In Memory – A fitting tribute to your best friend

This week is a difficult topic to discuss as dog owners and that is one of when our friends come to the end of their days with us. I will be talking about “In Memory” photoshoots.

The bitter sweet – in memory

I often get asked to take photos of dogs with not much time left which is always bitter sweet as we have a lovely time on the shoot with a sad note in the back of our heads that we are taking these photos as time is running out to capture memories.

This is why I always tell people not to wait to have a shoot, capture those memories now, and then maybe some more the next year, and the next and the one after that. Then those photos can be compiled into a beautiful life time of photos rather than banking on that one shoot at the end.


Today I am going to tell you about an incredibly special dog, the kind that is a rare gem and scarcely found. I know everyone thinks their dogs are incredible but Hope the labrador x cocker spaniel owned by Sophie an old friend of mine is above the rest.

Puppies photoshoot - in memory
When Hope first came home – a photo with her aunty Charlie

Hope is now 9 years old and tragically has been diagnosed with a type of blood cancer and has been given months to live which is so hard to believe when you see her still soo happy and full of life. We are all hoping for a miracle that the vets on this occasion have have way underestimated her time left.

Black labrador in the snow
Hope’s first snow – around 1 year old

Work life

Hope has been trained by Sophie since she was a puppy with the view to being a therapy dog and that is exactly what she has become and an amazing one at that. She has helped numerous people with brain injuries working tirelessly along side Sophie where they work at Brainy Dogs. Hope has also been nominated for a Naturo Super Dog award I’m afraid you are too late to vote but hop over and check out her profile and video on Naturo.

Wise old eyes - pet portrait
Wise eyes

Hope has improved the lives of so many people just by being her kind and loving self so I wanted to do her justice in what will most likely be my last session with her.

This is my favourite in memory shot
Playing hide and seek in the bracken

The shoot

We went for a walk in a local wooded area where Hope and Sophie live. As unfortunately she gets tired very quickly now. And I don’t want anything we do to take photos to make her feel worse.

Pet Portrait - in memory
Taking a rest on a bench

Hope was a superstar and posed dutifully in all the locations we put her. Sophie was adamant she did not want to be in any of the photographs, but I told her she didn’t have a choice! (haha of course she did really) I know no body likes having their photos taken but I think some photos of dogs with owners really capture the bond and these are a beautiful memory to look back on that bring back all the feelings of that special bond.

My Message

I guess what I am trying to say is treasure every moment with your pets! You never know what’s around the corner! Have that photoshoot you keep putting off NOW and capture those memories before it becomes a necessity. I am keeping my fingers tightly crossed that Hope proves everyone wrong and keeps bouncing through retirement. <3 <3 <3

Around the circle

I am part of an amazing group of pet photographers from around the globe that participate in this weekly blog circle. Simply click on the link and go on a journey from blog post to blog post until you end up back here.

Next in the circle is Tracy Allard

Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography talks about the importance of photographing your senior or terminally ill pet, creating memories to last a lifetime.

2 Replies to “In Memory – A fitting tribute to your best friend”

  1. Hope is an amazing dog. So sad to hear about Hope’s prognosis. Hopefully she’ll keep fighting on. You’ve done a wonderful job at creating forever memories for Sophie

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