I love it when people connect with me because of this blog. Thank you to everyone who reads a post here and decides to follow me. What an honor.
So now I need to slip into past tense. A couple of weeks ago, someone from Littleton decided to follow this blog. I went to Shaina Zimmerman’s Rescued Rover blog to find out a little more about her. What a wonderful surprise! Shaina takes pet portraits as a sideline to her work as a veterinary assistant and student at Red Rocks. Her blog is filled with beautiful work. I knew I had to find out more about this woman, so I contacted her and she agreed to talk with me by phone.
Shaina started loving pets at an early age and said, “I was the kid who would find a stray and catch it and bring it home. My parents didn’t seem to mind. They always had four or five dogs at a time around.”
At seventeen, Shaina got a dog of her own, not shared with the rest of the family, and she was hooked for life.
“I can read them (dogs) easily,” said Shaina, “and I really enjoy them. I volunteered at some shelters, and then worked at pet care places and doggie day camps. I like to work with aggressive dogs particularly. I like to rehabilitate them, giving them lots of love and treats. If I can socialize them, it gives them a second chance in life.”
An old boss of Shaina’s introduced her to photography and a new love took off. She is mostly self-taught in her skills, but you wouldn’t know it. She said she fell head over heels in love with the different lenses she now uses to snap her beautiful pet portraits ($100 per session, $25 of which is donated to her favorite charity, Outpaws Animal Rescue).
Some of Shaina’s photography time is spent taking portraits of the dogs and cats at Outpaws. This organization is a completely foster-based center, which means they try to keep dogs until a good home can be found. Their mission statement reads, in part:
“OutPaws places companion animals in foster homes until they can be matched with loving forever homes, educates the community about responsible pet ownership, advocates tirelessly for the best alternatives for both homeless animals and beloved pets and remains committed to fighting pet homelessness until every adoptable dog and cat has a home.”
One of the challenges for this not-for-profit organization, is getting adoptions up. Many of the photos taken of the dogs in the past were dark, blurry, or taken spur of the moment, without great lighting or time. Shaina said she’s trying to help here, too.
“All they have to promote their adoptions is their website, so taking good pictures of available dogs and cats is huge for them,” said Shaina.
I congratulated this young person for all the energy and love she gives to the pet community, and she replied, “I only wish I could do more.”
Wishing you a day full of good doggie stories, great friendship, and the positive energy that Shaina brings to our world.