As I walked up to the house I had a pit in my stomach. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Before the session, Dana messaged me that their dog had been diagnosed with cancer and that she wanted to do a family session with Dalton, their precious bulldog. I met at their house a few days later. What happened after Matt opened the door was just the most normal thing ever. No sadness, just a family happy to be together. Dana, Matt, and Troy spent that morning cuddling with Dalton, scratching his head, waving squeaky toys in his face…what I imagine every Sunday morning at their house to be like. And so I left feeling happy. Happy that Dalton had felt such love and that he had given them so much love and joy in return. Dalton wasn’t just the family pet, he was their family.
The day after I posted an image of Dalton and Troy on Facebook, Dana wrote to tell me that he had passed away the night before. I was so incredibly heartbroken for the family and I couldn’t get the family their images fast enough. As photographers we like to believe that what we do has meaning…that we can help capture memories for families. In this case it was clear that those pictures did mean something to them.
I reached out to Dana to ask her permission to share Dalton’s session here and she was so kind to let me feature these heart-felt moments between the four of them. And I’m so honored to have been able to give them these memories.