Monday, October 31, 2011

"Awkward Family Pet Photos" Available Today In Book Stores, My Review!

I was lucky  to get an advance copy of "Awkward Family Pet Photos" to review. I am letting the pets speak for themselves and then my review of the book follows.

A new book is available today,November lst, that will steal the hearts of all animal lovers. “Awkward Family Pet Photos” is a must have book for anyone who loves their pets. It is mostly a book of outrageous photos of pets and their owners, mixed in with text and stories about some of the pet photos.

As a pet owner myself, my little darlings are dogs, I am as guilty as the next at dressing my dogs up for special occasions. My chihuahua wears a bunny suit at Easter, my female dogs pose in vintage hats, and my late German Shepherd looked fabulous in a fedora. I love taking photos of my dogs.

We take for granted that our pets love these antics as much as we do. This book proves that most likely they do. Every page is chock full of color photographs of all kinds of pets. We all think of dogs and cats in family photos, this book goes way beyond the normal family pet, to include some extremely unusual critters that just don’t come to mind when you say “pet”.  Yet each photo demonstrates the love of the owner for its special animal.

At first glance at this book, my head started to spin. There are so many photos it is overwhelming. This book is a bit kitschy with its brightly dazzling high gloss color images.  Each page is chock full of pictures so that you can’t just flip through the book and toss it aside as a pretty coffee table book. The more you look at the pages and photographs, the more you see and the more you laugh. I love that this book will take time to ingest. I have many animal books that I’ve looked at and put aside to browse through later. You can’t do that with “Awkward Family Pet Photos”, because you want to go back again and again to see what you’ve missed!

The chapters cover dogs, cats, birds, exotic pets, farm animals, family portraits, and holidays with pets. I was very captivated with some of the exotic photos, which included a couple who met while walking their sugar gliders, the woman with a opossum in her hair, and the family portrait with the snake intertwined around everyone’s head.

My favorite chapter, however, is the last on Awkward Pets, catching some animals in mighty strange positions! The sweetest in that category is the “bum sniffer” where the dog is sniffing a baby’s butt.

The humor in this book is as amazing as the photos. I went online to check the book out further, and one YouTube video had a young woman reading the book and laughing so hard she kept tripping from room to room as she flipped through the book. You will laugh your bum off too when you start reading this charming, funny look at life with animals.

Kudos to Mike Bender and Doug Chernack for coming up with a winner! The book is available today in bookstores. If you love animals you owe it to yourself to buy several copies of this book. You will want to keep yours and it will make the perfect holiday gift for your favorite pet lovers.

Check out their website for more funny awkward family pet photos!

Check out my previous post on my own Writer With Dogs pet photo contest. The winner will also receive a copy of "Awkward Family Pet Photos" as well.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Awkward Family Pet Photos" New Book By Hollywood Dog Lovers And Our Own Pet Photo Contest

Two Bits Of Doggie News! Photo Contest Time For Writer With Dogs Win $100 For Your Favorite Animal Shelter and A Soon To Be Released Book That Will Be A Must Have For Dog Lovers! Dog Contest Rules Follow After Book Info!

I just received an e-mail on a new book of dog photos that will be in stores November lst. The book is titled Awkward Family Pet Photos by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack and features outrageous pet photos, including dogs, cats, birds, rats, horses, pigs, goats, and exotic pets such as reptiles, sugar gliders, ferrets, and monkeys. It is sure to shock and delight anyone who has ever shared that uniquely special relationship with a family pet. Check out their website. You can pre-order the book! Perfect for gift-giving with the holidays sneaking up on us.
Mike Bender is a professional screenwriter living in Los Angeles whose credits include Not Another Teen Movie and the MTV Movie Awards. He is also a regular contributor to Esquire. Mike’s dog, Din-Din, had final approval over his author photo.

Doug Chernack is a professional screenwriter and producer living in Los Angeles who has created and produced shows for E!, Fox Sports, and the Golf Channel. He has been known to take his fish, Porky, on walks around the block.

I will be sharing more on this great book with you soon!

