The above picture is a picture of Sarah with Ruthie.  Her name was Lady back then. 

I couldn’t believe it

How many times can you say that an email made you shed a tear? Well, that happened to me this morning. Last week I shared photos of Ruthie, her adoption story and her journey down to Tampa, FL. She was adopted by my friend Steven and his wife Gabi, with the help of Stray from the Heart, an organization that finds homes for stray dogs in Puerto Rico by transporting them to other cities.

What I am trying to accomplish…

This project is aimed at informing my friends, their friends and their friends about various animal welfare issues, issues that would never have been on their radar. My goal is to get their attention with high quality studio photos that show the pet’s personality. I used to manage the photography program at a local animal shelter, which makes me aware of the issues that plague the rescue and animal shelter community, but the message isn’t always disseminated to the masses.

After each photo shoot, I also contact the organization that the pet was rescued from. I like to give them an update, thank them for all the good work they’re doing and ask if they’ll share it on their social media channels to help this project grow.

I didn’t expect what happened next…

I took my typical route of emailing the organization(s), Stray from the Heart and Bideawee, and they both were very appreciative of the photos and extremely happy to see that Ruthie, formally Lady, was doing well, healthy and was being cared for by a loving family. She was originally found on a beach in Puerto Rico with her litter of puppies.

Stray from the Heart is known for doing single-home private adoptions – finding amazing forever homes.  They are a small agency that operates without the benefit of a brick and mortar. In 2013, they reached out to Bideawee and from there, their relationship has grown.  Due to the shear volume of dogs on the islands, all of the rescue groups are beyond capacity. Stray from the Heart is very grateful for their relationship with Bideawee.  Both Ruthie and her babies were ‘transferred’ to Bideawee, who completed their vetting and found their wonderful homes.

How an email led me to tears

I’ve never cried from an email before, so rather than trying to paraphrase it, here is the email in its entirety.

We cannot thank you enough for sending us the link to Ruthie’s beautiful pictures. Ruthie looks so happy and so healthy, it’s so rewarding to see her again.  I remember Ruthie’s story like it was just yesterday.  Ruthie was living on the beach with a pack of dogs and being fed on a daily basis by one of our volunteer partners in Manati, PR.  They spayed Ruthie but had nowhere to put her, so she went back to living on the beach for a while.  She was so sweet and not ”wild” like some of the other dogs, we knew we had to make room for her on the next available transport to Bideawee.  Ruthie’s babies went first to Bideawee first, then she made one of the next trips.  Her babies were very beautiful with distinct markings.  As a matter of fact, I was lucky enough to run into one of her babies named Lila, in Central Park with her parents. From that point forward I would occasionally see them in the park on the weekends.  Watching Lila grow has also been rewarding.  This past weekend I ran into Lila again, with her mom Agata.  I told her about your email.  I’m copying Agata here so she can see Ruthie’s beautiful photos and perhaps share photos of beautiful Lila so Scott can see them as well. I’m going to share Ruthie’s photos with Sarah and Rosemary as well.  Sarah and Rosemary took care of Ruthie and her babies in PR. They work so hard caring for the strays, they will be thrilled.

Cannot thank you enough for reaching out to us, you made our days a little bit brighter.

Give Ruthie the biggest hug and kiss from all her SFTH/Bideawee fans.

Kindest regards

Patricia O.

See what I mean? I am excited to share that Patricia had photos of Ruthie from Puerto Rico and two of her puppies. Also, Steven and Gabi are going to try to coordinate a meeting with one of her puppies’ owners so they can meet one of Ruthie’s offspring. Ruthie won’t be making the trip to NY, but it’s going to be a real treat for Steven and Gabi to meet one of the pups Ruthie gave birth to. The only prior information Steven and Gabi had about Ruthie was that she was originally from Puerto Rico.

This is not a typical occurrence

This is such a unique opportunity for both Ruthie’s family and Lila’s. I’ll share another update once that meeting takes place, which should be later in May. I never could have imagined this would have happened when I started this. If this project continues to make moments like these happen, send me as many tear inducing emails as you can!

Also, rescue agencies and shelters may not have the capacity to connect every family who has the offspring of another pet they helped find a home. You can always ask the organization you rescued your pet from, but keep in mind they may not be able to based on their current resources.

Ruthie’s Puppies

Juliet was adopted out by Bideawee, but we don’t know much about her new life. Photo courtesy of Stray from the Heart.
Jackay is now Lila. She is big and very beautiful now and has a great life. Photo courtesy of Stray from the Heart.

If you would like your rescue pet profiled, through their adoption story and photography, and you live in Tampa, please contact me.