I think we can all remember, at some point or another, having to say goodbye to a loved pet. Pets are a magical gift: they come into our lives as strangers and yet somehow bond into family. Through life’s twists and turns, I have found pets to be a constant. No matter how hard your day is or how hard you are being on yourself, when you come home, that pet is always happy to see you. Through that unconditional love, we grow stronger, each and every day. But that’s exactly why saying goodbye is so heartbreakingly difficult.
One of my best friends, who I have known since my youth, has—as long as I’ve known her—dreamt of owning a English Mastiff. Well that dream finally became a reality when she adopted into her life and into her heart the beautiful English Mastiff puppy, Charlie. That was only five years ago. Now, Charlie has been diagnosed with bone cancer. The poor pup can hardly use his back legs and can’t stand on his own. His quality of life quickly receded and my friend was faced with the gut-wrenching decision of whether to hold on or whether to let go.
She is not the only one who has had to face such a decision. That’s why I decided to start offering a free photography session for anyone who wants to capture the life of their terminally ill pet. The days may be long at times, but the years which you have that pet’s love are short. So, when the time comes, and you have to choose to let go of that loved one and save them from the pain of this world, it’s important to have something of them to hold on to. That’s what I pray these photos can do for people, help them grieve, help them let go, and give them something beautiful to remember their pet by.
My friend and I worked together to help Charlie into my studio. I was amazed, even through his pain and discomfort, how evident his undying affection was for his master. Charlie’s big, puppy dog eyes stole my heart as I am sure they’ve been doing for my friend for the last five years. Capturing these final moments are so precious to me, because those puppy dog eyes show every bit of Charlie’s love and the happiness he had in his life, in spite of the recent hardship. I hope that every time my friend looks back at these pictures, she remembers bringing home the English Mastiff puppy she’d dreamt of and coming home every day to bouncing legs and wagging tails.
Five years seemed too short, unfair even. But the length of time Charlie spent here did not diminish the overwhelming amount of love he had to share. After five years or fifteen years, saying good-bye is always a brave and difficult decision. But it’s a small price to pay for the unconditional love and devotion that pet’s give to us every day. Thank you Charlie for your unconditional love you gave to my friend and her family. You will be forever missed by those who loved you. See you on the other side my friend.
If you have a terminally ill pet, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free session to capture the love and life of your beloved pet.