Meet Yogi, Maggie and Britain. Three brown (ish) rescue dogs, all adopted from CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare). These three beauties came through to the studio a couple of weeks ago for a styled shoot with their parents. I’m passionate about promoting adoption of dogs from shelters and in particular mixed breed dogs, as these are the ones that are often the least desirable because they don’t fall into a specific breed category, but actually you get the best of many breeds combined. I’d like to change the way mixed breed dogs are perceived and highlight just how fabulous they are by sharing their individual stories and anecdotes.
Yogi was Karen and Graham’s first rescue dog, they adopted him in 2011 after seeing his photo on CLAW’s Facebook page. Karen told me that after a childhood of pet store bought dogs who had puppies so as children they could witness ‘the miracle of birth’, followed by a pure bred Beagle who died at age three from renal failure and a congenital defect, her and her husband Graham decided to take an different path and adopt a rescue.
Yogi was brought into CLAW as a puppy with a injury to his back leg and after seeing the photo I took of him in April 2011, Karen adopted him. She describes him as dog X chicken X cat because he’s so unique and was drawn to him in particular because he looked odd and awkward, which in her own words she says of herself and Graham, ‘we are too’. We connect with people in life who we can relate to in some way and subsequently we resonate with them, I think it’s very much the same with dogs. I once read somewhere that the pets we choose each reflect aspects of our personalities which is why we are drawn to them. Yogi is case in point.
Here’s Yogi when he was at CLAW –
Britain – Collie X Jackal (more likely Boxer, but who knows)
Britain, rescue no 2, was adopted as a small puppy from a litter of six in 2014. Yogi selected him from the puppies that were presented to him one by one at CLAW. Karen describes Britain as happy go lucky, but somewhat needy as he follows her everywhere (I think it’s always nice to know you’re wanted).
The last of the Carr family rescues is Maggie (she wouldn’t be the last if Karen had a bigger car).
Maggie is a Pitbull mix. Although there might be a small amount of crocodile in the mix as Maggie enjoys using her teeth to explore everything and everybody ;). Maggie is a very happy and loving dog, but her life didn’t start out well. This lady was rescued from Soweto where she was found in a ditch with a broken jaw and a raw broken off front leg which was full of maggots, she had been used as a bait dog and was dehydrated and emaciated. Karen offered her a home immediately and she collected her from CLAW on the 24th June this year.
Despite her awful experience at the hands of humans, Maggie is friendly and full of fun. Dogs are very forgiving and Maggie is a reminder that love conquers all. I think we could all learn a lot from dogs, especially rescue dogs who often join adopted families after having had negative experiences in their lives, and then slot into a family like they’ve always been there.
Compassion, generous hearts and unconditional acceptance are all traits that rescue dog parents have and share with their adopted dogs.
I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Yogi, Britain and Maggie and that their stories inspire you to adopt a mixed breed dog rather than buying one from a breeder or pet store. As Mom to three rescue dogs, I can say with confidence that you won’t regret it.
A final note from Karen and Graham – “Please adopt. Please don’t shop and please, where you can, if you can’t adopt, donate or volunteer. If you think it’s scary and sad looking in those cages, think about how scary it must be looking out”.