10 years ago when I first started Raindog, a mean-spirited dog shop owner told me that pet photography was a "cute idea and all", but that I would ultimately only be hired by people with old and dying dogs, and that I should be "ready for that". Of course, she was mostly wrong. I've photographed every kind of pet at every age and stage of life. Happy, sad, young, old, crazy, sedate, dogs, cats, chickens, lizards, horses, rabbits, EVERYTHING. Every session I've shot has been sweet and funny and meaningful in some way. And luckily along the way, I've been able to help a lot of animals who desperately need loving homes to find them. But I have to say, the sessions I have done with beloved pets who are about to pass on are the very most precious ones. I am incredibly honored and grateful to get to help people create lasting memories with their pets when they know their time is limited. That these people trust me to capture the unique personality of this creature who will never again exist on this planet truly blows my mind. And every time, I hope so much that I can do this animal and their special relationship justice. It's these sessions that have made me want to become a better photographer.
Harlech here lived in two homes before he found his forever family. He wasn't an easy dog because he was SMART and resourceful and a little bit sly. But once he found his people, he was SET. They loved him as much as anyone can love another creature. Harlech didn't know he had bone cancer, and during our session, he was a little slow because his leg hurt him, but his spirits were high and he had a fabulous time posing for me and getting lots of treats and loves. He didn't know that his time was short, and so he lived his life like any good dog does. He enjoyed his outdoor time and ate his favorite foods and stayed close to the people he loved. And when his time was up, he said goodbye with grace and dignity, both because that's who he was, and because his family would NEVER let him suffer. I am SO thankful to have had the opportunity to meet him, and other dogs like him who are loved and treasured and whose people want to capture a little something of them before they go. That pet shop lady had NO IDEA of the value of these sessions, and I'm so glad I didn't let myself be discouraged by her. They are the reason I do what I do, and why I love it so very much.