We all scream for ice cream!

Walt Grondona of Coburg had the sweetest idea last summer. In addition to offering photography for families and pets as he has for years, he would serve ice cream.  He crowned his expanded business “Walt’s Photography & Ice Cream,” and lickety split, things got more fun.

Open each summer “when it stops raining” and closed “when it starts raining again,” the shop offers hand-scooped premium Tillamook ice cream in 12 flavors — vanilla for the dogs, he says, “so no upset tummies.”

One recent customer was Smiggy (pronounced “Smidgie”), winner of Spot’s 2017 Willamette Valley Cover Model Search, for which Walt is often the official Cover Model photographer. Smiggy’s mom Kristi says her friendly Beagle not only loved the ice cream, he was crazy about Grondona. “Walt was wonderful,” she says, “he was so good with my dog.”

Kristi says Smiggy told her, “I like ice cream!” and that he had a ball with the shoot and with Walt. “I will definitely go back, says Kristi, “and will recommend Walt’s Photography to others.”

Walt enjoyed it too. “We had the most fun!” he says, adding that “Smiggy was just wonderful — he did everything asked of him.” Of course that’s what great models do.

After the photo shoot that proved to be fun for everyone, Walt says, “we had a little ice cream.”

Stop by Walt’s Photography & Ice Cream and get a photo of your best friend for $5, and an ice cream for $5.

The fun is on the house.

Get Yours!

Walt’s Photography & Ice Cream

Waltsphoto.com  |  541-686-1050| walt@waltsphoto.com

Hello, Sunshine!

Meet some of your 2016 Cover Model Contenders

Over 100 pets participated in Spot Magazine's 2016 Cover Model Contest - for a chance to win a cover shot, and to support West Columbia Gorge Humane Society. Here are some of the smiling beauties who entered; watch for more cover models in future issues.

Photos by Phido Photography

Dog Years: Faithful Friends, Then & Now

Dog Years: Faithful Friends, Then & Now by Amanda Jones

Dachshunds Short and Long was Amanda Jones’ third book of portraits, printed in 2005. I have a signed copy. Amanda actually knows my pack, having done two sessions in the past decade. I cherish the photos she’s taken, which adorn the walls of my home.

Jones’ latest book, Dog Years: Faithful Friends, Then & Now, captures dogs’ lifespans and their amazing journeys through photos of her clients’ dogs, spanning from puppyhood to late life.

My favorite images, in two series, are of Amanda’s own dog Lily, a Dachshund — one at three months, the other at 15 years. I have a special place in my heart for this breed, but more than that, these photos tell of a long, happy journey.

Each series of photos in Dog Years includes stories about the dogs and their humans. Some dogs started life in puppy mills, while others were strays that wandered into their human’s lives.  

“Lily was my first dog and we had her for almost 16 years,” says Jones. “She went through so much with us during that time. When she passed away, I knew I had to create a memorial for this special girl, so I pulled out the negatives from past portrait sessions and laid out four of the images in an age-progressive line. The result was an incredible visual narration of her life.  I am so pleased that so many people are enjoying these series of aging dogs!”

More about Amanda Jones at amandajones.com.

As a Certified Vet Tech, longtime PR veteran and content marketing expert, Christy Caplan brings her unique understanding of social and digital media to connect dog lovers to brands both on and offline. She lives with three hounds – two Doxies and a Beagle/Basset Hound mix, who constantly teach her about life and companionship.Follow Christy at mylifewithdogspdx.com.

Gold Old Dog Project fueled by love

Aging gives us fine wine, and mellow whiskey. It also gives us — and our companion animals — graying hair and an occasional hitch in our get-along. 

Inspired by her Golden-Doodle, Maggie, Portland-based portrait photographer Pauline Zonneveld started taking pet photos about five years ago. Then, thanks to an older dog in her neighborhood, she was inspired to create the Good Old Dog Project, which honors what might be overlooked in the golden years, capturing the beauty of those in later life.          

