Showing posts with label SCLRR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SCLRR. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


March 9, 2011
© Lydia Marcus 2011 /

Monday, February 14, 2011



© Lydia Marcus 2011 /

Photographed with a Nikon D7000/Nikon 50mm f/1.8

Wednesday, September 15, 2010



Cali © Lydia Marcus 2010 /
Photographed September 8, 2010 in Encino, CA

Thursday, July 22, 2010



One year ago I adopted Cali from Southern California Labrador Retriever Rescue. Happy Anniversary my sweet Cali-ente!

Here's a then (4 months old) & now (1yr, 4mo) photo. She went from just under 25 pounds to just under 50 pounds! She's smart as a whip, very obedient, an excellent retriever, lots of fun, and has NEVER chewed anything in the house that doesn't belong to her.

© Lydia Marcus /
Photographed July 2009/2010 in Los Angeles, CA

Friday, March 26, 2010




This week I did a strobist style portrait session with Cali. The set up was a red seamless paper background, 2 Nikon Speedlights (an SB-800 and SB-600) controlled off camera in Commander mode by my Nikon D80. Each light was mounted on a stand with a small Photoflex umbrella. The black outer shell of the umbrella was removed so that the Speedlights could shoot through the white side. Initially I tried shooting into the umbrellas, but with Cali being so dark, there was just too much light lost and it wasn't looking bright enough. Even shooting through, I had to plump up the light settings on both Speedlights to +3 stops. First shot above was done at f/4.5 at 1/45, second was f/6.7 at 1/45.

Cali is remarkable patient and focused for a puppy. She will sit and pose for quite some time if you have her ball and chuck it in her line of sight. :-)

Photo Credits © Lydia Marcus 2010 /
Cali, 1 year old
Photographed March 25, 2010, Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, January 19, 2010



Cali goes nuts over squeaky toys - I'm convinced she's made up her own language based on squeaks! I bought this rubber chew toy at Cost Plus World Market over the holidays. I hadn't given it to Cali yet because I was nervous about how quickly she would chew through it but lately she seems to be taking it a bit easier on her chew toys as she matures. So today I debuted the Doggie News ("All the news that's fit to chew") and she went wild over it. Unfortunately the toy only lasted about 15 minutes before she's chewed the corner off and it no longer squeaked. At least I got a cute picture out of it!

Cali, 10 Months Old
Photo credit © Lydia Marcus 2010 /
Photographed January 19, 2010 in Encino, CA

Monday, November 23, 2009


On Sunday afternoon, I went hiking for two hours in the Encino Hills (at Westridge-Canyon Back Wilderness Park) with Cali and her doggy friend, Lucy the Chocolate Lab. After the hike, we went to Coral Tree Cafe to refuel.

Not all dogs will eat lettuce, but these two sure do. In this video, they sit obediently and alternate taking bites of my salad. How sweet they are!!!! :-)

iPhone 3GS video by Lydia Marcus

Wednesday, November 18, 2009



Lucy is a Chocolate Lab I met a few weeks ago. Lucy's "Mom" Chrystyna and her boyfriend Jorge were walking past my yard and I invited Lucy in to play with Cali. Chyrstyna got Lucy from an ad on Craigslist. The owners had neglected her and were going to dump her at the pound and they were threatening to put her down if no one came to get her! She's only a year old and she's super sweet and loving and thank God she's out of a place that doesn't care about her into a a loving home that does.

Cali and Lucy have had a few doggie play dates, gone on one off leash hike together (their first!), and today Jorge brought Lucy over so we could bathe Cali & her in my backyard. He helped to hold Cali while I washed her and I held Lucy still while he washed her.

Lucy is a gem and has so much potential. She was overweight when she was adopted and in just a few weeks of regular exercise she's already trimmed down. She doesn't know a lot of commands (I think sit and lie down are it), but today in just a few seconds I was able to teach her "Leave It'. Cali and I are happy to call her a friend.

Here's a cropped version of the first shot.


Lucy has beautiful yellow eyes and a radiant smile. This is how she looks most of the time, ears back and relaxed.



I took a few Polaroids of Lucy and Cali too. It took Jorge and I quite a lot of futzing and commands and treats to finally get them close enough for a side by side portrait, but we finally did it!




Digital and Polaroid Photo credits © Lydia Marcus 2009 /
Photographed November 18, 2009 in Encino, CA

Monday, November 2, 2009


Haute Dog Howl'oween-12

This was my second year in a row attending the Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade in Long Beach. Last year's parade had more than 600 dogs in costume and this year's parade was even bigger. Last year the parade took place on the sidewalk with spectators squeezed on both sides of the cement. This year the parade expanded to two closed off streets with spectators seated in rented chairs lining the street, standing on either side of the street, or sitting directly on the curb.

