Prior to having children I spent my non-working hours volunteering at the local Sacramento Animal Care and Regulation (animal shelter) walking, training and loving on every single dog I could. It was a passion. I was driven each week, along with a small contingent of other volunteers, to make sure that each adoptable dog was able to get out for at least a short walk twice a week, if not more. Many times I came home heartbroken over some of the horrific cases I saw there. Each and every time I came home with my heart full of love from all of the dogs I had worked with. There is just something about dogs that connects straight to my heart.
It was with both joy and sadness I reacted when contacted to photograph this family. Their older, male dog at only 5 years of age was dying of cancer. They wanted a photo session to capture their family – the four of them, before Maximus was gone. As one can imagine it was a difficult session, with a few tears shed from behind the lens as I remembered how difficult it was to say goodbye to our Ben earlier last year. Even with an amputated back leg, Maximus was such a loyal, hard-working dog eager to stay right by his mom and dad’s side. I hope the images from our session somehow bring comfort to this family in this difficult season of loss.
Now go hug your dog (if you’re blessed enough to have one!).