• ... 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 trusty 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 (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)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 scruffnut a beef tendon to gnaw on, and enjoy the photos and ramblin's.

the scruffy pack ~ {Kitchener Waterloo, Ontario pet photographer}

if you follow scruffy dog on facebook you’ll already be caught up on all the latest and greatest happenings with SDP.  but if you don’t, here are just a few of the images of the scruffy pack you’ll have missed over the past year!  i’ve dedicated this blog entry to images of my scruffies (past and present) together.

i’ll start with my all-time favorite image of my girl matea and old man morley together … on our way out for a walk.  for those who aren’t familiar with morley, who is no longer with us, you can find his full bio here.  the short version: he was adopted from the Stratford SPCA at 9 yrs of age, and lived the 7 1/2 years of his retirement with us.

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he and matea were never bonded the way she is with merrick today … although they would ‘hunt’ together out on the trails, morley was always very independent and i think matea’s strong energy didn’t jive with his calm, easy-going temperament.  they were rarely seen sleeping together or touching each other, although they completely respected one another and knew they were a pack.

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when morley was dying from a brain tumor, and we had his seizures and other symptoms under control, i noticed that while he was still fully engaged in the world around him and plugged into life, he simply wasn’t wagging.  nothing made morley happier than another dog (another dog besides matea), and when 6-year-old merrick goobernuts mcscruffy desperately needed rescuing from a life of misery as a puppymill breeding dog, it was the perfect answer for both mcshorties.  (you can read about merrick and his rescue through his bio.)

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we had our pack of three for a short three weeks … but during those weeks morley most certainly wagged and enjoyed merrick’s company, even though it was clear from the start that merrick was ALL about his girl matea.

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from the start, matea has been merrick’s goddess … his sun, his moon, his earth.  although there is no doubt in his bond with me, what matea means to him is indescribable, and i suspect i will never again see it in my lifetime of living with dogs.

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even from the early days, and those first hikes, matea showed her boy the ropes …

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she is his protector …

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… and his best sleeping buddy.

she’s also a bit of a pain in the ass when it comes to her insistence on using him as a pillow.

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and from the very beginning, after some careful choreographing between these two to make sure there would be no disagreements (since matea can be a bit of a hot head), it was clear that she viewed this new scruffnut (even at 6 yrs of age) as her baby.
these two are such a team … and i truly fear the day that one will be without the other.

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i hope you’ve enjoyed this more intimate glimpse into our pack dynamics here at SDP.  feel free to tell us about your pack in the comments below!

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Marylin - I haven’t been checking your website for a while but finally, I’m here again. How beautiful your photographs are. The natural contentment of the dogs in the pictures says it all. Your own two beauties are gorgeous too. There is something in the eyes of a happy dog that stands out. All of your pictures show this expression. I will be back again soon!
My own little guy Mick, will have his 17th birthday in 3 weeks time! Still enjoying his wonderful friendship each and every day.
How I wish you could capture his doggyness in one of your wonderful photo shoots, but I live in Holland and flying is out of the question for my senior friend.

Melanie Reihing - Great work! Some real melt my heart images!

Gde B Putra - Your dogs are really adorable and beautiful. I can see how you really are a dog lover. Keep up the great work, dude!

Sandy Kramer - Stunning photos!! Please do my doggies! :)))

Pupparazzi Pet Photography Melbourne - A really gorgeous set of photos – I love the little fella. Some of his expressions are priceless!

Jayne Rose - Adorable

Pawsntails fotografie - beautiful blog. a story in photos. hopefully these two wonderful creatures will be together for a long time to come but sadly nothing lasts forever in life and when the time comes for one to be left behind, there is always YOU that they hang on to. They never understand where their pal went but carry on depending just that little more on you. Ultimately you are the pack leader. I have lost 2 of my furbabies in the last couple of years, a year apart. Still hurts and couldn`t imagine my Baroeska, the youngest at the time being without a doggie friend so in comes Rylie. As sweet as he is and adores Baroeska, I`m the one she`s most involved with now AND I LOVE IT but how wrong I was. Just haven`t managed the ball catching thing on all 4`s yet for her. Dogs are amazing and can teach us so much. Absolutely love what you do Ilona and wish you many years of joy with your pack.

Donna Rigg - Oh my god what a beautiful blog. Wonderful images and storyline. Made my morning :)

Sue Bouchard - Love this blog … I would certainly be unable to pick my favourite photo as I absolutely love them all! I called Wesley (our latest rescue) over to look at ‘doggy photos’ and judging from how he intently watched the screen he loves all the photos too!

Michelle Bradshaw - My all time favorite blog!!!! I love your babies. xo

michelle bradshaw - This is my all time favorite blog. Oh how I love your babies! xo

wild man Dexter ~ {Waterloo, Ontario pet photographer}

with a backlog of hundreds upon hundreds of images waiting to be blogged, it seems that these days i just close my eyes and click to see who i might have time to put up on the blog.  today my cursor fell upon the photos of this wild boy from his session last spring.  i hope that on this Monday morning they fill you with a little extra energy.

here’s Dexter!

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this boy is a true athlete, and while we did manage to get him to stand still a few times, it was only in anticipation of his ball again!

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thanks, Dexter, for being so handsome and giving me the challenge of your energy.  what a blast!

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Kim Foster - that’s my handsome boy!!

Marylin Scheffer - Your passion for these beautiful creatures shows in each and every photograph. I admire your work Illona.

doing what you love ~ {Waterloo, Ontario pet-exclusive photographer}

just touching in to the blog with a message … a simple one about passion and drive, and focusing your life on doing what you love.

for those who know me (and even those who don’t but who ‘see’ me via social media) they know that there is absolutely nothing on this planet i love more than dogs … oxygen doesn’t even top dogs.  not even cheesecake or chocolate.  fact: i’d eat dirt the rest of my life if it meant sharing my life with a dog.

so i guess, in that, i chose right.  in fact, when i conceptualized this business almost a decade ago, “dogs or bust” was my motto.  honestly, i swore if i couldn’t make it as ‘animal exclusive’, i’d go back to writing novels … and i’m still willing to do that today before ever turning my cameras away from what i love most in the world.  this is my drive.  this is my passion.  and i hope you are living yours!

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Little Vistas - Thanks for sharing! Very inspirational!

Derk Steenblik - And we, the owners of four leggers that have captured our hearts and our souls are now and will be forever grateful for your passion and your drive. Thank you for your gifts and talents and your willingness to share them with others.

Holly Garner-Jackson - Your passion is your art as well as your life. I can’t imagine you any other way!

Amelia Durham - Gorgeous, well done!

Marylin Scheffer - Dogs or bust…, my kind of person!

Liz Silverstein - Unconditional love…

Margaret Chekouras Duerr - This is inspirational. Thank you!

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