It was with great sadness that I received the email from Chugach and Neva‘s mom letting me know both of their furkids lost their battle with cancer. They both went off to the big dog park in the sky, at the same time, to go romp in the meadows and chase butterflies, free from pain, with nothing but joy filling their hearts.
I feel so privileged that I got to photograph Chugach and Neva while they were still here, and still vibrant and active, and will always cherish the (short) time we spent together. Although they were both already quite sick, I am so happy it didn’t show in the photos. I like to think I have a way of bringing out the happiness and joy in dogs, regardless of what their immediate circumstances are, and it is my overwhelming goal to create imagery of the animals in a joyous, upbeat state of mind, filled with life. Having this honor to capture lifelong memories of animals whose lives are cut short by illness infuses profound meaning into my work that’s impossible for me to adequately put into words. This is why I do this job. RIP sweet dogs.
If you want to support efforts to find a cure for canine cancer, donate directly to the nation’s largest canine cancer 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization The National Canine Cancer Foundation. You can donate by clicking on this link, and can even make a memorial donation if you too have a pet who has passed from cancer.
From their website:
The National Canine Cancer Foundation is a nationwide, contribution funded, 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to eliminating Cancer as a major health issue in dogs by funding grants directly to Cancer researchers who are working to save dogs lives by finding cures, better treatments and accurate, cost effective diagnostic methods in dealing with canine Cancer.
The purpose of the Foundation’s Research Grant Program is to encourage and provide grant support for basic, pre-clinical and clinical research in high impact and innovative cancer research, which is intended to develop innovative approaches to a cure, treatment, diagnosis or prevention of cancers in dogs. The program fosters collaboration between basic and clinical scientists with the intent of enhancing the transfer of basic research findings to clinical usefulness.
If you want your donation to truly make a difference in the lives of dogs who are suffering and go to an organization who will use your donation to fund research, please donate to this incredible organization today. Canine cancer sucks, but it’s non-profits like these that are working hard to eradicate it.