Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach

Ah, the beach! There’s nothing more relaxing than taking a dip in the warm salt water, sun bathing, and just watching the world go by. Not a summer day goes by without me thinking about how wonderful the beach is compared to my stuffy apartment. And of course, the beach is too good not to share. So why not bring the puppy along?

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Always check the rules of the beach

While you would think that everyone loves to see the joy of dogs running across the beach, begging for another round of fetch or going 0 to 60 down the sand, most beaches actually don’t allow dogs or at least dogs off a leash. It’s important to check with either a ranger station, a website, or even the locals to see if you can take them. In my town, we actually have a beach dedicated to dogs. Here, dogs are free to run around on the beach and frolic to their heart’s content. And then there are some beaches where they are allowed, but only on a leash.

Come prepared

When we first took our dog, we made sure to have our leash, the choke collar (if he decided not to listen to us), doggie bags, and water. For some reason, our dog likes to go to the bathroom on the beach more than anything! Thankfully, most beaches that allow dogs have a dog bag station. Anyway, we wanted to make sure that Jackson would listen to us on the beach just as if we were hiking, playing frisbee, or taking a walk through the park. We took him to a quiet beach that allows dogs on a leash the first time we went. Honestly, just be prepared for any reaction out of your dog. At the end of the day, you know your pup the best, so you can make decisions for them perfectly!

If you want to take your dog to a dog beach, just remember that many of the other dogs will become an instant distraction. Your puppy will want to play and play and play and most likely not want to listen. But again, you know your limits of your dog. Just remember that a quiet place might be better when you’re first starting out.

It’s all about the time of day

Timing is important for many reasons. When you first take your dog, it might be better to go at a time of day where there aren’t too many people or other dogs. This will help your dog not get overwhelmed with all of the distractions. Remember, the beach should be a positive place, but too many activities all at once can be a negative thing. Bringing them to the beach in the early morning, or even during the late afternoon, could potentially help with lowering distractions. The first time we took Jax, we went during the early evening and made sure not to bring any toys. We wanted him to get familiar with the ocean, the waves, and the sand. Now, he loves nothing more than chasing the waves and becoming soaked by the water!

Another reason timing is important is because you don’t want it to be too hot for them. Obviously, they are at a beach, so it’s easy to dunk them in the water if they overheat, but what if they end up not liking the water? To be on the safe side, I usually go to the beach sometime other than the peak heat of the day.

Make this a family affair

If you know your dog is social, and is good with other dogs, take them to a community dog beach! If you’re not sure about how your dog will act with the plethora of puppies running and playing in the waves, I would strongly recommend taking them to a dog park or interacting with friends’ dogs before taking them to meet total strangers. Timing also is good in this case. Nonetheless, a community dog beach is so much fun, both for you and for your dog! You can meet tons of friendly dog owners while your dog occupies himself with fetch and chasing other dogs around in the water. The other dogs could also contribute to a more positive situation because your pup can see others having fun. Jax used to be afraid of the waves, but when other dogs started jumping around in the water, it was easy for him to see that the water was okay. (Dogs are pack animals, they like to see other dogs do something if they are too scared to do it!)

But most of all, have a blast!

The beach should be just as much fun for them as it is for you. Bring toys, bring treats, bring other dogs, bring whatever you want to make this a great time for you and for you puppy! Now that we have been a few times, Jackson starts whining when we take the exit for the beach. He absolutely loves it, and loves fetching tennis balls in the ocean! Maybe your dog won’t dig it, so maybe the beach isn’t the best place for them to hang out. Maybe your dog will love it so much he wants to be the next dog surfer. Who knows? At the end of the day, just trust yourself with your dog, and have fun!

Senior Pictures with Horses: How-To

I recently graduated from college and….ohmygosh I’m an alum!! So weird to think about, but I’m so happy I now have a bachelors. Even though I will no longer be in college, I still will post tips and college experiences, because well, because college is really damn hard.

Since I just finished a huge task, aka mastering the science of animals, I decided to take some beautiful pictures to mark the monumental feat. Since there aren’t many senior picture examples with horses, I thought I’d share the photos that I had done. I didn’t take any of these photos (obviously…), so I give all credit to my amazing photographer, Asia Croson! If you are looking for a bad-ass photographer to bring out the best in you, I linked her website; you can find her here.

View More: http://asiacrosonphotography.pass.us/kaitlynandravenandmila

I originally booked a session with 3 different locations. I did the first two locations with just me at the beach and on top of a hill. If you’d like to see those, and the different poses that came along with them, comment below! These are from the last session I had.

Anyway, I love this photo because of the trees. They look so daunting, and really emphasizes that Raven and I are on this journey together. Which is completely representative of our relationship through college, and even through the 7 years that we’ve been a team. Plus we look like we’re dominating the world.

View More: http://asiacrosonphotography.pass.us/kaitlynandravenandmila

And of course we had to get a couple shots in the grass, so she can chow down! Playing around with the sun and how you’re positioned in relation to your horse really makes the portraits interesting. Even though my beautiful town is more brown than green, I love the contrast between her dark coat and the golden grass. Whenever I get pictures taken, I always try to angle my body and move my limbs so I don’t look awkward. It’s hard to master, but practice in front of the mirror or something if you’re worried about it!

These two are beautiful. This is the exact reason I wanted a professional photographer with me. They know how to capture the sunlight in the best way. I  absolutely love that I am casually focused on the railing while everything else is slightly unfocused! Having your horse in the background will not only put the spotlight on you, but also showcase your love for horses, in an artistic and adorable way.

View More: http://asiacrosonphotography.pass.us/kaitlynandravenandmila

Like the cover photo, I just had to get some photos of us with my graduation attire! The cover photo has me wearing the sash, but I also put it on Rae. Play around with your props, like your cap and sash, because it makes the photos more interesting and unique.

I LOVE these! I saw pictures of some people signing a heart on their horse like I’m doing here, and I just had to do it! These are some of my faves (I feel like I saw that with every portait…) because she looks so content and happy. You can just see the strong bond we have with each other.

I also brought my best friend along to appear in some photos. She and I have been riding together for almost 12 years, so I figured it would be cute and fun to have her with my horse. They kind of turned out like our engagement photo, but I don’t care!!  I love the ones where we’re resting on the railing, because you can see our jewelry. We decided to wear pieces that had meaning for us.

I also got some photos of how I decorated my cap. I am in love with them because its somewhat original and totally applicable to my life (I am doing the MBA program in the fall).

View More: http://asiacrosonphotography.pass.us/kaitlynandravenandmila

Lastly, I wanted to talk about your outfit/props/makeup and stuff to be thinking about when you do your pictures. Since my horse is black, I wanted my outfit to be light colored. I chose a simple white tank top, jeans, and boots because I wear an outfit similar to this everyday and because it complemented my horse. When you choose your outfit, make sure you are comfortable and confident. The same is for makeup, except you could get away with exaggerating. I wore three times as much makeup as normal, curled my hair to enhance my natural curls, and wore fake eyelashes. With all of this, everything looks pretty natural, right? Just keep that in mind 🙂

Just as a disclaimer, most of these photos are completely candid. I thought of poses on the spot that I thought would look cute, but I literally had no idea what I was doing. That’s where Asia saved my life. She made me feel so comfortable goofing around and having fun.

I hope these pictures provide some inspiration with your upcoming photoshoot with your horse! I know I had a blast and they turned out better than expected.  I will always have these pictures to remember me and my girl, and I am forever thankful to have her.

View More: http://asiacrosonphotography.pass.us/kaitlynandravenandmila

On that note, did anyone have a similar experience with graduate pictures?