What Your Estate Planner Wishes You Knew About Protecting Your Dog!

What your estate planner wishes you knew about protecting your dog

Estate planning to protect your dog.
Protect your furry family in writing with an estate.

Every holiday there is another blog post about protecting your dog from the dangers of each season. For example, protecting your pet from candy and costumes during Halloween. But what about protecting your pet if the absolute worst thing should happen, what if something happens to you? I know it’s not something we ever want to think about but tragedies do happen and it’s our job to protect our family no matter what. So I talked to Justin Bertron from Bertron Law, an estate attorney in Denver, here’s what he had to say about protecting your pet.

1. What is something you think your clients are too hard on themselves about?

I have seen numerous clients beat themselves up for not having the “perfect family,” as if such a thing exists. Conflicts can come up in any family, for all sorts of reasons, regardless of an individual’s background. Life is complex and making estate planning decisions can be stressful, regardless of your family situation.  Establishing an estate plan that clearly defines what will be done and who will do it will minimize any potential family conflicts or stressors.”

2. What is something most people might not know about your firm or be surprised by?

People are often surprised my firm offers our services at a flat rate, instead of the traditional billable hour. We see our role as educators.  Our job is to learn about you, educate you on the various planning options, and advise you on deciding which plan is best for you.  We believe charging a flat fee helps create an environment that allows us to provide great service at a fee our clients can expect and afford.  

3. What do you wish more people knew about estate planning? 

I wish more people understood how important estate planning is, not only for you, but for your loved ones.  Generally, people do not view estate planning as a priority because it’s not something that immediately impacts them.  The problem, however, is if you do not have an estate plan when you need it, you are too late, and your loved ones will suffer because of it.  Helping clients navigate the issues of having a loved one who cannot make their own medical and financial decisions, without even basic estate planning (i.e., financial and medical powers of attorney, will, etc.), is one of the most difficult roles for an attorney.  The client must go to a court and be appointed as the incapacitated person’s guardian and/or conservator.  This is almost always very expensive, time consuming, and emotionally and physically draining.  

4. What should people definitely do, and what should they definitely avoid doing to protect their dog? 

Dogs are a part of the family, so they should they should be treated like it!  Just like parents for minor children, dog owners should name a caretaker (i.e., a family member, friend, charity, humane organization, etc.) for their pet if something happens to them.  Once you have selected a caregiver, you should discuss your wishes for your dog with them and confirm they agree to assume responsibility for your dog if something happens to you.  Also, if you have the means, you should consider setting aside funds to be used to care for your dog.  Once you’ve made these decisions it is critical you put your wishes in writing. 

The number one thing people should avoid doing to protect their dog is leaving it to chance.  I often hear, “I talked to John and he promised to take care of my pets if something happens to me,”.  As with estate plans for humans, the same holds true for your pets.  There is nothing that will guarantee your wishes for your dog will be honored, unless it is in writing and discussed with all the involved parties. Too often those verbal promises are not upheld in the way they are intended.  

5. What’s your best tip for someone trying to create a good relationship with their own estate planner?

I think it is really important to sit down with your estate planner and interview them before you decide to work with them. Estate planning is very personal, so you want to work with someone you connect with and who understands what is most important to you.  If you do not connect with an attorney, it is perfectly acceptable to find another attorney you do feel comfortable working with. In order to help our potential clients evaluate overall fit, our firm offers a no-obligation, initial meeting to discuss your family, assets, goals, and educate you about estate planning.  

Thank you Justin!



Four foolproof ways to get your dog to look at the camera and one thing not to do:

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how to get a dog’s attention when you want to take their photo. So, I’ve got a quick post just for you, four foolproof ways to get your dog to look at the camera and one thing not to do.

Use treats. Admit it, every time you pull out a dog treat your furry best friend comes running. That’s why treats are one of the best ways to get a dog to look at the camera. Just take that treat and put it right above the lens, and take the photo. Now you have a great shot of your dog looking right at the camera.

Take out the toys. Is your dog obsessed with the ball or a frisbee? Do they love the sound of a brand new squeaky toy? Grab that toy and bring it right up over your phone to grab their attention. If the toy has a squeaker in it, try to squeak the toy and then take the photo when your dog responds.

