I met Mack the summer of 2014. He was being cared for at Rough Road Rescue, an animal rescue just outside of Perryville, Mo., owned and operated by Steve and Linda Svehla.

The rescue was relatively new and Mack had already been with them for several months before I arrived in the picture. I had known the Svehlas for more than 20 years. I was there to photograph their pets so they could get them out into the public via social media. I’d done the same for many other animal rescues over the years and was happy to help.

Mack’s story is not unlike that of any other rescued animal. He was lost without a home and needed help. An organization was doing what rescues do by caring for him until they could find him a new home.

This is Mack. It bears noting that while at the rescue Mack’s name was Jack.

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As you can see, Mack, by most standards is unremarkable. Although a very friendly dog with an ever so sweet demeanor he was just a plain ole’ dog to most folks- nothing to write home about. Tri colored, hound-lab-bird dog maybe (?) mix. Pretty ordinary. He’d been seen and passed over by countless potential adopters.

We posted Mack’s pic online and shared him around Facebook. No takers.

So, the following month I went back to the rescue and took more photographs of Mack (and other RRR dogs). In just those few weeks from my first visit Mack seemed to have matured immensely. He was calmer, more attentive, and even more loving than before.

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Mack was adapting well to his environment, but he still needed a home of his own. We posted Mack all over the internet, on Find a Pet, and shared him on every social media outlet we could find.

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He was filling out and maturing into a beautiful dog and Mack’s favorite thing now seemed to be to give “lovins”. He was just a very affectionate dog. Mack had grown quite fond of Linda.

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Summer had come and gone and still no takers. Mack was still a resident at Rough Road Rescue when the leaves hit the ground in the fall.

Rough Road Rescue was still pretty new when Jamie Patterson found them on Facebook. They had been open little more than a year, they were the first ever animal rescue for Perry County, and they seemed worthy of support.

After observing the rescue online for some time, Jamie’s young son, Jaiden, decided he wanted to do something for the animals of Rough Road Rescue. He not only wanted to donate something useful he was willing to invest his own time and money to do it.

Jaiden used his allowance and odd job earnings to buy supplies to make bracelets. Once the bracelets were made he sold them to make even more money to pay for the material he needed to make blankets for the rescue. He worked hard and soon enough had made a pile of blankets for the dogs of Rough Road Rescue.

The day finally came for Jaiden to deliver his donation. Jamie, Jaiden, and two of Jamie’s other children arrived at the rescue and were given the full tour. It was January, frigid cold, and a great time to pass out blankets. The dogs loved them, blankets and visitors, and Jaiden was beaming. He knew he’d done a good thing and it felt good.

Steve and Linda were tickled to have visitors and more than happy to accept the blankets. Steve posted about it on their Facebook page.

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After spending a little time at the kennels, passing out blankets, and learning about the rescue’s operations Jamie and Jaiden found themselves smitten with none other than Mack. Jamie hesitantly inquired about adoption. Steve and Linda were more than happy to provide details.

Of course Jaiden and the other children were all for the idea of adopting Mack and ready to take him home that day. But Jamie wanted to take things slow, spend some time with Mack, introduce Mack to her other pets and children, before she seriously considered adoption. She understood from the start that adopting a pet would be a process.

I remember Steve and Linda (founders of the rescue) being pretty excited about the prospect of Mack finding his own family, at last.

Continue reading at, “The inevitable adoption of Mack”

This is just the beginning of Mack’s story.
Please check the bottom of the post In search of Mack, for new additions to Mack’s story and continuing timeline.