Inspiring Geometric Tattoo Ideas for Dog Lovers

13 Jul

geometric tattoos

A few weeks ago, we looked at some inspiring and seriously kick-ass watercolour tattoos. Honestly, Lucy and I completely fell in love with the style. In our search, however, we found even more really awesome tattoo styles that we had never even thought of!

Maybe we were inspired by the geometric design of The Odin toy we reviewed yesterday, or maybe there’s just something to be said about the understated use of lines and shapes to create something beautiful and emotional—a tribute to a beloved pet in a style that just feels right.

If clean, simple design is your cup of tea, we think you’ll love these geometric memorial tattoos we found! Thinking of immortalizing your best friend with a memorial tattoo? Consider the geometric style with these inspiring tattoos below.

geometric tattoos

(Tattoos: @bartekwojda, @karlmarks1, @javiwolfink, @bicemsinik, @szejno, @lisaorth)

So, what do you think? What’s your style preference? Do you have a memorial tattoo to share?

Photograph courtesy of Javi Wolf.

5 Things Purebred Dog Owners Are Tired of Hearing

22 Feb

dog plus bone_01

I always get a certain sense of anxiety whenever I find myself inspired to write a piece specific to purebred dogs. Truth be told, there can be a lot of negativity. Whereas owning a rescue tends to be seen as a noble, even heroic endeavour (and it is!), owning a purebred dog can sometimes be seen as an act of vanity.

Actually, it’s the negativity that made me want to write this even more. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting dog owners of both sides of the spectrum and everywhere in between, which means there’s a good chunk of the Good Dogs & Co. community that are proud purebred dog owners who have done everything right (breed research, breeder research, etc.) and still get bombarded with questions.

Below are five things purebred dog owners are tired of hearing—but we’re also more than happy to answer these questions when they come from a place of genuine curiosity, and not with a negative inflection. All of that to say: if you’re thinking of getting a specific breed of dog, go on and ask anyone and everyone who already owns that breed every question you can think of. Being informed is a big deal.

Doesn’t that breed have health problems?

Yes, because my dog is of a well-established breed, there has been enough data collected to determine which health problems are common. That’s why I spent time searching for a good, reputable breeder who is aware of such problems, and thus has tried to better the breed through meticulous and thoughtful breeding pairs.

How much did you pay for him/her?

As much as a dog from a reputable breeder costs.

No, really! I mean, have I scoffed at the price I’ve heard for certain purebred dogs? Sure. But the people I know (and also from personal experience with Archer) who have done the research, vetted a few breeders, and decided on one they really feel comfortable with… the price you pay is what you—personally—are willing to pay for that dog. It’s your choice, not mine or anyone else’s. Whatever makes sense to you is what is reasonable.

Have you bred him/her yet?

No, and I don’t ever intend to. I purchased a family pet, not a dog prostitute.*

Why didn’t you crop his ears/dock his tail?

Because I—like many other people in developed countries, aside from Canada and the United States—believe cosmetic alterations like cropping a dog’s ears or docking their tail is cruel and unnecessary.

If you aren’t adopting a rescue, you’re part of the problem!

Thank you for your negativity.

There are two things that bother me about the rescue vs. purebred dog debate. The first is a blindness to the need for purebred dogs—that is, dogs bred for a specific purpose. Take our newest Good Dogs & Co. office pup (who belongs to my friend), Sirius. After much research, my friends knew they wanted a dog who could hunt, but also one with high energy to be a running buddy. A Vizsla made sense for their lifestyle. Could they have found a high-energy dog in a shelter? Probably. But the hunting quality is a little more tricky.

In that sense, comparing purebred dogs to rescues is a lot like comparing apples to oranges.

The second thing that bothers me in this debate is the just the pure negativity. Don’t yuck my yum. I adore my purebred dog, and you adore your rescue—and that’s a wonderful thing.

* This seems to be a question heard by all dog owners with fit, good looking dogs. Lucy gets the same question when walking Topher, and we kinda-sorta-maybe know what breed he is, probably? I see red flags the minute a stranger asks me if I’ve already bred my dog, or want to breed her. The answer is no, and go away please.

