Feature – January Blog Dog

Sneak peek

Hello Dear Readers,

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my blog! It’s a momentous day around the studio and I’m so thrilled that my first personal project of 2017 is coming together! In a moment, I’m going to introduce you to a very special little dog named Einstein, but first I’d like to share with you the back ground on this little adventure of mine.

I generally review my business year around the third week of December to see what I have accomplished that year and to see if I have met my business goals for growth, learning and sharing my passion for animal rescue. When I looked back this past year, I found that the studio had a WONDERFUL year although,  I felt like I could set the bar just a little higher for 2017. I started thinking about my personal projects and ways that I could contribute to the Asheville Commmunity just a little bit more, but hadn’t really come up with a solid idea even after wracking my brain and scouring various internet resources. As timing would have it, about that same week  – I got one of those notifications from Facebook alerting me to a note that I had been tagged in. It was a post announcing a new canine family member to the Asheville area. While I didn’t know the family that posted it, since I was tagged – I was able to read it.  The post essentially said that the family was so proud to announce a new canine member of their family and that since he’s so handsome, they wanted to offer using him for commercials and advertising. The last sentence brought a huge smile to my face when I read, “No fee.” I looked at the image they had posted and there was this curious little dog with absolutely no hair on his body other than what was gifted to the top of his head. I was immediately interested! I had always wanted to photograph a Chinese Crested dog but never had the opportunity. Of course my fabulous tagging friend (who just happens to be the one and only Murphy Capps of Kudzu brands fame in Black Mountain) somehow knew that this was right up my alley. My curiosity was definitely piqued so I delved into a little bit more about this curious new addition to the Asheville area. Once I found out more about Einstein’s story,  I was hit with a burst of inspiration and I KNEW there was an opportunity to share the message of animal rescue in a way that would entertain, maybe do some good for the world and share my message of love and rescue. That’s how my “Blog Dog 2017” project started. <thank you Murphy!!!!> By the way – Kudzu brands is the amazing business who saw my photography vision and translated it brilliantly into what is now my brand and logo.  I highly recommend them for any business who needs to create, revamp and even dream up new ideas to propel their passion forward. Check out their website and give Murphy and the gang a call!

Once I saw the original adoption picture of this little 10 pound dog, I wondered how he survived as a stray in Pasadena, TX.  He was so malnourished and skinny that when they picked him up, they could count his ribs.Einstein before

He was stray long enough to contact heartworm and had a pretty involved case by the time they tested him. He went from the local shelter to a rescue where they treated his heartworm and helped him gain back to a healthy weight. Eventually, he was noticed by an amazing group of volunteers in South Carolina with the “Bald is Beautiful” rescue network. Bald is Beautiful arranged for transportation from TX all the way across country to South Carolina where he was fostered by a very kind lady while he waited for his home. SO,  to sum up the story for those of you counting at home… a homeless dog with no hair and heartworm who gets picked up in TX, ends up in a shelter, goes into rescue, gets shuttled across the country to another breed specific rescue organization in South Carolina, gets the food and medicine he needed (and a sweater) and eventually finds his way into the hearts and home of a wonderful family right here in Asheville, NC.  You can see why this story piqued my interest!

Perhaps the best part of this remarkable journey for Einstein is that his forever home was a wonderful Christmas gift for Phillip (his owner), who was surprised by the in-home visit from Bald is Beautiful – all arranged by his wife. By the way – gifting animals without the entire family on board is a terrible idea.  Bald-is-Beautiful and Phillip’s wife coordinated the surprise visit and the rescue stayed true to their charter in making sure it was a perfect fit BEFORE the adoption was final. Win-Win! There was SO much magic in Einstein’s journey, it seemed like it was meant to be.

