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.
About Alice G Patterson Photography: Based in Syracuse, NY, Alice specializes in senior portraits, dog photography, and all the photography needs of small businesses.
So very sorry to hear of Taz’s passing as such a young age. The photos are absolutely beautiful and truly capture the amazing bond. Much love to his family.
It’s so gut wrenching when a pet leaves us – no amount of time is ever enough. But how beautiful these photos are for them to have and remember Taz.
This is so sad. =[ Poor Taz.
Those photos are really great and I’m sure the young man is thrilled to have them. It’s always sad to lose a furry loved one.
Amy Shojai says
So sorry for your loss…what wonderful pictures to remember.
Jeanne Melanson says
Sorry to hear about Taz’s passing, but it’s wonderful that Taz and Ryan had such a wonderful relationship, one that Ryan will never forget.
Jeanne Melanson says
P.S. The pictures are lovely.
Dusty Desert Dogs says
So sorry for your loss. It looks like you made some wonderful memories though.
Ruth and Layla says
So sorry for your loss, Run free Taz over the Rainbow bridge 🙁
Miss Molly Says says
Taz was truly a gorgeous dog and I can see the love between Taz and your son. I am so sorry to hear of his passing.
The Island Cats says
We’re sorry to hear about Taz. He was a beautiful dog…and we can see the special relationship he had with your son.
So sad. The pictures of Taz will be a beautiful and loving memory.
Oh my gosh, someone pass me a tissue – we know this joy and pain all too well. But to love deeply is a gift and we should never short change ourselves of experiencing this type of love. You’ll always have a piece of Taz with you forever as he helped form your son’s personality. Blessings and thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures and your heartwarming story with us.
Christa really has a way with words, doesn’t she? I found myself crying quite a few times when I read their story.
Cathy Keisha says
Dogs and boys always seem to have special bonds. The post didn’t mention how many years they had together but I know the answer would be “not long enough.”
I think they had seven years together, but I know it was not enough for Taz and his family.
Christina Berry | The Lazy Pit Bull says
What a beautiful story, and such beautiful photos. I know Taz’s family will cherish them for years to come.
Sweet Purrfections says
Such beautiful photos to accompany some wonderful memories of a cherished pet.
So sorry for your loss. Taz is absolutely adorable.
Gone to the Snow Dogs LLC says
Letting them go is one of the hardest decisions we have to make, but we always know when it’s time. Sending love!
Tenacious Little Terrier says
Gorgeous memorial shoot. RIP Taz. He sounds like he was a wonderful dog.
Amanda Yantos says
Oh wow – this is heartbreaking! But these photos are absolutely gorgeous.
I’m so sorry to hear about Taz. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are that our pets are with us for so long. I’m glad that they got these photos. They are absolutely wonderful.
This has always been my favorite type of dog! So beautiful!!!
Deedee Peeters says
Great dog. – great grandson
DeeDee and Papa
Lisa, Mike, Justin and Jillian Hall says
Ryan, Jim, Christa and Kevin,
There is nothing more beautiful than the unconditional love of an animal! We are so sorry for your loss of Taz, the photo’s are truly a blessing to have for your heart to hold. XOXO
The Daily Pip says
Absolutely beautiful …their bond and love for each other shine through every one of these incredible pictures.