Local photographer unleashes 100 hounds of Kirkland in new book

A Kirkland hound enjoys some fresh air during a photo shoot to benefit the Seattle Humane Society.  - Catherine Handfelt, Contributed
A Kirkland hound enjoys some fresh air during a photo shoot to benefit the Seattle Humane Society.
— image credit: Catherine Handfelt, Contributed

When local photographer Catharine Handfelt set out "on a bark" to photograph 100 hounds in Kirkland last summer, she had no idea she would unleash a love for dogs so huge.

After a photo shoot with a proud dad and his Golden Retriever "Boomer," Handfelt's simple idea became a "bone-a-fide," year-long dog party to support the care of animals at the Seattle Humane Society.

Thousands of photographs and many great dog stories later, Handfelt has collaborated with Seattle's Cultivate Books to publish "100 Hounds of Kirkland."

Now available, this 128-page, full-color book of Handfelt's photographic canine crusade has raised nearly $18,000 to date for the Seattle Humane Society.

Last summer, Handfelt began advertising free photo shoots and her concept to publish a calendar and book to raise money for the Seattle Humane Society.

"All summer long, my family was on the hunt for great hounds," Handfelt recalls. "People came out of the woodwork, calling, e-mailing, even stopping me on the street to see if I had room for their cute and cool canines to be in the project. I had no idea what was possible, but within weeks, I had photographed well over 100 hounds at locations all over Kirkland and was no longer able to accept new candidates. People love the Seattle Humane Society, and there was such an outpouring, it could have been 1,000 hounds of Kirkland."

Hundreds of people, including local citizens and businesses, offered their time, talents and donations to support the project and the end goal: raise money to help the Seattle Humane Society provide food, loving care and medicine to the animals at the shelter until they are placed in a home of their own.

"It was incredibly heartwarming to witness all of the people who cared enough to be part of it," said Handfelt, noting that local businesses rallied their customers to purchase the calendar. Kirkland winery Northwest Cellars sold a "100 Hounds of Kirkland" merlot named "Recuse Red" and donated 20 percent of the proceeds to the Seattle Humane Society.

Last fall, several citizens and Kirkland shops banded together to host a first-ever event called "Bark the Vote" that raised more than $12,000.

The new book celebrates the "100 Hounds of Kirkland" project, the tireless work of the Seattle Humane Society, and the delightful, 100-plus hounds who posed for the project.

In the introduction, Handfelt explores the uniquely special human-canine bond, and encourages readers to get a hound of their own. Throughout the book, there are dog quotes by both the owners of the Kirkland dogs, as well as famous dog quotes, including Harry Truman's classic quip: "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."

"Cathy's wonderful photographs capture dogs as beloved family members and companions in our lives - and so much more," said Brenda Barnette, chief executive officer of the Seattle Humane Society, which in the last year alone place 6,091 animals. "Thanks to the '100 Hounds of Kirkland' project and local animal lovers, thousands have been raised to help the Seattle Humane Society care for orphaned, stray and abandoned pets in our community. We are very grateful for the support."

Handfelt, a devoted dog rescuer herself, donated her time, writing and photography to the project. She ventured all over Kirkland photographing dogs, "in parks, in cars, on boats, by sculptures, at landmarks, in stores, on the street, on the move - here, there and everywhere."

Handfelt, who owns Little Monarch Studios, will donate her talents to the Seattle Humane Society again this year as the photographer of dogs, cats and other furry friends for their 2011 calendar.

More information

Dog lovers can order "100 Hounds of Kirkland" online at Cost is $30. Net proceeds will be donated to the Seattle Humane Society. The book is also available at several hound-loving stores around Kirkland, including: Barkz, Bella Tesori, Dooley's Dog House, KOAP Home, Northwest Cellars, Parkplace Books and Simplicity Decor.

Handfelt will also have booths at the Kirkland Uncorked event (July 16-18 at Marina Park) and The Kirkland Canine Festival, Go Dog, Go! (10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 24 at Crestwoods Park).

In addition, Bob and Kathleen Delf, owners of Northwest Cellars, will host a festive, two-day "Dog Days of Summer - '100 Hounds of Kirkland' Book Signing" on July 31 through Aug. 1 at their winery's tasting room, located at 11909 124th Ave. N.E., Kirkland.

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