People who know me, know I absolutely adore dogs! I have two of my own, Roxy and Sydney and I frequently shoot engagement sessions and weddings in Upstate New York that include my client’s furry friends. When I meet with couples about getting married in Saratoga, I tell them, bring your dogs along! It’s a great place for them to stay and play. Whether you’re looking for a dog friendly hotel, some locally made dog treats, or a beautiful place to get fresh air and exercise, here is everything you need to know about having fun with your dogs in Saratoga.
Dog Friendly Hotels
As much as we love our pets, not all hotels do. Weird, right? But the good news is that from Saratoga to Lake George to Lake Placid, we’re fortunate to have a considerable number of hotels that welcome our buddies, including:
In home pet sitting and will bring your dog to your wedding for photos!
Getting out there and exercising with your dog is a great way to keep yourself and your pet in good health. But what if you don’t have an enough room where you’re staying for your dogs to get a good run? Here are some great spots that you can bring your dog for a walk or hike:
SPAW City Social Club (Indoor Dog Park)
There is nothing like cuddling with your buddies when they are all fresh and clean! And if you’re in Saratoga for your wedding or engagement shoot you’ll want to be sure your dogs are looking dapper. I love these groomers because your dog is in and out in about 90 minutes.
Here are some local groomers that you and your dog will love:
Milton Manor Pet Spa & Resort (ask for Twyla)
Pet Smart (ask for Lindsay)
While you’re here celebrating why not grab some toys and treats, and maybe a new coat for your dog! From cold weather gear that will keep them warm, to chew toys and leashes, here are some great spots for apparel/toys/treats
Custom winter dog scarfs, email me for knitters: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re like me, you have a very hard time leaving your doggie BFF. When you have to get away for awhile, and bringing your pet with you is not an option, the next best thing is to leave them with someone you can trust. Here is where I recommend for boarding, as I’ve personally boarded my dogs here and trust them 100%.
Trainers & Behaviorists
Local dog blog
So there you have it! Everything you need to have a wonderful stay is available at your fingertips in and around the Saratoga area. If you are planning on heading to Upstate, New York with your pups and you’re looking for a professional photographer to take your pictures, write to me at email@example.com
Complimentary engagement session featuring the two of you and your furry best friend
$200 print credit
A custom basket of dog goodies
…And a $100 gift card for dinner at one of the amazing Mazzone restaurants, (think Prime at Saratoga National). Pup sitting not included ;-)
How to enter:
In the comment section of this post, tell me in just a few sentences why your dog is an important part of your relationship and why all of you deserve to enjoy a fun engagement session together.
Contest ends February 1, 2015 and the winner will be announced on this post, February 2, 2015.
A travel fee will apply to areas outside of The Capitol Region
Shoot must take place by February 2016
UPDATE 2.2.15: The winner is….. Leah & John and their dog, Moose! I loved what you wrote; I felt like I knew your little family! But, it was the toothless wonder part that really got me! Congrats! Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org so we can set up your engagement session!
They have sensed a change in my breathing and Roxy’s heavy tail starts to thump, thump, thump. Cassidy shifts her weight from paw to paw in an excited dance, her nails clicking lightly on the hardwood floors. With my eyes still closed, heavy with sleep, and the cabin, dark, quiet, and warm, I smile. The first heavy snow of the season has blanketed the Adirondacks and my dogs are ready to play! I have just slipped on my winter gear and the girls are ready to bust at the seams as I push open the cabin door. The warm glow of the winter sun is just rising over the ice blue mountains of Lake Placid. Roxy’s beefy little legs soar as she leaps thru the freshly fallen snow like an African gazelle. Eventually she stops, drops, and rolls and rolls and rolls with the blissful joy and tenacity that only dogs seem to know. Then, as if she were bobbing for apples, she plunges her head into fresh piles of snow over and over again. Cassidy eventually ambles her way through Roxy’s freshly stomped path. Her mini corgi legs are no longer visible and her lil’ potbelly is completely engulfed in winter’s white goodness. Cassidy, stoic and more conscientious of Mother Nature gift, prefers a quieter exploration of 2013’s last snow big snowfall. True to her corgi roots, Cassidy keeps a watchful eye over her sister and takes it all in.
Welcome to Winter and Happy New Year!
I am the official volunteer photographer and a board member of CANDi International. I travel to Mexico 3-4 times per year to document CANDi’s spay/neuter clinics and the street dogs.
I find it difficult to put this experience into words in a way that would truly say how I feel. This has been a life changing experience. The dogs of Cancun have deeply my heart and taught me about: the power of giving, suffering, compassion, cruelty, love, hard work, and taking action for a cause.
These images are from my July 2013 trip. The plan was to document street dogs for the week. However, those plans changed when I found a horse that deperately needed our help. Click here to read Esparanza’s story and recovery: Esparanza’s Rescue
About CANDi International:
CANDi International is a non for profit organization. CANDi believes the answer to reduce animal overpopulation is sterilization and education and promotes these solutions through the support of tourism industry corporations and pet loving travelers. “100% of all donations to CANDi go to the animals to end their suffering in this vacation paradise,” says Darci Galati, founder of CANDi.
