Photography is a passion of mine but I do have a life and other interests. I am also passionate about my family, animals, and life in general and yes, sometimes that means some quirky stuff. I wrote a column on Examiner.com for seven years and with their recent closure I've been transferring many of my old article's into the blog.

So here you'll find a little business, a little personal, and a little bit of everything in between. It's all just a bit of a mish-mash here but I hope that you'll enjoy the images I share, what you read, and will return often.

~Gila

Please note that some images in this blog are taken with cell phones or are images I have been allowed to use by others.

To view my professional work, please visit www.gilasplace.com

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My sweet Sug: momma sure misses you baby


Sug came from a very large litter of pups. Her momma's owner had decided to breed his dog because he had been able to "pre-sell" four pups from his beautiful, registered female.

Once the pups were born (over a dozen off them), he sold the four that were spoken for, and he was left with rest of the litter to contend with.

After a trip to the vet he quickly discovered how expensive it would become to care for the litter until they could all be sold. Breeding dogs was not so profitable after all.

With the litter's second round of vaccinations coming due the dog owner decided that it would be cheaper to euthanize the remainder of the litter instead of keeping them and attempting to sell them.

He decided to try to give the remainder of the litter away and those he couldn't find homes for would go back to the vet to be euthanized.

These were registered Labrador Retrievers and it had come down to euthanasia as an affordable way to manage the situation. Breeding dogs, for the average individual, just doesn't pay like some might think. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
A group of people got together, made a few calls, and one by one the pups found homes. None were euthanized. (One of the few situations of the kind that ended up coming out okay but a reminder that even full blooded dogs can easily end up homeless or euthanized due to irresponsible breeding.)

I personally did not intend to take a pup for myself. I had taken a friend to pick out one for himself and stood in amazement watching more than a half a dozen lab pups bounce off the walls of the barn. A puppy was not on my agenda. Puppies are just not my thing.

As I watched the rambunctious pups bark and bounce and carry on, I noticed the only remaining yellow pup sitting quietly under a heat lamp, making no fuss at all. She hadn't moved in the 30 minutes we had been there. She just patiently sat and watched the commotion around her. My friend asked which one I was taking, to which I replied, that I wasn't taking any of them. I'd try to find them homes but I wasn't in a position to take on a new pup.
As we began to leave, my friend had his pup, and again reminded me the fate of the pups that might be left over saying, "Surely you can take a pup home and maybe find it a home later if you decide not to keep it."

As I stood by the barn door I looked at the little yellow girl as she watched me on my way out. On a whim I said "Hey girl, are you ready to go home?" And as if on cue, up she got, and came over to me and sat by me looking up with this wanting look in her eyes as if to say, "I'm ready."

I picked her up, we came home, and she has been my side ever since. That was 12 years ago. I knew once I had her she was mine and I was hers, and I wouldn't be looking for another home for her.
Sug has been the most wonderful girl and never once have I regretted that day in that barn. She has mothered every rescued animal I have brought into her life (there have been more than a few) and every child that has come into our home. She is the best natured dog I have ever encountered and I have been blessed by 12 wonderful years with her.
I saved her once and she has saved me more times than I can count. She reminds me constantly the true meaning of unconditional love.

Sug passed away on March 11, 2015 and there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss her, terribly. RIP baby. You'll always be my girl.


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