Without a doubt, losing a loved one is one of the most difficult parts of life. Whether it is a human or a pet, the pain is the same. We all grieve differently, and there isn’t a time table for grief. When Dexter the Husky was approaching the end of his life, his family gave him one more great day and Katie Messer from Salute Life photographed it. I hope these photos will bring back precious memories to his family.
From Katie: “Last summer, my husband received a phone call that broke my heart. A coworker was going through a heartache that can only be felt by other animal lovers. He explained how his best friend and fur baby was not going to make it much longer. He then handed the phone over to me. I was in shock when he asked if I was available to document one of the last adventures he would have with his dog. I instantly overcome with sadness and just wanted to give him the biggest hug.
That Saturday I arrived at what I would call one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in upstate NY. The lake shimmered, and the cottage was cozy. I couldn’t have handpicked a better location.
We walked into the house, and their dog Rose greeted us. She was all but joyous to meet us. As we continued through the family home, they have had for nearly 70 years, and we made it to the back porch where Dexter met me. He looked at me with the most soulful eyes. I knew that I was meant to be here in this spot with this dog and his amazing dog parents.
As I loved on him and Rose, I could tell he was doing all he could to greet us in proper dog fashion. He was tired but made sure to make us feel welcome.
We laid together on the porch and in the grass. Then we walked together down to the water. Finally, we took a boat ride and relaxed some in the sun.
Throughout it all, we enjoyed each other.
As I was taking in all that this dog could offer me, I was blessed to hear all the stories of this spunky and fun loving pup.
He gave everyone a run for their money. He made sure to push you and to ensure you had as much fun as he did with every bit of his might.
I could see the joy in his eyes when we took that boat ride. He loves water and the wind blowing in his face as he looks out on the waves of the lake.
This was not an easy shoot for me. I held back my emotions and tears the entire time we were there, and when I finally got home, I was emotionally drained. Just like Dexter, I took that exhaustion and pushed past it. I made sure that I used it as fuel.
After a quiet moment, I pulled myself together and began editing.
As I edited, I felt as if he was with me, head on my knees telling me its ok. Looking at me letting me know my mom and dad are going to love these. And telling me thank you for taking care of them. This is what I want them to remember. I want them to remember all the times we had adventuring, running, laughing, sleeping, binge watching tv, just being together.
I hope I did Dexter justice. He is magnificent and strong. Dexter is what I would define as love.”
If you are looking for a pet-friendly photographer, check our Photographer Directory. Before adding a Husky to your family, be sure to read this very informative post about Huskies!
About Salute Life Photography: Based in Fort Drum, New York, Katie specializes in special events photography and family portraits.