected my blog again so I thought I would start out on some doggy related topics that may be of interest to you!

I am lucky enough to work from home, so my three dogs have my company most of the day! Having said that I do go away for workshops, and personal development and it is not always convenient for my husband to take time off work but we usually manage to work things around. There are lots of dog owners though that do not have this luxury and have to leave their beloved pooch at home while the are at work.

Some dogs are happy with this but others may get bored or anxious and so having someone come in and check them and take them for a walk is peace of mind for many dog owners.

I recently met up with Joanna Menzies, Director of Rambles Pet Care,  to take some PR photographs for her but often meet her out and about with various dogs when walking mine. The business was founded in September 2016. You may have seen her fliers around some of the local pet stores and vets.

Hiring a dog walker can seem daunting to some owners, the thought of leaving your beloved pets with a stranger can be nerve wracking. I would be happy to leave mine in the care of Joanna and her team.

When choosing a dog walker, make sure to go with a professional and highly recommended business. So I decided to find out more about Joanna and Rambles Pet Care for you!

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Joanna, 29,  grew up in Wantage, Oxfordshire, surrounded by pets of all shapes and sizes. After pursuing a successful career in Public Relations in London, she returned to her hometown of Wantage in 2016, to follow her dream of working with animals, and founded Rambles Pet Care LTD.

Joanna says that “Rambles combines my love of animals, the great outdoors and keeping fit, three of my biggest passions!”
Joanna is supported by two other team members, Claire and Chelsea. Joanna said that she wanted to be sure she employed others that loved animals as much as she does and were honest and caring people. She states that Claire and Chelsea tick all the boxes and feels so lucky to have them as part of the team.
What services does Rambles Pet Care Provide?
  • Dog Walking
    We provide regular daily walks, or just the occasional ones when clients are stuck behind at the office. We take the dog to the best countryside spot around and allow them to enhance their senses with lots of sniffing, exercise, play and fresh air.
    We like to keep our clients updated by sharing a photo of their dogs from our walks, as well as sending a short message to let them know their precious pup is safely home.

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  • Cat Visits and Feeds
    We offer a Visit and Feed service for Cats and other small animals,  to ensure our client’s pets are kept happy and well whilst they’re away.
    Whether it’s a comfort visit in the middle of the day to combat any loneliness, or breakfast and dinner feeds whilst owners are on holiday, we can help.

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  • Pet Sitting
    For a much friendlier and more comfortable alternative to Kennels and Catteries, we offer an overnight Pet Sitting service.
    Aimed to reduce any anxiety whilst our clients are away, by having their beloved animal taken care of within the comfort of their own home.
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Rambles Pet Care is based in Wantage but also covers up to a 10 mile radius, including Southmoor, Farringdon and Didcot.

I asked Jo, what a typical day would be for her…
One of the things I love about my job is that each day is different! But typically, my day will go something like this…
06:30am: Rise and Shine! I start my day by checking my emails with a large cup of tea to hand! I may have received some last minute requests or updates from our clients, so it’s important to check this and then update the days schedule accordingly.
07:30am: Morning Feeds! The first stop of the day tends to be feeding any chickens and cats we are looking after. It’s lovely to see their excitement on our arrival in the morning!
08:30am: Puppy time! We often provide puppy visits to clients that commute into London very early in the morning. This first visit involves letting them out to the loo, playing with lots of toys to burn off their energy, and of course loads of cuddles.
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09:30-14:00: Dog walks! This is our busiest time of the day for dog walking. There really is nothing better than being out in the fresh air, walking one of our Rambles doggy clients.
We don’t offer group/pack walks, so every dog walk is different from the last and will take place in the best countryside or nature trail spot nearby, for lots of sniffing, exercise and play-time!
After each walk, I like to send our clients a photo of their dog and short update, letting them know how they got on.
14:00: Refuel! Time to refuel with some lunch, respond to any emails and check-in with the rest of the team.
15:00: Round two! Puppy Visits and afternoon Dog Walking kicks off, followed by Cat evening feeds.
17:00: Social Media! Rambles has very active Social Media channels, including Facebook and Instagram. Our clients like to see photos of what we’ve been up to, so I set some time aside to update each day.
18:00: New customer visits! It’s important for me to meet new clients face to face, so both they (and their pet) can meet me before registering with Rambles. These visits usually take place in the evenings when clients are home from work. I really look forward to meeting new clients and their four legged family members.
20:00: Hens to bed then home for dinner!
For Facebook lovers check out the Rambles FB Page
Well I hope that has given you lots of information about the services that Rambles Pet Care provide and helps you on your way to contacting her should you require any of her services.
Thank you for reading my post!

