Documentary Photographer Raisa Mikhailova  is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this story.  From the project ‘Tanya & Her Kids’To see Raisa’s body of work click on any image.




Vita is waiting for Tanya in the car. Vita has fibrosarcoma. Tanya took her from the shelter with a huge swelling in her mouth and drove to St. Petersburg to the only doctor who agreed to remove the tumor. After several operations, Vita feels good, eats, runs and plays with other dog


On the way to the clinic. Tanya is preparing to give a shot to small Mickey, who has a brain injury.
In the background – Caesar, who always accompanies Tanya on trips


Tanya always liked Dobermans. They are noble, clever dogs with a vulnerable and devoted soul. Eight years ago Tanya already had a brown handsome Rambo, and she was enthusiastically researching all the information about her favorite breed online. On one of the forums Tanya saw pictures of Gray, a Doberman of a rare blue color found on the street by volunteers.  The dog was sick and bald. Tanya took Gray from the shelter and started treating him. «Since that day,Tanya says, everything in my soul has turned upside down.  I’ve become different. I realized that in this world there are so many dogs that owners refuse for the most primitive reasons: “expensive to keep”, “huge burden”, “the dog is too old”, “sickness”, etc. Abandoned Dobermans are not able to adapt and survive on the street. They just die, if no one pays attention to them».

Tanya sold her Moscow apartment and bought a plot of land in a summer cottage cooperative. Now Tanya has her own house where her family lives: Tanya’s ten-year-old son Vanya, sixteen Dobermans, four mongrels and three cats. Tanya takes home the abandoned animals that could not survive in shelters: «The old ones do not live for long, and they need a lot of care… But they also want to live! Live next to their man». They say that if several dogs are kept at home at once, they will not be attached to people so much, when animal communicates with another animal, it is more conscious of animal instincts. All Tanya’s dogs understand human speech. It turns out that if we treat animals humanly, even an animal pack will love people selflessly. «My dogs are my kids, says Tanya. And Vanya is my best friend, I do not know how I would live without him».



Tanya herself has a severe form of insulin-dependent diabetes, her eyesight has deteriorated: one eye sees only 50%,  the other has cataracts. Before Tanya decided to open her own hospice for dogs, she was resuscitated in a pre-coma state several times. “Now I have a powerful incentive to be healthy,” – she said.






All images © Raisa Mikhailova



See also:

Russian Estate

By Raisa Mikhailova



Raisa ’s Previous Contributions To Edge Of Humanity Magazine

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