My parents always taught us never to judge a book by its cover. Awhile ago, I had read a really nice, feel-good, article, The Strength of a Noodle.
I'm not talking about a noodle that you eat or even the kind that you go swimming with. Noodle in this case is a sweet little dog (his actual name is Ramen Noodle!) Noodle had jumped off a bed and broke one of his front legs. Unfortunately, his owner at the time didn't take care of his medical needs and his leg had to be amputated. Not long after, from jumping off a couch, little Noodle needed his other front leg amputated.
The story is not about Noodle's loss of his legs, as our community can relate, but about the love of his owner, Jamie, and being in the moment. Photographer, Carli Davidson
, captures the beauty of Noodle and his differences.
Today, Carli’s work appears on the pages of some of this planet’s most esteemed publications, yet her passion remains working with what she calls “differently-abled” (as opposed to “disabled”) animals. “I want to educate people about how amazing these animals are,” she says. “The well-being [they] exude, and the appreciation for companionship that the owners have, really touches at something intrinsically good in the human spirit.” Currently working on a book she hopes to publish of studio-shot images and interview-based stories about the lives of differently-abled pets and their people, Carli was nonetheless inspired by Ramen and Jaime in particular to fully flesh out their moving photo-documentary series.
Carli contemplates the results of her time spent shooting Ramen. “The images aren’t trying to make the viewer feel one way or another,” she says. “When I look at them, I in no way pity Ramen. Instead, I experience the joy that Jaime and Ramen give each other; he is just a dog who has an owner who loves him.” Of his character, she says, “While his lack of front legs creates a need for some extra assistance, this is completely secondary to who he is.”
Sure my love for animals attracted me to this story even more, but I also am inclined to believe that we can learn something from this story. Whether it be a furry friend, a loved one, a coworker, it is important to remember that anything is possible. That just because someone or something may look different, doesn't mean that appearance can define us.
It's the old adage that we were always taught, "don't judge a book by its cover."
Read the rest of The Strength of a Noodle. (You are going to have to turn the page to 26.)
More pictures of Noodle.
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