Andrew Knapp

Emily & Eleanor (v)

Andrew Knapp
Emily & Eleanor (v)


Denver wandered onto Emily’s porch when she was 20. She spent weeks looking for his home, but as if by fate, he became part of hers instead. Denver found Emily in an unsettled lifestyle, and taught her that thing that dogs often teach us; unconditional love. Denver was a catalyst dog for Emily, but Denver was also her catalyst in searching for and finding her current dog Eleanor.

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Emily is a photographer who’s work is matched by her ability to speak her truth within it. Emily’s gift of truth and her self-awareness grant her a clarity in her rescue story: the intention to replace her previous dog, the realization of the unlikelihood of this expectation, and the grace to accept what came in its place.

"Your new dog is not your old dog, but there are a million possibilities of things to love about your new dog.”

Six months after Denver passed, Emily visited the humane society in Austin and found a young Eleanor. She connected with her immediately. In Emily’s mind, Eleanor was going to be Denver’s predecessor. Of course, our reality rarely matches our expectations.

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Emily wasn’t expecting to have a dog with separation anxiety, more over she wasn’t expecting to have a dog who was as stubborn as she is. But on the flip side, she also wasn’t expecting to have a wonderful travel companion. The quirks and qualities she found within Eleanor completely diffused her plan to replace Denver. Instead, she found a different one. She fully believes that if you’re going to adopt a dog, you need to be ready to integrate it into every aspect of your life. With some openness, you’ll be enriching each others lives in unexpected ways.

Emily changed her life to match Eleanor’s pace. “I’ve reworked my entire life to take her with me”. She’ll avoid restaurants that aren’t dog friendly and do what it takes to bring her along on her adventures. Even further, Eleanor didn’t like being left at home alone, so Emily quit her job to spend more time with her, which ultimately led her into a career as a full-time photographer.

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Emily’s raw honesty shed an awareness on her fortuitously misguided motivation to get Eleanor as a replacement to Denver, but also permitted her to receive Eleanor as she is, accepting her faults next to her strengths, and allowing that to nurture their relationship.

"Your new dog is not your old dog, but there are a million possibilities of things to love about your new dog.”

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If you liked this story, Emily suggests donating to Trevor Project, or donate or spend some time helping out at a local rescue you prefer.




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