‘My Mutt’ Kilo | 12.09.2012

Kilo is a My Mutt poster star for Pet Food Express. This striking 1 y.o. sable German Shepherd Dog was rescued by Golden State German Shepherd and placed into a wonderful furever home, to be a little brother to his new big sis, Duchess, a classy GSD girl. We met up with Kilo and Duchess at the lovely Muirwood Community Park in Pleasanton and had some beautiful morning light within which to capture these two beautiful pooches. Look for Kilo to be starring in his own bigger-than-life poster at a Tri-Valley Pet Food Express in the very near future!  (Click the “more…” link at the end of this post to see all of Kilo’s and Duchess’ images.)

‘My Mutt’ Kilo

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‘My Mutt’ Vegas |12.09.2012

Vegas is a My Mutt poster star for Pet Food Express. Big yellow-green eyes and striking markings make this girl one very special girl. We spent a December afternoon with Vegas, enjoying the beautiful holiday decor of her home and getting to know her sweet, demure personality. Look for this beauty starring in a bigger-than-life poster at a South Bay Pet Food Express in the near future! (Click the “more…” link at the end of this post to see all of Vegas’ gallery.)

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‘My Mutt’ Dumpster | 11.25.2012

Dumpster is a My Mutt poster star for Pet Food Express. Dumpster is a big, gorgeous and fun Great Dane/Lab mix. His story is an amazing one: He was found as a tiny puppy at the bottom of a full dumpster. His loud and persistent cries alerted a passerby who saved the crying pup by jumping in and digging through mounds of trash to find him. Dumpster is now fully grown and is wonderfully thriving in his loving forever home. You’d never know by this big guy’s sunny personality and stunning good looks that he started out life in the bottom of a trash bin. Our My Mutt shoot with Dumpster was joyous and heart-warming — how could it not be, what with such a happy, handsome boy like Dumpster? Look for his giant-sized poster at a South Bay Pet Food Express in the near future!  (Click the “more…” link at the end of this post to see all of Dumpster’s gallery.)

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Santa Photo Shoot Time Again!

It’s almost that time of year again — time to get out the holiday decorations and head over to the Redwood City Pet Food Express for the 3rd Annual Santa Photo Shoot benefitting Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue (GGLRR), generously sponsored by Pet Food Express.

Last year’s shoot not only a blast but a huge success, to boot! We raised a record $800.00 for GGLRR through the sale of framed prints, CDs and GGLRR calendars. We’re looking to smash that record this year!  And you can help by spreading the word: Simply share this blog link with others and/or download the PDF file and print off flyers for your family, friends and coworkers.

Click the image below to enlarge or download the PDF flyer.

2011 GGLRR Santa Photo Shoot

Click image to enlarge.

My Mutt Pet Star, Nessee!

Introducing Nessee, one of the latest My Mutt pet stars whose bigger-than-life poster graces the walls of the Pet Food Express Campbell store.  Ananda and I shot the below image of Nessee during her My Mutt photo session at Roy M. Butcher Park in San Jose.  Nessee’s dads, John and Michael,  donated to Doggie Protective Services (DPS) to qualify their girl for the My Mutt poster.  Nessee, herself, was adopted from DPS and Nessee’s dads continue to volunteer for this wonderful organization.

Check out the Pet Food Express’ My Mutt program for details on how to make your pet a My Mutt star.

My Mutt Nessee

Nessee's 60" x 40" poster on display at the Pet Food Express Campbell store.

NikRaye Photography is proud to be one of the exclusive Bay Area photographers for Pet Food Express’ My Mutt Program.  For a donation to a non-profit rescue or shelter of your choice, Pet Food Express hires a professional pet photographer to arrange a photo shoot of your adorable critter.  After choosing your favorite image, Pet Food Express will blow up the photo to poster size and display it in the store of your choosing.  You get to see your “celebrity” pet every time you shop for food and supplies.  For a donation of $250, your pet’s poster will be displayed in the store for six months; for $500, the image will be displayed for a year.  Afterwards, the poster is yours to keep!  Check out out other My Mutt portraits by visiting our Giving Back page at NikRayephoto.com.

Rest in Peace, King Tut

R.I.P. King Tut

Tut, pictured in January 2011, short after his rescue from a vacant foreclosed house in El Sobrante, CA.

