Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve
eBook is available but photographs in hardcopy determine choice.
Peter Sharp specialises in pet photography and he is a master of the art of capturing domestic animals on film. His ‘portraits’ have a heart-warming charm, and he has the knack of displaying the animal’s personality.
The photographs in this book are outstanding and they alone make this an irresistible choice for any lover of dogs – especially, as in this case, the dogs’ lives have been tough.
The coupling of stories of a dog’s plight prior to being adopted with the reaction the new family, makes this an unashamed tugging of the heartstrings. Sympathy for the stricken animals shines through the text and it is unsurprising to learn that proceeds of sale will be donated to the Rescue Centre – the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.
An additional feature that provides an amusing touch is an ‘interview’ with the now settled and happy dog.
Some accounts are heart-breaking, learning there are animals that suffer terrible neglect, fear and anxiety. One such is a Shar Pei, Rusty. He was found wandering the streets alone and with a severe eye condition. It was very painful and the vet was compelled to remove the eye that was irreparably damaged. Today, he is a happy family member, in fine health and condition.
Bluey, a Blue Cattle dog, was also found on the streets. He was microchipped, but it was out-of-date. After the Home engaged in some intensive sleuthing, they located his owner. Sadly, the owner had fallen on hard times and, even with offers of help with food and care, Rusty was surrendered. He was 15 years old, so difficult to place him in foster care. Two girls came to the rescue and all three are now together and enjoying life.
Many dogs come to the Home and have not been micro-chipped. They are cared for by the staff for a fortnight, then are placed as candidates for adoption.
Pumpkin, the victim of a traffic accident, is a Chihuahua – Fox Terrier cross. She was seriously injured and frightened. Her front leg was badly broken, so had to be amputated. The community raised the money for Pumpkin’s surgery, and today she brings joy to the lives of a young couple. As she is just 5 years old, they have much to look forward to in the years ahead.
The rescued dogs can be big, like Hank, a Great Dane, or like the diminutive Pablo, a very small Chihuahua.
There is a case of five little Kelpie-Cross puppies abandoned in a milk crate. One of them, named Jessie, joined Tilly, another Kelpie which have made their family very content. The dogs are good mates, and even play with the cat!
The longest tale, and perhaps the most tragic, is of Poe. At twelve, he was severely malnourished, and in very poor condition with badly matted hair. He could not open his mouth because of that. Nobody came forward to adopt him, so one of the staff stepped up. Another happy ending!
The final pages contain a list of benefits in adoption. They are emotional, mental and physical. Acquiring a pet requires the owner care for their dog which does make demands on time, patience and money. Experts in fields of medicine, mental health and sociology all maintain that it is well worth this.
Peter Sharp’s book is a fine recommendation for having a canine companion, especially if it means a life-saving gesture too.
Lost but Found: Rescue Dogs and Their Stories of Adoption
by Peter Sharp
ISBN. 978 1 76078 6090
$24.99; 216 pages