Pet Photography

Wrigley the Service Puppy by Allison Shamrell Pet Photography

Copy: Serena Faber Nelson

Photography: Allison Shamrell Photography

For many pet owners, getting a new puppy is a new beginning on what will become a lifelong adventure together. But for service puppies and their owners, their short time together is a selfless and dedicated act towards making this one puppy into a dog who will be someone’s lifeline one day.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t get to have puppy fun! When I saw these photos by Allison Shamrell Photography, I could see the amazing bond between Wrigley, the service puppy, and his owner. While their short time together is going to make the difference of a lifetime to someone in need, it’s also going to be filled with bucket-loads of joy.

From Allison:

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Wrigley! He’s a puppy in the Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) program, an organization which trains service dogs! When he grows up, he’ll assist a person with a physical or mental handicap, and be their constant friend & companion. Right now, he lives with a “puppy raiser” in Pensacola, Florida.

That woman’s name is LeAnne, and she’s raised him selflessly; training him in dozens of ways to help and live with someone who needs him one day. She was given Wrigley as a tiny 8-week-old puppy, and she’ll give him back to the CCI program (so he can go to “college”, the final segment of his training) when he turns one. Wrigley wasn’t the first CCI puppy I photographed, either – I photographed his predecessor, LeAnne’s previous dog Yankee, and another puppy raiser’s dogs, Sanders & Florence! You can see their photos here.

Wrigley is wearing his “puppy cape” in these photos, and for now, he probably has no idea why this piece of cloth is on his back! But one day, he’ll know that when he wears the cape, it means he’s working. It means that he should sit quietly, be attentive to his owner, and help out in any way he can. This often involves opening the fridge, turning lights off & on, and sometimes most importantly, just being there. CCI dogs are an incredible comfort to their owners; there are beautiful stories on the CCI website that illustrate the huge improvements these dogs make in their people’s lives.

This session was a lot of fun for me! I don’t usually get to work with puppies, especially ones as young as Wrigley! He was about ten weeks old for our session, and let’s just say his age showed in his attention span! Haha! He was the most focused when chasing his tennis ball around the lawn, otherwise, he was a normal, happy puppy.

He may look like a labrador, but he’s actually a lab/golden retriever mix! Our location was the fabulous Pensacola Yacht Club, where LeAnne is a member, and I loved the well-manicured grass & pretty boats in the harbor as a background!

A lot of sessions are a challenge for me to do, for many different reasons. It could be simply that the dog may not have much time left. This session was difficult in a different way; it was odd to think that I was working with a puppy who would grow up to be an indispensable companion for someone one day. He wouldn’t just be a household pet, like all the other dogs I work with; Wrigley has a very important job.

And while he grows up to fill those shoes, while he hits all the puppy milestones that most people celebrate & coo over, LeAnne watches & trains him with the knowledge that he won’t be hers for much longer. I can’t imagine raising a puppy – much less training him to function as a service dog – knowing that when he turns one, I’d have to say goodbye.

LeAnne is a strong woman! She and all the other puppy raisers are incredible souls, and I’m so glad they’re doing such powerful work. I’ve really loved working with CCI puppy raisers, and I can’t say enough good things about the organization.

About Allison Shamrell Photography

Allison Shamrell has been photographing pets exclusively for almost three years. She recently moved across the country to San Diego, California, and is excited to live in a wonderfully dog-friendly place that has excellent craft beer & flawless weather. Her images are natural, playful & soulful.

Find Allison Shamrell Photography WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK

Copy: Serena Faber Nelson

Photography: Allison Shamrell Photography

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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Wrigley the Service Puppy by Allison Shamrell Pet Photography”

  1. Danielle says:

    OMG! He is adorable. I just want to roll around in the grass with him. And I agree that it would be extremely hard to say goodbye to a face like that when the time has come.

  2. Casey O says:

    What a sweetie — he looks like a little superhero in that puppy cape! We had a tough enough time giving up our foster puppy after only a week — I can’t imagine the strength required to raise & train service dogs & then let them go. LeAnne is a true hero! 🙂

    • says:

      Both LeAnne and you are heroes to me! Anyone who devotes their time to helping animals – especially knowing you have to say goodbye – is amazing! xx

  3. Beth says:

    He is adorable! I’m sure it would be bittersweet when the puppy goes to college. Thank goodness for people like LeAnne

  4. Julia says:

    These picture are adorable, and wow, LeAnne is so inspiring! Thanks to LeAnne, Wrigley is clearly going to bring his future owner so much love, joy and friendship!

  5. Kayla says:

    Omg.. those sweet sweet puppy eyes.. I can’t get over it!


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