I had the pleasure of photographing a beautiful, soulful, silly, and colorful Rainbow Bridge session with a tiny 11-year-old Pomeranian named Cookie Monster who loved the cookies I offered! We did her session at her favorite park that her mom and dad aptly named Cookie’s Park. As beautiful as her session was, it almost didn’t happen. Sweet Cookie made a turn for the worst and her family made an appointment for the following day to release her from her failing body. But, Cookie had a different plan in mind. She rallied all her strength so she could make it to her Rainbow Bridge session that was scheduled a few days later. At the session, Cookie was able to walk — something she hadn’t been able to do earlier in the week — and she ate lots of yummy cookies and even barked at passing dogs to make sure they kept in line.Here is what her mama has to say, “ I grew up with cats and never imagined I would own a dog at any point in my life. When I was 22, I was working for Nintendo, and they gave us copies of the new game “Nintendogs”. I loved my fake video game puppy, a playful little corgi named Kitty. Around the same time, I had been seeing a tiny black puffball taking the same bus as me pretty regularly. This thing would just sit and smile at everyone who passed, and I didn’t know what it was (I didn’t even realize it was a dog!). One day I finally asked the sweet woman that was always there, “What IS that?” and she laughed and said it was a Pomeranian.” “I started reading books about how to take care of dogs, what to look for in a breeder to find a healthy pup, and staring at photos of Pomeranians. A breeder I really enjoyed talking with emailed me a photo one day, even though I was planning to wait a year before actually getting a dog. She had a tiny black pom that she had planned to breed- but then she just wouldn’t grow! At 5 months old this girl was less than 5 pounds, and she thought we’d get along well. I took a day off work and rented a car to drive to Olympia to meet her. She has been the love of my life ever since!”
“After spending 3 days with her to figure out her name, I decided that Cookie was definitely right. I chose a full name of “Sugar Cookie” because she was so sweet (though I only planned on calling her Cookie). The day after choosing that name, I came home and saw white fuzz all over my apartment. Cookie had DESTROYED the little teddy bear I had gotten her, and she had a huge smile on her face. I said “Oh my god, you are a MONSTER” and realized I had gotten her name wrong. She was a Cookie MONSTER! She has never again destroyed another toy like that – she just had to sacrifice that one teddy bear to let me know her real name.” “I got special permission at work to bring her in, so I set up a kennel in my cubicle. Almost every single day for 6 years Cookie came to work at Nintendo with me! She was a real life Nintendog. 🙂 For the past few years here she has been my “studio monster”, snoozing beside my chair or under my table (or in my lap!) while I paint. She’s also a total lap dog while I work on my computer or play games, and a kissy cuddly monster that sleeps in my bed every night. Cookie is just a ball of pure silly lovey energy. She makes every single day better.” “One day in October 2016, I started to brush Cookie’s teeth and noticed a red growth on her gums; I called the doctor immediately. After her surgery, the biopsy results came back with the worst possible news: malignant melanoma. Over the past 6 months the tumors have continued to grow and take over her face, and travel down her neck and side. She lost the ability to walk a couple weeks ago, but somehow regained it after a week on steroids. We are doing steroid shots and pain killers and just trying to keep her comfortable now. She has slowed way down, but still seems happy and is still ALWAYS hungry. Every extra minute I get with her is a gift.” I am so saddened to report that shortly after her photo shoot, little Cookie Monster crossed the rainbow bridge, surrounded by all the colors of the world. Here is what her dad had to share: “Cookie Clark was one of the most precious creatures I’ve ever encountered. I only got to be in her life for a little while, but I feel very blessed for every day I got and I will miss her dearly. She passed today in the arms of her mama and me, but she isn’t hurting anymore and for that I’m also thankful. 2005-2017.” Cookie, thank you for holding up your strength for your Rainbow Bridge session with me so that your mom and dad will forever have these images to cherish. I feel blessed to have known you. Keep close to them as they need you now more than ever. And may you have an endless supply of the yummies cookies ever, little Monster.