clancy, pasadena ca.

September 25th, 2008

A lot of the times when I look at my dogs, I secretly wish they could talk to me. Especially Maeby — I’d ask her what her life was like in Mexico, who her original family was, and why the heck she’s always digging through my garbage can like I don’t feed her enough!

But when I met Clancy, a beautiful 10 year old pitbull mix, I was grateful for once that dogs can’t talk. Because you see, Clancy was a pitbull used for dog fighting. And while we may never know what exactly happened in the earlier years of his life, the scars all over his face and his nearly non-existent ears tell us the horrors he’s endured.

Clancy was rescued by the amazing Lori of Downtown Dog Rescue. I photographed her dogs Maya and Yuki back in April, and she contacted me a few months ago when she rescued Clancy. At the time, Lori wasn’t sure if he could be rehabilitated. But many months later and with a lot of dedication and hard work, Clancy has become Lori’s new best friend.

I wasn’t sure what to expect that morning. I mean, a former fighting dog? Ears cut off so severely that they’re barely there? A dog so scary that Lori wasn’t even sure if she could rehabilitate and keep him? I knew she wouldn’t put me in grave danger but I’ll admit I was a bit nervous.

Until I met him.

Clancy is the sweetest, silliest, happiest guy ever. Like I said he’s 10, but he has the energy of a 2 year old dog. When I met him, I saw the sad reminders of his past. But I also saw hope, dedication, and most of all love. I fell in love with Clancy and his big giant head that day. I think you might too.

(Click on small photos to enlarge)

33 Responses to “clancy, pasadena ca.”

  1. Carole Says:

    I know Clancy. And that first picture of him says it all. OMG….Grace, you have captured Clancy’s inner soul

  2. Jill Says:

    These pictures make me sad and happy. I’m so happy that he finally is living a peaceful life. It makes me wonder how people could do this to beautiful animals. It really hurts my heart. And Grace, you really do have a gift of capturing an animal’s beauty.

  3. Emilee Says:

    Oh my, Grace. He’s beautiful - missing ears and all. You’ve done an amazing job. It just goes to show that there is hope for these dogs. They can find loving homes. He’s such a sweet looking boy.

  4. Lynn Says:

    awwww, that’s such a great story, Grace. I’m so glad Clancy is able to find peace at this stage of his life. You can just see from his sparkling eyes that he’s ready to live his life now

  5. Miss Janey Says:

    Bless his little heart. Miss Janey can’t for her life understand how people can treat animals in this horrifying way. Thank goodness there are people out there to do the hard work of rehabbing them. Miss J’s fave is of him laying on the grass. What a doll.

  6. Nick Says:

    He has suck soulful eyes :) Its great that he’s founds such a wonderful home..

  7. leesia Says:

    i photographed a beautiful white pit bull last year with the same situation — scars and missing ears from a dogfighting ring, and when i met her all she wanted was a tummy rub. these beautiful dogs never cease to amaze me with how resilient and forgiving of humans they can be after enduring so many unspeakable atrocities.

    i’m so glad we have people like lori to take the time and love to rehabilitate these sweet souls. is she the same woman who was featured in the bark magazine awhile back? (she’s amazing either way!)

  8. Melissa Says:

    Wow what an amazing turn-around story! Lots of talk of rescued dogs around the blogs lately (including my own) - what a great-looking dog! So happy! It warms my heart to see an animal come out the other side like this one!

  9. shine pet photos Says:

    Thanks everyone for all the amazing, heartfelt comments. Clancy really has a way of touching people, even if it’s just through his photographs. I really CANNOT comprehend how people can treat living, breathing things in such horrifying ways either. It really breaks my heart. But I’m also grateful for people like Lori who are wiling to give these dogs second chances.

    Leesia — Lori is indeed the same woman featured in Bark magazine back in April! She is SO AMAZING and humble, she didn’t even mention the article to me. I actually happened to read the article in a Barnes and Noble the night before our shoot! Imagine the luck of that???

  10. Stephen - FidoJournalism Says:

    Wow. That first image is so powerful. I can’t stop looking at it. The scars of his past life are juxtaposed with the gentleness in his eyes. Great work.

  11. Melissa Says:

    Beautiful photos, and it is one step at a time to dispel the notions that many have of these beautiful pups. What a sweetie despite his horrible past.

  12. Jill Beninato Says:

    Dogs never cease to amaze me…we can all learn something about forgiving from them. You captured him perfectly…

  13. Mia 'thousandhound' Says:

    Oh my….What a touching story. I agree with Stephen…that first image is so powerful. Combined with the backstory, it’s enough to make my eyes leak a little.

  14. nicole Says:

    Grace you really are an awesome photographer. You know how to capture the heart and soul of animals. Congrats - you should be totally proud of what you have accomplished in such a short amount of time.

  15. Jamie Says:

    Oh my god I want Clancy. You can see his SOUL in your photos Grace. Just Beautiful.

