hardfun work begins.
For the last four weeks, I’ve been on a search for the Coolest Dog in the Inland Northwest. It was a photo contest designed to raise money for the Companions Animal Center, formerly known as the Kootenai Humane Society.
One of my missions at Big White Dog Photography is to give back to my community by supporting local animal-related nonprofits and have some fun.
Each time I launch a new fundraiser for dogs, I pick a different nonprofit to help. In 2021, I created the photobook Paws of the Panhandle, raising $5,000 for the Better Together Animal Alliance in Sandpoint, and in 2022 I published another photobook, Paws of the Inland Northwest, raising another $5,000 for the Spokane Humane Society.
We’re off to another great start this year. The Coolest Dog in the Inland Northwest has raised $3,360 for the Companions Animal Center, and we’re getting ready to keep going. Stay tuned to the end for news about another fundraiser for dogs.
How it happened
In March, we put the word out that the Companions Animal Center and I were on the hunt for the coolest dog in the Inland Northwest.
We each sent out email newsletters and made social media posts and by the time entries closed on Monday, we had 53 cool-looking puppers in the hunt for the title.
Their humans then coerced, cajoled and convinced friends and family to vote for their dog, each vote costing $1 and becoming funds raised for the Companions Animal Center. The top 12 vote-getters each get a mini portrait session with me.
The race was on and Zeevah, a sweet little pitbull in a daisy headband, took an early lead she would never relinquish.
She got some serious pressure, though, from Bubbles, who entered the race only this past weekend.
Zeevah takes the grand prize – the title of Coolest Dog in the Inland Northwest and a $1,000 product credit for their portrait session – with 1,040 votes and Bubbles finishes second with 760. Oakley, a happy Lab, rounds out the top 3 with 490 votes.
Bubbles and Oakley each get a $500 product credit.
Rounding out the top 12 with a $250 product credit are:
4. Hallie, 270
5. Han Solo, 185
6. Piston, 170
7. Grizzly Grizwald, 80
8. Penny Riordan, 75
9. “White Labrador,” 70
10. Roxxane, 65
11. Zoe and Reagan, 55
12. Maverick, 55
Hey, I recognize those last two names! Zoe and Reagan were in the Paws of the Panhandle! I can’t wait to see them again!
Also, Zoe and Reagan tied for 55 points with Maverick, my one-eyed buddy from the Paws of the Inland Northwest. Meggie Foust, who is mama to sweet Zoe and Reagan, said she would combine their session so Maverick could squeeze in.
How lovely is that?
And why are there so many winners? Well, dear reader, once we get all these puppy portrait sessions done, we’ll be publishing a 2024 Paws of the Inland Northwest wall calendar and the proceeds from that sale will also go to the Companions Animal Center.
The whole thingy is sponsored by Oxyfresh, which donated a bunch of awesome goodies to weekly gift baskets I gave away over the last month!
Fundraising for dogs is a big deal
As a business owner in the Inland Northwest, I believe it’s my responsibility to give back to the community as a way of saying “thank you” to the amazing people who have helped build Big White Dog Photography.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my clients and the local community.
Knowing that my photography can make a positive impact in the lives of dogs and humans in this region is a bonus to the joy I feel every time I get to create epic images of dogs on adventure.
Together, you and I make a difference by helping nonprofits pay for food, medical care and other expenses for the animals in their care.
All around the circle
Forgive me a moment that may seem like a non sequitur. It will make sense in a minute.
There’s a Friends episode, The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS, in which Joey and Phoebe are debating the merit of “selfless good deeds.”
It is one of Joey’s most profound moments in the entire 10 seasons of Friends, and one of the reasons he was my favorite character. (Other than the obvious … Matt LeBlanc = HOT).
It seems cynical on its face but it carries merit. Every act we may perceive as selfless brings us some kind of benefit, including the feel-good aspect of doing the deed.
These fundraising projects bring clients through my door. Selfish.
And I get to feel good about:
- The fundraising
- Having clients
- The creative work
Selfish, selfish, selfish.
But with so many wins – the $3,360 raised for the Companions Animal Center and the incredible experience and images I’m going to provide each winner – can this kind of selfishness be that bad?
I say no, dammit.
And maybe that’s selfish. Ha!
At the end of the day, we’re all fundraising for dogs and other companion animals. That can’t be a bad thing.
And to feel joyful is never terrible.
My friends in the pet photographers blog circle are blogging about joy this week, and I can’t wait to rip through them all to find out where they see joy.
Start with my good friend, Jessica Wasik with Bark & Gold Photography in Pittsburgh, celebrating the 10 ways dogs bring joy to our lives.
Click the link at the bottom of Jessica’s post to continue through the circle. When you get back here to my fundraising for dogs, that’s when you know you’re home.
Right where you belong.
And if you think I’m done, I’m not. I’m already planning another fundraiser for another nonprofit right here in Spokane Valley.
This one is going worldwide, baby.
My email list will be getting first peek next Wednesday. Download my guide to the best hikes close to Spokane Valley so you can be the first to know!