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"When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem." —Edward Abbet

These Are The Pets of Our Lives Meet The IN's Beloved Staff Pets

In general, the IN staff are pet people. It's not a requirement for getting hired or anything, it just sort of worked out that way. Our mutual love for our pets fuels a lot of our office banter most mornings and served as the primary inspiration for putting together this Pet Issue. So, of course, we had to take up some time (and valuable page space) and show some love to our personal pets. And yes, we did take professional studio photos of each pet, so if you know any of us personally get ready to see these photos again and again on Facebook, holiday cards and maybe even a coffee mug or two… Photos by Samantha Crooke

My name is: Tucker My mom is: Joani Delezen, Production/Website/Advertising Manger & A&E Editor She loves me because: I've got those classic puppy dog eyes. How I spend my time: Watching “The Newsroom” on HBO, napping and playing tug of war with my main man Forrest. My best trick is: My "gimme a treat" dance that includes spinning around and dropping it low. I'm also real gassy—it's not a trick per se, but it does entertain Joani from time to time. I don't always get treats, but when I do I like: Turkey bacon

My name is: Sake My mom is: Samantha Crooke, Art Director & Photographer She loves me because: I give everyone kisses on the mouth, even strangers. How I spend my time: Plotting ways to sneak food from my human baby brother, Donovan. My best trick is: Catching bubbles mid-air. I don't always get treats, but when I do I like: Please, I get treats all the time, but ice is my all time favorite.

My name is: Elvis My sister is: Jennie McKeon, Staff Writer & Office Manager She loves me because: I let her hold me up like Simba in "The Lion King" How I spend my time: Flirting My best trick is: I can do aerobics. I don't always get treats, but when I do I like: Anything in sight

My name is: Charlie My dad is: Ed Banacia, Freelance A&E Columnist He loves me because: I dig beautiful holes in the backyard. They're works of art really, but also functional storage space for his flip-flops. I'm so thoughtful.  How I spend my time: Well, when I'm not digging those holes he loves, I'm usually scouting around for something to eat. I like to taste everything my dad eats, just to make sure it’s good enough for him.  My best trick is: Retrieving things. Duh. I don't always get treats, but when I do I like: BACON!

My name is: Marlin (named after a White Marlin) My mom is: Kate Peterson, Freelance A&E Writer She loves me because: I'm courteous and loving, and just want to be in your lap How I spend my time: Chillin', going to the camp and swimming in the river My best trick is: Giving a high five I don't always get treats, but when I do I like: Fresh Yellowfin Tuna scraps (but really, I get 'em all the time)

My name is: Baby Red My mom is: Hana Frenette, Freelance A&E Writer She loves me because: I try to sleep on her head at night and I'm really cute. How I spend my time: Lounging atop bookcases, attacking anything with feathers on it, and hiding in shoeboxes and laundry baskets My best trick is: Jumping really high and biting people a little when they pet my belly I don't always get treats, but when I do I like: Turkey, from the deli. None of that prepackaged crap.

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Pictures (and Painted Portraits) Really Are Worth 1,000 Words

The only thing better than taking an adorable photo of your pet is showing off said adorable photo on Facebook. But anyone who has ever owned a pet and tried to capture their cuteness can tell you that it's not as easy as it sounds. So if you're going to subject your friends, family and co-workers to regular pet updates or holiday cards with their mug on it, we suggest you look into getting some good photos taken. Or maybe even a professional portrait painted. Or both.

PET PHOTOGRAPHY

If you're tired of your dog looking away every time you pull out your iPhone, it might be time to enlist the help of a pro to get some good photos.

ALLISON SHAMRELL My name is: Mouse My mom is: Hana Frenette, Freelance A&E Writer She loves me because: She has to. And I have a pretty spotted coat. How I spend my time: Eating, even things that aren't food, and sleeping. Especially on coats or things that look expensive. My best trick is: Knocking everything off the coffee table at once. I don't always get treats, but when I do I like: Cat Nip!

