A Famous Photographer From Moscow Lives in a Forest With 100 Injured Dogs
Darya Pushkareva, a famous photographer and director of photography, left her beautiful and luxurious life in Moscow and moved...to the forest. There, with her husband, she wants to create a great life for dogs that have been abandoned, grown old, and have no chance for a happy life elsewhere.
Bright Side was amazed by this seemingly regular person’s story and felt it our duty to let you know about her and how she’s making the world a better place.
Darya Pushkareva worked in the movie and photography field in Moscow for several years and became a fairly famous person in the area. Her life was filled with frequent restaurant visits, numerous meetings, expensive clothes, cool devices, fancy trips, and of course, work. A lot of work. But she dreamt about other things...
Back in school when she was asked about what her future profession would be, she would always answer that she wanted to run a dog shelter. But she was actually really scared of dogs. Every time she saw a dog in the street, she would cross the road — even as an adult. But her love for dogs, even though it was abstract, was only becoming stronger and stronger. She always wanted to have at least 1 dog.
However, Darya’s fear of dogs disappeared eventually. Once, after the end of a working day, the whole crew started having a barbecue and a dog just came out of nowhere. Darya moved away instinctively and one guy just started to pet the dog calmly and it didn’t bite him. Darya was amazed and asked why the dog didn’t bite him and he said, “Why should he bite me? It’s obvious that he is a good boy.” And that’s when her fear of dogs disappeared.
Because Darya had a really tough work schedule, she didn’t have an opportunity to have her own dog. But she started helping by volunteering at shelters.
Once, Darya saw an ad featuring a puppy without an eye that needed $200 for an eye doctor. Together with her husband, they wanted to send the money but got a response that there was no one who could take the dog to the doctor.
They made the decision in the blink of an eye. They took the dog to the doctor and it stayed in their family. But it turned out that the dog had 2 eyes (one of them was just sewed shut after an injury) and a “terrible temper”. But everyone was okay with that. The dog had a beautiful life with great food from different countries, multiple personal doctors, and other experts.
After that, according to Darya, dogs started finding their way to her on their own. Some of them came right to her house and some of them appeared at work!
The girl’s life changed dramatically when the seventh dog appeared in her life. The dog was really aggressive and uncontrollable. Not only did it attack people (including Darya and her husband), but it also started to guard invisible objects because it had a brain injury.
Even sessions with experts didn’t help much and Darya was recommended to put the dog down. She just couldn’t understand how she could do something like this to a family member. But she couldn’t keep it any longer with the other dogs either. That was when she decided to put it in a cage. For this, they had to look for a house out of town.
Darya, her husband, and her dogs changed 2 houses, continued to do their jobs and increased the number of dogs in their family. But after that, they started feeling uncomfortable: dogs barked and walked all the time and neighbors were worried. So Darya decided to leave society for good — and go to the forest! They found some land not far from a village they lived in and decided to move there.
There was no electricity and no water — just a field with trees. They started building big houses for the dogs. In winter, they would ski from the road and back with bags of meat and fuel for the generator. But the most important thing was that the dogs were happy and that they didn’t bother anyone. And this was what Darya had always dreamed of.
Now Darya and her husband have over 100 dogs. They live in warm places. The dogs eat meat and fish every day and walk around a huge territory. Some of them move in wheelchairs because their bones are damaged and some love sleeping near the radiators because they’re getting older. But all of them got a chance to live their lives away from the street with a family that loved them unconditionally.
Darya and her husband still walk to and from the road on foot and they go to their friends’ homes to take a shower and get firewood to make their place warm. They also have to deal with all the medical procedures some of the animals need. The living conditions for the couple aren’t the best because they don’t have enough money for everything and their top priority is to make sure that the dogs live a comfortable life.
There was one situation when Darya’s husband had to go to the vet with one of the dogs. The girl was alone. An hour later, the radiator stopped working, her mobile phone battery was dead, and her flashlight barely worked. It was winter. Then, Darya decided to gather the dogs around her to get warm together. Today, she knows how to start a fire.
Once, Darya met a volunteer who mentioned that she took care of foxes, and Darya really wanted to start taking care of foxes too. The first foxes were brought over 1 month later. Then she saw a photo of a raccoon dog without a paw. Darya was moved by the photo and adopted it. But it also had brothers and sisters...
This marked the beginning of a new chapter in Darya’s life. These animals needed special conditions because foxes are like liquids: they can escape through any crack! But thanks to experts, everything worked out. Now Darya has an Instagram page where she talks about her life with the foxes, the details of taking care of them, and answers questions.
Darya is often asked 2 questions. The first one is, “Where does she get all the money from?” Fortunately, she works as a retoucher, so she still has wealthy clients from her past. They’re still willing to pay for a good job. Also, her friends and other people help her. Darya still supports different shelters and volunteer organizations.
The second most popular question she’s asked is, “Why?” For Darya, it is obvious: “For their happy eyes,” she says. When she sees the dogs sleeping, eating, and being happy, she realizes that all the costs are well worth it.
Darya gets really offended when her home is referred to as a shelter. “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.”
How willing are you to change your life for your dream? Tell us about your dreams and how you plan to make them come true in the comments!