When we first drove past the festival, both Cali and Abbey (my neighbor Amy's dog) started whimpering a little and just sniffing the air like crazy. They saw and sensed a lot of dogs in the area and they were beginning to get wound up. I wasn't sure how Cali was going to do with all the doggie stimulation. She LOVES to play and I thought she'd be pulling me in all directions. The past month I've been taking her out with me to lots of festivals and she's been getting better and better at remaining calm when she sees other dogs. The first time I took her out with me to the Taste of Encino, I thought she was going to pull my arm out of it's socket lunging and pulling to get at other dogs. But at the Haute Dog Howl'oween she turned out to be surprisingly calm and just wanted to say hi or give a quick kiss to all the doggies she met. There were a couple playful pups closer to her age that actually engaged in play with her so that was great. The only problem I had with her was her attention span - she started to get kind of antsy during the parade because we were planted in one place for a very long time. When you're dealing with a puppy it's really no different than dealing with a kid. You wouldn't expect a kid to stay put in one place for a very long time without wanting to get out an roam around and a dog is exactly like that. Instead of getting up, I just decided to forgo watching the parade for a little while and got down on the ground with her to give her attention and belly rubs.

I didn't get to take as many photos as last year because holding onto Cali and taking photos at the same time is a challenge. But here are my faves from the day. Everything was shot with my Nikon D80 and a 50mm lens at f/1.8.

Haute Dog Howl'oween-17
Pomeranian cutie.

Haute Dog Howl'oween-11
The cutest boxer puppy! I just wanted to eat it up!!!

Haute Dog Howl'oween-10
This "lobster" dog took for cover under the chair because it was wary of Cali.

Haute Dog Howl'oween-7
Tiny & Precious!

Haute Dog Howl'oween-18
I had originally bought a ladybug costume for Cali but she wasn't having any part of it. Maybe when she's older and calmer I can ease her into a costume. But I did manage to pick up this cute scarf for her at the Haute Dog festival. It's red with white hearts and looks great against her black coat. I also bought a yellow one that has a hibiscus flower pattern on it. They attach with velcro and were only $4 dollars.

Haute Dog Howl'oween-4
This is my neighbor Amy with her chihuahua mix Abbey. Abbey is Cali's first playmate, they met right when I got Cali at 4 months old. Abbey is a little bundle of energy and spunk and who always lets Cali know who's the boss! This was the first time Cali and Abbey traveled in the car together and they got along great.

Haute Dog Howl'oween-1
I wanted to get a better portrait after the parade but we were all so pooped out. Posing two dogs together is not so easy.

Haute Dog Howl'oween-8
I think this is a boston terrier dressed as a Laker. It just wanted to play. So sweet.

Haute Dog Howl'oween-16

Haute Dog Howl'oween-5
Definitely the weirdest (and possibly most creative) entry in the parade.

Haute Dog Howl'oween-13
The "Lion" dog and Abbie. The lion mane was homemade by it's owner. Soooo cute.

Haute Dog Howl'oween-6

Haute Dog Howl'oween-9
Playful pup.

Haute Dog Howl'oween-2
This year the parade began with a kid costume category. I thought this little girl dressed as bacon was the best!

Haute Dog Howl'oween-3
This little boy was awesome as Edward Scissorhands. I loved his scowling expression!

Haute Dog Howl'oween-14
A portrait of me & Cali taken by my friend Matthew.

Haute Dog Howl'oween-15
Another shot of me & Cali. Cali will be 8 months old in a few days.

Photo credits © Lydia Marcus 2009
Photographed October 31, 2009 in Long Beach, CA at the Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade

Update November 6, 2009: Received new photos from my friend Matthew Dillon so thought I'd share them.

Here's Amy M., Me & Cali, and my neighbor Amy S. with Abbey.

Me & Cali and Amy S. & Abbey.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Cali @ 7.5 months-2

Open W-I-D-E!
Cali @ 7.5 months-3

"Just try and take this persimmon away from me!"
Cali @ 7.5 months-1

Bend It Like Cali!
Cali @ 7.5 months-4

I wish her face was in better focus, but I like her expression.
Cali @ 7.5 months-5

Recent Videos:

Cali Has A Ball

We had a couple days of rain in L.A. so I had to find creative ways to keep Cali busy indoors. And find ways to poop her out! So I invented the Cali-lympics.

