The past weekend was a rough one.
First, my close friends, Renee and Adam (and their little girl, Annika), very suddenly and tragically lost their kitty, Argyle (so named for the cute pattern on his leg). It was their first loss of a pet, and I think it hit both of them even harder than they would have thought.
And another gut punch…
Lilly, the adorable little pocket boxer also passed away suddenly this weekend. As I mentioned in the previous blog post, Lilly was the first boxer placed by Legacy Boxer Rescue (the outstanding organization that helped me with Cash). She so charmed her parents that they became active volunteers, adopting the goofy Guenther, and frequently fostering. They are understandably crushed by the loss of their little girl.
I hope this doesn’t come across as self-serving, but both of these deaths drove home a big reason I do what I do. I know that some people think that the idea of spending good money on professional photographs of your pets is silly and frivolous – and for some, maybe it is. But for those of us that consider our pets to be members of our families, having beautiful images that truly capture their personalities is priceless. Losing a pet hurts. Badly. And it hurts even more when you realize you only have a couple glowy-eyed cell phone photos of your pet to remember him by. When I lost my first dog, Scout, suddenly years ago, the first thing I did was dig up photos of him and make a little book. I had several photos, but wished I had more – better ones (I was just learning my way around a camera). Nevertheless, the photos I did have really did help me through the grieving process. Time faded my grief, but I still look at his photos from time to time, grateful for the time I had with him and the memories I had captured.
And I’m not alone. Lilly’s mom sent me the following message to let me know the heartbreaking news….
I’m afraid I have some very difficult news to share. Lilly passed away yesterday. Jay and I were on our way home from a weekend trip when we received a call from our boarding/vet facility that she collapsed and they were not able to bring her back. They suspect it was a heart attack; it all happened so quickly. She wasn’t sick. The potential loss of her wasn’t even on our radar screen. We haven’t processed it yet but as I sit in front of her life size canvas picture and cry, I wanted to let you know the news.
We are so thankful we did the pictures when we did and grateful to have found you to do them. We look at them every day and now for Lilly it has a different meaning to us. We miss her terribly. Our little pocket boxer girl is gone. Life seems cruel as we loved her so much and just wanted her to be with us forever.
Thanks again for capturing her spirit! I know it is and will be something we cherish always.
Similarly, Renee posted the news about Argyle on facebook…
Lost my first pet yesterday. Made the day seem surreal. Everything continued as it should, but we felt half a pace behind. Searched for pictures of Argyle after the fact, and realized we didn’t have many good ones. Always thought there’d be more time.
I’ve taken many photos of their adorable little girl, Annika, but only had a few snapshots of the cats taken a couple years ago. Renee and Adam had actually forgotten I’d gotten a few of the kitties during a day spent with Annika, and when I shared what I had with her, the tears started again and I got a grateful “thank you.”
Our pets have a knack for worming their way into our hearts – much further than many of us even recognize until they are gone. Despite evidence to the contrary, I like to think I’m not a complete and total crazy animal lady, but my animals are, and have always been, my little family. I know objectively that the day will come when I’ll lose Bear, Belle, and Harley (despite my instructions to them to live forever!), and when the awful time comes, I know I’ll be comforted by the many photographs I have of them. I hate for others to not have the same.