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I love coffee. Sometimes people try to switch my coffee to decaf when I’m not looking. I can always tell the difference. I also like Pringles, but only the reduced fat kind because they crunch better when you bite into them and they don’t leave grease on your fingers. I’m…

About Me
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As part of our quest to support women’s issues, Katana Photography is excited to announce our first ever Celebrating Survival contest!
Having any kind of cancer is frightening and confusing. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Katana Photography is welcoming all survivors from all forms of cancer to participate…

Weekly Photo
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When I was looking to buy my wedding invitations (back in April), I found a lot of designers on Etsy. After narrowing it down to a couple different designs/companies, I contacted both for their pricing list. One was pretty significantly more expensive–almost $2 per invitation more. Which I think all…

Weekly Style
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When talking to people about photography, I hear one phrase over and over again: Kids and dogs are the hardest subjects to photograph.
I, personally, don’t have this problem with my clients…kids and dogs are among my favorite things to photograph. Maybe it’s because I like to have any excuse…

Weekly Puppies
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Last week, Sean and I had our morning coffee on the balcony and watched as the Enterprise shuttle was pulled down the Hudson on a tug boat. It’s on its way to the Intrepid and I can’t wait to see it up close at the museum!

Weekly Coffee

Man-Eater.

Gracie was my dog in college–she lived with me for years and was a specific breed of brindle boxer mixed with just a little bit of a-hole. Meaning: She hated men. Specifically, then men I dated. She would growl and her hair would go up. She never actually bit any guy, but it came pretty close a couple of times.

So, I knew when I moved to New York I knew it wouldn’t be a good move for her. Not only because she hated any man that came within a few feet of me, but because she was used to a yard. And space. And grass. The change would have been bad for her and even worse for my dating life. Not to mention, she loved my parents. While I was in college, it always seemed she was happiest when I was home over break. The decision was made for me: My parents would keep Gracie. I missed her (and still miss) her constantly, but it was the right decision to make. Within months, Gracie’s aggression had subsided. She still has certain people that she doesn’t like, but for the most part she’s very friendly now. NYC would have ruined her for sure.

Man-Eater.

Man-Eater.

Man-Eater.

Man-Eater.

Man-Eater.

Man-Eater.

A New Family Member

Maddie looked up at me with wet, almond eyes. “Please, Aunt Colleen.”

She didn’t even need to say another word. She could have been asking me to peel the skin off my own ass with a cheese grater and I would have said yes. I nodded and hugged her, kissing the top of her head. She smelled sweet. Like cookies and grass.

Breaking free from my grasp, she ran to her room returning soon with a piece of notebook paper and crayons. In a child-like handwriting, she scripted these words:

I, Colleen Katna, promise to care for Annie the Crayfish to the best of my abilitees. I promise not to let Red or Bebop eat her and to feed her everyday. I will also change her water once a week.

Below these words (where yes, my name was spelled wrong), I signed my John Hancock. Maddie had another crayfish (named Tom) before she bought Annie. Annie and Tom did not get along…hence the reason she had to reluctantly give Annie away. To me. The house otherwise known as “the zoo.”

You might remember Red’s obsession with fish from several months ago. He is obsessed with fish. And so when we walked in the door with Annie, he just about knocked me over trying to get his nose pressed up to the glass. In the morning, I ask Red, “What’s the fish doing?” and he charges the tank, just to get a glimpse at Annie. I even put his bed over next to the tank (which I’ve now placed eye level, just for Red) so that he can lie down next to her.

At first, I thought Maddie was overreacting with her concern about Red eating the crayfish…but now, seeing his obsession with her, Maddie might have had a point. Besides crayfish are tasty, tasty little buggers.

A New Family Member

A New Family Member

A New Family Member

An Open Wound

An Open Wound

It’s been a rough month. I’m not exactly sure where to begin–my little Luna has passed away. Also, a week after, my computer crashed and I lost all of my most recent photographs of her. They were the only thing I DIDN’T back up on my external. This Christmas Card is the last image I have of her.

The details of her passing, I still do not want to delve into.  The story itself maybe I’ll be able to talk about at a later date, but for now I just want to remember. Remember my sweet puppy who used to curl up under the covers because she would get cold at night. My dog who would lick the air compulsively if you ate something in front of her. My dog whose aim was always perfect and would always knock people in their most sensitive areas (men particularly). My dog who loved to lay out on my balcony and who when I’d sit out there with her, liked to sit in my lap to have a better view of the streets. The way she would charge the door whenever I came home and jump on me with such enthusiasm that you thought she hadn’t seen me in months.

The day she passed away, I had gotten a bad cut (um, from Luna’s teeth) on my finger. It was so deep that I was (later) told it should have had a couple of stitches. If you peeled the skin apart, you could see my bone beneath. And that first day, I just kept looking at the open wound on my finger, crying. It hurt so badly. It was bleeding, oozing. The pain was so intense that my whole finger throbbed with each beat of my heart. But each day, that finger of mine would heal just a little more. And each day, I cried just a little less. And then a couple of days ago, I looked down at my finger and noticed that it had healed. While I was out living my life–the wound had healed. There’s still a scar, of course. A mark. And there will probably always be a scar–just like there’s still that lump in my throat as I write this.

And every now and then I’ll find one of her old toys hidden somewhere (she liked to hide and bury her toys). I found her collar the other day (which she also liked to hide) and I sat down on my couch clutching it to my chest and let myself mourn her all over again.

