• ... 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 two ... now THREE trusty sidekicks. For more details on illona and the mcscruffies and the newest mcruffles cat, 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 (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)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 scruffnut a beef tendon to gnaw on, and enjoy the photos and ramblin's.

i love hunting dogs

i met these two wonderful girls at a shoot last week …

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i’ve been swamped with shoots and prepping for Woofstock … just getting down to doing the post work on the most recent shoots, so i’ll have more to show very soon.  just wanted to share a sneak peek.

  

she’s not a newfie

just a quick sneak peek of a sweet girl i shot yesterday … just one client in three i’ve had in the past two days, with two more on the horizon before monday’s sun sets.  gotta take advantage of this good weather while we’ve got it!

this is Olive … who was supposed to be a Newfoundlander …

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you’ll just have to wait until her full blog entry to find out how Olive ended up being a Sprocker.  wait, don’t know what a Sprocker is? guess you’re going to have to wait to find that out too!

  

illona - i’ve had five shoots in six days … a total of six dogs. i’m totally wasted. i rarely book shoots back to back … it’s too hard on my body and burns me out … but the weather hasn’t been cooperative lately, and i needed to get these shoots in … and today’s shoot — #6 — was a last minute squeeze-in due to health issues.

needless to say, i’m not going to be shooting for a while … i need some time off, even though i’m going to be slaving at the computer.

alexa - 3 in two days? And I thought 3 in 3 days (right after another) was a lot! :) And a newfoundland turned sprocker? Interesting… :)

some of the things we love – tags!

since even before the inception of this blog almost two years ago i’ve wanted to take time out to share the occasional find …  dog and pet products that truly stand out, that have been scruffy-tested and scruffy-approved … and in turn, maybe steer a couple new people onto some great products.

i’ve started a list of things i intend to share with you, so stay tuned for many more!  and if you have a dog-related business or a dog product and would like it scruffy-tested, let me know!  we’re always thrilled to see and sample new doggie goods!  of course, it should be known that i do not, nor will not, receive any compensation for these plugs.  i do so purely because i believe — truly and deeply — in the products i write about.  and it should be known that the scruffies and i are extremely discriminating.

first up … dog tags.  now sure, some of you might have a quiet couch potato or two, rarely getting past second gear out on the trails … but for those of us with high-energy dogs who run like it’s their last day on the planet, you know first-hand how worthless those cheap tags are that you get made-on-the-spot in those big pet stores.  the letters are illegible by the sixth or eighth month, and that’s only IF the tag is still hanging on the collar!  often the hole in the substandard aluminum or metal-alloy has worn all the way through and the tag has been left somewhere in the bush!

so …  i have two brands of top-grade tags i’d like to alert you to.  first, my favorite dog tags in the world: Red Dingo dog tags

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these are funky, eye-catching tags made of heavy-duty stainless steel and coloured enamel.  they come in three sizes, and over thirty different designs.  above, matea is sporting a three-year-old tag in the older “bone” design … it’s just a “small”, and bears only her name on the back … no address or phone number.  for her, the Red Dingo tag is bling.  you’ll see her real ID tag later in this entry.

and here is merrick’s Red Dingo tag … the newer “bone” design.

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Red Dingo’s engraving is deep and, so far, shows no signs of wearing.  my only complaint is that although the small-size is best for a dog merrick’s size (20 lbs), it allows for only 3 lines of text.  who doesn’t add a cell-phone number to their dog’s tag these days?  and i know there is debate about whether to have your dog’s address on the tag, but frankly, i’d rather have their address than their name.  what good does it do a rescuer to have the dog’s name vs. the address?  i’ve found my share of lost dogs, and those with addresses i have safely returned home without having to involve the Humane Society.

and now for the best tags … made by Lucky Pet.  okay, granted, their website could use some work, and their enamel tags aren’t quite as slick as Red Dingo’s, but Lucky Pet’s metal tags are hands down THE best tags around.  i’ve used them for years and can attest to their durability.  and you’ll not find any tag with deeper, more permanent engraving. here is morley’s 5-year old tag …

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sorry for the blurred out address and numbers … but as you can see for the other text — even after five years of being battered around with other tags and clips — the engraving is more than legible, and the ring-hole isn’t even close to wearing through.

for matea, i use a rivet/plate tag … and i love it.

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they also have a great one for the cat in your life …

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so, that’s my spiel on tags.  and if you don’t have tags on your pets — danglies or collar-plates — please reconsider!!!  even if you have your pet microchipped (which you should!), tags can save you and your pet a lot of grief.

and to end this entry, i can’t resist sharing with you this one outtake from the dog-tag shoot this morning.  this is what’s going on while i’m trying to shoot their tags …

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no question that merrick LOVES matea.

  

justyna - I love how he’s got one eye on you!

Jill - Love the kissy picture! :-)

Liz - We also love Red Dingo tags! That’s what my pups wear – both bones. Actually Paddington’s is the same as Matea’s!

leesia - we love red dingo too! we have the soccer ball (for becks of course :)), daisy and butterfly. :) that last image is too much.

Erinn A. Fitzpatrick - hi! you’re featured tags look great.

i have purchased some tags from this site:
http://www.fetchingtags.net

and so far they’re proving their weight. the best part is that you can have a ‘catch phrase’ on them–mine is ‘kiss me, i’m irish!’ for irish red and white setters.

slainte,
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ursula - dog love…so pure and true.

Christina - I love these slide-on tags: http://www.boomerangtags.com/page.php?c=collartags

The Red Dingo ones are very cute – we had a little pewter heart tag as bling but went through two of them that worn out and fell off.

andrea - that last photo is wonderful…i’m still smiling!!! :)

illona - hi, Colleen … i just checked their site and i can’t see the rivet/plate tags either. it could be that they didn’t sell well or people complained that they were difficult to install. they did require a leather punch and some brains. i wouldn’t be too keen on those plastic ones either.

you could always write Lucky Pet and tell them you saw their rivet/plate tag on the blog and wondered if they’d still supply you with one.

failing that, there is another place you can get awesome collars — a wide selection for incredible prices — and they COME with free plate tags … stainless or brass. i’ll make that my next “things we love” blog entry. promise.

wendy - I agree about the Red Dingo tags. We’ve had ours for 2 years and the front looks as good as the day we bought them. And they have great customer service too!

Michelle - These tags look great! I really like those enamel ones, so maybe I should look into getting a few. I love the last photo too, that is so cute! And his face just says “Busted!!”

SBell - Love the last photo. I have the enameled small tags on my Buggy, it’s a fish, all bones. It’s supposed to be for cats, but it matches my husband’s tattoo to perfectly! Bug has had his for 5 years at least and it still looks great.

Colleen - Thanks for the tip! Does Lucky Pet still sell the rivet/plate tag like Matea’s? I only see the plastic version and I’m not so convinced it will hold up.

Kim - True puppy love!!

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