Category Archives: dogs

Brews And Dogs (Towne Taproom, Agawam, MA)

Date Of Event: May 4, 2019

Location: Towne Taproom, 378 Walnut St Extension, Agawam, MA

Hours: the event usually starts at 12:00 pm

Cost: Free

Parking: There is parking behind the taproom and there are parking lots in the area.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Of course!

Website: Towne Taproom (Facebook)

Summary: Towne Tap hosted their monthly “Dogs And Brew” event.  

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Towne Taproom has gone to the dogs.

Locally crafted beer wasn’t the only thing on tap at Towne Taproom earlier this month.

In addition to their musical entertainment, karaoke and trivia nights, Towne Taproom has been holding “Brews and Dogs” events which allow dog mom and dads to bring their furry friends to socialize.  Just make sure they are socialized and leashed.

A food truck from 4 B’s Mac & Cheese was also there and outdoor seating was available.

There were a variety of dogs at the event.  And, as you can tell by what some of the dogs are wearing, the first 50 dogs received a Towne and Taproom bandana.  The event raised funds for Baystate’s Pediatric Palliative Dog Therapy Unit.

Below are some of the visitors to the big event!

Penny is a 2 year old toy poodle.

 

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Rhodes and May (from left to right) are 5 year old labs.

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Elliott is a 5 month old Australian Cattle dog mix.

 

 

 

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Missy is a 5 year old Cavalier and Pekingese mix.

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Freya is a 2 year old Newfie.

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Mia is a 12 year old Boxer.

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My mom’s dog Holly is a year and a half ptibull mix

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Mia is a 13 year old Boxer.

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Rhino is a 4 year old Great Dane.

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From left to right is Bruno, a 4 year old Cocapoo rescue from Texas and Olive an 11 year old Golden Doodle mix from Boston.

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Towne Taproom plans on having these Brews and Dogs event on a monthly basis.  But they encourage people to visit their Facebook page to find out when they will be held.  See you this summer for a few brews and dogs!

 

 


Easter In The Park (Boston Public Garden, Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: April 21, 2019

Location: Boston Public Garden, 4 Charles St, Boston, MA

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There are several parking garages in the area and limited street parking

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers, sculptures, swan boats, trees, statues

Website: Boston Public Garden

Summary: The Ducklings were dressed in their Sunday bests as people thronged to Boston Public Garden to enjoy an unseasonably warm day at the park.

The Dressing of the Ducklings has become an Easter tradition for some time.

But, they are not only dressed up for the Easter holiday.  The ducklings, which were installed in 1987, have also been seen wearing jerseys of the home sports teams, particularly during the playoffs or other important points of the season.  They are also dressed up for other holidays or days of interest, most notably Mother’s Day.

The book “Make Way For Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey is the inspiration for these sculptures.  In the book a pair of mallards  decide to raise their family on an island in the lagoon in Boston Public Garden. Oh, sorry spoiler alert.

The ducklings are a favorite of the children who like to play with, and sometimes on, the statues.

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The ducklings aren’t the only sculptures at the park.

At the Arlington St entrance, there is a larger than life statue of George Washington.  The 22 foot granite statue stands on a 16 foot pedestal making the total height of the statue and pedestal 38 feet.

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Built by Boston painter and musician Thomas Ball, the statue took 4 years to complete.  Because of shortages of bronze casting due to the Civil War, it would not be completed until 1863.

The real beauty of the park is more natural.  Countless trees, flowers and plants adorn the park.

The views at the park are some of the most beautiful in Boston.  You may see the lagoon that I mentioned above where the ducklings are said to have resided.

I was surprised at how many people were at the park on what I thought would be a “family holiday” for most.  Seeing all of the people dressed to the hilt, I do think many people came to the park after their morning obligations were completed.  These visitors were having fun celebrating the day.

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This creative lady took the opportunity to paint at the park.

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Birds and other wildlife are abundant at the park. Fittingly, I did see a few mallards there.

Some animals are so used to seeing and interacting with humans they will eat from your hand.

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Dogs and even a cat were at the pet friendly park.

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Maggie, an 18 month old Aussiedoodle (Australian Toy Poodle), had fun retrieving a miniature sized ball.

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This brave cat named Blue, a 6 year old Orange and Siamese cat, went to the park with her mom.

Now the fun part.  How did I photograph this place?  Since I left early before the sun was high in the sky and it was overcast for most of my visit, it was easier than on some of the sunnier days,  For the most part, I shot with a 5.6 or 6.3 aperture. I even went down to 3.5 and 4.0 and I kept my ISO at 100 since lighting wasn’t an issue for this shoot.

