Love at first paw

Updated: Dec 22, 2019

Poly Ana - January 2019

Today in honor of National Pet Week, I thought I'd share my own personal love story.

In 2009 I was living in Medicine Hat, Alberta and was looking for a companion for my other cat, Lisa-Lee. Given Lisa-Lee's aversion to other cats, it was recommended I adopt a kitten (as she had been a momma cat when she was found by the rescue, I had adopted her from) and maybe she’d bond better with them that way.

Always the Camera Ham - Poly-Ana - 2017

When I walked into the Medicine Hat SPCA, I thought I knew what I wanted, so when they told me that the kitten room was closed and on quarantine for a few more weeks due to ringworm, my heart was broken. However, after telling them what I was seeking they encouraged me to check out some of the 1 year old cats they had – and given my love for cats, I figured it couldn’t hurt to look, even if I was doubtful I’d find what I was looking for. I took my time going kennel to kennel in 2 large cat rooms, and while I found a few that I thought were adorable, there were none that made my heart truly sing.

Poly-Ana in her favorite spot - 2018

Disheartened I returned to the office, thinking I’d just have to return and that’s when they let me know there was one more room of cats. Still sad I hadn’t found one yet, I decided to give it a try but was still rather doubtful I’d find what I was seeking. And then I saw her. Laying in her kennel smiling and purring at me. I asked right away to see her and they took her out and I sat her on my lap and sat petting her floofy coat and she kept smiling at me and purring away, so I asked her if she’d like to come home with me. As if in response to my question, she merely rolled onto her back, showing me her belly and raised her mittened paw to my lips as if to say HECK YA! LET'S GO HOME! … and it was love at first paw – and we’ve been an amazing team ever since.

Poly Ana helping me test new studio lights - January 2019

And for those wondering, yes, my older cat did come to consider her a sister of sorts and as siblings, they had love filled moments and some that were hate filled too. When we lost our sweet Lisa-Lee 2 years ago, Poly-ana and I grieved for her equally.

My Sweet Lisa-Lee

While Lisa-Lee got me interested in photographing pets in general, it was because of the sweet Poly-Ana that encouraged me to start photographing rescue pets after seeing her photograph on the Medicine Hat SPCA website. After taking photos of her at home, I knew photos could make an impact and start changing some lives for pets seeking homes – and that’s when I found Hearts Speak – which I’ve been a member of since 2015 – but have been a supporter of since 2010!

Poly-Ana's adoption photo from the Medicine Hat SPCA Website 2009

A Dog Named Squirrel - Taken for Dachshund Rescue Team 2015

We have been through many great and wonderful adventures along our way and we are looking forward to sharing this latest grand adventure in the stunning Port Alice together too.

Today I’d love to hear your love stories! Tell me about your pets and how you met! Was it love at first paw for you too?! Feel free to share photos of your fur-kids too! Happy National Pet Week Everyone! Now go hug those fur-kids! They’re pawsome!

Poly ana - 2018 enjoying the sunshine