I am writing this blog today, because after Saturday I am not sure I am going to have the strength to do it. You see, we have decided it is time to send our oldest pup, Brindel – my business namesake – on her journey to the Rainbow Bridge this Saturday.
She has lost the use of her back legs, and we have tried for a year to try and increase the quality of her life. However, as her nerve damage grows worse day by day, important bodily functions like urinating and defecating have become a chore for her, and it’s too hard to watch her suffer any longer.
Why am I telling you this? Brindel is the first pet we have had to choose to put to sleep. She’s the first pet we have had to watch deteriorate in front of us. So, although I thought I had a good idea of what people were after when it came to their “end of life” photos. I really had no idea.
The past few days I have been riddled with guilt – thinking I should be taking photos of her. Yes, over the years I have collected a few, but I still feel like I want to capture more of her. But, what I have realized is that I don’t want to take photos of her right now. I think different people will deal with this differently, but there has got to be others out there like me.
I am not particularly fond of the new skin tag that has developed over her eye over the past few weeks. I am not attached to the idea that we need to capture her without the use of her back legs. Nor do I want a photograph of her with her eye that has recently stopped producing tears and become cloudy, foggy, and lifeless. This is NOT the Brindel I have known for 11 years. This is Brindel – whose body is failing her.
I regret that I didn’t get any photographs of us together when she was healthy. The last photo I took of her with Ron (my husband) and I, she was under a year old. And now, it’s too late. And I, of all people, should have known better.
So, if you are considering getting photos of your pets, PLEASE do it now. Not later when you have to. When you are forced to because time is running out. When it’s the last thing you want to do on top of all the sadness, sorrow and vet bills. Don’t wait until simply touching your furbaby brings you to tears. When you are so sad, that it’s almost painful to look at the photos, it’s not the right time. Do it now. For goodness sake – do it now.
And get something tangible. Not a disk of files, not even small photos that can be misplaced (I have no idea where mine are). Get something printed and put it on the wall. Get an album. If you are not in a position to hire a photographer, just get your camera out and do it yourself. Prioritize it and cherish it – because as your memory starts to fail you – this will be your reminder.
And fellow photographers – I am speaking to you too. It’s easy to forget about our own portraits while we are out making them for others. It may seem silly to hire another photographer when you know you are capable of taking the photos yourself. But do it! Get those family shots taken – you may even be able to find another photographer in your position that will take the photos in trade.
I am posting this blog today because I am not sure that I will be able to look at photos of Brindel for a while. The pain, even now, is so great it’s unbearable. Please give your babies a hug and get our your camera or make that appointment with a pet photographer and get those photos that you have been thinking about for some time. And please forgive me for the typos and grammatical errors as I type this through a river of tears.
I love you Brindel. You have been the most amazing gift to me. You have changed my life for the better in so many ways. I will never forget you.