Sunday, December 18, 2011

Labrador Love

That face.  Always close by, waiting patiently.  She is so good with the shenanigans of the  younger dogs. It is because of her calmness around all of the cats we have fostered that the others don't get riled up about having felines in their midst.  She has been the best dog model from the day I picked up a camera.  It has been a while since her sweet face has been on the blog so I thought it was time.

Friday, December 16, 2011


I love finding her everywhere I go around the house.  
Everything she does is cute or funny.
She is soft and warm and demands to be petted.
It is so hard to be firm with her about not getting on the table, 
or counters, or begging for tidbits.  
Yep, we're smitten.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


This is not the best time of year for a broken bone, but that's what I ended up with.  Two weeks ago while walking my pack, one of them wrenched the leash from my hand when he went after a stray dog.  I did not fall on it so thought my wrist must be sprained.  That same wrist was shattered 20 years ago and I never got full use of it so it is not very strong.  First I tried wrapping my wrist area but that was not enough so then I bought a wrist brace and still had a lot of pain and "crunching" when I moved my fingers or hand too much so I finally got an x-ray done last Friday.  Now I have a very cool new kind of cast --- it is plastic heat-molded to my forearm, waterproof and removable for short periods for cleaning the skin.  Having my arm stabilized has made a big difference...but not enough to allow me to decorate or go Christmas shopping, etc...or at least that's my story!  No more extend-able leashes for my heathens, I have ordered a runner's leash system that goes around your waist for hands-free walking.  Now if I can just keep from tripping over them...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's Official

Mike and I decided that we could not give up the latest cat we have been fostering, Clove, and we have adopted her.  All of the cats and kittens we have fostered so far have been adorable and we came close to failing at fostering every one, but something about Clove makes her irresistible. She is so sweet and calm and gentle and all 4 dogs get along with her so well.  Plus, Friendswood Animal Control has been overflowing with cats for months and adoptions have been very slow, so by our taking Clove out of the system we hope another cat will be adopted in her place.  We are enjoying her so much --- she is small, quiet, easy to clean up after, and just so fun to watch as she investigates everything.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Spice Sisters

Clove and Pumpkin
Clove and Pumpkin are my latest foster kittens, and they are extremely adorable!  Clove spends her day sitting on my lap when I am on the computer, just purring gently (it is such a sacrifice for me to make, but anything in the name of helping stray animals!).  Pumpkin has fallen for Mike and seems to think he is a big lollipop because she is always licking his hands.  Both girls have the softest fur --- petting Pumpkin is like touching air and Mike keeps calling her Fluffy (that is such a lame name!).  They are so playful too, and make us laugh out loud at their silly antics. And they are fine with my big dogs. They are both fully vetted and ready for a forever home, so contact Friendswood Animal Control at 281-996-3391 if you are interested in adopting one or both of them.  I think they would do alright separated if they are adopted soon but they are very bonded and I know they would be so happy to be together so that would be my hope.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Another Side of Rescue

I recently learned of another area of rescue that I had no idea existed ---- animals who are being boarded in kennels for years at a time.  These animals came to be left there in a few different ways such as they were originally boarded by their owners but never picked up, some were left tied to the fence at the boarding facility because whoever left them knew they would not be killed, and others were once part of a rescue organization but for one reason or another were deemed not appropriate anymore so that avenue to get adopted was lost.  They are "safe" in that they will not be killed, but they are living their life in a cage with occasional walks or time out of their cage and interaction with the kennel staff...which is not much of a life for a dog or a cat.  I was asked to photograph some animals in this situation at Fondren Five Star Kennels so that their photos can be used on flyers and posted on Facebook and Petfinder in the hope that they can finally find a forever home.  So please share this post with anyone you know who may be looking to adopt an animal, all of these are wonderful pets who deserve a home and not a life in a cage.  Contact Marlene at

Aztec and Inca






Iris Rose




Snow and Flake

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More Adoptions!

  These are some of the rescued animals I have photographed lately for Tails N Transition, a rescue group run by Dr. Susan Pickle and her daughter Ashlee, at Alvin Friendswood Vet Clinic.  Many of these adorable animals had medical issues --- heartworms, broken bones, injured eyes, etc and they were on the short list for euthanasia.  All 3 kittens came from a feral cat colony in Seabrook.  They have all found forever homes.

 I photograph in one of the exam rooms, or in the case of the aqua blue background shots, in the back laboratory area.  In the small exam rooms I use a flash on the camera with a Gary Fong diffuser, but in the seamless paper shots I use a speedlight in a shoot-through umbrella.  Since these were taken I have gotten 2 Alien Bee 800 flashes, a very large softbox and a large octabox but have not used them for shelter pets yet. I  am looking forward to more consistent light, and hopefully to not bothering the animals as much with the larger light source...though really, none of these guys seemed to mind.








Prince Harry

Tiger Lily

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


My foster kittens were adopted together by a great young woman over a week ago, and I miss them!  It was so fun to see them zip around the house, it was wonderful to sit at the computer and have one or both in my lap, and I had to laugh a time or two when I unexpectedly came across one somewhere unusual --- like on my kitchen counter.  Unusual for me, not for a cat.  All of my dogs enjoyed them too, but especially Pearl and Toby and keeping up with two active kittens kept them busy and entertained.  I came very close to failing at fostering and adopting them myself, but I know they have a great home and were so lucky to be able to stay together and soon I will foster another cat and save another life.  Still, Miles and Mica were my first ever kittens and they will always have a special place in my heart.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fostering --- Love Well Spent

This is Rusty.  He is not an adorable, cuddly puppy but an older, skinny, arthritic, slightly tattered Heartworm positive mixed breed dog with a pancreatic enzyme disease but he does not deserve to live in a kennel for 23 and 3/4ths hours a day.  He looks a lot like one of our rescued dogs and we began fostering him when the shelter got too many dogs a couple of weeks ago, he was pretty much next on the euthanasia list.  But Rusty has some great qualities about him ---- he is housetrained, he knows several important commands, he walks GREAT on a leash, he gets along well with other dogs, he is SOOOO happy to be out of the shelter and shows that constantly.  Oh, his owners were found but they "don't want him anymore because he keeps running away"...after 6 or 7 years of being shut in the backyard and having food thrown at him occasionally, and by his heartworm test and pancreatic enzyme deficiency that prove he was not taken to the vet in many years, I can't imagine why Rusty would want to run away.

Yes, fostering does take time away from your own animals, it does cost some money, it does take a commitment of time and energy on your part, and there can be an emotional investment that makes it hard to let the animals go, but it is definitely all worth it.  A new forever home may not be found for Rusty, but that's OK, then he will become a permanent part of the Barker pack...My next vehicle may need to be a little larger though.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm Failing

At fostering these two adorable kittens.  They are as soft and silky as velvet, they have such warm little purring bodies, and are so much fun to watch as they wrestle and play and run.  So far 2 of my dogs are doing well with them, though Pearl gets a little too enthusiastic with her licks and tends to join in their chases. They are being neutered today and though it will be very hard to let them go to a new home, if they do get adopted I can save more...


Miles checking out the morning coffee

Mica likes to watch TV

Sweet Miles

We are having WHAT removed on Friday?

Crazy kitten