A dog surfing in the ocean is not something you see everyday. This month you can visit Penelope's, at 1029 Foothill Blvd. in La Cañada, to enjoy Ann Taylor's photographs of swimming dogs.
“I'm very passionate about dogs,” said Taylor. “I've always loved animals, but mainly dogs. I just enjoy going out and photographing them.”
The photographs in the restaurant's gallery are grouped into sections by event. The dogs participate in activities from surfing to swimming and jumping. The event “Dock Dogs,” which takes place at Huntington Dog Beach, features dogs who jump from the dock to retrieve a toy thrown by their owner. Whichever dog jumps the farthest wins.
“It's great artwork. She's a really good photographer,” said Larry Moss, who owns Penelope's with wife, Penny Moss.
Taylor never studied photography but came from a family of photographers.
“People get so much from their animals,” said Taylor. “I love photographing people with their animals. All types of dogs are important to people, especially therapy dogs.”
When Taylor was in kindergarten she wanted to be a guide and trainer for seeing eye dogs.
“Now one of my future goals is to volunteer and work with dogs,” said Taylor.
Another event photographed by Taylor is the “Surf Dog A Thon” event at Del Mar Beach. Every year about 2,000 spectators attend to watch 50 dogs surf in the oceanSome dogs even wearing goggles. This event raises money for the Helen Woodward Animal Center which rescues dogs.
“The surfing dog concept is something I've never seen before. It's quite unique,” said Penelope's employee Meghan Schaetzle.
Penny says people at the combined cafe/bookstore have enjoyed looking at the photographs, which line the walls of the main dining area.
“I thought it was great when I saw the pictures. I just thought it was fun, a lot of good photography and action,” she said.
Taylor explained how the events are enjoyable for both the dogs and their owners. She shared a story about one dog who loved attention. After his owner would throw the item to retrieve off of the dock, the dog would swim to the toy but refused to get out of the water, earning much applause from the audience.
“He would just float in the middle to tease his owner,” said Taylor. “He loved being the center of attention.”
Taylor has loved the entire experience, meeting numerous people and their talented dogs. Taylor also photographs weddings, families creates pet portraits and custom designed photo books. More of her photography can be seen at www.anntaylorphotography.com.
“The way she captures the movement of the dogs is astounding,” said Penelope's employee Paolo Banaag.
Penelope's is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is also opened Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is live music Fridays and Saturdays.
For more information, call Penelope's Cafe at (818) 790-4386.