"On a winter day in 2010 I noticed my neighbor's elderly Australian Shepherd, Kali, struggling to make her daily walk around the yard,” says Zonneveld. “I was immediately drawn to her grey muzzle, uncertain steps, and gentle demeanor. As a photographer, I recognized the potential of a terrific portrait and a way to pay tribute to her courage and perseverance. Before I had a chance to do so, Kali died. I realized I had missed an opportunity and decided to embark on a quest to find aging models and honor them with a beautiful portrait. And The Good Old Dog Project was born!" 

Zonneveld's minimalistic style, inspired by her Dutch roots, holds to simple elegance.  She believes her beautiful subjects shine through even more clearly, with grace and humor. 

And as she is also a poet, some of her photography packages include a custom haiku written specifically for the pet. One fine example is from Duffy, a 13-yr-old greyhound: 

          When you aren't looking

          I nip your wine for dreams of

          winning by a nose

This year even more love was added to the The Good Old Dog Project, as mini portrait sessions now benefit The Pixie Project, a nonprofit pet rescue and adoption center. 

The Pixie Project seeks lifelong matches between adopters and pets, and behind the scenes work to help low-income families get the vet services and surgeries their pets need. In fact, a skilled team of veterinarians and vet techs perform up to 20 surgeries per week. These include emergency services like dental extractions, amputations, mass removals, and other life-saving surgeries, along with routine spays and neuters. 

The Good Old Dog Project operates in an event format as opposed to an ongoing service.  

"First, we will photograph your Good Old Dog in exchange for a $29 signup fee," Zonneveld explains. "One hundred percent of this fee will be donated to The Pixie Project...something you and your Good Old Dog can feel good about!" 

Learn more at GoodOldDogProject.com.

Christy Caballero writes from her soul about animals and their humans. She and hubby Herb have to compete for space on the couch with three big RagaMuffin cats, two retired racing greyhounds and one slightly neurotic foster greyhound -- who never wants to leave. Ever.

SoulSessions capture lifelong love

Portlander Kristin Zabawa’s career in photography has managed to let her venture into the valley of the shadow of death, from where she returns with beautiful images. Zabawa says when it comes to people whose companion animals are approaching life’s end, it is often an intensely private and painful time, but one in which being emotionally beset can interfere with memories. 

That's one of the reasons Zabawa, a former zookeeper, makes herself available to join alongside people and their pets to gently photograph precious moments while there’s time. 

Some pet parents who’ve asked Zabawa to photograph their late-life pets have said the images have been critical in helping them process their grief. Zabawa says for her, the sessions are almost like a meditative practice. She is “a respectful, quiet witness,” never using flash photography. Capturing late-life moments between people and their animal family members is what Zabawa calls SoulSessions. 

"People have shared with me that their Soul Session has given them a quiet time to just be with the soul who has given them so much,” Zabawa shares. “A chance to feel the love, and to love and remember a life shared. To have the images from this time can help them feel the presence of their animal kin, to feel the love will always surround them.” 

Zabawa doesn't charge for the sessions, but will accept donations. Her goal is to establish a nonprofit, enabling her to do the work full time. In a crowd-funding effort toward this end, she has received support from as far away as Vietnam, Peru, and Germany, with several UK sites picking up her story. 


The images on Zabawa’s website of those private moments say it all: A woman with soft lines etched in her face lays her cheek gently against her beloved cat. A little girl sweetly cradles her kitty. A family curls around their aged dog, cradling their beloved in beating hearts and loving arms. 

The love shines in both directions, and the camera doesn't lie. And therein lies the magic. 

Captured in the breadth of a camera shutter, preserved forever, shines the love of a lifetime, shared between precious animals and their people. 

Learn more at SoulSessions photography on Facebook

Christy Caballero writes from her soul about animals.  She's received four Maxwell Awards from the Dog Writers Assn of America. There are two retired racers (greyhounds) and one kinda neurotic foster greyhound and three BIG RagaMuffin kitties at home who are occasionally impressed enough to let her and her hubby Herb sit on the couch with them.

Endless Love — tell us your story!

