• ... home of Ontario's premier pet photographer. This is where the photos of scruffy dog photography meet the heart and soul behind all of those fun and wacky photo shoots and the long hours in the digital darkroom ... a behind-the scenes peek into the zany life of a pet-exclusive photographer and her scruffy sidekicks. For more details on illona and the mcscruffies, check out the "about" section.

    What you will find here is the past several years of blog entries -- selected client shoots, sneak peeks, facebook recaps, news and announcements, promos and specials, as well as info on canine health and general dog chat. (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)

    So, grab a cup of jo, give your scruffy a beef tendon to gnaw on, and enjoy the photos and ramblin's.

adopt, don’t shop! ~ {Kitchener dog photographer}

for merrick — our newest scruffy, rescued from a puppy-mill situation, used as a breeding dog for the first six years of his miserable life — the sentiment “adopt, don’t shop” means many things … from a good home at last and a new lease on life, tons of love and good food, to a warm bed (well, our bed to be exact) and owning absolutely every corner of our hearts.

but this little guy definitely pays it forward, applying the adopt-don’t-shop maxim himself by adopting most of his predecessor morley’s toys.


no need to go out and buy a slew of new toys when there are so many great ones close at hand to enjoy and give love to.  you’ll notice that ms. fishlips was well loved by morley, took a beating, saw some minor surgery, and is now thriving with great doses of merrick-love …


but with merrick, there’s a very fine line between love and pure chaos …






so merrick says, adopt, don’t shop! … because there’s nothing better than a pre-owned, pre-tested, pre-slobbered-on, pre-squeaked, pre-tattered and pre-loved toy.


Linda - i adore the second one!

Lost in Scotland - Merrick…tell your owners to give you a special hug and kiss from this fan…you are just too cute ….great photos…

Gina C. - Oh you don’t like, this boy is just too darn cute for words. What a great series and a perfect way to make a strong stance on “adopting”. You really picked a winner with this little guy!

Joan DeMartin - Merrick is gorgeous! Looks like he’d be my little sibbling 🙂


Susan Humphreys - Wow, these are amazing. That first picture is just wonderful.I have fallen in love with Merrick, just as I did with Mr. Morle. He is so lucky to have found you!

Tracey Mitford - Merrick, you are such a cutie…I just want to reach into my computer screen and give you a squeeze. Awesome pics….I love fur babies!!

Jackie - man, he’s disgustingly cute! How do you not squeeze the life out of him every day? It’s so uplifting so see Merrick thriving in the wonderful life you’ve provided for him. LOVE him!

Karen White - Outstanding and beautiful captures of Merrick. The second one (fish toy 23) is my fave, his shining eyes and expression just tug at my heart.

Maria - Great! yeah it was worth the CLick – thanks for sharing (:

Jennifer - it’s just too much cuteness for a sunday morning. i can’t take it……

Sam - hahaha classic mad-dog loving his toy action! great set!

Angela - Sweet! I love your rich tones and beautiful low lighting. Merrick is an awesome dog. 🙂

Tatyana - he’s adorable! And wow his hair is getting *long*! I think you’re right about the PBGV or at least something else in there mixed up with the JRT. He’s going from scruffy to fluffy… 🙂

Lori E. - LOVE how much his coat has thickened out and grown! He kind of looks like a cute muppet. Also, really digging your blog’s new title photo up top. Shows just how dedicated you are! 🙂

kristina - omg you sweet little thing merik what a lovely guy you turned on =0] so glad you save him and he knows you saved him … loved

Holly Garner-Jackson - Obviously Morley didn’t beat the stuffing out of this fish so Merrick is has to try to finish the job and whip it into submission.
Hilarious shots illona. are you sure that cat isn’t stuffed?
Maggie’s toys have been recycled to Ralph and Izzy, though Ralph got new stuffies since Maggie desqueaked, unstuffed and shredded all of hers!

Márcia Aguiar - I don’t know how you can stand such overload of cuteness. I would kiss and hug and squeeze Merrick all day long. Gosh, he is too cute to be true!
I love all the pictures (as always) and love to see how Aslam is absolutely impassive in all pictures, even when Merrick gets mad at Ms. Fishlips. :>)

Stephanie - I know #1 is a traditional shot, but I love it. He has just blossomed….
Rescue/rehoming is the finest form of recycling…..with so many fringe benefits!

bublynski - Oh, Merrick – you sweetie!!! I love all of these, but especially the last one, the way he’s gazing out into space so absent-mindedly. Whoever kept all this joy and love locked up in a cage should be put into Merrick’s empty one and left there!

cooling off at City Hall ~ {Kitchener dog photographer}

meet Shelby …


like any good lab, Shelby loves water.  and it doesn’t matter where that water is, especially when the weather is as hot as it’s been this summer.  so, i thought it would be fun to grab a few shots of this girl cooling off in the fountain outside of Kitchener’s City Hall.


of course, we checked first to be sure there were no “no dogs allowed” signs posted … and Shelby’s leash was removed in post for most of her shots.


we also snagged a few shots in front of the old, historical Public Utilities Building across the street …


but then, yup, back to the water.



and a little showing-off to wrap things up.


thanks, Shelby, and Michelle and family, for indulging me.  i hope you enjoy Shelby’s images in her gallery.


