Sheepish photographer goes to the dogs

animal rescue, dogs, photography, vermont

A show of my own

Fayston, Vermont. I am pleased to announce that I will be holding a pop-up photo show at Product Think Tank in Waitsfield, Vermont on Sunday, October 7 from 2-5 pm. “A Sheep Show: Photography by Rebecca Silbernagel” features photo portraits of sheep, along with a few cows, butterflies, and the local landscape. Also debuting will be my awesome line of greeting cards, which include one of each of my dogs. Product Think Tank is located in the Mad River Green Shopping Center, next to the Waitsfield Post Office.

Sometimes, things just happen. Several months ago, a friend of mine opened up a boutique of knitwear she designed. She asked me if I had any photos of sheep she could display with her lovely wool knits. Thanks to one of my readers who invited me to her sheep farm a couple of years ago, I did. But the prints I made were 8 x 10 (smallish), and I only made two if them. Would you like me to take more photos, I asked my friend. That’s when she had the idea for a pop-up sheep show, and I realized that I had a summer project.

If you are in Vermont, I hope you will stop by and say “Hello.” I will have photo prints ready for your frame and a few are ready to hang, plus my collection of greeting cards. See what you think of my portraits as you browse the beautiful knitwear in the shop.

Take your best shot at my Canicross Photo Booth

Have you tried the photo booth portrait shoot from last month’s post? I’d love to see your photos! If you haven’t had a chance to make your own photo booth, I will be at the 8th Annual Canicross Run/Walk in Williston on October 20. The event, organized by Long Trail Veterinary Center, will be at the Catamount Outdoor Center – this is the ONLY day dogs are allowed there. Choose either a 5K or 2.5 K distance, with or without your dogs. The event begins at 9:30 am and I’ll be there until almost noon.  It is a fundraiser to benefit Golden Huggs Rescue (from where I adopted my pack) and the Catamount Outdoor Center. At the Photo Booth, I will be asking for additional small donations to Golden Huggs Rescue. For more information or to register, please click HERE

Photo Gallery

September is my favorite month because the days are usually warm and the leaves begin to turn. It’s still summer, but different: brighter, more flavorful.  Here are a few photos from the last month.


Love stinks

dogs, pets
Charlie at home

Charlie Brown at home.

Fayston, Vermont. I recently gave Charlie Brown a bath. At 10 pm.

As was our routine, dog-dad had let our dogs out before going to bed. He let them out into the yard, but not the fenced-in part – our neighbors are seasonal and mud season is not one of their seasons. Spring feverish, our three dogs took off into the night.

After a few minutes, Lucy returned home but Linus and Charlie did not. Dog-dad continued to call them, with each repetition growing louder and angrier. I came downstairs, grabbed my wallet and car key, then tapped the button to open the garage door. I hoped the sound of the door clanking up would bring them back, but I only heard the peepers. No familiar jingle of dog tags. At least I heard no more yelling.

I started the car and pulled out of the garage, crawling down the driveway and expectantly searching for Charlie and Linus in my headlights. Twenty five yards down they appeared, looking quite happy and excited, tails and tongues a-waggin’. They eagerly hopped in the car.  

Charlie snuggled up against my neck. He smelled like he spent the night at a frat party. A wave of nausea hit me at the stench. Into the shower we both went.

In the morning, dog-dad and I agreed to keep the dogs in the fenced in part of our yard. I arrived at work tired. My mind had ruminated on “what might have been” and my sleep was restless. As I was settling into my morning coffee and emails, one of my co-workers announced that she had a sad story to tell me. She looked upset. Quite unexpectedly, she said, she had to say goodbye to her dog last night. We hugged and cried; their time with us is too short we told each other. She told me how her dog suddenly became very sick over the weekend. We cried some more.

Dogs are only with us for a short time. Make every day a good one.



In memory of Goldie.

All photos ©️Rebecca Silbernagel 2018

Lucy & Charlie take a break during our morning walk.


Mother’s Day bouquet

Sugarbush Resort

Hi, Charlie…

Did somebody say cookie?

Morning walk reflections

Linus keeps my seat warm.