Writer With Dogs Photo Contest

It has been been almost a year since I had a dog photo contest so I think it is time.

Send your dog photos to my e-mail address . Deadline for receiving photos is November 10. Winner will receive a $100 check made out to their favorite animal shelter. Have fun and raise money for a good cause! In submitting photos you agree I can post them on my blog and on Facebook. Photos will be posted on Facebook and everyone can vote for their favorite. I will share the link here to the photos as soon as they are up. There will be a week of voting and on November 18th the winner will be announced.

So here are the rules:
  • Send me one or two photos of your dog or dogs, include a short bio on them and what makes them special (they are all special, but sometimes there is a great 'tale' behind a dog that isn't always wagging). Please send in jpg format.
  • Include a short blurb about your local rescue group and a link to their site.
  • Be sure I have your contact information.
Remember to send to my e-mail address - Photos will also be posted on this blog as they come in! So keep checking back.

Buy a new dog photo book and enter a dog photo contest to win money for your favorite rescue good. Ahhh, life is good!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Interview On "Coffee With A Canine" posted July 20, 2011

I love this blog, "Coffee With A Canine" and was thrilled when Marshal Zeringue asked me to be a guest. I've reposted the interview below, but you should check out the actual blog site and then keep scrolling down to read all the wonderful dog stories. It is fun to date your dog!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Barbara Barth & Bray, Chloe, Annabelle, Rascal, and Miss April In Paris

Who is in the photo at right?

photo by
That is me, Barbara Barth, with Miss April In Paris, in our professional portrait for my website, Writer With Dogs. I am a writer, a shopkeeper and an events planner. I wrote a book on my first year as a widow, The Unfaithful Widow, doing all those things I never thought I’d do again. It has been called “naughty and cheeky” by an Australian reviewer. Rescue dogs rescued me I like to say. My dogs are a large part of my story and healing process.

In January this year, I opened a small antique/gift shop in Old Town, Lilburn, Georgia, about twenty minutes from my house. It is a shop with a twist. Every weekend I hold book signings and art openings. It is a writers’ guild and an art center. Writing and art classes start this month. The shop is a non-traditional venue for artists to share their work with the community. The historic hub is trying to rebuild. In six months I have expanded from one vintage building to three since my events are growing larger every month. I am president of the Merchants Association and work with the other shops to breathe life into the small hub. Many of the events are fundraisers for my favorite animal shelters.

I am usually on the computer until all hours of the early morning, either writing promotional material for my shop or my own personal writing. Little Chloe [photo left, with Rascal] likes to crawl behind my back and wedge herself between me and back of the chair. It works wonders for my posture.
I am usually on the computer until all hours of the early morning, either writing promotional material for my shop or my own personal writing. Little Chloe [photo left, with Rascal] likes to crawl behind my back and wedge herself between me and back of the chair. It works wonders for my posture.

I write a weekly post for Lifetime Television’s online site for their morning TV show, The Balancing Act. I promote my artists with my blog on the Lilburn and like to talk girl talk on In addition I seem to have as many personal blogs as I have dogs, but who is counting?
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?I’ve been keeping longer hours at the shop and decided the pack and I needed some quality time together. My dogs prefer the indoors to the 98 degree weather we’ve been having in the metro Atlanta area, so our date was in the air conditioned sun room!

What's brewing?I am an old fashioned girl and drink plain, caffeinated, black coffee. Folgers breakfast blend is my favorite. I add a few extra scoops to make it strong. Most people refuse to drink my coffee!

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

A nice cucumber or tomato sandwich with mayo on white bread makes me feel like I am at high tea, although I never drink tea.

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

Milk bones minis. They are small and not as fattening. Last year, when I had rotator cuff surgery, and was in a sling for four months, the dogs and I ate comfort food, and we all put on the pounds.

