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Back in June, Darlynn and Jay Lundi of Rolesville, N.C., fostered three Llewellin Setter puppies after rescuing them from an abusive situation. The Lundis have been fostering for their local shelter, the Wake County Animal Shelter for the past year. When they heard about some Setter puppies being raised in sub-standard conditions, Jay went out to investigate. What he found was a five male and two female littermates living in squalor, and an owner who could not afford to feed them. Jay convinced him to surrender three of the male pups, but sadly not the others. The dogs were severely underweight, weighing about 8 pounds at 12 weeks. They were roundworm and hookworm positive, and covered in fleas and ticks. The shelter treated them for the worms and fleas, and later administered their first vaccinations. Subsequently, the dogs were neutered, treated again for another bout of hookworms and quarantined in the Lundis’ garage for three weeks.
The couple decided to adopt two of the pups, whom they aptly named Buckeye and Freckles. Buckeye loves to chase butterflies, ants, grasshoppers and anything that flies and will run aimlessly around the yard chasing after anything that flutters and wags his tail non-stop the entire time. He also loves getting in the bathtub or baby pool and biting at the water and even dunking his head to retrieve diving sticks Buckeye loves tummy rubs, wrestling with his brother, Freckles, and stretching out on the couch for a nap. When photos of Buckeye and Freckles appeared as entries to our smiling dog contest, we fell in love with both of them. Buckeye, with his adorable smile and distinctive black-ringed eye, was deemed a excellent candidate for a cover dog.
Everything fell into place for a photo shoot. HeARTs Speak  (the humane arts organization featured in Bark’s September issue ) connected us with a great dog photographer, Diane Lewis, in the Raleigh area. Diane takes hundreds of photos of rescue dogs each year for Saving Grace , so we knew she could handle our cover assignment. Buckeye was calm and cooperative except every time his stance or position was adjusted, he would collapse to the floor on his back for a tummy rub! Our photographer was expecting him to be very energetic because of his age but being in a studio with no butterflies or birds to chase proved relaxing and calming. Darlynn and Diane worked hard to get Buckeye to be expressive … and we hope you agree everybody did a splendid job!