I usually use the Aperture Value (or Aperture Priority) setting.  So, I didn’t worrying about controlling my shutter speed.  Until I photographed Maggie, of course.  To capture her motion as she rain I used a 320 shutter setting and I probably could have gone to 500 or higher.  The hardest part of photography, especially for us beginners, can be making sure all of the settings are correct before you click.  I can attest to this.  As I went into, gulp, manual mode I made sure to put my shutter speed at 1,000 to photograph Maggie.  But, I forgot to adjust my other settings.  So, I had a few black images in my LCD screen.  Once I made this correction the photos came out better.  This just goes to underscore the importance of looking at your meter and viewing photos in your screen and adjusting as needed as you shoot.

However, I would caution anyone from deleting files from their memory card.  For reasons that are far too technical for me to explain clearly, you can actually damage your memory card if you try to delete images from your card.  Everyone does or has done it, though.  In fact, I did it just the other day out of habit.  Here’s an article that explains it in greater depth: Why you should not delete images on your memory card in your camera

But, another easier way to explain this is to just say you don’t know what you can do to the image in LightRoom or PhotoShop (more on these applications in a future post).  But, take a look at this photo of Maggie, the dog I photographed at Boston Public Garden.

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I almost used this photo in my post.  But, I thought the other photo showed better motion and was an overall photo especially since this photo was too dark no matter how much I played with the settings in LightRoom.  But, considering what I had to work with it wasn’t too bad.  This is what the original photo looked like on my memory card before I edited it in LightRoom.

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Yes, that’s what the photo looked like on my card before I edited it.  I was so eager to photograph the cute little doggie that I only adjusted the shutter speed and not the aperture (it was at 22 when I took the photo).  I noticed the error and I adjusted my aperture and shutter speed accordingly (the photo I posted in the blog post above was at 5.6 aperture, 320 shutter speed, 160 ISO and 128 mm).  I should have used a faster shutter speed (500 or 1000) and adjusted the aperture as you can see some blur in her legs and a faster shutter speed would have eliminated this.

The main point of me posting those photos is that virtually any photo is salvageable or at least you can “save” almost any photo, unless, of course, it is blurry.  So, please don’t ever delete in your camera!

I didn’t use a lens hood or any other device to limit sun glare since it wasn’t a particularly sunny day.  I did, however, use this when I was photographing the child on the goose sculpture.

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You slip on the lens and it can help to attract the child’s attention.  It also works with some dogs and other pets (and probably even adults!).  Isn’t it cute?  While I don’t sponsor items or advertise items,  I do like and recommend this item.  I will leave the link for this and other knitted “camera buddies” here in case you may want to look into purchasing one.

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I hope all of this info helps

 

 

 

 


President’s Day Celebration (Quincy, MA)

Date Of Event: February 17, 2019

Location: Hancock-Adams Greenway, Quincy, MA (about 10 minutes south of Boston and 45 minutes northeast of Providence, RI)

Cost: Free

Parking: There was free parking available at the Ross Garage

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary: Quincy, MA, held their first (of hopefully many) President’s Day celebrations which included games for children, a band, costumed entertainers, an orchestra, a play for children and the Fire Gypsy.

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What better place to spend Presidents Day than Quincy, MA, the home to two U.S. Presidents as well as former Governor of MA John Hancock (Hancock has been considered to be from Quincy after the part of Braintree he was from was annexed into Quincy)?

The first Presidents Day celebration included a tour of the crypt where the former Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams have been laid to rest.  Both presidents were originally buried in a tomb at the Hancock Cemetery across the street.  But, since John Adams wanted to buried in a church, the bodies were moved to the basement of what is now called the United First Parish Church.  The tomb where the bodies were originally laid to rest is still at the cemetery.  The presidents and their wives bodies, or remain, are in the crypt at the church.

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Some very tall costumed entertainers greeted visitors.

 

Souljacker ably covered some Rolling Stones and other classic rock bands.

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Behind The Mask performed for the children at the event.

 

There were also games such s air hockey and other table games for people to play.

 

One of the biggest attractions was the Fire Gypsy.  Despite the very cold temperatures, everyone stayed for the entire show.

 

The Presidents Day celebration was dog friendly.  I saw these two dogs during my visit.

Callie is a 5 year old Saint Bernard.

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Ren is a 9 month old Whippet mix.

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Salem’s So Sweet 2019 (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: February 9, 2019 (annually, the second weekend of February)

Location: Salem, MA

Cost: Free

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: ice sculptures

Summary: As part of the Salem’s So Sweet celebration, 23 ice sculptures were placed throughout the city.

Website: Salem’s So Sweet

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Salem’s known for a lot of things.  But, sweet isn’t usually one of the words that come to mind.  However, sweet has become an annual theme in Salem.

