Melinda F. Schneider, Photographer
I am a lifelong dog lover. My first dog was a black cocker spaniel named Shadow who my family acquired when I was just a year and a half old. She went to live with my cousin a few years later after my mother developed an allergy to fleas!
Later, my family bought a black miniature poodle, Piaffe, who we bred to have two litters of puppies. One of those pups died of a mysterious neurological disorder shortly after she was sold.
As a child, I enjoyed obedience training with Piaffe; I liked the precision and accuracy of formal obedience. I also took horseback riding lessons from a young age and learned to love hunt seat equitation. As a teenager, I had a pony of my own, Thimble. Piaffe and Thimble were great comfort to me when my parents divorced.
As an adult, I've owned and trained a variety of dogs, mixes and purebreds. I learned a great deal while working as an adoption counselor in my local animal shelter. When I started dog agility training, I transitioned from the force-based methods I'd learned as a youth to positive reinforcement training which brings about a fun partnership between dog and handler.
At the age of 32, in 1989, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Since the cause of MS is unknown, I've wondered if there could possibly be a connection to the puppy who died? For many years, my illness was relapsing/remitting with long stretches of remission. I became very active in dog agility with my shelter mix, Peabody, who rose to the top of the competitive arena with titles under 6 different sanctioning organizations. We were quite a team! Peabody died of lymphoma in 2008 at the age of 12.
In 2011, I became significantly disabled. I decided that I would stay involved in the agility world by moving behind my camera. What you see here are the results of my change in perspective. I have found that I actually prefer canine portraiture to shooting the action. I am now available to photograph YOUR pet or child.
Please contact me to discuss your wishes.