The making of a family portrait

I have always felt comfortable photographing pets. They are my people and the families they bring with them become my family.

If someone told me five years ago I would love photographing pets with their families as much as I love photographing pets, I would have landed on the floor laughing my, well, you know what off.

Enter this delightful family.

Diesel, Cooper, Daffodil, Jenna and Cierra—2014

I met this family in the fall of 2014. I was immediately smitten with Jenna and Cierra and their little family. Their dogs were their everything and clearly these pups were in a family that loved them more than anything.

We met a park in the Portland area and had a delightful time walking around enjoying the fall weather.

Cooper, Mabel, Diesel, Jenna and Cierra—2016

Two years later we met at the same park on the other side. Just as we all pulled into the parking lot, the Oregon skies opened up and it began pouring. We laughed, shrugged our shoulders and dashed from cover to cover to stay as dry as we could.

I was so sad to learn that had lost Daffodil, but here was Mabel, a senior basset hound. We all knew that Mabel could never replace Daffodil but she made their hearts bigger and did her best to keep the boys in line.

Mabel, Cooper, Cierra and Jenna—2017

Santa Paws was visiting and I was so happy when I heard that these guys would be there. Their family portrait had down-sized. Once again, they had a devastating loss, Diesel had made his way to the rainbow bridge. My heart was broken for them, Diesel was such an integral part of the family, I really missed him and I knew the hole in their hearts was huge.

Cierra, Jenna and Clay—October 2018

Early last fall, my heart was shattered when I learned that they had lost both Cooper and Mabel. I know them well enough to know that life without any dogs just isn’t as full.

Now what I haven’t talked about is how big Jenna and Cierra’s hearts really are. Daffodil, Diesel, Cooper and Mabel all held onto the corners of Jenna and Cierra’s hearts and they will always be there, but these two have ever expanding hearts and now their hearts were ready to grow even bigger. Clay wrapped his puppy paws around their hearts as they continued to grow bigger and bigger.

But wait, there’s more. As we were talking and taking photos, my daughter Holly was scheming with them. She had seen another dog, roughly the same age as Clay available for adoption.

Murphy, Jenna, Clay, Cierra—November 2018

Enter Murphy and the happiest family on earth.

Thank you so much for the walk down memory lane Jenna and Cierra. Next family photo is at the beach and I can hardly wait.

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