Many of you have realized that I have been in a total fog for the last month.  One month ago, our nine year old bulldog, Bella, went to sleep and did not wake up.  If you are not a dog person, this heartbreak probably does not seem that severe, but for me this has been a significant loss.  It has taken me a month to post this and even as I type, tears are flowing down my cheeks.

Bella was my first dog, my first baby and a wonderful friend to me.  She was basically me in dog form.  She was sassy, silly, stubborn, loyal, protective and loving.  She was the first real commitment Olyn and I ever made as a couple.  She came along before our first home, our marriage or our children.  She taught me volumes about love and devotion and I will be forever grateful to her in so many ways.

I am faced with the most hypocritical regret I can imagine… I have very very few images of Bella and only cell phone photos of her with the boys.  I have been saying for about a year that I really needed to bring her into the studio with them for a portrait.  As is the case with most families there were always other things going on and I was frankly overwhelmed at the thought of wrangling her and my two wiggly boys.   I was in denial about her aging and as a result of my procrastination, I will never have that portrait.

I am posting this not only to let everyone know that I have been lost for the last month and that I am slowly emerging from my emotional stupor, but also to encourage anyone out there who was procrastinating the way I was to please have their family photographed.  It doesn’t matter who is behind the camera or how you are dressed… you need to have your family photographed.  I am so sad that my boys will never have a framed image with their wonderful dog and I will forever feel guilty about it.

Be photographed with the ones you love– do it for them and do it for yourself.  People run into burning buildings to save photographs.  Those who have lost everything almost always stand in the devastation commenting on how they have nothing… not even their photographs.  Ten, twenty, fifty years from now, the family portraits you create now will be some of your prized possessions.  Don’t have a regret like I do– find the time and have portraits with those whom you cannot imagine life without.