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Holiday Gift Guides for Dog Lovers

By |2019-11-10T20:22:15-08:00November 10th, 2019|Articles|

Ammo the Dachshund Spends Christmas with his FamilyIf you’re like me, then you struggle as what to get your human(s) that you love so dearly. So I decided to help you out some with my holiday gift guide for dog lovers! (you can thank me later).

*some of the products below contain affiliate links

 

 

Holiday Gift Guide for Dog Lovers

1. Belly Scratch T-Shirt

2. Dog Bookend

3. Dog Wall Hanging

4. Rescued Wine Candle

5. Texts from Dog 2017 Calendar

6. SnowDog Kit

7. Doodling for Dog People

8. Friendship Collar & Bracelet

9. Dog Mug

10. Custom Pet Ornament

If you have any more great ideas for pet lovers, post them in the comments below! Ammo the Dachshund // Blog Signature // Celebrity

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Once Abused, Emmet Overcomes His Past to Become a Confident, Happy Dog

By |2019-11-10T20:22:10-08:00November 10th, 2019|Articles|

The photos may be in color, but the transformation they capture is as black and white as the little dog’s fur. Now known to his Instagram friends as Emmett London, this Miniature Pinscher–Chihuahua–Poodle mix had no name and no smile when Janni Nilsson adopted him just over a year ago.

Emmett has gained a best friend, a home and a few pounds since his adoption in 2015. (All photos courtesy @soyemmett)

Emmett has gained a best friend, plenty of confidence, and a few pounds since his adoption in 2015. (Photo courtesy @soyemmett)

“He had this blank stare in his eyes, kind of like he wasn’t really there,” says Janni, who documented Emmett’s return to himself through social media. The evolution of her Instagram account has a lot in common with its subject — a bit shaky at first, but the pictures become clearer as Emmett stopped trembling.

The pair met in November 2015 after a photo of Emmett on Facebook caught Janni’s attention. Originally from Sweden but now living in Mexico, Janni wasn’t looking to adopt a dog, but the posting was only asking for a foster home for a former street dog who was having a hard time adjusting to shelter life. When Janni saw Emmett’s big ears and mohawk hair, she just couldn’t resist and offered to foster him.

“I never planned to adopt Emmett, but I met him, and he was one of the most traumatized, terrified, and broken little dogs that I had ever met, and I felt the need to see if perhaps I could help him,” she recalls.

Within a few months Emmett was a different dog.

Within a few months, Emmett was a different dog. (Photo courtesy @soyemmett)

At just a year and a half old, Emmett’s demeanor suggested he’d suffered a great deal in his short life. He didn’t walk as much as he crawled around in a perpetual state of fear. According to Janni, even the gentlest touch from a human would send Emmett into a screaming panic.

“It was clear that someone had been very mean to him. I don’t think he had just been ignored or neglected, I think he’d been severely abused,” she says.

Meeting Emmett was a turning point for Janni, who previously didn’t know if she would ever share her life with a dog again after Beily. Janni’s best friend for four years, Beily had been a birthday gift from a former roommate in Mexico City. When dog and human met, Beily was just a puppy, and Janni, a young international traveller.

Snow-loving Beily loves Sweden as much as Janni loves Mexico.

Snow-loving Beily loves Sweden as much as Janni loves Mexico. (Photo courtesy @soyemmett)

Although it was customary for people in her neighborhood to keep large-breed dogs outdoors, Janni didn’t want that kind of life for Beily (who grew to be 60 pounds). When the time came for Janni to leave Mexico, the pair road tripped up through the United States to Washington D.C. before flying to Sweden.

“She lived with me for another two years over there,” explains Janni, who never meant to stay in her home country for so long, but felt compelled to when she saw how happy her dog was there.

She delayed her own happiness for Beily’s, but eventually Janni could no longer put off returning to Mexico. She made the heartbreaking choice to leave Beily in the place she loves, with a human who could offer her an amazing life.

Because of her experience with Beily, Janni wasn’t looking for a long-term dog relationship when she offered to foster Emmett, but one year after shocking herself with the decision to adopt, she’s very pleased to be committed.

“As it has turned out, Emmett was the perfect addition to my life, and a perfect fit for my lifestyle,” she says.

Travel-sized Emmett at a Mexican airport during a layover.

Travel-sized Emmett at a Mexican airport during a layover. (Photo courtesy @soyemmett)

It didn’t happen overnight, but the 9-pound street mutt has blossomed in Janni’s care, and she says she can now see some depth behind his beautiful eyes.

“He spent the first couple of weeks hiding under my bed. If he ever came out, he ran straight back as soon as someone as much as moved,” she recalls. “With time though, he’s become an incredibly affectionate dog, very athletic, and above all, funny.”

Janni and her roommate call Emmett and Hugo "cousins".

