Are you worried about your pet’s condition? Are they getting old and showing signs of discomfort? Do they suffer from anxiety or have a hard time trusting people? Are they just not acting like themselves anymore and you’re clueless as to what is wrong? You’re not alone. And there is hope for your pet. Back in the day, my dogs would easily run 15-20 miles a week with me. In fact, I found it hard to keep up at times. Today, my dogs are seniors (ages 9 and 11), so it goes without saying they’ve slowed down a bit. Not only that, but they’re beginning to show signs of wear and tear, specifically in their bones and joints. My youngest also suffers from anxiety…shaking and hiding whenever she hears a loud noise like fireworks or some one yelling.
As pet parents, we want only the best for our dogs. We want to ensure they’re living a happy, healthy life. So, the first thing I did in an effort to remedy my dogs’ symptoms, was visit my friend Karen over at Carlsbad Pet & Feed because I know how important a dog’s diet is to their health. She suggested Zignature, a dog food specifically designed to help improve the overall health of dogs who need a specialized diet. My girls are loving it and I’ve already seen some improvements. But, even though a dog’s health is strongly dictated by it’s diet, often times it requires more of an effort to treat your dog’s issues. Karen referred me to her friend, Nedra Abramson of Reiki For All Creatures, to show me the ways of Massage, Acupressure, and Reiki for dogs. Nedra is all about empowering pet parents to pursue balance and awareness with their pets. During our session, she explained and demonstrated exactly what it is, how it works, and how it benefits animals, including those without any health issues.
Acupressure and Reiki offer a gentle and noninvasive approach to treating an animal’s issues. Animals respond intuitively to its power to heal emotional, behavioral, and physical illness and injury. Regardless if your pet is already receiving a different type of treatment (i.e., Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, etc), Acupressure and Reiki are wonderful supportive methods that are safe to do alongside other types of treatments. In fact, it’s important to note that Acupressure and Reiki for dogs is NOT an alternative to seeking professional help from your trusted veterinarian.
Regular massage on its own is a great modality to use with your pet, as it helps increase blood flow and lymph circulation, and enhances muscle tone and flexibility. Many animals who suffer from emotional issues (depression, anxiety, shyness, distrust) respond well to the relaxation and positive touch of massage.
- reduce the side effects of chemotherapy
- support an acupuncture or acupressure treatment
- enhance the effects of modality
Acupressure supports animals who:
- suffer from acute conditions
- are rehabilitating from surgery or injury
- compete athletically
- have behavioral issues
- show signs and symptoms of aging
- have arthritis
Massage benefits include:
- relaxation and stress reduction
- increased flexibility of soft tissue
- reduction of edema (swelling)
- enhancement of waste and toxin elimination
- maintenance of good posture and body balance
- prevention of atrophy in inactive muscles
- improve athletic performance
- loosening and softening scar tissue
- releasing endorphins which are naturally occurring steroids in the body which act to assuage pain
- enhance muscle tone and range of motion
- advances healing though increased flow of nutrients to injured muscles
- lengthens connective tissue and reduces the formation of adhesions leading to fibrosis
- helps with emotional wellbeing
- reduces anxiety
- helps to increase trust and the emotional bond
The interesting thing about Reiki is that it’s performed without even touching the pet. As explained on Reiki.org, “It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen ‘life force energy’ flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s ‘life force energy’ is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.” Acupressure and massage, however, are performed by applying a certain amount of pressure to specific points on the body that correspond with other areas of the body (i.e., massaging the point behind the knee helps relieve pain in the hips and knees). My main concerns with Skyy are mainly due to her old age, specifically her joints and immune health. With that in mind, Nedra focused on points of her body that would help reduce inflammation, relieve stiffness, support immune function, strengthen tendons, and lessen the pain. As with all her customers, Nedra supplies a comprehensive chart that visually shows the points and the areas they affect. Check out Skyy’s chart below:
Rain’s biggest issue isn’t so much the old age, but the anxiety. She’ll quiver with her eyes practically bulging out of her head in fear of any loud noise. Rain also has a sensitive immune system and falls victim to several environmental allergies. For her, Nedra focused on points that would help calm stress and support immune function. Check out Rain’s chart below:
My dogs have never had any issues getting comfortable with strangers, but they were in HEAVEN during their time with Nedra. Seeing them so at ease and comfortable filled my heart with joy. Towards the end of the session, Skyy was passed out snoring and Rain was just way too relaxed to even try to hold the toots in (not that dogs ever hold in their farts, but you get the idea). It was true bliss for them…and me!
