A Final Trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake | Heritage Session™

A Final Trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake | Heritage Session™

When I first heard from Buddy’s mum it was with a mixture of excitement and sadness. Buddy came all the way from Pennsylvania for what would be his final trip to Canada – a dog bucket list of sorts. He was facing some serious health issues and his mum wanted to enjoy travelling with him one more time. Niagara-on-the-Lake was chosen as the backdrop for this special occasion.

Niagara on the Lake dog bucket list photography session

As you can see above, we took some portraits on what is arguably one of the prettiest streets in the Niagara region.

From there, we moved to enjoy a picnic in the park. Buddy put on his best tie and brought a blanket. They spent some quiet moments together reminiscing about what a great life he had led.

dog picnic in Niagara-on-the-Lake

He even brought his best friends to join in the fun!

a corgi pup and his stuffed animals

But a new park is a place to explore and sniff. Even have a little run. But, most of all, times like these are reasons to smile.

a running senior dog
smiling corgi dog

Buddy still loved to get his feet wet in the gentle surf, so we spent some time on the little beach.

dog photography session if the water
corgi dog playing in the water in Canada

All too soon it was time to go home. A short while later, I received a note from his mum saying that Buddy was gone. I cried. This beautiful boy who had brought so much joy to his family was no more.

I was even more touched when she ended her note with the following:

“Through all of this my mother and I have said many times we do not know what we would do without your photos.  After they were taken, he started to deteriorate rapidly.  He looks so wonderful, healthy, and happy in them and that is the way we hope to remember him.

 

Thank you for everything.”

Run free Buddy. Always.

For more information on Posh Pets Heritage™ Sessions, see below.

POSH PETS HERITAGE™ SESSIONS

Celebrating the life, love and legacy of your pet.™

  • High-priority sessions reserved for pets that become ill or are simply elderly. We make every effort to schedule these on short notice.
  • An opportunity to take time out of your busy schedule to spend some quality time togehter, celebrate the life you have shared and create images you will treasure forever.
  • Please note: The Creative Fee covers time and talent to photograph a maximum of four (4) subjects, which can be any combination of people and up to two (2) pets who live within the same household. Additional subjects may be photographed for a small additional fee.
  • Examples of portraits from Posh Pets Heritage™ Sessions can be found here.
There is No Time Like the Present | Hugo’s Winter Session

There is No Time Like the Present | Hugo’s Winter Session

I received the call one afternoon from Hugo’s mom. From the moment she spoke and her voice broke a little, I knew something was wrong. And, when you are a pet photographer, you almost always know what it is.

She told me about Hugo, all 165 lbs. of him. He was beautiful and, at 4 years old, in what should be his prime. But, the day before they had received devastating news. Hugo had just been diagnosed with lymphoma. A specialist appointment had been made to determine the course of treatment, so there was nothing more that could be done but wait the couple of days for that appointment. But now, what his mom wanted most of all were portraits. Portraits that should have been taken in the Summer but things had gotten busy and, well, they thought had all the time in the world. Portraits that would ensure that they had beautiful images of Hugo forever.

We quickly rearranged things and set a portrait date for a couple of days later. We were hoping for snow (there was woefully little of that this winter in Toronto!) and a nice day. And that is exactly what we got. The temperature was beautiful – maybe even a little too mild for a Bernese Mountain Dog – and we had snow on the ground! Plus our background was the lovely palette of winter. Hugo’s entire family came out for his photo session (even Grandma), so that they could get family portraits with him. He is one loved dog!

Everyone should have one gorgeous portrait of their pet

Hugo’s mom said that, if she could get nothing else, she wanted ONE gorgeous portrait of Hugo looking happy, majestic and healthy. I knew the second I took it that this was the ONE. It’s now a beautiful, framed print, hanging in the family home.

fine art portrait of bernese mountain dog

The family also selected a custom folio box for their family portraits and some smaller portraits of Hugo. (It’s so stunning that you will see that I decided to update the official Posh Pets® Folio images for the website with it.)

bernese mountain dog portrait toronto

dog in forest in Toronto, Canada

Why choose to photograph your pet now?

