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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

charlie | burlington ontario pet photographer

I've posted a few photos of Charlie in previous entries, but it's about time this lovable giant gets blogged about properly.

Charlie is a great pyrenees, although his caregiver Heather is sure he's part part polar bear. His soft, fluffy fur is white as snow, and he's pretty huge. I often joke about wanting to smuggle my clients' dogs home with me in my camera bag, and this holds true for Charlie. But I would have to get a much bigger camera bag first!

I was smitten the moment I saw him. There is a soulfulness about Charlie that belies the trauma he has experienced.
Charlie's story is one of tenacity. His exact age is unknown, but he is a senior dog for his breed. He moves slowly due to the onset of arthritis and he is almost fully blind. It was in this condition that he was dumped in a marsh and left to die.

But Charlie is a fighter.

No one knows how long he was alone in that marsh fending for himself — although those that came to care for him say it could have been many months. Happily, Charlie was rescued and put up for adoption through Great Pyrenees Rescue. It was there that Heather, her husband and four children found him.

"When we first arrived to meet Charlie, the kids fell all over him and walked him around," she says. "You almost didn't notice his condition, he was so mellow and loveable. Almost. Under his thick coat of fur, he only weighed 70 lb (about 30 lb underweight). You could feel every rib and his backbone stuck out prominently."
Since he's been in his new home, Charlie has gained 12 lb. Heather says he loves to sleep in front of the fireplace and everyone adores him. "I hope he understands that he is with us forever, and he will never have to suffer again a day in his life," she says.
Even though Charlie is almost completely blind, he is very aware. There were many times during our shoot that I totally forgot about his lack of vision — he just seemed so present. He was happy sniffing away at all the smells during our slow walk through the forest, and there is just a serenity about his presence that is very calming.

Although I was hoping for a blanket of snow on the ground — our session took place in February! — I love the golden tones and light in Charlies images.

As a pet photographer, I always try to capture the unique personality of each animal I meet. And I think Charlie's images are some of my all-time favourites. He seems like an old soul, one that could teach us so much in life, and yet you can tell he enjoys each new moment, each new smell, each new hug from his family.

Kudos to Heather and her awesome kids for adopting a senior dog. He may not move as fast as a puppy, but he truly is the best first dog a family could ever hope for.

Wags,

Stacey

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3 Comments:

At March 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM , Anonymous Lucy said...

Charlie is so adorable! His story is very touching, makes me want to give him a big hug! Great work as usual Stacey!

 
At March 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM , Blogger stacey said...

Thanks Lucy! He really is a loveable, huggable big guy.

 
At March 12, 2012 at 1:18 PM , Blogger De tout, de rien said...

When I read stories like this, I wish I could find the old owners and shake them and ask them "What's wrong with you people?". Charlie probably gave them the best years of his life and when it came time for them to return the favour, they just dump him. Well, guess what, somebody's trash is someone else's beloved treasure!

Charlie is a wonderful cuddly bear and I am so happy he found his "real" home.

 

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