{ Drucilla & Chuck }

As most of you know, I am somewhat of a regular at the local Humane Society. I show up ever so often, camera in tow, prepared to crawl into dog pens and photograph scared, dirty, and unhappy animals. It’s challenging to capture the spirit of an animal when they are often lost and heart broken. I am diligent, however, and will not leave until I catch a glimpse of this dog or cat’s soul, just so a potential adopter can see the beauty that I see.

I say all this, not to brag on myself. I need no congratulations or pat on the back. However, I would like to acknowledge someone else who is far more diligent than myself. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some very dedicated, amazing people. The director, George, his wife, Dee, some of the workers and volunteers at the shelter (like Reggie, Cindy, and Debbie, just to name a few) who have been more than helpful during my visits. One particular volunteer, however, I have become most fortunate to know.

This man is a Navy veteran, dog lover, and as a journalist, he is one heck of a good writer. His name is Chuck Warzyn, and despite ups and downs in his own life, one thing is certain: he WILL go to that shelter at least 3 days a week and walk those dogs, and he WILL go to that shelter and give them all fresh Kong balls filled with peanut butter, and he WILL ensure I am updated on what photos need to be taken/changed/moved/deleted/replaced. And he does it all so eloquently, whether it be by telephone or e-mail.

On my way out of the shelter on Saturday, Chuck mentioned that he wanted a photo of Drucilla, the resident Irish Deerhound, jumping up with her paws on someone’s shoulders, just to demonstrate her size to any potential adopters. He happily volunteered to be the “shoulders”.

This is what we got…


I just loved it.

2 thoughts on “{ Drucilla & Chuck }

  1. I’m glad I’m so short; it makes Drucella look that much taller. She really is a handsome animal, and that is a great photo, Brooke, (even though it makes me realize I’m developing a double chin. My gosh, I’m becoming my grandmother! ). I really do like the crispness, 3D effect and sepia tone
    You’re very kind and generous to describe as “eloquent” my tendency to be wordy. And, if I might offer a slightly different viewpoint of the dogs at the shelter — rather than seeing them as scared, dirty and unhappy, I feel that on a whole the dogs are relatively content with their situation, in pretty good condition, and as a whole are accepting of their situation.
    When I worked in Children’s Services in Tennessee and saw the neglect and abuse inflicted on kids, I also saw the resilience with which children can deal with and bounce back from the cruelties inflicted upon them. I believe that shelter dogs (and cats) share the innocence, hope and limited intellect of children, and these become strengths that allow them to be relatively content with their situation.
    We adults might understand their overall situation and be aware of the chances they’ll not be adopted, but the animals don’t have that realization. I believe that “Ignorance is bliss” and the animals’ ignorance of their situation is a blessing that allows them to be relatively content, and to experience real happiness when they get walked by a volunteer, when someone enters their pen to take their photo, when they get a treat, when visitors come to the shelter and walk past their pens, when they’re taken to Petsense or some other location for adoption days
    I really do believe that all of these positive interactions create in their minds the simple but powerful thought that, “Oh boy! This is great! I really enjoy this. I’m looking forward to when it happens again!” And that’s a simplistic thought that keeps them going as they wait for the happy event to happen again. Since they don’t have a concept of time — of hours and days, or weeks and months — the happy image in their mind stays with them until the next positive interaction.
    There I go again, Brooke, being eloquent. You write a few comments and I respond with a novel. I’ll quit now. But I do thank you for your kind comments. When I meet caring people like you, it helps me keep going.

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