Santa Paws Visits Dogs Trust

Santa Paws paid his annual visit to Dogs Trust West Calder Christmas Market on Sunday, 9th December.  The centre was overwhelmed with dog and human visitors hoping to meet the jolly old elf, and donate toys and treats for dogs at the centre, still waiting to be adopted.

Barking Cat was delighted to be there to photograph the visits with Santa, and here is a wee sample.

For those who came along, a full gallery of images can be found here, where you can choose a picture to download from the day for FREE.

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The images should be an appropriate size and resolution for sharing on social media, blogs, emailing or small prints.  Please only use them for non-commercial purposes.  If you share these online, we would be grateful for a tag on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  For more information on use, please visit this page.

If your pictures include young people under 16, these have been uploaded to a private gallery.  Please complete the short form at the bottom of the page and we’ll email you a link to view and choose an image, as above.  Please also see our policy on Photographing Children and Young People.

Santa was SO busy on Sunday, he had to bring in a helper Santa for a second photo booth, so Dogs Trust West Calder will let you know directly how to get your picture taken by lovely Emma from the team.

A huge thank you to all the volunteers and staff at Dogs Trust West Calder for organising such a lovely community event and to all those who came along to support the centre with donations.


If your photos included a young person under 16 and you’ve not yet received an email link to your private gallery, please complete the form below.  Thanks.

Santa Paws in Tranent!

We were delighted to join in the festive celebrations at Tranent Pet Supplies on 3rd December when Santa Paws came to see all the good dog girls and boys!

With mulled (non-alcoholic) wine and shortbread to warm the humans and tasty treats for all the doggos, it was a fun community event, raising funds for Blooming Belters for Tranent’s flower display next year.

Here are some of the delightful dogs who came along.

Thank you Grant, Jim and Natasha for having us along and look forward to working with all of you again soon!


Canicross at Foxlake, 18 November 2018

We were delighted to photograph the Cani-Sports Edinburgh event at Foxlake Adventures near Dunbar on Sunday.

Below are just a few of the 200+ photos from the event.  We hope you like them!  To view all the photos from the event, follow this link to our gallery site.

You can also download digital images (lightly watermarked) for personal use (social media, blogs, emailing, etc.) from the gallery for FREE.

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You can also purchase non-watermarked images, prints and other items from the gallery, either via the Bulk Order button as above, or by clicking the image and ordering from the Select… box underneath it.

If you share the pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, we’d be grateful for a tag.  Thanks!

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Fun Day for Milo Collie

Handsome Milo

Dozens of lovely pooches and their people came along to a Fun Day at Carefree Canines in Prestonpans on Saturday, 9th June.  The event was to raise funds for Milo, a young collie, to have a second operation to correct a serious problem with his hip.

The day featured a fun dog show, games, treats and the Barking Cat pop up studio.  We also managed to take a few candid shots from this lovely community event, which raised over £1000 toward’s Milo’s surgery.

A huge thanks to Carefree Canines for organising and hosting the day and to everyone who donated raffle prizes, time and funds.

The family would welcome further donations and help with raising funds.  They’ve set up a Go Fund Me page here so please do donate and share if you can.

Feel free to share pictures from this page.  Just please don’t alter them or remove the water marks and where possible, please include a link to  (There is more information on usage here.)  Also, it would be great to include a link to Milo Collie’s Go Fund Me page (see above.)

If you’d like prints from any of the images, just get in touch.  Thanks.






Chihuahua Cafe

What better way to beat the summer heat than a cuppa with some of the coolest and cuddliest critters around?

The human members of the Barking Cat crew joined eight delightful, tiny hostesses and some quite lovely people for the Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe‘s inaugural puppy cream tea party at the Melting Pot in Edinburgh.

The cafe hopes to find a permanent home later this year, but for now, is holding weekend pop up sessions at the Melting Pot to give folks a taste of the delights to come.

Cafe founder, Tanya Salitura, caught the chihuahua bug four years ago with her first chi puppy, beautiful long haired Ama, who was also “flower girl” in her wedding.  Since then, the couple have gradually added to their pack with Bee, Cleo, Duchess, Elsa, Faery, Gatsby and Hepburn.  You can follow their adventures on Instagram and Facebook.

The cafe draws on animal cafes of Japan and South East Asia, which have more recently become popular in the UK, like Maison de Moggy in Edinburgh and Mog on the Tyne in Newcastle.  However, this will be the first dog cafe in Scotland.