Still Here!

Wow hadn’t realised how long it was since I last blogged. The School holidays came, the agility season started, Weddings, Newborns, dogs, horses, holidays, training camps it has just been busy, busy.

I will endeavour to get back into blogging and share some lovely images.

Here are a few from the summer.

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Thank you for reading my post…. please feel free to drop by my website www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

Dogs Today

Feeling chuffed to have another of my images featured in Dogs Today Magazine March edition. This time a lovely brown and white,  Springer Spaniel that I shot at his home. We were lucky that at the back of the garden there was a corn field so we went out there for a little play.

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The image top right is on of many lovely head shots of this handsome boy. We also got some great action shots and some of him relaxing in the garden.

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We started off getting to know each other in the garden. Just chilling and getting used to the camera.

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However, lovely as the garden was I was drawn to the corn field that sat behind the house and so we went to investigate.

This is one of my favourite shots from the shoot.

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Some dogs are more relaxed at home which was the case for this particular shoot. It was a bright sunny morning which is always a challenge. I would always prefer a bright but over cast day as the light is much easier to work with for both humans and animals.

 

We has a lot of fun in the corn.

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One of the last shots before we finished. A happy but tired boy.

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Please take a look at my website for more images. www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

Thank you for reading my post.

 

Crufts Super Stars 2016

Crufts 2016 has just finished. Although I was unable to attend this year I watched as much of the coverage on Channel 4 as possible. The Agility Finals on Sunday were particularly exciting.  My ambition is to one day qualify in agility to compete there. Its is always good to have a dream…..

As you know my true passion is photographing dogs, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy photographing other subjects I do, but from as far back as I can remember having a dog of my own was a dream. I now have three! I am lucky to be able to combine my love of dogs and photography together.

So I am thrilled to be able to say along my journey of dog photography I have captured a few of the winners at this years Crufts!

The first ever commissioned job I had was photographing a litter of Border Collies in 2009. Nothing like a challenge. Eight feisty pups all eager to do everything but what we wanted them to do!  We had to resort to having them held for individual pictures. Who would have thought that I would be photographing a superstar!

Congratulations to this beautiful girl Scandal.

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Open Large Agility Winner 2016 to add to her numerous outstanding awards.

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Scandal with her Litter siblings 2009, boy did we have fun getting this shot. I wonder what the other pups have got up to?

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Those of you that follow my blog know that I recently got two Mini American Shepherds.

Earlier in the year the breeder  of my dogs and her friend came to see me to get some photos done in the Studio. It was quite a crazy session with all three dogs. They are a breed I have never captured before and certainly a breed that would win my heart over. The Lagotto Romagnolo.

The name of the breed reveals its origins; the expansive marshes of the Romagne district of Italy, where Lagotto (Italian dialect for curly coated duck retriever) were valued for their ability to retrieve ducks from water. The draining of the marshes in the early 1900s led to the decline of duck hunting and there was less demand for dogs to work to their traditional purpose. However, an alternative use was soon found for him: his natural scenting ability made him ideal as a truffle hunter and in his native land that is now seen as his primary purpose. – See more at: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/display.aspx?id=2158
The breed gained KC recognition last year with Crufts 2016 being the very first time they were able to be shown in their own class and go for the group.
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I had no idea that the dogs had qualified for Crufts. So hugely impressed when I found out that Mum on the right won the Veteran Bitch Class at 12 years of age!

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Doesn’t she look well for her age!  Almost puppy like here.
Her Grandaugher, (below & right in group above) the puppy  for the breed. You don’t get much cuter than this!
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A huge congratulations to their owner.
Finally I had the pleasure of doing some photography at Devon Dogs at the end of January (Blog to follow soon) and got to meet and photograph this gorgeous Cocker  and her owner Tash Poddubecki. They had a great time at Crufts and came first in the Medium Final Jumping.. so well done to them.
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That concludes my claim to meeting up and photographing doggy superstars!  Thank you for reading my post. http://www.meltaylorphotgraphy.co.uk

Gold Award

Really excited to have achieved a Gold Award this month in the Societies Monthly International Competition. Such a happy little dog and we had great fun in the studio getting her to stay in the basket and also get the head tilt.

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She came with a couple of her collie friends and the image I entered into the Monochrome category got a Highly Commended.

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Thank you for reading my post http://www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

Dogs Today Magazine

The new year has got off to a good start for me with the Awards at the guild and some press coverage with the Oxford Times, Witney Gazette and Oxford mail.

