Bernese mountain dogs, Havanese puppies and Gypsy Vanner horses

A couple of months ago I started playing with the idea of getting a puppy. I did not know much about breeds, so I researched a few, with a preference for small, non shedding dogs.  I stumbled upon the Havanese: a fluffy, extremely cute and friendly breed originating from Havana, Cuba and known to entertain the local aristocracy in the old days. Did they have them in Ontario, I wondered? The Internet search returned a few results and one of them caught my eye: Pieternella Moor’s farm.
Not only she bred the Havanese, but she had stunning Bernese mountain dogs and even three Gypsy Vanner horses on her property!
Needless to say, my trip up and our visit a while back were a true delight! I had the pleasure to hang out with Pieternella’s animals, learn about her amazing work, while getting to know her as a person. It was simply rejuvenating and inspiring to meet a wonderful, passionate, dedicated and humble human being who loves her furry friends from the bottom of her heart.
And their connection made many of the images below.

Pieternella Moore Bernese dogs
Pieternella walking Jacqueena (right) and cuddling with Jacqueena’s puppies (left)

“As a child I had a passion for all animals, I always enjoyed spending time with them. I would often find stray or injured dogs, birds, cats, wild rabbits, etc and  bring them home…these where my best friends. I often begged my mom to allow me to keep them. She would always say no…”

Bernese mountain puppies

Even though little Pieternella was not allowed to keep any of the animals she was bringing in, she did not stop trying… One day, a neighbour suggested to her mom that allowing Pieternella to have a furry friend of her own may put an end to her constant attempts to save them all… As a result, a dog named Happy came into Pieternella’s life when she was 9 yrs old and they have been together for 16 years. They became best buddies and, whenever Pieternella was not assisting with house chores, she and Happy would be off helping the local farmers milk cows, playing with the goats, hiking through the farmers’ fields or catching tadpoles and frogs.

Bernese mountain dog and puppies

After having bred a few golden retrievers, Pieternella’s daughter introduced her to the wonderful Bernese mountain dogs about 15 years ago. Pieternella fell in love with them and decided to focus on this breed. Bernese dogs are prone to many health issues. Passionate and knowledgeable, Pieternella had searched worldwide for lines to help reduce some of the problems and to achieve a look closest to the original: strong, stocky, thick boned. So she went all the way to Europe!

“My R. N. skills help me look after my dogs with the greatest care. I get a lot of joy out of making so many families happy by offering them a loyal, loving, protecting, powerful and of course, absolutely stunning dog. These animals are therapeutic!”

Bernese mountain dogs photography

As a vet technologist, Pieternella’s daughter Sherry (a passionate dog breeder herself) had the chance to learn about the Havanese dogs and suggested this breed to her mother. After researching it for about a year, Pieternella concluded the Havanese had many of the Bernese qualities, just in a smaller body. Excited about this discovery, she decided to try them out. And I have to say, with amazing results. These puppies are nothing short of deliciously sweet! Even with a very busy schedule, I may not be able to stay away from getting one myself!

Moore Havanese puppies

“Havanese dogs have an amazing personality: they are sweet, loveable, and thrive on human interaction. They love to cuddle in people’s laps but also have lots of energy to run in the yard at full speed. They love children, are playful, can do amazing flips. They will also warn their owner whenever a stranger is outside their door… The Havanese can be well placed in families with younger children as well as with retirees ( where the Bernese breed is not suited)”.

Havanese puppy photographer

It is not a big surprise to see Pieternella today surrounded by all her animals. Encouraged by her daughter and following her own inquisitive spirit, Pieternella decided to try breeding Gypsy Vanner horses. After a trip to Europe, where she had attended specialized fairs and learned about the gypsies and their horses, she brought back three beautiful ones who have been with her for the past eight years: Jella, the stunning stallion and two beautiful, kind and gentle mares: Dream and Shireen. Even though they are not bred any longer, these three hang out happily and freely in the pasture, enjoying their lives.

Gypsy Vanner stallion photographyJella, Pieternella’s gorgeous Gypsy Vanner stallion, brought from the Netherlands at 6 months old

Pieternella Moor with Gypsy Vanner horse
Currently retired, the once breeding stallion is now enjoying a peaceful, horsey life in the pasture, with Pieternella’s visits

Gypsy Vanner stallion portraits

Gypsy Vanner horse photosPieternella with her lovely Gypsy Vanner mares: Dream (left, imported from England) and Shireen (right, imported from Germany)

Gypsy Vanner horse photography

If you want to get a lovely, carefully bred, big or smaller dog from a true expert, go see what Pieternella has to offer. Enjoy some wonderful images of the Bernese and Havanese on her dedicated websites:
www.moorsbernese.com
www.moorshavanese.com
If you find your beloved puppy as a result of reading this story, please mention it to Pieternella. She will be delighted!

 

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Koryn Greenspan: from Publicist to creator of Urban Dog Walks

Passionate people change the world. Their strong love for what they do has a ripple effect and we all get to feel and benefit from it, one way or another.

I recently had the pleasure to meet a woman whose tremendous energy and drive have inspired me to share her story with the world.

Urban Dog Walks Toronto 1

An amazing path
Koryn’s transition from PR to entrepreneur/ business owner of Urban Dog Walks was years in the making and something she has always wanted to do.

