We’ve all had animal friends in our life that fill up our heart and bring us so much joy that we feel like we want to burst. This sweet girl, Stella, is one of those dogs. Now that Stella’s face is turning grey, her family wanted to capture this amazing soul, so when the time comes, they’ll always have these precious images to remember her and her smile. We loved spending the afternoon with her, her mom and dad, and siblings, Grayfus and Vespa. Modeling is hard work Stella! We hope you got extra belly rubs and bacon snacks after!
Darren didn’t know what to get his wife for the holidays and he desperately wanted to make her smile. He simply adored her and wanted to get her the best present, something that would make her heart sing and tears of joy roll down her cheek. It then occurred to him all she would ever want is what most women want…beautiful portraits of their (furry) kids.
We met Sylvie, Ellie and little Macy (only four months old!) on a beautiful trail they frequent often for their session. These Golden Retrievers were very sweet, energetic and loving. We got a LOT of doggie kisses, but we count that as one of the perks of being a Pet Photographer. They were VERY excited to be out in the forest and it was a lot of fun watching them chase balls and run up and down the hills. These three kept us on our toes and we all left exhausted, but happy.
Darren ordered a canvas and album for his wife to open on Christmas morning. We wished we could have seen the look on his wife’s face when she opened them!
Here’s to a new year with lots of love, happy families and slobbery kisses!
John called us a couple of weeks ago for a pet photography session with his dog Charlie in the beautiful location of the ponderosa pines of Flagstaff, Arizona. John and his family rescued Charlie 13 years ago at the Kingman Humane Society. At the time, they guessed Charlie’s age to be at least two. It was hard for Kristen and I to believe that this energetic dog was at least 15 years old! John’s family has definitely done a great job at helping him stay healthy with daily walks and runs in the forest. However, John knows that Charlie won’t be here forever. I think the only fault of our pets is that they don’t live as long as us. John wanted to schedule this session so that when the time comes for Charlie to cross the Rainbow Bridge, he’d have some great photographs of those big brown eyes staring back at him. We were so lucky to have been able to capture this special relationship between John and his best friend Charlie. ~ Melissa
“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”
― John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog
Meet Big Joe Louis Boxer, but you can just call him Big Joe. Unless of course, he decides to be an 80+ pound lap dog, and then you call him anything you like as long as you’re giving him some love. Pretty cute don’t you think? Big Joe joined the McMillan family a couple of years ago when his original owners fell on hard times. But if you ask Big Joe, he thinks it was fate. Because at the same time his owners had to tearfully make the decision to give him up, the McMillan family was also looking for another boxer to complete their pack. When Tracy, Greg, Angus and Amber met Big Joe, well, you can say they all knew there was no chance they’d ever leave without him.
Big Joe settled into the McMillan’s life quickly and became a family member instantaneously. In his new home, along with his human family, he also had a new boxer sister, Amber and chickens. The McMillans quickly found out that Big Joe barks like a Chewbacca from Star Wars and makes them laugh on a daily basis with his Chewy sounds and wiggly boxer moves. According to his parents, Big Joe is a big love bug and loves nothing better but to crush mom, Tracy, at night when he ‘shares’ the bed. However, knowing Tracy, and how much she loves this big boy, I know she doesn’t really mind.
So knowing the McMillan’s love for Big Joe, it was a very sad day when we talked about his Ginger Session.
In January Big Joe had to have emergency surgery to remove a large mass on his spleen (and the spleen itself). To his families horror, the mass was malignant and was diagnosed as hemangiosarcoma. The prognosis was bad. And short. So, after much research, soul searching and wanting the best for his quality of life, his family decided against chemotherapy and have decided instead to overdose him with daily love for the rest of the days of his life.
I knew as soon as I met him that Big Joe is an amazing dog. He has a gentle, deep soul that is apparent in his handsome brown eyes. When I was photographing him, I felt like I could just melt into those big brown eyes. I think he was trying to tell me to let his family know that he’s going to be OK after his body wears out on this Earth. I also think he wanted me to tell his family that he’ll always be nearby as their own personal guardian angel. You see, Big Joe know the truth, love never dies. It’s always deep in our heart and if close our eyes, we’ll feel it all around us.
I’m so happy that we got to get some great photos of Big Joe. I know that his family will love them in the years to come when they tell funny, heartfelt, happy stories about the big, gentle, Chewy sounding, wiggly butt giant named Big Joe Louis Boxer.
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive. ~Gilda Radner
“Saving one dog won’t change the world, but for that one dog, his world will be changed forever”
Giving back to the community has always been important to me, so this month I was very excited to help Paw Placement of Northern Arizona with a pet portrait fundraiser! We had a full day, an appointment every 10 minutes and met over 50 new animal friends. We had a great time meeting everyone and as you can see from the photos below, even our new pet friends had a great time too! Special thanks to my great friend and fellow animal lover, Kim Duncan, my wonderful husband, Grant, and the volunteers at the Rescue Me Adoption Center for helping out; I couldn’t have done it without you! Thanks to everyone who came out to the event at the Rescue Me Adoption Center, your donation means the world to the homeless animals this event benefited! ~ Melissa
Every month, we volunteer our time to help a shelter animal find their forever home. This month, we headed over to Paw Placement of Northern Arizona‘s adoption center, Rescue Me, to take photos of a special kitty named Sasha. Rescue Me is located in the Flagstaff Mall. If you live in the area, and have never visited this store, you should head over soon. It’s a great place to meet potential four-legged future family members, or just to check out what’s happening in the world of animal rescue. Paw Placement of Northern Arizona is a great organization, who’s mission is to reduce euthanasia rates of homeless cats and dogs through rescue, adoption and education about responsible pet guardianship. They rescue animals and place them in foster homes to help them find their forever home.
Sasha is our first kitty we’ve ever photographed for our Adorable Adoptable program and she really set the bar for sweetness. She didn’t mind us photographing her at all, in fact, I’d argue that she enjoyed the attention! She is a short haired Siamese and Calico harlequin cat about 3 1/2 years old. The rescue said she is very smart and loves to play games at home. She’s extremely affectionate and loved spending time with us. If you or someone you know might be interested in Sasha, please contact Paw Placement of Northern Arizona to get more information about adoption.
Thank you for reading and helping us find Sasha a purrrrrrrrr-fect home! ~ Melissa