***disclaimer: before images may be shared with each post, which may be sad and disturbing. I will NOT post graphic images but by sharing the lifestyle where these animals came from, I pray that it will help bring into light all the rescues that need loving, forever homes. They need your help.**
Now onto my first story….
I first met Yuki & Pepper’s humans many years ago through a local school and sport where our kids took classes together. Over the last couple of years, their mom and I have been getting to know one another a little better, talking about our kids and our furbabies. They are all such a sweet family. Very down to earth and just super pleasant. For a while now, I’ve been wanting to photographer her family and a couple of weeks ago, I finally had the chance. I was SO EXCITED to meet her pitbull mixes as I adored all her photos that she posted and their personalities, I could already tell through the photos, WERE AWESOME and FUN!
Their mom met me at the door of their home (as they may have been timid coming into my studio) and all I could see was two beautiful dogs with super wiggly butts, greeting me as well! I couldn’t get enough of them and I haven’t even walked through their door yet. 🙂 I started taking the dogs’ portraits inside, so they could get to know me a little better. Yuki (the white one), was a little timid with my camera but she came around pretty quickly. Then we went outside for some adorable images as well. By the end of the session, Pepper (the darker one), happily sat on my feet while I talked to her mom and dad..and I was told by them, that was the greatest of ways to let me know they accepted and liked me. My heart couldn’t be happier.
I may have tried to whisper into Pepper’s ears that they could sneak into my car to come home with me. lol
And now…..here are questions that I ask the families and the stories of their beloved furbabies. Learn where they came from, how far they’ve come (as you can clearly see their before photos) and just how amazing these dogs are!
ME: What are the names and ages of your furbabies? How long have you had them?
MOM: Yuki (the white one) is 4 and Pepper (the darker one) is 3. We got Yuki when he was about 2 and Pepper at 6 months. They are Pitbull/Bully mixes.
ME: Did you keep their name that they had before they were rescued? What made you choose their (now) name?
MOM: We changed their names. Yuki was given the name of Nero at the pound so he only had that name for an couple of months. Yuki means ‘snow’ in Japanese. Pepper’s name was given by us instead of her shelter name of Kyra because she has salt and pepper flecks on her fur.
ME: Why is rescuing so near and dear to your heart?
MOM: I can’t see creating more dogs when there is such an overpopulation problem and dogs of every breed, sex and age are available to people if they just look for them. Too many beautiful healthy dogs are put down to look the other way.
ME: What rescue (and/or shelter) did you rescue your furbaby from?
MOM: Both were in Clayton County Animal Shelter in Georgia, a high kill shelter. Both were pulled by New England Humane Society, and Grateful Doggies Canine Freedom Transport delivered them to us. The woman that fostered Pepper (who’s initials are LJ) before we had her and nursed her back to health, she’s the reason that Pepper is alive!!
ME: How did you find your dogs? Website? Word of mouth?
MOM: I found Pepper doing a search for adoptable dogs in Rhode Island. When I saw her picture I called in, and they said she was on the transport to RI as we spoke. After we adopted her, I connected with Georgia rescue groups on social media, and then Yuki‘s picture came up on a list of dogs that would be put to sleep in the next couple of days and I zoomed in on him, contacted New England Humane Society to ask if they could pull him for me and they arranged for transport.
(Pepper is on the right below, before adoption) 🙁
Yuki when he was rescued
ME: How did you know they were the one for your family?
MOM: Honestly, I fall in love with dogs pretty much at first sight, and it would take a lot for me not to enjoy them, LOL. I love all their little quirks and what other people might view as faults, and I guess because of that they are very grateful and loving so it just kind of grows organically from there.
ME: Describe what the adjustment period was like for your DOG(s) once they came to your home. What was their fear? How long did it take them to overcome the uncertainty (if any)? What was their safe space or what made them feel safe?
MOM: Pepper was very scared and fearful for the first few days. Of everyone. She has been through so much in such a short time and seen so many transitions and we all knew that and just kept very quiet and let her have her space. In about a week she started to become playful and more trusting of us. It helped that she was still so young.
Yuki was older and it seemed like he had come from an abusive past. He was cautious but hopeful. We also stayed very quiet, I gave him a crate that he could retreat into without anyone looking at him or bothering him. We just wanted him to know that he was now safe and we didn’t make any demands of him. Yuki and pepper did not meet for a few days as we kept them at separate parts of the house and let them sniff each other‘s toys and spaces while the other was away and we made a slow introduction. And they have become best friends and they are both extremely loving goofy and sweet dogs.
ME: Describe what the adjustment period was like for YOU having them in your home, now part of your family.
MOM: I am impatient with people, but have all the patience in the world for animals, so it came very easily for me and I didn’t feel like I’m the one that needed the time. I was all too happy to have them and just wanted to ensure their happiness.
ME: Describe what your furbaby’s temperament and personality is like. What’s their favorite thing to do? What is something that they do that makes you laugh? Do they have a strange habit that just makes them unique?
MOM: Pepper is a dignified lady, calm and quiet inside. As soon as she is outside, it seems a flip has been switched and she romps, rolls and gets the zoomies like a little puppy. She is not a kissy dog, but when she is overcome with joy or sentiment, she will bestow a tiny kiss upon your nose so it feels like she is granting her favor upon you. She steals tastes from your coffee and will run away with your hat and scarves when you take them off.
Yuki is the proverbial brat. He gets jealous, and steals toys from his sister, is very vocal and in your face. He will wrap himself around you, hug you and lick you until you can barely breathe. When he starts to get sleepy, he grabs his soft blanket and will suck on it like a pacifier.
ME: If you could try to convince someone who was on the fence about rescuing, what would you say to them? How has it changed you and your lives?
MOM: I would tell everyone to spend a day in a kill shelter to see how these abandoned and unwanted dogs wait every day for a kind human to take them away from there and to love them. I would tell them to look at social media pages of kill shelters and see all the beautiful dogs looking at you through the cages and I would ask them to be a voice for the voiceless. I would tell them that new puppies and purebred dogs have issues and health problems just like any dog from a shelter could. I would ask them to give them a chance.
(Photo of Yuki, Pepper and one of their humans)
***C, Thank you for sharing their story and for welcoming me into your home. ~ Teresa
**For those interested in having your rescued dog/cat photographed and their story told, please send me an email through this blog. I cannot wait to work with you and connect with your beloved furbabies.