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sweet man oswin ~ {Dundas Ontario dog photographer}

meet Oswin …


he’s tiny.  he’s handsome.  and he’s exceptionally-loved.


he’s also blind.  he’s deaf.  and he doesn’t get around very well, but he knows you’re there …


most of all, he knows his mama’s  love.


as Oswin’s health was failing, and since it hasn’t been that long since i lost my man morley, this shoot wasn’t easy.


but it was important to me that i not only captured images of Oswin, but also of his incredibly deep bond with Deb.



when discussing the shoot with Deb prior to the date, i was informed that Oswin was no longer mobile.  i’ve certainly had shoots in the past of dogs with severe mobility issues, and — with patience and enough rolling around on the ground — there are always ways of working it and still coming out with a huge variety of angles and unique images.  with a little guy like Ozzy i imagined that for most of the shoot Deb would be holding him up and i’d do a lot of head-and-shoulder shots against a variety of backdrops … kind of like this:


the unexpected problem with this, however, was that without his sight and hearing, Oswin almost continually looked down.  however, through the miracles of acupuncture administered by my girl matea’s own vet Lisa Burgess of Millgrove Veterinary Services, Oswin was actually up and on his feet for the first time in a while for our shoot.


and he was quite determined to use them too!


next, it was important to find some Oswin-sized wildflowers for a backdrop … early mint sprigs worked fine … plus it had the added benefit of leaving me smelling delicious for the rest of the shoot!


even some lovely yellow flowers along the side of the road can be beautiful.  in fact, i’m a sucker for ditches; the scruffy-dog mobile can often be found parked along the shoulder of some road even if it’s just to waypoint a great location into the GPS for future use.


and then home, where Oswin was able to rest.



and his favorite spot is by the fire.


but of course, i couldn’t resist a few shots of him on this lovely leather chair …


thank you, Deb, for sharing your amazing man with me.  it was a honor to work with him, and i hope i have captured his character and essence in the images throughout your gallery.


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  • madaboutgreysI have just spent a very happy hour browsing your blog. You do fantastic work – thanks for sharing all your tips. But this shoot is particularly fabulous. A wonderful mix of interior and outdoor locations. Superb. I bet the owner was impressed.ReplyCancel

  • Patti J. MaleAwesome photography, just gorgeous! Knowing both Deb and Oswin personally these photos brought smiles and tears. Thank You for capturing my very special friend’s “little man” in a way that she will always treasure and hold close to her heart with every memory! HUGs to you Deb and Os, you are always in my thoughts and I love every picture!
    My sunshine doesn’t come from the skies,
    It comes from the love in my dog’s eyes.ReplyCancel

  • Julianna KohBeautiful, beautiful shots!

    Oswin is one regal looking dog – almost like a wise old wizard from Lord of the Rings 🙂ReplyCancel

  • TamaraBeautiful Illona. What you do is so special. I am tearyReplyCancel

  • StephanieAnother relationship documented for all time……He is a little elf dog…..again, love what you have given this family!ReplyCancel

  • ciscoloThese are some heartmelting shots of one amazing lil guy. It’s awesome how you’ve been able to capture the deep bond between Deb and her little man. Gorgeous work, Ilona!ReplyCancel

  • MargaretWhat a fabulous little old guy!!! The personality, love, strength, and devotion within that little tiny frame are just amazing, and you’ve captured all that is Oswin so well!ReplyCancel

  • Auntie JeanI had the honour to be there when you where doing the shoots of Oswin and Deb! Thankyou for doing a super job. The photo’s are amazing and shows the true friendship and love that Deb and Oswin have for each other. I know Deb will cherish them for a long time to come!ReplyCancel

  • Holly Garner-JacksonAnother amazing shoot illona. I had to laugh at the bow legged shot as I could picture a cowboy hat on Oswin as he straddled a tiny pony ;-)!
    You would never know that Oswin was so debilitated. You have given him life and energy through your photos. Well done!
    Oh and I’m so glad you were smelling better after rolling around in the flowers LOL!ReplyCancel

  • AndaWhat an emotional gallery, Illona. Deb and Oswin’s bond is evident and their love for each other palpable. You made him look as majestic as he feels he is. Wonderful work!ReplyCancel

  • LizThere are no words to describe how beautiful thud captures are. You have done an amazing job.ReplyCancel

  • illonathank you, ALL. it’s impossible to thank each and every one of you for you kind and generous words, for your outpouring of emotion and connection to Oswin and Deb.

    for those who may have missed Deb’s comment, the Oz-man is still with us … his heart beats strong for Deb … their love probably being the one thing that keeps his little motor going.

