• ... 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 (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)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.

Brandi & Toby ~ {London pet photographer}

a year and a half behind in blogging, but better late than never, right?  meet Brandi and Toby!  Brandi, the golden retriever, is not new to the scruffy dog scene.  this was her second session, only this time she brought along her new baby brother Toby from London for their dog photography session!

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looking back on Brandi’s first scruffy session, it’s clear that she’s filled out and matured a little, even though her energy and spirit are still very much ‘puppy’ like her brother.

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Brandi and Toby’s guardians wanted to utilize the scruffy dog settee this time around … and these two were more than happy to lounge.

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little Toby, at only 9 months of age, was still a handful to work with, but fortunately the cameras love King Charles Cavalier.

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thanks for continuing to trust me with your 4-leggers’ images, Bonnie and Giles.  it’s always a pleasure to work with you guys!

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Hans Aberg - Wow.. These are the amazing pictures. I really love the pictures of dogs, as they look very cute and adorable.

I always wanted to get the as such pictures of my dog too but it become very difficult for me to control him while photography.But, these pictures has really attract me.

Thanks buddy. Definitely contact you back. 🙂

saying goodbye is never easy ~ {Ontario dog photographer}

Being in the business that I’m in, and having been in it for almost a decade now, it goes without saying that I have shared many losses with my clients … too many to count.  Some of my clients are old pros at the letting-go, at the knowing-when-it’s-the-right-time, at dealing … they are old friends (or enemies) with the emptiness, the wrenching grief, the absolute guttedness that comes with the loss.  With these clients/friends, we share that loss, we talk about the mechanics, we cry over the deep and indescribable emotions of it all, we strive to learn, we grieve, we struggle to move on, but – always – we remember.

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For other clients of mine, it is their first loss.  This doesn’t make the loss any easier or harder than for those of us who have earned the badges of experience as a collection of worn dog tags hanging from collars that have hair still matted in their fabric.

It’s all the same … the loss is the kind that takes us to our knees, that leaves such devastation in our heart that we are hard-pressed to believe any four-legged spirit can possibly ever touch or heal it … even though I know they do.

Brigitte lost her sweet girl Bisou earlier this week at the age of 15 … 15 yrs at Brigitte’s side … and now she is gone.  I cried when I received Brigitte’s email last night, and I cried again today when I responded to it, because I know too well the great void and utter hollowness Brigitte feels right now.  As I, myself, stand at the brink of that dark trail with my own girl, seeing the familiar landmarks of this path which I have traveled before, and knowing each step takes me closer to that end, I am terrified … and I can taste the grief that surrounds Brigitte tonight … I can feel her devastation even more keenly.   I know there is no comfort.

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Poems like Rainbow Bridge offer, perhaps, a shred of comfort, I suppose.  I, too, try to find a semblance of hope in the notion that one day we will be reunited with our beloved animals.  There can be no other heaven for me than to be surrounded by all of my lost animals … even if only for one moment in time.  All of them. Together.

Brigitte … I am crying for you tonight.  Please know that I – and many others here – feel your pain.  And I DO hope that there is a Rainbow Bridge … and that when the time comes, Bisou is the first one across to greet you, frisbee in mouth …

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Let me leave you with a few images of this lovely girl from the scruffy session she shared with her sister Scout 4 1/2 years ago.

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Goodbye sweet, Bisou … even though I know your spirit will be forever right by your mother’s side where it always was.

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Boston & Woody ~ {Ontario horse and dog photographer}

when Brandon and Marie contacted me last year about a session for their horse and dog, you know i was on board.  and when i found out that Woody — a thoroughbred and French Coach cross — was over 30 yrs old, well, as a born horse-person with many years in the saddle, i just had to meet this gentleman!

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of course, Boston was your typical goofy, energetic brown lab.

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we spent time with Woody first … letting him out in the pasture for a little romp, even though the lure of fresh grass was a little difficult to resist.

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Marie’s description of her long-time event horse: “Woody gave me every effort since the day I got him right until I retired him at 26. I almost lost him 3 years ago and I am so thankful he decided he wasn’t ready to leave this world yet! He holds such a special place in my heart – not only was he my competition horse, but he’s gotten me through some immensely difficult times that at some points even my human friends couldn’t get me through. He’s the horse version of me. Maybe that sounds odd, but I don’t know how else to explain it!”

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but the bond Marie shares with Woody does not overshadow her bond with Boston, who has been attached to Marie’s hip since puppyhood.

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we had fun with both Woody and Boston in the early wheat …

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… and although we had every intention of heading into the woods for some shots, we couldn’t come even within 50′ of the forest before hearing the swarms of mosquitoes waiting for us … so we stuck to more open areas.

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and Boston enjoyed a dip in a nearby watering hole.

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thanks, Brandon and Marie, for sharing your gorgeous boys with me!

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Jen Metzger - Darn you and your wheat field! 🙂 Love the first shot, exceptionally stunning and would instantly be a canvas on my wall.

Shelley Castle Erickson - Beautiful. Gorgeous light and location.

Charlotte Vandervalk - Awesome photos Illona! Love that wheat field!

Barb Priestley - Oh, these are just the most amazing photos of a horse and his dog. I don’t know how anyone could choose one photo over another. They are all brilliant.

Holly Garner-Jackson - Spectacular series, Illona!

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