As a dog mom to 3 rescue dogs, I’m passionate about promoting the cause of dogs in shelters and encouraging people to adopt rather than buy dogs. I work closely with Sandton SPCA in Johannesburg, South Africa and every year I photograph their annual calendar. I adopted my first South African rescue dog, Jeremy, from Sandton SPCA on Valentine’s Day 2011.
Jeremy was estimated to be around 6 years old when I adopted him, which put him into the ‘old’ category, and makes him around 11 years old now. Jeremy was the inspiration behind the very first calendar I shot and he continues to inspire me to champion the cause of oldies as much as I can.
Older dogs are often overlooked at shelters in favour of younger, more energetic dogs who have more ‘mileage’ in them. In fact, sadly, older dogs often find themselves at shelters because of their age, “he’s too old, I’d like a puppy please”, “the garden got too small for him” and “I just don’t want her anymore, she’s too old” are reasons I’ve heard for owners abandoning their seniors at animal shelters to a 90% probability of being euthanised because they won’t be able to be rehomed. So when we were brainstorming the Sandton SPCA 2015 calendar, it seemed fitting to have it feature a collection of golden oldies to highlight the issue of older dogs at shelters and show that just because a dog is old and grey, it doesn’t mean they are any less beautiful.
All the dogs photographed are in happy, loving homes, however, some of the golden oldies featured in the calendar have since crossed over the rainbow bridge. Alice was 13 and Scooter & Nandi were 15 years old when they came in for their shoots, many of them are still going strong though and enjoying life to the max.