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together again … and forever

earlier this week i was informed of the sad loss of another member of the scruffy dog family.  last september, clients Richard and Sue of Guelph hired me to shoot their two senior goldens, Sara and Clancy.



with visions of the ethereal light of dawn, we booked for an early morning shoot.  plan all you want, however, sometimes nature has other ideas.  i will never forget that gloriously foggy morning.  nor will i ever forget these two marvelous creatures.


although younger than Sara, only weeks after our shoot Clancy led the way first across the Bridge, or wherever it is that these amazing souls go … for surely they must go somewhere, and i only hope it is to a place where we are later reunited with them, for i can imagine no greater heaven, no greater peace, than one where we are surrounded by all of our dogs, together at last.


Clancy was Sue’s boy, and his loss hit her hard …


but at least they had Sara to hang onto.  even after having lost my own morley less than two months ago, i can’t imagine the emptiness both Richard and Sue are feeling without their sweet girl.



i take this loss — like the loss of any member of the scruffy dog family — to heart.  because each scruffy dog shoot is not only lengthy, but also fun, intimate and caters to the individual needs and character of each furry client, i do feel as though i come to know each and every one of these precious souls i am so fortunate to photograph.  so when one is lost, it is felt.

Sara and Clancy, i have to imagine that you are together again at last, and forever.


and Richard and Sue, my thoughts and heart are with you during this empty and quiet time.  i do feel quite confident, however, given what i know of your spirits and your generosity of love, that in time you will open your home and your hearts to another … and they will be one truly blessed dog for sure.


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  • LesThat last shot is perfect… terrific work and a great memorial for the ownersReplyCancel

  • MikeWhat a beautiful and moving tribute to Clancy and Sara…I am in tears.

    Your photos are amazing, and I am sure that they will be cherished.

    To Richard and Sue, I am so sorry for your loss…ReplyCancel

  • LoriBeautiful dogs, beautiful photos! They, and your words, brought tears to my eyes, too. Sending healing thoughts to their human companions…ReplyCancel

  • ciscoloI have tears in my eyes while looking at these wonderful photos. It’s heartbreaking….my deepest sympathies to Sue and Richard.ReplyCancel

  • LizBeautiful captures. I know the family will treasure these forever.ReplyCancel

  • BiancaLove, love, love your style <3ReplyCancel

  • Holly Garner-JacksonI have goose bumps from looking at these wonderful shots as I read the story of Sara and Clancy. You have captured their essence so well as only you can do.
    I’m so sorry for Richard and Sue’s losses, a pain I know too well from my recent loss. Please give them my best.
    I too hope that we will one day be reunited with our lost companions. That would truly be heaven. They are a peace of heaven when they are here…… a preview of a better life to come….. I hope!
    Well done, illona, so well done!ReplyCancel

  • MarlaWhat beautiful images and lovely words to remember them by. I can’t write anything further… too preoccupied sobbing as my heart breaks with kindred loss.ReplyCancel

  • jennifer metzgerGorgeous photos and thank goodness they had a shoot with you. It is hard to lose a dog but so much worse when there are NONE in the house. I hope they find a special dog soon to help them through.ReplyCancel

  • Susan HumphreysIllona, Beautiful photographs as usual, and wonderful words. Im sure
    these wonderful photographs will be a comfort to Richard and Sue.ReplyCancel

  • IdilSuch sad news. My deepest sympathies to Richard and Sue. 🙁 I’m glad you got to do this special photo shoot with Sara and Clancy. What beautiful dogs they were… And they seem to have a very special bond between them. I’m sure they are together now. Priceless photos to remember these sweethearts.ReplyCancel

  • Dexell1827Oh, my heart is breaking…I belong to a pair of Goldens myself, and Richard and Sue have my deepest, most heartfelt sympathies. That second image of Clancy and Sara brought tears to my eyes. Together then, and now together again.ReplyCancel

  • Vicky (tv writer)As I looked through your amazing photographs of these sweet sweet dogs, I found that I was crying like a baby. Thank you, Illona, for being there to capture them so wonderfully, and to share their love with all of us. I have a special place in my heart for Goldens, their kind hearts and sensitive natures. After I write this, I’m going to hug my two boys. Then I’ll tell them about Sara and Clancy — and how lucky they were to find Richard and Sue in this huge world.ReplyCancel

  • RachelAnd this is why your photographs are so important, they have these beautiful images and memories to hang onto forever. What a wonderful gift to give them. (the first image of them is gorgeous by the way)

    Surely these two are together now, and they will be waiting for the rest of their family patiently. I for one believe I will be reunited with all of my animals when my time has come as well.ReplyCancel

  • kaylathat story was very touching, thanks for sharing although almost brought tears to my eyes. we lond our little pets so much its hard to see them go.ReplyCancel

  • CynBThis had me in tears. Such a beautiful way to remember our special friends and the way they bless our lives. I can only imagine the loss their owners are feeling. Thoughts and Prayers from our Doggy Family to theirsReplyCancel

  • bublynskiTears here for Richard and Sue – I know how their hearts are breaking. Sara and Clancy are so beautiful, and the depth of soul and love in their eyes so powerful. I’m happy they were loved so deeply, and that Richard and Sue have these wonderful portraits to remember them by.ReplyCancel

  • tee4tiaThis is our fate when we give our hearts to our beloved furry ones. Truly we are blessed to know this connection, no matter how hard it is in the end. Sara & Clancy look so lovable and sweet. Although they’re never forgotten, remarkably we can go on to love some more. My sincere condolences.
    Wonderful photos Illona.ReplyCancel

  • MachonzaWhat a beautiful pair. Their owners must be very sad right now. At least they have these lovely pictures to remind them of those wonderful expressions.ReplyCancel

  • Annie KLovely words, and captures. They were loved;)ReplyCancel

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