It’s Week 35 of our professional pet photography Project 52 blog circle and today we are covering Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, which is today. One of the hardest things to do when you are a pet parent is to say goodbye to your pet for the last time. Unfortunately, we know that their time with us is never as long as we would like it to be. Sometimes we have to make the choice and sometimes the choice is made for us. Each option comes with a different set of struggles.
Almost exactly one year ago today (August 30, to be exact), we lost our dog Paco and did not get to say goodbye, because he was already gone when we woke up. We weren’t expecting it. He wasn’t sick. He wasn’t event that old. He was just laying on the floor next to the bed. It was one of the most heart-wrenching experiences. Fortunately, as a pet photographer and crazy dog mom, I have tons of pictures of Paco. Of course, no matter how many I have it will never be enough. He was a sweet, expressive little guy. We miss him so much every day and it’s so hard to believe that a year has gone by without him. The picture below will always be my favorite picture of him.
Then, of course, last month we lost our dog Stella. Stella was an old girl and lived a long life but that doesn’t make the loss any easier. For Stella, we had to make a choice. It wasn’t an easy choice. You always wonder if there’s something else you could do or something you could have done. Was there something you missed? Something the vet missed? Did you make the right choice? Was it really her time? Saying goodbye is never easy, but when you’re the one making the decision to let them go, you agonize over it, flagellating yourself with guilt before and after. Stella has been gone for about six weeks now and it still feels strange with her gone. She lived with us for over 12 years. She was like part of our furniture she was so embedded in our existence. While I don’t have as many photos of Stella as I do of my other dogs, mainly because she didn’t like to cooperate and preferred sleeping to getting her picture taken, and also because she was a homebody and didn’t like to go anywhere in the car. So, we never took those trips to the park or to the garden store with Stella. I do have some pictures of her that I really love. Event though there are many technical errors with this picture (ear cute off, toes cut off) it’s still my favorite picture of her.
While I don’t need a special day to remember either Paco or Stella because I remember them each day, I do think Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day is a good time to talk about the importance of photographing your pets. Not only photographing them yourself but also to have some professional images taken of your pets and you with your pets. Don’t wait until it’s too late and don’t wait too long. Sometimes, if you wait too long, it becomes too late.
I offer a variety of different types of sessions for your pets from puppy sessions on up to a full day of documentary-style photography. I also offer sessions specifically for senior or terminally ill pets, my Silver Paws Legacy Sessions. Silver Paws Legacy Sessions are offered on an “on-call” basis, so if you need me to come photography your pet tomorrow, I will make sure I am there. Last year, I did two Silver Paw Legacy Sessions and each time I’m glad I did, because no matter how hard those sessions are for everyone, they are so important. In the case of the sessions last year, they became even more important because within just days of their respective sessions, the dogs were gone. There are no do-overs. I’m not going to lie, these sessions are hard. They are emotional. They are draining. But they are exactly why I do what I do. Having pictures of our beloved pets is important and I want everyone to have those pictures. Memories are meant to last. Keep the tissues handy, because next up in the blog circle is Terri J Photography photographing your senior pets in the Toronto area, after you visit her head around the rest of the blog circle until you end up back here.
If you would like to book a Silver Paws Legacy session or any session send us an email to suzi [at] petlovephotography.com, or give us a call a 513.655.5696.