charlotte nc

Dog Books

6 Dog Books You’ll Love…Even if You Hate Reading We all know that reading can sometimes be more of a chore than a pleasure.  So here are 6 highly rated dog books that are so enjoyable even the most hardened book hater won’t be able to put them down.  Please feel free to share your own as well!

Marley and Me by John Grogan

Even if you have seen the movie, the book is still a must-read.  I cry and laugh every time, and it really makes you appreciate your own dog’s quirks.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Author Jodi Picoult said this about The Art of Racing in the Rain: "The perfect book for anyone who knows that some of our best friends walk beside us on four legs. That compassion isn’t only for humans. And that the relationship between two souls meant for each other, never really comes to an end."

James Herriot series by James Herriot

These books are not strictly about dogs. They are nonfiction collections of short stories about an English vet’s animal adventures in the countryside.  Dogs feature prominently, and they are so amusing and well written that I had to include them.  I highly recommend them.  This link will bring you to a collection of solely dog stories. I encourage you to read all his books though.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Your kids may have been required to read this book.  The depth of the characters and the quality of the writing is superb.  Like so many other books on this list, it never fails to make me cry, and I think we can all relate to dealing with a thunder-fearing canine!

Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory

This is a simply incredible read.  I couldn’t put it down, and it opened my eyes to the incredible bond between guide dogs and their handlers, and the strength of the trust between them.

Dog On It: the Chet and Bernie series by Spencer Quinn

A series of books told from a failed police dog’s point of view, these mysteries are both fun and thought provoking.


How Not To Lose Your Dog

How not to lose your dog is an important topic and one that strikes fear in many of us dog lovers. This is one nightmare many dog owners have and if you ever have experienced it, you know what I'm talking about. Here are some precautions you can take to ensure you don't lose track of yours AND how to be reunited with your dog as soon as possible in case he or she does go missing. Tip #1 – MICROCHIP MICROCHIP MICROCHIP


how not to lose your dog

I cannot emphasize this enough.  Microchip your dog, cat, etc.  It is one of the best and surest ways that someone will be able to identify your animal in the event that you do lose track of him or her. This is really important too: make sure the microchip company has your UPDATED contact information. You need to contact them, give them your pet's microchip number, your name, cell phone and all contact information so if your dog is lost, they know who the dog belongs to and how to contact you. You'll get a tag from the microchip company that you can attach to your dog's collar that will help identify him if he ever gets lost. Here is a link to one of the microchip companies.


Tip #2 – USE TAGS

Have a tag on your dog's collar with updated contact information for you makes it much easier for someone to contact you if they find your dog. Only vets, shelters and animal control officers are able to check for a microchip, so the average person who finds your dog will be unable to reach you.  Additionally, who knows how long it will take said person to get your pet checked out by a vet or brought to a shelter to check and see if he has a microchip.  Having a tag allows you to get your pet back quicker with less trauma for both of you.


How not to lose your dog

You know your dog best, but if you  have any hesitancy about his or her recall ability, I suggest your dog remain on leash.  The world is incredibly interesting to our canine friends, and a fascinating smell could cause them to wander off and ignore your frenzied calls.


I completely understand how much dogs love open car windows.  However, there is always the chance that your dog may jump out at the sight of some enticing animal or other smell or sight and you don't want to lose your dog this way.  The jump could injure him. It also means your dog is loose, often in an unknown area. Even worse if this were to happen in traffic, it could have a tragic ending.


One of the biggest things you can do  to prevent your dog from getting out is to be proactive.  This means looking over your yard. Being careful at doors and other exits, and, most importantly, knowing your dog.


Though this may not seem like an obvious way to stop your pet from getting lost. However neutering your pet prevents him from wandering around looking for a female.


There are some awesome GPS trackers available that keep track of your dog’s location at all times.  While it is crucial to also microchip and tag your pet, these can give you great peace of mind. It is important to note that these should not be considered replacements for preventative measures like microchipping and tags.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts or other suggestions on how not to lose your dog.

Dog Toys

dog walker and dog toysDog Toys for Tough Chewers If anyone has had the opportunity to share their house with a tough chewer (ie. can destroy ANYTHING you put in front of them), then you share my pain.  Here is a comment from someone I know: My Chesapeake Bay Retriever has the jaws of a crocodile and can eat through pretty much any dog toy, whether it be rubber, rope, plush, etc. that we give her.  In fact, she is NEVER left unsupervised with any dog toy whatsoever because of her incredible ability to reduce anything to shreds and her tendency to then devour aforementioned shreds as a light snack.  As such, I wanted to share with you her two most indestructible and long-lasting dog toys. (Spoiler: not one of them is a stuffed toy – I have yet to find one that is a match for her). Moose pictured here is also a tough chewer and I can attest to the strength of the Kong Classic Shape Extreme X-Large. He has one!

  1. KONG Classic Shape Extreme X-Large

Not only is this toy one of the longest lasting, but it is also my dog’s absolute favorite.  She loves to carry it around in her mouth and will happily chew on it without any food inserts.  My one criticism is that my dog has recently started to chew bits off from the edge around the hollow part where food is inserted, simply because it is slightly thinner at this point.  However, this product has lasted significantly longer than any other KONG toys, and still lasts for several months.