Our Mission: “To save the lives of stray cats and dogs in Mexico and the Caribbean through spay, neuter, adoption and educational programs, supported and funded by the tourism industry, travelers and pet lovers.”
One unsterilized female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in just six years and one unsterilized female cat and her offspring can produce as many as 425,000 kittens in seven years.
As the average wage of workers in Cancun is approximately $300 a month, allocating funding to the needs of stray animals is out of the question. Free sterilization clinics organized by CANDi and its partners are the only resources available to locals to control the stray animal population in their community. And unlike the U.S. and Canada, there are no animal protection laws or national animal protection organizations like the SPCA to promote animal welfare so the estimated millions of stray cats and dogs in Mexico are left to die starving in the streets or killed by inhumane methods such as electrocution, poisoning, and drowning.
About the clinic itself(representative from CANDi International):
We hold a free spay/nueter clinic in the poor community of Bonfil. There are thousands of streets dogs and no humane treatment to control their population. Bonfil is about 10 minutes from the Cancun airport. Hundreds of animals weresafely sterilized during these five days, saving thousands of unborn puppies and kittens from lives of starvation, disease, and inhumane treatment. Thanks to monetary CANDi and its humane partners to date have spayed and neutered over 10,000 dogs an cats on the last 7 years. “CANDi clinic’s are the most trusted by the people of Cancun.” The local community support and the support of the local rescue groups is incredible and we could not have done this without their help. We are currently in the process of raising $15,000 for this clinic.”
To donate to this great cause, or to volunteer, please visit their website: CANDi International
As part of my ongoing work to document street dogs in Mexico for CANDi International, I stumbled across a seriously injured horse this past July with the help fellow CANDi volunteer, Hector Navarro. I was photographing stray dogs when she came across a run-down recycling center in the poorer outskirts of Cancun, known to be a gathering place for abandoned dogs. The horse was inside the center, in a small stall, under extremely bad conditions. She had also suffered serious leg injuries, due to a vicious Rottweiler attack a month earlier. The wounds were left untreated and the horse, whom I named “Esperanza” or “Hope” in Spanish, was at risk of losing the infected limb—and her life.
“Esperanza,” is a sweet-tempered 4 to 6 year-old mare. Both myself and Hector were shocked to find that her owner was unwilling to seek medical attention for her. In order to get Esperanza the immediate care and treatment she needed, they had to offer to buy the horse from the owner.
Esperanza’s owner was unwilling to relinquish ownership of the horse, but changed his mind for the price of $800 U.S. CANDi later discovered that the horse was given away to the owners of the recycling center for “disposal” by her original owner after she endured the violent attack, but the recycling center’s proprietors decided to keep her anyway. The veterinary costs to save her were estimated at $600 U.S., so we started a Facebook campaign to raise funds. Generous donations poured in, and the horse was transported the following day to a veterinary center, where she had surgery on her infected leg. The operation was a success, and Esperanza’s leg—and life—were saved!
Esperanza’s good luck did not end there. Hector’s friend, Karla Argote, was recovering from her own recent loss. By a twist of fate, Karla’s horse had passed away only the previous week. Karla was willing to open her heart and home to Esperanza, who is now at the beautiful ranch with 30 other new horse friends. Karla has started to rehabilitate Esperanza and use her as a therapy horse for children with disabilities.
With Esperanza in Karla’s care, she has found a forever home and the hope of a better life through CANDi International’s team of volunteers.
To donate or volunteer with me, go to: CANDi International
I have dreamed about having one of my images on National Geographic since I picked up a camera 10 years ago. Not only has that dream come true, but it’s a photo of my beloved Roxy at our family’s lodge! Since her feature on National Geographic, Super Roxy has gone viral and has been on several popular photo blogs, such as theCHIVE and This Blog is Mine.
My first clue was a package. I discovered it in our mailbox after work one day and it was suspiciously expensive to ship considering its weight. To be completely honest, my first thought was that it might be a ring. I pushed that thought to the back of my mind, thinking it couldn’t be! There were no other clues; we hadn’t looked at rings and he is not so good at keeping secrets. When I asked him what was in the box was he came up with a clever story about it being my birthday present, which was four months away. He isn’t usually a planner to that extreme but I had a feeling that I shouldn’t push this one. It would probably be best to let it go and see what happened.
Well, happened it did. A few weeks later I got my second clue. One Sunday in May he asked if I wanted to go up to Thatcher Park for a picnic with our dog, Lucy. This wasn’t out of the ordinary since we like to venture up there a few times a year. What was curious was that he picked up my favorite foods from a deli in Albany to bring up there. After choosing a nice, secluded spot we settled in and enjoyed the spring sunshine. We went for a walk and I didn’t realize it at the time but Bill ducked behind a tree to untie his shoe, setting the stage for what would come next. Before I knew it he bent down on one knee to “tie his shoe.” Instead, he reached in his pocket, pulled out a beautiful ring and asked if I would marry him. I tearfully said yes, of course. It was amazing, absolutely perfect, absolutely us. Bill is a wonderful, loving, generous soul and I am so fortunate to marry my best friend.
We are so looking forward to our wedding day, October 18, 2013 at Saratoga National Golf Club and are very excited to share this day with our family and friends!
LOCATION: HISTORIC BARNS OF NIPMOOSE