T-5: Impulse control? What is that?

First, a couple of housekeeping points. I missed a day in posting here, because the photos I took were just grab shots with my phone and none of them were worth sharing, and my numbering system is off but I am not going to change it. Originally I planned on making Caiman’s final vet appointment on Friday, but as my vet is not available on Friday we made it for Thursday instead. I get one less evening with him but that seemed better than postponing it until after the weekend.

These shots were taken in our front yard. Caiman was lying in the grass, happy, and I took some photos without him noticing me. Then I made a noise to try to get him to turn his head and look at me.

It worked, sort of…

Caiman has never really had impulse control. Over the years I have taught him certain situations where he must resist but I have never succeeded in getting him to look at the camera without coming over to say hi. This time, like so many others, he promptly leapt(ish) to his feet and hurried over to me. I just laughed and snuggled with him. The photos are just memory shots now, it is not important that they are good, and so this sequence is priceless.

T-7: And then it rained

Child and old dog walking together

My younger child and I took Caiman to the beach. We have had an incredible summer, given that where we live is sometimes humorously referred to as “The Wet Coast”, and the vegetation is gasping for moisture. It has not rained in weeks, but it started raining when I took Caiman out of the van and it stopped again when I put him back in. It was sunny and rainy all at the same time. It was beautiful…

close up photo of an old dog walking in the rain

T-8: Old eyes

Caiman has always had very deep set eyes. As a photographer they have driven me nuts, because unless I am very careful he has these black holes in his face in most photos, but now I am glad of them. He has become sensitive to bright light now and his natural facial structure helps protect him. Poor old guy…

T-9: Nap on the deck

I laid down on the picnic blanket on the deck to take a brief break from gardening, and Caiman came over, curled up against me, and fell asleep. I was trapped. Another day – another situation – I might have woken him up and made him move, but this may very well have been the last time this happens. It was priceless, and so I stayed where I was until he woke up on his own.

T-minus series: Making the decision to let an old dog go

Recently I realized that my old boy Caiman has come to the point where life is no longer worth living. It has been a gradual decline, and this is not a crisis situation, but the decision was made to let him go sooner rather than later.

I am taking photos of him on each of the days he has left. I have been posting them on my Facebook page daily but not here, so the photos I will be showing on my blog posts are from a few days ago.

portrait of an old dog lying in the grass

This is not the first time I have had to make this decision, and I’m sure it never gets easy. I had already decided that winter is too hard on him, and that I would not put him through another one, but inside I was hoping that some emergency situation would make The Day obvious. That has not happened, and so I have had to look at each day and compare it to those that came before, and make the judgement call that this day is too hard when that one was still okay. It sucks, big time, but I know this is the last loving gift I can give him.

Fiesta

I’m going into the archives for this photo. A couple of years ago I went to visit with a good friend I hadn’t met yet. We have been friends online for years but until that day we hadn’t met in person. I had just splurged on what is now my favourite camera lens and she let me try it out on her dogs, and her goats, and her rabbit.

I’ll show you photos of the rest another time, but for now I need to show you this photo of Fiesta. I didn’t get many of her, and they are all very similar, so I cannot show you more. There won’t be any more – for one thing my friend lives on the opposite coast, and for another Fiesta left her suddenly this week.

She will be missed.

portrait of a beautiful dog

Kona – Gone Before

It seems fitting for the first post of my new blog to be about the one dog of mine who has gone before. Kona was a truly great dog. This photo was taken less than a week before he left us in January of 2011.

black and white, dog, pet, senior

Tracy Sutherland Photography specializes in timeless classic representations of the pets that enrich our lives. Tracy lives in Sea to Sky country north of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and works in Whistler, Squamish, and Vancouver.