German Shepherd canvas portrait

Joseph Handsomedog Celebrates One Year of Freedom

Joseph Handsomedog has had a great year. This gentle German Shepherd has had a year great enough to wash away the pain and illness caused by the previous four years tied to a tree and left to nearly starve. (See the article at this link for more background.) Over the past year since being rescued by Middletown, Ohio’s PAWS Adoption Center, Joseph has been treated for chronic ear infections and heartworm, gained about 40 pounds, and lived in the loving company of his foster mother, Gail Corrill and his three German Shepherd sisters.

Rescued German Shepherd

Joseph Handsomedog greets friends at his birthday party.

Today, September 27, 2014, is one year since Joseph was rescued, and Gail has named this day as Joseph’s birthday, since no-one knows the day he was born, and this year truly has been a rebirth for him. This is also the day that Gail officially adopts Joseph. In honor of the day, Gail organized a community birthday party for Joseph in the new PAWS facility that just opened a few months ago.

Joseph Handsomedog watches friends prepare for the birthday party.

Joseph Handsomedog watches friends prepare for the birthday party.

Rescued German Shepherd Dog

Joseph is ready to lend a paw, or perhaps just check to see if any crumbs have fallen!

As Joseph’s friends from near and far came to the party and enjoyed delicious hot dogs, chips, cupcakes, and lemonaide, Joseph made sure they were welcome, greeting them with his signature giant fleece bone, reaching out to be petted, and generally tolerating the requisite birthday hat. Josephs doggy sisters Lexi and Pepper were there too. Sadly, sister Lola passed away a little more than a week ago, but she made Joseph a welcome member of the family even while she battled her own cancer.

Holiday card with four German Shepherd Dogs

Joseph and his family on a holiday card from 2013.

Young girl with cupcake.

A young friend enjoys a “Joseph” birthday cupcake.

German Shepherd dog with a fleece bone

Joseph Handsomedog greets partygoers with his signature giant fleece bone.

My contribution to the event, as owner and photographer at Dogpatch Pix Pet Portrait Studio, was to donate a birthday photography session for Joseph and to create a memorable photographic portrait of him to hang in the new PAWS building. About one month ago Joseph came for his session. I selected a beautiful pose, and I reached out to one of the premier art canvas printing companies  in the United States, and an Ohio neighbor, Simply Color Lab, to see if they would donate the printing and framing of the portrait. They very generously agreed. Thank you so much Simply Color Lab for your wonderful contribution to the day!

Canvas portrait of German Shepherd.

Gail Corrill shows party guests Joseph Handsomedog’s birthday portrait by Susan Gertz of Dogpatch Pix.

Joseph’s birthday portrait will be featured in the 2015 PAWS charity calendar. Joseph was the cover dog for the 2014 calendar, and while he had improved in health and appearance so much last November when the calendar was photographed, he has come so much further in health as of today and is truly the handsome dog he was meant to be.

Pet rescue charity calendar

Joseph was the cover dog for the 2014 PAWS charity calendar.

I also enjoyed some treats at the party in honor of Joseph! Thank you Joseph Handsomedog for inviting me!

Susan Gertz, owner and photographer at Dogpatch Pix, enjoys a birthday cupcake.


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