Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Part About Broken Hearts...

Honey

I had a first at the shelter during my weekly photo session last Friday. I sat down on the rocks in the middle of one of the outdoor enclosures with a dog in my lap and cried. I mentioned in my post about Kay last week that while I enjoy photographing these dogs because I know my photos are making a difference in finding them homes, there is also a bit of heart-break involved. Little did I know then that just a few days later, I'd get my heart completely shattered.

This is Honey. She and her friend Tuga were the last two dogs I photographed this past Friday. I had already been working for more than three hours when I got to Honey and Tuga and had to search for them as they had been moved since the length of stay list I had had been printed.  When I found Honey, I greeted her as I do all my charges and opened her kennel door to take her out. But she wouldn't come to me. She wouldn't even stand up. She just crouched down on the floor cowering. I could tell it was out of fear not out of aggression that she crouched, so I decided to just pick her up and carry her outside. She's about the size of my Molly, but a lot thinner.

Once I got her outside, I put her down on the ground and she immediately just cowered down, shaking with fear. I put my camera in my gear bag and sat down on the ground with her. She crawled over and put her head in my lap, shaking the whole time. In that moment, she completely broke my heart. I knew she was an owner confiscation, so that meant there was neglect and/or abuse involved.  It appeared as if her tail had been cut off half way up and what was remaining had been broken in three places.  What had happened to this poor girl?  Just imagining that brought me to tears.  Here she was, this sweet, gentle, beautiful dog, and she had lived through something so terrible that she had to be taken from her owner, neglected, abused, starved....and yet she layed her head in my lap just wanting to be loved.  It's amazing to me an animal's capacity to love and want to be loved, despite what she may have been through.

We sat there like that, Honey and I, for about 30 minutes, her head in my lap, me petting her and talking to her with tears running down my cheeks.  After a while, I got up to see if I could get her to walk a bit and go potty.  She got up but would only walk wherever I went, very close to my legs, so we just walked around a bit.  Once I got her leash on her to take her back inside, I was able to catch a couple shots of her sweet face, and then I picked her back up and carried her back inside.

I haven't been able to get her out of my head, or my heart, since.  Tuga, below, who I'm guessing came in with her from the same owner confiscation, didn't seem quite as bruised and broken as Honey did, but he, too, stuck close to my side during our time together.  We're currently fostering two baby kittens and will be going out of town in two weeks for our annual summer vacation, but if Honey is still in need when we get back, I do believe she'll be coming to my house, even if just long enough to foster her and build her trust back up and then find her the perfect home. I have a feeling Honey and my Molly might have some things to talk about.

Update, May 23:  Honey and Tuga were taken in by the Jacksonville Humane Society today! They are safe until the right family comes along to adopt them!  (That right family might still be this one if they are still available when we get back from Boca Grande....)
    Tuga

6 comments:

cath c said...

your big heart is exactly what that sweet dog needs. this was how my lucy was when i HAD to take her home. she was always a little on the nervous side, but she had more love for us than anything. that look is what made me bring her home.

Anonymous said...

My heart is broken....

Lisa Graham said...

Oh Kelly...I would have been bawling with you. I wish I could take them all home. Poor babies. Your photography of them is amazing. I took a stray to the shelter a few weeks back. She was just a happy-go-lucky pup and I was so afraid she would get hit by a car. She followed me home on a walk. I thought of you. I kept checking to see if she had been picked up and she was after three days! I am so happy I took the time. Have a wonderful vacation!

Jill Eudaly said...

I have two shelter dogs and one cat from the Humane Society. To make you smile here is how I got 3 of my pets. I took said cat to a rabies clinic and came home with a dog. The next year I went back, took the cat and dog to the same rabies clinic...got another dog! I decided to not be so cheap and went to the vet's office the next year. But God was not done. A pregnant cat showed up at my house screaming. We just had new neighbors move in. I took the cat--she was in labor, to their home. I knew they had a cat and dog. I put the cat on their porch and walked away. The cat followed me. I took it back, put it in a breeze way and ran. Turns out the cat was not theirs and had 7 kittens. I took one out of guilt but never told them where the cat came from!

Andi (RrlScrapGal) said...

Oh my... tears over here as well. xxxooooo. Such sweet doggies...

Melody said...

I hope these two get good homes. Their eyes say so much.