Saturday 6 December 2014

Underwater Puppies

I have to admit that when I heard about this book my first reaction was awww puppies, such a good idea, he's gonna make a mint.

I'm a cynical cow.

Then I happened to be on the treadmill on the gym when one of the morning shows interviewed the photographer, Seth Casteel. I fell in love. Well, he's pretty cute, but moreso I fell in love with his message. He teaches water safety to dogs.

I think most humans assume that dogs just have a natural instinct for swimming but often, just like little people, they need to learn. Every year thousands of dogs die in swimming pools. In most cases they fall in and don't know how to swim. Even sadder is when they do know how to swim, but unlike natural water sources pools don't have gently sloping banks to allow them to clamber back out, so they swim to the point of exhaustion and then go under. You gotta teach them where the stairs are and how to use them. it is also really important to make sure the pool is securely fenced too (remember pooches can jump).

Even more lovely is the story of how Seth got to where he is. He used to volunteer his photographic skills to animal rescue organisations. It is so much easier to find a home for an animal with a cute 'money shot'. He still spreads the message of adoption, many of the pups featured in his books (his first was 'Underwater Dogs') were available for adoption.

Seth also runs a non-profit campaign, One Picture Saves a Life, giving shelter staff and volunteers the skills to primp and photograph the dogs, increasing their chance of being adopted. When I was looking for a dog on Pet Rescue I know I scrolled past many potentially lovely dogs because the pictures just didn't do them justice. The publication of his books will hopefully spread the word about this little gem of an idea. I am thinking I might get in touch with some local rescue groups again too.

There sure are some good'uns in this world of ours.

Have you entered my Local Artists and Makers Christmas Giveaway yet? You can enter via Seeking Victory or Champagne and Chips, but hurry, competition closes Sunday 14th December.

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