Loving a dog is so special. We raise them as puppies, teaching them, watching them as they learn and grow. We explore the world with them, taking our best friends on adventures in the car, out for walks in the woods, and cuddle with them at the end of those long days. They're not just our best friends, but the family we choose and our constant companions.
When I first met Katie at All About Animals, it was easy to tell that she was passionate about dogs. She was so gentle and kind to my guy Sampson, who is a big 'frady cat when it comes to bath time. Katie told me all about her dog, Dexter, and later I had the chance to meet him when I teamed up with All About Animals to host a day of Kissing Booth Pet photos. He did such a great job posing for his photos and gave us his classic expression, a little grumpy looking pout. That signature look is also the name of Dexter's Instagram account: Dexter The Grumpy Pibble. <3
Last year, Dexter had a tough visit to the vet which resulted in the loss of his back leg to cancer. He eventually learned to cope and adapted to life with 3 legs and carried on with his doggy business. At his recent vet appointment, Katie and Dexter got awful news; cancer had spread to his lungs. This meant that Katie's time with her best friend was being cut short, way too soon.
After Katie got the news, she got in touch with me about booking a Best Friend's session. She wanted to capture memories of him and her together and with her partner Matt and her brother John. I was honoured that she thought of me when it came to this tough pet session, I had teary eyes when I saw the news on her Facebook about Dexter but was so happy that I was going to be able to give her some memories to look back on of her boy. After we met to take took photos, Dexter was treated to his very own hamburger for being such a good boy.
I wasn't the only one who's heart was hurting for Katie, and I got another message on my Facebook page. The message was from Krista, the owner of All About Animals. Krista wanted to gift Katie the session, I was overjoyed with how amazingly kind and compassionate this offer was, and together we planned to give her a little surprise. At the end of our session together, I gave Katie all the money she had paid for her session and let her know that she's got an incredible friend, boss, and fellow dog lover on her side.
I loved capturing the bond she has with Dexter and at the end of the day, this is why I love my job. I'm reminded of how precious our pets are and that we don't always know when "goodbye" will come. The people I get to meet are fantastic dog owners who love their pets and care for their dogs with everything they've got, putting their whole heart and all of their love into them, and Katie's love for Dexter is no exception.
As dog lovers, we know that loving a dog means that one day, we have to say goodbye to our best friend and our chosen family members. As much as we prepare ourselves, we are never really ready for that goodbye. My heart goes out to Katie and her family, the loss of a good dog is never easy, especially so young. And like I said, "Loving a dog is so special" because long after they're gone, they're still able to make you smile and fill your heart with love through memories and photographs.