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In Memory – Amelie

Just 4 short months ago we had the joy of a fall session with two lovely cocker spaniels, Amelie and Beau.  The shoot was a special one because both dogs had been adopted late in life by their forever humans, Denise and Lyle.

They came to Denise and Lyle’s home just a short year before our session. Amelie, age 11 at adoption and Beau, age 7, had finally found their forever home. You can read the original post from their session here.

While I generally use my own words to express sympathy on the loss of someone’s pet I feel this time, Amelie’s human Denise, does a far more eloquent and  heartfelt job than I could ever do.

On March 15th I received this sad and gracious note from Denise:

Dear Bev & Don
I can’t begin to tell you how much we love our photo session pictures, canvases, and the gorgeous Dream Book!  We can’t stop looking at them and remembering what a fun day it was for all of us.

I am so glad we did this, because we now have sad and devastating news to share.  Amelie has been diagnosed with cancer.  It has already metastisized to her lymph nodes and lungs.  At this point, she is still eating, and wagging her tail and the tumors in her lungs haven’t affected her breathing, but we know it’s only time.  We have decided to go ahead with 3 courses of mild radiation and chemo to shrink the tumor in her throat and hopefully extend her quality of life, but we know that it is only a question of keeping her comfortable.

Needless to say we are devastated and I have no words to express my sorrow.

I just wanted to thank you both for making the photo session experience a wonderful and memorable one.  Don, your enthusiasm during our first meeting all the way through our order pick up was such a delight.  Bev, you are an amazing artist, and we had such an amazing time the day of the photo shoot!  Because of your talent and vision, we have a gift for life.  We will always be so very happy we made the decision to go to the farm and have the incredible photo shoot!  We will have those memories forever.


Just two short weeks later that email was followed by this one:

Dear Bev & Don

We lost our darling girl this morning at 12:20am.  She had a wonderful Saturday, but Sunday and Monday were not to be.  She became so lethargic, and didn’t want to eat.  I wasn’t sure if it was the effects of chemo, but I really knew time was limited.  By Monday evening, she was pretty exhausted, just sleeping and then around 10 pm she had either a small seizure, or maybe a mini stroke.  It was just seconds, and she came out of it, but we knew it was bad news.  It was most likely lack of oxygen to the body/brain or even the tumor having spread to the brain.  Her breathing had become labored and we had to take her into the emergency vet and finally let her go.  She was in my arms the entire time, and I held her for at least 30 minutes afterwards.  I just couldn’t let her go.  Finally, I had to .  Beau was with us, and when we returned home, he searched the house and whined.  It broke my heart.

I have no eloquent words and can’t begin describe the devastation I feel.  I know you understand all to well.

Once again, I wanted to thank you for giving us lasting memories of our beautiful Amelie.  I will always be so thankful that I decided to go all out and do the farm photo session!  The three canvas’ are prominently displayed in our living room, and this morning, I pulled out the Dream Book and realized that I have a magnificent reminder of that beautiful day in November when our girl was at her best.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


I can only add our heartfelt sympathy and wondrous thanks to these beautiful people who found room in their hearts for two senior dogs.  I know Amelie was so deeply loved and is so sadly missed.

Beau & Amelie


April 3, 2010 - 10:59 am

Barbara B - I am in tears here after reading Denise’s letters. No words can take the pain away when we lose our pet. To have those beautiful images of sweet Amelie must bring them some comfort to look at her smiling face and remember all of those wonderful memories you have of her.

April 3, 2010 - 11:53 am

angie W - I cannot stop crying, what a wonderful way to die to be loved so much and held till the bitter end. Denise wrote so beautifully about her “darling”
I am so happy that you got to photograph Amelie. Beautiful photos for beautiful people, who saw your incredible talent and now have it for life.

April 3, 2010 - 12:03 pm

Linda and Reba - Denise, my heart hurts for the pain you are experiencing. My Reba is 15 and the very reason I had her shoot done was so that I would have beautiful visual memories of her. I so admire you and your husband for adopting senior dogs. Ameile had a wonderful loving home late in life thanks to you. Her pictures are beautiful.

April 3, 2010 - 12:21 pm

alexa - So sorry to hear that… It’s never easy to let them go! As Denise said, it’s wonderful that they decided to have you shoot them… They have some gorgeous, gorgeous images to treasure now. This is a wonderful tribute to who I’m sure was a wonderful dog.

April 3, 2010 - 4:12 pm

Anne Hooks - Our Mia crossed over eight months after we had an album made of her and her friends. It was a beautiful fall day, and she was feeling pretty frisky for her 12 years. The pictures comfort us now with such sweet memories of our beautiful girl, and I know that Denise will derive the same from her photos after the wrenching pain begins to fade.

April 3, 2010 - 8:08 pm

SqueakDog Pet Photography - What a wonderful gift you’ve given her Bev. My heart goes out to Denise, and I hope the photos you’ve taken are wonderful memories of their beautiful days together 🙂

April 6, 2010 - 1:07 am

Dawn - My heart goes out to this wonderful family…it is so heartbreaking to say goodbye to our furry family members. I have had to do this twice in my life and I still miss both of them dearly. What a wonderful thing though to have such fond memories captured when her Amelie was happy and healthy! I am sure they will always treasure those images. God bless Denise & Lyle.

April 29, 2010 - 11:47 am

Christopher - Having just lost my own girl a few short weeks ago, I had to stop reading after the first paragraph of their letter. So I apologize for not finishing the post. But the pictures are just stellar! Gorgeous! And undoubtedly will be treasured forever.

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