It’s hard to imagine life without your pet. But one day, the harsh reality hits you like a brick. You’ve been trying to ignore the signs and be positive but your pet’s health has started to decline. Our own Abby is battling Cushing’s Disease along with side effects from her medication which has caused lack of appetite and weight loss, ultimately leading to lessoning mobility and weakness.
Seeing my own pet’s health in danger has given me a new perspective on my Going with Grace sessions. I’ve found myself empathizing even more with clients and the emotions they must feel. For example, Abby is getting dangerously thin and her back legs are so weak she collapses when jumping off the couch sometimes. Why would I want her documented in such a condition? I want to remember her fat, healthy and full of energy right? Then I remember how dogs somehow perk up during my photo sessions. They love on their parents and delightfully take all the yummy treats I will offer them. They forget they are sick just for a little while.
Today I photographed Goofy. He is such a sweet boy and was rescued 8 years ago by a lovely lady who just adores him. She booked a mini session with me at my home, but cancelled because Goofy can no longer walk well and he didn’t have the ability to make such a trip. My heart broke and I offered to come to them instead. This morning I helped lure Goofy out to his front yard with treats. He was struggling with his strength and laid down gently in the cool, damp grass. I documented the bond with his momma and his furry sister Lucy. This particular session spoke to me differently because as I photographed him, I saw our Abby. I saw the gray face, the weakened mobility and the unconditional love that a dog has for their owner.
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a Vet. I longed to help animals, comfort pet owners and work with furry creatures in my career. While I am not a Vet and I don’t save lives – I do hope that my photography brings peace to pet parents experiencing the pain of losing a pet. After a Going with Grace session, my heart is heavy but also humbled with gratitude that God chose me to help others say goodbye to their pet.
Sometimes during the hectic storm of life, I forget how important these sessions are to pet parents. After I complete one, I am softly reminded how special the session is and how the photos truly become a source of healing.
This is my purpose.