Simply put, because it is important to capture the life of your pet as they are now. In all their stages – the wiggly new-to-life stage, the goofy teenager, the athletic adult stage, and the sweet senior. And because honestly, we never know what tomorrow brings.

I’m happy to report that Hugo has begun his treatment and is tolerating the chemotherapy well! Last time I saw him, he was perky and quickly greeted me at the door. He’s ravenous too, so he eagerly searched me for treats. Believe me when I tell you, everyone here at Posh Pets® Photography are all wishing very hard (with fingers and paws crossed!) that Hugo makes a full recovery!

If you are looking to book a session for your pet, the place to start is here. (Please see the update, below.)

beautiful mountain dog in snow in Canada

Update: Hugo passed away in August 2016 after bravely fighting his battle with cancer. His Mom sent me the most beautiful note regarding his session:

“I called Posh Pets® Photography in a panic the day after receiving the devastating news that my 4 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, Hugo, had been diagnosed with lymphoma.  I wanted to get  professional photographs done before he started chemo.  Karen was so understanding, compassionate and accommodating.  She made herself available within a couple of days.  Hugo was already quite ill but Karen worked her magic and took amazing photos that caught his spirit!  Karen was very supportive and a great help in choosing the photos (not easy when there were so many good photos to choose from).  The finished products are beautiful and we treasure them everyday, now that our beloved Hugo is gone.   Karen is clearly an animal lover and very talented – the perfect combination.”

Sleep well, dear Hugo.

POSH PETS HERITAGE™ SESSIONS

Celebrating the life, love and legacy of your pet.™

  • High-priority sessions reserved for pets that become ill or are simply elderly. We make every effort to schedule these on short notice.
  • An opportunity to take time out of your busy schedule to spend some quality time togehter, celebrate the life you have shared and create images you will treasure forever.
  • Please note: The Creative Fee covers time and talent to photograph a maximum of four (4) subjects, which can be any combination of people and up to two (2) pets who live within the same household. Additional subjects may be photographed for a small additional fee.
  • Examples of portraits from Posh Pets Heritage™ Sessions can be found here.

Coping with the loss of a pet through photography.

Coping with the loss of a pet through photography.

Celebrating the life, love and legacy of your pet.™

There are probably few things worse than knowing you are running out of time, especially when it involves someone that you love dearly. Sadly, we are often caught by surprise when we are told that our pet is seriously ill. In a moment, all that time we thought we had, suddenly disappears, and we realize that we need to preserve the memories of our relationship with that furry family member. Knowing just how important it is to remember and celebrate your relationship is the reason behind the Posh Pets Heritage™ Session.

When I first spoke with Olivia about her Bella, she told me that she was her 11 year old black labrador, that she had had her she had her since she was a puppy. These two had grown up together. She also shared that Bella had only just been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and that the prognosis was not good. Could I create a session that would celebrate their relationship?, she asked. Of course., I assured her.

We made arrangements quickly and Olivia chose the park where she and Bella regularly went for walks. We took our time since Bella did not have the energy she had once had. Although, the sight of a ball still brought a light to her eyes and she chased it once or twice. Treats were, of course, graciously accepted. So, we walked and talked, stopping here and there to photograph Bella in her element with Olivia.

Olivia wanted me to be sure to capture the white muzzle and beautiful eyes of her dear Bella in a portrait. The dried reeds provided a beautiful backdrop against her black coat.

black labrador portrait

Even though some would consider the weather less than ideal, we were able to capture absolutely gorgeous images!

formal black labrador dog portrait

We then went on to document some sweet portraits of Olivia and Bella together.

dog rolling on grass with girl

girl hugging black labrador dog

portrait of a chinese girl and black labrador

girl hugging dog

We even got in a few kisses! Olivia was Bella’s world (and vice versa), so this was no surprise.

black labrador giving a girl a kiss

Inky, Bella’s older brother, also came along so he could be photographed along with her. He may only have a few months on Bella, but he practically dwarfs her in size.

