Friday, January 13, 2017

Back to the Gypsy that I was

Happy 2017! Maybe a new year will motivate me to update this more frequently.

I feel like so much has happened recently. For Christmas, Johnny surprised me with tickets to see Stevie Nicks. That woman is my spirit animal, she was absolutely amazing. I recently found this star print jumpsuit that was so Nicks and inspired this self portrait shoot, I couldn't resist. Also the fact that I now own a romper when I hate them so much just goes to show how much I'm opening myself to new possibilities this year.

A few other things that have been happening:

+ I've started exploring Wicca and Witchcraft again. Before you guys get your panties in a twist, no it's not about worshiping the devil. Pagan religion focuses on a nature based religion, respecting the earth, elements, and all those around you. Do what you will as long as you harm none. I practiced when I was in middle school and then got distracted by... well growing up really. Recently I had a few signs over the months and an itch I needed to scratch so I joined up with a school, found a wonderfully inspiring group of people, and slowly doing solitary practice. There's so many kinds of witches and wiccans, I'm still doing my research and trying to define exactly what my calling is, reading a lot of books and such. However my crystal collection is growing and Johnny blessed me with a wonderful tarot deck so I'm learning every day!

+We have decided to adopt Quiche, our little blond crazy Chihuahua mix foster that nobody seems to want and yet fits into out household so perfectly. We also have a new foster named Sprocket. I was one of the only people able to touch him at the shelter, he's an older fellow with 5 rotten teeth and heart failure. Poor guy. He's been with us for about a week and just started meds so we remain hopeful for him. If his heart failure turns out to be terminal though, he will stay with us for as long as he lives.

+ Can't begin to express how much I love my new department at work. It's not always easy, having to make those choices of who passes to adoptions and who doesn't. However I love being able to work with the animals that need that extra TLC so I can try to get them shelter side. I've been filling in for someone on maternity who is finally back, so now I'll be solely focusing on my Playgroup position. My job literally consists of watching dogs play together and making sure everyone gets along. Seriously, I get paid to watch dogs play. I'm a lucky girl.

+I'm finally going through photos from last years WPPI shoot that I never got a chance to edit. About time right?

My goals for 2017 are pretty simple. Keep rescuing, find inspiration and motivate myself back to photography, keep learning and growing as a person.  Keep searching my crystal visions.

Romper: Charlotte Russe (currently on sale!)
Dreamcatcher: Thrifted
Hat: Thrifted


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Rock the Vote

This is an important election. Imagine the world you want to bring your kids into, the mistakes we have seen in the past of leaders gone wrong, the weight of the natural world that should be sitting on all our shoulders. While these aren't the choices we wanted, ONE of them will become President. Don't throw away your vote or choose not to cast it all. And remember, the nightmare is either almost over or just beginning. It's your choice.

Vote vote vote. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Remember Me?

Oh hey! Sorry to jump out at everyone like that but just letting you guys know that I'm still here!

I know I post on and off this blog a lot but sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. As much as I would love to be a full-time blogger, my other passions won't allow it. I've even put my photography business on the back burner for awhile after some creativity burnout. Working a full time job at an animal shelter takes so much out of you. It's the most rewarding work I've ever done while also being the most draining. However, now that I've just gotten a promotion (yay me!) into a better position where I'm focused more on the dogs and less on talking to crazy people... I'm hoping to start up both again.

So what did you guys miss out on in the last few months?
--I turned 30. That's crazy. I celebrated with my closest friends in San Diego, went to Tijuana, and got a taco tattoo. Because why not?
--Added to the ever growing zoo by getting Johnny a hedgehog for his birthday and adopting one of our foster kittens permanently.
--Johnny and I went to Portland for a few days and it was the best vacation I've had in awhile besides being much needed. I love that city with my whole heart.
--Went to Life is Beautiful which was a whole lot of fun with good friends.
--Recently got promoted as Canine Playgroup Specialist at the shelter.

Besides the constant revolving door of foster animals I take in, that's pretty much it. Life has been hectic, busy, stressful, and fun. Of course there's always behind the scenes stuff that's too personal to mention on here but everything's going really well for me lately. I would love to promise to update more regularly and of course I'm going to try. Thanks for hanging in there with me even when I'm not consistent, I appreciate every single one of you reading.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cool for the Summer

It's officially triple digit weather here in good old Las Vegas which means finding the best ways to keep cool in the summer while still having fun. I love hitting up one of the local pools on the Strip and having a Pina Colada with Johnny. But what about my four legged friends? They want to have fun too! While Murderface loves hiking, it gets hot fast unless you head out at the crack of dawn. However he's just like his mommy and is a water dog at heart!