I have also been fortunate to have had some more images published in Dogs Today Magazine in “The Best Dog Photographs in the world” section.

I have got a little behind with my blogs as I have been away doing some dog training. So thought I would do a little catch up here for January and February.

January 2016

January 2016 cover

 

Love the front cover on this months edition. I have a real soft spot for Lurchers. Up until recently I have always had one, always rescues and have loved each of them. They are such lovely natured dogs and don’t need the exercise that everyone thinks they do. They make great pet dogs.

Some great issues addressed this month, Puzzle the Muzzle, Aiding homeless, raising awareness with the missing dog calendar and much more.

The image published for me this month was taken on the Ridgeway whilst out on a walk. The little dog is a cross breed terrier, very very sweet and it was definitely the ears that did it for me on this one!

January 2016

Often the owners don’t want to be in the image, but this is a good compromise. It gives the sense of closeness with the owner but with the focus on the dog.

February 2016

Feb 2016 cover

A Valentines theme for this edition..some great images in this magazine. The magazine had an image of a dog with a Red heart balloon and that inspired me to do a few images of my dogs with a similar theme and also had someone book a session to get the same.

Another image for me in the  “The Best Dog Photographs in the world” section. This time one in keeping with the weather we have been having recently. I like most dog owners at present are fed up of the rain, puddles and mud… nothing like a good shake to get dry!

Feb 2016

The Magazine has some great articles, New life for lab Beagles, Recovering Greyhounds and the dog crush this month is all about Labradoodles.

Thanks for reading my post. http://www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

 

More Publications in Dogs Today

I was fortunate enough to be featured yet again in Dogs Today Magazines October, November and December editions.

October

Dogs Today October Front 2015

Octobers edition yet again full of interesting articles and featured an image of my Mini American Shepherd in The best dog photographers in the World section. The image was taken in a local bluebell wood. I had a gap between client shoots so decided to have a play with my dogs. Buzz is training to be an agility dog so this image of him jumping is great. However, getting him at to stay and wait while I got to the other side of the log and on the floor took a little bit of doing!

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I particularly like the articles they do on breeds, the October issue was all about Corgis. Some great info on the breed and some lovely images too.

November

November Cover 2015

Now that’s a cute pup on the font cover!  Who could resist him?

This months magazine published an image of my Working Sheep dog. Take on a lazy summers evening. She just loves jumping up on the hay bales.

November 2015 image

The Dog Crush article in this magazine was all about the Newfoundland.  They give you facts about the breed. For cleanliness apparently 75% of their respondents said if you cant stand the dribble then you are not a proper Newfie owner and they apparently shed a lot of hair and they are huge dogs! Probably not the dog for me based on that information.

December

December 2015 Cover

Now this cover was a definite eye catcher for me. Not only because of those stunning blue eyes but because its another Mini American Shepherd and a very handsome one at that!

This issue published an image very dear to me indeed. It is an image I have in a 30″ frame on my wall. I just love having large images. This gorgeous lurcher is sadly no longer with me. The image was taken on my very first digital SLR camera. I love the softness of the daisy’s and the rim lighting of the evening sun on her.  When you loose a dog its like loosing one of the family and a big gap is left.  We miss her but at least get to see her every day.

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The step by step guide in this months magazine had an interesting article on Food etiquette. Some sound advice.

Thank you for reading my post. If you are interested in booking a shoot then please look at my website. www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

A Trip to the Vets

As an animal owner a trip to the vets is not normally something that I look forward to because it usually means that there is something wrong with one of my dogs. However, this time it was very exciting! I had been invited to go along to Cherrydown Vets in Basildon, Essex to spend the day taking photographs to be used for their new brochure and website.

Having had pets for many years I have been a customer at many vets and would highly recommend Cherrydown to any one that lives in the surrounding areas. It’s a big, bright, clean and friendly practice and the staff really care about your furry friend(s).

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Cherrydown is led by Director Jonathan Nurse and he is backed by a dedicated team of vets and nursing staff. In fact they were winners of The Good Vet Guide, Vet of the Year in 2014!

I had a great time meeting all the lovely characters that arrived for appointments thought the day. This two were just adorable. Not to mention the cuddly Cockerpoo puppy featured above, he was not lacking in volunteers for cuddles!

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All the animals regardless of if they were waiting for an operation out the back or waiting for a consultation in the waiting room were happy and relaxed.

