The FOUND Project // Inspirational Shelter Pet Stories // Bixby
A few years ago, I knew I wanted to do a personal project about shelter/rescue pets but I wasn’t exactly sure what that project was. I thought about it for about a year. An ENTIRE year, you guys. I was stumped. I felt like I was just missing one piece of the puzzle. But then, one morning, I woke up and the first thought that popped into my head was the line from Amazing Grace, “I once was lost but now am found.” Then I thought, “that’s weird.” Next was, “OMG, THAT’S IT!” Now, I’m not a religious person. Spiritual, yes, but I don’t feel that I conform to any one religion and I don’t think I’ve ever in my life actually listened to Amazing Grace. Where did those words come from? I don’t know exactly but I strongly believe that someone up there was giving me the missing piece to my puzzle.
I thought about this project for probably another year, mostly afraid of what starting it would mean. Where would it go? What’s the final goal? How do I make it happen? And then, one day, it just did. My hubby and I were at an event and we met someone — a pretty awesome someone, with a pretty awesome rescue pup, going on some pretty awesome adventures, doing some pretty awesome work. Hubby gave me a swift kick in the behind and said, “um, isn’t this EXACTLY what you’ve been waiting for?” And yes, yes, it was. It was time to make this dream a reality.
So, without further ado, I am introducing you to my personal project, FOUND: From Extraordinary Circumstances to Extraordinary Lives | Inspirational Stories of Shelter Pets. Let’s just call it FOUND for short. My dream is to someday turn this into a book but every journey begins with the first step…
Meet Mike and Bixby of Where’s Bixby! This duo is on a ride of a lifetime… literally! Bixby rides on the back of her human’s bicycle all around the country. Yes, you read that correctly: the country! From Maine, to the Florida Keys, to California and everywhere in between, wherever they go, Mike and Bixby promote shelter dogs, spay/neuter programs, fostering, and all the good stuff that comes from rescuing a pet. You see, Bixby is a shelter pup. A mix of who-only-knows-what, she’s just about the sweetest pup you’ll ever meet. She is so happy on her bed on the bike and clearly enjoys riding around, seeing new places, and meeting new people.
Shelter animals fill my heart and soul and I was absolutely thrilled to work with the Where’s Bixby duo. I dream of the day when there will be no more homeless pets and every critter will have a warm bed and a loving family. To meet others who feel the same way and are working toward the same goal is just really, really fantastic. As people meet Bixby and hear about her story, they are able to see first-hand that shelter animals aren’t rejects; they are amazing best friends that just got a bumpy start to life.
I photographed Mike and Bixby in San Diego, California, just toward the end of their summer stay here. The sun was shining, the air was warm, the tide was out, the sunset was incredible… everything just fell right into place. Mike and Bixby have a saying, “dreams are like sticks, you just have to chase them.” And that’s what we did on this day.
I wish Mike and Bixby all the best on their next cross-country adventure together!
If you know a shelter or rescue animal who would be a great addition to FOUND, please get in touch! I am looking for critters of all shapes, sizes, and species who are now leading extraordinary lives. Maybe they’re therapy animals for veterans, maybe they help kids learn to read, maybe they’re changing minds about BSL, or maybe, maybe, maybe… Let’s chase this stick — er, dream — together!