Desi Aragon has taken scores of portraits of people with the animals they’ve adopted at “Adopt Love. Adopt Local” since the annual event started two years ago.
Last year, he found himself focusing the camera on his own family.
“She’s really a gentle soul and she’s very smart,” Aragon said of Eve, the blind cattle dog his family adopted from Arizona Cattle Dog Rescue. “We feel very lucky to have her,”
The nonprofit rescue group is one of more than a dozen animal welfare organizations taking part.
Eve’s name comes from having been found on Christmas Eve running near a casino in Pinal County. She was malnourished and suffered from Valley fever, tick fever and glaucoma so advanced and painful that a veterinarian recommended her eyes be removed.
The nonprofit rescue group kept Eve in foster care for a year, helping her to heal and training her to adapt to being blind and living in a home.
Her foster parents brought her to last year’s adoption event, and she immediately caught the attention of Meghan Aragon, who had been walking through the aisles with her children. One of the benefits of the adoption event is you can interact with a lot of animals, she said.
Meghan Aragon felt an instant bond with Eve. “She just melted my heart right away,” she said.
Her husband suggested she walk the dog to where he was taking portraits.
It took an instant to decide to make Eve part of their family. They took the keepsake family portrait, but the rescue group requires a home inspection before the adoption is complete.
Adoption fees and requirements vary by organization at Adopt Love. Adopt Local. Every adoptable animal at the event will be spayed and neutered and be current on vaccinations.
At the time, the family had two cats and a skittish senior German Shepherd mix, Lilly, adopted from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.
“Eve has actually taught her how to be a dog,” she said of Lilly, whom she suspects had been abused most of her life. “They’ve been so good for each other.”
Eve also thrived on a RV trip the family took to Portland, Oregon. “She is incredibly good at adapting to different environments,” Desi Aragon said. “It’s awesome the way she maneuvers. She’s not skittish at all.”