The worst part about having a pet is knowing that there will come a time when they’ll leave this world. I’ve been asked a few times to photograph a family with their dog who’s older, including my parents with their 13-year-old Goldendoodle. I think about what it’ll feel like when that day comes to say goodbye. To be able to look back at the images I took of the whole family together … That’s powerful.
Meet Earl. He’s an 8-year-old Labradoodle with cancer who was given only a few weeks left to live. His life has been cut too short.
As I parked and got out of my car, I saw Earl standing outside the house jumping around with his ball, looking happy as can be.
We rescheduled this shoot a few times because of all the rain lately in Madison, Wisconsin. I was so excited that the sun was out and that Earl was running around like nothing was wrong, soaking in all the hugs and kisses his family could give him.
We all knew why I was really there; to capture those moments of them with their loved pup who only has a few weeks left to live. The more I think about it and look at the images, tears trickle down my cheeks.
I didn’t totally notice but during the session, I kept sniffling as I was laying on the grass shooting. “Do you have allergies?” asked the mom. “I don’t. I’m just sad,” I said.