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You might have caught Foreign Policy’s awesome photo essay on military dogs last week. It’s edited by Rebecca Frankel, FP’s “chief canine correspondent,” and provides a fascinating look into the training and lives of dogs on the front lines.

See the whole essay here.

Tail wags to Rebecca for the tip.

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Photographer Laura Olsen lives in Charleston, SC, with her beau Brian and their beagle-y pack, Peanut and Calliope. Olsen was drawn to pet photography after the passing of Jasmine, her pet for 15 years. She says, “My mission is to capture the spirit of the dogs we love so they can be with us always.” As I’ve watched my 6 years with Mingus positively fly by, I can certainly appreciate that bittersweet sentiment.

You can see more of Laura’s work on her site and blog.


I was kickin’ it on Flickr last night, checking out dogs shot with toy cameras. Here are some of my favorites.

jj look


Dog Mom of Five



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I love a good story of a girl and her dog! Here’s our newest Best Phriend, Riley, best friend of photographer Brittani Bowling.

Name: Riley
Age: 2
Home: Maryland
Owner’s name: Brittani
Breed: Labrador Retriever
Nicknames: Stinky, Riley boy, Ryguy, Riley pants, Poop head, Pumpkin, R dog
Arrival story: While we’d always had Golden Retrievers that were all-around “family dogs” (didn’t really belong to one of us over another). I’d always wanted my own puppy to come with me wherever I went. Finally my parents agreed, and along came Riley boy!

Special talents or skills: Unfortunately, stealing people food. Think three steaks and an entire baked chicken (Yes…the entire thing…bones and all…he really had us worried for 3 days after, but somehow everything was okay.)
Favorite toy: HATS! He will literally take it right off your head if you sit down, and good luck getting it back.
Most annoying habit: Snoring and being a bed hog.
Hobbies: Playing “torpedo dog” (basically running around out of control, most often after getting out of the pool), sleeping…a lot, hanging out at the barn, cruising with his head out the car window, playing dog model for me.
Most expensive item ever chewed: My mom’s brand-new heels…oops.

If Riley wrote his biography, what would it be titled? Life in the Fast Lane by Riley Pants

What’s Riley’s most embarrassing moment – or the most embarrassed YOU’VE been thanks to Riley? When Riley comes to school with me he stays at my apartment, and one afternoon after a nice rain I walked out of the back door of my building to find my neighbor and his dog standing about 10 feet away. Riley immediately wrapped the leash once around my legs (classic, I know), and lunged to play with the other dog. It happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to spin around and avoid the legs-tied-together move, so down I went, into the mud, losing the retractable leash (which retracted and scared Riley, of course). All the while my big yellow blob of a dog proceeded to get tangled in the other dog’s leash, with my neighbor totally wondering what in the world just happened. After getting the dogs untangled and finally getting Riley back under control, I apologized, laughed, admitted it was the most embarrassing thing that had ever happened to me, and went the other direction to avoid another run-in.  To this day, whenever this guy sees Riley and I out to walk, he doesn’t even acknowledge me and does an about-face…but I can’t say I blame him.

If Riley were a superhero, what would his special power be? Extreme speed!

What’s the biggest trouble Riley’s ever gotten in? I’m going to have to go with stealing my dad’s just-seasoned and ready-to-go-on-the-grill steaks while I was away at college…needless to say, Dad was pretty upset.

(Note: We’re not currently accepting submissions for Best Phriends, but stay tuned to future posts to see how your pup can be featured!)

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Let’s hear it for the Midwest, y’all! Danielle Neil is an awesome pet photographer from central Ohio, and her site and blog are full of gorgeous pups in gorgeous settings. Danielle also puts her talents to work for her community, including taking photos for local shelters and charitable events and serving as a member of HeARTs Speak.

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Seattle-area photographer Julie Clegg’s company is named Bailey & Banjo, after her two yellow labs. Clegg’s slogan is “Photography for cool pets and happy people,” and I’m struck by how fitting those words are. Take a stroll through her galleries (both lifestyle and studio) and you’ll find photos of just that — dogs being dogs, and people happy to be around them.

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Fred Conrad, a 34-year veteran photographer for the New York Times, photographed 102 champion Best of Breed dogs at this week’s Westminster dog show. I spent a good hunk of time scrolling through his slideshow. I’m forever amazed by all the sizes, shapes, colors, and faces we call “dog.”

(Check out the hilarious behind-the-scenes video on the NY Times Lens blog, too.)

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I was real late feeding the pups last night ’cause I got all caught up looking at Li Ward’s blog.

Li, the creative force behind Fat Orange Cat Studio, is a pet and wedding photographer in “Boston and beyond.” Go check out her site and blog – SO much good stuff. (I warn you, though, there are French bulldog puppies, and THEY WILL SUCK YOU IN.)

