Top 9: The dog photos you loved most on Instagram

Annie the Maremma sheepdog lays in the grass at Fernan Lake in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

What a year it’s been.

What a good dang year.

It’s been such an amazing experience building this business of pet photography in Spokane and North Idaho. I feel forever honored and blessed every time someone chooses me to freeze in time the love they feel for their floofs, puppers and furkids. Dog lovers are a special genre of people and I am so grateful to meet each and every one of you.

Without you, I would not have gotten the attention of The Inlander, which featured me and my little growing business in its annual dog issue.

Without you, I would not have had the stories to tell on this blog platform, one of which is a finalist in one of the categories of the annual Dog Writer’s Association of America awards.

Without you, I would not have been able to fill my Instagram feed with dog photos, dog photos and more dog photos.

Which brings us to our second annual Top 9 feature. We started last year by running the Noses & Toes Instagram feed through one of the top nine apps and came up with a fun blog post, dedicated to the images you loved the most.

This year is no different. Without further adieu, here are our most popular images on Instagram in 2019.

top nine dog photos for noses and toes instagram feed

No. 1: Annie goes to Minnesota


Annie, oh my sweet Annie.

Annie had a date with euthanasia when I became part of a team to save her life. Annie, a five-year-old Mremma sheepdog, came into my life as part of a rescue mission between the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America rescue network, Help Every Little Paw in Coeur d’Alene, the Coeur d’Alene Pet Resort and Ever After Rescue and Sanctuary in Minnesota.

The rescue network and I raced to get Annie to a safe place after her owner deemed her “aggressive” and needing to be put down. I connected with Karen Hanson of Help Every Little Paw and she found us safe sanctuary for Annie at the Coeur d’Alene Pet Resort until we could arrange transportation for Annie to the sanctuary.

It was an emotional time in the Noses & Toes household but I made sure to get some great images of Annie while she was with me. This image and Annie’s story topped the top 9 for 2019.

maremma sheepdog rescued in spokane


Yes, it’s a Photoshopped image as the first couple of clicks I got of Annie were in the fenced-up side yard at the Pet Resort.

No. 2: Mocha in the snow


Mocha’s mama came to me last January, wanting to get some images of her sweet boy before he left this world. She knew Mocha’s best years were behind him and she wanted precious memories of her baby boy.

We met at Mirabeau Park on a cold, snowy day. On medication for his heart, Mocha huffed and puffed and wheezed but was determined to motor his little legs through the deep snow all on his own.

I just love this one I got of him, getting him peering into my 10-24mm wide-angle lens. It’s one of my favorites, for sure.

pomeranian mix at mirabeau


Sadly, I got a message from Mocha’s mama in July while I was in Banff, Alberta, on vacation:

“I want to thank you so much. My Mocha has passed and I have so many wonderful memories of our 15 years with him and I will never forget the day spent with you getting such great shots of him. I did not know he would do just about anything for cheese. Thank you ❣️???”

I stopped for a moment in Banff and sent Mocha a wish for safe travels to the bridge, knowing my Shep is there to greet every single one of the new residents.

No. 3: Bella at Manito Park


I have to admit something. I don’t much care for this image.

I may have overprocessed it in Photoshop. I know it violates one of my pet peeves: a horizon that badly needs to get straightened.

If you’ll excuse me for a second, I have to go beat myself up about it.

And I’m not sure I like that V of light over her head. I might go back and re-shop it to fill that in with trees.

Bella the Maremma sheepdog lays in the dandelions at Manito Park

Bella at Manito Park

No. 4: Maverick, man about town


Maverick the Corgi is one of Bella’s best friends. They make a bit of a pair when they’re out and about on hiking trails around North Idaho.

I wanted to get some more urban images and I coerced Maverick and his dad into a visit to Riverfront Park.

Every time I look at this image, I think: “Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk a woman’s man, no time to talk.”

You’re singing it now, too. I know you are.

corgi on riverfront park slide

Maverick at Riverfront Park

No. 5: A brush with fame


Oh my, this camera gets me close to some special creatures.

And the bigger the better.

I met my first Leonberger in Calgary at Tom Campbell Memorial Park where Shep and I would spend our days. Yo-Yo Paw was a big floof of a gentle giant, introducing me to this amazing breed. Whenever I see another one, I fall straight in love.

It was no different at Dogfest in Sandpoint this past July when I spied Hammy. I clicked off a series of images during the fundraiser for Canine Companions  for Independence, watching him and his mama connect in the sweetest ways.

Little did I know mama is Kris Crocker of KXLY weather fame and Hammy is so famous that he has his own Facebook page. Kris shared my post of their images on Hammy’s page and it got 162 likes over there.

The entire series posted had five or six images. Here are a few of them:

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No. 6: Oh, the humiliation


Poor Bella.

She must suffer the indignity of being a model for every little thing I want to try, whether it’s off-camera flash, a new location or a hat.

I couldn’t help bringing this Canada Pooch hat into my collection when I saw it. Now, Bella’s not posed particularly well here, nor does she look happy about it.

Sometimes, though, I really can’t blame her.

Bella the Maremma sheepdog looks humiliated with a winter hat on

Bella at Riverside State Park

No. 7: Bella at Mirabeau Park


Yay for #tongueouttuesday!

Here’s another one of Bella in the top 9. She’s posing on the rocks on Spokane River at the Centennial trailhead near Mirabeau Park.

Bella the Maremma sheepdog sticks out her tongue while posing on the rocks of Spokane River at Mirabeau trailhead

Bella at Mirabeau Park

No. 8: Bella at Hauser Lake

Now this is definitely one of my favorites of Bella for 2019.

I bit on a new camera body on Black Friday, bringing a Nikon D750 into the family. This was our first day out with it and I’m just digging the quality of the detail I get out of a full-frame camera.

Plus, Bella is smiling.

Beautiful Maremma sheepdog sits on the dock at Hauser Lake in North Idaho

Bella at Hauser Lake

No. 9: More Annie


This is more of a favorite of Annie.

While she was staying at Coeur d’Alene Pet Resort awaiting her trip to Minnesota, I visited her almost every other day. I released her from all the hugs and snuggles from the incredble staff at the boarding facility and took her out for fresh air and McDonald’s French fries.

This came from one of our days at Fernan Lake.

Look at that smile. Look at those gentle eyes.

Aggressive, my ass.

Annie the Maremma sheepdog lays in the grass at Fernan Lake in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Annie at Fernan Lake

All around the circle

There you have it.

The nine images you loved the most on Instagram.

Now, I don’t have big numbers like influencers do. I don’t really want them. I want my Noses & Toes community to stay small, local and engaged. You are, and I thank you for it.

The top nine for Instagram was an easy way to handle our last topic of 2019 in the dog photographers’ blog circle, It’s a Wrap.

Let’s go see how everyone else is closing out the year. Start with Pawparazzi Pet and Animal Photography presented by Shae Pepper Photography. Read her post and then click the link at the bottom to get to the next one.

Travel through the circle and when you land back here, you’re home.

Right where you belong.

And if you and your dog want to try to get into my 2020 top nine, get started by clicking this button that takes you to my contact page.

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