Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ashley and Matt Johnson & Ivy, Naula, and Addison

Who is in the photo at right?

That would be me, Ashley Johnson. I run a pet photography business with my husband Matt called Love Mutt Photography. We are based out of Cincinnati. When we're not shooting pets, we are rescuing them. We foster dogs (and sometimes cats) regularly until they can find their forever home. Those sweet lil brown eyes belong to Ivy, our 3-year-old border collie/flat coated retriever mix. She's a very sweet, affectionate, and loyal dog. We also have a 2-year-old lab/corgi mix named Addison and a 1-year-old pit bull named Naula (pronounced NEW-la) along with 2 cats.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Grinder's Coffee Company is the best coffee in Cincinnati. We don't really need any other reason.

What's brewing?

An iced white mocha latte with a shot of cinnamon for me and a triple shot in the dark for Matt.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Only if its breakfast time. Otherwise it's just coffee.

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

They can each get a treat from the barista.

How were you and your dogs united?

Addison was our first. We adopted her from a shelter when she was just 7 weeks old. Ivy came about 6 months later from a shelter in Kentucky. She was rescued from a kill shelter with about 6 other dogs by a woman who worked with a network of foster homes. Unfortunately, she didn't have the space for all of them and it was the dead, dead, dead of winter. So Ivy spent the majority of her time outside. At the time, she was skin and bones. One look at her face on petfinder and knowing how cold it was outside, we made the hour long drive to get her. Naula came just this past spring. At the time we were volunteering with a pit bull rescue and we got an anonymous tip that this sweet lil pittie was at a local shelter and scheduled to be put down just because she was a pit. Matt made some calls, and the next thing you know we were fostering her. However, after about 3 months it was clear that she had found herself a permanent home. We like to call Naula our "foster failure."

How did your dogs get their names?

Addison and Ivy are both named after the Chicago Cubs (which Matt and I have been fans of since we were conceived!) Addison is one of the streets that goes in front of Wrigley Field and ivy grows all over the walls. Naula is an old Gaelic/Irish name that means "fair skinned" or "blonde one." We thought it was fitting.

You've got some terrific pet photos on your sites. (Since you're a professional photographer, that doesn't surprise me.) What's the trickiest thing about getting a dog to stay in the frame for a photo?

They usually want to run straight to their owner. It's only with Matt's brilliant dog wrangling skills that I am able to get the shots that I do.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

These tend to be more of a distraction!

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Squeaky toys and lots and lots of treats seem to do the trick.

Where do your dogs like to go for an outing?

Definitely the dog park. We've had to start referring to it as "The DP" so that Ivy doesn't hear us actually say the words. Otherwise she starts jumping up and down and acting like a puppy.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

The whole pack takes care of each other.

What's each dog's best quality?

Ivy is very loyal and obedient. Addison is incredibly intelligent and quite the problem solver. And Naula is the most affectionate dog you'll ever meet...

If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?

Probably that we were home more...or that we'd let them on the bed and the couch.

What's each dog's proudest moment? Her most embarrassing?

Ivy has passed her Canine Good Citizen's Assessment and will hopefully soon start training to be a therapy dog. Addison's proudest moment is ALWAYS finding her ball. And Naula's proudest moment was when she met my parent's Boston Terrier and wasn't terrified of him.

Embarrassing - To be honest, while the dog's do goofy things all the time...I can't really think of any significant moment for Ivy or Naula. Addison's most embarrassing moment was probably the time she went to catch her ball (lacrosse ball, mind you) and instead of catching it, it hit her in the lip and caused her tooth to pierce through. She had to make a trip the vet after that one.

Visit the
Love Mutt Photography website and blog, and become a fan of Love Mutt Photography on Facebook.

--Marshal Zeringue