I hate that dogs do this to me. I hate that I give my heart to every single one, just to have it crushed over and over. They give so much back in return as well, of course. And I just have to keep telling myself that Luna and I had a great, though short-lived, life. I loved her and I believe that she loved me, too. You know…in the way that a dog CAN love, that is.

And I’m sure that up there in Heaven, Luna is doing all her favorite things. Chewing a bully stick, hiding all her toys, digging enormous holes, rolling around in mud puddles and chasing (ehem, attacking) squirrels.

Patience

I’m attempting to teach Luna about patience. And what better way to do that than with sunflower seeds…her most FAVORITE SNACK IN THE WORLD. By placing the seeds one by one her nose, I made her wait to eat the rest–only, I think this was better in theory than in execution. In actuality, I don’t think she or Red even realized they had sunflower seeds on their snouts. At least not until Luna jerked her head around, not only sending seeds flying in every direction…but also knocking the bag of seeds out of my hands. Sean tackled Red to the ground and I managed to get Luna in a headlock.

Sean: (breathless from holding the Red down) Maybe we should just let them eat the seeds when they fall?

Me: No. They…(gasp)…must…(cough)…learn…(wheeze)…PATIENCE!

Just then, Luna managed to headbutt me and I had no choice but to release her from the headlock. The dogs feasted on dozens of sunflower seeds and Sean and I were lost in a sea of slobber, tongues and sniffing. So much for patience.

I imagine this is what it must feel like to have children…that is, if your children are hairy, slobbery, hyperactive messes who don’t listen to a word you say. I suddenly feel the need to call my mom and apologize…

Patience

Patience

Patience

Fisherdog

Fisherdog

Red enjoys fishing. Whenever we pull up to Sean’s parent’s lake house, the first thing he does is dive into Lake Winnepesaukee head first looking for fish. He’s never actually caught one, but the dog seriously becomes obsessed. So, today while hanging out in our neighbor’s apartment, Red noticed their fish swimming around in the pitcher. And that was it for Red…he literally did not move from this position unless the fish swam to the other side of the pitcher. Then Red would run to the other side, following it, trying to stay nose to nose. I think we should feed Red sushi…see how he likes it.

Geese!

Geese!

A couple weeks ago, the weather FINALLY started getting better. Sean and I took Red for a walk in Prospect Park and came upon this lake with a ton of geese. And as badly as Red wanted to run toward the birds at full force, we made him resist.

Until Proven

Until Proven

Is it me…or does this look like a guilty face?

Our Poor, Old Man

Our Poor, Old Man

It was about 4:00 pm on Saturday. I had just put the rest of the dirty dishes into the dishwasher when I heard a retching sound coming from the family room. I look to my right and there is Red standing over the largest pool of vomit I had ever seen. His back was arched like a cat’s and his abdomen was sucked in as if in pain. I ran to him and pulled him away from the mess, petting his head and comforting him in the process.

Little did I know that this was the beginning to a very long evening. Red did not stop getting sick until 5am the next morning. We tried everything from bland food, to milk, to water and nothing calmed his stomach. It got to the point where he couldn’t even keep down water. After hours of trial and error, we started administering water by spoonfuls at a time. One spoonful…wait 15 minutes…make sure he doesn’t throw it up, then another spoonful…wait 15 minutes…make sure he doesn’t throw up. This process over and over again until I was relatively sure he wasn’t going to dehydrate while we were sleeping, which is sadly enough what my family’s dog died of when I was in high school. At 5am, I fell asleep on the floor with my hand on Red’s chest. Every so often I’d startle awake, holding my breath and waiting for the rise and fall of his chest.

Red woke up the next morning feeling much better, but just to be sure, instead of dog food, we fed him plain oatmeal in small increments. And by the afternoon, he was bouncing around playing tug of war with Luna. I still have no idea why or what made Red so sick…maybe it was the bone I gave him earlier that day. Maybe he just had some sort of virus…but at least he’s feeling better. And now I can sterilize the apartment and attempt to get that sour vomit smell out of here. So far–unsuccessfully.

Big Tuna

Big Tuna

Luna has a lot of nicknames. Luna Belle was her original name, but I soon learned that was much too feminine and lady-like for a dog like Luna. Then, my friends at the dog park started calling her Lunatic…which turned into The Tic. We’d walk up to the park and I’d hear Michael, the owner of a sweet golden retriever, say “Uh oh…here comes The Tic!”

But the nickname that stuck the most with me was Tuna. Luna has some serious separation anxiety and for about 3 months, she just could not handle it when I left for work. She would chew everything from my dvd’s to the coffee table. One evening, I came home from work to discover that she had somehow gotten my cans of albacore tuna and punctured a hole in every one of them. Tuna juice covered my hardwood floors. From that day forward, she was Luna Tuna…or just Tuna for short.

Anyone who watches The Office might know that Jim is called Big Tuna by Andy. After seeing that episode, Luna Tuna morphed into Big Tuna.

So, I was posing Luna for this picture…only Luna’s not really used to this much attention. I kept trying to balance the can of tuna on her tummy, only Luna was really not feeling it. The can was too cold and she had to much energy. And every time she’d get up and knock the can off her stomach, I’d firmly say “No! Stay!” and place it back on her belly. This was a lot for my little autistic dog to handle and as a result, she squatted and peed. It was the first pee in the new apartment. A sacred moment. So, I settled for this image of the can of tuna at her feet.

Exhausted

Exhausted

When Luna gets tired…like, REALLY tired…this is how she sleeps. With her paws covering her face. The only thing I can figure is that the stress of the move completely tuckered her out. She slept for like 3 days straight when we got to the new place. And did so without ANY PROZAC!