dog best friends

dog family portrait

I’ve said it before, but I will say it again: I am always amazed at how a dog will rise to the occasion. Despite the fact that the medication and her illness left her fatigued, Bella showed us that she could still chase a ball.

premier-canada-dog-photographer

dog carrying ball

And, she still had the ability provide the loveliest of expressions for a portrait.

black labrador sitting in a pile of leaves

We ended the session with a few more images of Bella and Olivia together on a forest path.

girl hugging dog in a forest

richmond-hill-dog-photography

The final portrait was of lovely Bella herself. In her park. The way Olivia wanted to remember her.

black-labrador-dog-portrait-toronto

A week later, I received the e-mail I dread to receive: Bella had said her final good-bye, surrounded by the family she loved. I had already edited Bella’s images and ordered her folio box as well as her wall art, and Olivia was understandably eager to receive them. While they will never replace having Bella at her side, the images from our session will ensure that the memory of Bella stays alive in her heart.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, please do not hesitate to contact me and arrange a Posh Pets Heritage™ Session.

 

Jake & Mack – Two Golden Boys in Toronto

Jake & Mack – Two Golden Boys in Toronto

I love these two gorgeous golden retriever boys! Jake and Mack are an uncle-nephew dog duo who make their home in Toronto. Mack is a 4 year old bundle of excitement who loves his family, loves to get to know you and find out what you are doing, and loves his treats (he’s the slightly more portly of the two). So, when I showed up with treats in hand, needless to say, I was a hit. Jake is the more quiet and serious one. At 7 years of age, he has definitely calmed down, and now, he is facing some serious health issues. Which is why his family called Pets Photography – they wanted some lovely images of their boys while they were still together.
two dogs in front of home

This gorgeous portrait of them on their family’s front porch was lots of fun to create. One of the first things clients will often tell me is that their dog is not reliable must remain on leash. I always assure them that is perfectly fine. It was the same with Jake and Mack. We were quite obviously at the front of their house without any fencing or other barriers to keep them safe. It necessitated using their leashes and those leashes needed to be held by Mom and Dad. In fact, the humans are actually hiding in the alcove to either side of that front door. The magic of post-editing removed any trace of them and the leashes in the final image. Which leaves everyone to stare and admire the amazing smiles on the *obedient* doggies.

There’s something wonderful about a dog’s smile, usually shown by them opening their mouth and letting their tongue come out. But, Mack’s tongue is epic. It certainly suits his goofy, fun-loving personality.

two dogs smiling in front of green hedge

Every Posh Pets‘ session is a relaxed, fun affair and, if the dogs enjoy it, some running around and playing. It is wonderful to have images of your dog’s unbridled enthusiasm for a ball and the feeling of the grass between their paws. Capturing these two boys larking about with each other in their backyard was such a joy for me and them!

running golden retriever dogtwo golden retrievers playinghappy running dog

There is also plenty of time for quiet, reflective portraits. The kind of artwork that you will want to display proudly on your wall.

golden retriever dog portrait

We often end a session with an image that is a ‘slice of life’. Here, Jake, after a session of playing, posing, sitting, eating treats and just generally being gorgeous, relaxes in his front hallway on the cool floor. Where he has so many times before.

lifestyle dog photography in black and white

Jake and Mack, thank you for welcoming me into your lives for those few short hours. It was quite honestly a joy to meet you and photograph you. In my memory, you will always be together, romping around and spreading happiness wherever you go.

Bart – Posh Pets Heritage™ Session | Cat Photographer in Toronto

Bart – Posh Pets Heritage™ Session | Cat Photographer in Toronto

Celebrating the life, love and legacy of your pet.™

As a pet photographer, I get quite a number of requests for sessions with cats. I love our kitty friends – their quiet and calm demeanor, the grace with which they carry themselves and the nuances of their individual personalities. My sessions with them are always a joy.

