Posts Tagged 'flagstaff pet photography'
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
I’ve known the Urtuzuastegui’s for about seven years. Now, I’ll admit, I can’t spell their name without looking it up, nor can I even pronounce it. It’s a bit embarrassing, but they seem to like me just the same. This family is more like my own. Between them all, I’ve photographed two weddings, one high school senior session and five family sessions. Nothing is better than watching a family grow up. I remember when Isaiah was just a baby and now he’s about 4 feet tall! And Sienna was just 7 years old when I met her. She made me a piece of art when she was younger, an artwork of finger-painted butterflies. I thought it was one of the nicest thing I had ever received and still have it. Now a beautiful 14 year old, Sienna is a student at Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy. Kristen is now a senior at Grand Canyon High School and I remember when she was a bridesmaid in her mom’s wedding back in 2008. We photographed Debra and Jeremy’s wedding back in 2009, and their little girl, Shelby, just turned one! Seriously, where does the time go? So much can change in seven years, but one thing has never changed, they way I adore this family. So, it ‘s fitting that I’d post their family photos on Thanksgiving, for they are one of the things I’m thankful for.
A photographer friend of mine in Austin, TX reminded me just yesterday that the most cherished things of all are not things, but rather, moments with friends and family.
Hoping each of you have a day filled of meaningful moments with the ones that you cherish the most.
Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Melissa
Jessie the Golden Retreiver first came to us because she needed some photos for the Dog Actors Guild website. Yes, there is such a thing! She was only 9 months old then and when her mom, Lori, told me that Jessie just turned two I couldn’t believe it! It seems the older I get, the faster time slips by. Jessie is still the sweet puppy that I’ve always known. I love it when I see her, she gets SO excited that she starts to run towards me, but she doesn’t know she’s on a leash. Her legs just go a hundred miles a minute and it’s like she’s a sports car reving up for the start line! It’s so adorable, I wish I had a video of that. Happy birthday my sweet puppy, next time I’ll make you a bacon cake! ~ xoxo, Melissa