Rescued dogs – their quirks & foibles

Atticus is simply not in the mood to play with the girls.  All 3 are rescued dogs & adjusting to normal lives.
Atticus is simply not in the mood to play with the girls. All 3 are rescued dogs & are adjusting to normal lives.

I spent a perfect July day with three dog rescuers and twelve happy rescued dogs.  Yes, 12.  It can be a little tricky at first when three packs come together…there’s a lot of hustle and bustle, tails and toenails moving in all directions, sniffing and more sniffing, and sometimes some curling lips and a little flash of teeth.  But with the exception of Fancy Pants–an alpha female who could just not handle having another little lady in her house–the 12 came together for a grand Sunday afternoon.

It’s remarkable, really.  These rescued dogs have been through untold trauma.  Stuff that we can never know or fully grasp.  They’ve been abandoned, neglected, abused, starved…the list of horrors is unending.  Their trust in humans has been breeched, and their hearts–and sometimes bones–broken.  Their experiences sometimes leave them with extra quirks–foibles, peccadillos.  It takes a special person to reach through all that and to give these broken dogs the unconditional love, care and dignity that brings them back.  They need restoration, some normalcy in their lives so that they can be considered for adoption.

The rescue people watch the dogs carefully, learn quickly…and accommodate these newly lucky dogs better than any restaurant or hotel I’ve ever seen.  They know who needs a little extra space, who needs to eat alone, who is afraid of slick floors or won’t go down stairs, who wants the pool filled, who appreciates a rug in the sun, who likes to chase and who likes to be chased, who needs which pill when, who likes ice cubes, who’s not feeling well, and who may need just a little extra cuddle today.

I think the dogs know how lucky they are to have been pulled out of hell and into the orbit of these compassionate people.  The dogs grow healthy, confident and hopefully forget all the bad things that happened before their rescue, before their foster, before their forever homes.  And while they may never lose those little quirks, they do learn to love again.

Bribery still won't get Rook down the stairs
Bribery still won’t get Rook down the stairs
Edward plays soccer with his beloved green ball.
Despite a billiard-ball-sized cancerous tumor hanging from his stomach, Edward plays soccer with his beloved green ball. Moments later he fell to the ground in a seizure. After 5 minutes, he recovered and went looking for the ball.
Pet shop boy Otis--and Ruby, the slightly askew rescue
Pet shop boy Otis– and Ruby, the slightly askew rescue


Solstice is frightened by the remains of a bird
Solstice is frightened by the remains of a bird
Hiccup on the couch
Hiccup was feeling a little anti-social after her surgery and stayed on the back of the couch most of the day
Shakira's purple stitches
Shakira needed eye surgery and got purple stitches
Anders the misunderstood
Anders the misunderstood. Sometimes he needs to be ignored until he calms down


Solstice & Atticus
Solstice (who is deaf & is learning sign language) looks up to Atticus (who has a bad eye)
Introducing the new foster
Fancy Pants is introduced to Avery, the new foster healing from 17 broken bones. More about Avery in my next post this week.

The quirks and foibles of rescued dogs.  From July 28, 2013 visit.

Want more information about fostering or adopting a rescued dog?

Share Button

Rescue Dogs & Their People

Anybody who knows me knows that I am crazy about dogs.  I have never been able to understand people who would give a dog up.  And to be honest, I don’t want to understand them.  The act of giving up a dog is mean, and shows no empathy, no compassion, no responsibility.  And yet, there are many who do it.  Every day, every hour, probably every minute, dogs are brought into shelters all over the country…as strays, or maybe they are too old to play, too much to care for, or they just aren’t wanted anymore.  It’s a heart-breaking cycle…for the hundreds of thousands of dogs who wait for their people to come back and for those dogs who are euthanized because no one came.

It’s also an emotional saga for the people who rescue dogs.  These people go deep into the shelters to find the dogs who need them the most, or to locate certain types of dogs for breed-specific rescue groups.  They have an intense love of dogs that is all encompassing.  It is a daily, hourly, constant thought or worry for them.  They take dogs out of shelters to fill openings in foster homes–or their own homes.  They raise money for care.  They network to arrange permanent homes.  They schedule a patchwork of transportation to drive dogs to new fosters, or forever homes, all over the country.  These people…and there are many…work tirelessly and with all their might for the dogs.  I am in awe of their strength.

There is a great joy in opening a cage and rescuing a dog.  And there is great pain turning around during that moment of joy and looking into the eyes of the other caged dogs who are hoping you will reach for their door next.  So it is with a bittersweet determination that I begin this project to photograph some of these very special souls who rescue, foster and transport dogs.  Please take a look.  Meet a few of the dogs and the people I will be spending some time with over the next few months, and let me know your thoughts.

Rescue Dogs & Their People
Rookie loves Kelly.
Rescue Dogs & Their People
Atticus kisses Judy, with Hiccup & Beau
Rescue Dogs & Their People
Solstice’s fair skin sunburns easily. Most days, she wears a t-shirt and sunblock.
Rescue Dogs and Their People
Atticus is an older Boxer with one bad eye. He is protective of Edward, a Boston Terrier with cancer.
Rescue Dogs and Their People
Shakira stays mum.
Rescue Dogs and Their People
Rookie is afraid to come down steps…
Rescue Dogs and Their People
Rookie telling me why he is afraid to come down steps.

Share Button