As a new Mom, I’ve been struggling lately with balancing work and home life. Not only do I have a day job in marketing, but I still offer photography sessions during the week and weekends as I have time (which is pretty limited these days!) Since having a baby, I made it my personal mission to be the only Kansas City photographer who could master photographing kids and babies together effortlessly. I quickly learned why there isn’t anyone who specializes in photographing kids and babies together. Not only are there numerous pet safety precautions, but it’s nearly impossible even with my own trained dog models and our baby. I am a perfectionist by nature and have been my own worst critic as I try to master this skill.
Then I remembered where my true passion and heart is with photography. It’s in my Going with Grace sessions. It’s difficult to put into words the emotions that are felt during a Going with Grace session, which is why I create art to exhibit the remarkable love a pet and owner share, especially during their final days.
Recently, I was contacted by someone who told me their beloved dog Sheva had cancer in her lungs. It happened so suddenly and her lungs were starting to fill with fluid. I dug deep into my soul and made sure to put this client first (even above my family which was extremely hard). I met them at Shawnee Mission Park last night and captured Sheva’s beautiful spirit. It’s heartbreaking watching a family with their pet as they softly whisper how much they love them and begin to accept the unfair fate. At the end of our session, we were all under a shaded tree across from a lake and soft light glimmered above. We were done with our photos but I noticed that Sheva’s parents were still stoically sitting there with her. I felt like I needed to leave and told them I would let them enjoy this peaceful moment without cameras involved.
My heart was heavy as I walked away and drove home. I received a text message later that night. Sheva had passed away peacefully with her parents at that park shortly after our session while they held her paw and sat in that spot where I left them. Wow. I still tear up thinking about that message I received. If I ever needed a sign or a reason why I offer this service, this was it. I’ve always been a believer that dogs try so hard to please us, they never want to show us they are in pain and they will fight and hang on until the very last moment when they know their parents are ready to let them go. This session will stay in my heart for a lifetime. Thank you, Sheva, for reminding me why I dedicate my life to provide comfort and peace to pet owners facing the loss of their babies.