Photo Tips to Make Your Pup an Instagram Star

25 Jan


Unless you’ve decided to quit your day job and put all your eggs in one basket—that is, the my-dog-is-totally-gonna-be-an-Instagram-celebrity lottery—you probably don’t have the time to take pictures daily of your beloved pooch. Who has the time? More than that, who wants to put in all that effort in keeping a dog clean and camera-ready for some comments and likes online? It all sounds like a chore, but luckily it doesn’t have to be.

Can we guarantee your pup becomes an Instagram star overnight? Well, no. But there are some simple rules to follow to make sure you’re getting the most out of your photorgraphs, whether you’re using your phone’s camera or a real camera. Best of all, you can commit as much or as little time as you want and, with these simple pointers, can achieve some beautiful results.

The Basics

Ready to Go: If you’ve decided you want to snap some great shots of your pup, be sure they look their best. For us, that usually means a “drool towel” on hand for Archer. If we’re on a trail for a shoot, I usually also have to keep an eye out for mud and water on her, but for the most part it’s a matter of keeping her nose clean from her own drool. Make sure you have the tools you need to keep your pup clean during the shoot, and that they’re 100% ready to go before you even start.

Lighting is Everything: Whether you have the impossible-to-photograph black dog (welcome to my nightmare!) or you plan on using a lot of different props, keep in mind that clarity and lighting is everything for a good photo. In our old house, we had limited natural light and really had to be aware of when our best times were to take photos. For the casual photographer, natural lighting is your friend.

Thou Shalt Not Zoom: Whether it’s on a point-and-shoot camera or on your phone, make a mental note to absolutely never use the zoom. Get closer to your subject if you want a close-up shot, and avoid using that zoom at all costs! Why? Typically, the zoom will result in reduced quality—mainly, it’ll be grainy or even out of focus.

Change Your View: A downward angle from your point-of-view down to your dog can be boring. It’s what we see every day with our own pups. Change your view. Get really low (lay on your belly, even) and take a worm’s eye view shot! Or stand on a chair, get high, and go for the bird’s eye view. Change your angles, and play around! You’ll get some really interesting shots by simply changing your point of view.

Rule of Thirds: The rule of thirds is a big thing in photography, and it’s pretty easy to understand. Actually, Instagram already has this feature built into their app! Ever wonder why, when editing a photo, the screen has two vertical and two horizontal lines? It breaks the image up into 9 squares. The idea is to place your point of interest along one of these intersecting points, or levelling your horizon line along one of the horizontal lines. Using the rule of thirds is a way to enhance the visual interest in your photo by leading the eye.

More Advanced

If you have the luxury of using a more robust camera, like a DSLR (Lucy and I both use different models of Canon DSLR cameras), you have a little more wiggle room to take some really unique, fancy shots.

Depth of Field: It’s a fancy photography term, but in a nutshell, when talking about “depth of field” we mean there is a variation between your subject and the background. The picture doesn’t look flat. You know those nice blurred backgrounds or even “bokeh” style backgrounds? That’s the result of a good lens and some great focus on the subject.

Focus: With your pup, you typically want to ensure the focus is around their nose/eyes. If it’s a close-up, the focus becomes more important and you have to be careful to make sure the clearest piece of the photo is to their eyes—it’s where the most expression comes through.

Plan Ahead

Collections: It’s time for big-picture thinking. Consider taking a few hours to do a collection of photos. These photos should have the same feel or theme, whether that means use of one or a few props (bandanas, toys, treats, etc.) or lighting (bright or white or dark or colourful!) or just mood (happy, excited, relaxed, etc.). The more you can do at once, and spread out over a set period of time, the more organized and thoughtful your feed will look to visitors.

For us, Collections usually mean props. When we review products, we typically have dozens of Instagram photos (and only a fraction of them are ever seen!). It’s nice to give yourself options.

Style: The Good Dogs & Co. Instagram feed is a little mish-mash of everything—we need it to be, because we cover so much and feature so many other pups! But many dog-specific accounts will veer in one stylistic direction. Check out accounts like Emily Wang’s or A Pup Named Loki for some great inspiration. Once you’ved eked out your own personal style, it’s easy to keep with it.

More than anything, it’s important to have fun. Let your creativity roam, and discover new ways to take great, visually interesting photos. Be true to yourself, and the number of followers you have will continue to grow!