today this world has lost another incredibly well-loved little scruffy named Topolino. i met this amazing little man and his equally amazing mom and family back in July of 2012 ... his strolling session through the park was one of my most memorable, due to Topo's lovely and willing nature, but also through the laughter that Melanie and i shared throughout. Topo's second session came after his difficult diagnosis of pancreatitis , and Melanie chose to bring her little man here to add even more wall pieces to her Topo gallery. Melanie is one of those clients i now consider a friend, and as such, i feel deeply for her loss today as she released her little man from his suffering. i know this struggle, this pain, and the emptiness all too well. i don't wish it upon anyone, much less the amazing person and spirit i know as Melanie.

today as i put together this video, drank my coffee out of the lovely Topolino 'namesake' ceramic cup that was given to me after our first session, my thoughts were firmly fixed on little Topo, Melanie and her entire amazing family ... and i cried. it's one thing to connect with clients and their scruffies during their sessions ... but that connection becomes even deeper during the hours of editing and working on the images. people always say that they think they can see these dogs' spirits and characters in the photos that i take ... and i now realize that there must be something in that, since i DO feel i get to know these scruffies on an even deeper level through their images.

tonight, i miss Topo on this earth ... but not nearly as much as i know his family does.

i don't think Melanie will mind me sharing her words here:
"I am surrounded by the awesome images you captured of Topolino over two sessions. I smile as I look through the many photos and remember. And I cry for the same reason. His spirit radiates from these pictures, a spirit that has been dimmed by pain and discomfort over the last few months.

I am comforted (somewhat) knowing we have made the right decision to end Topo’s suffering. We will be saying good bye to him on Saturday – a day I dread but knew was imminent.

Thank-you illona – for creating so many wonderful memories of my little guy – memories I will carry forever."

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