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Martin's Story: From hoarding to happiness

Updated: Sep 24, 2022

It always amazes me how much each of the beautiful rescue animals I photograph teaches me. So I’m happy to share this important and unique lesson I learned from an exceptional pup in 2013.

His name is Martin, and he was initially 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. So they sent out an SOS to other rescue groups. Could they help take the dogs? The sad alternative was to be euthanized due to the lack of places to foster them.

Last Chance Animal Rescue in British Columbia, Canada, was a 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 three months. 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 had many visible scars still on his face. The wounds 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 Martin would have issues with aggression and mistrust of people given his circumstances and lot in life. But, unfortunately, so many of the other dogs rescued were. Martin, however, chose to forget the past and let go of the mistrust. Instead, 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 curling up on my lap, or at least as much of it as he could crawl onto it. He stared at me with his vast loving brown eyes, tail wagging, and trying to give me puppy smooches (my favorite payment for a rescue session, of course!)

Despite the photos we took showing his true gentle and giving heart, four months passed, and this handsome boy was still in foster care. My heart broke for this sweet and loving boy as the months passed. He had taught me much about the simple joy of living in the moment and about letting go of mistrust. His biggest wish was to have a person of his own to love with all his being.

In February 2014, his wish of a happily forever after was finally granted. He was adopted at long last!

Of course, I always cry (happy tears) and do a special little happy dance with my two rescue cats whenever one of my unique rescue clients gets adopted. But, this one made me cry even more special tears of joy.

I’m wiping away happy tears for this fantastic boy, even writing this now, so many years down the road.

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

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

Stories like Martin’s and the lessons they have taught me over the years are one of the many reasons I am passionate about being a Hearts Speak Artist. I hope his story touches your heart as much as he did mine.

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