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Our international pet photography blog circle has a great theme this week: Rescued. I have four pets and they were all adopted from rescue organizations. I’ve photographed many rescued pets, fostered some, and know lots more. Choosing just one to feature this week was easy.

Once upon a time, I was afraid of dogs. I didn’t know a poodle from a mastiff and avoided them all. Cats were where it’s at.

So I wasn’t looking for a dog that afternoon at the Victoria SPCA. Amongst the bark symphony along the row of dogs, she was silent and sad, all alone in her kennel. And suddenly there I was, agreeing to “just go for a walk” with this doe-eyed little thing.  She pulled on the leash but she didn’t bark or jump up on anybody so as far as dogs went she wasn’t terribly terrifying. I survived. Walking her was one thing. Bringing her home was not my idea. I did not want a dog. I’m pretty sure I said no several times.

SPCA photo

Her back story: she had been surrendered by a young man after his landlord had discovered the little puppy factory hiding in the bathroom of the no-pets apartment.  It was a choice between getting rid of the dogs or facing eviction. She had been at the shelter for a while and had spent Christmas at a foster home. The puppies were weaned and headed to their new homes; she was all boobs and bones and awaiting her future.   As far as rescue stories go, not very dramatic.

Dogs were like aliens to me, and in her state she was from a very distant planet as far as I was concerned.

She was not my dog; I did not adopt her. Her name was, and still is, Maddie.

SPCA photo

Her adopter was absent a lot, so I did the good co-parent thing and looked after her as best a cat person can. She smelled funny, always had an upset tummy, she chewed my sunglasses and was a yahoo on the leash. She soon found her voice, which is disproportionately loud for her petite size. She was serious and sensitive, goofy and cuddly, bossy and very, very enthusiastic about everything. We ended up spending a lot of one-on-one time getting to know each other and learning to live together.

She was not allowed in the bedroom… until that night in her first month with us when I invited her in, planning to let her sleep on the floor instead of alone downstairs in the living room.  She sat politely next to the bed, again with those doe eyes practicing her telepathy on me. Waiting. Expectant. Behaving so nicely. It was inevitable. Since that night she sleeps in the bed under the covers, spooning exactly in her certain special way. What can I say?  Maddie made me love her. 

And so I was reborn as a dog person. I also became a pit bull person, a foster mom, a rescue advocate, a Chihuahua lover (but that’s another story!), and a member of the canine community.  When her adopter moved out of our lives, she stayed behind with me. I didn’t rescue her but she has enriched my life in so many ways. Now I am hers.

There is no single image that sums up this little love story – and I have literally thousands of Maddie photographs – so here is a new one that makes me smile.

Next stop on the blog circle is Massachusetts Pet Photographer, Blue Amrich. Be sure to visit the link at the bottom of every post in the circle to see all the amazing photographers who got Rescued this week.

Becky - June 10, 2012 - 10:20 am

This was a lovely story! Dogs have such a way of winding themselves around our hearts so that we can no longer imagine life without them. Seems that you and Maddie were destined to be together and it is so wonderful that she taught you to love dogs – pit bulls in particular!

Sharon Stokes - June 6, 2012 - 2:05 am

Maddie certainly made the right choice in you! She looks so happy and healthy, she is a credit to you 🙂

Melissa - June 2, 2012 - 6:04 pm

Thank you ladies : )

Anne Young - June 1, 2012 - 10:42 pm

Loved your blog – beautiful story!

Darlene - June 1, 2012 - 9:55 pm

Thanks so much for sharing your love story about your pup. I found it both sad and happy………. but with a great ending! Our dogs give us so much joy, and I wonder why everybody doesn’t have one!

Kirsta - June 1, 2012 - 8:04 pm

So happy that Maddie won you over and brought you to the dog world, as you are a gift to the canine community. 🙂

Karen - June 1, 2012 - 7:08 pm

What a lovely story! So glad that Maddie adopted you… 🙂

Terran - June 1, 2012 - 11:10 am

I *LOVE* this story!

Claire Garrett - June 1, 2012 - 6:42 am

Beautiful story & image xxx

[…] else was rescued this week? Next in our blog ring is Unleashed! Pet Portraits in Victoria, British Columbia.  Let’s go visit her! Posted in Cat Photography, Project […]