updated 04/19/2011 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/19/2011 AT 2:00 PM ET
Jimi Celeste’s workday happens on the red carpet. He doesn’t have so much as a cubicle, just a foot of space on which to stand, squished between 20 other grown men with cameras, all shouting, “Over here!”
Celeste is a celebrity photographer for the New York-based Patrick McMullan agency, and spends his nights prowling the scene for just the right headshots of big-name stars. But when the cameras stop clicking and the caterers throw out their canapés, Celeste wants to head home to his sanctuary – which is with his dog, Myrtle.
“I have a hectic life,” Celeste says. “I like having a dog that isn’t going to tell me what to do.”
Myrtle, a 2-year-old border collie-shepherd mix, is peaceful, relaxed and loves to sit in her bed when she isn’t chasing after pigeons in the dog park. She has been with Celeste, 58, for just a few months. She follows Lacey, a similar-looking border collie-shepherd mix who died at 15 after 13 years with Celeste.
“I was a basket case when I lost Lacey,” Celeste says. “When Myrtle came, everything flipped over immediately. It was a complete game-changer. I still have sad Lacey moments, but Myrtle took some of my pain away.”
Celeste is an advocate for adoption, and has rescued all of his dogs. He found Myrtle after a search on Craigslist led him to Shepherd’s Hope Rescue. He would offer this advice to anyone who’s just lost a dog, especially himself.
“You can’t just sit around being sad. You’re always going to be mourning. There’s another life out there that needs to be saved. Myrtle is the dream dog of my life.”
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