From Hoarding to Happiness, Martin Finds Home

Updated: Dec 22, 2019

It always amazes me how much each of the rescue animals I photograph teach me. I’m happy to be sharing this important and special lesson I learned from a very special pup. His name is Martin and he was originally rescued, along with 130 other dogs, from a bad hoarding situation in California.


Unfortunately, the group who had rescued the dogs, ran out of foster homes for all these rescued pups. They sent out an SOS to other rescue groups. Could they help take the dogs? The alternative was they would be euthanized due to lack of places to foster them.

Last Chance Animal Rescue in British Columbia, Canada was one of the rescue group that answered this special SOS. They took in 10 of the dogs. Martin was one of these dogs.




When I met Martin, he had been in foster care for 3 months and I adored him from the start. Martin is a big dog with huge loving eyes who thinks he’s a lap dog. Many were initially intimidated when first meeting him because he was deaf, and because he had many visible scars still on his face. The scars were from trying to survive in the horrendous circumstances he had come from in California. Martin, however, didn’t seem to notice them at all.



One would think that given his circumstances, Martin would have issues with aggression and be distrusting of people. Many of the dogs rescued were. Martin, however, chose to forget the past and let go of the distrust. He simply wanted to LOVE with all his heart and with every fiber of his being. He wanted to be loved forever in return. And it showed. During his session he spent much time curled up on my lap, or at least as much of it as he could crawl up onto. He stared at me with his huge loving brown eyes, tail wagging and trying to give me puppy smooches. Despite the photos we took that showed his true gentle and giving heart, 4 months passed and this handsome boy was still in foster care. As the months passed, my heart broke for this sweet and loving boy who had taught me much about living in the moment, and letting go of mistrust.

In February 2014, his wish of a happily forever after was finally granted. He was adopted at long last! I always cry (happy tears) and do a special little happy dance with my own two rescue cats whenever one of my special clients gets adopted. This one made me cry even more special tears of joy. Even writing this now, I’m wiping away happy tears for this amazing boy.


He reminded me, and all of us, that no matter our circumstances, no matter our past, no matter our looks, no matter our disabilities, none of that defines us. We can overcome it if we only choose to let it go. We can choose instead to simply love and be loved.


I wish Martin and his amazing new family all the best. I can’t thank Martin enough for the wonderful life lesson. I hope it touches and helps all of you as much as it did me.




Paws + Tails Pet Photography is located in magnificent Port Alice BC and specializes in candid, natural light pet photography.  As a lifestyle pet photographer, I photograph dogs, horses, cats and all kinds of critters on location on the picturesque North Island.