Sometimes we head out to Lake Mead and spend a day with the Bighorn Sheep, sharing the lake and swimming. However when my days off are limited, we love to just hang out in the backyard. I picked up a kiddie pool at Walmart the other day since we don't have a pool of our own. The security guard helped me out and asked me if it was for my kids. I sheepishly responded that it was for my dogs and he laughed and said "Hey, they are your kids!" My kind of guy right there.

Murderface is water obsessed. However Jasper is not into getting wet AT ALL. So we found a way for him to enjoy summer too! I like to fill up a mini muffin tin with water and then place a piece of Pup-Peroni in the middle. I place the tin in the freezer until I have frozen Pup-Peroni popsicles! Jasper loves them!

I'm a big fan of Pup-Peroni. Not only do I use them at home but it's the number one treat we use at my shelter! The large sticks are easy to break so we can split them into a bunch of little pieces and use them as training rewards. It's not often that a shelter dog will refuse one.

How are you spending the summer with your best friend? Pup-Peroni wants to know! Take the Beef Up Your Summer Quiz and you could win up to $300 in toys and treats for your pup!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Khalessi of Kittens

If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (jraquel702), you might have noticed I took on a few more fosters. 4 to be exact. 4 more dogs? She must be crazy! Except these guys don't bark... They meow!

It's kitten season at the shelter which means that our cages overflow with nursing mothers or abandoned kittens that need help if they are going to survive. Now I'm primarily a dog person (if you couldn't tell) but I've been missing the presence of a cat ever since Sinatra passed away. I figured I could do my part and help out by fostering a litter. I have to say, it's been a totally different experience from fostering dogs but in a way it's a little simpler. My little guys were given to me around 5 weeks of age so they were already pretty self-efficient and using a litter box, eating canned and dry food, and starting to groom themselves. They still are a little stinky and sometimes miss the box and need an extra bath but for the most part they are really easy little guys. After day three of having them home, they already follow me around wherever I go or greet me at the kennel gate when I get home from work. I feel like Dany and her dragons.

As they have learned how to climb over the baby gate and I can't trust them alone with the dogs, they live in a large dog crate when they can't be supervised. When they are 8 weeks of age they will go back to the shelter to be vaccinated and adopted. This one little light gray girl though might just stay behind with us. She's definitely the ringleader, fearless and easy with the dogs. She's very affectionate and playful. Even Johnny said we could keep just one....

Consider fostering for your local shelter! It's a wonderful way of giving back and you can foster for as long as a few weeks to a few months. Fostering is one of my favorite parts of rescue and it's not limited to just dogs and cats. Find out more about fostering here and if you're in the Las Vegas area please check out how to foster with Animal Foundation.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

HeArt's Speak Exposure Project

We just wrapped up Dogs Playing for Life workshops last week at the shelter. This week we had HeArt's Speak (which I'm proudly a member of) out here teaching some shelter photography workshops for those wanting to learn how to take photos and write better adoption bios. They also generously donated a camera and studio equipment for us to use, I don't always have to bring in my own camera now!

This is why the crickets have been chirping in my blog space, it's just been an incredibly draining few weeks. With all these workshops now wrapped up though, I can bring some attention back here and share some of the finer details. Here's just a glimpse of some of the photos I captured in the two days of the Exposure Project. I spent a little more time playing with the soft boxes and backdrop since studio lighting isn't something I'm accustomed to using. I also focused on the cats, it's a nice change of pace since I'm typically photographing dogs 90% of the time.

These guys are all still for adoption. However little Raquel below (we bonded over the shared name) has gone to her new home!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Festival Vibes

Dress: Free People // Hat: Free People // Sandels: Ross

I put my extensions back in just in time for warmer weather and man I'm glad to have them back! Long hair and boho dresses go hand and hand together. Now that it's nearly summer, I'm in that stage of life where I'm refusing to wear pants. It's also festival season and although I may not be there in the flesh, I'm definitely there in spirit. I've never really been a hat person unless it was beanies but they are really growing on me lately, I'm letting out my inner Stevie Nicks.

I've got a busy week coming up at the shelter with the Humane Society conference in town. Lot's of workshops for Dogs Playing for Life, Compassion Fatigue, and the upcoming HeArts Speak photo workshop that I'll be a part of! I'm very excited even though I'm going to be a little tired old lady.

Who else is excited for summer?