Cinco de Barko

Spring fever

Mad River Valley view

Acts of Love

animal rescue, dogs, Joy, Valentines Day
Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus at sunrise.

Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus at sunrise

To my dear pack-mates Lucy, Linus, and Charlie Brown on Valentines Day,

I love:

  • That you are ecstatic when I come home
  • That you are so happy to see me that you like to rub your blondeness against my black pant legs
  • That you use me for a pillow and keep me warm when you snuggle
  • That you use my pillow when I’m not home
  • That you are excited to see me each morning
  • That you are so excited to see me each morning that you begin to chirp at 4:30 a.m.
  • That you are up for any adventure
  • That you think when I have to go to the bathroom is an adventure
  • That you are always by my side
  • That you lie down in obstacle course formation on the kitchen floor when I am cooking
  • That you help with the dishes and vacuuming
  • That occasionally you leave a mess for me to clean
  • That you love me, always

I love my Lucy

I love my Linus

I love my Charlie Brown

Happy Valentines Day!




Wagmorevt is two!



Fayston, Vermont.  Thank you for following along with our adventures in the Green Mountains of Vermont.  To celebrate our second year of wagmorevt, here’s a video slideshow of some of the best of last year’s photos. Enjoy!

For daily photos, please follow me on Instagram @skimor, or search #wagmorevt.

If you have a comment to share or would like your dog to be featured (if you’re within 50 miles of the Mad River Valley in Vermont, I’ll come to you), please fill out the contact form, below.  


A neighbor comes to call


Fayston, Vermont. Barking woke me up. Linus and Charlie were sounding the alarm downstairs, loudly. I looked at my bedside clock: 11:30. Probably a mouse or maybe a raccoon on the deck. I’m not going downstairs. Charlie spooks easily and Linus barks at the t.v. The visitor will move on, then the dogs will quiet, I told myself as I pulled the pillow over my ears.

The barking became even more frenzied, joined by a third voice. A low, deep, measured bark under the alarm bells. Lucy. Golden retriever who’s never met a stranger Lucy. Hers was not an alarm, but a call for back-up.

I made my way in the dark, down the stairs as fast as my arthritic joints would allow, switched on the outside light, and shrieked with surprise. I was standing a few feet away from A BEAR.

We looked at each other through the window, the bear blinking at me in the sudden light. I took in its beautiful, thick, glossy coat and healthy, bright eyes. It was full-grown but young. Probably the same one who left prints on the driveway recently. A leaf was dangling from its mouth like salad interrupted. I wanted to reach through the glass to touch its head and brush away the food from its face.

“What is it?” my husband finally called down from upstairs.

“A bear,” I softly replied, not wanting it to run away just yet.

“Big or little?”

That’s a ridiculous question, I thought. Instead, I answered “In-between?”

Footsteps down the bedroom stairs broke the spell. The bear plodded around our emerging herb garden and ran into the trees at the back of our yard. (The dogs are not as polite – they run straight through the garden.) We could still see the bear in the shadows cast by the outside light.

My husband returned to bed. I waited a long while before I went on the deck to close the gate. I brought inside the Brussel sprouts awaiting transplant. One of the plants had definitely been nibbled, but the others were untouched.

I guess bears don’t like Brussel sprouts.

bearEd. note: Our house borders on state land. When we bought the house about six years ago, the sellers told us we’d have a moose and bears. We were not concerned as we were coming from New Jersey, where the bears are big, sometimes aggressive, and love throwing pool parties. Since we moved in, I’ve seen a bear on the road a few times, but not close to the house. In the yard, I’ve seen an ermine, an eight-point buck, and all sorts of rodents and birds. Plus a variety of reptiles and amphibians. Linus met a porcupine once, but that’s another story. Where the driveway meets the road, I’ve seen a family of fishers, a doe and twin fawns, turkeys, and a coyote. Still waiting to see a moose.

On a walk a few days after the visit, I smiled as I followed familiar bear tracks down the middle of the road. The footprints made wilderness-styled street markings drawn in the dirt, a message left by my neighbor.