How were you and your dogs united?When my husband died three years ago I had two German Shepherds. When the male died a year later, my old gal Foxy seemed bored. Her job as caregiver was over. I adopted Bray [photo left], my Afghan mix and the rest is history. In nine months I added five dogs to the pack. In addition to Bray, there is Annabelle [photo above right], a portly hound dog mix, my seven pound Chi named Chloe, Rascal, a roly poly bull dog, pit mix, and lastly, Miss April In Paris, a spotted hunting dog. Two months ago Foxy left me as age and health caught up with her. It seems quiet with only five! I am used to counting when they come in after a romp in the yard…1,2,3,4,5…and then I remember there is no number 6. I am working on that now. I like a six-pack at home.

Have your dogs had any influence on your writing?

I write under the name Writer With Dogs and have a web under that name. I launched a one-time online dog magazine with the same name, in December 2010, dedicated to rescue dogs and vintage dog art. I write about dogs, my rescue groups, living with a house full of fur. I have a dog book in the works. When friends say I am crazy being single with five dogs, I say I’d be crazy without them. They are my writing muses. They make every day a riot of fun!

How did your dogs get their names?Each dog kept the name it came with. Only April had hers extended. She was the sixth dog when she came in the house, and like the last child, she was somewhat taken for granted. One day she came up to me while I was on the computer, nudged my arm, and took out part of Outlook. I held her face and realized she needed to feel special. “I shall call you Miss April In Paris!” I started a small blog for her, where she is dreaming of visiting the city of lights. She is in my PR photos and, while she has not made it to Paris, she has been on a blog in England.

Where are your dogs' favorite places for outings?

They love to run my fenced yard, which is very private for being close in the city. The occasional trip to the vet, one at a time, is exciting as they enjoy car rides. Mostly they like to stay indoors. My dogs are couch potatoes. Their idea of exercise is to move from the bed, to the couch, to the food bowl. They don’t really care if they go out, but they do like for me to stay in.
Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?The dogs are all BFFs. They love to lick each other and play well together. They are a united front.

What is each dog's best quality?

Chloe, the Chi, tries to run the household. She sees that as her job since Foxy is gone. Bray is still skittish and when he comes up to bestow a tiny kiss on your hand, you feel like you’ve won the lottery. If Annabelle could talk, her favorite word would be “whatever”. Nothing bothers her, unless you disturb her sleep. She is the oldest at ten. My other dogs are between three and four years old. Rascal is that chubby girl that sits in the curl of your arm with her head on your chest and stares at you with one blue eye and one brown one. Miss April in Paris looks serious with her dark eyes and dark face, but she is a kisser, which differs from a dog who licks your face. She actually plants a big kiss on your mouth. If only there were a man as good with his kisses.

What is each dog's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

My dogs don’t embarrass, however they have been known to embarrass me! They are happy, well-adjusted, rescue dogs that have found confidence and security at my home. Their proudest moment is when we all run to the bed to sleep at night! They have me sleeping with dogs and I sleep better snuggling with them.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Rest Of The Story - Wyatt's Prize Winning Moment!

Wyatt giving his winning check to his favorite shelter!

Sometimes things just slip my mind! This post was one that got away from me - but needs to be here to complete the cycle of the dog photo contest.

Sweet Wyatt, I am so sorry I forgot to post this! I am scratching my not fleas...just confusion...that I overlooked posting you giving your prize money to your favorite shelter.

So, here are the two photos and a short wagging "tale" of good fortune!

From March 23rd : Sue writes about Wyatt!

We took the check down to Project Pooch, with Wyatt in tow. The staff at Project Pooch were very thankful and loved the idea of the photo contest. We gave them an 8 x 10 glossy of his winning photo. They will be including it in their next newsletter. Wyatt was jumping all over and trying to eat the check...not our best photo shoot! Wyatt is getting so used to going into places, shopping and getting treats and hugs from everyone, he needs a refresher course on manners!
This week he was in the front seat of the truck, while I was putting a big bag of dog food behind the seat. He jumped out and ran towards the entrance of the store. I called him, he looked back briefly and then bolted through the front entrance, when the automatic doors opened. When I caught up to him, he was standing in the aisle with the rawhide bones and dog treats. (Everyone in the store was laughing) .......

