Every portrait session is special, but this session will forever be close to my heart. My brother, Sam, adopted Dixie after she was found on a highway in South Carolina. His life has never been the same... it has been full of insanely loud barks/howls, a few dead squirrels, weird snoring, and a devoted companion who has eyes only for him. And of course, when Sam married Alli, Dixie adopted her.
They recently found out this sweet girl is sick, and while her meds are working very well for the time being, we all know we will have to say goodbye to her way sooner than we would like. But for now, Dixie is enjoying being very spoiled and loved on by Sam and Alli (and Emma, their dachshund), as well as both Alli's family and Sam's family. Dixie is full of adventure (she once found a deer head at the lake and even after it had been buried to keep her from messing with it, she dug it back up), love (she loves everyone... but mostly Sam), curiosity (she is quite curious about squirrels and possums), noise (she is a world class barker and snorer), and gentleness (she has always been great with her human, dog and cat cousins).
Losing a dog is never easy. They are one of the truest representations of unconditional love we get to experience on Earth. They expect so little of us... a bowl of food, some water, a nice tummy rub, snuggles, a car ride (or in Dixie's case, a breezy trip in the truck bed barking at the cars whizzing by), and a few throws of a tennis ball or frisbee... but what we get in return is so much more. We get the joy of having a special friend to come home to after a long day at work, who will greet us with a wagging tail and a loving gaze (although sometimes that gaze means "I have to pee! Please feed me! Can I have a treat?"). We get a friend who will almost never turn down a good cuddle. We get a companion who doesn't care if we just rolled out of bed with a crazy head of hair and morning breath. We get a furry shoulder to cry on when things just aren't looking up for us.
Sam and Alli-- thank you for letting me photograph you on Sunday. It was a special time for me to capture more memories of Dixie with you both and Emma. And please let Dixie know that next time I see her, I will have some sort of special treat for her... just not a whole deer head.