Every dog has it’s day… HeARTS will make sure of it
Our move from America to Australia was a stressful time. A lot of question go through your head, “will I like it?”, “How long will it take us to find work?”, “Are we making the right decision?” But the question that created the most anxiety in me was, “how will Lebowski handle the move?” Lebowski is our beloved 3 year old dog, our baby, and the thought of putting him on a 24 hour flight and 30 days in quarantine, not to mention the vet visits he would have to go through, was really hard on me. We spoil him, to say the least, home made cookies, doggie vacations with us, and yes he sleeps on the bed, and even sneaks under the covers if it’s too cold. To change everything he knows and leave him in a concrete cell for a month, seemed so cruel, I didn’t know if I could go through with it. But if he wasn’t going to Australia, then neither were we. I wasn’t going to re-home him EVER. He wasn’t something we could replace, he is the heart of our family. And on top of that, he was our responsibility. We didn’t make the decesion to get a dog lightly. We made sure we were both committed to giving him the best life we could, with time, love and discipline for a doggie lifetime. And so we would just have to spend months preparing him to make the transition as smooth as possible.
We even drove across the States, from Philadelphia to California, to cut out a flight and an extra 8 hours in the crate for him. And once we reached LA, and the flight was a few days away, it was like he knew what was going on. Long story short, he came through it fine. Visiting him in quarantine was very emotional for us but he lit up every time we visited, lots of wet kisses and aggressive tail wagging. And now he is home with us and our family is complete again. Like nothing has changed.
We often tell Lebowski, while he is nuzzled in between us, how lucky he is, and just how good he has it. Some other pets are not so lucky. There are thousands of dogs in shelters across Victoria. The other day I came across a great organization called HeARTs Speak. It is a global network of animal photographers, artists, authors, graphic designers, and advocates. The goal being to:
“reduce the number of adoptable animals unnecessarily euthanized each year – united in our effort as artists helping animals. We come together to save the lives of millions of animals in need and to educate the wider community.”
Immediately I want to get on board. Lebowski has brought so much joy to us, so it is time to give back. From the day we brought our little man home, he has become my model. The camera comes out and he loves it, and pulls his best blue steel! He is even my model in the studio while I play with my lighting right before my less furry human clients come over. I truly believe through photographing animals, you are capturing a little piece of their soul. There is so much behind their eyes, so much that would would say, if they could. I am very excited to volunteer my time to photograph animals in shelters, to bring our their personality and make someone at the other end of that photo fall in love and adopt their new best friend.
While we were in South America, we were blown away with the number of stray dogs. Every time our car broke down, we seemed to be greeted by a stray, and they were all so friendly. While we would have given anything to be able to help and re-home them, or bring a little sibling back for Lebowski, but sometimes you are just not in the position to give them the help they need. But I did photograph them with the hope that one day, I could give back. This little one always stuck with me…