When a loving family finally adopted abused dog Nora, the poor pooch remained skittish and shy. Yes, it seemed that this docile doggie was afraid of everything and everyone. And, no matter what her family tried, nothing seemed to help. Then one day Nora found a best friend in a tiny tot, who helped bring her out of her shell.
Elizabeth Spence and her husband Mike Aporius adopted Nora in 2009. And while the white English Pointer showed tremendous heart, she also came with a troubled past. Still, the couple fell in love with the dog and took her to their home in Manitoba, Canada.
But, despite now being safe in a loving and caring family environment, Nora was still very nervous. “She came from an abusive background and is afraid of almost everything,” Spence explained. Fortunately, though, that all changed at the end of 2015.
That’s because in December that year Spence and Aporius welcomed a third child to their growing brood. Yes, little Archie joined siblings Wellington and Loretta, three rescue dogs and three rescue cats in the household. And, although small, Archie had a big impact on one member of the pack.
Almost immediately, nervous Nora seemed to gravitate toward this newest member of the clan. “If Archie is having a bath, Nora is lying on the bath mat waiting for him to get out,” Spence revealed. “If he’s going through my cupboards throwing all the dishes on the floor, she’ll be there cheering him on.”
“Archie is an extremely laid-back, happy, good-natured baby and all the animals seem to really respond to that, particularly Nora,” Spence added. “She absolutely adores him!” And though all her children have a great relationship with the dogs, there’s something special between Archie and Nora.
“We taught the kids from a very young age to respect the dogs and to treat them well,” Spence explained. “So the dogs trust and love the kids very much and are quite comfortable hanging out with them in any manner.” Indeed, Archie and Nora do practically everything together.
For instance, the best buddies can be found playing together, dressing up or generally just hanging out. “At any time of day you’re likely to find a pile of kids, cats and/or dogs lying about the house somewhere,” Spence said. After a while, then, the stay-at-home mom realized that Archie and Nora’s friendship was too cute to keep to herself.
So, like many proud moms, Spence took to her Instagram page to share insights into her daily life. “[I wanted to] show what amazing pets most rescue animals are and to encourage others to consider giving them a chance at love, too,” she explained.
Spence’s heart-warming series of images captured a number of moments between Archie and Nora. Some photos simply showed the pair chilling together, while others focused on the fun they have in their playroom. After a while, though, Spence decided to become more fantastical in her work.
For example, some enchanting images showed the twosome both channeling their inner superhero in matching capes. Another used a Star Wars motif and pictured them on a star-strewn backdrop while clutching lightsabers. However, what people most responded to was the simplicity of dog and baby sleeping side-to-side.
Indeed, the vast majority of Spence’s Instagram photos show Archie and Nora snuggling up for their daily nap. Many times they lay back-to-back, but sometimes Nora sneaks a protective paw over her playmate. With such an adorable catalog of images, then, it wasn’t long before the amazing bond between Archie and Nora went viral.
“I generally nurse my son to sleep on my bed at nap time and then move him to his room, or let him stay on my bed if he’s looking too comfortable to move. Nora is always there supervising the entire affair,” Spence told her local newspaper. Then one day Nora jumped on the bed to join Archie’s nap time, and their photo montage began.
Spence now boasts more than 66,000 Instagram followers, who can’t seem to get enough of her daily updates. “The majority of people are overwhelmed by the evident love shared between them and are thrilled and moved to see it,” Spence confessed. “The occasional few express concern but are generally appeased when assured that the dogs and baby are never left sleeping together unattended.”
“People are really happy to see that love, trust and innocence caught on camera,” Spence added. And, despite the fact that the pictures are amazing, this mom has had no professional photography training. On top of this, the images are usually honest depictions of her family life, with only the smallest amount of interference from her.
“Someone recently described my photography as ‘a balance of real-life and inspiration bundled up into each snap,’ and I feel that describes it perfectly,” Spence told Babble. “There is definitely some staging involved in some of the shots, but they are not really carefully thought out.”
With all the napping Archie and Nora enjoy, then, you’d think that Spence would have plenty of time to finish all of her chores. However, the busy mom has admitted that this isn’t the case. “I imagine I should be using this opportunity to get that mountain of laundry dealt with (you know the one!), but instead I’m sitting in bed drinking tea and watching these two get their afternoon nap on,” she confessed in one post.
And Archie and Nora aren’t the only ones to star in Spence’s photos. Yes, her other children and their rescue cats also make the odd appearance on her Instagram page. After all, the devoted mother has described her babies as her “everything.”
“I may not have the palatial mansion I’ve always wanted, nor the pool or fancy car. I may not get to jet-set around the globe at a moment’s notice or buy myself lots of fancy clothes, but if you ask me, right here right now, I’ve got absolutely EVERYTHING,” she swooned in one post.
Furthermore, Spence’s pictures have been so well received that she’s now considering making photography a full-time job. “Taking photos professionally as a lifestyle photographer is definitely something I am striving toward as a career path,” she revealed. “For now, I am happily posting my family photos to Instagram.” So then, luckily for us, it appears that we have many more adorable snaps of Archie and Nora to come.