Wyatt is such a great dog! Visit Wyatt's blog!

Now, as Paul Harvey would have said, 'you have the rest of the story!'

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mr. Pip Dropping Off Check To The Red Door Animal Shelter

As you may remember, March lst our grand prize winner for the doggie photo contest was Wyatt. Wyatt asked to share his prize money with his bud Mr. Pip. Wyatt is a prince of a pup!

On March 13th, Mr. Pip delivered his check to The Red Door Animal Shelter and wanted to share the photos with us!

A photo of the outside of the shelter and one of Mr. Pip (who was concerned he needed a grooming, but looks swell to me!) and the check.

Thanks for sending the photos! Visit Mr. Pip on his blog and Wyatt on his blog if you are in the mood for some doggie adventures to make you smile!

Remember I always love to see your dog photos! E-mail them to me and I will post them here to share with all my dog lovin' friends!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dog Portrait Artist Matt Tames And The Sketchbook Project

Pet Portraits for a Cause
By Matt Tames of little BIG Pet Portraits

As an artist and an animal lover, I’ve always tried to find ways to help animals with my artwork. For example, I would donate my animal paintings to different rescue organizations for their fundraising auctions, and donating to the Humane Society for all the sales on my website.

But I wanted to think of a way to do something more for animals in need of loving homes. So I started my blog, little BIG Pet Portraits, where I feature an adoptable pet of the week. I find a needy pet from a shelter or rescue organization, and I use their photos to paint a pet portrait, which I feature on my blog along with their story and information on how to adopt.

Adopting a dog or cat in need is one of the most rewarding things you can do, and you will receive unconditional love in return. When you adopt from a shelter, you save the lives of two animals, the new friend you adopt and another homeless pet off the streets that now has comfortable, safe shelter in that space you helped to free up. Adoptable pets are not to be pitied, they have so much dignity and love to share, and often, incredible stories of triumph. So I don’t paint them looking sad and homeless, I try to paint them in their best light, usually in whatever environment or activity I think they would be happiest. For example, I’ll paint a herding dog on a farm or a Scottish Terrier in the Highlands.

Last year around this time, I painted an Irish Setter in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, and to raise awareness about setter rescue. It was a scary time for animal rescue workers in Mississippi, because eight Irish Setters were running free in the woods after their owner had died and they were left to fend for themselves in a large rural, unfenced area. Scared and hungry, they were lost in the wooded and overgrown area and the rescuers finally collected all of them after leaving food out for a few weeks. They were glad to be found, but all suffered from anemia, heartworm and flea infestation. They received great care in loving foster homes, and six of them have already been placed in their forever homes. One of their adopters even found my website and contacted me about purchasing the print I did. It’s very rewarding when I hear from the dogs’ adoptive family or foster family; it makes me so glad I started this project.

I recently took on the challenge of illustrating fifty shelter dogs and cats for the Sketchbook Project, a traveling art exhibit that is completing a nine-city tour in 2011. I chose pets from each of those cities and the surrounding areas and featured their stories and adoption information alongside original watercolor pet portraits.

Please visit our blog to see more artwork and current pets for adoption, or “like” us on Facebook. And if you are looking for a new pet, definitely consider adopting from a shelter. You will gain a grateful family member and best friend for life!
Ed. Note: To see if the Sketchbook Project will be on view close to you check their link of places and dates.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And The Winner Is.....Wyatt!

The comments have been counted and the winner of our dog photo contest is Wyatt! See his original photo and post

Wyatt is totally pawsome!

What does this winner have to say about all this? When notified earlier today, Wyatt, in his winning crown, had a favor to ask!

"Can I split my prize with Mr. Pip? Could you send him $150 for his cause and $150 for mine?"

Mr. Pip and Wyatt are buddies and Wyatt loves Mr. Pip's cause "Red Door Shelter" as much as he loves his own "Project Pooch". So, there you have it, the $300 prize money will be split between these two pawsome friends.

Competition was stiff, but all the dogs left comments for each other! Wyatt left this comment for Mr. Pip when his photo was added to the mix of contestants.

