Though it was one of our warmer days of late, the ground is still snow covered, slushy, muddy and slippery! So, we took our long awaited shoot with Sammi Jo inside. Sammi’s been on our schedule twice before and a personal tragedy for Sammi’s human the first time, and the weather the second time, caused reschedules.
While we would have loved to watch this big lovable dog romp the farm once the fields start to green up, time may be of the essence. Sammi Jo, just 18 months old, has been dealt a rather bad hand – she has renal dysplasia.
Renal dysplasia is a genetic form of juvenile kidney disease that results in a mutation which alters how the kidneys form and grow in the embryo. This results in malfunctioning kidneys, usually quite early, in the dogs life. Many dogs with renal dysplasia do not live beyond their second birthday.
Hence our reluctance to wait until spring.
But, do not tell Sammi Jo she is ill! She is, in large part thanks to her dedicated human, Doug, a frolicking, playful, happy young lab! Doug keeps Sammi on a protein restricted diet, which he cooks himself, and routinely monitors her blood values.
His work is clearly paying off in the form of an energetic & vibrant dog. We wanted to get some lovely portraits of Sammi Jo and she made us work for those! Though we caught her many times looking regal and calm, she learned early on that if she barked between shots we would throw treats! OK, our technique would not be judged appropriate by the world’s leading dog trainers, but hey, it’s Sammi Jo.
And we gave her whatever she wanted.
May you have many, many more months of feeling good my dear, sweet dog.