Thank You from the Bottom of my Heart.

Vancouver WA Photographer

I’ve been thrown off my usual business schedule these last few weeks after some heartbreaking events involving our pets.



Athena, our 9 year old Rat Terrier, was losing a lot of weight and becoming lethargic. For always being a happy, hyper pup, we knew something was instantly wrong. I took her to the vet who quickly diagnosed her with worms and ran some blood tests. Having 10 acres full of small critters for her to hunt, the worms weren’t a surprise, but the results from the blood test were.

We got Athena 6 months before the birth of our daughter. Wanting a friend for our other dog and knowing that a bond between a pup and a child is amazing, we knew it was the right thing. Little did we know that the Rat Terrier we adopted was full of energy, rebellion, and so much personality. Athena grew up side by side with my daughter. Going on adventures, playing catch me if you can, and dressing up as princesses and going to a tea party. Her moments of stubbornness were worth all the others.

I got the call at work, it was kidney failure. There were treatments, but there really wasn’t a cure for it.

Two days after the appointment, I let our 3 pups outside in the morning to do their morning romp. About an hour later, only 2 came back, Chewbacca and Athena. Odin, the 13 year old chihuahua was no where to be found. We scoured our acreage, drove up and down the country roads, talked with all the neighbors. Nothing. This was very much unlike him.

Days go by and I put up fliers, posted in social media groups, file with the shelters, and post on Craigslist. It’s been 3 weeks now and we haven’t heard a thing.

My husband and I bought a house when we were engaged and I BEGGED him for our own pup. Both of us grew up always having a family dog. He told me no dog until I married him. 2 weeks after we got back from our honeymoon, he brought me to pick up a pup he had picked out. An adorable little black chihuahua. Growing up I always had shorthair pointers or labs, never a small lap dog. I was hesitant, but he insisted that our small backyard would be unfair for a bigger dog.

With my love of Norse mythology, I dubbed him Odin. We were inseparable. He slept snuggled up with me every night, when I sat down, he was in my lap, he was basically my shadow.

About a year ago, he went outside at night and came back in with a giant gash on his side. He wouldn’t hold still for my husband. He ran straight up the stairs, found me, and instantly went into shock. Just taking meds, I was unable to drive. My husband grabbed him and rushed him to the ER vet. He had been attacked by a coyote.

The vet was trying to convince my husband that he would be paralyzed and not make it through the night. He called me with the news. Knowing that he had ran up the stairs to me, I knew  his spine was not damaged and begged him to let him stay overnight and see if he can recover. I went down the next day and he was constantly trying to stand in the vet kennel while full of tubes and IV’s. He had not only made it, but he wanted nothing but snuggles with me. After holding him for about 10 minutes, the vet came in and told me that if i could get him to eat, he could go home.

20 minutes later we were in the car and heading home.

Knowing that the coyotes were becoming a problem, I started searching the Humane Society to see if there were some larger dogs so that we could form our own pack. Low and behold I see a pup that I know!

The past summer, a random dog had shown up on our property and invited himself inside. We came down in the morning to see him curled up on the couch just dozing away! We had doggy doors open to the outside so that our pups could come and go as they needed, and the neighbor dog figured them out. We walked our road to find that he belonged to a large family that was away on vacation and “Cruiser” was on a rope and had escaped. So he became part of our family for a few days until his family returned.

Later that fall, he was taken in by another neighbor who wanted a buddy for his other dog. That neighbor ended up having to move to an apartment and could only take one dog, so he turned Cruiser into the shelter. I think it was fate that day that drove me to find him. My husband went to the shelter on his lunch break, told the Humane Society his story, and came home with a new friend that night. My cousins daughter and my daughter had named him Chewbacca when we came for the sleepover, so his named was changed.

The 3 amigos ran the property together every morning, snuggled in a giant pile to sleep, and tried to steal as many treats from each other that they could.

One week after Athena’s diagnosis, we woke up to her not being able to stand and having a seizure. We were in tears but knew what we had to do the next morning. The husband and I met at the clinic, made sure she was comfortable, and let her go. I think she knew, once we got into the clinic she seemed to give a giant sigh of relief.

That day we picked my daughter up and all went home to support and comfort each other. After lunch, my husband told me to load up Chewbacca, the remaining pup, and head towards the Humane Society. After losing 2 of his best buddies, he was starting to act lonely and not be himself. We were all ready to bring another goofball into the family.

I think that trip helped my daughter and I a bit. We got to meet amazing pups that are so deserving of a home. We didn’t find the perfect one that day, but it wouldn’t be long.

That Friday I spied a pup on their website that I couldn’t scroll past. His name was Zachary, he was  2 1/2, a cattle dog mix, and was transferred from a shelter in California.

I took Chewbacca down to the shelter and met him. He came into the room without hesitation. Greeted the worker and I and just sat at my feet. I knew it was him.

He and Chewbacca had a tense first few minutes, but were quickly exploring the outside meeting yard.

Another meet and greet with our daughter, and we loaded him into the car. He found my heated seats, curled up, and was instantly as ease and fell asleep. There is currently a 60 pound mutt, belly up on my lap snoring away.

Our pets truly become part of our family, losing them is so hard on everyone. I wanted to give back to an organization that has helped us through this and has given us 2 amazing dogs. With Easter around the corner, and idea popped in my head. I only had 1 upcoming weekend open and it was only 5 days away.

Taking Chewbacca down to my studio, I tested it out, posted it online and it was a hit!

5 days later some amazing people brought their pups down to the studio, donated some money, and received some fun images! Nothing like trying to keep bunny ears on pups, especially when their other dog friends are trying to take said ears off of them!

I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for making this a fun and successful event. I will be heading to the Humane Society this weekend and dropping of a check to hopefully help some more amazing pups find their forever home.

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