As most of you know, animals hold a very special place in my heart, especially dogs. Dog sessions are so important to me because I think every pet owner should have nice portraits and candids of their four legged friend to look back on. When Kiai contacted me about photographing her dog Bea, I immediately said yes.
Kiai had to make the most difficult decision a pet owner has to make - to lay Bea to rest due to health problems and old age. After 11 years together, she knew it was time to say goodbye to her best friend. We tried to pick a date for the shoot a few times but with two busy schedules, it happened to land on the morning of Bea's last day. At first, I was nervous because I didn't want to be intrusive or cause more stress on such a sad day but I think it was best that it happened that way. I felt we were celebrating her life and their friendship during the shoot. I didn't know Kiai very well when I got there, but when I left I had made a friend. It was easy to connect with her - I understood the relationship she has with Bea and how nothing can come close to describing how important our dogs are.
We spent the morning in the grass with Bea, talking about their life together while she enjoyed some KFC chicken and rolled around. We laughed, cried and let Bea run the show. She loved finding new smells in the yard, cuddling with her mom and relaxing in the sun. She wore the very same harness Kiai bought for her 11 years ago. The forecast called for overcast skies and rain, but ended up being sunny with few clouds in the sky. I think it was the universe wanting Kiai to have one last happy, bright day with Bea.
Here are a few photos from our time together. I cannot thank Kiai enough for letting me capture these moments. My heart aches for you, but you are so strong. You gave this little lady quite a life, and I know her spirit will be with you always!