Although we thoroughly enjoyed the drinks and delicious scones, let’s face it, we were all there for the cute puppy antics!  The very well-mannered, tiny pack spent the time doing what little dogs like to do – playing, being cuddled, snoozing and giving lots of slurpy kisses, much to the delight of all the guests.

Animal cafes give those unable to have pets of their own to share some cuddle time and give people considering adoption a chance to get “up close and personal” with animals.

For some of us, it’s just lovely to snuggle and play with OPPs (Other People’s Pets).    Shhhhhhhh . . . don’t tell #MsEllaChihuahua and #CharliePapillon!  🙂

Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe is offering several more weekend pop up Puppy Cream Teas throughout the summer.  Find out more here.

Many thanks Tanya and everyone for a lovely time and hope to see you again soon!

If you would like to give a forever home to a chihuahua or other small dog, contact Many Tears Animal Rescue (this is where we adopted Ella from), Chihuahua Rescue UK or the Little Dog Rescue.

Enjoy a few snaps from our visit.  Click to enlarge and watch as a slide show.





Alpaca Trek

We were fortunate between Christmas and New Years to take part in a festive alpaca trek through Pentland Hills Regional Park organised by Bobcat Alpacas.  What a fantastic time we had!

Bob and Cath (hence the name “Bobcat”) were completely new to livestock rearing when they started out last year on 12 acres of land in Bonaly, just south of the City of Edinburgh Bypass.  After acquiring a small group of males and females, they began a breeding programme, producing several young “cria.”

It’s hard not to fall in love with such a big, soft, faintly goofy looking animal.  They are very gentle, tolerant and affectionate, if a wee bit stubborn.  Walking with lead alpaca Petros, meant setting the pace – always some version of “slow.”

The start of the trek involved quite a bit of coaxing and plenty of stops to graze on tasty foliage beside the roads and paths.  But stops also meant time for cuddles, taking in the views and of course photographs of these amazingly photogenic creatures.

Throughout the walk, Bob provided plenty of interesting information about alpacas – their history, uses, introduction to the UK, breeding, personalities and diet.

I hadn’t realised that the original alpaca were hybrids bred over 2000 years ago to bring together the biddable nature of the llama and the exquisite fleece of the vicuña.  The result is a delightful animal that produces some of the most versatile, hypoallergenic fibres in the world.  Alpaca wool is a dream for knitting.

Bobcat Alpacas is committed to breeding and showing quality alpaca to enhance the 40,000 strong UK herd.  They are also involved in activities to educate people of all ages and in all settings about alpaca.  This includes visits to the farm, alpaca treks and alpaca visiting outside events.  Some of the herd serve as therapy animals for stressed students at university.

So, if you’re looking for a different kind of day out without travelling too far from Scotland’s capital, enjoy a pleasant walk with the herd.  Thank you Bob, Cath and the herd for a lovely afternoon.

Click on the pictures above and below to enlarge and view as a slide show.

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Meet Santa Paws

Santa Paws is coming to Dogs Trust West Calder! Bring your pooch along to meet him and join in the festive fun.

Bring a toy or treats for one of the dogs at the centre to enjoy on Christmas day.  Barking Cat Pet Photography will be there to take your pupper’s picture with Santa!

Treats and toys are so important for helping dogs exercise, relax, learn and prepare for moving to their forever homes. Your gift can make a real difference to a dog’s future.

Find out more about Dogs Trust West Calder, and the dogs there waiting for their forever homes here.
Santa Paws at Dogs Trust West CalderShare the Santa Paws event page on Facebook, and remember to follow the Dogs Trust campaign on Twitter – #GiveSocksNotDogs #SocksTrust


Therapet Awards 2016

Therapets and Therapet Volunteers from all over Scotland gathered at the Kaim Park Hotel in Bathgate on 20th November for the annual Canine Concern Scotland Trust Therapet of the Year Dinner and Awards Ceremony, Sponsored by Burns Pet Nutrition.

1Megan, a ten year old rescue greyhound, who volunteers with Linda Whitby if Irvine was given the Spencer Award as Therapet of the Year 2016.  Megan and Linda regularly visit hospitals and care homes in Ayrshire, participate in the Reading with Dogs programme in schools, help people overcome their fear of dogs and often visit community groups together to promote the Therapet programme.

Joint First Runners Up for Therapet of the year were Dylan and Anne-Marie Campbell and Scruffy and Elspeth Jenkins, both of Stirlingshire for their work volunteering in Bannockburn Primary for Reading With Dogs, involvement in Paws Against Stress and promoting Therapet volunteering at community events. Second Runner Up was Breagh and Dianne Wood from Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, for their involvement in Reading with Dogs, work with dog-phobic children and involvement in Paws Against Stress.

