Sleep Well, Faithful Ones
Friday, December 06, 2019
By Diana Lundin
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If I've had a theme this past month, it's the number of clients and potential clients who are losing their beloved dogs.

In September, I photographed Riley, an absolutely gorgeous Sheltie. It was on a sweltering day, more than 95 degrees near sunset. His owner Carol was about to have surgery for back problems and couldn't walk so well. Her son Kevin, who originally contacted me, was very patient and cautious with both Riley and his mother. We took many images of Riley and different ones of the trio together.

We got a lot of good images in a shorter session because it was so hot, and Carol had her surgery. When I next saw them to show them their images, Carol was like a different woman. The surgery worked that well. It was astonishing. Because she felt so well, they asked if we could do a second session. We did it, it turned out beautiful, if I do say so myself, but in less than a week, Riley was gone.

In the meantime, I got a request to do a session for Jax, a rescued Alsatian shepherd. His owner Doug was gifted a session from his family. We actually went to the same location we went to with Riley because I know it so well. And we had a fantastic shoot. While Riley was elderly, Jax was young with bone cancer. He and Doug were completely bonded... as we all are with our beloved pets.

Beyond these two, I got another call -- and all of these were in the span of a week -- but the owners had to put their dog down before we could even get the shoot scheduled within two days. That happens. One minute they're there, the next they're gone. It's true, no matter how much time we have with them, it's never enough. Our love for them is deep, our grief immense.

End-of-life sessions are difficult but in the end we are left with a memory that is tangible.

Good night, sweet princes. Rest peacefully, you've earned your sleep.

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