Modoc and his person shared 15 years of love and adventure. As we poured over his photographs she told me stories of their cross-country road trips. She told me about his puppy antics, where he liked to rest in the house, and how bonded they were.
I have mixed feelings about grief. The pain it brings feels unbearable at times and yet we continue to live. The memories that bring joy, laughter, and so many tears comfort us. With the prodding of this sharp, pointed emptiness we feel we learn to appreciate the joy so much more. Grief can bring tremendous gratitude when we allow it.
This fellow, Modoc, is one of my most memorable partners in front of the camera. He was difficult to photograph because each time I came down to his level he wanted to sit in my lap and snuggle. I am so thankful his person will soon have this piece hanging by the sofa, overlooking his favorite spot in the house. When she looks up he will be there, just as he always has been.
Rest well, Modoc. You are loved.
Most families I know plan vacations with every member in mind - dogs go, too. When that's not possible, they begin the process of finding just the right person to care for their family that stays behind while they are away. Finding that person with whom you and your animals are comfortable is serious work.
Spoiled Rotten Pet Sitting makes it a lot easier. I can say that as a client and as a fellow business owner. When we've had to be away from home and couldn't take everyone with us, we returned to happy and healthy kitties. Our kitties join us for daily walks around the neighborhood and yet aren't interested in traveling by car. Go figure.
While services like Rover rise in popularity and are easy to use, they can't compare with the consistency and redundancy small businesses like Spoiled Rotten provide. With Spoiled Rotten, you hire a team - if something happens there is always a backup.
Policies, processes, and good business practices say a lot about a business. The people who make all of those work say even more. In talking with Whitney and Susan I could feel the profound and sincere care and respect they have for not only the animals in their care and their individual differences, but their families as well. They described the opportunity to come into a family's home and look after animals as an honor. It's very personal.
We talked about memorable clients, like the cat who rarely comes out from under the bed. We talked about medical need and emergencies. We talked about hospice, the end of life, and the animals who die while their people are away from home. We talked about how difficult it is to consider leaving home when a family member requires a high level of care.
This isn't work for these wholehearted women. In talking with them I got the sense it was a calling. They have unique skills in being able to study and listen to animals (and people) to understand what they want and need. Then they adjust their behavior accordingly. It's not a one-approach-for-every-home system. Every animal in every home is different. The rest is all about the relationship.
I'm Shannon, and I love and am loved by four Great Danes, four cats, and one horse (four Danes, one cat, and one horse are no longer walking this earth). Here I'll share stories of my adventures in grief photography for companion animals, my own grief journey, and thoughts on caregiving.