The 17th annual Salem’s So Sweet event kicks off with a wine and chocolate tasting gala Friday, Feb. 8.  The sculptures were placed at different historical places and businesses throughout the city of Salem.

I figured today would be the perfect day to post about this sweet event, especially since some of the sculptures have a romantic theme.

I am showing the ice sculptures in the event in the same order they are listed on the attached map.  I tried to photograph them all when they were lit up.  But there were a few I was not able to photograph at night.  There is a big difference in the way the sculptures when they are lit up.  I plan on photographing them only at night in the future because of this difference.

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The first sculpture of a cat was located at The Witch House.

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This heartfelt sculpture of Hellboy was one of five sculptures located at Lappin Park.

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This photo frame sculpture, also located at Lappin Park, was a popular sculpture.  A lot of people would pose in the frame while another person took their photo.

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There was some snow during my visit to Salem.  This snowflake sculpture was also located at Lappin Park.

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Valvoline Instant Oil Change sponsored this sculpture.

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SSU (Salem State University) Graduate Snowman was, of course, sponsored by Salem State University.

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I love the warm colors of the lights used to illuminate the sculptures, especially since it was so cold out during the event.  These kissing fish were located outside of Turner’s Seafood.

There were also a group of sculptures located on the famous Essex Pedestrian Walkway.

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This wicked good sculpture was located outside of Coon’s Card And Gift Shop.

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This “piggy bank” sculpture was located outside of Rockafella’s.

You might think that since I frequent Salem I have dined at many of their establishments.  You’d be wrong.  In fact, I have only been to a few restaurants there (I used to like Victoria’s Station).  I also liked Murphy’s Pub & Grill which has also closed and is becoming a “tequila bar.”  In A Pig’s Eye was a pretty good restaurant too.  I’m sensing a trend here.  Maybe it’s best I don’t eat at the restaurants there. I may be a curse.  But, I’m not much of a “foodie” or eater in general (although when I do eat, I eat my whole plate and then some).  I would much rather be taking photographs than eating and  I always think I may miss some cool photo opportunities while I’m eating which would really bother me.  Besides, I just don’t get very hungry when I’m out in the field.  I’m too focused on my job.  I rarely eat at all when I go out on shoots.  I have heard good things about some of the places in Salem though.

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This sculpture of Cupid was located at Adriatic Restaurant and Bar on Washington St (I haven’t eaten there yet so they’re safe from my “curse”).  I especially like how the lighting in the city complemented the lighting from the sculpture.

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“Boy and Girl” was located in front of Maria’s Sweet Somethings on Front Street.

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I actually missed two sculptures during my initial visit to Salem.  Actually my camera batteries died (the cold weather affects camera batteries dramatically).  So, I grabbed this photo the next morning.  This sculpture of wine glasses was located at Stella’s Wine And Bar I especially like the subtle little details in the sculptures.  Are those fangs or claws in the wine glasses?

This Mary Poppins sculpture had lights that changed colors.  This sculpture was located near the Trolley Depot on Essex St.

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This dove was located near the entrance to the Witch City Mall on Essex Pedestrian Walkway.

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This Chinese Dragon Robe was located outside of the Peabody Essex Museum on Essex St.  This sculpture was representative of their Chinese Empress exhibit.

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This “I Found My Heart In Salem” sculpture of the Tin Man was located at the Salem Witch Museum.  This seems to be a theme with the Witch Museum.  Last year they had a sculpture of Dorothy’s shoes with the phrase “There’s No Place Like Salem.”

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This sculpture of a baker, which was the only sculpture that didn’t light up, was located at Coffee Time Bake Shop on Bridge St.

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This sculpture, “Roots”, was located outside of the Hawthorne Hotel.

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This butterfly ice sculpture was located on Union St at the Joile Tea Company 

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This beer mug was located in front of The Notch Brewing Company.

This sailboat and these roses in ice were located at the Salem Waterfront Hotel

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This sculpture was located next to Bunghole Liquors.  Hey I didn’t name the place.  The sign for the store is probably one of the most photographed places in all of Salem.  Of course this is actually a term used with wooden barrels.  But it has a much different meaning for some other people apparently.

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“Candy” which was located across the street from the Ye Olde Pepper Companie.  There was actual candy in the dishes to the right and left of the vase.

Dogs loved the ice sculptures also.  Sophie, a 5 month old mixed breed dog, had a fun time looking for the sculptures.

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You can view the sculptures from the 2018 Salem’s So Sweet celebration here

 


Halloween 2018 (Salem, MA)

 

Date Of Visit: October 31, 2018

Location: Downtown Salem, MA

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Another year and another Halloween in Salem, MA, in the books.  Although I’ve loved s

As always, the families that dress up and visit Salem are my favorite.  I love how they all get into the spirit of the day.