Sam - wow she’s lovely, like the 3rd shot down, really enjoying the water 🙂

Holly Garner-Jackson - Splish splash! Great way to cool off in this heat. did you want to join her?
I love the biscuit trick best! Good girl.
Love the new header, too. It shows how you get down and dirty for your job, either that or you tripped and made out like “I meant to do that!!!! Really, see!” 😉

Tatyana - love the new header!

Rosemary Popescu - Snaps is the name of the game, the name of the game is SNAPS! Love it!

ciscolo - Such beautiful shots of this happy girl. Looks like a fun day:)

Liz Silverstein - I so look forward to your blog – great imagination, great shots. I have a labradoodle, love to have you take pictures of her. Will be in touch. Looking forward to tomorrow…

Margaret - What a pretty girl! And happy as can be in the fountain!!!

bublynski - Great action shots of Shelby! She is such a joyful (and talented) girl!
I especially love the third shot, where she looks so blissed out on the water… and of course the last one, which reminds me of Scooter Rae’s best trick. 🙂

don’t readjust your cute meters … ~ {Cambridge dog photographer}

what better way to get through hump-day than a whole pack of puppies?  and these puppies are so seriously cute they’ll utterly busticate even the most advanced of cute meters on the market.


these … er … little nibblets are from a litter of nine from great pyrenees Oriana


seriously now, how adorable are these guys?



we decided that the best time to book these little terrors was early morning while the yard was in shade versus glaring sun, and also not too hot for the pups yet.


still, we needed a cooling-off period … water all around … which meant very messy puppies.  but even with all the wet and muck, they’re still pretty darn cute, aren’t they?



just don’t ask me their names.  i have no clue!  i don’t know how Sue tells them apart, but she does.  i only hope that i managed to get a good array of photos of each puppy!




puppies are always fun, but never easy to shoot.  and a whole pack of puppies, well, this was certainly an experience.








i can’t even tell most of them apart, but i do know that this flower-sniffing guy here is Big Boy, and he’s staying with Sue and her other Pyrs.






i’ll post Sue’s adult Pyrs in a later blog entry.  just wanted to brighten everyone’s mid-week with a good dose of cute.


i hope you enjoy all the images, Sue.  i know i haven’t made your selection process easy with such a huge client gallery … blame Oriana for having such a huge litter of cuties.


Sandy & Ryker - A dirty puppy is a happy puppy. This shoot it to cute for words!

Lost in Scotland - Talk about getting your puppy fix for the day…you have the greatest job…

Jackie - Oh. My. God. Cutest puppies ever.

Jodi - OMG, I think I’m going to keel over from the cuteness. such fabulous shots

ciscolo - Oh …the cuteness…Each and every shot is precious.

liz hietkamp - LOVE these! wet puppies on a warm summer day…can it get any better?

Holly Garner-Jackson - You certainly brightened my Friday. These are great. PUPPIES!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!
Hard to choose a favorite they are all so good!

kelli - love em all, but the group shot… three from the end… that’s pick of the litter!!! follow the leader puppies! what a fun bunch of photos, and such cute pups. they look like little polar bears with panda bear faces.

xana - Adorable little ones. Lovely shots.

lulu - LOOOOOVE!!!! I’m in cuteness overload.

Tatyana - oh my goodness! I bet Sue had a lot of fun cleaning up those dirty fluffers 😛 So friggin cute though.

Also shot #255 looks like a polar bear. totally.

Kamala - Oh Dear…. very cute indeed. I am convinced one of them is 75% panda.

Marla - Oh, these are adorable and you managed to get some super, super shots!

Vicky (tv writer) - Is it possible to overdose on cuteness?
These are so amazing, I can’t stop smiling.
Beautiful collection.

bublynski - Unbelievable cuteness!!! How could you even stop grinning and laughing long enough to hold the camera steady?

But you did – and did you ever! These are brilliant shots, all of them. I’d have been lucky to get even one in focus, but you’ve captured these little nubbins perfectly!

tv wri - Is it possible to overdose on cuteness?!!
These are so amazing, I can’t stop smiling!
Beautiful collection.

tee4tia - OMD, i’m smiling here. they are so adorable, I want to put one in my mouth :0)

Jean (allegrolhw) - Awwwww I waaaaant one. Thanks for the smiles, chuckles, and outbursts of laughter experienced on this end.

Márcia Aguiar - OMG, this is more cuteness than I can bear. They are all adorable and I keep thinking of their delicious puppy breath. I love all the pictures but specially love that big fatty butt at the gate.

Roger - And the sweet thing about pyr puppies??? They grow up to be the sweetest dogs in the world!

Margaret - OH dear, this is just an OVERLOAD of cute!!! A little water and dirt canNOT diminish the cute that is these Pyr puppies!!! Thanks for brightening my morning Illona!!!

Stacey Morrison - How did you not take one home?! So adorable!

Sarah McGraw - They are too stinkin’ cute!!! Love the one with the pack running toward you! How did you not *accidentally* put one in your bag on the way out?!?

Annie Kinmond - OMG, OMG, OMG!!! My heart is melting…;)

S e a r c h
F a c e b o o k
S u b s c r i b e
M e r r i c k