Like many dog owners, over 90 percent of the pictures on Jaymi Heimbuch's Instagram account are of her dog. Unlike many dog owners, most of the pictures involve her dog balancing on statues and fire hydrants.
Niner -- named after the 49ers -- and Heimbuch have been together for two and a half years, since Heimbuch adopted Niner from Herd It Through The Grapevine, a dog rescue organization in Santa Rosa that specializes in rescuing herding dogs and finding them permanent homes.
"Niner was picked up as a stray in Modesto and was in line to be euthanized, but the rescue pulled him just in time. I honestly can't imagine a world without him in it now," says Heimbuch. "He has such a complex personality and has taught me so much about how to be a patient, kind and involved companion to him. It breaks my heart to think about how close he came to being killed, and how many dogs like him don't get the second chance he was given."
After adopting Niner, Heimbuch enrolled him in an agility course at the SPCA, taught by local trainer Dianne Morey, who taught Niner the hydrant-balancing trick. Which is impressive -- we probably couldn't even do that.
"The day he accomplished that, he seemed to really take it to heart," said Heimbuch. "Now he looks for obstacles during our walks as much as I do, and jumps up on favorite and familiar objects all on his own."
Heimbuch has been a photographer for about four years, and while it's currently a hobby, she hopes to someday do it professionally.
"My passion is wildlife photography. I love spending time outdoors watching animals do their thing," says Heimbuch. "If I could spend every day photographing wild animals, I would. But I also live with a dog who sometimes acts like a wild animal so that provides a lot of entertainment when I'm stuck in the city."
Heimbuch and Niner take walks every day, always for at least five miles, through Ocean Beach, Dolores Park, and other spots throughout San Francisco -- wherever there's something to balance on.
"Bringing the elements of photography and urban agility into our walks has been such a great way to not only get more training in during the day, but also explore the city more," says Heimbuch. "We see the city in terms of what can be stood on, and I like to check out new neighborhoods and new streets to see what we might use as a platform."
Heimbuch also said that blending photography and agility into their daily walks made taking her dog on walks much more fun.
"It makes it a walk together, a time to bond and engage with each other, and not just a boring walk for exercise," says Heimbuch. "Photography has been a big blessing for the both of us."