Salem's Sendoff with Charleston Photographer
I don't know what it is about life that makes things happen in clusters. I don't know if it's the pattern of the cosmos linking things together or just how our hearts become more sensitive to things once we've experienced them ourselves. It's like a blindfold is removed from our eyes and suddenly every where we look, we see this linking event.
When I found out I was pregnant with E, suddenly every where I looked I saw fellow pregnant mommies. I thought then that there must just be a small baby boom. It happened again when I was pregnant with L. Then in October it happened again with the loss of our four-legged family member, Cooper. Soon after Cooper passed, my dear friend Christine lost her family dog, Moe. It's continued with friends feeling this same loss that we had just saw rawly experienced.
When Cris reached out to me and told me that Salem was sick, my heart broke. Cris wanted to do a session with Salem while she was still well so she could remember the good days with her best gal friend. I was honored to be asked to capture that for her.
Salem was more than a dog. She was a member of the family. The first time I met Salem was at Cris and Andy's pregnancy announcement session. It was a ruckus time. Giant ballons and two pups...you get the picture. It was a regular event for Cris to run with Salem and you could see how seriously Salem took these runs with her girl. She always had a smile across her face, but yet an air of importance. After Cris had her daughter, she even had friends come over a few times a week to run with Salem.
When we did Salem's session, Cris told me that the vet had said she probably didn't have much longer. It was hard to fathom because she was having a good day that day. She was more playful than she should have been for how sick she was. I will not deny that tears welled up in my eyes more than once during the session, but Cris and Salem looked so beautiful. They're mutual love and respect for one another was filling the air around them. I made a floral collar for Salem that she destroyed in a matter of minutes and loved every second of it. I had also brought treats for her from DoLittle's that she enjoyed.
The sunset beautifully in Hampton Park that evening. It was like the day was honoring this beautiful friendship that was also coming to a close. I got to say a little good-bye to Salem about a week or so before she passed. I went over to Cris' to deliver her gallery. We sipped some wine, laughed and cried, and loved sweet Salem.
Dogs teach us the most simple and pure form of love. They are quick to forgive and excuse our badness and faults. Salem was one of the best ones.