  16. karen Says:

    He has the most soulful eyes I’ve even seen in a dog.
    Beautiful pictures. Beautiful dog.
    My heart is happy for you both

  17. Moira Says:

    These are incredible. What an amazing story of survival. You really capture his dignity and spirit.

  18. Rebecca Collins Says:

    Thanks for sharing Clancy, great post.

  19. Matt Says:

    I could talk endlessly about these pictures and the affect they’ve had on me. Important photo session. Amazing dog and rescuer. These photos have stayed with me since I first saw them.

  20. Lori Weise Says:

    Thank you Grace for the beautiful photos! You truly captured the spirit of my boy Clancy. He was truly a gift to me, and continues to bring so much to my life. My dear friend, and fellow dog rescuer Cathy Simpson brought Clancy to me after losing my loyal working dog Sinbad at 15 years. Sinbad had helped me rehab and care for hundreds of other rescue dogs. When he died, part of me died too. Cathy had spent months trying to catch Clancy on the street in South Central LA. He obviously had been thrown away like a piece of trash when he was no longer useful to his former owner. He looked like a walking black skelton when she finally convinced him to come home with her. With no where to keep him, he literally lived in the back of SUV happily for about a month until I adopted him. Now Clancy leads my pack of rescue dogs, and helps rehab dogs so that they too will find their forever home. I especially love the black and white photos. To anyone out there that has an older dog, I strongly encourage you to have Grace do their portrait. She has now done three of my dogs, and will do more. Thank you again Grace!!

  21. Julie Says:

    My heart melted! So glad he was rescued. Awesome photos…ugh…my heart is still melting..geesh!

  22. Jamie Says:

    One more comment. I have to say that is the worst homemade botched ear crop I have ever seen. Just makes my soul weep to think what this dog has gone through. Thank god for all of the amazing dog lovers in the world, like Lori, who give dogs like Clancy a second chance!!

  23. shine pet photos Says:

    Wow everyone’s love for sweet Clancy is really moving. Thanks to everyone who’s shared their thoughts! And a special thank you to Lori, Clancy’s amazing new owner, for taking the time to leave a comment and give us more insight into Clancy’s past. I think this session was especially moving because it has such a happy ending. And while I certainly could have photographed Clancy from certain angles to minimize his scarring and horrendous ear cropping job, I felt like those elements added to his story of strength and survival. And despite it all, he’s still SO HAPPY AND SWEET. What wonderful lessons we can learn from him.

  24. Matt Says:

    I keep coming back to Clancy’s photos - this is such a huge story. His amazing resilience has become a new story for me to carry with me. I SO wish I could play with this pup now. You did an amazing job and made the absolutely right decision to show his scars and ears. This is one unique dog and it is because of those scars. Easily my favorite photos of yours…except maybe for Alvin.

  25. Audrey Says:

    So so touching. The photos say so much here, you can see how absolutely precious he is even though he has been through so much. I cannot comprehend how people can treat these precious animals like that but thank goodness for people like Lori!! Great photos!!!

  26. Danette Says:

    You have completely captured the true heart of Clancy. He looks sowise and so happy and his eyes just speak so muh soul. He is a bautiful boy! I am so sorry for the life he lived beofre and the abuse he suffered, but he is an prime example of how forgiving dogs are to humans. His story needs to be shared so that the fear that people have of Pitbulls and any Bully breeds can be dispelled. And his story also shows firsthand what humans do to them, and how the humans needs to be punished.
    We have 3 wonderful, loving, and very spoiled Pitbulls. They are all rescues and we would never have one that wasn’t. The love and humor they give us is neverending.

  27. Danette Says:

    You have completely captured the true heart of Clancy. He looks so wise and so happy and his eyes just speak so much soul. He is a beautiful boy! I am so sorry for the life he lived before and the abuse he suffered, but he is an prime example of how forgiving dogs are to humans. His story needs to be shared so that the fear that people have of Pitbulls and any Bully breeds can be dispelled. And his story also shows firsthand what humans do to them, and how the humans needs to be punished.
    We have 3 wonderful, loving, and very spoiled Pitbulls. They are all rescues and we would never have one that wasn’t. The love and humor they give us is neverending.

  28. Matt Says:

    So good that I keep coming back. I’ve shared Clancy’s story with a large number of people and his photos when I was able - they were all amazed. I’m still a bit in awe.

  29. Marisol Says:

    such a beautiful story, it made me cry. i hate people who make their dogs fight i wish i could just torture them i despise them., one day i hope to grow up & rescue dogs of these horrors.
    im happy for you :)

  30. Kat Says:

    Yes, I am in love. And this is why I love dogs more than people.

  31. Irene soriano Brightman Says:

    We placed a link to Clancy’s entry on your blog! The pictures you’ve taken of him are beautiful! WE LOVE CLANCY! and SHINE PET PHOTOS!

  32. Matt Says:

    came back to remember

  33. Animal Gifts Says:

    […] that is not why it is being done. Example – Grace Chon, photographer in LA, photographed Clancy, a rescue with Lori Wiese, of Downtown Dog Rescue. Thoughts? […]

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