One summer day in August the studio phone rang. A lady named Diane explained that she and her husband had bid on the session package I donated to an auction to help raise funds for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (see old blog for full story). I was thrilled to hear that Diane and her husband John had a pair of dogs for me to photograph. I just love dogs. (I think I’ve mentioned that before.) All kinds of dogs. You just can’t get enough pictures of your kids and your dogs . . . that is my credo, nay, I say my “mission statement”.
On the day of our session Diane and John arrived with their two, much-loved, furry friends Max, a Husky mix, and Linda, an all white a lab mix. Two dogs, two sniffers, lots of fur, this I expected . . . seven legs, this I did not expect . . . and so there is a bit of a story to tell . . .
You see, Max is a tripod dog. He was diagnosed with bone cancer in his leg and the best chance for his survival was amputation. You’d never know anything was wrong with him when you meet him. I’m pretty sure Max doesn’t have much of an idea that he is “special”. He’s a pretty big boy who plops along and then just melts into you for a pet. Linda is the rock. She is Max’s crutch. You just know it when you see them together that she supports him and they share a very special friendship. Diane and John explained to me how connected Max and Linda were and how they absolutely hated to be separated. I was touched by their story and their dedication to Max. I was also inspired to have them in my studio and to have the opportunity to get even a bit more than just a really cool pet portrait.
As a photographer, I got the chance to help tell their story. Everybody has a story and sometimes I’m the one who gets to tell it. There’s the story of Max, a good mongrel with an extra chance at a good life, and Linda, a shelter rescue and the friend who sticks by a friend through it all, and the overall story of dedication. A story of a family devoted to each other in sickness and in health, good times and bad . . . being there when all you really need is a good friend to lean on. Everyone, canine and human, should be as lucky as Max, enjoying each day we are given, sniffing in all there is in life to smell.