I love photography in general, but dogs are one of my favorite subject matters. I get to capture their unique and distinct personality, and I know the photos I take will be treasured by their owners for years to come.
I want to share with you the story of a very special dog, Daisy. Here is the first thing you should know: Daisy’s name is synonymous with DIVA. She is, appropriately, the namesake for a line of collars named after her: Daisy’s Diva Designs (her Mom is extremely talented). Daisy was so much fun to photograph! She came with outfit/collar changes, and was an expert model, living up to her name. Her parents, Sarah and Chris, wanted to do a photo session with her after her terminal cancer diagnosis. We were lucky enough to get to shoot Daisy’s extended family as well (Sarah’s Mom, Dad and their dog) while they were in town.
Right after the shoot, I asked Sarah if she would be willing to share with me a few words about why Daisy was so special. My goal was to turn it into a post that reminds people why its so important to take photographs of your pet, no matter what their age. What I had NOT expected was that Daisy would pass away so quickly after our shoot. I am SO thankful we scheduled our session quickly. I’m equally grateful Sarah has these memories, in her own words below AND in photos, to treasure. I’d like to share a bit of what Sarah wrote about Daisy, with her permission.
“Daisy was just 3 months old when she joined our family, and now she is 13 ½. In the blink of an eye she became a “senior.” Why is Daisy so special? I’m not sure how to answer that question. She was an absolute terror as a puppy, so much so that we’ve sworn off puppies forever. But I will never, ever regret the decision to bring her home. Daisy was our first dog, just a few months into our marriage, and she has taught us so much about patience, consistency, love, and selflessness. I’ll never forget the day she was spayed. I got my wisdom teeth out on the same day and we just laid on the floor watching TV recovering together. Knowing she would always be there, no matter what kind of day it had been, is one of the greatest parts of loving a pet.
I had always scoffed at people dressing up their dogs, but when we moved from Arizona to Kansas finding winter wear for her became a necessity, and the diva theme snowballed from there! My sweet girl has so many clothes and collars, even starring in some doggie fashion shows where we met lifelong friends. I eventually learned how to sew collars so I could save money, especially since we started fostering for Italian Greyhound Rescue in 2008. Daisy is the kind of dog who only lets you love on her when SHE wants it to happen. She chooses some people as her favorites and her whole body will wiggle when she sees them. And if you let her, she’ll lick you for a LONG time. Those moments when she wants to rub her head against us, lick our hands, and just sit and sleep with us on the couch are not taken for granted.
The idea of life without Daisy, which we will be facing soon, is almost unbearable. But the thought of the past 13+ years without her is even more so. As soon as we knew the cancer would take Daisy from us, I knew we needed to get family photos, just with the three of us. A price cannot be placed on a beautiful photo of a loved one. Daisy is our first baby and the one who has been by our sides during this almost 14-year marriage that’s included moves, graduate school, jobs, unemployment, countless drives across the country to visit family, deaths, births, and so much more in between. She’s evoked pretty much every emotion possible, from frustration to anger to hilarity to joy and now grief, which is how I know how special she is; how deep our love is for her. Thank you for teaching us to love with our whole hearts, Daisy.”
Thank YOU, Sarah and Chris, for letting me photograph you with your sweet girl and for sharing your story. It’s clear from the photos below she loved you just as much as you loved her.