I didn’t know it then, but my life was about to change forever. 

Years ago on my way to work one morning, I saw a stray dog. The first time I saw him, I thought that maybe he had just gotten out of his backyard. But as the days went by, I saw him in the same spot, every single day. It soon became clear that he was homeless and even more that he needed help. I started with leaving food for him and slowly trying to gain his trust. Weeks went by, I stopped by every day either before or after work, leaving food and fresh water and talking to him. Unbeknownst to me, two other people were also leaving food and water for this guy! Talk about a well-fed stray! 😆

Eventually, he learned to trust us. I wasn't actually the one able to catch him, one of the other feeders did, but since we had all exchanged our contact information - the texts started flying fast and furious once he was caught and on an leash. Turns out, he was a lot older than we thought, a sweet senior German Shephard. We named him Shadow, because he was living at the entrance to a neighborhood called Shadow Creek Ranch. We eventually found him a forever home with one of my co-workers and he lived out his life in luxury for the next 8 years.

Shadow was the first of many dogs that I helped catch, trap or foster over the years. Some stayed with us short term, and some (I will admit) never left but stayed as part of our family.

adoptable dog at Harris County Animal Shelter

I often say that I've never actually picked out a dog of my own. The reason being that almost every dog I've ever had was either given to me or found their own way to my front door. Over the years, we have provided homes to multiple stray dogs and even a few owner surrenders. Looking back, having rescue dogs have taught me so much not just about love but also about life.

I learned THREE really important truths: 

  1. How important it is to understand dog behavior and social cues - especially if you have a multi-dog household.
  2. The important of good nutrition and exercise for a harmonious household
  3. Taking the time to appreciate the little things. How beautiful Houston is in the Spring, how it feels to turn your face towards the sun for a few minutes, how the wind sounds in the trees and appreciating the nuances that make each dog unique and special.
Houston Humane Society volunteer with adoptable dog

Rescuing Started Me On A New Path

If you know me for even five minutes, then you know that I've been volunteering with dog rescue groups for many years. I spent hours and hours using my then photography hobby as a way to help dogs get adopted. Eventually, it became clear that pet photography was indeed my happy place and where I wanted to focus all my time. Rescue dogs helped me make the jump from hobbyist to professional and I'm reminded daily how happy I am I made that decision.

Most of my clients also have rescue dogs and I absolutely love capturing their bond. It's always so fascinating to me to hear how their dog came into their life, and how much their life has changed for the better as a result. The stories are as a varied and different as they are dogs in the world!

What about you? Did you adopt your dog or horse? I'd love to hear about your adoption journey!