Janni and her roommate call Emmett and Hugo “cousins” and are not above dressing them alike. (Photo courtesy @soyemmett)

Once timid Emmett will now approach human visitors for affection. He’s also very confident around other dogs, thanks in no small part to Janni’s roommate’s dog, Hugo the Pug, who moved in two months after Emmett. Janni is thrilled to see Emmett making friends, and considers herself privileged to be his person.

“I can’t explain how amazing it has been to see him develop into the dog that he is now. If a dog like Emmett can recover from a troublesome past, any dog can,” she says.

The post Once Abused, Emmet Overcomes His Past to Become a Confident, Happy Dog appeared first on Dogster.

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How a Dog Named Spencer Got a Job

By |2019-11-10T05:55:29-08:00November 10th, 2019|Articles|

Dogs on movie and TV sets usually belong in one of two separate categories: actors’ dogs or dog actors. Spencer, the Golden Retriever–Labrador mix at the heart of the digital series Heirloom, is a little bit of both.

“He’s not trained to be a film dog,” explains Spencer’s human and co-creator of Heirloom, Paten Hughes, but “he’s almost qualified to be one.”

Paten describes her canine co-star as a super friendly “attention whore” who was born to play himself in the nine-episode series currently streaming on Vimeo.

It makes sense Spencer would be a part of the series inspired by Paten’s real-life experience as an actor turned tomato farmer. In the show, Paten’s character, Emily, takes up tomato farming in an even bigger way than she did in reality after inheriting some farm land.

Paten and Spencer in real life. (All photos courtesy Paten Hughes)

Paten and Spencer in real life. (Photo courtesy Paten Hughes)

Written by TV writer Bekah Brunstetter of NBC’s This Is Us, Heirloom follows Emily as she starts a new life after a series of disastrous auditions. The relationship between the woman and her dog was part of the original script for the series, but the condensed production schedule of a digital show meant there would be no time for dog do-overs on the fast-paced set. According to Paten, that’s why director Michael Melamedoff initially wanted to write Spencer out.

“Michael read the script and was like, ‘I love it, but we have to cut the dog.’ Even though we’re really good friends, he hadn’t met Spencer yet.”

Paten promised Spencer would be great, and the Golden-Lab was given a chance to prove that he could be a good boy on set. His naturally friendly, people-pleasing personality soon elevated the amateur actor to semi-pro status.

“He responds to commands really easily,” Paten explains. “Even if it’s not me, even if it’s a PA, he listens.”

Even when he’s not commanded to act cute, Spencer just is. His personality shines through the series, and his lack of on-set experience makes his character seem more genuine in a way.

“There were a lot of moments that were just priceless in terms of him just doing his own thing and having it work out pretty well,” says Paten.

The last scene of the season is a great example of that. An emotional conversation between Emily and another character is made even more compelling because of the dog at their feet.

“We were going to have Spencer run off camera, but he just plopped himself down and it made the scene so perfect because it’s like a little child in between the two parents,” Paten explains.

Listening skills and talent for improv aside, shooting with Spencer did present some challenges. Unlike trained Hollywood film dogs, Spencer doesn’t know how to hit a mark or stay in frame. Paten unconsciously toned down her physical interactions with her dog (which typically include two-minute-long face-licking, leg-chasing greetings) in order to keep them both in the shot. As a result, her character’s relationship with Spencer looks a bit different from her own.

Paten and Spencer share an affectionate moment. (All photos courtesy Paten Hughes)

Paten and Spencer share an affectionate moment. (Photo courtesy Paten Hughes)

“The first time I watched the cut with the director I was like ‘where are all the moments where I’m petting Spencer?’ I actually thought Emily was a little distant in terms of the sort of affection to Spencer,” she explains.

The duo isn’t as physically connected on screen as they are in real life, but the emotional connection is intense. According to Paten, Spencer is an important part of the show because he is the only character — besides Emily — on the series throughout season one.

“Emily talks to Spencer, thinks out loud, and asks him questions about life.” says Paten, whose real-life relationship with Spencer is less verbal (he prefers hikes and canoe trips to conversations).

“He’s the one kind of constant companion through the chunk of her life that we see.”

The real life Spencer poses with a bottle of the Spencer Cabernet, from Kinsella Estates which is named after him. (All photos courtesy Paten Hughes)

The real life Spencer poses with a bottle of Kinsella Estates Spencer Cabernet, which is named after him. (Photo courtesy Paten Hughes)

Paten says we can expect to see more of Spencer in Heirloom’s planned second season. The shows creators are working hard to move the story forward, and Paten says they intend to focus on Spencer a little bit more in future episodes.

“He’s just such a beautiful dog, especially the way our cinematographer shot the entire series. Maybe this is just because he’s my dog — but your heart kind of leaps when you see him.”

Heirloom is now streaming on Vimeo.

The post How a Dog Named Spencer Got Cast in the Popular Web Series Heirloom appeared first on Dogster.

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