This morning I awoke to a house that was a little bit cleaner, calmer.. quieter and it lacked the zest and energy that once lingered for the past few weeks. The foster pups time had come for me to take them back to the shelter as they prepare to go on transport in a few days.
For the past three weeks I have put my energy, time, emotions and efforts into making sure these babies hopefully get off on the right foot. The day I went to drop them off, I didn't realize my throat would tighten and my eyes would burn as I held back tears.
I talked to them through the crate door as they looked at me intently. I know they had questions for me. They were brave, no tears and no whining. It is as though they knew they have a whole new life waiting for them... As soon as they came into my life, they left it. I kissed them both goodbye and let them go.
These puppies have grown so much and I would be lying if I said we didn't bond over these weeks. They grew to trust me, understand me when I would praise them and when I would correct them. They looked up at me as though they needed me, my guidance and acceptance.
Moose and Jug both grew into might fine little young men and I often wonder how they will look in just a few more months. I know they will be handsome and they have personalities that could charm anyone.
I know that the chances of me ever seeing them again are next to none.. but that doesn't mean I won't be looking for them in the years to come. I will remember them as they were my own.
Good Speed my baby boys! It was an honor to say that I loved you first.
This was such a special session for me! I got to meet Bruni for the first time last week.. She had her doggie head shots done just shy of her 9th birthday! She looks fabolous don't you think?!?
You could say these photos were to commemorate her 9th Birthday as well as a nice surprise gift to her fur momma..
I was contacted in secret to sneak over and grab a few head shots of this pretty gal for a fun birthday surprise.. and needless to say, I think we were all able to pull it off without Bruni's fur momma ever finding out.
A big thank you for choosing to not only capture sweet Bruni in a photo but also to help contribute and make a difference in another shelter dog and cat's life.
All good things do not go unnoticed. Thank you for making a difference!!
Sometimes I just walk past their pen while they sleep and just look at them and smile. I find myself counting down the days that we have left together.. Sixteen days to be of fact.
I have never experienced loving and nurturing a puppy that I knew that they would not be mine to keep. It's tough as I see them bonding to me, trusting me, following me around, taking to my command, using the bathroom where they should be, running and playing and having not a care in the world. They play so carefree as though life is so grande and wonderful!
If I had one wish for these two pups it would be that they are adopted to someone that makes their life fun.. That they wouldn't have to worry about where their next meal will come from and that they will experience unconditional love from someone who is committed to see them through.
Will I foster again?
Absolutely.. It is hard work, it is also hard to let them go and always wonder what happens to them. I will always want to look for them years to come and I guarantee when I see a dog that looks somewhat familiar as how I think they would look later on.. I will think about them.
I don't believe in limiting my ability to open my home to others. My heart has grown as it needs more room to love more... so the more I help, the more I love and the more I grow from this experience.
For the past week I have started to get to know the two similar yet opposite personalities of the two foster Pit-Lab mix puppies I've been temporarily caring for. I told myself that I wouldn't get too attached... but as the week passes, I find myself holding them a little bit more.. calling them by their names.. letting them out of their play pen longer than I should. I am taking photos of them to remember them by and wondering what kind of dog will they grow up to be? Where will they end up? What will their owner be like..Will they be adopted together or separately but most importantly, will they ever find someone to adopt them?
I have just twenty one more days left to spend with these two pups and I find myself wanting to cherish every moment with them.
I went into fostering these two puppies because there was a large number of puppies that came into the GBHS this past week. There seemed to be more puppies than there were available foster parents at the time, so I felt compelled to help, not knowing what kind of puppy I would be getting.. so when they brought these two babies for me to take home, my heart melted as I looked at them through their crate. The looked back at me silently with curious expressions.. unsure what to think.
It's truly hard to give your heart to these puppies knowing that when it is time to return them.. that I will more than likely cry like a baby.. but what is even harder than that is always wondering if these puppies would ever of had a chance if no one would have stepped up to foster and care for them.
Jug-Head is full of attitude and spunk. He seems to be fearless rather it be from jumping off the couch to playing with Millie.. my 62 lb rescue. Millie and Jug have bonded and his play time involves chasing Millie around the den floor until he is either exhausted or has to use the bathroom.
He seems to be a tad more stubborn than his litter-mate Moose. He refuses to go to his 'potty' spot over at the puppy pad station. He tends to have no order with when and where he chooses to use the potty.. so I am constantly keeping my eyes on him.. and when I see it coming, I rush over to him and place him on the pads.