Dog walker in Charlotte NC

  1. Dog Jolly Ball

So far, these dog jolly balls have stood up to the test.  The shape makes it impossible for her to chew through it like other toys, and she likes to knock it around with her paws.  Like the KONG, it is made of rubber and some dogs may not want to chew it because it has little taste.  However, I have found that the most voracious chewers will often gnaw on anything.

I did not include any bones or antlers in the list; although I have given them to my dogs in the past, I try not to now because of the risk of broken or splintered teeth that come from very hard chews.  If you would like to learn more about this issue, click on the following link:

I would love to hear about your favorite dog toys for voracious chewers, and any tips you might have for satisfying them.

New Midday Dog Walker

See Spot Run has not one new walker but two new dog walkers. I'm so excited to announce I've added two ladies, Tiffany and Christina to the team. I've known them for years... they live in my neighborhood. I can personally vouch for them. walker of dogs

Last September I took some time off and Tiffany covered for me while I was away. She loved it so much so we got to talking and she decided she'd like to walk dogs regularly. That conversation spilled over into a conversation with Christina and now both of them are my new midday dog walkers.

They are taking on new clients Monday - Friday who work during the day and would like their pup to get a walk, play time, or cuddles. We are covering the greater Southpark areas including parts of 28209, 28210 and 28226. If you know of anyone who would like to add this service for their dog, please let me know.  You'd make the dog's day and you'd make Tiffany and Christina's too.

This is Rivers, a weimeraner puppy that needed a walker and someone to throw the ball for him while his dad was at work. I've said this before, this is the best job ever. Watching dogs like Rivers play and have a good time is a great way to spend my day.

We also love to take them for walks. Not only does the dog enjoy going for a walk, so does the walker. Getting to stretch my legs while watching a dog enjoy his time outside makes me happy.

If you know of anyone else who would like to be a walker, let me know. We may be adding more walkers on in the future.

Halloween and your Pet

This weekend many of us will celebrate Halloween and many of us will include our pets. I am photographing a dog Halloween contest and parade on Saturday at Social Pet in Pineville from 11-2pm. Come on out. I photographed the event last year and had a great time. puppy in Halloween costume

However, keep in mind that not all pets like to wear costumes. My yellow lab Willow doesn't like to wear anything. If it is raining and I put a coat on her, she freezes and won't move. She doesn't like the rain either but apparently she'd rather get wet than wear a raincoat.

If you try to dress up your pet for Halloween and you get a similar reaction from your dog, perhaps you should forgo the costume. My other dog Moose could care less about having a costume or coat on. However if he is around other dogs who have on costumes that even remotely resemble something he'd like to put in his mouth, he will. That's another thing to think about if you have a crazy dog like my Moose.

Something else to remember: make sure your dog can't get in the Halloween candy. Chocolate isn't good for dogs - it can be fatal if enough of it is consumed and the wrapping that is on a lot of the candy can cause blockages. Keep the trick-or-treat bowl and your kids' stash out of your dog's reach. Your kids will be happier about that too, right? :)

On Monday evening my neighborhood will have a Halloween party in the cul-de-sac. There will probably be a few dogs there although I'm not sure if they'll be dressed in costumes. This is our 2nd Halloween with Moose. This year we are forgoing handing out candy because Moose is a lot to handle with all that candy around and the doorbell constantly ringing. We'll give out our candy at the neighborhood party. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

See Spot Run Dog Walking & Pet Sitting

To all my dog walking and pet sitting clients, I have exciting news: I've launched my BARKography website and you can click the link to check it out.  If you do, please let me know what you think. This means several things. I no longer have to share my dog walking and pet sitting website with my photography site. Because I've spent a lot of time marketing the new dog photography business, it was taking over the See Spot Run site. No more. :) The dog photography piece is still really important but so is the dog walking and pet sitting. It always has been. So now I get to blog about dog walking and pet sitting things here and I can blog about the photography side of the business on the BARKography site. If there is a downside, it is that I now have 2 blogs. Yikes..... :) pet sitting doberman

I recently saw a post from a friend on my facebook page that was an article she shared about a pet sitter leaving a dog in a car and the dog died. The pet sitter was found through an online site. Here are my recommendations for finding a pet sitter:

  1. Ask your friends and family for a referral. If you have friends who have dogs, ask them who they use as a dog walker or pet sitter. Contact that person and see if she (he) covers your area. If she doesn't, ask her for a referral. I get a lot of referrals and sometimes the person lives outside of my service area. I will always refer them to someone else. If it is someone I know well, I will tell them that. If the person has pet sat for me before, I will tell them. If I don't know the person well, I will tell them that too.
  2. Ask your vet for the front desk staff at your vet's office for a referral. Ask them how they know the person.
  3. Interview the pet sitter. Seriously interview them! (I would interview them as if you were hiring someone to care for your child. My dogs are my children and they are treated as such.)
  4. Check the pet sitter's references. Really call them. Really check them out. Ask questions like: how long have you known her, how many times has she pet sat for you, were there any problems, how did she correspond with you while she was pet sitting for you, how frequently did she correspond with you, etc. Ask questions. Lots of them.

As a pet sitter, it breaks my heart to read the stories like what I read this morning. It breaks my heart for the family of the dog. I don't like the black mark it leaves on my industry either. There are good pet sitters out there. Do your research and find them. You'll have to plan ahead as this process will take time. Your dogs are worth it, right? Trust me if you find the right pet sitter, she'll appreciate your efforts and your dog will too.