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Dog Photographer Erin Vey bio picture

Meet Erin Vey

I am a dog lover first.

A photographer second.

By some random chance of fate, I was able to combine the two loves into the coolest job ever: A Dog Photographer

I grew up in a family where dogs were always an integral part of our lives and most importantly, members of the family. Most of my childhood was spent with various Basset Hounds of the lovable but extremely stubborn variety. We never had less than 2 at any given time, sometimes 3, and the occasional stray that one of us would bring home for a visit.

After a short stint doing portrait work, which I still love, I realized my true calling is capturing the essence and personality of dogs. Upon reflection, I feel that my time doing portrait work was not wasted. Because of it, my experience with portrait work flows beautifully into working with people and their dogs.

My husband and I are owned by the fabulous Miss Gracie, a 5 year old Great Dane who brings energy and life into our house. You’ll see her around here a lot, she loves having her portrait taken (at least I like to think so).  She is a complete Diva and if you stick around long enough, you'll know what I'm talking about!

What an amazing adventure this has been so far. I’m so glad you are here experiencing it with me.


If you’ve been reading my blog over the last few months, you already know that Gracie bloated at the end of February. We are still very thankful that she survived and is now fully recovered.

As I talked to people both online and in person, I was shocked at how many people had no idea what it was. I felt like I wanted to do my part to put together something about bloat that could be sent out and shared.

In the last month, I personally know 2 dogs that have passed away from Bloat. I can’t stress enough how deadly it is and something that should be taken very seriously. Luckily there are some very distinct warning signs and ways you can prepare should it ever happen.

One of the things I didn’t know is that Bloat tends to occur when there is a change or disruption in the daily routine. The most common case is when owner’s go out of town. Not only should you have an action plan in place for yourself, but if you leave town and your dog is in the care of someone else, make sure they are aware of the signs and have a 24/7 animal hospital number close by.

I was so close to the information that I had a hard time wrapping my head around how to convey it. So I asked my friend (and awesome Graphic Designer) Buzz to help put something together that was easy on the eyes yet informational. I gave him the info and let him go to work. I think he did such an awesome job!

I really want to encourage everyone to download the PDF and share it with at least one fellow dog owner. The internet is an amazing resource and you never know when one simple action might help to save the life of a dog. If for nothing else, do it for Miss Gracie!

[ Download the PDF on Bloat here! ]

Updated: Bloat surgery is not cheap. Ours set us back about $3,500. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to decide the fate of your dog based on cost, bookmark CareCredit as a potential financial resource!

brooke - reading this little handout, i thought an elevated bowl was better for danes to prevent bloat... am i mistaken?

Alison - The PDF doesn't seem to exist at that link??? Help!

Alison - We have a weimaraner and the thought of bloat terrifies me. A great blog post and PDF. Thanks.

Leanne - I just so happened to come across your website, and I saw this post. Ironically, my sisters Dobie "Phoenix" died exactly one year ago today from this very same thing. She had the surgery and did well for about 3 days, but finally gave out, she was 12. So, just wanted to say that your post is very thoughtful and very informed:). Your pictures are gorgeous!!

Cat, Chaps and Emma - This is my website information about bloat.

katie clay - Erin, this is so awesome. I knew about bloat before Gracie got sick because it is so common in Newfs, but ever since I read her story, I've tried to learn more. Thanks so much for this amazing PDF. I'll print it out two copies - one for me and the other for my boarder.

tammy white - Having 4 great danes of my own, I love looking at your pictures of Gracie. When I saw this post I felt the need to share a very informative website. I constantly go to this site to learn more about my danes. It is GREATDANELADY.COM. She has several articles regarding bloat and it's cause. Bloat isn't just a big dig problem, it can occur in bassett hounds too. I hope you find this information helpful.

Kristi - Erin! Thank you so much for this! I did not realize that Gracie had been very happy to hear that she is on the mend. I had never heard of this condition until last night while watching Marley and ironic that I then read about it here today. I am so very glad to hear of this as I am currently doing several things wrong with my giant schnauzer, not the least of which is feeding her in a somewhat elevated bowl, and leaving her water accessible at all times of day completely unsupervised. This is going to change today! thank you so much. I plan to repost this on my blog if that is alright with you.

Jessica, NL - Hi, I enjoyed all the wonderful photo's for a while and do not often respond, but this topic is so important! I have smaller dogs but still look out for this when I'm taking care of them, but to learn it is often just when you are not there yourself is a big thing, thank you so much. What I did hear once (I'll check it later, could not find it right away) from someone with a Great Dane and a big distance to the nearest vet, is that her stomach was on one side attatched to her side, to keep it from overturning... Not something to do for all dogs all the time but something to consider in special occasions maybe?