"Oh, I have some competition now! You should be resting up for the big race, Pip!! I'm going to go comment for you, cuz we are both pawesome!!"

Wyatt came in with 85 comments and Mr. Pip with 65.

Pip was all smiles when he heard about his friend Wyatt's generosity!

"Oh my gosh, that is so wonderful Wyatt. Thanks so much!"

And thanks to everyone who entered their favorite dog into this contest! Every dog is a winner because they are surrounded by love every day! The money from this contest will help two shelters help other dogs find their forever homes.

Want to have some fun? Go back and look at all those sweet dog faces and read the comments! The dogs were voting for each other, looking after their friends, as good friends do.

Thank you all, and thank you Wyatt, for reminding us of the meaning of true friendship!

Visit Wyatt on his blog and then check out Project Pooch. Learn more about Mr. Pip at his blog and read about Red Door Shelter!

This dog photo contest was part of the online magazine "Writer With Dogs: Where Dogs Meet Art." The magazine was a one-time event that had its premier December 2010. You can link to it at any time and download the PDF and print it for a keepsake. The spirit of the magazine will continue on the pages of this blog, as dog rescue groups are honored. If you have a favorite dog shelter, rescue dog story or something else doggie you'd like to share with us, please contact me at Sign up to follow this blog and keep up with all the news!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dog Photo Contest Entry Closed - Voting Ends Feb. 25 - Winner Announced on March lst

Wow! Fourteen wonderful dogs entered in our dog photo contest. Below is a recap of all the photos and the number by each photo is the order in which they were posted. The entry part of the contest is closed - but you still have until February 25th to vote for your favorite. Do not vote on this post, but scroll back to the entry of the dog you like and leave a comment on that post! The dog with the most comments wins a $300 check payable to its favorite dog rescue group!

We'll start with the first entry and work to the last. I love all these dogs! Don't you?  

#1 Cheska
#2 Ruby

#3 Wyatt

#4 Jasmine

#5 Leonidas

#6 Ziva

#7 Mr. Pip

#8 Rookie

#9 Cherokee and Wilbur

#10 Roscoe Brewer
#11 Bently

#12 Gus
#13 Wilson
#14 Cuda
 Ready, Set, Vote...........................................

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cuda The Deformed (Yet So Charming) Pit Bull Entry #14


Cuda is an entry in Writer With Dog's photo contest, but Cuda is also in the World's Ugliest Dog Contest. See how you can help. Time is running out to help raise the money needed for Cuda to make this journey to the contest. Check out how you can help Cuda win:

And remember to vote for your favorite dog photo here! Contest ends in a few days.

I will let Julie tell you about Cuda:

Our Story

Cuda is a congenital miracle who somehow survived and ended up in our family when she was five months old.  She was given to us at a gas station by a couple who had said they rescued her.  Upon examination you can see that she bears several obvious traits of an inbred dog, including a fused neck, curved spine, hunched back, hocked rear legs and an exaggerated under bite.  She has received a clean bill of health and continues to thrive, playing with our other dogs and cats.  Our goal is to promote the awareness pit bull tolerance, inbreeding, line breeding and overpopulation.

The Impact

By taking Cuda to the World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma California in June 2011 we hope to make the public aware of the ramification of overpopulation of animals, risks associated with Inbreeding and pit bull tolerance.

Visit Cuda's BLOG! You will fall in love with this sweet dog!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

#13 In Our Dog Photo Contest - Meet Wilson

This is my Australian Shepherd, Wilson.  He is a wonderful dog and has been my “savior”.  During a most difficult time in my life when I felt most alone and on an “island”, I named him after the volleyball in the movie “Castaway” with Tom Hanks.  Similar to that volleyball, my Australian Shepherd provided me with companionship and support.   Laura

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

GUS - Meet # 12 In Our Photo Contest

Feeeeed Meeeeeeeee!!!!  
It works for baby birds – should work for me too.
This is one of my favorite photos of my foster puppy Gus.
Gus came into Chicagoland Shepherd Rescue and quickly stole everyone’s hearts -
as well as their newspapers, shoes, coffee mugs and anything else in reach.
He has since rescued a lovely family and a Jack Russell named Alice.

