One of the Hardest Blog's I’ve Written
So much so, I’ve been thinking whether to actually post it or not. It’s a decision I haven’t made lightly and for me, personally, it’s quite possibly one of the most emotional photographs I’ve taken to date…
On the evening of the 29th May 2018 we went over the field for a walk. This was to be our last walk together with Louis our Labrador.
For weeks and months prior he became more and more ill. He became slower, became out of breath more easily than ever and began to shake violently.
It was a decision not made lightly, one that required an awful lot of thought. For Clare it was emotionally and mentally draining. Deep in her heart she knew the choice we were making was right, after 11 years of him being by her side, it was never going to actually feel right.
For the first time ever I grabbed the camera, it was a strange feeling knowing that the photographs I was about to take, were his last.
I’ve never really grown up around animals. Some how, some where along the way I never really became attached to any pet. Clare had Louis before I came into her life and the more I think back about it, I came into their lives and all of a sudden Louis was now faced with someone else in his life.. me. I was the intruder!
But Clare has always been around dogs and Lily-Mae also. The bond between Lily-Mae and Louis was something like a brother and sister. I think they drove each other nuts, getting in the way of each other. But he was fantastic with her. From when she was a baby he was protective over her. When we went on walks, if we separated from each other, Louis would dart back and forward making sure we were all still ok. He would lay down on the floor and you’d find yourself stepping over him, just to get anywhere and when you turn around, there he is…. Like a shadow.
Explaining to a 7 year old what was going to happen was never going to be easy and I’ve got to tip my hat to Clare for doing it so well. A 7 year old shouldn’t have to understand what’s happening, but, as they say, it’s a part of life.
This is why this photo will always mean something to me, this is the face of a 7 year old who knows that it’s time to say goodbye.
It was a difficult decision to post this, it’s not meant to be morbid, or controversial. It’s a memory, it’s a story. This is a tribute to one of the best dogs you could ever ask for!
Social Media lends people the ability to lead these false lives, to pretend that everything is ok, when really it isn't!
Photography isn’t always happy memories, it shouldn’t bend history, it shows you a glimpse of what was and what is and I have to honour that.