Teen creates photo book to overcome phobia

Teen creates photo book to overcome phobia
Carly Gare and her dad, Henry

Ever since she was chased by a Dalmatian named Smiley at the tender age of five, Carly Gare has been afraid of dogs. A year ago, the 16-year-old used her iPhone to help conquer her fear, and the small picture book, “San Marco Dogs,” was born.

Gare, a Mandarin resident who spends many hours visiting her father at his law practice in San Marco Square, decided to use photography as a form of therapy to overcome her fear of canines. “Carly liked to take photos and post them on Instagram,” said her father, Henry Gare. “I suggested she take some photos of dogs. She was getting such a great response online, we decided she should put them together into a little book.”

A student at The Noble School in Jacksonville Beach, Gare decided to take photos of pups belonging to friends of her father. On the cover is Ricky Martin, a 15-year-old rat terrier owned by Diane and Tim Martin of San Marco. Also included in the work is Tad and Julie Delegal’s poodle, Lucy, as well as two Akitas owned by Jon Zahler. Later Gare decided to include dogs she saw while accompanying her dad to Starbucks in the Square or while walking in San Marco’s neighborhoods. Gare came up with the title, “San Marco Dogs,” because San Marco is a place “where everyone knows everyone,” said Henry.

All those likes on Instagram have turned into a lucrative fundraiser for a nonprofit veterinarian in San Marco. Carly decided to donate the proceeds from her book to St. Francis Animal Hospital after she read in The Resident about Buddy, a Pitbull which had been cared for by the vet clinic after someone poured hot grease over his body. The volume can be purchased for $15 at the vet’s location at 2107 Mango Place and at The Ward Room on San Marco Square.

So far, Gare’s volume of photos has raised $630 for St. Francis, said Sandy Golding, chief development officer at the hospital.

“We are extremely grateful to Carly for donating all the proceeds from the sale of her “San Marco Dogs” book to St. Francis Animal Hospital,” said Golding. “Carly’s wonderful gift will be used to help local family pets get the medical care they need so these pets will be able to spend more happy and healthy years with their families.”

The first shipment of Gare’s book sold out fast, said Forrest Brewer, manager of The Ward Room. “People absolutely love it,” Brewer said, noting they have sold nearly half of a second shipment. “People love to see cute dogs. Every penny goes to St. Francis. We’re happy to help out. Her book has been bringing in new people to the store.”

Gare said putting together her book has accomplished two goals. Although she is not ready to adopt a dog of her own, her fear of dogs has diminished as evidenced by the last photo in the book, a snapshot of her with her grandparent’s cockapoo, Daisy. Also, she is happy that what was originally a therapeutic exercise will assist needy dogs in the future. “I felt it was good to do the book and see that other dogs could get some help through the hospital,” she said. “St. Francis does really good work.”

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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