I spoke to Ellen of “Bald is Beautiful” (who also fostered Einstein till he was placed in his permanent home) to get more information about the organization and I was immediately struck by how thoughtful, knowledgeable and thorough they are. Even though the organization is based in South Carolina, they have foster homes speckled all across the country designed to provide an immediate foster home should the situation arise. Bald is Beautiful specializes in small dog/hairless breeds and have several adorable dogs currently waiting for adoption.  You can check their adoptable dogs here. I really admired how dedicated this rescue is to getting dogs placed into perfect homes and Ellen reinforced a quote I heard about “rescue is a group effort, not a competitive sport. When your ego comes first, only animals suffer.” Bald is Beautiful is truly a group effort that literally spans the country (with no ego involved.) Here is their purpose and mission:

Bald Is Beautiful Hairless and Small Breed Rescue, Inc. is a national 501c3 non profit organization. We are an independent rescue whose members- all volunteers-  have over 40 years of combined experience in the rescue and rehabilitation of dogs in need.  Our members’ reasons for being in rescue are varied from being compassionate lifetime dog lovers to having bought that “cute little puppy in the window” only to have our hearts broken when they became ill from being born to sick mothers kept in deplorable conditions.  Or when we sadly discovered that the “home raised” pups were, in reality, puppy mill puppies. Whatever brought us to BisB, we stay because we have seen our hard work and dedication pay off in changing the lives of so many deserving dogs.
Bald Is Beautiful specializes in the rescue and placement of abused, unwanted and abandoned dogs. We concentrate on hairless and small breed dogs and are known by many as a Chinese Crested rescue. By involving and educating the community through our various web pages and fundraisers Bald Is Beautiful works to raise the public’s awareness of the plight of the homeless animals, as well as realizing the benefits of adopting a dog in need.  Our dogs are examined, vaccinated, spayed or neutered and receive all medical treatments that our vets deem necessary before they are placed in carefully screened forever homes.
Now that you know a little more about how Einstein came to be in Asheville, here are a few portraits from his session!  Just to give you an idea of how wonderful and dedicated his new owners are, his designer coats were specifically commissioned and tailored for him by a talented lady in Canada. Einstein also has a gorgeous collection of collars suited for any and every occasion. His new family has fallen head over heels for him and he even has his own Facebook page. Check out his page and maybe be friends with him here to see what he’s up to and how he’s adjusting to Asheville life.
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After visiting with his new “dad” Phillip, I learned that Einstein has come out of his shell and has started playing with his new doggy siblings and all of his new toys. Every day, he gets a little bit cuddlier and more playful. While Einstein loves his new coats, he prefers to be absolutely naked and runs around the house playfully when not wearing his clothes. I know that his dad is absolutely smitten and can’t picture his life without this little survivor in it.

*In case you aren’t familiar with the Chinese Crested breed and wonder why the heck you need to dress a dog, these hairless dogs need an extra layer of warmth on colder days. They also need sun protection on warm days to keep them from getting sunburned. Hairless dogs  are very susceptible to skin irritation and acne so proper bathing and skin care is a must. These dogs are wonderful companions and want nothing more than to snuggle and be at your side all the time…and my personal observation: their skin feels like soft velvet when you touch them. I’m absolutely in love with this breed!

I’m so thrilled that I got to meet and photograph Einstein!  Believe it or not, this little dog taught me quite a bit about breed specific rescues, and how it can truly take a village to help rescue animals that need our help. Without intervention, this little guy would have surely succumbed to heartworm if a car hadn’t gotten him first. I’m inspired by stories like these: that people absolutely can make a difference in a dog’s life even half way across the country. I need to hear stories like these to offset the other stories I hear of animals getting euthanized for no other reason than space in a shelter,  or stories of dogs wasting away in a backyard breeder cage. I hope you are inspired by Einstien’s journey too and that you’ll consider rescue as your choice for your next animal adoption. It really does make a difference.

Until next time, my friends…


Hello Friends

Welcome to my blog! Each month, I feature a new Blog Dog and share some heartwarming stories about animal rescue. I also feature some of my favorite client images from each portrait session. If you'd like to be considered for a rescue feature on my blog, please email info@sherylmannphotography.com

Thanks for stopping by!