SPRING HILL, Tenn. — Some puppies badly hurt in a fire are recovering, but they still have a long way to go. Now, they’re posing with firefighters for a fundraising calendar meant to help pay for some expensive treatments.
“You spend a couple minutes getting to know the dogs,” said animal photographer Michelle Conner. “Every dog is different. Every personality is different.”
Getting the lighting, framing and pose just right, Conner said perfection is telling a story with a single image.
“You make really weird, obnoxious noises during the photo sessions to get their attention, get that little head tilt,” she laughed.
She said rarely does the story she’s telling mean more to her than it did on Thursday.
“These pictures make a world of difference to get their story out,” said Conner.
Nearly a month ago, workers with Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital in Franklin said they began care of three small puppies with third-degree burns from where a breeder’s heating lamp caught fire. Metro Animal Care Center officials said the breeder was cited with misdemeanor animal cruelty.
Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue raised more than $19,000 for the puppies’ initial medical expenses.
“They’ve definitely gone through a lot of pain,” said Shawn Aswad of Snooty Giggles. “As long as they’re getting love and attention, that’s all they’re about. They’re not worried about what happened yesterday.”
Now much bigger and doing so much better, the three puppies are now known at Snooty Giggles as ‘the Blues Brothers’. Not named Jake or Elwood, they’re instead named Yahto, Mavi and Indeever, all words meaning ‘blue’.
“Their blue eyes just stole everybody’s hearts,” said Aswad.
Only Yahto came for a calendar photoshoot Wednesday where animals with special conditions sat alongside fire fighters. The Franklin Fire Department took pictures with the dogs Wednesday, while the Spring Hill Fire Department posed Thursday. All money is intended to go toward the further treatment of the burned puppies.
“Who’s going to stand up for them?” asked Aswad. “Who’s going to help these guys that are sick and injured? I feel like we’ve created this wonderful village for the special needs.”
With Yahto looking so content to just have a shoulder to hang over, Conner stopped to see if she was framing up the shot that could make a big difference for the Blues Brothers.
“Not a lot of jobs out there that you can say make a difference,” said Conner. “I’m passionate about it. I love to do that.”
As for further care, at least one of the puppies will likely be getting a skin graft. Workers with Snooty Giggles said one of their big focuses is making sure the dogs get less calcium with the wounds taking so much of the protein in their bodies, according to WSMV.