At some point or another, we have all daydreamed about giving up the stresses of modern life for a simpler, more natural existence.
For some, this pocket of peace would be a sunny desert island. And for others, this would be a cosy cabin high up in the mountains. And for many of us, this will involve bringing along a bunch of furry friends.
For Daria Pushkareva, from Moscow, this fantasy became a reality after she began to question her busy life as a successful wedding photographer.
Daria began to devote time to volunteering with animals. This then escalated to her rescuing dogs and eventually opening a woodland home for hundreds of dogs with her husband.
Daria told Bored Panda:
I became a photographer because I wanted to reduce the intensity of my life. I invested all of my money into photo equipment and master classes to perfect my skills.
But ended up in the same place. No vacations, simply not giving myself neither the rest nor the holidays I so desperately needed. I shut myself away at work and the only joy I had came from producing impressive photos.
I realized that I was a workaholic, always preferring doing or creating something to any form of relaxation.
I then remembered my childhood when I and my classmates were talking about future professions and I said that I wanted to run a dog shelter. Growing up without a father, my mom worked really hard, so I didn’t have a dog at the time, it would’ve been too much.
My mom understood that getting me a dog eventually would have become an additional weight on herself.
It was a long time before I got my first dog. When I was in moviemaking, I got deeply involved in aiding the animals; I donated my money and volunteered on an internet forum, managing such things as finding dogs therapy and accommodation and raising funds.
I had no free time then, so this was the best I could do.
Speaking about the home with Bored Panda four years after she set it up, Daria said:
I wouldn’t consider our household a shelter. In fact, I even feel offended if someone calls it like that. A shelter is a place where new volunteers and other people contribute to the wellbeing of the animals that are constantly moving in and out.
We, on the other hand, have our own dogs, we love them and devote our lives to them. To us, they are family members. They’ll remain with us forever and we do not want to give them away to anyone.
You do you Daria!
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.