pittsburgh dog photography

Personality Prints: Helen Volkov Behn, Founder of Spand-Ice

It is time for a new installment of Personality Prints. An interview series focusing on the bond between creatives/artists/entrepreneurs and their pets. Helen Volkov Behn is the founder of Spand-Ice, a Pittsburgh startup that is reinventing pain management. I first met Helen at a retreat for women entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh that was hosted by Propelle. I was so impressed by Helen's focus on her dream, and her drive to make it a reality. Three weeks ago she launched a Kickstarter campaign for her invention: The Revive Tank. This campaign will help Spand-Ice meet the funding needs in order to do their first manufacturing run. With the active lifestyle that I live, and all kinds of positions I put my body through during a portrait session, I am so excited for this solution to treat back pain on-the-go. Please visit the campaign page to learn more about the Revive Tank. Now, let's scroll down to get to know Helen and her pups Ziggy and Buddy. Helen Volkov Behn Spand-Ice

Tell me where you can be found. Website: http://spand-ice.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Spand_Ice FB: https://www.facebook.com/SpandICE Instagram: http://instagram.com/spand_ice Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/spandice/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/spand-ice GOogle+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/113944055559719270240/+Spand-ice/about

Tell me a little bit about your business.  Spand-Ice is a brand new form of stylish activewear + hot & cold therapy. Our product allows you to relieve muscle pain while remaining mobile and active.

Our first product, the “Revive Tank Top” focuses on helping people manage low to mid back pain that they can treat anywhere at anytime.

Our products are not only timesaving, but effective, adjustable in therapy locations and compression, easy to use (even if you’re injured), safe and attractive.

We’re reinventing pain management!

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Image from Spand-Ice Kickstarter Campaign page. 

Tell me about your pets. Buddy is 14-year-old American Field Lab. He's been around for a long time and is a ball-buster. Although he's old in age, he's young in spirit and looks at each new day with gusto!

Ziggy is a 5-year-old English Labrador Retriever. He is the calmest, most chill dog I've ever met. He even eats really slowly (for a dog). He loves to play and is a snuggle-bug. He is also a pet therapy dog at the Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. You can always find him in 9C on Thursday mornings.

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Do you and your dogs share personality traits that have helped you in life/business? Yes - Buddy's all or nothing approach may symbolize how I tackle life: with great exuberance and positive attitude. Ziggy reminds me every day to try and stop and smell the flowers, even if just for a few minutes, and it's not worth sweating the small stuff.

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How does your pets support you and or inspire you and your business? Ziggy is a big part of my business and is often featured in a lot of 'behind the scenes' shots. They remind me to keep working hard so I can afford the good dog food. They inspire me by their constant sleeping, so that one day, I may be able to do that too!Helen Volkov Behn Spand-Ice

Do you have a favorite quote that you live by? Life is a garden - dig it...Joe Dirt.

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At the end of the interview, Helen's husband Bernhard joined us for a few family photos. Love these guys!

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Millie | Pittsburgh Pet Photography

Helen never grew up with a pet, so when she and Don went to “just look” it really wasn't just looking. They were smitten - love at first sight. They wanted a bully because of their sweet personality and gentle demeanor and as it turns out, Millie is all of that and so much more. Millie is a sassypants! She loves to warm her tush against the heater, lick their bowls at the end of a meal, and well… sometimes she’s the one walking them.

Millie speaks in “lol” language, sending messages to Helen’s students at CMU. Basically… Millie is a campus superstar. She loves the attention, loves people and will do anything to be pet by those around her.

As Helen replied to my getting to know you questionnaire Millie was snuggling (read spread all over them) on the coach, snoring on dad, paws pushed up against mom.

“At the end of the day, she is the love of our lives. She brings humor to every moment of our lives, whether its stealing underwear and making us chase her around the house, or wedging herself in spaces where she just can’t fit… her wrinkly, stuck-out tongue, goofiness is why we laugh so much more every day than we ever did. Life PM (pre-Millie) was never as colorful, snuggly, and active as it is today.”

Here are a few favorites from their session at the CMU campus.

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Want to capture the personality of your pet, and the bond that you share? My calendar for 2014 is now open. Book today.

Luke & Leia

Let's say you have the opportunity to photograph a puppy. It is heaven. Well, when you have the chance to photograph two puppies at the same time with the best names ever?!? Mind blown. :) Luke on the right is so darn cute with his fluffy fur. Leia is just as happy as can be, loved modeling for the camera, and was showing off her mad stick collecting skills. Thank you Jamie and Jake for bringing your fur babies to Frick Park for a portrait session in the evening sun.

 

Bark Shadyside

Today Bark Shadyside's kick-off pup walk was hosted by Petagogy and Think Shadyside. Despite the cold April weather 169 dogs participated which resulted in over $1800 raised for the Animal Rescue League. I met so many adorable dogs during the 1-mile walk along Ellsworth Ave, Spahr St, and Walnut St. They were all smiling and having a great time. Enjoy the photos.

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