Muneca was in the worst of all situations for a dog dumped at a kill shelter. The eighteen-year-old dachshund was blind and lost, seemingly resigned to her fate. But then a volunteer came along and changed this elderly dog's life.
Elaine Seamans, a volunteer for the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center, in Los Angeles, saw Muneca, brought her out of her kennel, and hugged her. In desperation, Muneca clung to Seamans and would not let the volunteer go.
At that moment, photographer John Hwang, who spends some of his professional time bringing attention to the plight of shelter dogs, was at the center to take pictures. He saw the scene between Seamans and Muneca and knew it was a picture he had to capture.
"When I got to the shelter, Elaine was already holding the dog," Hwang said. "The dog was clinging on to her."
The pictures Hwang took of Muneca that day ended up saving her life. Frosted Faces Foundation, a senior dog rescue, heard about Muneca and stepped in to take her out of the kill shelter.
The rescue immediately brought Muneca to a vet, then placed her in a foster home.
In her foster home, Muneca learned to be loved again. She had a relaxing warm bath in the kitchen sink.
She also enjoyed lying on a blanket and having a doggie snack picnic.
While Muneca was staying with her foster family, Frosted Faces Foundation was hard at work screening the many applicants who wanted to give the dog a forever home. They found the perfect owner for Muneca in Amy Gann.
"We screened a lot of people and talked to all their references," explained Kelly Smíšek, executive director of Frosted Faces Foundation. "We home-checked a bunch of people. By the time we approved someone and they drove to San Diego, I met them, I was very nervous. I thought, 'I hope we picked the right person.' And immediately, it was, 'Oh my Gosh. I'm so glad she's going home with you.'"
Now Muneca lives a pampered, secure life with Gann and her family. Gann adores her elderly dog and brings her everywhere with her. "I can't put her down," Gann texted to Smíšek. "I have very close family and we pass her along like a new baby in the family."
Muneca has a forever home and will be loved and adored the rest of her days. She may be blind, but she can still feel the love that is given to her every day.
Share Muneca's moving story with your family and friends on Facebook.