Coco – Unstaged…

CocoThe BeStill52 challenge this week was to capture a moment unstaged… to capture it as it is. At first I thought how easy this would be as I often see this as my goal… to capture the world as I see it.

But then I came to realize that if I really thought about it… I often, almost subconsciously, look for the most flattering moments, those with a slight polish whether it be smoothed hair, or flattering expressions.

So, with that being said, here is my offering for this exercise this week. A small piece of my heart, with all his scruffy perfect imperfections.. my little Coco Bean.

texture used – kk-quiet


Dogs In Waiting

“Waiting for someone you love is never easy. Especially when the one you’re waiting for isn’t aware that you’re waiting.” ~ unknown

Right now we have so many good dogs waiting at “the shelter” … hoping that the next person to pass by will take a moment to pause and take notice. Sadly some have been waiting for months.

For me, this is the hard part… seeing the same faces week after week, many filled with anticipation, some filled with resignation. It breaks my heart. This is where I find myself holding back tears and quickly brushing away the ones that manage to slip through . This is when I try to focus on the good, recalling the names of those adopted while hoping right along with those still here, that this week will be their week.

These are but some of those faces…





buddy-web * Adopted *


chloe-web* Adopted *




holly-web* Adopted *


nacho-web * Adopted *










riley-web * Adopted *




dillion-web * Adopted *








Please… if you are thinking of adding a dog to your family… remember the shelter dogs.

They need you.

Related Links:
Friends of Winnipeg Animal Services … facebook page
W.A.S. Petfinder Page
W.A.S. page

Max Needs a Home


Max is a 2 year old Retriever / Shepherd mix who somehow lost his way and ended up at Winnipeg Animal Services as an unclaimed stray. Like many of the dogs, no one came looking for this boy and after the mandatory waiting period he was placed in the adoption program.

The sad thing for Max is, he has not done well in the kennel environment. The noise and the commotion have him scared and he reacts in the only way he knows… by jumping, lunging, putting on a tough-boy show. We know it doesn’t bode well and we kind of get why no one then stops and asks further about him.

But we also know that this is SO NOT the real Max. As soon as Max is released into the outdoor enclosure, Max is a different dog… quiet, even gentle. A Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of dog.

An adoptive home would absolutely be the best but a foster home til the right forever family comes along would be a close second. Max simply needs to get out of the kennel environment. He is truly such a sweetheart and we so desperately want him to get his chance.

If you think you may be able to help our boy Max, please come down to 1057 Logan Ave. Ask one of the staff to take Max outside for the visit. You will be super impressed with the real Max, we just know it.

Please Share. Help us help Max find his home.

Max’s Petfinder Profile

Post Update: Very happy to report that Max is in a Foster Home.

Post Post Update: Even happier to report that Max is ADOPTED! (by his foster family) :)

Wonka – Before and After


Approx. Age: 7 years
Breed : Beagle mix

Wonka is a 7 year old beagle mix who was struck by a car in a remote Canadian community. With the help of a northern rescue organization, Wonka was transported to Winnipeg and accepted under the care of Earthdog Terrier Rescue of Manitoba. Once in Winnipeg it was determined that her pelvis was broken in 3 places and her hind leg was broken in 4 places. Wonka underwent surgery and was outfitted with an external fixation device to help keep her leg stationary while it healed. Her activity had to be very restricted long-term and it was not uncommon to see Wonda at rescue events enjoying the comfort of her “Wheels for Wonka” wagon.

Wonka wagon photo courtesy of Earthdog Terrier Rescue of Manitoba

Through all of this Wonka has been a happy, sweet girl. Her courageous gentle spirit has been an inspiration and although the outcome for her leg is still somewhat guarded, it is hoped that she will make a full recovery. Once Wonka has completely healed she will begin her search for the perfect forever family. She is deserving of nothing less.

Wonka’s Story Hits the NEWS!

Wonka’s Petfinder Profile

Earthdog Terrier Rescue of Manitoba

Max – In Need of a Second Chance

For many dogs the shelter is a loud and scary place. This is how it is for our Max.


Way back in March, Max came to Animal Services as a stray with no ID, no tattoo, and no one looking for him. Suddenly finding himself thrust into this loud, unfamiliar, confining world, surrounded by strange dogs and people, Max was terrified. First cowering at the back of his pen and then reacting in the only other way he knew, by putting on a tough boy show… jumping, barking, and looking oh so mean, only wanting this scary situation to go away.

But sadly it didn’t and after three long months, Max still waits… still afraid, still acting out and still looking like one scary dude in his pen.

The thing is, and this is true for so many shelter dogs, once allowed out into the yard, Max transforms into this friendly even gentle boy.

What to do. What to do.

A new plan was formulated with the intention of bringing new awareness to Max … so new photos were needed. Enter my camera and me.

Truth be told, with the raucous he made as I approached, even I felt hesitant to open his pen.

But as soon as I lifted the latch, I sensed a change in his demeanor. He seemed to know that he was about to get out and he stepped back to let the door swing wide. He actually settled and sat so that I could easily slip the lead over his ears and in no time flat we were heading up the row of kennels, towards the outside enclosure… one big fluffy tail swaying happily from side to side next to my leg, leaving behind a chorus of barks and howls.

As I opened the door to the outdoor yard, any trepidation I had felt simply slipped away. You see… this dog was no longer that dog. His entire body language had done an about face. Now relaxed and happy, he pranced outside like he owned the place while I grabbed for my camera and fiddled with the nob and settings.


“Wow… what a sweet boy” was my immediate thought and he only continued to confirm that impression. We played with and tossed the ball a little but for the most part he stuck close to my side, frequently leaning in for a pat on his head, chest and chin.

Yes, it appears the rumors are true. Our scary Max is really one big cuddle bunny. Who knew!!


After another 5 minutes, I knew I was in love.

Our Max… just one more example of a dog that should not be judged by his kennel behaviour.

And one more reason why Max and other dogs just like him are so deserving of a second look and a second chance.

So please, if you are looking for a handsome, smart boy who wants nothing more than to share his life with yours, come down to Winnipeg Animal Services and ask to meet Max in pen #18. Ask to take him outside for a visit, for a little one on one. I doubt very much that you will be leaving as you came … alone.

Video by Heather McRae Kuz (Winnipeg Animal Services Volunteer)

Post Note: Max is ADOPTED !!

Nelson – Before and After

 Nelson Before and After

I am very happy to report that Nelson has been adopted and is now enjoying life with his forever family.

I am equally as happy to see that this before and after photo is being shared on the HeARTS Speak Blog. What a wonderful way to bring awareness to the plight of the rescue dog and how a good photograph can be the instrument of introduction to a good life with good people for so many great dogs.

Before and After – Spring Edition
“We have the ability to save lives through a medium that speaks volumes. The soft eyes of an animal can convey trust, love and desire for companionship. A camera can wordlessly translate that in a powerful way. The creativity and passion of an artist’s eye is a brilliant bridge for animals that have been underestimated or cast aside. A picture really can speak a thousand words directly and succinctly. It is Spring with Summer right around the corner and we celebrate with our first Before and After jam, featuring Before and After photography from our HeARTs Speak members who are working with shelters and animals to increase adoption numbers…. view the entire HeARTS Speak blog post