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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I Heart Faces Pets

I love viewing the submissions and winners of photo challenges.  I Heart Faces is a website that has photo challenges weekly.  I just love seeing the work of other photographers around the world.  I am just not someone that ever takes the time to actually make a submission to the challenges.  This week, however, the challenge is pets.  I just feel compelled to enter this time with my sweet Buddy.  Buddy is simply the sweetest, most obedient dog I have ever owned.  He is a 9 year old Longhair Dachshund.  We rescued Buddy 2 1/2 years ago from a couple who was divorcing.  Neither one had a place to keep him so we were able to bring him into our home.  We were told that sweet Buddy had spent his entire life in a crate.  He was purchased to be the pet of the father's children from a previous marriage.  The children came to stay with him every other weekend.  With the exception of the 4 days a month the kids visited their father, Buddy lived in a small crate and was only let out to go to the bathroom.  Yes...he even ate in his crate.  He came to our home very meek and full of anxiety but we surrounded him with love and attention.  It is so much fun to see more and more of his true personality come out all the time.  He is such a dear little dog.

I took this image of Buddy about 6 months after he came to live with us.  I wanted to capture him as the regal king that we feel he is. I wanted to share the image so that I could share his story.  He has had a difficult life, but he is certainly loved and spoiled now. If you are interested in the rest of his story, I have more below the image...  I titled this image:

Dog Show Winners Have Nothing On Me

A few months after I took this image of Buddy, he fell victim to IVDD (a degenerative disk disease fairly common to Dachshunds)  We let him outside in our backyard and he didn't come back in.  We found him in the back of the yard at the bottom of the hill.  He was paralyzed in the lower half of his body.  I had such a crazy mix of emotions.  I was devastated for him but I was also really angry that this poor dog that spent most of his life in a crate now couldn't walk. 

We are blessed to see a holistic vet, Dr Ward at Plano Animal Clinic.  Dr Ward uses cutting edge treatments for these dogs to get them to walk again.  He uses lasers, nutrition, and natural supplements to heal the spinal cord.  We had to bring Buddy to Dr. Ward three times a week.  Did I mention Buddy's injury was the week before Christmas last year? was the week before Christmas.  Dr. Ward and his staff came into the office even though they were closed for the holidays just so they could treat Buddy and another Dachshund who also had IVDD.  I can tell you that it was a process and it didn't happen overnight, but our Buddy is now walking and running again.  He just recently has gotten strong enough to jump on the couch again.  I would say he is about 95% of where he was before the injury.  I never thought he would walk again, but our sweet boy had an inner resolve and he never gave up.  He now runs and plays with his brothers just like he did before.  We are so thankful to Dr. Ward and his staff. 

I have a huge portrait of this image of Buddy in my house.  Whenever I look at it, I think of the determination it took this sweet dog to overcome a meaningless life for 7 years, and then to overcome paralysis after he had only been free for 18 months.  He is a model for strength, determination, and never giving up.  Like I show winners have nothing on Buddy!



  1. What a story! I was so happy to get to the end and read that he's getting back to his normal self - amazing! And what an incredible image to go along with the story!! Powerful!

    1. Thank you Kara. I am so sorry I just saw your comment. For some reason I was never notified. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!