My name is: Lucy My mom is: Ashley McLain, Copy Editor  She loves me because: I'm the best wingwoman and no one is as sweet as me.  How I spend my time: Visiting the grandparents, patrolling for cats, and going on weekend car rides.  My best trick is: Giving hugs. I also do a mean helicopter-tail.  I don't always get treats, but when I do I like: Anything fancy from 3 Dogs and a Chick in Ft. Walton Beach. Or just plain ol' bones—I'm an easygoing pup. 

One quick romp around Allison's blog and you'll be asking yourself "Why don't I have professional photos of my dog yet?" She does natural light, on-location sessions and studio quality photos. allisonshamrell.com

BARE FOOT SNAPSHOTS

Wedding and portrait photographers who also take on the tough task of pet photography. Check out their site for a slideshow sample of their work. barefootsnapshots.com

PET PORTRAITS

If you really want to go all out and immortalize your pet in style, how about a custom portrait? We were surprised by how many local artists we found that offer this service once we started looking.

HEATHER MITCHELL FINE ART

All you need to commission a portrait of your beloved pet from Heather is a good snapshot and deposit. She's got work on display at Blue Morning Gallery so you can check out her style there to see if it's what you're looking for. heathermitchelldraws.fineartstudioonline.com

KATE OWENS

Kate does oil and pastel pet art commissions. She also does cartoon style prints and caricatures of dogs. You can find her at The Spotted Dog Pet Boutique and Bakery Sept. 14 for Gallery Night. kateowensstudio.com

KATHERINE JOLINE TUCKER My name is: Sammy  My mom is: Sarah Kathleen McCartan, Freelance A&E Writer She loves me because: It's no secret she loves blondies. But I think it's mainly because I am the cutest, cuddliest Craigslist find ever and have a heart of gold. I've even been told I look like a muppet. Oh, and my ears blow in the wind. How I spend my time: I like taking all of my stuffed animals outside at once and running laps in the yard with them. I also enjoy cruising through the drive-thru at the Rave Starbucks for some treats and attention from my favorite baristas.  My best trick is: Sure, I'll sit and shake and jump and flip, but who doesn't these days? Not sure how tricky it is, but I do like to sit with Sarah while she plays piano; I put my paws on the keys and sing along. I don't always get treats, but when I do I like: What do you mean I don't always get treats? Of course I do! I even get to go to the store to pick them out. Since I love peanut butter just as much as my mom does and eating healthy is important to me, my favorite treats are Oven Baked All Natural Peanut Butter Biscuits by Three Dog Bakery.  August 23, 2012

My name is: Ubu     My dad is: Jeremy Morrison, Staff Writer He loves me because: I’ve taught him some good stuff. How I spend my time: Exploring, barking and sleeping My best trick is: When I was young I liked to wrestle, now I flip biscuits off my nose. I don't always get treats, but when I do I like: Pasta, burgers, chicken vindaloo—whatever’s leftover from the dinner table.

"If your dog doesn't like someone you probably shouldn't either." - Unknown

Caricatures or sketches from your pet's photos, available in 8x10 and 5x7 prints, note cards, greeting cards, memo sets, and bookmarks. katherinejoline.com

LOREN MILLER ART

Fine art and commission portraits facebook.com/lorenmillerfineart

RED HOT KITTIES

Painted by hand by Mary W. Smith. They also offer custom pet memorial pendants. redhotkitties.com

OR DO IT YOURSELF

For the fun-loving, hands on pet owner, Painting With A Twist offers a class called "Paint Your Pet." The next one is Saturday, Sept. 29 3-6 p.m. The classes are pretty popular and have been known to sell out, so early registration is encouraged. "Paint Your Pet" can also be done as a private party with a minimum of 10 painters and a maximum of 15. paintingwithatwist.com/pensacola 13


Staff Pets