Sometimes I get looks from strangers in public as I baby talk to my dogs as if they were human children. It can be a bit embarrassing, but what can I say, I love my babies. They just happen to have four legs, a keen sense of smell and tails.
I’ve loved dogs forever, but really became obsessed about 20 years ago, so I started working with them professionally. I worked at a boarding kennel, managed a dog daycare and raised service dogs. I have run a dog walking company for over 10 years where I hike groups of 6 dogs up and down the mountains of Southern Marin.
I’ve spent more time with groups of dogs than people. This gives me a big advantage when it comes to capturing your pup’s personality; I can adjust my approach based on your dog's behavior to ensure I get gorgeous portraits. I use all positive reinforcement, no mean yelling or physical manipulation (that stuff is not cool). Instead I make friends with your pup, help her feel comfortable, and reward her for posing like a champ.
I have 2 beagles, both full of energy and mischief who sleep in my bed, lick my dirty plates, and howl at bad guys knocking at my door.
Jessica Bay, Owner & Photographer
THE SILVER SPLASH STORY
Before I had beagles, I had 2 labs, Ocean & Renna. One yellow, one black, both sweet as pie with soft liquid brown puppy dog eyes. When I was searching for the right name, I thought about my senior girls and how important I felt it was to have images to capture them that I would have forever. Miss Renna, my black labrador, had the cutest little splash of silver on her chin. On top of that, my new puppy at the time was my first beagle, Splash.
The name Silver Splash is a tribute to that little patch of silver, the badge of a wise old dog, one that is loyal, loving and sweet, as well as a nod to my beagle Splash, and the world of puppyhood.
Splash, aka Tortuga's Little Dipper! Splash dipped her toes in the conformation world, getting both her majors and strutting her stuff in the show ring. With just 2 single points left to earn her championship, we switched gears. Splash preferred nose work to to conformation so we swapped from competing at dog shows to competing in canine scent work. She has earned her Nose Work 1 & Nose Work 2 titles, and competed twice in Nose Work 3, both times narrowly missing her title. She is quite the little sniffer. Splash adores lying in the sun for hours, leisurely walks with lots of sniffing, cuddling and being an all around good girl. Well except for when she uses her sniffing radar to locate chapstick which she eats, but nobody is perfect.
Cricket, aka Topshelf's The Girl is Mine, is a spunky beagle girl who likes licking human feet, burying himalayan dog chews and itty bitty stuffed toys in places like the laundry bin, behind pillows, or under the duvet cover. She is a bundle of energy and loves going on runs, hiking for hours and blasting off at top speed in nose work searches. Cricket doesn't bark, but does howl if the need to vocalize arises; she also has an "ugly cry" for deer or wild turkeys that sounds a bit like a french bulldog with a sore throat. Cricket sleeps under the duvet but on top of the blankets, and once she is resting likes nothing more than to be left alone. Her motto is "play hard, sleep harder".
OCEAN + RENNA
Ocean, my first dog, my first heart dog. She was the best friend a girl could ask for. I raised her to be a service dog and when she flunked out of her training to be a hearing dog, I immediately adopted her. We were together for 16 wonderful years. I taught her all sorts of tricks, she could open the fridge, fetch the paper or remote (or anything really). She once ate an entire pineapple, excluding the sharp leaves. At 15 years old she started and excelled at nose work. We grew up together and saying goodbye was the hardest thing ever. She inspired me to pursue pet photography in order to preserve the memory of equally beloved dogs.
Little Renna. She was a petite black lab I raised to be a service dog, but she was too sweet and sensitive for working life. Despite socialization that started at birth, Renna found the world an overwhelming place at times, if she were human you might have considered her an introvert.
She was released from her assistance dog training early (at 9 months old). And so I adopted this adorable mini sized labrador. She was one of those naturally good dogs, never getting into mischief, a real mama's girl. She loved dipping her toes in the ocean, (but did not swim) eating fresh green grass tendrils and playing fetch.
For some reason it seems that cancer creeps up on the very best of dog-kind, and after a first bout with cancer when she was just 5, we had another 5 wonderful years of romping on the beach, camping and hiking together before the cancer came back. When Renna was 10 we watched our final sunset together, and I said goodbye to the best behaved dog I have ever owned, and that little silver splash on her chin. She lives on in my heart and in the Silver Splash name - 10 years was not nearly long enough to be blessed with such a wonderful girl.