It is no secret that I love rescue dogs. I admire those individuals who volunteer their time and energy helping dogs who are homeless. I was deeply touched when I came across the Suzie Project by Jessica Painter Photography. Jessica is doing some personal projects that document the “behind the scenes” of helping a dog find her forever home.
From Jessica: “Animals are brought to the shelter for so many reasons. The people at the rescues give their all every day to help animals. There are often times tears of sorrow when a sad, scared dog is brought into their care. There are tears of frustration when justice isn’t done. But then are also tears of laughter from wet, sloppy kisses or from watching the dog run free, playing. And there are also tears of happiness when they say farewell as the dog goes to their forever home, feeling accepted and loved.
I couldn’t be more grateful for the people who give their time for the animals in need. It is like their heart and soul is invested in every animal they rescue. They don’t get paid for it and rarely get recognized for it, but they do it anyway. Even on the days when it would be easier to give up, they don’t. Their hearts are big and their love is strong. I wish there were more people like them in the world.
Suzie was brought to Regional Animal Shelter as a stray. It was said she had been passed from owner to owner, but no one ever came forward claiming ownership. She came in weighing only 39 pounds (she should have been at least 55!) with worms and a skin disease called Malassezia. Treatment for the skin disorder requires baths every other day with medicated shampoo, oral medication, shots, vitamins and a grain free diet.
Her muscles were also so weak that she couldn’t even run and play! While she came in looking very sad, she still showed unconditional love, affection and trust. Even after being put in harm’s way, her desire to love is still there in her eyes.”
After a few weeks of good care at the shelter, Suzie’s fur was shiny and she was feeling better.
From Renee: “Every shelter dog is special to me. Each one I treat like my own. Suzie was extra special. From the day she came in I felt a bond with her that was different than others. She and I just bonded. She is an old soul. It was wonderful watching her come back to life before my eyes. She transformed from frail and timid to strong and silly! When Mr. J. came to see her and wanted to fill out an application I was very protective of her. I needed to know for sure that she was going to be cared for the way I would care for her. Mr. J. and/or his wife came every day to see her before we formally adopted her. I knew then there was no better family for her than them.
I cried my eyes out when she left but I get updates on her all the time and she comes to visit. She definitely remembers me and we still have a connection.”
Follow Jessica Painter Photography on Facebook to see some adoptable dogs, lovely weddings, engagements and more.
You can read more about Suzie’s story on Jessica’s blog.
About Jessica Painter Photography: Based in Albany, New York, Jessica Painter and her husband are wedding, portrait and special event photographers available to travel. They have three dogs and volunteer photographing homeless dogs.