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Cherrydown guarantee to be there for you 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year. Staff are on site to care for your pets, so it’s 24/7 at Cherrydown.  This care is not offered by all vets. Its is very comforting knowing that there is someone with your pet all the time. The staff take the time to greet the owner and pets and it was lovely to see that after operations the nurses were giving advise to each owner on how to care for them at home.

I was lucky enough to be invited to take images during some of the operations. I even got to gown up!  Obviously this was important as hygiene in the operating rooms is very key.

Working in low light conditions was a challenge, no flash was used for any of the images. This may have frightened some of the pets and would have been very distracting for the vets. I also spent quite a lot of time stood on chairs to get an elevated view of what was going on.

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Advice on all types of pet care and health is freely available in a friendly environment and there is plenty of room to allow separate areas for Cats and Dogs. I always feel sorry for the cats going into small surgeries that have dogs staring at them in their cat baskets!

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Another advantage is there is an outside area for a leg stretch of for doing the things that often need to be done and relaxation.

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A busy and enjoyable day and as you can see the images were put to good use. The brochure really nice and full of useful information for existing and new clients.

I would like to thank Cherrydown for allowing me to share what they do with you.

Thank you for reading my post… www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

 

 

 

Happy New Year…..

Happy New Year to you all. It’s always scary when I have to make a New Year folder for the next 12 months of photographic sessions not to mention those that I take for myself.

There are some exciting things coming up for Mel Taylor Photography but will be saving those gems for later in the month…

The camera’s have spent Xmas away getting cleaned for the New Year and I hope to collect then early this week as new bookings have already started to come in for January.

Typically January is a quiet month for photographers but for those like me that have children, not much gets done in the Xmas holidays so I always have a backlog to catch up on and the dreaded “Tax return” that I am sure will be highlighted on local radio every 5 mins for the next 30 days…. yes I know the cut off is 31st January!

I had a very busy 2015 and was thrilled to be published in Dogs Today magazine in the Best Dog Photographs in the world section.  As I had not realised that was happening I have got behind with sharing so I thought I would take this opportunity to catch up.

Its a really good Dog magazine and I can recommend it for a good read with many interesting articles.

October 2015

October 2015 cover

The image in this one is of Buzz, my Mini American Shepherd. He would have been around 7 months in this image.

The bluebell woods make a wonderful place for images. You can never quite plan shoots for them as depending on the weather they appear at different times and catching them at their best is always tricky.

Action shots can be quite difficult too, especially in wooded areas where the light might be poor. The Bluebells were early in 2015 and so the leaves on the trees were not completely out giving a much better quality of light in the woods.

Getting this image took a little while as I was on my own, with my other dog too. So getting Buzz to sit and wait the other side of the log while walked to the other side and got down on the floor for the low level perspective was not so easy! A few attempts were needed. Wait is not his one of his strengths and  at his age with many distractions around him it was a bigger challenge. Not to mention that he has a mind of his own!  My agility coach will vouch for that one!  But we got there and Butter wouldn’t melt!

Dogs Today October 2015 image

Thank you for reading my post http://www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Dashing Dash

Was it only four months ago that I shared some images of my lovely new Mini American Shepherd – Dash… how did he grow so quickly… cruel how we are cheated so quickly from all that gorgeous puppy awesomeness!

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As puppies go he has been a star. Only a little whimper for the first few night and very quickly house trained. He has become best buddies with my other Shepherd, Buzz and even Maya my collie likes him a little. Buzz is still trying to gain her affections but doesn’t realise that trying to plant kisses on her every morning will not win her over!

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Dash is not backwards at coming forward, he enjoyed his two puppy socialisation classes where we realised that bouncy puppies are not something that he is keen on and he can have a little temper when confronted by bounciness! Can’t say I would be too happy if a stranger came running up to me and started jumping all over me.

We have gone through the weird ear phase but they have now settled down but he has had a few different looks.

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He has been a joy to train and once we get over the initial excitement that training involves food, and food is something that Dash is very keen on and is very vocal about letting me know this at feed time!

We have already started our agility training. Lots of fun games at the moment and just working with poles on the ground and learning our left from right and he has a fantastic wait which will be a great help once we start competing.

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Apart from his agility he loves to snooze, more so now that the weather has turned wet and nasty. Getting up in the morning is hard, we would rather snuggle into Maya’s bed than go out for a walk and getting our feet wet is not something we like to do and will avoid going out to do what little pups need to do until physically taken!  He will then tiptoe around and walk like John Wayne!

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So we continue our journey together learning new things every day, having lots of kisses and cuddles and he has grown into quite a Dashing young fella.

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Thank you for reading my post.  www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk