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Monday, November 2,2015

Sugar & Spice

By Tina Valant-Siebelts  

I was recently called by a friend requesting a favor. Portraits were needed of two small dogs in search of a new home.

Neither the rescue group or foster could capture their cuteness. A photo is the calling card of adoptables in need. We form connections and assumptions in the first seven seconds of seeing someone - two and four legged. I‘ve been updating my LinkedIn and have been horrified of the lack of professional portraits… so, of course I said I would help. On a Tuesday evening, I trekked out to meet them.

I could see why getting their pictures was difficult. They were unstable in their environment and afraid.

The tension and insecurity of their body language was obvious. How did this happen? As young pups, they were an impulse adoption by a kind, elderly woman. She recently went into assisted living... her main concern was the dogs. Her family took them in for a while, but the HOA doesn’t allow multiple dogs in that community.

Allow me to introduce terrier mixes Sugar & Spice. They are approximately five year old siblings, and in desperate need of a loving home - together.

They are currently being fostered by a wonderful family in Margate, with a small terrier mix of their own and two young, dog-loving boys.

Sugar, the girl is a little timid, and weighs eleven pounds. She takes a little time to warm up to other dogs. Spice is a little on the (ahem) hefty side right now, weighing in at sixteen pounds. He is easy-going and eager to play. We went in the backyard, so I could observe them and have them get comfortable enough for me to raise my lens. They were never more than five feet from each other. When they settled, we were able to “talk”. Spice is much more outgoing than Sugar. Once he allowed me to capture him on the camera, she went along with the idea.

Both are super sweet. They get along well with (older) kids and dogs, untested on cats. I spent about an hour with them, capturing their personalities to help find them their forever home. I posted them to my Facebook immediately. I think they almost crashed Facebook with their cuteness and the amount of shares - thank YOU, animal friends! Do you have room in your home and heart for these little golden nuggets? They are fostering in Margate and repped by Saving Grace & Her Furry Friends. The first step is always completing an application (copy and paste an email copy to yourself). Adoption is a process with a home visit, and an adoption fee. www.

Sugar and Spice’s homeless dilemma might have been avoided with a solid, written plan. PLEASE have a plan for your pets, if something should happen to you. Tomorrow’s not promised to any of us. DO NOT assume your family or friends will step up. Have the TALK NOW, and get it on paper with preparations and vet records. Doing this may seem creepy, but it will give you and your pets HUGE peace of mind.

Tina Valant-Siebelts is a confirmed dog-o-holic, mom to many rescued pets, who volunteers with numerous organizations. To "fill all those dog bowls," Tina is an award-winning photographer, writer & event coordinator.


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