 

The girl to the right dressed as a lady bug in the photo below is holding my card.  I can’t think of a better advertisement.

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There were also some famous people in Salem for the big day!

 

One thing that never ceases to amaze me are the creativity people use while designing their costumes.

 

You’re not seeing double.  These two sets of Sanders sisters dropped by for a group photo.  Seeing that the theme of this year’s Haunted Happenings was the movie Hocus Pocus (some of the scenes for this film were filmed in Salem and the nearby area) it was appropriate.

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Rapunzel let her hair down.  Literally.

 

I’ve always thought there were two Halloween celebrations in Salem.  The day time celebration, which tends to be more family friendly and the night time celebration which has a more edgier and festive atmosphere.  Also, the costumes and props often have lights that illuminate the Halloween night.

 

As usual, I saw many dogs in Salem on Halloween.

Rocky is a 5 year old pit bull mix.  His coat, one that I see very often on pit bulls, is called a Brindle.

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Cannoli is a 7 year old German Shepherd.

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Until next year, or next week, Salem.

Below is a short video from Salem during Halloween

 


2018 Pumpkin Patch Decorating Contest (Salem, MA)

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What would Halloween be like without decorated pumpkins?  That is a question I ask myself each Halloween.

 

Every Halloween I make sure to view and photograph the Pumpkin Patch.  It’s a Halloween tradition.  Yet, every year I go I am always expecting that it will not be there.  And I am sure that will be the case one year.  But, for now, the pumpkins are on display every year at Salem Common during the Halloween season.

 

Over 100 local Salem students, including some from Carlton School, Bates School, and YMCA, participate in the contest.  They are grouped by age group

Pictured below are some of my favorites.

 

The pumpkins are usually on display until Halloween.

Not only were pumpkins were dressed up for Halloween.  People and their pets were also dressed up as their favorite characters.

It turns out she really did miss the scarecrow most!  I’m glad they’re back together again. 

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I wasn’t sure who these people were dressed up as.  But, I thought they had cool costumes.  It turns out they are dressed up as characters from the television show, Dr. Who.

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Skeletor and He-Man mixed it up on the streets of Salem!

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“I’m David Pumpkins, man!”

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There were a lot of cute couples dressed to kill!

 

Sometimes the best costumes are the ones that include a group of people or family.

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I loved the face painting and hats on these costumed revelers.

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Even though this may look like a statue or decoration it is an actual person or hay person.

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These people look like they put a lot of time working on their costumes. 

 

Elvis has left Salem.

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This Lady bug is Holly, a 3year old pitbull lab mix, all the way from Nashville.

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Jerry’s Fright Fairs (Witch City Consignment, Salem, MA)

Date Of Events: October 13 and 28, 2018

Location: Witch City Consignment, 302 Essex St, Salem, MA

Highlights: art, memorabilia and other horror related items for sale

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The Witch City Consignment shop had two fairs: Freaks, Antiques And Uniques which was held October 13 and 14 and Jerry’s Fright Fairs which were held the last two weekends of the month.

The “boo-tique” specialized in art, dolls and masks among other types of horror related products.  There were two levels of vendors with dozens of artists at the shop.

Toni Gangi’s The Monkey Biz specializes in art with a twist.

Move over American Girl, Kat sells cute little dolls at Kats Creepy Creations.

There was lots of art by a variety of artists at the fair.

Oneail FX sells masks and effects for all of your Halloween needs.

The Witch City Consignment store also sold their own wares.  Everything from figurines and old magazines to holiday decorations (with a heavy emphasis on Halloween decorations of course).

The shop featured not only horror themed products.  There were also artifacts of a bygone era.

Sometimes you come across items that peak your interest, even if you wouldn’t want to buy them for your own use.  I always find things like these old photos to be so interesting.  I wonder where are these people now?  What were they really like and what is their story?

I had to take a close up of this Halloween decoration since my we had the very same decoration while I was growing up.  I wonder if it’s the same one.  It’s wonderful to think of how one random decoration can make you flush with nostalgia.

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Of course, during my visit to the fair there were lots of people and dogs in costume for Halloween.

Dogs were dressed up for the holiday as well!

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Sawyer, Super dog on the left, is an 11 year old Beagle.  Jack, dressed as Batman on the right, is a 10 year old Cavalier.

The appropriately named Lucifer is a 10 month old Siberian Husky.

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Astra is a 8 month old Samoyed.

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I met Faith, an 8 year old, Pitt Bull and American Bulldog mixed breed dog.