Following the thread: Special Mother’s Day Edition


Slightly off-topic from Fayston, VT. For Mother’s Day, I bought myself a new sewing machine. Fashion frustration has brought me back to the sewing circle. Sometimes my favorite Carhartt cargo shorts are, well, too casual. Jeans are warm in the summer. I’ve been looking for a simple, comfortable shift dress that looks presentable at work yet withstands the daily mess that my life produces, and – this is very important – has pockets for my lens cap and dog treats.

If the story sounds a bit familiar so far, it’s because it’s similar to how Lilly Pulitzer first started. The company that bears her name is a long way from Lilly’s first simple dresses that she made to wear at her juice stand. Today’s Lilly is too neon, too short, too low, too much lace, and too expensive for every day, dog-slobber-and-muddy-paws-wear. I’ve trolled eBay, etc, for old school, pre-neon no-lace Lilly that someone discovered unworn in the back of a closet, with a couple of great finds but a whole lot of yuck. Then I googled “lilly shift dress pattern.” BINGO. My frustration is shared, I found.

I learned to sew from my mom, who made adorable dresses for me when I was little. Except that I preferred pants. She also made these really cute bean bag frogs, which she would sew for each of her kindergarten students. I started as a helper in the frog factory. Over the years, she made a few frogs for me, too. I still have my frogs.

As a teenager, I sewed a few things I actually wore. I remember a particular skirt I made that I loved, but it almost gave me detention. My prep school dress code specified skirt length, and I made it to spec. The dean was not so sure. He stood me against the wall and measured my skirt, from waist to hem. I didn’t gloat, but a sly smile crossed my lips as I went almost skipping to my next class.

I should also thank my step-mom for patiently letting me invade her sewing room to make a formal dress when I was in college. I remember that it was a royal blue dress and blue stuff went everywhere in that room. I’m really sorry for the mess I made, still.

Fast forward, I sewed curtains for my newborn’s room. On the last panel, I broke my machine. He’s now finishing his first year in college. Sewing machines have become less expensive, lighter, and computerized. I think I’ll start with a bag, then perhaps move onto a jacket for short-coated Linus, as he’s cold in the winter. I found some great polar fleece fabric that would look great on you, buddy. Looking at all the fabric, I can see why quilting is so popular.

I’ll eventually tackle that dress.

Thank you to moms everywhere for their loving patience and guidance. It does stay with us, always.

Still a pup

I think the party's over there...

I think the party’s over there…

Fayston, Vermont. Wagmore is one! To celebrate this first anniversary, here’s a look back at some of the many wonderful dogs and their people who participated. Thank you for your continued support and sharing – and here’s to even more fun in year two!

Merry Maker

Merriam meets the gang from the next office

Merriam meets the gang from the next office.

Waitsfield, Vermont. With Linda and Bill Barnes and Merriam the puppy in the Festival Gallery, where Linda volunteers. This is an adoption update from my October 29, 2015 post, Special Edition(s). 

Merriam, aka Merry

Merriam, aka Merry

I went over to see the puppies at Dirty Paws Pet Spa, and I called Bill. I fell in love with a puppy. And we took the puppy. We couldn’t take her that day because it was Bill’s dad’s memorial service. We had to wait until Monday. We knew immediately that she was for us.

She terrorizes the cats – she thinks they’re supposed to play. The kitties don’t play. They growl. Then they hiss. And they bat her in the nose. They don’t have front claws so they don’t hurt her.

She knows when she’d done something she shouldn’t have because then she’s under the bed.

Tail-thwap Thursday



Charlie Brown started it. Lucy did not catch him...

Charlie Brown started it. Lucy did not catch him…

Fayston, Vermont. Wagmore Wednesday slid into Tail-Thwap Thursday this month as life obstructed my blog schedule.  I became a spontaneous and accidental tree hugger last month – I now sport a souvenir dent on my helmet – and I somehow managed to hurt my arm and shoulder in my low-speed crash, thus impacting my ability to hold my big girl camera. Excuses aside, the mild January weather allowed comfortable snowshoe walks in the woods and shenanigans in the yard. The snow is all but gone now. What will the weather be like in August?