I met Bart on a quiet summer afternoon in August. Those perfect days when it is not too hot, the sun is shining and no one is running tools to disturb the quiet peace of the neighbourhood. Bart was a 15 1/2 year old black beauty with a kind and gentle nature. He had been adopted by his humans when already full grown (I love it when people fall in love with the adult adoptables!) and had lived a wonderful life with his feline brother, Toby, and his human family.

When his mom first contacted me, she told me worriedly that Bart was a black cat and very difficult to photograph. He was exclusively an indoor cat, so he needed to be photographed inside. Additionally, he had recently been diagnosed with cancer and she really wanted some beautiful images that would highlight his gorgeous eyes and ensure that they had tangible, physical memories to hold onto when the time came to say good-bye.

We spent a couple of hours that afternoon photographing Bart in all of his favourite spots in the home. He was quite happy and was engaged for his photo session. I am always amazed by pets who ‘seem to know’ and therefore muster up the energy to give their families this last gift of photographs. As I was leaving his home, I gave him one quiet cuddle and told him to be a brave boy and let his family know when the time came.

Four weeks later, Bart said his final good-bye at home, surrounded by his loving family.

As I delivered Bart’s final artwork, we talked about what a great life he had, how hard the past couple of weeks had been on everyone, but how right the decision had been to have him photographed professionally. As always, I left the meeting with tears in my eyes.

“Bart, you have left a huge hole in the hearts and lives of those who loved you. I was privileged to have met you and to photograph you. I will remember you with fondness, always.”

POSH PETS HERITAGE™ SESSIONS

Celebrating the life, love and legacy of your pet.™

  • High-priority sessions reserved for pets that become ill or are simply elderly. We make every effort to schedule these on short notice.
  • An opportunity to take time out of your busy schedule to spend some quality time togehter, celebrate the life you have shared and create images you will treasure forever.
  • Please note: The Creative Fee covers time and talent to photograph a maximum of four (4) subjects, which can be any combination of people and up to two (2) pets who live within the same household. Additional subjects may be photographed for a small additional fee.
  • Examples of portraits from Posh Pets Heritage™ Sessions can be found here.
Magic – Heritage Session | GTA Pet Photographer

Magic – Heritage Session | GTA Pet Photographer

What is a Posh Pets Heritage Session, you ask? Simply put, it a unique session where we take whatever time is needed to celebrate the life of a special dog. No one likes to think about it too much, but the reality is that we will often outlive our pets. And when the time comes to say good-bye, photographs can often be the way to forever capture the memories we hold dear.

Magic was a good dog. He had been diagnosed with cancer and his people knew that their time with him was short. In fact, when we initially spoke, they were not sure if we had enough time to schedule a Session. I assured them that I would make it happen. A couple of days later, on a bright Sunday morning, we set out to create incredible memories.

I’m always amazed at how animals just know. In these situations, when I first arrive, I want to take the time to see how the pet is feeling. We want to work at their pace, taking into account their limitations. And yet, each time, the pet always rises to the occasion, as if they want to give this last gift to their people. Magic was no different. We spent time creating images both inside and outside their home and then a final last walk in his favourite park.

As our Session came to a close, I hugged Magic, kissed him and said my good-bye, knowing we would not meet again. He was gone some 24 hours later, surrounded by the people he loved so much.

Of course, our Ordering Session was an emotional one. We cried. We hugged. But, in the end, Magic’s family chose two gorgeous Folio Boxes filled with memories of their special boy, and lovely pieces of Wall Art.

shetland sheepdog head portraitblack and white photo of sheltland sheepdogfamily portrait with dog in Canadawoman and dog huggingToronto pet photographershetland sheepdog sitting on couchcollie being held on bedblack and white photo of dog with familyToronto dog photographydog sitting on large tree trunk

 

POSH PETS HERITAGE™ SESSIONS

Celebrating the life, love and legacy of your pet.™

  • High-priority sessions reserved for pets that become ill or are simply elderly. We make every effort to schedule these on short notice.
  • An opportunity to take time out of your busy schedule to spend some quality time togehter, celebrate the life you have shared and create images you will treasure forever.
  • Please note: The Creative Fee covers time and talent to photograph a maximum of four (4) subjects, which can be any combination of people and up to two (2) pets who live within the same household. Additional subjects may be photographed for a small additional fee.
  • Examples of portraits from Posh Pets Heritage™ Sessions can be found here.

MacLeod | Toronto Dog Photographer

MacLeod | Toronto Dog Photographer

shih tzu smiling

“Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.” – Sydney Jeanne Seward

I loved this dog.

It has taken me a while to write this post. A week to be exact. Seven days. Almost 168 hours since we’ve said good-bye. And I still can’t believe that MacLeod is gone. Because he didn’t live with us – he belonged to my family – it is still easy for me to imagine him snoring loudly in his sleep at my sister’s or parent’s place. At 15 years of age, he did do a lot of sleeping. And snoring.

But, it wasn’t always that way. MacLeod and his sister, Anthea, came to our family when they were both wiggly, little shih tzu puppies, both from the same litter. Like any puppy out there, they were both unbelievably cute. And although I loved Anthea and her love of exploration, it was MacLeod that was my favourite.

MacLeod, aka Mackie, Big Mac, Maxster, Mister Magoo, was a character. He was your everyman’s dog. He had no airs about him, took you at your word and had a ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ way about him. He loved people, playing, balls and getting dirty. All the while being gorgeous.

Somehow, over the years, I had become  “Auntie Karen” to MacLeod. When he would hear those two words, he would get beside himself with excitement, whining and crying in anticipation. So much so, my family would not tell him I was coming to visit until I was less than 10 minutes away. When I would finally arrive, he would be there, ready to greet me at the door. And then, he would look up at me, turn his mouth up at the corners and give me an honest-to-goodness ‘grin’. After the initial fuss, he would turn his attention to my belongings and go through my bags in hopes of finding a treat, a new ball or something else wonderful that he was sure I had brought for him. And, when I finally settled in a chair to rest, there he would be – climbing on my lap and resting on my leg.

Time, of course, marches on. To see him get older, and less playful was hard. But when he got sick, I was heartbroken. My friend wasn’t the same. Getting up to greet me was difficult – laying back down was harder. There was no more joy in the thought of playing with a ball. And no more grin.

And so last week, my sister made the decision that the time had come to let MacLeod go. And we gathered, as we have for all our family’s pets, to say our good-byes. I had promised him I would be there when the time came, and I made good on that promise by holding his paw gently as he found peace.

While it is still hard to believe he is gone, I am so happy he came into our lives and that he allowed us to share him for a little while. Thank you Mackie. Please know we will miss you always.

I loved this dog. I still do.

shih tzu in bowtie

 

Lady Jane Grey | Toronto Cat Photographer

Lady Jane Grey | Toronto Cat Photographer

They say the camera does not lie. And yet, I look at this photo of Lady Jane taken just yesterday, and I am stunned by how good she looks. She was always a pretty kitty and even at 17 years old, Lady Jane was a beautiful old girl. But, what this image doesn’t show is the sadness that surrounds it. For, it was taken during the brief space of 5 minutes yesterday when she had stopped vomiting, we had already contacted the emergency vet to say we were coming and were about to place her in her carrier for her final car ride. I got her to relax on our bed (truly one of her favourite places) and took a few final pictures. Within 10 minutes of this image, we were on our way.

grey and white cat on bed

Lady Jane was a wonderful girl and such a trooper. Cats often are. She had been diagnosed in early October with Chronic Renal Failure and her vet had warned us not to expect more than a couple of months. We were understandably shocked and it took us some time to process the information. We knew she had been losing weight, but I don’t think either my husband, Dean, or I were prepared for the severity of the issue. But our vet kindly answered all of our questions, sent us home with lots of information and medication to stabilize her, and we determined to simply cherish the time we had left.

And you know, we got into a rhythm with giving her her medication and ensuring that she ate properly. It was at that point that we realized that Lady Jane had probably been feeling unwell for some time, because the medication helped her to rally. In the 6 months since her diagnosis, Lady Jane has done things and explored area she had never done before. She learned how to climb onto the desk in my husband’s office so that she could sit on the windowsill and watch the world go by. She no longer used the stool beside our bed which had been placed there to help her old bones get up more easily – she bounded from the floor and back off again. And then sometimes, she leaped from the bed onto the dresser. Her greatest success was when she propelled herself from the couch onto our dining table. Most of these things would certainly would have been unacceptable in our house (no getting up on the dining table!), but the fact that she had the desire and the ability to do it astounded us. For a cat who had lived most of her life on one level (she had been a little portly in her younger years), it was a joy to see her enjoy herself.

And then there was her personality. When we adopted her brother Baxter 18 months ago as a companion to Lady Jane, we could not have picked a better boy. Baxter has confidence, without a hint of aggressiveness. His patient encouragement combined with her feeling much better, and Lady Jane had come out of her shell. She travelled easily and adapted to new environments. She greeted visitors when they came into our home. She stepped outside onto the balcony and felt the sun on her face. It was like she had a bucket list of things to do and we had the joy of seeing her cross things off the list.

We almost convinced ourselves that she would be with us a long time. Our friends would ask how she was doing and we would answer that she was doing remarkably well. Deep down, we knew the disease would eventually get the better of her, but given her newfound love of life and adventure, it seemed a long way off. And, we were not prepared for how quickly it would happen.  It seems like on Friday the medication stopped working which translated into Lady Jane being extremely picky over her food. We had been very fortunate that throughout everything she was a great drinker – bowls and bowls of water helped flush her ailing kidneys and kept her happy. But, by yesterday morning, she had stopped drinking, stopped eating and begun almost non-stop vomiting. She also found it very difficult to use the litter box. I gave her her medication to help with the vomiting and offered her her favourite ‘treats’ – chicken and lactose-free milk. She refused the chicken, but lapped up the milk. Only to bring it all up within 10 minutes. It was as if her digestive system was shutting down.

Seeing her suffer this way helped us making a heart-wrenching decision. Of course, not only was it a Sunday but it was a holiday and therefore her regular vet was closed. Which led us to the wonderful people at Vaughn-Richmond Hill VEC who helped her pass, surrounded by the people who loved her most. I got to hold her and I hope that she felt me stroking her and that the last thing she heard was me telling her how much I loved her.

Seventeen years is a long time.  A small furry kitten originally from Brampton Animal Shelter left her mark on our lives and on our hearts. She made us smile. She made us laugh. There is now only a gaping hole that she used to inhabit.

Lady Jane, our little furry face. You were loved. Please know, we love you still.

“You’re the one that I love, and I’m saying good-bye…” ~A Great Big World (Say Something)

beautiful cat

One Year Later… | Pet Photographer in Canada

One Year Later… | Pet Photographer in Canada

Today marks a sad anniversary – it was exactly one year ago that we said good-bye to our Ripley. It was a bright, sunny spring morning, much like this one. But for Dean and I, it was the end of an era.

It seems like yesterday that the three of us made that last car ride together. In fact, we still tear up when we think about him, as the pain is yet just below the surface. But, in reality, a whole year has passed and I realize that so much has changed since then.

For one thing, there is no doubt that the sharp pain has eased for all of us. We no longer come through the front door expecting to have Ripley greet us, nor do I wake up in the night looking for the feel of his soft weight against my legs. Lady Jane, too, finally stopped grieving for her brother and began to be her old self again. And, as I always secretly knew, we were in time, ready for the biggest change of all. We welcomed 2 year old Baxter into our home and into our hearts. (One the unexpected results was that, as a result of the new playmate and the increased physical activity, Lady Jane has lost some weight. She now runs and just a few weeks ago, managed to jump on the dresser in our bedroom – a place she has not been up on in over 10 years. Talk about a change!)