Speak in keywords. As dog owners, we know what words our dogs respond to. Usually, it’s some form of, “do you wanna?” Do you want a treat? Do you want to go for a walk? Dogs usually get pretty excited over those familiar phrases. So go ahead, use the keywords that get their attention.

Make odd noises. Odd noises are great to get a dog’s attention. So, click your tongue, make kissy noises, or knock on the table. Your dog will be curious about those new sounds. However, make sure you use the noise technique sparingly. Your dog will quickly get accustomed to you making kissy noises or knocking on the table, and flat out ignore you if you do it too much. So, don’t abuse the technique.

What’s that one thing you shouldn’t do to get your dog to look at the camera? Don’t call their name.

It happens to all of us, your dog is doing something adorable, you grab your phone to take a photo, you call their name to get them to look up suddenly your dog jumps up and comes running to you. So frustrating! But, it makes perfect sense really, you trained your dog to come to you when you call their name, they are just doing what you taught them. So, if you want them to stay where they are when you take their photo, don’t call their name.

Do me a favor, if you try one of these techniques, send me your favorite photo and let me know which technique you used or tag StinkDog Photos when you post your photo to social media.

Happy photo-taking.


Denver Pet Portraits in City Park, Denver, CO

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a portrait session with your dog?

Recently, Griffin had a pet portrait session with me in City Park. I thought I’d include most of his images so you can see the type of photos you can have taken with a dog on a leash.

Usually the thing most people worry about when wondering if they should schedule a session is that their dog won’t sit still or maybe they can’t take their dog off a leash. Griffin’s mom also worried about that before her session. I told her not to worry, I’ve been photographing dogs for 9 years now and I know I can get fantastic photos even if your dog can’t be off lead. I firmly believe a dog should act like a dog during their portrait session. It’s the best way to get fun portraits of them in my opinion.

Here’s a before and after of Griffin getting his photo taken while he’s still wearing his leash.

Before and after leash removal.
Outside pet portraits for dogs that can’t be off leash.

All of Griffin’s photos were taken with him on leash.

pet portraits in the blue hour
The blue series

Denver pet portraits
Griffin in City Park, Denver, CO.

golden hour pet portraits
Griffin during the golden hour.

A new toy for Griffin the dog.
Griffin with his new toy.

Dog and owner snuggle time
A little bonding time during Griffin’s portrait session.

Don’t let a leash stop you from getting the best portraits of your dog.




Happy Thanksgiving

There are so many things to be grateful for, a family I love with all my heart, a husband that loves to cook (cuz I don’t wanna!), friends both near and far, and all the people that support me in my crazy dream to photograph dogs. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I’m also incredibly grateful for my furry best friend, Boo Radley. Boo is a dog that makes me practice patience. He’s a dog that makes me take breaks and helps me appreciate all the little things in life. He’s grateful for cuddles and loves our family with all of his great big heart. He is the dog that makes me laugh on a daily basis. He’s got a wicked sense of humor.

I’m grateful he rescued us, and I mean that wholeheartedly! He rescued me when my heart was broken because of the loss of our first family dog, Cleo. He rescued me when my family, job, and life was changing at such a fast pace I didn’t know what to do with myself and he saves me daily from taking anything at all too seriously.

If I believe in anything at all it’s the power of a dog to love unconditionally and I’m grateful everyday to learn from them.

Reasons to be thankful for my dog
Grateful everyday for this beautiful beast called Boo.

The happiest dog ever.
Boo’s happy face.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and your furry best friends.



Follow us on Instagram to see all the fun stuff we are up to.

Tricks for Treats. Happy Halloween.

Happy Halloween!

Boo Radley came to the studio with me to help me with a Halloween photo. He was a pretty good boy since we brought his all time favorite snack, cheese.

Later I realized I should have changed the sign. It should have said, “Tricks for Treats.” That’s Boo’s motto of course. It’s probably your dog’s motto too. They all like to be paid for the work they do.

Anyhow, I just wanted to wish you and your family a fun Halloween. Looking forward to seeing all the costumes this year.


Tricks for treats, Boo's Halloween motto
Boo’s Halloween motto is tricks for treats.



PS. Looking for more fun dog photos? Check out the rest of our fall photos on Instagram.