Tag Archives: Zuke

A Dog’s Life… Perhaps The Simplest of Times… But So Very Precious!

We woke up this morning to a very light blanket of snow here in Doylestown, PA.  And it reminded me that we hadn’t yet posted images from our first snow of the season — back on December 26th! Yes, we missed an official White Christmas in Bucks County by just one day. But given the many Holiday travel plans, it was probably much better for Mother Nature to have delivered our first snow the day after Christmas.

During our Christmas deliveries, many clients asked us about our dog, Zuke. So we thought we’d start 2011 with a blog post featuring our trusty companion. He’s now three-and-a-half years old, and he LOVES snow. It pretty much goes without saying that he really enjoyed the 6+ inches of snow that fell on December 26. And I’d be terribly remiss if I didn’t capture at least some of the fun Zuke had just romping around in his winter wonderland of snow.

Always aware when I have my camera out, here’s Zuke sneaking a peak at the camera while chewing away at a small twig he discovered in the snow.

A dog’s nose is forever active, and Zuke certainly lives up to his breed’s standard.  He would have made a great “search-and-rescue” dog… as evidenced here where he’s obviously picked up on an interesting scent beneath the snow cover.

And fresh from burying his head in the snow, Zuke realizes Yours Truly has been watching his every move.  Gotcha, buddy!

Sometimes there’s nothing more enjoyable than watching our faithful companion simply having a grand ole time — doing what black Labs do best.  So we’ll let the next three images speak for themselves…

Needless to say, we had one tired puppy in the house later that day.  But the time spent seeing Zuke running free in the snow was priceless.  And we have some wonderful images that will always make us smile… which is part of the magic that capturing great images is all about — even in life’s simplest of times!

We’d like to take this moment to thank our loyal clients for helping to make 2010 another exciting year for us.  We introduced more communities to our world of professional image-making in 2010, and we’re proud to have set the bar at its highest when delivering a truly memorable client experience.  Stay tuned for more great David-Nicholas offerings this year!

Meanwhile, we wish everyone a healthy and prosperous 2011, and we encourage everyone to take time out of often-busy schedules to enjoy the simpler things in life.   Happy New Year from the team at David Nicholas Photography & Design!

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!!!

In more ways than one, it’s been looking a LOT like Christmas here in our studio offices, as we’ve been feverishly busy fulfilling orders for Christmas delivery!  And this past weekend, Mother Nature joined the program too with a pre-Christmas blizzard followed by a forecast of continued cold temperatures that promise to give us a White Christmas this year — just like the kind that re-awaken wonderful, childhood memories of this festive Holiday.

Naturally, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to capture a “winter portrait” of our now 30-month old black lab, Zuke, in the snow.  But understandably, all good things take time.

[caption id="attachment_1452" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Of course... before getting down to serious portrait business, Zuke needs some fun time to romp in the freshly fallen snow!"]Of course, before getting down to serious business, Zuke needed some time to have fun in the snow![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1453" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Zuke, being the ever-curious soul that he is, gets up close and personal with the camera."]Zuke being silly -- checking out my attempts to get down at his level with my camera.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1454" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="And finally, after many predictable moments of puppy chicanery in the snow, Zuke settles down and cooperates for this lovely winter portrait amidst a background of Winter White, snow-covered evergreens!"]And finally, after several minutes of puppy chicanery, Zuke cooperated for this lovely winter portrait in the snow![/caption] [caption id="attachment_1465" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="Even for dogs, modeling can be tough work! So shortly after his outdoor photo session, Zuke snuggles into his favorite chair in our office while we get back to fulfilling more Christmas orders."]Even for dogs, a model's life is tough work!  So shortly after his outdoor photo session, Zuke snuggles into his favorite spot in my office.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1466" align="aligncenter" width="900" caption="A closer look reveals our "big puppy" is well on his way to a quiet afternoon's nap -- perhaps even with visions of Christmas sugar-plums dancing in his head!"]A closer look reveals Zuke is well on his way to an afternoon's nap -- perhaps even with visions of sugar-plums dancing in his head![/caption]

We here at David Nicholas Photography & Design want to take this moment to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!!!  A big heartfelt “Thank You!” goes out to all our clients for helping make 2009 an exciting year for us.  We hope everyone has enjoyed our world of image-making, as much as we’ve enjoyed bringing great images to you.  Watch this space closely — and frequently — for more exciting offerings in 2010!

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Our Puppy Zuke Celebrates His 2nd Birthday!

We always receive so many questions about how our puppy Zuke is doing now that he’s officially “part of our family”. So we thought we’d share a few pictures of Zuke celebrating his 2nd birthday on June 30, 2009.   My Dad and Mom aren’t able to venture toward Doylestown much anymore, so we brought Zuke to their house for the celebration.  He always adds a bright sparkle to their eyes — and he’s the best medicine in the world!!!

First, here’s a quick look at Zuke’s birthday cake…


before he so eagerly tried to grab a taste!  My Dad still has great reflexes… otherwise, Zuke would have had a feast before we could even sing one note of “Happy Birthday”!!!


Having just saved the cake, my Dad is now holding one of Zuke’s birthday presents while Zuke begins “unwrapping” it…


With just a little bit of help from my Dad, Zuke already has a handle on his new toy…


And then it’s off to his favorite spot in my parent’s kitchen to play with his brand new toy all by himself.


