Monday, June 07, 2010

Get Back...

2010-06-06 - Jojo-145

I believe that everything, whether good or bad, happens for a reason. Whether I like it or not I believe it to be one of the few truths in life. Another truth while we're on the truth train is: In photography and life, timing is everything. Both truths became all too apparent to me this afternoon when I learned of some very sad news.

About a week ago my wife mentioned that a friend of ours, who has actually been featured in an earlier blog, wanted me to come to her house and take some photos of one of her first dogs who is now 16 years old (that's 112 for those scoring on the people years scale). She wanted these photos sooner than later because every day is precious for us all, especially the older we get, and unfortunately Jojo's health was in decline (she actually only has 1 kidney).

As with most of her other pups, my featured chow mix subject of the day had a Beatles themed name - Jojo from the Beatles hit "Get Back." She is definitely special since she was one of Bette's first dogs but there were 2 pups available, so Jojo's sister Lucy (Lucy in the sky with diamonds) was also lucky to find a loving home that day.

On Sunday I had the chance to spend a few minutes at Bette's house as she and her friends celebrated her dog Ringo's birthday before heading out with Jojo & Lucy for a quick photo shoot. Light and time was fading fast but we were all determined to make it happen. Even with the light challenges, I had a blast taking a few shots, but more importantly, getting to know the "old broads" as Bette so lovingly nicknamed them. To be honest, they couldn't have been any better behaved considering they had a stranger blasting them in the face with a flash. Both acted just like our much younger pups even though they were both 16. After the shoot we went inside for a bit and I got to spend a little more time getting to know Jojo - she even pawed my arm when I stopped petting her to tell me "hey, don't quit now!" What a sweet pup!

The night ended too soon and we all went our separate ways. Unfortunately Jojo's health declined again the sad news came this afternoon that she had to be put down this morning. I have been through this horrible experience and for those of us who have loved and lost special pets in our lives we can all relate.

When I got the news I had yet to look at any of the photos that I had taken the night before, but the shots and the experiences getting to know Jojo meant even more to me than I ever thought possible in one split second. I immediately hoped and prayed I had done my job and managed to get at least a few shots to show what a great time we had and to show what a great dog she is. I knew it was going to be a difficult task sorting and editing the photos thinking about the pets I have loved and lost as well as our pets now. It was not easy but I knew that listening to my large collections of Beatles songs on iTunes would help and it did. Wouldn't you know it, the first song to come on: "Get Back."

Like I said, timing is everything.

2010-06-06 - Jojo-75

2010-06-06 - Jojo-142

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As her song says:

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back Jojo, go home

I know Jojo is at home and at peace. I am honored to have spent a short time getting to know her. She will be missed.

2010-06-06 - Jojo-52

1 comment:

Bette said...

Tim, Thank you for the beautiful tribute to my precious girl. The photographs and your words are wonderful. It hurt so bad to let her go but I had to remind myself that in this case love meant saying goodbye. Thank you for honoring my little girl in your blog. Bette, forever Jojo's Mom