Looking back at her successful career in Publicity, Koryn can cleary identify that one moment when a new desire started to take shape and slowly take over her heart. It was when Georgia, her lovely furry companion, came into her life. A very bad day at work, coupled with Koryn’s dissatisfaction with a dog walking service triggered a defining realization. She simply walked into her boss’s office, handed over her letter of resignation, went home and registered Urban Dog Walks. She immediately called her good friend Stephanie Vovesand, owner of ABSV Designs, and the website went up and in almost no time at all. Koryn found herself happily in business.

“It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself as an Independent Career Oriented Passionate Young Woman.”

Dog walker Koryn Greenspan

Koryn’s dog Georgia: the catalyst behind Urban Dog Walks
“My sweet Georgia…I knew she would change my life, and change my life she forever did..”.

It is with great difficulty and tremendous heartache that people move on following a pet’s passing. It took Koryn over two years to heal after losing her previous dog, Mardie. But when she felt ready to embark on a new, loving adventure, an intense search for a rescue dog began:

“The thing is, when you get a rescue dog, they pick you, you don’t get to pick them. I was looking for that connection, that click, that thing that makes you say, you are mine and coming home with me to your new forever home.”

During an online search via Pet finder, Koryn stumbled upon a picture of (then named) Ruby Tuesday (now Georgia Peach) and she just knew she had to meet this dog.

Koryn Greenspan and her dog Georgia

Previously abused, Georgia had lost trust in humans and she could barely get leashed. Not even able to take a couple of steps with this dog, Koryn decided to simply sit with her.
That is when the magic happened and, two hours later, Georgia stood up and sat directly in front of Koryn. They have been together ever since.

Pet portraits Toronto

It is also interesting to mention that Georgia is originally from…Georgia, US! (detail discovered by Koryn only after she picked her new dog’s name).

A sometimes challenging, yet constantly rewarding line of work
“Every day that I get to wake up and do my job is a reward in and of itself.”

Koryn Greenspan of Urban Dog Walks

Koryn Greenspan and dogs

As a horse and dog lover myself, I can tell a good connection between people and animals when I see it. And Koryn surely has a magic touch.
Dogs simply adore her as she spreads her loving energy around them.

Urban Dog Walks

Are there challenges for Koryn? She mentiones a few:
– Winters can be difficult
– A house has literally exploded while on the job
– Some days are intense and simply exhausting to the point where, once back home, Koryn has no choice but go straight to bed.

What inspires Koryn?
“My family and friends
are a constant source of inspiration and support. My clients are all kind hearted people whose support and dedication to Urban Dog Walks has been unprecedented.
The dogs are all endless sources of inspiration. I am sometimes in awe of them and how lucky I am.”

Koryn’s vision of her future: growth and expansion. What’s next?
UDW services currently include: Boarding, Day Care, Group Walks, Individual Walks, Puppy Visits & Training and Behaviour Modification. While continuing on offering them, the company is also in the market for an Urban Dog Walks store.
There are a few exciting media/TV options in the works and there has been talk of franchising the business to the market.

“Personally, I would like to get into the Dog Therapy trade. We will always be expanding & evolving… Our immediate goal is to get to 100 dogs and see what happens next!”

Koryn Greenspan and Tara Taglioni
Koryn with Urban Dog Walks associate Tara Taglioni

 

 

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Fall engagement photography with pets and lots of colours

Sakura and Henry are to marry next spring. They could not have picked a nicer contrast for their photo story. Fall colours are always such a spectacular backdrop. The light is also more forgiving and softer than earlier on. We truly lucked out last week as the leaves were so bright, plus we were able to play in the park right before the drizzle began.
The lovely couple’s dogs, Hachi and Zeb, were fantastic to watch and capture on camera. Their favorite activity: jumping in and out of the creek. Good thing they left this at the very end, as their otherwise beautiful, shiny black coats ended up wet and even slightly muddy.
Even though Sakura and Henry knew they would have to go home and give these two another bath, the joy in their eyes while watching their pups have fun showed that they would be really happy to oblige. The dogs are really loved and they know it…and it reflects in how well behaved they are.

Sakura and Henry, enjoy these lovely images until we see you again next year! Best, Manuela

Couple and dogs engagement photos

Couple and dogs photos

Fall engagement photos

Toronto engagement photos

Pet photographer Toronto

Toronto pet photographer

Dog photos in the park

Enagegement photos with dogs

Fall pet photography

Girl and dog in the park

Toronto pet photography

Engaged couple and dogs photos

 

 

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A day in the life of Mary-Ann and little Dudley

 

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to spend some time with lovely Mary-Ann and her cute little companion Dudley, a Coton de Tulear from Madagascar.

I showed up at their home with no particular agenda other than capturing a few moments from their day. I was immediately inspired by the elegance of Mary-Ann’s interior, a beautifully decorated space literally inundated with natural light: the best studio setup ever.

Each room had a different colour, it was amazing to play around and find exciting shooting opportunities in every corner. Not to mention Mary-Ann’s exquisite collection of hats which inspired both of us to go for an impromptu fashion shoot, while giving little Dudley a well deserved break. This little creature has been so easy to capture through my lens, as he seemed at ease and enjoying himself in the process. We let him be, he even napped for a few minutes and then we took him to a little park nearby. He ran in the grass and displayed a series of cute little jumps rewarded, of course, by tasty treats.

 

Mary-Ann, thank you for offering me a glimpse into your life, I hope the series below will always bring a smile on your face.

 

Best, Manuela.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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