this calendar is in honour of our adopted dogs past and present. with special homage to our legacy canines, chance and julius - they have inspired a lifetime commitment to adopting and advocating for animals in need.
it is extremely painful to lose a loved one and somehow it feels even more excruciating when we lose our devoted animals. it's a grief that is not always honoured or accepted in our society. we have to find the courage to talk about it and to seek out people who support us because it is a very significant loss. it is hard to articulate the loss because so much of what we share with our animals is spiritual. it's a relationship based on unspoken trust with one another.
animals have the ability to heal us and to make us feel loved and accepted unconditionally. they bring laughter and joy into our everyday. they are a gift bestowed upon us, a gift that as humans with all our flaws and inconsistencies are unworthy of. we must learn from our animals to be tender and kind, to love big and to be patient. and to not let our love end when we lose them. it is important to carry their light, to speak about them, tell stories of the many adventures, to acknowledge our ache, to celebrate our love, to carry on a better person for having shared precious time and space with such a pure and beautiful soul.
in april of 2022 i kissed my shadow, my sweet bell, my julius, at the prime age of fifteen good-bye for the final time. he was ready to go. stillness fell upon him quickly. before i could fully honour him in feelings of grief i had to hold my broken heart together to turn my love and focus outward onto what i knew was a dissipating hour glass of time with chance. to have chance still by my side was to be with julius. they were brothers from the moment they met. we adopted chance in 2015 at the age of seven from our local humane society. it was love at first sight for us both. one year later we brought julius home from a small nothern ontario rescue: carter's forever rescue and sanctuary. it was a difficult transition for us. julius was so broken and he needed time to settle. that was only something i came to understand upon reflection. but it was chance who guided us all. he used gentle corrections in canine language to teach julius how our household co-existed. they showed each other affection though play and camaraderie. they used each other as pillows as they napped. they shared sticks and balls in the backyard. they egged each other on in moments of excitement and anticipation of good things to come. in the weeks that followed after julius's passing i clung to chance. i put my life on hold to be present and mindful. this is how chance lived. it is what he taught me. then two months later with one final grunt of contentment he laid his head on my lap as he took his last breath.
it is my great honour to carry their light and tell their story.
our love for chance lead us to julius, which then lead us to odie. odie is my heart heeler (he is a blue heeler mix). odie, my shy, gentle, stray from san antonio, tx. now a full blooded country boy who loves vineyard walks and backyard romps with his baby sister, billie. we adopted odie as a very careful decision when we found out chance was sick. odie is a true gift. he loved chance and julius and always gave the impression that they were his heroes, especially chance, he really looked up to chance. chance and odie had the opportunity to share forest adventures and evening strolls. chance's confidence helped odie to navigate through the trauma he had experienced as a young pup living on the harsh streets of texas. just as we had hoped chance and julius left their lasting imprint on odie.
after julius had passed, i had reached out to brenda at carter's rescue. i told her of our loss and asked her to keep us in mind if another unicorn like julius landed in her care. two short weeks after chance passed she messaged to say she had puppies. puppies! no way! i did not want a puppy. chance and julius were seniors when we adopted them. odie was estimated to be around two years old. but a puppy is such an overwhelming thought. i politely said no thank you and went on with my day. the next morning i woke with incredible anxiety, ryan and i discussed the idea again and with quiet excitement i messaged brenda to say we will be up the following day. a three hour drive followed by three hours spent rolling in dirt with a litter full of chonky monsters and finally with butterflies in our stomachs and little to no words to speak due to an overwhelming feeling of "what have we gotten ourselves into?" brenda dressed billie in a pink harness with a little polka dotted bowtie, she microchipped her, gave her a squeeze and placed billie on my lap and waved us on our way.
brenda has now introduced and trusted us with the lives of two of our greatest love stories. she works tirelessly along side her team of dedicated volunteers to save dogs. her heart is bigger than her home and that doesn't stop her from providing sanctuary to those in need. if you don't have any close links to the rescue world you may not know there is a global crisis happening. all rescues and shelters are beyond capacity and the sad truth is now even non kill shelters here in canada are beginning to euthanize animals at an alarming rate to make room for daily intakes. the reasons are many why we are seeing overcrowding, very few reasons for animal dumping or surrenders are justified. i cannot personally adopt more animals at this time, i wish that i were a financially wealthy woman. i would buy a large farm and build a rescue and rehabilitation center for canines, but that is a lofty and likely unattainable dream for this lifetime. the best i can offer is my time and energy into a project that i hope will speak to the hearts of many, who in return will want to support our efforts to raise money for carter's. the dogs of shed calendar is that project. i am an amateur photographer at best. this calendar is not meant to win any awards but i do hope it makes you feel some level of joy to see the faces of lucky animals who have found themselves in loving homes.
thank you for helping us help dogs in need.
thank you for your interest in the dogs of shed 2024 calendar.
proceeds from the sales will be donated to carter's forever rescue and sanctuary located in bracebridge, ontario.
we are currently seeking sponsors to help with printing costs. we would like to see more of the overall sales land in the pocket of the rescue. if you are a local business and would like to help sponsor the dogs of shed project please email me.
the finishing details are still coming together. we anticipate sending the calendar to print early oct. pre-order available now. we will send the calendars out asap and notify you of any unexpected delays.