That is, until somebody offered him some birthday cake.  He’s quite “motivated” by food, so it didn’t take much convincing before Zuke would (temporarily) part with his new toy!!!


All in all, Zuke has adapted quite well to life “as a pet”.  And as many of our clients know, he’s become quite a lovable Lab — always greeting clients with big wet kisses when they stop in for a photo session, or to review proofs, or to design an album.  He has succeeded in becoming such an important part of our lives so quickly, it would be unbelievably difficult to imagine life without him.  We hope God gives us the opportunity to share MANY more birthdays with him!

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Did Someone Say Double-Trouble? But They Look So Innocent!

Sometimes, life’s little ironies can be entertaining — regardless of how unplanned they may be.

Case in point…  Shortly after Zuke went back to The Seeing Eye for his medical evaluation and formal training, another local Seeing Eye puppy-raising family asked us if we’d “puppy sit” for them during mid-March, starting on March 13th.  They were raising a female black Lab puppy, named Oceana.

I vaguely remember thinking something to the effect, “Sure… no problem.  It’s a common courtesy among Seeing Eye puppy-raisers to help each other out from time to time.  And since Zuke had just gone back for training, it would be great to have another black Lab around — albeit temporarily — to fill the void we felt when Zuke left.”

Well, you know what they say about best-laid plans.  Little did we know that Zuke would be released from the program back to us by early March.  So by the time March 13th rolled around, we would have not one puppy — but TWO black Lab puppies in our care… and for 10 days no less!!!

At one point in the week, when our puppy duo temporarily tired of their near non-stop antics and chicanery, I managed to capture a few “photo op” moments with my handy, unobtrusive Canon G9 camera.  In each of these images, Oceana is the puppy on the left (who’s all of 9 months old)… and Zuke (now nearly 21 months old) is the familiar puppy you’ve come to know on the right.

And of course, here’s a casual moment featuring yours truly trying to keep both puppies in check for a photo op while outside in our front yard on a cool Spring afternoon.

Life is beginning to resume a sense of normalcy, now that we’re back to just one puppy in the household.  But the week that Zuke had a full-time playmate is one that we won’t soon forget!!!  And more than a few clients stopping in for a photo session or to pick up orders were pleasantly amused with the added entertainment as well.

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A Seeing Eye Puppy Comes Home…

Thomas Wolfe coined the phrase, “You Can’t Go Home Again”, in his novel by the same name.  But thankfully, that doesn’t apply to Seeing Eye puppies that don’t — or can’t — complete their formal training program as originally planned.  Or so we would hope.

This past Thursday afternoon — six weeks to the day we said our puppy-raising “good-byes” to Zuke — we were notified by The Seeing Eye that Zuke was being released from their puppy training program due to a minor medical condition.  It was nothing serious or life-threatening; however, it would preclude him from being considered for further formal training as a dog guide.  Whenever this occurs, the puppy-raising family is often given first choice to adopt the puppy.  So on Friday afternoon I made the drive to Morristown, NJ to formally adopt Zuke and bring him back to his familiar home in Doylestown, where we raised him for nearly 18 months.

Upon entry to The Seeing Eye’s main campus in Morristown NJ, I couldn’t help but notice the huge banner acknowledging 2009 as the 80th year that The Seeing Eye has been training dog guides and matching them to people in need of their services.

Having not seen Zuke for 6 weeks, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.  However, after completing the adoption paper work, I was quickly greeted by one very happy black Lab puppy — tail wagging feverishly followed by a quick, unabashed roll-over onto his back in expectation of a healthy belly rub.  Zuke was still Zuke!!!

Before jumping into the car for our ride back to Pennsylvania, I gave Zuke a good walk on The Seeing Eye’s campus and captured a quick picture of him near one of several bronze monuments on the campus grounds.  It was admittedly the most reflective portion of our walk, because that moment-in-time represented a “destiny unfulfilled” for an otherwise healthy and promising puppy we so lovingly raised for a very special purpose.

The inscription by this monument reads: “BEST FRIENDSThe Seeing Eye gratefully recognizes the children, familes and 4-H leaders whose gifts of love and gentle guidance nurture our puppies during their first formative year preparing them for their special destiny as Seeing Eye dogs.

Upon reading that plaque, although we were proud to have helped Zuke this far along in the program, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad that Zuke would never reach that special point in the program where he’d be partnered with a person in need of a guiding pair of eyes.  At the same time, I also realized that Zuke’s ultimate destiny is yet to be determined.  And my wife Linda would love to introduce Zuke into the pet therapy field, where he could periodically bring a special dose of his energetic enthusiasm to people in need, while serving in a job that would be much less-demanding than that of a full-fledged Seeing Eye dog guide.

Meanwhile, Zuke is now back in Doylestown… making the adjustment to being our pet and loyal companion — all the while defying the notion that “You Can’t Go Home Again”.  In fact, he’s most likely going to discover his ultimate destiny in his own way and in his own time.  And from the looks of things (seen here with one of his favorite toys), he’s definitely going to have fun trying — amidst the comforts of home!

Watch this space closely, and stay tuned for future updates!!!

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