As mentioned, Nedra is all about empowering pet parents to pursue balance and awareness with their pets. It’s crucial to be mindful of your pet’s health. Even when they try their best to communicate with us when something is wrong, we can’t read their minds. And you certainly don’t want to wait until it’s “too late” to fix the problem. Take preventative action now to ensure your pet a long, happy life.
You can find more information about Massage, Acupressure, and Reiki for dogs by visiting Nedra’s website at reikiforallcreatures.com. Act now to take advantage of her holiday promotion – $75 session includes: Consultation, Assessment, Personalized Point Chart and Diagram (that’s an $85 value)! Contact her today…
Reiki For All Creatures
Today’s photography session at the San Diego Humane Society was all about featuring the adoptable pets who’ve been in the shelter for over a month. There’s several reasons why these animals haven’t been able to find a home yet. Some have medical conditions that need tending to, some are too shy and timid to interact with strangers. Whatever the case, they all deserve to find loving homes…and I have faith that they will someday. As a pet photographer, I sometimes find it a bit more difficult to photograph the animals who are shy, scared, tired, or uninterested. But, I’m always up for the challenge because I know a good photo can go a long way for these guys (and gals). If you’re looking to adopt a fur baby and you see a photo of one that gives you even the slightest warmth inside, do them a favor and pay them a visit. Even the best photograph can’t fully portray they’re personality to the fullest. So, you never know…that one cat you thought was kind of cute might just be the perfect addition to your family 🙂
Amabella – 255964
Biscotti – 260608
Blue – 261560
Chip – 248044
Coco – 262068
Finch – 262841
Luna – 261559
Sophie – 248043
TJ – 253887
Tux – 259243
Winston – 259895
Zazzles – 261895
Me and my girls, Skyy & Rain, embarked on our Mission MINT (Morning In New Territory) journey in September 2017 with the goal of exploring and photographing 10 dog-friendly locations in San Diego during the first few hours of the day. And with the purpose of: strengthening my photography skills by experimenting with unfamiliar lighting, equipment, and/or shooting techniques, as well as engaging the three of us in mental and physical activity. This month’s Mission MINT adventure took place at one of the few places in San Diego where you can enjoy a 360 degree view…Double Peak Park in San Marcos. As the highest peak in North County San Diego, Double Peak Park offers something for everyone to enjoy.
MISSION MINT 2 : Double Peak Park, San Marcos
I checked the weather report the night before to see if the sun would make an appearance that morning. It confirmed it would be cloudy, but I was determined to embark on our adventure anyways. I had heard about Double Peak Park and it’s magnificent 360 degree views from a few friends of mine, so my curiosity wouldn’t let me delay going any longer. Me and the girls woke up bright and early at 5:00am to ensure we got there in time to see the sunrise. What I thought would be a 45 minute drive only took 30 minutes…funny how there’s actually a time when there’s no traffic.
We arrived at 5:35am. Needless to say, we had a decent amount of time before the sun was expected to come up. While waiting for the sun, cars upon cars starting showing up. I was quite surprised to see at least 7 cars and a few people on foot eager and ready for their sunrise hikes. High school kids still wearing their pajamas, local home owners walking their dogs, and a few who preferred to relax in their warm car with their morning coffee.
The 200-acre area itself is pretty cool in that you can choose to hike around for hours or drive straight to the top to relax and enjoy the view. At the top of the hill is an amphitheater, restrooms, a playground, viewing areas, and picnic tables…perfect for a quick family trip, a romantic spot for couples, or an easily accessible location for seniors to enjoy. There’s 4.7 miles of trails that run up and down the hills, around the bends, and through secret brush areas. And there’s plenty of great little nooks to take a break and soak in the view.
Whether sunrise or sunset, you get them both at Double Peak Park. Even on a cloudy day like the one we had, the views are breathtaking and a must-see for any local San Diegan or tourist. We will definitely be returning to this cool spot, hopefully with some sunshine to play with 🙂
- Location: Double Peak Park, San Marcos
- Location Type: Trail, Paved Road
- Time: 6:00am – 7:45am
- Lighting: Mostly Cloudy
- Equipment: Canon 5D Mark lll, Canon 50m F1.4
CONCLUSION: Despite the lack of an actual sunrise, you can still make the best of the adventure. Mother Nature will do whatever she wants, and just because she doesn’t give you exactly what you’re looking for, that’s no reason to not enjoy the moment and find other ways to achieve you’re goal.
