Have you ever felt helpless? That feeling is what I experienced when walking through a Dominican Republic marketplace only to find this wretched street dog lapping water from a filthy puddle. I did not even have any snacks or dog biscuits to give this animal. When I have done this in the past I have found it necessary to be very discreet for most locals think it crazy at best and abominable at the very worst to give food to a street dog. It is so thin. This dog and so many others like it haunt me. The world around us is not always pretty.

I regret not being able to take this dog home with me. While we cannot save all homeless animals, if you are considering bringing an animal companion into your life, I urge you to adopt dogs and cats from shelters.

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

March 30, 2009

Canon 50D, Tamron 28-75mm lens, shutter 1/500, f/8.0, exposure bias -1.0, ISO 200


water, dog, yellow, animal, brown, fur, rescue dog, shelter dog, dominican_republic

It is my sincere wish that visitors to my portfolio experience the beauty and wonder of nature. Moreover my hope is that my photographs will inspire viewers to be proactive toward the protection of wildlife and its habitat, those efforts ultimately making a far better world for all beings.

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  • FelicityB
    FelicityBover 4 years ago

    You have my instant empathy here … there is much in the world I wish could be changed

  • Yes, Felicity, if only we could make things better all around, the world would be a better place. One step at a time is the best we can hope for. Thank you for your very kind-hearted comments.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Dmarie Frankulin
    Dmarie Frankulinover 4 years ago

    Awww…that poor baby…I know how it is because I was staying in Venezuela for awhile and the animals there look terrible. They are left like garbage!!! If only I was rich…I would have tons of animals!!!…I believe in the NO KILL shelters!!! But those countries do not have things like that!!!

  • Yes, I empathize with you. Life is not easy on the streets. We have to rejoice in more recent efforts to quell pet overpopulation as it IS making a difference. No kill shelters are indeed worthy but I cannot find it in my heart to be hard on those that euthanize unwanted animals. After all, those pounds and shelters take in the animals the no kill shelters do not accept. Sigh…it’s such a desperate story. I think inroads are being made, thanks to people like you who care about animals plus are aware of how to combat pet overpopulation. This can be overcome. Thank you for your perceptive and very kind comments.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Scott Denny
    Scott Dennyover 4 years ago

    Very emotive shot. We do live in a crazy world that is for sure.

    I am an animal lover through and through. What gets me is how many people will place such emphasis on saving animals when human beings are suffering just as much.

    It does sadden me to see this dog suffering so. How you felt about the dog is the same way I felt in Kenya looking at the children. The problem is so large. I can do my part to help but at the same time what I do is so little in comparison to the huge problem.

    Oh what a sad sad world we have.

    My Lobo is from a shelter. I cannot believe he might not be alive if I had not have saved him.

    What a wonderful photo. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Scott, I hear you. While we may not be able to effect major changes to improve people’s or animals’ lives, little steps and kindnesses can work wonders. As an animal shelter worker told me once, no, you cannot save everyone but you can make a difference in one’s life. What greater gift is there than that? Hugs to your Lobo from this dog lover. Thank you for sharing your kind thoughts, too.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • tori yule
    tori yuleover 4 years ago
    When I was there I asked the children who were selling things to the tourists why they weren’t in school. It is a beautiful place with so much sadness.
  • Tori, the world beyond resort walls is vastly different from the typical tourist experience. There is so much that is wonderful, warm and family-oriented and then there is this sadness of children selling stuff in the street. When confronted with this reality, I am reminded of how I must count my blessings. Plus pet my shelter dog for the blessings he and I both enjoy. Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • bev langby
    bev langbyover 4 years ago

    its so sad and i agree to search for a pet from your local pound xx

  • Sigh….Bev, there is so little we can do but bit by bit we can make a difference in other’s lives. Love ya! Gina

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Chris Snyder
    Chris Snyderover 4 years ago

    I agree 100% with your sentiments. This dog would be such a wonderful companion for somebody who would be willing to rescue. I haven’t been to the Dominican Republic but I know that there are 10.000’s of street dogs throughout Latin Amarica.

  • Chris, I know of at least one organization that rescues dogs from a Caribbean island, sending them to Miami with tourists willing to accompany these dogs home. We have so many animals awaiting placement in our own country but there are so many others needing homes from other countries. You are doing a good deed with your rescue work. It’s people like you who make a difference in creating a better world!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • SophieSimone
    SophieSimoneover 4 years ago

    this is lovely

  • Sophie, thank you very much. Welcome to RedBubble!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Kim  Calvert
    Kim Calvertover 4 years ago

    Oh this is so sad..poor just want to take it home and love it..wonderful powerful shot.

  • Kim, I felt that way about this dog as well as others I have seen on the street. There was some trepidation when I added this image for it is disturbing and certainly not pretty. In the end I thought this was a story that needed to be told. Thank you for stopping by to write such heartfelt words.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Ellen van Deelen
    Ellen van Deelenover 4 years ago

    Very impressive….I once brought an almost dying cat home from Spain…
    When she was better again, she couldnt get along with my birds, but i did found a good home for her.

  • You have a good heart, Ellen. Some people I’ve met over the years have done the same thing. Why is one cat or dog lucky when so many others are not? That’s one of life’s imponderables. Good hearing from you. I just had a thought…your rescued kitty could not get along with your birds but I wonder how she would have reacted to Rosie???

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Ellen van Deelen
    Ellen van Deelenover 4 years ago

    In that time,I didnt had rats. The cat from Spain was pulling my cages on the ground, so it was too dangerous.
    By the way, I would never take a cat,while having rats :)

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