A heart dog is a canine soul mate, a dog who just gets the human and vice versa. It is an extraordinary bond like the one that Maverick shares with his human, Kat. Thanks to Johnstone Studios for sharing Maverick’s and Kat’s inspiring story of love and devotion. You may want a tissue when you read their story, but I promise you, it is worth it.
From Tourine: “Kat is an active member of our military, serving in the Air Force. She came to the studio for a photography session for her and her dog, Maverick.
Maverick is a sweet old boy suffering from cancer. Kat wanted to capture photos of the two of them together before he left her. We had to reschedule the session initially, as Maverick ended up at the emergency vet the night before the planned session date. Despite his failing health, Maverick is spunky and full of life – and love for his human.
We adored being able to capture the love between Kat and Maverick; their connection is palpable.”
From Kat: “I was 19 when Maverick chose me to become his dog mama. In what would become the norm for us, he came into my life with high amounts of energy, eyes only for me, a massive smile on his face and the sweetest temperament I have ever witnessed in a pup. This personality trait has become his most noted and has caused every human he meets to fall head over heels in love with him. The last of his litter, he hid from every family that came, until my roommate and I walked in. He took one look at me; puppy flopped his way over into my arms and heart – starting the ultimate bond that has continued for the past ten years of our lives. I knew then that he was going to change my life, but I never could have guessed how much.
Mav and I have spent every day possible together, including a move to a tiny little rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Guam. My three deployments were the longest we have ever been apart we, and they were very hard on both of us. He is always up for any challenge – half marathon training, jungle excursions, hikes, paddleboard adventures, or our ultimate favorite, a beach experience. It is nigh impossible for me to leave without him by my side, leading many people to ask if I ever go anywhere without him, which I don’t, because why would I when I have a best friend like him? Mav is an old soul in the form of a canine companion; everyone always tells me he must have been the pope in a past life because he hit the jackpot with his human mom.
The truth, though, is that I hit the jackpot with him. He has been worth every sacrifice I have had to make to keep him by my side. He has unequivocally changed my life. My Little Man taught me the importance of unconditional love, the power of forgiving and forgetting, living in the moment, living and loving like there is no tomorrow, and like any true starving animal, to indulge in dessert every once in a while.
A few months ago, Mav was diagnosed with terminal Lymphoma. Despite the devastating blow that I feel, not once has he ever stopped being Mav – happy, sweet, energetic, loving, and a little bit of a diva. The ultimate lesson my sweet boy has taught me, and everyone that has ever come in contact with him, has been to live life with pure joy and unconditional love, no matter the circumstances.
He has been a true blessing to me, and I know without a doubt, that I have been the luckiest human to be his mama, and there will never be a dog quite like Mav.
It’s been one hell of a good ride.”
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About Johnstone Studios: Based in Reno, Nevada, Johnstone Studios specializes in wedding photography as well as portraits.
Hindy Pearson says
A beautiful dog and a beautiful story. You can literally feel the love Kat has for Maverick when reading her words. They are truly blessed to have found each other, a bond we would all be lucky to share.
Dear Mishu says
I love your photography. It really captures the love there!
Pawesome Cats says
What a beautiful boy and a beautiful story – they shared a wonderful life and were very lucky to have found each other.
Kitty Cat Chronicles says
These photos are amazing, and ones that I know Kat will treasure forever. My heart breaks for her and the devastating news they’ve received, but I can tell from the photos that Mav will be loved and that the two of them will live life to the fullest for whatever time they have left together. They are very lucky to have each other!
Aww, what a sweet story. You can see the strength of their bond in these pictures and hear it in the way that Kat talks about Maverick. Great read
MOLLY Mednikow says
You are providing such an invaluable service. I was lucky to find a photographer that specialized in this work, and she captured my “heart dog” and me near the end of my dog’s life. It brought me so much closure when I finally had to say goodbye.
Jana Rade says
You could steal my heart just by looking at your photos.
Kat Wallace says
Thank you so much for posting Mav’s pictures and our story! It has been quite the adventure and I’m so happy I got to share it with you! As a Naval Aviator, I have been very blessed to be able to find my sweet boy and keep him by my side for so long!
Joely Smith says
Hold on I have a huge lump in my throat … SIGN I am nearly in tears. Mav is one heck of a dog and I do love your photos but nothing I am sure can truly capture the love that exists between the two of you! Having lost two dogs, and one cat that I had for decades in one year, I know the emotions that come with loss. I also believe that even after they are gone, they are forever with us. You are BOTH lucky to have shared life together. Much love!
Tenacious Little Terrier says
You can really see the bond between them in these photos. I hope his last days are peaceful.
Cathy Armato says
You weren’t kidding about needing a tissue! Maverick is a special dog, I can see that. He has such beautiful, soulful eyes! I love his rescue story, he truly did pick Kat to be his Mama!
Love & biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
The Daily Pip says
Awe, what a beautiful story. Their love and dedication shines through these pictures and her words. I wish Maverick well in his fight against Lymphoma and hope he will be around for a very long time. I also hope Kat won’t be deployed again so they can spend as much time together as possible.
Dash Kitten Crew says
Now there is a pup and mom relationship made in heaven. I was smling as I read about Maverick choosing his mum, then taking a breath at his diagnosis.
We lost Sooty to Lymphoma although we fought like demons so I can say * paw on heart* …..
GO for it Maverick – Live for the Moment and do it NOW!
Talent Hounds says
What a beautiful pair and great love story. Stunning photos too. So glad she got to capture those moments and their bond.
Lola The Rescued Cat says
These photos are so beautiful, and we love the bond that they share. Maverick is a lucky doggie.
I’m so glad that it worked out for these two to get some great photos together. There’s no one quite like that pet soulmate. My angel cat, Cinco, passed away from Lymphoma last year. It was incredibly painful. I’m very thankful that I had so many amazing photos of the fun he had during his life and our relationship together. There is no denying that his life was beautiful right up to the end. Kat will be very thankful for these photos in the future!
Bryn Nowell says
What a lovely story of the bond these two share! I’m so happy they’ve had each other and I know will feel nothing but pure light and love until it’s time for him to cross the rainbow bridge. Thanks for sharing this story. Love to both human and pup <3
Sweet Purrfections says
Such a beautiful story. This touched me especially today because my former major professor (from my Ph.D) told me today that his dog was diagnosed with lymphoma.