Reader Spotlight: Henry the dog goes from throwaway to center stage

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Melissa McDaniel, (c) 2009

A few months ago we did a giveaway with Melissa McDaniel, photographer and author of The Photo Book Projects. (Read about how Melissa is helping homeless pets.) Winners Judy and Mark got a personal photo shoot with Melissa and their adopted dog Henry.

Well, the pictures are fantastic, and so is Henry’s story! Judy shared Henry’s history with us:

Henry is a Yellow Lab/mutt we adopted from Animal Connections, a rescue group based in Troy, VA. I was a volunteer for Animal Connections for a year or so before we met Henry and decided to adopt him.

Lucky for us, Henry’s foster dad agreed to hold Henry until we were in a position to bring him home. My husband was preparing for his comprehensive exams for his Ph D and we couldn’t handle the stress of bringing a dog home until the exams ended. We like to joke that we put Henry on layaway for six weeks!

During that time, I went out to Henry’s foster home two or
three days each week to work with him on clicker training.

Henry had never lived in a house until he moved in with us. It was
important that he understand basic things like “leave it,” “sit,” and
“down.” He’s a quick study, and soon learned all of those things plus
“touch” and “bedtime” (to go into his crate).

That was about five years ago.

Since then, Henry has blossomed. He was a nervous Nellie when we adopted
him, and now he’s pretty happy-go-lucky. He absolutely adores greeting
new dogs at our house – we have regular play dates with three rescue
dogs who live up the street.

So far he hasn’t learned to accept the groundhog, the deer, or the
rabbits who “invade” his yard. For some reason, he grew to accept
squirrels and birds, but nothing else.

Henry has gone from stray dog to pound pup to rescue pooch, to, finally,
the most spoiled boy on the block – he sleeps with his own pillow on
the couch! He is lucky to be with a couple so willing to give him the
world – and we’re so grateful to have him in our lives. We often laugh
because we can’t remember what our lives were like “pre-Henry.”

Thank you to Judy, Mark and Henry for sharing such a great
story with us. Congratulations and enjoy Melissa’s beautiful work!

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Giveaway: Win
a copy of the book ‘Every Dog Has a Gift’

Giveaway: What’s
That Mutt?: Get a free dog breed test!

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