He is so stubborn that he even refuses to use the pee pads in his play pen as he feels that his nice, fresh clean bedding is a far more superior place to pee and poo.
So chances are, when I am cleaning and doing laundry constantly.. I can almost say with confidence.. it is after JUG-HEAD!
Whomever adopts this cutie needs to have a lot of energy and patience.. as I predict it will take more than a few 'nos' and dont's with this fella... but his capability to love on you and play will quickly make you forget what a handful he can be at times!
Now don't get me started with Moose.. I just may start to cry. He is going to be the hardest to give up, come February 6th. He is so calm and loving towards me.. and smart as a whip! He is already learning how to use his puppy pads at 4 weeks!! Moose is quick to learn and takes command very well. I feel that out of the two pups, Moose and I are more on the same level and I feel that I can get through to him much easier.
He loves play time with Milie as well.. but he is more reserved and cautious. He prefers to stay near me and often chooses my lap over running around with his litter-mate.
He is going to make the perfect snuggle buddy to that lucky person who is able and willing to adopt this little guy.
I can't help but keep a little piece of this guy in my heart for years to come. I know I will often wonder about their well being and hope that someone will see the value and worth that I see in both Moose and Jug-Head as they begin their next stage in life.
It's been looking like a full house around my home the past week as I have taken on another foster.. except this time.. they are PUPPIES!!!
Everybody... I'd like you to meet litter mates Jug and Moose. These guys are a pit-lab mix and are 4 weeks!!
I agreed to foster these babies from the GBHS as they prepare to go on transport the beginning of February.. so there is safety knowing that I will be unable to adopt these and yes, I am getting attached and falling in love and it will be sad when I must return these cuties but there is satisfaction in knowing that these puppies know what it is to be loved and cared for.
I want to get these guys off on the right foot and fostering is the best way to do this. If you love puppies but can't commit to a forever home with a dog I feel that the GBHS foster program is the perfect fit and you should consider joining it. It allows you to have that companionship with a fur-baby and the best part about this program is you are freeing up space for another homeless dog or cat.
For more foster information please visit the www.gbhs.org site , click on get involved at the top of the website and you will find a form to fill out in the community care section.
I'd love to see more people become involved, making a difference and saving lives!
Can I just say ' I AM IN LOVE'!!!! I just got a major case of puppy fever after having met Scout for the first time last night. He is 100% mutt and 110% perfect.. Oh I can't tell you how special this session was for me earlier today. I was so thankful that I was able to recruit one of my best friends for a mini-pup session after she was surprised with Scout over Christmas!!!
I can't say the last time I've been around a puppy of this age. It brought back so many memories of when Lola was a baby. Time sure has flown by since then.. so I was over joyed to have such a small gift of joy in front of the camera today.
I had almost forgotten how much fun it is to photograph little, perfect puppies!!
You may not think it important to capture this new stage of growth with man's best friend.. but seriously.. if you think of your fellow fur friend as a part of the family, you wouldn't think twice about it.
Every new baby deserves their own photo session!!!
Congratulations on Scout's arrival.. I felt like I was photographing my friend's newborn baby session.. This is how big a deal this little guy is to me. Can I be his God-Momma??? :-D
Run, play..and run some more! This past weekend my husband and I decided to spend some down time at the family lake house. This was Millie's first time to visit the place and we weren't sure what she would think or how she would act. Needless to say, she fit right in!
I do believe she was full speed ahead the whole time and I feel it made the trip more fun for Lola as well. She had someone to accompany her with all the play time any dog could ask for.
The water levels were way down as they are most winters.. so this allowed us to explore the shoreline. It made a great play ground for the pups, who ran tirelessly around in circles, played tug and ran up and down the shore, finding sticks to chew on.
I didn't see any fear in Millie's eyes. It is as though she ran full speed ahead, not needing to check behind her or stop at the sight of something unknown that lay in front of her.
She seemed more concerned with keeping up with our Lolacoaster.
Morning times were my favorite time to take them walking. We would walk to the top of the hill, around the circle and eventually end up down on the shoreline.. Where they would run and chase one another.
The sounds of summer were long gone.. on occasion, I could hear the wine of a fisherman's engine passing by as it echoed off the shore walls. The lake was vast and empty. It was lifeless compared to that of just a quick 4 months ago.
In the afternoon, Gary and I would play board games, watch Christmas movies, we went to town one afternoon and grabbed dinner. We also decided to go see all the Christmas lights on display at the Sportsman Lake downtown. It was a great quick trip out of town that was very much needed by all!
