Last week, I mentioned on the grumpy pups facebook page that the Harbor Humane Society asked me to take pictures of a dog who had been injured, so they could make an appeal for donations to her medical care. I was a bit nervous about how the dog might look (I didn’t want to cry on the job!), and worried that she’d be too weak or injured to withstand a typical photo session. I thought she might be a bit aggressive due to her pain and fear, so I was prepared to move slowly and just go at her pace.

Then I met Celia.

Out of the gate, this spunky girl showed a happy and energetic spirit that I couldn’t believe! She was moving so fast that I really couldn’t tell what was wrong with her. And should an injured dog be this infectiously joyful?

She is injured, and seriously, but she’s recovering remarkably and not about to let it slow her down. Celia is young–maybe 7 or 8 months–and she was found underweight and looking like she’d been through a dog fight. From her eye all the way through her lip, her skin was so torn the teeth could show through. Her front and back legs are full of stitches, and she clearly shows a fear of other dogs as she walks through the kennels.

closeup of stitches on celia's face

But away from dogs, she was just happy for the love and attention of people. She was running for the joy of it, and I got several “hugs” (and one giant kiss to the end of my lens)!

celia, injured dog, being pet by kennel manager

celia, injured dog at Harbor Humane

It was a pleasure meeting Celia and watching how she is making the most of life. And once again, I am proven wrong on my assumptions about animals in shelters. (See Why I Volunteer for my first reality check.) And isn’t that the whole beauty behind what these organizations do? An abandoned animal is not necessarily a bad animal. Look beyond the sad faces in cages, get to know these animals, and chances are you could find a gem that will make your life complete.

If you would like to contribute to Celia’s medical care, please contact Harbor Humane at 616.399.2119.

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Springer spaniels in a field of Michigan wildflowers

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