The canines of Christmas

Santa with German Shepherd

"Good dog," we all said as this fine German Shepherd was on his best behavior for his portrait with the Jolly Olde Elf. This calm demeanor came after a requisite round of investigatory sniffing to become familiar with his temporary surroundings.

Girl and dog in Santa's lap

Click on the pic to see more dogs

Shortly before I left to set up and photograph a number of dogs and to some extent, their two-legged companions, I advised my friends on Facebook that I was headed to Margland Bed and Breakfast to “shoot dogs.” About a half-dozen of my smart-aleck friends took me to task for my choice of verbiage.

Being a smart-aleck myself (I am eschewing another, more descriptive and colorful phrase, to preserve my G-Rating), I would have not let the opportunity slide either. Nevertheless, as a photographer I was indeed shooting dogs, several of who seemed to enjoy the process.

The event was the annual get-your-dog-photographed-with-Santa-benefit sponsored by the Humane Society of Jefferson County (Arkansas). The procedure was simple, I shoot the dogs, Humane Society volunteers print the pictures and collect ten bucks from the dog’s two-legged escort. The 501 c3 non-profit organization is completely dependent on donations and operates with a 100% volunteer staff. Before we go much further, we invite you to visit the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com where this story started. We’ll wait here.

Santa and Patagonian Water Dog

Dogs of all sizes and stripes came to the event. I guess you could call this girl a medium. She shows definitive evidence of one or more fence-jumping Labrador Retrievers in her ancestral history.

 See more dog pictures in our Weekly Grist Gallery

Santa, woman, and dogs

No family is complete without one or more dogs. I should know. We have four. And two cats.

While this event is fun and smiles abound, the job at hand for the Humane Society of Jefferson County is serious. For every happy dog you see on these pages, dozens are confined to shelters from which there is no good ending unless they are adopted. The money raised from events like this and from generous donors keeps the work going on for local Humane Society organizations. The need never stops or takes a break.

Santa and Yorkies

Click on the pic for more dog pictures


In our Weekly Grist gallery. You’ll see 21 high-resolution pictures from the get-your-dog-photographed-with-Santa-benefit. The cute factor in a couple of cases is off the chart.

The gallery includes the Corndancer and pictures on this page plus 15 others in a larger, high-resolution format. Nuther-words, they’re “clearer.” Click here.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

A Plethora of Pooches

Two Great Dane Dogs

Magnum (left), and his partner Great Dane from Walden Kennels of Glenwood, Arkansas pay close attention to "Momma," Marsha Walden, owner of the kennels. The dogs are competing in the Sweetheart Dog Show at the Pine Bluff Convention Center in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Yorkshire Terrier Show Dog

See more dog show pictures at Corndancer dot-com

There’s precious little as much fun as five hundred or so happy dogs. That’s what I found at the annual Sweetheart Dog Show in the Pine Bluff Convention Center at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, my home town. Under normal circumstances, there would be upwards to a thousand or better dogs competing but widespread road icing kept many competitors at home.

Before we go too much further, we need to tell you that this story started on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. Click here to go there and see more dog show pictures and get in on the start of the story. We will wait right here while you look.

Despite diminished attendance, the quality of competition was good. This is the last major dog show before the start of the legendary Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and points earned at this show can help qualify a dog to compete at Westminster. Many competing dogs that were at this show were already qualified so their next stop is Westminster.

Great Dane dog and handler

Marsha Walden, proprietor of Walden Kennels of Glenwood, Arkansas works with one of her charges, Magnum, a Great Dane. Magnum is less than one year old and still growing.

One of the beauties of a good dog show, and this is a good one, is the variety of dogs you see and the people you meet. Many of the owners and handlers are following a passion and have close family relationships with their dogs. Marsha Walden, of Walden Kennels, specializing in Great Danes and Mastiffs is one of those. She says on her web site: “My dogs aren’t just breeders they are my life and  they are part of the family. My house is their house and if you don’t like wet slobbery kisses you might not want to visit.”

Russian Wolf Hound

This is Potsy, a girl Russian Wolf Hound, who competes in the show obedience competition. These dogs are recognizable by long skinny heads. They could dang-near eat a dog biscuit out of a Coke bottle. Potsy's human is Betsy Tolley of Memphis, Tennessee, a cheerful woman.

Dog handler/groomer with Australian Shepherd

Brenda Moore, a dog handler from Texarkana USA works on Memo, an Australian Shepherd. Memo's owner lives in New York. The owner sent Memo to Brenda in July of 2010 for what appears to be an extended visit. Both seem pleased with the arrangement.

Welsh Corgi Cardigan

Casey, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi likes his job according to his owner, groomer, trainer, handler, Lori Kopreski of Sherwood, Arkansas. Kopreski recently moved to Sherwood from East Burne, New York and says she loves it here in the Natural State. She has shown dogs since 1962.

At a dog show like this one, you can see a big variety of dogs from breeds that could come two-to-a-shoebox – to dogs big enough to nearly pull a plow. Though they vary in size, shape, coat, and color, these show dogs from, my viewpoint, share one thing in common, they are friendly outgoing critters and like people. Every dog I saw was ready to touch noses or get a good scratch behind the ears. That speaks well of the owners and trainers. It says the dog has learned by love, patience, and having fun. That’s a solid concept for this life by the way.

This just in, a February 18, 2011 update

My dear friends, William L. (“Bill” or currently “Pat”) Patterson and his lovely bride, “Dangerous” Darlene H. Patterson, suggested that I include their pampered beagle, Bella Donna Star Patterson in this article. Them being who they are, and the dog being the Queen Bitch, I could find no reason not to respect and respond favorably to this request.

beagle on bed

Bella Donna Star Patterson


Samoyed and groomer

See all 36 dog pictures

On Corndancer dot-com and here on Weekly Grist, I have shown you eight dog pictures from the dog show. In this shoot, there were 36 “keepers,” which means there are a bunch of cool dog pictures you have not seen.

Take heart, you can see all of these dogs including a Samoyed, Coon Dog, Bull Dog, another Corgi and a bunch more on our Weekly Grist Gallery. Click here and go there to see these pooches.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind