When Sarah first called me to book a session with her puppy, I had no idea what a special dog I was about to meet. All owners gush about how great their dog is, and it goes without saying that each one is definitely special. But, Ryder is a little different – for he was the fulfillment of a wish Sarah has had since she was a little girl.
You see, a couple of years ago, Sarah was diagnosed with cancer. As she began to undergo treatment and take up the fight against the disease, her mother found a book where, as a little girl, she had written down her dreams for the future. One of those dreams was to have a golden retriever puppy. Truth be told, Sarah had never given up on that dream and now that it seemed that life had thrown her a curve ball, she was ready to make it happen.
And that, in short, is how Ryder joined Sarah and her family. Ryder may not be a puppy anymore, certainly not in the technical definition of the word, but he is definitely Sarah’s “heart-puppy”. RP (short for Ryder Puppy) has been with Sarah through everything and anything, and to witness the bond will give you goosebumps. It is often remarked that the strongest relationships are created through adversity, and I am told that Ryder would simply lie with Sarah as she went through endless treatments, offering the silent comfort that only a loyal dog can. In many ways, as Sarah’s mom says, “he saved us all”.
And so, one crisp autumn Saturday morning in Rouge Park, we all took a walk with Ryder and Sarah to document the relationship of a girl and her dog. Gratefully, Sarah is in remission now and therefore looks forward to many more beautiful walks with her RP, but it was important to her to capture the beauty of the relationship as it is today. We definitely created some gorgeous imagery, but I think you would agree that the most beautiful part of these images is the story that goes with it.
Ryder, thank you for letting me into your life and giving us the privilege of photographing you and your family. Your love, your loyalty, your being…you are a beautiful soul. I wish you many more romps in the park and beautiful walks with Sarah by your side…