I received the call one afternoon from Hugo’s mom. From the moment she spoke and her voice broke a little, I knew something was wrong. And, when you are a pet photographer, you almost always know what it is.

She told me about Hugo, all 165 lbs. of him. He was beautiful and, at 4 years old, in what should be his prime. But, the day before they had received devastating news. Hugo had just been diagnosed with lymphoma. A specialist appointment had been made to determine the course of treatment, so there was nothing more that could be done but wait the couple of days for that appointment. But now, what his mom wanted most of all were portraits. Portraits that should have been taken in the Summer but things had gotten busy and, well, they thought had all the time in the world. Portraits that would ensure that they had beautiful images of Hugo forever.

We quickly rearranged things and set a portrait date for a couple of days later. We were hoping for snow (there was woefully little of that this winter in Toronto!) and a nice day. And that is exactly what we got. The temperature was beautiful – maybe even a little too mild for a Bernese Mountain Dog – and we had snow on the ground! Plus our background was the lovely palette of winter. Hugo’s entire family came out for his photo session (even Grandma), so that they could get family portraits with him. He is one loved dog!

Everyone should have one gorgeous portrait of their pet

Hugo’s mom said that, if she could get nothing else, she wanted ONE gorgeous portrait of Hugo looking happy, majestic and healthy. I knew the second I took it that this was the ONE. It’s now a beautiful, framed print, hanging in the family home.

fine art portrait of bernese mountain dog

The family also selected a custom folio box for their family portraits and some smaller portraits of Hugo. (It’s so stunning that you will see that I decided to update the official Posh Pets® Folio images for the website with it.)

bernese mountain dog portrait toronto

dog in forest in Toronto, Canada

Why choose to photograph your pet now?

Simply put, because it is important to capture the life of your pet as they are now. In all their stages – the wiggly new-to-life stage, the goofy teenager, the athletic adult stage, and the sweet senior. And because honestly, we never know what tomorrow brings.

I’m happy to report that Hugo has begun his treatment and is tolerating the chemotherapy well! Last time I saw him, he was perky and quickly greeted me at the door. He’s ravenous too, so he eagerly searched me for treats. Believe me when I tell you, everyone here at Posh Pets® Photography are all wishing very hard (with fingers and paws crossed!) that Hugo makes a full recovery!

If you are looking to book a session for your pet, the place to start is here. (Please see the update, below.)

beautiful mountain dog in snow in Canada

Update: Hugo passed away in August 2016 after bravely fighting his battle with cancer. His Mom sent me the most beautiful note regarding his session:

“I called PoshPets in a panic the day after receiving the devastating news that my 4 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, Hugo, had been diagnosed with lymphoma.  I wanted to get  professional photographs done before he started chemo.  Karen was so understanding, compassionate and accommodating.  She made herself available within a couple of days.  Hugo was already quite ill but Karen worked her magic and took amazing photos that caught his spirit!  Karen was very supportive and a great help in choosing the photos (not easy when there were so many good photos to choose from).  The finished products are beautiful and we treasure them everyday, now that our beloved Hugo is gone.   Karen is clearly an animal lover and very talented – the perfect combination.”

Sleep well, dear Hugo.

pet photography tips

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