Maureen Thomson of Moray was winner of the Area Representative of the Year award.  Having joined as a therapet volunteer in 1997, she has served as area representative since 2002, supporting and encouraging volunteers in the area and supporting fundraising and promotion of Therapets in the region.

Megan - winner of the Spencer Award for Therapet of the Year 2016
Megan – winner of the Spencer Award for Therapet of the Year 2016

The Iain Whyte Memorial Award, for a person or organisation whose work has been of special benefit to CCST, was awarded to Douglas Ruthven, Area Representative for Edinbugh and the Lothians for 16 years.  He recently stepped down from the role, having demonstrated dedication in supporting volunteers, arranging placements in hospitals, care and nursing homes and serving as a Trustee for CCST.  In 2012, he initiated the Paws Against Stress programme in conjunction with University of Edinburgh Student Counselling Service, enabling students to benefit from contact with a Therapet during exam time.  The project has expanded all over Scotland with more than 5000 students benefiting in 2015.  Douglas will remain on the Trustee Board and as a Therapet Volunteer.

Vivien Moen, Area Representative for Badenoch and Strathspey, was again winner if the Ki-Shu-Asha Stars of Hope Memorial Trophy for organising the therapet walk raising the most money.  This year, her walk raised £772.

Both Anne MacDonald of Barrhead in Glasgow and Irene Taylor of Lunan Bay, Angus, received recognition for 20 years service as Therapet Volunteers.

Recognition was given to other entrants for the Therapet of the Year awards including Bob and Dawn Clough, Coire and Tom Lawson, Harvey and Derek Muir, Kyla and Hilda Stephenson, Lucy and Cree and Kay Matthews, Noodle and Amy McKenzie, Sandy and Jane Jones, Scooby and Barbara MacLure, Shadow and Bryan Robertson, Thai and David Neill and Wilson and Laura Budge.

Further information on the awards and the work of Canine Concern Scotland Trust can be found on the CCST website.

Feel free to browse and share photos from the event on social media or websites.

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Have-A-Go Agility

DTWC Agility, 15 May 16, 33Dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages, and their humans, enjoyed an afternoon of fun at the Dogs Trust West Calder “Have-a-go” agility session on Sunday, 15th May.

Many participants were former residents who’d found their forever homes through Dogs Trust.

Garry Lee, former flyball and agility champion and Crufts winner, and Canine Carers trainer for Dogs Trust, was on hand to put the pooches through their paces.

Agility is great for physical fitness and mental stimulation, both for dogs and their humans, and it’s fun. Dogs Trust are hoping to start an agility group in the near future, so get in touch with the West Calder Centre if interested.

We had a fantastic time, meeting and snapping all the lovely people and dugs.  Thank you Dogs Trust for the opportunity to volunteer as photographer for this lovely day.

Click on the thumbnails below to see larger versions of the photos and view them as a slideshow.  Please follow this link if you would like to order prints of the event.  If ordered by Friday, 27th May postage is FREE.  

(All images remain copyright of the photographer, but feel free to share them for non-commercial purposes on social media or via email.  Please see the copyright notice for information on use.  Thanks!)

Cameo Cinema EDCH Fundraiser

Cake, music, good company and of course gorgeous dogs of all shapes and sizes were to be found at the Cameo Cinema Bar fundraising afternoon on Sunday, 8th May, in support of Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home (EDCH).

Staff of the Cameo pushed the boat out with a lovely stand of homemade cakes and cookies and organising a raffle with proceeds to EDCH.

A team of lovely volunteers from EDCH were on hand to talk about dogs and cats looking for their forever homes and the adoption process.  They also gave out tasty bone treats to all the canine guests.

We enjoyed photographing all the pups and their people and especially finding out their stories.  It’s so humbling to see how dogs that have suffered abuse or abandonment, were strays, have been bereaved, have faced health challenges, etc. still have such capacity for love, affection and companionship.

A huge thank you to the team at the Cameo, the fantastic folks from EDCH and everyone who came along to support the event.

Hope you enjoy our snaps from this uplifting day. Feel free to share for personal use on social media, emailing, etc., but please read our copyright notice here:  © Barking Cat Pet Photography.

If you’d like prints from any of these, get in touch and we can pop them in a gallery for direct ordering.  Thanks!