Ojai, CA – Gallery 525 goes to the dogs. Dachshunds will adorn the gallery’s white walls for two days during the last weekend in June. The long-bodied hound is among the most popular breed in the world, and the exhibit will celebrate this handsome short legged, small dog with a big personality.
The featured photographer, Johnny Ortez-Tibbels, has been a photographing the dachshund for the last ten years via what he calls, “play dates and pictures.” In 2004, Ortez-Tibbels hired a famed Hollywood trainer on the fifth day he had his red smooth dachshund Rufus, at which time he really got the importance of regular and consistent socialization for the breed. Dachshunds are often considered loyal, lovable, protectors of their humans, but if one is not careful that protective instinct can turn bad as the dachshund guards his human from other friendly dogs and people.
Committed to ensuring Rufus was properly introduced to a variety of people, places and things, Ortez-Tibbels began setting up regular play dates with other local dachshund friends he met through Meetup.com, Yahoo Groups and Facebook.
“It was fun to watch two people from two completely different worlds come together for the love of the dachshund,” said Ortez-Tibbels. “I know many people today who I would have never known if it was not for the Rufus. I believe it’s truly a brand of dog that bonds folks. When two dachshund people meet they become immediate friends despite any differences they may have in politics, religion, race or social status. The love of a dachshund is as unique as the dog itself, and that’s something all dachshund enthusiasts seem to agree on.”
Hosting dachshunds for days on-end and providing Rufus with regular socialization, Ortez-Tibbels began to take photos of the sometimes sweet and other times comical exchanges between playmates. As the years pressed on, Rufus got greyer and his roster of playmates grew. Ortez-Tibbels traded his compact point-and-shoot digital camera for a DSLR.
In 2011, the play dates and pictures reached its height with Ortez-Tibbels photographing more than a 100 different dachshunds in 26 weeks. At the end of it Ortez-Tibbels had amassed an impressive library of original dachshund photographs, and the question arose as to what to do with them.
“I wanted to shared the images with the world, but I also wanted to use them as means to give back to the dachshund community,” says Ortez-Tibbels.
In June 2012, Ortez-Tibbels created the 501c3 charity Dachshund Outreach Giving and Socialization or DOGS for short pun intended. The long-named charity champions the long dog and works to bridge the gap between rescue and placement of the dog and their end of life.
“I noticed in the dog community a lot of emphasis is placed on rescuing and placing dogs, and then dealing with all the complications that come towards the end of a dog’s life; but what about all the many years in between. Who was educating the dachshund loving public on comprehensive care for the breed? For all those people who couldn’t afford a trainer or didn’t have the inclination to do so, what about them? The mighty dachshund can easily live to be 20 years old with proper care.”
Celebrating the charity’s second year anniversary, Ortez-Tibbels partnered with Gallery 525 to create a 2-day exhibit of Dachshund Fine Art Photography. The gallery will be dedicated to dachshund domination and everyone is invited. All sales from the two-day event are tax-deductible and will benefit charity.
The exhibit is open from 9:30 am to 9 pm with a wine reception both nights from 5 pm to 8 pm. Our friends at Halby Marketing Inc. will provide Dachshund Riesling along with a red wine option for the two receptions. Papa Lennon’s will provide some light fare finger foods, and a celebratory cake by Cricket Crumbs will be served on Sunday night.
In addition to the original art on display for purchase, the exhibit will include copies of the hardcover, coffee table book 102 Dachshunds and a handful of the limited edition DOGS T-shirts – both of which are considered collectibles.
In two short and fast years, the volunteer run and operated organization has accomplished the following:
- September 2012 raised nearly $2,500 and in November 2012 collected another $500 for Kaia the dachshund of Glendale, CA to assist with her back surgery, recovery and rehabilitation.
- September through October 2012 organized and discounted a special 4-week dachshund edition of Thank Dog Bootcamp in an attempt to encourage dachshund people to get out and get physical with their low-riders.
- Contributed to Johnny, the broken leg dachshund, surgery via Dachshund Rescue of Los Angeles.
- March 2013 sponsored a discounted Houndstooth Pet Dental non-anesthetic teeth-cleaning party. In eight and a half hours, we cleaned the mouths of 52 dogs.
- July 2013 sponsored Yappy Hour Social for the Architecture for Dogs exhibit at the Long Beach Museum of Art.
- September 2013 provided finishing funds to the neutering of a male dachshund at the High Desert Animal Care Hospital.
- November 2013 we sponsored a Canine Dental Care Presentation with guest speaker Robert Furman, BVMS, MRCVS in Downtown LA about the ineffectiveness of non-anesthetic teeth cleaning and it’s potential dangers (when you know better you do better).
- December 2012 and 2013 sponsored Dachshund Holiday Celebrations.
- Continue to work regularly with four local dachshund rescue and placement groups; we helped with the placement of about 100 dachshunds in 2013 via our photography services.
- We also work regularly with LA Doxies a monthly meet-up group (and others in the greater Southern California area) to encourage regular and consistent socialization.
- 2013 through 2014 distributed life-saving literature on IVDD thanks to our partnership with Dodger’s List to 148 dachshund families in 28 different states, and this summer we’re expected to deliver another 65 pamphlets and counting.
Two-day exhibit of Dachshund Fine Art Photography by Johnny Ortez-Tibbels
Location: Gallery 525 | 525 W. El Roblar Ave. Ojai, CA 93023
Date & Time: Saturday & Sunday | June 28 & June 29, 2014 | 9:30 am to 9 pm
Wine reception both nights from 5 pm to 8 pm with a celebratory cake being served on Sunday.
All sales will benefit the 501c3 charity Dachshund Outreach Giving and Socialization (DOGS).