Initially, my biggest fear was that I would forget about Ripley – his little habits and the stories we shared. I wanted so desperately to emblazon his memory in my mind. Consequently, right after his death, we took a notebook and through our tears, wrote down all of the things that had made him special. Every memory we could come up with, even the small, silly ones. And, as Dean and I would remember additional stories, we would continue to write. It helped in the healing process and allowed us to slowly let go, knowing Ripley’s life story was safe. However, we soon realized that we should do this for all of our kitties, keeping records as we go. So Lady Jane, and now Baxter, have their own special memory books. And we take photographs…so many photographs.

But, for all of the progress we have made, the truth is, I don’t think there will ever come a day when I don’t think about our Orange Boy. He was our very first pet together, and because he came into our lives just 3 months after Dean and I were married, Ripley had been there practically from the beginning. We loved him so much, and he, us. He will always be a part of our story.

Ripley, for all of our brave faces, how we still miss you! But, this I promise you: you will never be forgotten. Afterall, you never forget your first.

Product Spotlight – Heritage Sessions | Toronto Photographer

Product Spotlight – Heritage Sessions | Toronto Photographer

I’ve been thinking about this for some time now, more so since we lost Ripley at the end of May. From the time we had his diagnosis to the time we said our final good-bye, it was less than 36 hours. After 16.5 years together (we adopted him when he was about 1 years of age), we had less than 36 hours. A precious few hours to hold him, cherish him and try to memorize everything we knew about him.

Fortunately, I am a professional photographer. Which means I literally have hundreds of images of Ripley throughout his life. But, at the end, I needed more. Even though I can now clearly see the difference between when he was well and the last couple of days of his life, I created more images. Those photographs still bring tears to my eyes, but they make me smile too because they are memories of him.

But, it made me think of those who are not photographers? Those who only have the odd iPhone image of their beloved furry face(s) or a few images stored away on a hard drive somewhere. When the time comes, in most cases, that won’t be enough.

I always tell my clients not to wait until the end to invest in professional custom pet photography. It is wonderful to have images and memories of the times when our pets are well, active and vibrant. But life happens and we get busy. And sometimes these things catch us by surprise. For those, I am happy to introduce Posh Pets Heritage™ Sessions.

POSH PETS HERITAGE™ SESSIONS

Celebrating the life, love and legacy of your pet.™

  • High-priority sessions reserved for pets that become ill or are simply elderly. We make every effort to schedule these on short notice.
  • An opportunity to take time out of your busy schedule to spend some quality time togehter, celebrate the life you have shared and create images you will treasure forever.
  • Please note: The Creative Fee covers time and talent to photograph a maximum of four (4) subjects, which can be any combination of people and up to two (2) pets who live within the same household. Additional subjects may be photographed for a small additional fee.
  • Examples of portraits from Posh Pets Heritage™ Sessions can be found here.

Heritage Sessions are special sessions that will be high-priority. I know, from personal experience, you may not have even a week to have your precious boy or girl photographed. So, I will do everything reasonably possible to meet your scheduling needs so that you don’t miss out on this very important time together. Simply put, they can be requested on short notice and we will find a way to work it into our calendar.

Your Heritage Session will also go at the pace of your pet. When a pet is ill or is simply quite elderly, they need frequent breaks for water, rest and medication. Given the emotions involved, you might need a break too. So, we will not watch the clock. We will not keep track of time. We will simply photograph until we have the images you want. And need. And make sure that you have some time to just enjoy each others company, and have it frozen in time forever.

Truthfully, images won’t make up for the loss of your pet. It will still hurt. A lot. And you will feel like there is a huge hole left in your heart. But, in time, looking at the images you chose to create together, you too, will be able to smile through the tears.

It would be an honour for me to photograph your pet.

Posh Pets® Photography is a member of the Joy Session® Network, a resource for those coping with pet loss and bereavement. 

Tribute – Sally | Toronto Corgi Photography

Tribute – Sally | Toronto Corgi Photography

It was a fine winter morning when the Posh Pets team set out to meet Sally, a beautiful corgi mix. At 13 years old, she was definitely a senior and unfortunately had developed some heart problems. That meant that she was moving a little slower and tired more easily. But, there was absolutely nothing wrong with her figurative heart! It literally brimmed over with love for her humans – and it was clear that they loved her dearly right back. In fact, Sally’s session was a gift from the family to her mom and dad because they knew what an important part Sally was in their lives. And so, we spent a lovely morning together capturing some beautiful images of a very sweet and happy dog.

