In honor of “Best Friends” day on June 8, I wanted to celebrate the bond we share with our pets. So here’s a story about a special friendship between a woman and her dog.
I first met Allison when she contacted me about scheduling a “Paws to Remember” session for her dog, Dewey. Dewey had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and she wanted to schedule a session right away so she would have special photos to remember him, happy and full of life.
In her own words, Allison shared her story of Dewey:
“I came across Dewey as I was working at the local animal shelter. I had wanted a dog for a really long time but none of them were the right fit for our home – but the day I walked in and saw Dewey sitting in his kennel, calm as could be next to his crazy kennel-mate, my heart melted. There was some kind of click that can’t really be described, other than that my heart felt like it was 5 times too big for my chest.
“Our connection was strong, even in the beginning. He liked to collect my shoes and other possessions while I was away and gather them on his dog beg to snuggle with and refused to take treats from people other than me in the beginning. He trusted me enough that I could hand him medication without anything on it and he would eat it like a treat (although with a look that said “Mom sucks at picking out treats, but I don’t want to disappoint her”).
“I don’t know much about Dewey’s life before me, and since he came into my life when he was around 8 years old it was a long one. He was terrified of car rides initially and I would have to carry all 65lbs of him to it, while he was peeing, and place him inside. Within a month, however, he would get into it on his own, and a few months after that he would race to the car before me and hop excitedly from foot to foot because he knew that the car meant another visit to a place with treats, people to pet him or a mountain to climb.
“He fit so seamlessly into my life that it’s hard to describe the growth of the bond we had. It was a match made in heaven – he loved getting outside and hiking or adventuring, but also was okay cuddling on the couch to watch a movie. He was such a gentle soul who poured all of his love to me with every look that he gave me, and I can only hope that I conveyed the exact same thing to him.”
Allison’s hope for the photo session was to have images of him at home, happy, where they spent most of their time. She also wanted photos of the two of them enjoying time together. We did all the photos in their yard and inside their home.
One particular photo she was really hoping for was an image of Dewey holding one of her shoes in his mouth, since he loved to carry her shoes around on a daily basis. We didn’t have any luck outside, but inside did the trick…
Surgery bought Dewey and Allison some extra time filled with love and life, but the cancer returned and Dewey passed away a few months after our session. When I asked Allison for her thoughts about Dewey for this blog, she wrote the beautiful words I’ve already quoted, and ended with this – “I could honestly still talk about him for hours. He was so special and taught me so much about myself and unconditional love. Just thinking about him still brings back that feeling of my heart swelling. Thank you again for the beautiful photos…they are images that I will treasure for the rest of my life.”
My heart goes out to Allison for the loss of her wonderful friend. I’m glad I got to spend some time with them and witness their obvious love for each other. All of us who have lost best friends can relate to her words and the emotions behind them.
If you’d like to read another blog on the topic of best friends, Stephanie Romero of Chase & Snap Pet Photography is a pet photographer based in Northern Vermont that specializes in modern, candid, on location photography of pets in their natural environments. Check out her post of some adorable furry best friends at https://chaseandsnap.com/2019/06/08/best-friends/
Check out her post of some adorable furry best friends at https://chaseandsnap.com/2019/06/08/best-friends/