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In Memory – Tuff – 8·10·2000 – 9·16·2016

I’ve been wondering lately what the magic number is. That number, or rather age, of a dog – when you feel you’ve “won.”  The age that, once your beloved dog hits it, you feel you’ve won the lottery – anything extra is icing. On the flip side, it’s a number that if you don’t get there – somehow you feel cheated.

I think the number is 15. Whether I’m right isn’t the point. It’s “my” number. For those who have giant breeds – 10 may be your “magic” number. And for those toy breeds – admittedly some look at 15 and it remains in the rear view mirror as this sturdy group trudges on to 16, 18, – even 20.  The oldest dog I’ve ever personally met was a Jack Russell Terrier who, when I lost touch, was 22 years young!

My dear friend Tessa lost her beloved Tuff this weekend. He had just hit 16 a month back. I don’t know what Tessa’s “magic” number is but I do know Tuff had a magic life with her and his mates, Zoey and Jessie.  It’s hard to believe 6 years have passed since they trounced through the fields of Tranquility Farm – and had the energy for a studio session as well. It was a magical day and you can see that session here.

I hope Tuff made it to Tessa’s “magic” number. Somehow it seems to make the loss a tad more bearable. Meanwhile, I know Jessie and Zoey will struggle also as they adjust to the new “order” of things.  Tuff packed a LOT of personality in that tiny little body. He will be missed and loved forever. My sympathy, Tessa.


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In Memory – Blake

As always, when I hear of the passing of a dear pet who I’ve had the pleasure of photographing I take a walk down memory lane. Each session resonates with me on so many levels – it’s easy to return to each session and relive the challenges, the laughter, sometimes sadness but always great love.

This was the case with the session for Don and Kevin back in 2010. A second session for us, and by then Don had partnered with me as my amazing manager. To say I knew these dogs better than most was an understatement. Beyond many “working” pool-side meetings at their lovely home – these two had opened their home to me during troubled times and I called their beautiful place “home” for several months. I remain forever grateful.

Don and Kevin said goodbye this week to their oldest – Blake. Fifteen years old, he battled cancer recently, and succumbed to the dreaded disease. Today their pack is smaller by one. I know Blake was the patriarch and for now Dash, Penny and Girlie have lost their compass.  That void, I know, is even greater for Don and Kevin. It seems like just yesterday we chased these four around the yard for this session.

My heartfelt sympathy and love to both Don and Kevin. No one gives a dog a better life than the two of you. My heart is with you both.

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In Memory – Duke – 2/6/2001 – 6/20/2016

I knew when I saw the email it was likely sad news. My lovely friends, John and Maynil, had long since moved to Colorado with their wonderful dogs, Duke and Pitch. I hadn’t heard from them since they lost their boy “Pitch” back in 2012 and my hunch was correct – they had recently said goodbye to beautiful Duke.

When I got the news I emailed John and Maynil a private message which in part read – “I knew when I met you, John, and the dogs I had met real “dog” people. I also knew in that instant your hearts would be broken. That’s what happens to the “real” dog people.”

And with Maynil’s email I knew that was exactly what had happened. I also knew there were just so many happy memories. I went instantly back to that day in 2009 when we visited their lovely Virginia property and spent a spectacular fall afternoon roaming the woods with these two characters. Pitch – less than enamored with the camera (but too afraid of missing anything to stray far from the fun!) and Duke, constantly trying to decide which side was his “best” and posing enough for the two of them.

That afternoon was filled with joy and laughter and the most beautiful example of the human-animal bond I have had the honor to witness.  These boys are both gone now. But their memories and spirits remain forever wrapped around the hearts of Maynil and John. And thanks to that fine day in November, around my heart too.

Rest Sweet Duke.

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July 28, 2016 - 2:54 am

Maynil Ramos Lambert - Thank you, Bev, for such extraordinarily meaningful words; your gesture of kindness with this post is so appreciated. You captured the genuine goodness inherent in Duke & Pitch that November day in 2009 and we have recalled so many moments of that experience thru the years since. Your gorgeous pictures of our beautiful boys have been a mainstay at each house we’ve lived at in Colorado and provide us so much joy, comfort, peace and gratitude for a life so well-lived and so well-loved with our dogs. Our hearts hurt beyond anything we’ve ever felt following the passing of Duke, yet our hearts will also heal due to the purity of love and lightness that he so resoundingly brought into our lives. Bev, thank you.