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I am a Forever Dog, Not an Until Dog

Last night when I posted about the protests at the Westminster, I also included the image below which has the blurred out dog in the middle. The original image was not blurred out but featured a cute little puppy. Today, I received an email from a very kind woman, who I will call “Jayne Dough”, who informed me that she originated that graphic by using a photo of a puppy she found on the internet.

Apparently the rightful owner of the puppy photo did not approve of her photo being used without her permission – which she does have the right to do so. Therefore, Jayne has been following along requesting that anyone who used that image she created to either remove it or provide proper credit to the owner of the pup in the photo.

It was purely innocent. Jayne admitted to me that she thought she was doing the right thing by helping spread the message that dogs ARE forever, but in actuality had done wrong by improperly using that photo. Dogs are not to be treated like an old pair of shoes and tossed to the side when they have been worn out.

As a photographer and a graphic designer, I completely understand the copyright properties of the owner of the photo. In this instance, though, I have a few words I would like to say, and they are not angry nor hateful, but are simply a reminder to us all – including myself.

Frequently in life we lose focus of what is really important. Since the very first time we hear the question, “So, what do you want to be when you grow up?” we are being conditioned that what is most important is money and materialistic needs. In the battle of striving to achieve the “American Dream” and “winning” in life, we often actually lose. We lose a sense of the true value of those things which money cannot buy, which are infinite. Sometimes just making it from sun up to sun down can be very difficult. Jobs may be overly stressful; the kids may be screaming at the top of their lungs; the traffic may be stop-and-go, bumper-to-bumper; a banking account may be overdrawn; and so on and so on. Life is never a Royal Flush.

Dogs do not care about these things. All they care about is you. They are always there waiting for you at the door or the edge of your yard, with a happy, goofy look on their faces, eyes sparkling, and tails a’ wagging. The love from a pet is unconditional and cannot be bought. Jayne Dough had absolutely no ill intent on her creation. She did not use that photo for profit, but used it due to her deep love for dogs. The words, not the photo, are what is important and should be considered carefully, especially by a first-time dog owner, before buying or adopting a new dog. From the very first day a dog arrives to it’s new home, it trusts that their home will be their forever-home.

Sometimes when we feel we have been wronged, it is wiser to look a little deeper into the reasoning behind the wrong-doing. Sometimes turning the other way and having acceptance will achieve an end result of providing a better life for others. And sometimes in doing so, the reward will be greater than you can ever imagine.

Life is too short and much too precious to worry about the little things. Sacrifice really is not a sacrifice when the joy starts to fill your heart.

Even though I have seen a few other images of dogs with this saying floating around the internet, I decided to create my own copy with a photo of my adopted rescue dog who is a “lethal white” Aussie. Please, download and feel free to share this message to all.

My rescue dog rescued me.


  1. unbelievable that anyone would carp about a foto of their puppy being used period…especially to such a beautiful end. some people eh? but good on you Michelle. you have a wonderful heart. continue…

    • Thanks! The woman who created the graphic just emailed me a while ago that she’s rescued and placed over 600 dogs! She’s the one with the wonderful heart! That takes pure dedication and love.

  2. Interesting story about the photo. I’m not sure I’d be so possessive of a pic of my dog, especially for this worthy purpose, but the lady is entitled. So be it. Love your poster with your baby on it!

  3. What an excellent post! As a photographer, I fully understand copyright laws and while this woman was well within her rights to request the photograph not be used, I completely agree with you. There is also the “Fair Use” clause, and in this case, where the photo was not being used for financial gain, it is quite possible it falls within the purview of “Fair Use”.

    Be that as it may, you are making a point far more important. When it comes to something like this, the creator of the resulting statement had no ill intent and was actually attempting to send a valuable message. This was completely lost upon the original creator of the photograph.

    There’s much more to life than material things and copyrights, and there are times when our better judgement needs to kick in and let some things slide.

  4. The actual credit for this ‘quote’ is from the Calgary Humane Society. Please chexk out their facebook page, “Calgary Humane Society” to find the image. They deserve full credit for this!

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