Playtime isn't just for fun, it's a daily way to keep training Cali through repetition, praise and sometimes reward.

Cali-lympics Day 1 - Stay, come, single jump, sit, and left paw.

Cali-lympics Day 2 - Cali nails the double jump!

There was a Cali-lympics Day 3 where I had Cali doing a triple jump but I didn't record it because the room was too dark. Right now I'm improvising her jumps with TV bed trays, but I hope to get some agility equipment eventually.

Cali 7.5 months
Photo credits © Lydia Marcus 2009
Photographed October 21, 2009 in Encino, CA

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


My fluffy puppy is almost six months old!

Photo credit: © Lydia Marcus 2009
Photographed September 2, 2009 in Encino, CA

Friday, August 21, 2009



Went to the Coral Tree Cafe with my friend Sheryl and her two Doxie pups Tilda and Lulah for a doggie play date. It's the first time our pups have met each other. The doxies were a little overwhelmed by Cali since she's so much larger than them (and pretty rambunctious). Cali is 5 months old and the doxies are a few weeks younger. Cali is about 30 pounds now, not sure how much longer I'll be able to pick her up.

In the last week I've taught her "Leave It" and how to shake her paw. She picks up commands pretty quickly so I'm hoping to be able to teach her lots of stuff.

Right now this is what she can do:

Lie Down
Sit Stay (as long as I'm in view and not too far away)
Lie Stay (ditto)
Find It
Leave It
Give It (this only works with tennis balls for fetch)
Sit at the door when we're ready to go outside. Sit Stay once the door is open until I release her to go out.
Sit in front of her food bowl until I let her eat
Sit at corners when we go for walks. Responds to Heel command to continue walking.

What I REALLY need to work on - PULLING when walking on leash - getting worse. I need to get her in a harness every time, her normal flat collar is useless. Also, she's really good at responding to COME in the house but when she's outside in the front or back yard, she pretty much ignores me. Gotta up the ante with food rewards for this one.

I took her out to Montrose to visit with friends today and their seven year old daughter was able to get Cali to respond to Sit, Lie Down, Shake and Leave It. She's the first "trainer" besides me to give Cali commands so I was really impressed that Cali listened to her even in a very distracting outside environment with LOTS of doggie stimulation. Go Cali!

Photo credit: © Lydia Marcus 2009
Photographed August 19, 2009 in Encino, CA

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Cali & Me - our official first portrait. My Dad is a horrible photographer but someone he managed this one!

Cali and I spent our first full day together keeping on a puppy schedule so she has consistency in her young doggie life. Cali is crate trained but since I don't have a crate for her yet (it was ordered from today), she slept on in a doggie bed on the floor next to my bed and didn't go to the bathroom until I let her out at 7am. Good Dog!!!

Here's a run down of the day:

Breakfast at 7am. A walk with my Dad after the meal.

Pee breaks every 2 hours.

Playing with her soft squeaky toys, chasing tennis balls and playing fetch, wrestling around, cuddling, and napping in between the pee breaks.

Lunch at noon. Another walk with Dad.

More play and nap time.

Dinner at 6pm.

Her first dog park visit around 6:30. Voracious play with ALL the dogs. She never looked back at me once - she was off and running and playing rough for about an hour. No shyness, no fear, she was like a bat outta hell at the dog park. If she's like this at only 25 pounds, I have no idea what terror she'll be full grown! Those big dogs better watch out!!! I attribute her outward behavior at the dog park to early socialization with other dogs at her wonderful foster home.

Here's video of her at play.

Cali with a guy at the dog park. If only she stayed this fun size forever!

Since the dog park, she's been pretty pooped out, but I don't know who's more tired - the puppy or this new doggie mommy!

Photos by © Lydia Marcus 2009
Photographed July 21, 2009 in Encino, CA

Monday, July 20, 2009


Meet Cali My Lab Rescue Puppy!

My new puppy Cali - named for my home state. She's a four month old black lab (probably a mix), adopted from Southern California Labrador Retriever Rescue (SCLRR / on 7-20-09. She was found a month ago roaming a parking lot. Her owners couldn't be found and she was taken in by SCLRR where she was fostered until I adopted her.

Some stats:
Approx Weight: 25 pounds. Vet figures she'll be double that when she's fully grown.
She's spayed, has all her vaccinations, and is microchipped.
Sits and lies down on command.
Crate trained and working on being totally housebroken.

My new doggie adventure begins...

Cali Al Fresco
Cali A Fresco

Cali's First Snooze
Cali's First Snooze

Photos by © Lydia Marcus 2009
Photographed July 20, 2009 in Encino, CA