My life is worth nothing, if it is not lived to help others. All too often the sentiment is offered in different parables, but the truth of it lives at its core statement. Some will say that, “you can’t take it with you to the grave.” However, this constitutes the idea that money is all that we are. We are much more. As photographers we are talent, compassion; we are those with eyes for light that enlighten the world.
Today, I would like to talk about good people I have never met, and a dog that I have been fortunate to spend time with. This will not be one of those posts that the internet has become rampant with where the author tries to guilt trip someone into adopting a dog. Today’s blog is just to bring light to the fact that there are good people out there that continue to restore my faith in humanity. If you read it, thank you, if you share it, even better… However, what is important is that your day is better that before you clicked on it.
Everyone meet Stella Luna.
Stella Luna is a pitbull mix at Arizona Animal Welfare League, a no-kill animal shelter that my wife and I spend a couple days a week volunteering at. My wife walks the dogs and I usually try to photograph them in an effort to help them find ‘forever’ families. Occasionally I walk them as well, but I am still not a huge fan of cleaning up after they have done their “business.”… but I digress.
Back to Stella Luna (I never get her name right, often confusing her for my beer of choice (Stella Artois) or a pretty decent Jason Mraz song (Bella Luna)). A few months ago, a husband and wife were driving to California on vacation. A common road trip that many of us have made was changed when, in the middle of no where, they saw a dog walking next to the highway. Without going into detail, let’s just way that this dog was not in a good way. She needed food and was injured. After figuring out a way to U-turn on the highway, the couple gingerly picked up the dog and put her in their car. Thanks to the luxury of modern telecommunications, they continued on for hours out of their way to bring her to a very small town shelter where they surrendered her.
Due to the unexpected detour, they chose to stay in a motel in a small town around the Utah / Arizona border. That night, however, was not easy on them. They knew the dog they had dropped off at the shelter was injured and emaciated, and would most likely be euthanized in the coming days. So when the sun rose on the next day, they decided that their vacation could wait.
They drove almost an hour back to the shelter where they had dropped off the dog the day prior. The couple picked up the dog and decided that their vacation would begin with getting her to a safe place. In the car, the dog slept, the husband drove and the wife researched shelters that they could bring this canine that had just recently entered their lives. I only get to tell this story because they found the Arizona Animal Welfare League. Driving almost two hours out of their way to California, they brought in the sweet pitbull that we would come to know as Stella.
In the time that followed she received much needed medical care and was nursed back to health. During treatment, one thing remained a constant was her personality (and her love of napping on volunteer’s laps). She is a fun dog that knows how to smile and make faces that are meant for MEME’s. Stella loves to cuddle and we will miss seeing her hilarious smile when she is adopted. She will spend the rest of her life happy and healthy because two people decided that helping a dog in need was more important than an extra day on the beach.
Go into your weekend knowing that there are good people out there… and then be one of them.