Claire - thanks for this, erin. i have rhodesian ridgebacks, who can also get bloat and i ALWAYS worry when i go out of town. i usually just write something up myself, but now i have something i can print out and put on the fridge--something that is actually aesthetically pleasing, too!

Sandra - The tendency to bloat is genetic and one of the underlying causes is anxiety. Some dogs appear to be quite stoic and hide this anxiety. Elevated feeding is now thought to contribute to bloating. Here's a great link about bloating:

Linda@LimeintheCocon - What a great public service! Two of our Danes had bloat, both succesful surgery. It is scary and happens FAST. I'll be printing and handing out..

Kim - holy. im an owner of a 12yo weim. ive always had bloat in the back of my mind. i just thank you for the refresher as i hadnt thought about it in a while. i too thought elevated bowls were good (we have one, he is tall) which made me read your comments i see its up in the air. how about spacing the meals into 2 instead of 1 (i know you're not a doctor) as our vet always suggested early on? the thing that alarms me is our richter has acted "oddly" over the past yr which the vet sees no alarm for and i NOW chalk it up to being old(er) but his symptoms sometimes are your "signs"... esp the first one. :( bloat sucks.


katycoffey - Thanks so much for sharing this. My first dog passed away from bloat when I was about 8 years old. I had no idea that it often occurs when there is a change in daily routine - but my family was on vacation (with our dog) at the time. Again - thanks for sharing, this is a great resource!

Mandi Kehoe (aka greatdaneaddict) - Kayla, here is my philosophy on raised feeding. Just make sure your dog is comfortable while eating. If he wants to eat off the floor, let him eat off the floor. I think being comfortable while you eat is most important, be it off the floor or at chest level. Not what exact height the bowl is at. But just my opinion. :) Comfort is key I think?

Erin - This document does not replace additional research and consultation with your vet. You have to make the right decision for you and what the professionals say. It really is such a hard topic because the cause is unknown. For Gracie, she had done 5 days of intensive exercise, came home and ate really fast. But she has done this before with no bloat. In the end, go with your gut.

Kayla - Okay I see your comment below.. Sorry about that... I will try it at 1 ft.. He is a really tall Big Boy will that matter. Our Vet was Pro Elevated Bowls but now I am worried.

Kayla - I have a year old Great Dane Named Romeo. We were always told to make sure his food is Chest Level. Are you saying this is False.. If so what height should it be at? I notice him constantly taking food from his bowl to eat off the Floor. Thank you

Erin - Mandi: I'm on the fence about elevated food bowls as well but is the prevailing info that is out there. We still have Gracie's bowl elevated. Our vet said that he really doesn't like to see it higher than 1 foot.

Michelle in SF - I am always worrying about my little man bloating...I am going to print this out to give to anyone that I leave him with when we go away. My heart breaks just thinking about something so awful happening to him when we're not around to notice it. Too few people are aware that this can happen - thanks very much for getting this info out.

Kate - Great job of "friend"ing up the info on the dangerous condition of Bloat! 1 telling 2 ~ telling 4 ~ telling 8 ~ telling 16 ~ and so on and so on . . . way to get it out there!! I appreciate you!

Mandi Kehoe (aka greatdaneaddict) - Not so sure I agree with not using elevated food bowls. I don't think that has anything to do with bloat. I saved Zoey from bloat. But something else happened to her stomach and she had to be put to sleep 5 days later. I am still in agony. I really wish there were more answers surrounding this awful problem.

Annie - great idea! i am constantly thinking/worried about this for my dogs. i will definitely pass this around!

alexis - Sorry to hear you had to go thru that with your dog, that must have been so scary. I was aware of it but didn't know the warning signs; just the steps to prevent it. I think no matter what size dog you have everyone should know about it!

scott neumyer - We had to put the first dog I ever had (years ago) down because of Bloat. She was old and on the way out anyway, but it was still sad. :(

Jennie - Thanks so much for the information. I will definitly share! I was actually not aware that you shouldn't use elevated food bowls. Bear isn't a breed that commonly bloats like the types you listed, but I've heard of a poodle bloating, so I'm sure going to be careful. I'm so glad to hear that Gracie is fully recovered.

Jess Kamm - Thanks for sharing this information with Bullmastiff died of Bloat several years ago when we were out of town. It's something every large dog owner needs to know about!!

Becky - Thanks for sharing Erin. We had cows bloat when we were little. But with a cow it seems to be a little different.

Nicole - Thank you thank you thank you for taking the initiative to get this up and posted! I'll share it everywhere.

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