I’m going to apologize in advance for the length of this week’s post, but I hope you keep reading until the end. It’s kind of ironic that the theme for this week of our professional pet photography Project 52 blog circle is “blue” because that’s how I’m feeling. Last Friday morning we very unexpectedly lost our sweet Paco. Paco was only nine, so we were expecting to have many more years enjoying his happy, sweet, and gentle nature. He was our little clown and would get so excited whenever you would talk to him, especially when you would say his name…or taco. We were never sure if he was excited when we said “taco” because he thought we were saying his name or because he loved tacos (and who doesn’t?) that much. He also got super excited when you asked him about his chewie. Whenever you said “Paco, do you want a chewie?” He would dance and and hop around and make little whines in anticipation. He loved his No Hide chews and would be happily occupied with one for hours.
He was a laid back dog and a total homebody. He loved nothing more than staying at home snuggled under his blankets on the sofa. While Mr. Bojangles and Lola both love to go out (although Lola isn’t a fan of car rides) and are front and center whenever you pick up a harness or collar, Paco would run away back to his sofa as if to say “No! Don’t make me go out! I want to stay right here.” While he wasn’t a big fan of going for a walk, he did get into them after he was outside and as long as you let him wander where he wanted to go and on his time.
I first met Paco in January 2016 when he arrived at the rescue I was volunteering with from the shelter. He had been in a hoarding situation in West Virginia and arrived with several other dogs. About a week after he arrived in the rescue he came to stay with us for a few days while his foster mom was out of town. At the time, it was just me, Mr. Bojangles, and Stella (the boyfriend was living back in California for his job.) Stella liked Paco from the start (and she’s not really a fan of other dogs).
While Paco was staying with us I was going to take his adoption photos. I brought him to my little basement studio and Mr. Bojangles insisted on joining his new friend.
Mr. Bojangles hit it off with Paco right away and was super sad when his foster mom came to pick him up a few days later. In the meantime, I started fostering a little chihuahua/Jack Russell mix, but Mr. Bojangles didn’t have the same bromance with him that he did with Paco. So, in February 2016, I adopted Paco, just in time for Mr. Bojangles’ birthday. For the most part, the three little dogs got along; Paco and Hoss, my foster, loved to play together. Mr. Bojangles loved to break up their playtime.
Eventually, my fosters moved on and the boyfriend moved back from California. He and Paco bonded instantly. Paco loved just chilling with his daddy. You could frequently find the two of them sitting together watching TV. Paco was always ready to share your lap and share your food. He loved food. All kinds of food. He actually loved your food way more than his food (and my dogs eat food I make them, not kibble.) He was shameless in his love for your food, which resulted in one of my favorite images from Mr. Bojangles’ wedding.
After the boyfriend moved back, I started fostering a mama cat and her kittens. Diana, the mom, eventually stayed with us and became Paco’s BFF. They loved playing with each other and chasing each other up and down the hallway. Paco was the only dog that liked Diana. Diana is much nicer than the dogs and loves them all even if they aren’t her friend. We call her the dog wannabe.
Paco was really born to be a photographer’s dog. He always posed for me so well and would cooperate all the time. Mr. Bojangles is more of a diva supermodel and only works when he wants to these days. I knew from my first post-adoption photos session that Paco was a star in his own right.
Paco was only just getting started in his new life as a photographer’s dog and would pose for me many more times both in studio and out.
This one is from a previous “blue” themed blog circle post. I wish I could take this one all over again.
I know you’ve seen it before on this blog, but this is my all time favorite image of Paco because it just exudes joy and Paco was such a joyful little guy.
While Mr. Bojangles was the one to choose Paco and I was the one to adopt him, Paco chose his own person: the boyfriend, Jason, his daddy. At his feet and by his side and forever in his heart
We both now have a chihuahua-shaped void in our hearts that will never be filled. Sure, we will probably adopt another chihuahua one day in the future, but there will never be another Paco. He was one of a kind.
As you can see from this post, it’s important to have pictures of those special pets in our lives. Once they are gone, it’s too late. As a pet photographer, I have lots of images of Paco, but I will never say that I have enough of them. I encourage you to take as many pictures as possible yourself and, if it’s in your budget at all, schedule time with a professional to take some images like I’ve shown in this post. Don’t wait, because you never know how much time you have left. We thought we had more time with Paco. We didn’t.
Now, if you’ve made it through to the end of this post, thank you. Don’t forget that this is a blog circle and hopefully the next post won’t be as blue as this one. So, head on over to Pawparazzi Pet and Animal Photography presented by Shae Pepper Photography, and then around the rest of the blog circle until you end up back here.