    it’s for dogs like Oswin and owners like Deb that i started scruffy dog photography … my desire for ALL dog owners to have those visual memories and ‘artwork’ of their dogs to treasure for a lifetime. puppies and young dogs are certainly loads of fun … but when you get the seniors, it reminds you of what it’s all about. so thank you again, Deb and Oswin.

    and thank you again, everyone, for your visits and comments.ReplyCancel

  • JoanneOswin is such a special dog and you have captured his essence in these beautiful images. I especially love the ones that show his very special relationship with his Mom.ReplyCancel

  • ChristinaI definitely had tears in my eyes as I read through this. Our family yorkie (who is my mother’s favorite child) is 16 years old — he fractured his spine last year fall off the back of a couch, had $6000 worth of surgery, and half a year of recovery but can still walk.. and just these past two months, had a corneal ulcer that didn’t heal despite two surgeries.. so now he’s a one-eyed boy.. but he loves my mom, eats with gusto, enjoys walks, and pretends to be deaf when it suits him.ReplyCancel

  • elsieespecially love the one of him on the chaise (the second one) he’s really cute 🙂ReplyCancel

  • JDAs always, your talent amazes me!ReplyCancel

  • Lorie (G)Nice photographs. My favourite is #7, the photo of Oswin standing between Deb’s feet (head on). To me it represents Deb and Oswin standing with and for one another – comfort, protection, loyality, security, trust – the in sync that requires no words.

    My second favourite is Oswin by the fire on the red blanket.

    Oswins gift is Deb, Deb’s gift is Oswin. Very cool!


  • GuntherThese are truly great photos of a dog who knows how much we all care for him; he is truly Deb’s best friend.ReplyCancel

  • Dalton SmithLlona, you are one of photography’s greatest talents. This is a georgeous job you have done with my good buddy OZ. I know Ozman personally, because each time I hold him, he gives me a big lick on the nose. Each and every shot here is fantastic!ReplyCancel

  • tee4tiathat first shot just melts my heart, all of them really. what a little sweetheart.ReplyCancel

  • Lori E.What beautiful photos of the little guy. I teared up a little reading this entry. Sending good thoughts to Oswin and his mama.ReplyCancel

  • ursulaBeautiful shots Ilona of such a special little creature. You are able to capture the deep bond between beasty and human and stir our deepest emotions. You are on the road to greatness dear lady! Thank you for your visit to The Lair today. It was a pleasure to meet you.ReplyCancel

  • lin stoneYou put so much heart into these really shows. As much as we admire your photography skills, these special shoots are treasures for the moms and dads of these sweet souls.ReplyCancel

  • AshleeHe’s such a charming little guy. Beautiful shoot.ReplyCancel

  • Loriyou take such beautiful photos, they truly must be treasures to the human companions of your subjects! i wish for him what I wish for all pups (and humans, cats, etc., for that mattter!): as many days spent healthy, happy, and beloved as possible <3ReplyCancel

  • Carol CamanhoOMG! Amazin! The photos, the story, the “little boy”.
    Great job!ReplyCancel

  • Deb and OswinHow can we ever thank you? I cry each time I look through this blog. Oswin has been my absolute best friend in the world and my “little man” with a big spirit. He has been my experience of the purest unconditional love. This little guy is still fighting each day – 3 lbs 8 oz but with the help of acupuncture is pain free and demands his walk each night.
    These pictures capture our bond and will be lifeline memories for me.
    Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
    Deb and OswinReplyCancel

  • MarlaYou’re making me cry again!


  • jennifer metzgerCrying at work!! Not good! What great shots. This had to be hard for you but WOW I bet the owner is thrilled.ReplyCancel

  • alexaYou did an amazing job with him! I’m sure she adores each and every photo.ReplyCancel

  • MachonzaI too wouldn’t normally go for Yorkies, but your photos always bring out the best in every animal. These are touching.ReplyCancel

  • StaceyYour photos and the stories behind them are so touching. A lovely tribute to a lovely dog.ReplyCancel

  • KamalaI’m not a Yorkie fan at all, but Oswin has a definite allure. Those great eyebrows, the long flowing old man mustache, those bowed legs!! Gorgeous shots as usual.ReplyCancel

  • KimWhat a wonderful little fellow. He must have had such a great day with the gift of mobility the accupuncture gave him.ReplyCancel

  • SamanthaHe’s a beautiful little old man. You can tell by the photos he is loved, and spoiled the way he deserves to be. Thanks for sharing these photos, they are so heart warming!ReplyCancel

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