For years, I schelped my quasi-willing but a good sport, dog Victor to many photoshoots every holiday season. It was a highlight for me to support rescues and coo over Victor, trying to get him to look in the camera while he starred back at me with that ‘Really, mom. Again’ expression.
Evidence of our annual excursions are all over dogtrotting.net, including here.
So, after losing Victor in July 2020, I looked forward to continuing the tradition with Victoria, my new Sprocker (see here) named in his honour. This was the year I’d take an enthusiastic (albeit more clueless) 10-month old puppy, Victoria to document her first Christmas.
You know what happened: Cancellation after cancellation. 2020 was definitely not the year of the fundraiser, or festival, or anything really.
But one canine Christmas fundraiser organized near me prevailed and held a scaled down, scheduled, and socially-distanced photoshoot in a farmer’s field behind the Punch Bowl Market and Bakery in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada.
Victoria was the second pup up. And guess what? Did she sit pretty allowing her beautiful freckled face to be photographed professionally?
Not a chance.
She leapt off the red-blanketed podium immediately and clamoured all over photographer Greg Franklin laying on the ground. (Why else was he there, right?). She barely stood still for a second.
Somehow, amid the puppy pandemonium, Franklin achieved these amazing photos, capturing the budding personality of the next social media superstar! (At least in my view).
The photoshoot was a fundraiser for Animal Angel Rescue Foundation (AARF). Since 1998, AARF has rescued, rehabilitate, and re-home abandoned animals including the most extreme medical cases that require long term vet care. We’ve supported AARF before; check it out here.
- TRAVEL GUIDE: If you happened to be in the area of the Punch Bowl Market, 136 Ridge Road, Stoney Creek, Ontario, don’t miss the chance to check out an impressive waterfall and view of Hamilton, Ontario, almost across the street. The Devil’s Punch Bowl is actually two waterfalls: The Upper Falls is a 33.8 metre ribbon of water falling straight down a naturally created cylinder of rock. The Lower Falls is a 5.5 metre of classical waterfall, meandering down the Niagara Escarpment.
- The site, run by The Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Authority, is part of the Dofasco 2000 11.5-kilometre trail through Stoney Creek. If you want to hike a large part of the trail, park at Battlefield House and Park at the base of the escarpment for free and walk up. (You’ll need a good hour or more).
- Or, like Victoria and myself after the photoshoot, park for $5 at the Ridge Road small parking lot to see the falls and take in the city view from the observation deck. If you’re visiting between April and Christmas Eve, the Punch Bowl Market and Bakery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. The market is one side old-fashion general store and other side family-run bakery with every cookie, pie, loaf bread, bagel, tart, doughnut, you can think of – and even frozen meals and soups. I left with three bags of goodies and one slightly tired little puppy.