The real pets whose stories are told in the calendar include the rescued service dog of a Minnesota veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, and 11 other rescued therapy dogs.
Sansale and his wife, Lynn, offered to donate the calendars to the Petfinder Foundation because of their commitment to helping pets in need. “Please know how honored we are to work with such a wonderful organization as Petfinder!” Lynn says.
Paul and Lynn had their eyes opened up to the enormous needs in the rescue world during the recession thanks to a coworker, Gwen, who had a rescued therapy dog named Lucy. “Up to that point, rescue was something we just weren’t that aware of,” Lynn says. “We had lost our Westie and would have just inquired through breeders for another dog. Long story short, with the education we got from Gwen and additional sources, we saw a need and started a calendar called ‘Rescue Dog to Therapy Dog’ to educate people to the incredible resilience and value of dogs in rescue.”
Paul had been an art director and illustrator for 30 years and had never painted a dog until the day he and Lynn were encouraged by Gwen to come watch Lucy volunteer in the READing Paws program at the library. “Paul photographed Lucy and Gwen on the library lawn afterwards,” Lynn tells us. “When he got home and looked at the photos, he thought one looked like a portrait and got to work painting Lucy, loved the whole process and the rest is history. The first calendar took on a life of its own, and people started calling us with their own rescued therapy dogs and stories. We are totally hooked on telling these dogs’ amazing stories and passing them on to the public.”