In March of this year, I received an E-mail from a student studying digital photography, who wanted to do his final project on Save a Sato. Sounded like a simple thing - take some photos of the satos at partner shelters and in their homes and put it together in a slide show or Quicktime movie....what it blossomed into was a remarkable multimedia project detailing the journey of the satos and a lasting friendship.
Over the next few months, Doug Hodgkins took more than two thousand photos and spent many weekends photographing for the project. He and I first met at Logan airport in March, where he documented the arrival of a transport of dogs from San Juan to Boston. I could immediately see his dedication as he worked.
Doug then visited two of our partner shelters and captured the satos as they waited for their new families to find them. He quickly realized that this documentary could not be complete unless he made the trip to Puerto Rico to capture the beginning of the journey. Being a sato owner himself, he knows the situation on the island, and felt he had to share it in order to tell the whole story. Doug would soon be covering many miles on behalf of the satos!
After a long day at the shelter, Leilani and Doug could not get the two little dogs from the morning off their minds. They convinced Gloria they had to go back to get them. So as the sun was setting, the three went back out to rescue the two beautiful dogs.
I could not in my wildest dreams have imagined such a beautiful and moving tribute to the satos and the volunteers that rescue them. The project can be seen in the YouTube video Finding Forever: The Story of the Satos of Puerto Rico and the People Who Save Them (located in the side bar on this blog) or by going to - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BveLPhPFQ2g
I still have not been able to find the words to thank Doug for his dedication to this project. We will be able to show this video for years to come, and it will benefit the satos in ways that we can't even imagine. His dedication and commitment to telling the story in a new and exciting way, will help thousands of satos and teach the world about their situation.
We want to congratulate Doug on his graduation from CDIA, and thank him so much for this tremendous gift to the dogs and to Save a Sato. And I cannot forget to thank Pirate, the sato Doug rescued in Culebra, PR a few years ago, for being the inspiration for this project.
Yes you have Pirate...yes you have.