Two years ago, Donna contacted me. Her soulmate Angus — a Toy Australian Shepherd — was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and was given six months to live. I packed up my gear before the sun, and headed down to Olympia for Angus’ Rainbow Bridge session. We wanted to celebrate his life while he was still feeling his best. We did the session at a beautiful park near the family’s home.
That was 2 years ago. Since then, Angus fought hard and blessed his family with extra time. Donna shared how she made sure he never missed a dose of his medication and how she kept up to date on his exams. She recounts how he had his bad days, but usually bounced back within 24 hours. This is a true testament of the amazing care she provided her best friend.
But earlier this month, Angus told his family he was ready. He would have been 10-years-young on June 24th. I received the following heartfelt message from Donna, “Angus isn’t fighting any longer. He was surrounded by the people that loved him.”
Donna told me the story of how her “heart dog” came into her life: “My husband bought Angus for me. He was pretty sickly when we got him. A couple weeks after we got him the breeder was shut down for being a puppy mill. Angus was always timid except when we camped. He was so cocky and he personally owned every campground we went to. This earned him the nickname of Mountain Dog. He was my shadow from day one….wherever I was, you would find him.”
Angus loved camping so much that we made that the theme of his Rainbow Bridge session. In fact, he loved camping so much that his family is going to spread his ashes at a campground. Donna shared, “He will always be in my heart. I am having his paw print tattooed over my heart, but it feels right to take him camping one last time.”
Sweet Agnus, I feel so blessed to have met you and to have been able to photograph you. Your smile will live forever in my heart. Stick close to your Mama. She needs you now more than ever. Happy camping, Mountain Dog.