Bailey, the adorable Pekingese mix, represented the canine members of the family during this engagement session with Meely Photography. Bailey has a canine sidekick, Banner, but he didn’t come to the engagement session. Although I love seeing dogs included in engagement pictures, it is essential to put the dog’s needs first!
From Jessica: “We have two dogs: Banner, a male rescue Pit bull mix, and Bailey, a female Pekepoo (Poodle and Pekingese mix).
We’ve had Bailey since she was about three months old, and weighed only 2 pounds. On our two-year dating anniversary when we went into a pet store in town and ended up meeting Bailey. We wound up falling in love with her. She had such spunk–very lively, playful and it’s like that saying goes ‘though she be but little, she is fierce.’ We stayed playing with her for at least an hour. She tried tearing apart her play-toy, as well as our hands. I’m pretty sure she was teething. She couldn’t get enough, and we couldn’t either.
We added her to our ‘family’ and took her home with us the next day to our first apartment, which I’m pretty sure did not allow pets–but, at 2 pounds she was slightly easier to hide. And by slightly, I mean that she would run around the entire apartment in circles–I swore it was only time that we would be found out (we were on the top floor with hardwood floors with neighbors downstairs). But we ended up moving out of the apartment two months later, and back in with my parents due to a career move in support of Kevin.
It was also about two and a half years after we had brought Bailey home, that the pet store we had taken her home from was raided and shut down due to selling sick, malnourished puppies. We were thankful that we were able to save her when we did.
Banner, who is not pictured in our engagement photos, is a Pit bull mix who we rescued in July 2016. He gets extremely excited when he sees bicycles, balls, and squirrels, so we decided to keep him at home during our photos. We are actually Banner’s third family. His first family sold him on Facebook for less than $30 to his second owners, when he was about six months old. His second owners may have only had him for about a week–if that. However, there were issues within this household, which required the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) to become involved.
Kevin is a police officer. One day while Kevin was working, he received a call for dispatch to a location where a dog was reported to be on the roof of a house. He immediately made his way to that location, where lo and behold there was a dog on the roof of a house. Emergency personnel, including Kevin, were on site within minutes to ensure the safe rescue of the dog. The dog was brought to the licensed local animal shelter by the Animal Response Team to be held for seven days; It is the shelter’s legal responsibility to told these animals so that their owners know where to find them.
The owners were not at home for over 24 hours (went out of state), with at least two pets in the house (the Pit bull mix and a bulldog) who were kept in separate crates. It did not appear that anyone was responsible for checking in on the dogs during the time that the owners were away. The Pit bull mix managed to break free from his crate (we discovered ourselves that he is a little Houdini), go through the pillow that was propped on the side of the wall air-conditioning unit, and made his way onto the roof of the house.
During the seven day hold at the local animal shelter, the owner arrived and requested to get his dog back. However, once the owners became aware of the reclaim fee (less than $40), they immediately surrendered their pet to the shelter.
Prior to this, Kevin and I had been discussing the possibility of adding on to our little family with an additional ‘fur-child.’ We were throwing around the idea of adopting a rescue when Banner literally came into our lives out of the blue. Kevin was immediately drawn to adopting the dog whose life he was involved in rescuing. Since the day of the rescue, Kevin would visit the Pit bull mix to both ease Banner’s anxiety and in hopes of adopting him.
Once we received news that his owner surrendered him to the Animal Shelter, we made arrangements to introduce Bailey to Banner to see how they would interact. During their interaction, everything seemed fine, and Bailey didn’t seem to pay Banner any mind. So when the 7-day hold came to an end, Kevin and I ended up adopting him and bringing him home. We named him Banner since he models Marvel Comics Bruce Banner aka the Hulk, due to his personality and strength.
It has not been an easy road since adopting Banner since he has a lot of anxiety due to his past. Banner struggles with house-training, but these past two years have progressively gotten better. We’ve gone from crating (or trying to), to strictly being allowed in the kitchen with the help of a tall baby gate, to opening our entire home to Banner and so he is allowed to roam freely with Bailey.
At first, he was very scared of being left alone, being placed inside of a crate (for any amounts of time), and did not like his paws being touched. Now, he loves his day-time naps on the couch, his daily cuddle sessions with dad, and has demonstrated how loving and protective he is of our household.
We are fortunate to have both Bailey and Banner in our lives. They truly complete our little family.”
You can see more of their engagement photos and read about how Jess and Kevin met on Meely’s blog.
About Meely Photography: Based in Somerset, New Jersey, Meely specializes in wedding photography.