My heart breaks a little every time I feature a dog who has left the world too soon (and it is always too soon, isn’t it?) But I also feel joyful knowing that a dog was as well-loved as Taz the Bernese Mountain Dog.
I believe it was Erma Bombeck who said, “Every boy should have a dog and a mom who lets him have one.” Ryan was lucky that his mom, Christa, took that message to heart and gave him the gift of a dog, best friend, partner-in-crime, and guardian all rolled into one. To celebrate their lifelong friendship, Christa decided to get some photos of Taz and Ryan by Alice G Patterson Photography, and the love between them is palpable.
From Christa: “Watching my son Ryan and his dog Taz grow together and bond over the last seven years has been a true gift. As a mother to see Ryan develop a bond with Taz that is deep and everlasting is very special. Conversely to witness the pain that Ryan experienced when it was time to say goodbye to Taz is heart wrenching.
Taz came into our lives in the Spring of 2009. Ryan talked us (my husband and I) into letting him have a dog for his 10th birthday. His sales pitch was that ‘he just wanted a dog that loved him as much as my dog loved me.’ Therapy at a later age or a dog……there was no choice!
We packed up the family and drove 2 ½ hours to look at a litter of Bernese Mountain puppies. The next hour was filled with fun and laughter as 12 puppies crawled, licked and played with my two sons. I don’t know if Taz picked Ryan or Ryan picked Taz on that day, regardless it was the perfect match.
I could write pages about Taz’s time with us, all the “Tazisms” that occurred. To touch upon the highlights, he was the sunshine in Ryan/our lives. He was the dog that always had a smile on his face and a heart that wanted to please. When he saw you, he would come galloping with a cart horse-like gait. He was a giant in size but truly a gentle giant. The mayor of our neighborhood, known and loved by all.
When Taz was one-year-old, he became very sick and spent weeks in ICU at Cornell Veterinary School. His diagnosis was not good, but somehow he made it through.
We thought that was all behind us until he became sick again last year. Our veterinarian was wonderful with his guidance, but one again the diagnosis was not good. It was at this time that I decided that we should have a photography session with Ryan and Taz to capture the ‘indescribable’ relationship that they have. The pictures tell the story…..friendship…….trust…….love!!!
A few weeks ago Taz became very sick for the last time. The day we said goodbye to Taz he watched Ryan play baseball, greeted all that passed by and gave his unconditional love.
Thank you Taz for being my son’s best friend. For ‘hanging out’ with him, playing tug of war, going to camp, riding in the car, stealing his hat when he would go sleigh riding, supervising the sleepovers in the basement, having fun in the snow, etc…… Taz left an imprint that will forever be in our hearts.”
I know all too well what a painful time this in Ryan’s life, but the love and joy that Taz brought to their family, will never leave. I hope these photos by Alice Patterson will help remind them of happier days.
Make your day a little brighter by following Alice G Patterson on Instagram.