The theme for week 17 of the Project 52 Pet Photographer’s blog circle is “Before and After”.
During my 10 years of volunteering and photographing the adoptable dogs at Winnipeg Animal Services, the comment I hear the most is… “I could never do that, I would end up bringing them all home.”
This reaction does have some validity and it is hard sometimes. But nothing can match the joy that comes with knowing that what you did may have helped a homeless dog find it’s forever family. It is witnessing the before and then seeing and hearing about the after that keeps us coming back week after week. Nothing beats these “before” and “after” tales.
Both of my pack started out as shelter dogs… here is a little bit of their before and after stories.
A little over a year ago, I was asked to photograph a terrified, 5-month-old pup that had been brought in from a northern community after being found at the garbage dump, living as a stray. This poor baby was so fearful and shut-down that adoption was not yet an option.
Believe me, I had NO intention of bringing home another dog, but after showing this pup’s photos to Roland, that is exactly what we did. The plan was to foster ONLY! But it wasn’t long before we knew that Odin was home.
Lacie and I first met 5 years ago when she was brought into Animal Services as an unclaimed stray. She was a very timid girl trying to hide at the back of her kennel, tail tucked.
After a little time and many treats, I was able to coax her out of her kennel and we headed to the outdoor enclosure in the hopes of getting some adoption photos. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get a good photo of this scared little gal so I tossed a squeaky ball and hoped for the best.
As soon as her eyes spotted the ball, the fearful shelter dog dropped away and this lively happy pup appeared. My heart didn’t stand a chance and three days later we brought Lacie home.
I think anyone who has loved a shelter dog wonders about their “before”. I know I do, especially with Lacie.
She was thought to be about 4 years old when she arrived at the shelter, she wore no identification, was not spayed and her coat had been severely clipped. When I took her home it quickly became apparent that she had had little experience riding in a car and/or walking with a leash.
Where did you come from girl? How did you end up at the shelter? Is someone missing you?
So many questions with few, if any, answers.
But in the end, her past doesn’t matter. We love her and she is home.
We are her “after”.
And, to this day, she loves her ball more than anything.
And, just for a smile, here’s a little “Then” and “Now”.
“After was better. Before was only there so After could happen.” ~ Augusten Burroughs
Project 52 _______________________
This post is part of the Pet Photography Project 52 blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “Before and After”, visit Pawparazzi Pet and Animal Photography presented by Shae Pepper Photography. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!