Losing a pet blows. We lost a Good Boy a while back. A Good Boy we had had since before his eyes were open. It was hard, but thanks to always having a computer with a camera in our pockets we have lots of pictures. Most are blurry and you can’t really tell it is a dog, but some are okay. We keep them all.
I wish we’d known Kristin Zabawa. She takes photos of people with their pets, in the last days of their pets’ lives. For free.
..for Kristin Zabawa, it’s all about being able to give a gift to grieving pet owners.
The Portland, Oregon-based photographer is the owner of Soul Sessions and captures images of beloved pets in the final stages of life with their owners . And her work truly is a gift: She doesn’t charge for the services.
Ms. Zabawa is fundraising to start a non-profit- Soul Sessions– that helps her continue her work.
She acknowledges that The End is indeed a difficult thing to have to go through;
“It’s a hard place to go,” she said. “When they [her subjects] contact me, they know the end is near. That’s a courageous act.”
Pets are family. And, like family, this experience isn’t all tear and sadness;
“Just like when a human companion dies, there are laughter and tears in the reminiscing,” she said. “They [the owner] will tell me all about their pet, how they met, the funny things that happened over the course of a lifetime, how they [the pet] helped you during hard times.”
Yes, losing a Pet is hard. People like Ms. Zabawa make it a little bit easier, and she gives the pet’s family a wonderful and poignant reminder of the lives they shared.
Hug your pets. Love your pets. If you don’t have access to a service like the one Ms. Zabawa provides, take lots of pictures and keep ’em. Even the ones that are blurry. If you are so inclined, donate to Soul Sessions and help ease the pain of someone else who is going through this tough time with a loved pet.
Check out the Soul Sessions video;
[more pics at the ABC site]