Our Rescue Pup Willow | Maryland and Virginia Photographer

We moved into our home the first weekend of September.  Literally two days before our oldest started Kindergarten.  We weren't in the home long before we started talking about getting a dog.  We have just under 6 acres and we are a bit farther from family so we thought it wouldn't be a bad idea for our security.  Plus, Aaron and I both grew up with dogs and wanted our kids to experience that as well.

I put an ad out on Craigslist looking for local breeders of the type of dog we were looking to get.  About a week after the ad had been up I was contacted by a woman who had a 13 week old Cane Corso puppy.  They had a lab who was not taking to the families new addition so they were trying to re-home her. 

This is the photo she sent us...

We talked about it for a few days...she was one of the breed's we had considered and she was only about 40 minutes away.  The other puppy we were considering at that time was in North Carolina and would be a good day trip to go get.  We decided to give this little girl a chance and just like that we were on our way to get her.

Her first night home...

We had to rename her because poor Hayden just couldn't say her name.  We decided on Willow :) 

I made her an appointment with the vet for shots and to have her spayed.  She ended up having an infection and had to go through two rounds of strong antibiotics to get rid of it.  There was a time I worried we weren't going to be able to clear it up. 

We had only had her about a month when she got a little too close to a foster kitten of my Sister's and contracted ringworm.  So back to the vet we went and got her an antifungal and into quarantine she went.  We had to leave her in her kennel or put her out on the porch or in the backyard.  We couldn't let her loose in the house and we had to limit contact with her for WEEKS.  I was so worried this time was going to really hinder her relationship with us and the kids.  I know she had to think she had done something wrong.

We were able to let her out of quarantine right around Thanksgiving.  She was so happy to be out and she went right back to be the happy playful puppy she was.  Well, almost....she was now quite a bit larger which took her and the kids some time getting use to.  She also needed work on re-learning boundaries and rules.   It was a tough few weeks getting her back on track.

Thankfully she seems to be doing so much better.  She is so smart and has taken over as defender of the kids.  She watches them like a hawk and comes to their defense anytime they call her name.  She wakes and goes to them if they wake up from nightmares, she hovers over them if they cry, and if need be she will push you right out of their room.  While playing they love to say "Willow Help" and she will put herself between us and them and good luck trying to get around her.  They find this to be absolutely hilarious. 

Finally last month I was able to do a little photo shoot with her.  I had wanted to do this when we got her but she had so many health issues that got in the way. 

She always has the saddest little look...I promise you she is not nearly as pitiful as she leads you to believe...
 My favorite shot because it's just so simple.  Sometimes photos get overwhelmed by props and distractions.  I prefer the subject to shine through.

 I hope she is happy here with us...I hope after all her shuffling around and struggles she had as a puppy she finally feels like she has a place of her own.

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