Every day we are faced with many life-altering decisions that we must choose wisely in order to live a contented and fulfilling life. For Daria Pushkareva, a famous photographer in Russia, she had to pick between her career and her love and dedication for sick dogs.
Living a Life of Success
Daria was living in a successful and glamorous lifestyle. She was considered one of the top five wedding photographers in Moscow. Her job enabled her to meet clients who were mostly politicians and elite businessmen. That is why her life became a maelstrom of expensive trips, numerous meetings, and of course, work.
Before Daria became a wedding photographer, she had worked in film-making for six years. She would assist in creating TV series and films, and work for fifteen hours without granting herself a day off for two weeks at a time. Needless to say, prior to her photography career, she was a workaholic.
Daria decided to become a photographer because she thought that it would slow down the hectic pace of her busy life. However, it turned out that she was back to the way she was before—a workaholic who never goes on holiday and spends most of her time inside her studio tinkering with her photos.
But Slowly Catching Up to Her Dreams
Despite her luxurious lifestyle, Daria still kept a simple dream close to her heart. She has a deep affection for dogs ever since she was younger and wanted to care for them. However, growing up without a father, she understood that her mother was doing everything she can to keep the family going. Daria knew that her mother would also be burdened with the responsibility of taking care of a dog.
The circumstances when she was younger were unfavourable for her to dedicate herself in caring for animals, but that did not stop her from hoping. She shared, ‘I then remembered my childhood when I and my classmates were talking about future professions and I said that I wanted to run a dog shelter.’
Now that she is an adult, the drive within her is still as strong as ever. Her love for animals encouraged her to deeply involve herself in helping them. Since she was engulfed with work, Daria did the best that she could at that moment, which was donating money and volunteering on a forum on the Internet. She spent her time searching and managing for things that would aid rescue dogs with diseases such as raising funds for accommodation and therapy.
You may also like:
- Animal Shelter Volunteer for the Sick and Elderly: How to Get Started
- German Animal Shelters Take a Stand Against Christmas Pet Adoption
One time, Darya saw a pet ad that featured a shelter puppy without an eye. It turned out the poor pup needed $150 to get its eye checked with an ophthalmologist. Together with her husband, she planned to send the money. However, the volunteer informed them that no one was available to take the puppy to the vet.
Right there and then, Daria and her husband decided to do it themselves. After they took the one-eyed pooch to the doctor, the couple decided that he should stay in the family.
Change of Fate Begins
The biggest catalyst that urged her to make her dream come true came in the form of a seven-month-old puppy. He was an aggressive and uncontrollable canine. The puppy would attempt to attack other dogs and people. Even Daria and her husband were not an exemption. He would keep howling late at night and started guarding invisible objects, which puzzled the couple.
It turned out the pup was suffering from craniocerebral trauma, a brain injury that causes him to hallucinate. Everything got so out of hand to the point that the experts suggested putting the pup to sleep. However, Daria never considered that as an option. She saw him as a part of the family and the thought of euthanising the poor pooch simply broke her heart.
The whole ordeal led her to decide that they needed to move out and find another place to stay. They decided that it was time to quit their jobs and move to a forest, where there is an ample amount of space for their furry companions to live in.
Never a Waste of Time
Never did Daria regret swapping her workaholic photographer lifestyle for a simple yet satisfying life of taking care of their rescued dogs. She humbly narrated: ‘I finally feel that I’m not wasting my life but spending my time meaningfully. I’m helping these animals and am sincerely enjoying it.’
Settling in their new home was no easy task. When they first arrived, there was no water and electricity. With their friends who are more than willing to assist them, they were able to have light and hot water. The couple also started building big houses for their sick dogs. They would feed them with meat and fish regularly, and even take them out for a walk around the huge territory.
The couple would still need to travel on foot to visit their friends’ homes to take a shower and gather firewood to keep their home warm. Since they live far away from the city, it is difficult to easily access the vet; therefore, they had to perform the medical procedures themselves on the sick dogs.
The living conditions for Daria and her husband were far from how it was back in the city. Although they do not have enough finances for everything, the couple made sure to prioritise making their dogs live a happy and comfortable life.
New Addition to the Family
The already big family was about to expand even bigger as Daria decided to take in rescue foxes from a volunteer. Daria was given the chance to buy three fox pups, which she happily did. The foxes were at risk of becoming exploited for their furs, which are used for human products, and Daria would not leave them to their fate.
Another addition to their family was the racoons. Daria saw an ad on social media by chance about a racoon that was missing a paw. It was looking for a new home. Daria was moved and it urged her to read every story about racoons. In the end, she did not only adopt one but a family of racoons, which include eight brothers and one sister.
Together Through Thick and Thin
Unlike pet shelters that have animals regularly going in and out, the couple does not give away any of their dogs. Daria confessed she cannot help but get worried about their pooches if someone else adopts them.
The couple sees their dogs as family members; therefore, they are determined to devote the rest of their lives in caring for them. ’We’re a family,’ she says. ‘A shelter is just a temporary place for an animal that nobody needs. All our dogs are ours. We live for them and they stay with us until the very end, no matter what.’
Pursuit of Happiness
Daria Pushkareva proved to everyone that pursuing your dreams even if you have to leave the life of glamour behind can be worth it. It becomes even more special and fulfilling when you are not only becoming a comforting family and a pillar of strength but also save lives in the process.