All too soon, Sally passed away. Such a devastating loss to a family who loved her so much and in whose schedule she was very much a part of. I am told that she enjoyed many a car ride around town, sitting in the passenger seat, next to her Dad. She is mourned in the neighbourhood by the many friends (furry faces and humans) she had, and who now must find a way to cope with her absence. Sally was even famous – for she had been featured in a newspaper article not long ago. She will be missed because she made the live of those around her better.

Sally, you were truly loved and every day with you was cherished by those around you. Your mom and dad would brag about your intelligence and loyalty because they were soooo proud of you, and because, quite simply, they adored you. Your images are stunning and I know that they will continue to be shared far and wide. It was an honour to have met you and captured your sweet spirit.

 

 

 

Ripley | Toronto Pet Photographer

Ripley | Toronto Pet Photographer

I really cannot believe that the day has arrived when I have to write this. And if I press “publish”, it will somehow be more final. It hurts too much, so I will try to say it quickly and simply.

Today, at 8:59 a.m., we sent Ripley, our 17.5 year old tabby on his final journey. With as much love as he could bear.

I, personally, have never had the weight of such a decision on my shoulders and I am not sure that either my husband, Dean, or I handled it well. In other words, we were (and are) a mess.

We had no idea that Ripley was even sick until we took him to his vet this past Wednesday morning. What we had erroneously thought to be a little bit of constipation or issues with his anal glands, turned out to be far more serious. In fact, that was not an issue at all. After x-rays and an ultrasound, we were shown that most of his organs were in some state of failure. And his poor, little heart was really only in a constant state of fibrillation, and therefore not pumping vital blood and oxygen to the other parts of his body. Add to that, he had a very serious arrhythmia which put his whole system under additional stress. Hearing this, we decided not to contemplate any heroic measures, but to simply treasure whatever remaining time we had with him. So, at our request, his vet was able to stabilize him enough that we could take him home with us Thursday evening, along with some medication to make him comfortable.

Ripley seemed to be happy to be home Thursday night, but by Friday we knew something was horribly wrong. He could not sleep. He never did eat since returning from the hospital and he shifted his position often as if he was uncomfortable. We watched him and stroked him and cried over him until we knew that we had to make the final gesture to help him.

This morning, Ripley woke me up by pawing gently at my leg. I tried one last time to feed him, which he refused. So, Dean and I began the process of getting ready to take him on his final car ride. I truly believe that Ripley knew the time had come. He seemed to go through a routine to look at all of his favourite places. But when he stopped to nuzzle and kiss his sister, Lady Jane, it made our hearts stop. They had a quiet “moment” when I think he said his good-bye.

At the vet this morning, we held him and told him what an incredible boy he had been. He was from the Toronto Humane Society so, yes, Ripley was a rescue. He was a year old when we got him and were privileged to have loved him for over 16 years. And, even though his physical heart failed him in the end, he loved us until his final breath.

I do not quite know how I will get over the loss of feeling him sleeping on my feet every night of his life, or the way he would truly cuddle you when picked up. I have many, many photographs that will remind me of what he looked like, but I fear that I will forget the sound of his “voice” when he would talk. And his beautiful eyes…everyone remarked on his his lovely eyes. At this point, I am simply hoping that the huge hole left in my heart will slowly heal.

Ripley, I cannot write enough words to tell you how much you are missed. Not a day will go by when we will not think of you and remember how incredibly wonderful you were. I hope, in the end, you simply understood and felt how much you were loved. 

Go gently into that good night, my boy…

A special thank-you to the vets and staff of Westbridge Veterinary Hospital in Mississauga, Ontario. And especially to Dr. Cathy Buller who has been Ripley’s primary vet since the day we brought him home. Having you there at the end, made it just a bit easier.

Orange tabby on bed in Toronto, Canada