Shifting Focus w/ Mike Ruiz

You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all the other podcast platforms. New episodes post on Tuesdays.


About The Episode

Mike Ruiz’s connection with dogs didn’t start until he fostered a pit bull, Oliver, at a point in his life when he wasn’t even looking to get a dog. Mike’s life got “flipped right side up,” as he likes to say, even though he initally felt he wasn’t going to have time for a dog given his hectic work life.

Recently, Oliver passed away, but Mike is dealing with the healing process with the help of a new dog, Julia. He’s learning that grieving and bonding processes don’t have to be done separately. The fact is that more dogs need to be rescued and that doesn’t have to wait, and another dog may actually help us better deal with our loss.

Mike has photographed an annual calendar for rescue dogs for the past five years, where he photographs dogs and male models, which has gotten a lot of Press and raised a solid amount of money for different rescue organizations. It’s gone by different names, the first being “Hunks & Hounds” to later “Pecks & Pups” and “Heartthrobs & Hounds.”

This year’s, which is for a pit bull rescue specifically, is called “Bullies & Biceps.” Mike uses his art and unique talents to make an impact on doing his part for dog rescue in his own way with his calendar.

About The Guest

Mike Ruiz is a recognized artist, specializing in photography, who creates vibrant, ultra stylized work that stands out from the crowd. He’s a queer Canadian-born photographer, director, television personality, former model, spokesperson, creative director, and actor. His work has been featured by editors at Elle, Vanity Fair, Flaunt, Interview Magazine, and many more. He’s worked for dozens of important causes, including currently being an advocate for “Pit Bulls and Buddies,” an L.A. Pit Bull rescue organization. He also does an annual photography calendar that’s proceeds go to dog rescue organizations. His first pitbull, Oliver, changed his life, and now he has another pitbull, Julia.

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Jack Sommer