I was up at ACCT Philly yesterday and met six dogs who had yet to be photographed (there were more but I had limited time). My interaction with each unique individual dog is directed by sensitivity, close observation of body language, intuition, mutual trust and low pressure. The more dogs that I meet, the better I am able to understand their commonality and attempts to communicate. Each encounter has variables in flux and therefore, in order to stay present and aware of context, it is important to clear your head of any preconceived notions. Each dog reacts differently to the high stress environment of the shelter and my responsibility is to introduce them to a few moments of structured, positive interaction with the freedom to make choices. I teach them skills that will help them transition to a life with boundaries. I am always impressed by their ability to forget their dire situation and meet me in that moment in the yard. It is this that keeps me going back; they are teaching me about spirit as much as I hope to teach them about compassion.
And so I am introducing you to six adoptable dogs. It is an honor to spend time with a dog, or any living creature for that matter. Let us not forget the responsibility and the effort that comes along with that privilege.