Week 1

Happy New Year Everyone!

Each week a group of wonderful photographers from Beautiful Beasties Network challenges each other to take on an assignment. This is a great way to network, get to know each other, and just try new things in general.

This weeks theme is Introductions. I am excited to work with our new group this year. My name is Pavlina Sanborn owner of Pavlina Sanborn Photography. I absolutely love natural light but I love to challenge myself with these weekly projects. I was born, raised in Czech Republic and by my writing you can clearly see English is not my first language, actually my 5th language. I have been a dog trainer for over 17years helping troubled K9s with their problems, helping them connect with their owners. This is where photography comes in. I have met some amazing pooches and I always wished to capture their personalities. All that transferred over to the shelter photography. Saving lives one photo at a time has become my motto since I started to volunteer for kill shelters in Florida. My heart aches with a wish to do so much more for these shelter babies...

I was adopted by Three Musketeers who are always by my side on any adventure or move across the country. I am going to introduce one by one. Oh, yes let's not forget the kitty who adopted my dogs...


I will start with the kitty. Her name is Elsie and she is former feral cat from streets of Key West FL. Elsie is petite about 5lb Tuxedo kitty. One day she started accompanying me and my pups on our walks. She was barely a year old and had two kittens. I was impressed, because she truly cared for the dogs but not for humans. Nobody could pet her as she was a wild cat. My dogs could come to her nose to nose and she was fine. I have asked neighbors and she didn't belong to anyone. We captured her with her babies. Babies were adopted together into one household of a lady who recently lost her husband and a cat. She gladly took both kittens. Elsie stayed with us, our first semi-feral cat, that we ever had. This happened about 6 years ago. Elsie was biting and attacking us for a long time. Finally, she moved across the US with us three times and she has become quite the companion. She seems to love me very much. Needles to say, I am not a cat person but I love my kitty.  Elsie's nickname is F cat (LOL internal joke with my hubby). We love Elsie.


Here is my inspiration, my reason for everything I do, my beloved Katchka. Katchka is deer head Chihuahua with a red nose. Katchka is going to be 12 years old this year and we have been on a quite journey with her sister by her side. Katchka is my inspiration in photography, dog training, and dealing with people. She displays grace, patience, and unconditional love every day. Katchka had a rough start but today she is best pup one can ask for. She is very smart. If you know the expression about an old dog and tricks... Last year she titled in Nose Work at age 11. She loves to work for food that is why she makes an easy practice model for me. When the camera comes out Katchka will sit and pose, because she know I pay in treats. She is easy going and she has overcome a lot in her lifetime. She is  a product of a pet store but except for no teeth, she is super healthy and active. Last year we hiked the Sugarloaf ME for the last time. Katchka's personality could be compared to a cat. She will be by your side, always with you, one step behind, but she doesn't care to be cuddled. If she cuddles or plays it is all on her terms. She is the boss of the dogs in the house. I love this baby with all my heart and I am so lucky. I will never forget the day when she came to my life. The look on her face, her reaction, I will never forget. Katchka's nickname is Princess.


Here is Katchka's sidekick Kika. She is attached to my hip 24/7. Kika is Miniature Pincher who is only 5lb, she is going to be 12 years old this year. She is tiny but her personality will make up for what she doesn't have in size. Kika has been with Katchka since day one and I have never separated them since. When they have teeth cleaning or anything else going on, they go together. This dynamic duo makes me smile with everyday shenanigans. Kika is very energetic and as they say, she is the King of the toys. Kika is exact opposite of Katchka. Kika doesn't like to share anything. She will not share toys, attention, or anything you can think of. Kika won't share. She is very affectionate and keeps eyes on everything. She is our personal security dog. Never sleeps, always on a watch. Last year she lost her hearing and that made things harder for her. We have started sign language, she is doing well. If I cannot get her attention I send my third dog to get her. That is the only way to get her attention. Kika is courageous, restless, super hardworking. Last year she titled in Nose Work, also won Harry Award in Nose Work and was pronounced in all elements. Huge honor for this little dog against many who participated. Kika excelled over GSD, Dobermans, and other breeds. I was very proud, Kika's work ethic is amazing! Kika is very important piece of our puzzle here. Kika has helped Katchka to build her self confidence and learn bad habits. LOL. I love my Kika. Kika's nickname is Crazy.


Last but least our puppy boy Sarik. Sarik is deer head Chihuahua with some beautiful markings. This boy was my foster success. When I met this baby he was barely 2 months old. I got him and two of his brothers handed to me in a box. I was successful at placing his brothers into good homes and kept Sarik. Sarik as a typical puppy was just 100% too much than normal puppy. We found out there is something wrong with his 'wiring' but we are working on it. Sarik was anorexic for a long time. He had issues eating, so for a while he was super skinny. He was not driven by anything; therefore, he was difficult to train. My in-laws wanted him so bad but I could not let him go. I knew he is special needs dog and needed experienced dog trainer. Sarik is very loving dog. He is the Chihuahua you don't see often. He loves other dogs, people, and children. If you tens up, he will sit on your lap or by your side very close to you. Once you pet him and calm down he will walk away and go about his day. Everything he knows is a learned behavior. He had to learn to relax, calm down when asked, and to eat. There were days he would chose not to eat. Nothing, literally nothing got this boy to eat. I have even tried biggest temptations such a bacon, nothing...  Three years later, he has an attention spam of a fly. He has a hard time to concentrate on anything. He had learned lots of commands and useful things, whether he responds is always the issue. With age he is not getting better, we love him and we are working on him daily. I know that he has gotten so much better from where he was one time, still for a trained dog, he cannot be trusted. Sarik is my "Trainer's Pet Project" as he is raised 100% positive and force free training. He is my first dog who I tested my patience on. He is AKC Puppy Star Certified and he is Therapy Dog Certified. Sarik is the link between good and freaky in our family. He was not welcome by the girls for first 6 months. Sarik has managed to build special relationship with each girl. With Katchka he is calm and collected, with Kika he brings the freaky in him. We have him to help us, in case one of our girls will cross over the rainbow bridge. My girls were never separated; therefore, loss of one could badly hurt the other. Sarik's nickname is Puppy.


Here you have it. You have met me and my Three Musketeers who are huge part of my life. We don't have any children so my pups are my babies. I love them dearly, they have been there every step of my life journey. We move often and travel. With these guys by my side, I don't get sad when my husband gets deployed. With these babies I am never alone, considering my own family lives overseas, my hubby's family lives north. I hope you enjoyed my photo story for the first week of 2014 and had fun!

I would love to invite you to follow translation of our project by heading over to Kathryn Schauer Photography, New Haven, Connecticut. This is a circle and we always have lots of photographers participating. Please scroll down on each blog and visit the next photographer.

Have fun!

Please, leave me a comment :) (if you would like to! :) )