Our little get-away was a very nice welcome. There was no hustle and bustle of things needing to be done. Time didn't exist for the past four days. Having Millie join in on the fun added a whole new dynamic to our lake-cation..
As 2017 comes to a close, I find myself thinking how so much can happen within a year for many people. Millie in particular has seemed to experience so much.. From close to death to now traveling to all kinds of places and socializing with all walks of life. She's enjoyed the beach, hiking, several state parks, music festivals, Cocktails For Critters, the dog park, her first snow play day and last but not least.. the lake house where hopefully she will spend many years enjoying!
We have just added a few more packages that might be peaking a handful of interest this new year. Starting in January, we will be offering New Born Puppy and Play Packages.
The Newborn Puppy sessions are a lifestyle/at home session that emphasize capturing those sweet new additions of your puppy sleeping or laying on his bed or couch, being, kissed, cuddled and adored! The suggested age for these are between one to three months old. We will capture headshots and full body photos.. Cute puppy faces, yawns, stretches and focus on his personality in a comfortable at home environment..
If you have a puppy four months and older that loves to play and run then we will suggest the Play Sessions. This is a great way to get those action shots of playing fetch, running, hiking and getting some play time in at your pals favorite park or trail. These sessions are full of personality and expression and are a lot of fun!
Just need a simple headshot, well Doggie Headshots are still a personal favorite of most and are quick and easy for any dog!
Looking forward to meeting new fur faces for the new year!
What a fun surprise for us to wake up to! I wasn't sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me.. Snowing?? In early December?? In Alabama?? I can't ever remember it snowing like this during all my life this early on in the year.
I couldn't wait to see how Millie would react to the white fluffy stuff and took it upon myself to get outside ASAP!
Lola had seen snow before, had played in it a handful of times and wasn't as eager to get out in it as Millie.. but after Lola saw how much fun Millie was having, she was convinced and joined in like she was a puppy all over again.
I could only imagine how Millie would have acted towards the unfamiliar terrain just a few short months ago. She probably would have not wanted to go near it, let alone jump and run circles full speed ahead.
That is just what she did. She ventured without hesitation onto the cold, wet ground and played like there was no tomorrow.
It warmed my heart to see her running around, coaxing Lola to play and chase her as though her only care in the world was making sure she was having fun.. and having fun is what she knows how to do a lot of these days.
Sept. 2016 - Dec 2, 2017
This has got to be one of the hardest parts about becoming attached to a furbaby and I really am at loss of words on what to say right now.. but I do know that Tucker's paw has made a huge imprint on my heart and I'd like to take a moment and speak on how this little guy changed my life.
Although, he did not belong to me, I felt like he was my very own. I remember around this time last year, I met him for the very first time. My life-long friend Stacie brought him to my home to watch the Iron Bowl. He stayed curled up in a small ball of fur, pressed safely against her chest as he slept.
I was smitten!
It didn't take long for the little guy to grow into his own . He was always happy, carefree and he loved a good challenge and adventure. His little size did not hold him back from hanging with the big dogs.
He was the 'house' favorite play mate and my two, Lola and Millie, couldn't wait to have a full day of fun when we would all hang out. I have so many good memories of them all together where they use to play, places they would go and trips that we all would take.
Tucker touched my life within the short time he was here because without him, I honestly feel that Millie would not be as advanced with where she is today. She was so timid when she first got to my home.. Everything was scary to her and then she met Tucker.
He showed her how to enjoy life, live in the moment and not be scared of everything and anything. He built her confidence and taught her how to play. It didn't take long for Millie to learn that chase was a game and that it was FUN!
On our last day together, it was the perfect day.. we spent the whole day together, little did we know what dark and heavy heartache lay ahead of us. It crushes my spirit to know that Tucker took his last breath out on the street in front of my home and I cannot, for the life of me, ever get this out of my head.
The home that he had come to love and visit, a safe-haven for dogs, the place where all dogs could run and play without any worry.. it all changed in a blink of an eye.
The back yard that once was filled with cheer and fun memories now is vacant, still and empty. The grey sky mimics that of my melancholy mood and the wind chimes sound as though they call out for the precious life we have lost.
I miss him terribly, I know Lola and Millie will always wonder where he is and I can't even begin to imagine the heartache my friend is experiencing right now.
The only peace and solice I can find right now is knowing that Tucker had the BEST life ever. He experienced more than the average dog. He had a lot of love, a lot of friends and a lot of fun! His life was not in vain.. within the short year he had on this earth, he touched many and taught many too!
This is what I like so much about photographs.. They are proof that once, even if just a heartbeat, everything was perfect.