This past Friday, October 7th, we had the sad duty to send our 13 y.o. rescue dog, King Tut (‘Tut’ for short), to the Rainbow Bridge.

In addition to a grapefruit-sized mass in his lower abdomen, Tut suffered from several large lipomas, the largest of which covered 2/3 of his right side. Though benign, the lipoma’s massive size made it inoperable and likely contributed to the neuropathy affecting in his hind legs. This neuropathy caused Tut to incessantly lick his hind legs — to the point of creating open sores.  The lipoma, which was already quite large back in January when Tut was rescued from the vacant house in El Sobrante, had spread to Tut’s right foreleg and shoulder, making it extremely difficult and painful for him to walk. The mass in in lower abdomen was pressing on his bladder, causing Tut increasing problems with urinary incontinence.

Unfortunately, Tut was ‘touch intolerant.’  He would allow us to pet him but only on his terms and only around his head and ears.  Attempts to snuggle or hug him, brush or bathe him, or treat the self-inflicted wounds on his hind legs were met with aggression, snarling and biting.  Whatever abuse or neglect Tut suffered in his past prevented him from fully trusting anyone ever again.  So when Tut began having difficulty walking on Tuesday, October 4th, we were unable to to offer him physical assistance due to his aggression and touch intolerance.  Sadly, it left us little choice; it was painful to watch the impact it had on Tut’s health and quality of life.  The kindest act we could do for our boy was to permanently ease his pain and suffering.  Our vet, Dr. Tal Solomon of ARCH Mobile Veterinary Services, visited us on the following Friday morning and compassionately ushered Tut o’er the bridge.  After he was gone, I cleaned and dressed the lick wounds on his legs and Ananda lovingly brushed out his coat – both things we could never do for him while he was living. We just wanted to take care of him.

Tut is no longer in pain and can run and frolic as once he did in his youth.  He joins our other angel-dogs: G’Kar, Jesse, Lucy, Maggie and Sophie, along with our dear angel-dog friends, Reggie, Taz, NeNe, Roxy, Farley and Zoya, and our dear angel-kitty friend, Maximus.

Ananda and I have endured many losses this past year and it has taken quite a physical, financial and emotional toll on us, so we are taking some time off from fostering and dog guardianship. We need some time to rest, recover and rejuvenate.  Of course we are still available for volunteer photography for rescues as well as for family and pet photography services.

Can You Save Peanut?

Update (10/6/2011): Peanut has been adopted!!

Our friends with San Jose Animal Advocates have recently launched a new initiative called the Last Chance Pet Project. Read about what the program is, and how it works here.

Even though many animals are adopted from shelters and rescue groups, there is still a major problem of adoptable animals being euthanized in California (estimated at over 1 million).  Despite these grim statistics, as a community we can take a stand and help try to save one at a time.  The animals who are included in the Last Chance Project are at the greatest risk for euthanasia and are located at the San Jose Animal Care Center, one of the largest shelters in California.

Can you Save Peanut?

Save Peanut

About Peanut:  Peanut has been at the shelter for over two months and has become increasingly depressed due to the shelter environment.  She is a gentle soul who is looking to provide a lifetime of love and comfort.  Her expressive green eyes light up when you enter the room.  Her favorite things?  Petting and rays of sun.Do you have room in your heart and home for this sweet girl who has endured the shelter environment for as long as she can?   Help us campaign for Peanut and find her a forever home before it is too late!

What Can You Do to Help?

  • Network for Peanut!  Peanut has her own Facebook page.  Please help get the word out about her.  Time is of the essence!
  • Donate to the cause – San Jose Animal Advocates is asking for small donations (no amount is too small) to help us fund Facebook ads for endangered shelter pets like Peanut.  Their past experience with this method of getting the word out has been HIGHLY successful.   Instead of buying a coffee today at Peet’s/Starbucks, donate a few dollars to help save a life!  Please visit their ChipIn page to donate.

Download Peanut’s Flyer!Peanut's Flyer

Please download this flyer and post at

  • a community center
  • your work or office
  • a library
  • a coffee shop
  • a neighborhood market
  • at school
  • on campus
  • your local pet food store
  • your groomer’s or vet’s office
  • anywhere you think Peanut’s new owner can be found!
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