Welcome to my little corner of the interwebs! I've been contemplating a good first entry for the past week or so, but let's be real: dedicated first entries can feel kind of unnatural and more often than not, are pretty tedious reads. So with that in mind, I'll just dive write in.
(bad puns: they're part of my life and will likely be a huge part of my blog. consider this your warning.)
I love dogs. I mean, you guys, I really really really love them. It's a slight issue. That person at your house party, the one that sits on the floor on the other side of the room, keeping your dog company? That's me. Don't feel bad though, because I'm perfectly okay with this. It's not that I don't like you, it's just that I tend to nerd out a wee bit around man's best friend.
Over time, my love of dogs led to a particularly intense love of rescue dogs. I adopted one, so maybe I'm little biased.
Rescues have an ability to forgive, forget, and ultimately move forward. Simply put, they adapt. This fascinates and inspires me. So of course when I was asked to donate my time to Lady's Hope Dog Rescue, I jumped at the opportunity. I absolutely love photographing animals. They're wholly uncooperative and live their lives without so much as a shred of vanity. What you see is what you get, and I enjoy the challenge and spontaneity. And, you know. I get to play with dogs. That in and of itself is reward enough.
Enter Hank. I first met Hank back in February. It was immediately clear that he was a good dog, but a bit distressed about his new life. You can't blame the guy. If you'd been removed from a fairly stable home environment and relegated to a small cage without any explanation whatsoever, you probably wouldn't be in the best of moods either. Hank broke my heart the last time I saw him. He wanted out.
Unfortunately we're now in August, and Hank has yet to be adopted. He's an awesome dog in need of a firm but supportive owner – someone who can give him all the exercise he requires, and who can also give him a run for his money in the stubbornness department. And naturally, being able to provide unconditional love is a must. Pit bulls love to spoon. It's practically a fact.
Yvonne, the amazingly dedicated founder of Lady's Hope, decided it was time for another round of pictures. New photos always freshen up an old adoption ad, and as the original pictures were taken on a concrete slab on a grey winter's day, we decided that a sunny summer's day in the grass was in order. As we found out, a change of environment made all the difference in the world for this handsome dude.
As I approached Hank this time around, I sensed a shift in his demeanor. While still owning that trademark pit bull spaz, he was calmer. The resilient dog spirit I touched upon earlier? There in full force. He felt at home in that big backyard and boy, was he happy.
It's truly compelling to see just how affected these dogs are by shelter life. No matter how amazing the employees and volunteers are (and they are phenomenal), you can't change the reality of the situation. Most of these dogs lived in a home, and now they don't. As someone who used to volunteer at a shelter, I knew that all I could really do to ease the pain was to help them forget where they were for a little bit. This was typically accomplished with a game of fetch or a short walk. While photographing Hank, we focused on providing him with that kind of escape. Turns out the quickest way to do that was to add a little water.
Seriously. How has this guy been homeless since February? Such a goofy little stud.
After seeing Hank in all his glory this past weekend, it showed just how much he'll flourish once he's back in a stable housing situation. If you're interested in fostering or adopting Hank, go ahead and send Yvonne an email! Please note that Hank needs to be your only four legged friend. He prefers undivided attention from his human companions, as exhibited below with this stop-with-the-camera-and-give-me-some-love face.
Thanks so much for reading, and I hope this first post was (relatively) painless for you! Do you have a great adoption story? Tell me about it in the comments section!