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Our newest Best Phriend is a handsome Staffy cross from Down Under. His mom Ruth is a photographer, and Chopper’s quite the dashing model, don’t you think?

Name: Chopper
Age: nearly 5
Owner’s name: Ruth
Hometown or state: Sydney, Australia
Breed/s: Staffy x [no really, we have the DNA test to prove he’s exactly 50% Staffordshire Bull Terrier crossed with an unknown crossbreed. Money well spent!]
Nicknames: Chopper Chops, ChopChop, Chopsy, Whingeypants, The stripey one, The Dude… I could go on, our dogs rarely get called by their real names!
Arrival story: We took on Ivan [7yo Husky] in March 2006 and rescued Angel [1.5yo Staffy] three months later. When I told my husband in September that I wanted to foster a dog I promised him that I wouldn’t keep it. I did mean it when I said it, but Chopper won us both over pretty quickly! He was our first foster and our first, but not our last, foster failure!

Favorite toy: He’s not choosy. He’ll make anything into a toy… door wedges, flip flops, junk mail, socks, etc. Things that squeak are really high value though.
Most annoying habit: LICKING!!! Everything. If he can’t reach you he’ll just lick the air. It’s soooooo annoying!
Best friend: Our Staffy, Angel. They play really rough and they cuddle really hard. They’re so in love with each other that being around them can make you feel like a third wheel!
Most expensive item ever chewed: Before I knew better than to leave him home alone with washing on the line he destroyed my favorite duvet cover. That was a bad day. The plants I had accepted were fair game. We knew the garage needed to be kept closed as he’d already eaten the blood and bone plant food and the tuna oil my husband used for fishing. We figured the BBQ cover needed replacing anyway, but there were no warning signs that he was plotting to start pulling washing off the line!

If Chopper wrote his biography, what would it be titled?
Chopper’s destined to be a famous model or actor. Or model turned actor! If any talent scouts are reading this, his rates are entirely reasonable and he’s a consummate professional. He’s just waiting for his big break!

What’s the biggest trouble Chopper’s ever gotten in?
He ran away from home twice in the one day when we were overseas on holidays. A friend was minding the dogs, and Chopper was still an unruly pup with huge exercise and discipline needs. He knocked over one of the bins and used it to jump onto the other one and get over the fence. We lived on a very busy road and luckily our 80yo neighbor caught him and was able to put him back in the yard. Not long afterwards he did it again. Thankfully a very kind stranger caught him and brought him to the vets. He gave us a real scare, but luckily he never tried it again.

Chopper thinks farts are funny. He once walked up to me and farted, then smiled and started wagging his tail. Clearly he doesn’t smell what we smell!!

Would you like your pup’s name in lights (well, sort of) as part of our Best Phriends crew? Just send an email containing your name and the name(s) of your pup(s) to bestphriends[at]gmail[dot]com.

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Who loves boxers? We do, we do! Here’s our newest Best Phriend, a lovely boxer named Daisy.

Name: Daisy
Age: 3 years
State: New Hampshire
Owner’s name: Nicolasa
Breed: Pure Bred Boxer
Nicknames: Crazy Daisy, Boo, Cuddle Bug, Pup
Arrival story: I have wanted a Boxer for as long as I could remember.  When my fiance (now husband) and I moved to a place where we could have a dog he took it upon himself, along with the help of my mother, to find a Boxer puppy to give to me for my 23rd birthday.  We visited her a few times before bringing her home. My sister and I picked her up at eight weeks old and it has been a fun adventure ever since!

Favorite food: Peanut butter, green beans and watermelon
Best trick: Twirling or Curtsy
Biggest fear: Getting into the bathtub and 18-wheeler Trucks
Favorite toy: a toy we refer to as her boyfriend
Most annoying habit: Jumping up and sitting right on your chest or lap so that the back of her head is being pushed into your face. She truly believes she is ten pounds when she is in fact 67 pounds!

What’s Daisy’s most embarrassing moment – or the most embarrassed YOU’VE been thanks to Daisy? I think HER most embarrassing moment was when I was putting dishes into the dishwasher and she came over to lick the forks clean and got her collar stuck on the dish rack so when she pulled her head back the whole bottom rack went rolling out and on to the kitchen floor. She kept scooting backwards all the way to the living room before I could unhook her! I was laughing so hard I couldn’t take it! She on the other hand bolted up on the couch and sat there looking stunned. It took her weeks before she would go in the kitchen when we had the dishwasher open!

If Daisy were on “Survivor,” why would she be voted off the island? She would be voted for licking people’s faces too much. She is such a kisser and doesn’t know when to stop. The other pups would have enough and just want her gone!

We’d love to have your pup/s as part of our Best Phriends! Just send an email with your name and the name of your pup/s to bestphriends (at) gmail (dot) com.

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