Join the adventure…follow #MissionMINT on Instagram @alipetersonphoto
Once you’ve decided to invest in a pet portrait experience, there’s a whole other list of decisions you’ll need to make. Not many, but some…when to do it? …what to wear? …where to go? But, there’s no need to panic. If you’ve found a good photographer, they will gladly educate you on your options and offer suggestions…or even make the decision for you in some cases 😉 One of the most common decisions clients need help with is how to choose a photo shoot location. I personally LOVE when clients rely on me to suggest a location. As a photographer, the only thing worse than a bad location is bad light. So, what makes a good location? Here’s a few things that pet parents should consider when trying to choose a photo shoot location for their pet family portraits:
Where is familiar/comfortable for your pet?
Think about where your pet spends most of their time. Most people would say their home. And, guess what…your home can be an excellent photo shoot location! You don’t need to live in a mansion or perfectly landscaped cottage to have a photo shoot at your home. Sure, you’ll want to tidy up a bit, but any professional photographer will be able to work with whatever type of environment your home provides. A home can offer several options for different shots: in the backyard, in the frontward, on the couch, in the kitchen, on your bed, in the car, or around the neighborhood.
I’m all for breaking some rules in order to get a good shot, but you can only go so far when animals are involved. For pet family portraits, it’s important to ensure that pets are actually allowed at the location. And if they are, what rules apply? Can they be off-leash? Are they only allowed during a certain time of year? Is it restricted to service animals? Luckily, San Diego is a very pet-friendly place. The majority of parks and other public hot spots allow pets. Most places require pets to be leashed, but that doesn’t mean your photos have to rock the leash too. Like I said, I’m all for breaking some rules (like unleashing for a minute or crossing a boundary line) so long as the situation proves safe enough. And if that’s not an option, there’s always the magic of Photoshop to get rid of an unwanted object 😉
photographed at Bressi Ranch in Carlsbad, CA
Try to avoid crowds (especially pet crowds).
The dog park may be your pet’s favorite place to play, but it’s not the best photo shoot location. Not only will there be an abundance of distractions, but there’s a good chance the other dogs will want to steal the spotlight. Your photo session is YOUR photo session. You don’t want tons of other pets messing with your experience. With that said, you don’t need to find a place where NO other pets will be. I mean, that’s almost impossible (unless you stay home). But, it’s beneficial to choose a location that provides options for getting away from others. The less crowded the location, the less distracted your pet will be, and the cleaner your photos will look.
photographed at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, CA
Ask your photographer for recommendations!
There’s a reason photographers like me are called “on-location photographers.” It’s because we spend every shooting hour at a location (not in a studio). And when we’re not shooting at a location, we’re scouting them. And when we find a place we like, we make the effort to shoot there again. So, if you find yourself clueless as to where to go, or even if you have a preference but aren’t sure where exactly, just ask! I personally have a TON of uncharted territory to still scout in sunny San Diego, but a few of my favorites so far include: Guajome Park, Los Peñasquitos Canyon, Balboa Park, and Seaport Village.
Photographed at Balboa Park in San Diego, CA
So, now that you know HOW to choose, WHERE would you like to go?! Call or email me to schedule your complimentary Consultation, and we’ll discuss all your location options.
What could be better than spending some quality bonding time outdoors with your Pittie, getting beautiful images for your home, AND supporting a local non-profit that supports Pit Bulls? Because we LOVE Pitties so much, we’re donating 50% of ALL session fees that are booked during National Pit Bull Awareness month to our friends at Passion For Pitties or San Diego Pittie Parents.
Here’s how it works:
- Review the Experience, Session Details/Investment, and Products pages of this website (alipeterson.com) to learn more about how the photo session works and what kinds of products you can order.
- Call, email, or submit a contact form to let us know you’re interested.
- Schedule a complimentary in-home Consultation to decide if you’d like to book.
- Book your session (this is typically done during the Consultation).
- Enjoy your images, products, and the fact that you helped support the Pitties!
Here’s the fine print:
- ONLY sessions that are booked during October 2017 qualify.
- The photo shoot itself does NOT have to take place during the month of October, however, the appointment MUST be booked (with payment made) before November 1st.
- This is NOT a mini session. A full session must be booked.
- You may choose which non-profit you’d like to donate to. Options include Passion For Pitties and San Diego Pittie Parents. If you do not wish to choose, the fee will be split 50/50.
- You do NOT have to own a Pit Bull to participate. We accept support from all breeds 🙂