There’s a sweet magic in older pets . . . maybe it’s wisdom, maybe it’s the heart-swelling tale of how s/he escaped a tough life to become the best friend ever! Their eyes may be cloudy, but they shine with love. They may not move as gracefully, but their gait and smile still make you swoon.  Simply put, oldsters are such a special blessing! 

Spot Magazine’s Oct/Nov issue — “We ♥ Our Oldsters!” — is packed with info, tips and resources to help you and your pet live your best lives during his/her golden years. 

Tell us about the love of your life!  

Send photo(s) and caption(s) of your senior best friend (with or without people shown), and a little about how wonderful they are. 

Not only might your photo appear in Spot Magazine, but you could win a prize! 

2 great prizes are waiting to be won — a gorgeous giant-breed/large dog bed/sofa, and a great gift pak for smaller pets. 

Send photos, info, and any questions, to info@spotmagazine.net.  Please be sure to include the following permission in your message: 

“I authorize Spot Magazine to publish the attached photos in an upcoming issue or issues, and for any and all promotional purposes.” 

Thanks for being part of this special edition.  We can’t wait to meet your sweetpea!


Entry deadline is Sept 7. 

Meet Your 2015 Willamette Valley Cover Models

Pets and their people entered Spot's Cover Model Search at events all last Spring and Summer. Winner, Katie, graces this month's cover. All the beauties who entered are featured here.

Cover Model 411

NAME:  Katie

AGE/BREED:  7 yrs / Pomeranian/Chihuahua

STOMPING GROUNDS:   Katie lives with her “Mama” Christine at McKenzie Manor in the Thurston area of Springfield, where everyone loves her. There is a special area at the Manor where Katie walks and plays.

PACK:  Katie’s favorite friends are Ladybug, and Ladybug’s dog-mom Lisa, who live next door. Her Uncle Jerry (Christine’s brother) is her favorite visitor, and she announces the arrival of his truck with great excitement.  “She just goes nuts,” says Christine.

LOVES:  Treats and car rides! Katie also loves her groomer Deb at Petco in Eugene, who keeps her perfectly in style with a special cut.

DOESN’T LOVE:  Katie heartily objects to people on speaker at drive-up windows, and anyone who thinks it’s okay to walk up to the car to talk to her mom. And! It is simply not okay for the station attendant to put gas in the car!

SPECIAL NOTES ABOUT KATIE:  Katie was 5 when she was rescued/adopted from Lucky Paws in Springfield. She is a great traveler and flew to Arizona this summer with her mom, content to ride in her soft carrier at Christine’s feet. She loved the flight and vacation!

OHS photo contest is on

Oregon Humane Society’s 24th annual Fuzzy, Furry and Feathered Friends Photo Contest is now open. The rules are simple, the prizes grand, and all entry fees will help the pets at OHS.

The contest highlights all pets of all kinds, not just those adopted from OHS, and the Grand Prize winner will receive a $500 gift card from Pro Photo Supply and a $250 gift card from Frame Central. One lucky winner will grace the cover of OHS Magazine, and winners in each category will be featured in the Fall 2015 issue.

Entry deadline is August 16.  There is a $10 fee for the first five photos submitted. Visit oregonhumane.org/photo for rules, submission and prize details.

Local photographer receives international support

Kristin Zabawa, a Portland-based photographer, uses her skills to capture the powerful final moments between humans and animals before the beloved pet crosses the Rainbow Bridge. Zabawa provides what she calls “SoulSessions” free of charge as a gift to her community. In need of updated equipment, she recently turned to crowdfunding, and was surprised to receive support from as far away as Vietnam, Peru and Germany, with several UK sites picking up her story. Zabawa is using the popular Indiegogo site for her campaign, and says she has been grateful for the support. 

In addition to updating her equipment, Zabawa hopes to create a nonprofit that will allow her to do “SoulSessions” full-time. “For me, it's almost like a meditative practice," says Kristin. "I just open myself up to the moment and accept what's presented.” Her fundraising campaign continues through June 7.