It is with a heavy heart I write this blog post. I received an email letting me know that one of the beautiful dogs I photographed about a month ago has sadly passed away. He was so very loved by his mom and they shared a special relationship that could be felt when they came into my home studio for their session. I know all too well the pain of losing a pet and so my heart goes out to Marshall’s family as they grieve his loss. Whenever I lose a pet or hear a story of someone else losing a furbaby, I think of a story that I read a long time ago that has never left me. Here is a copy of that story:
“Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.
The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.
He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued,
”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”
That story is definitely true of Marshall who was a gentle and kind soul and who I am grateful to have had the pleasure and honour of photographing. His mom said that this expression was particularly common for him and I am SO thankful that he opened up and shared his true self with us for his photos that day.
Thank you Marshall. You will be very much missed in this world.