Fairy Dogmother to The Photo Lab
: from The Photo Lab :
How often can you truly say someone changed your life? Where something they did, or said, completely altered your way of looking at things and set you on a different path? We can. That person is a dear friend, her name is Linda and we have lovingly nicknamed her our “Fairy Dogmother.”
I had known Linda for about a year or so back in 2009. Her daughter Carol became one of my best friends while we worked together for a tea company in Novato, CA. Seeing that Bill and I were pretty much alone out here in California with both our families in Mexico and Virginia, she promtly adopted us. Linda, like Carol and ourselves, adores dogs and hiking. It wasn’t long before we were all going on two to three hour hikes with our dogs. Linda shares her life with two dogs of her own, Kacee (a Border Collie mix) and Oscar (pictured above, a your guess-is-as-good-as-mine mix). Linda is passionate about dogs, behavior and training, adoption and health. It was she who introduced me to the idea of attending Trish King’s Canine Behavior Academy, which I did!
Linda and her family of course loved our boy Corbin. At 6 years old, “cancer” is the last thing you want to hear from the mouth of your veterinarian. We had been through this once before, mast cell tumors. We caught it early and Corbie beat it after a painful surgery… could he beat it again? Thankfully, we had caught it early again and there was a good chance he would be just fine, provided he had surgery to remove the tumor. Regardless, we were devastated. The economy back the was at its low point and I had just started this job for a tea company, and the surgery was expensive, but there was no choice, this was Corbin we were talking about.
Linda, concerned about Corbin’s health, offered to help us pay for Corbin’s surgery, but how could we accept? We just couldn’t, and we were so truly humbled by that love and support. Not giving up, she insisted we accept a check and when we asked what we could do for her in return, she said: “Just take a photo of my dogs someday.”
Someday became a Saturday morning, we hiked and photographed Oscar and Kacee. Something clicked (no pun intended) and shifted, suddenly I felt we were getting a taste of what we should be doing ALL the time, not just this once. The camera in our hands felt suddenly new again and romantic, the way you feel about a new love, it is full of potential and passion.
We put together a coffee table book for her with all the images we created, and upon seeing it she burst into tears and the biggest of smiles. “You have to keep doing this, you have to do this for others…” she said. And that was how Photo Lab Pet Photography came about. Photo Lab was born a few months later, Photo Lab in honor of a certain black Labrador that started it all.
Everyday, I am grateful for Linda and her family and for that presence in our lives that caused this amazing “change of plans”. We took the leap almost 5 years ago now and have never looked back. Thank you Linda, our Fairy Dogmother.
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