Ginger Gibson

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Meet Bentley - Contestant # 11 in Dog Photo Contest

This is Bentley, my 15 week old puppy! He is a mischievous little thing and gets into all sorts of trouble! Whenever he does something he knows he's not suppose to do he likes to try and hide!

"My name is Bentley and I'm trying to blend in with my mum's shoes...I just chewed her favorite rug! They can't see me, they can't see me!"

Thank you,
              Jenny Leach
              Woodstock, GA

Roscoe Brewer - Entry # 10 in Dog Photo Contest

Roscoe Brewer close-up!

Roscoe Brewer:
Woof!  I’m Roscoe and I LOVE to play.  Some people see me coming and they say “Whoa… a German Shepherd” in a nervous voice while moving way over to the edge of the sidewalk (sometimes they even cross the street!).  What they don’t know is that I’m the sweetest guy around and just dying for a chance to smooch them!

submitted by Heidi Brewer

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Entry in Photo Contest #9 Siblings Wilbur and Cherokee

Two dogs on this contest post!

We rescued Wilbur and Cherokee in November 2002. These brother and sister pups were found under the steps of my office. We named the black one Wilbur, because he would grunt like a pig when you were holding him. We named the reddish brown one Cherokee, because they were found on Cherokee St.

Wilbur and Cherokee are the best of siblings. And Cherokee takes very good care of her brother, Wilbur, by cleaning him on a regular basis. As I type, the two are sleeping side by side on their dog beds. Where one goes - the other one must follow.

Thank you for having this photo contest. We'd love to win and have $300 donated to Pick of the Litter, a rescue center near Dallas, GA.

Lenore Meeks

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Photo Contest Entry #8 Rookie the Dalmation

Hi, I'm Rookie the Dalmatian and I loooove my next-door neighbor, Savannah. She gives great hugs and love! Whenever I get the chance to play, I make a beeline toward her door and bark until I see her smiling face. I think she looks an awful lot like me - don't you? I think we might be twins!

Sent in by
Cheryl Lewis
Alpharetta GA

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Meet Pip - Photo Contest Entry #7

I was abandoned at a pet store on September 10th, 2001. Some suspect that I may have been used for breeding, but who knows? The past is the past. I was rescued by a local shelter and brought to live with my family. Life has been great ever since!

Likes: cats, green olives, fancy costumes, peanut butter, eating paper towels, barking at deer, watching Oprah, and contemplating life from the safety of my mom’s lap.

Dislikes: stairs, basic commands, hot days, getting my nails trimmed, my prescription low fat dog food, being away from home, and long walks.

I share my home with three cats, one rabbit, and a couple of humans. You can read more about my life and adventures on my blog Pip Gets Back In The Game!
Note from Writer With Dogs: Pip has a great blog! Be sure to check it out! Thanks for the photo Pip and Kristin

Monday, January 17, 2011

Entry # 6 Ziva, The Golden Retriever From Maine

Hello from Maine,

I'm Ziva, a 2 1/2 year old Golden Retriever from the Coast of Maine. I go everywhere with my Daddy in his truck and I especially love swimming. But living in such a rural area limits my chances to meet other canines from around the world. Fortunately, Daddy lets me use his computer to check out the handsome hounds on some of the Canine Dating sites. We are very careful because we have found out that some of these unscrupulous dogs don't always tell the truth on their profile page. There is no way that a dog can be a multi-millionaire international spy, live in a mansion in Miami and drive a Ferrari.

So a word to all of you pups that surf the web. Better to be safe than sorry.

Sorry, I don't Twitter or Text, no thumbs, you know.
Love to you all,
                                        Ziva Skakle
                                        Stockton Springs, Maine

PS: Here I am with my older sister Baby!

How Bad am I? In my Michael Jackson hat and sunglasses.

You can friend me on Facebook!