This is a sad time for my wife Debby and I. Yesterday we had to make the toughest decision that any animal lover ever has to make. It was time to allow Cami to move on to the next phase of life. Cami now waits for us at Rainbow Bridge. The ravages of lung cancer and hip dysplasia were too much for Cami and it was clear that she was not the happy enthusiastic dog she had always been.
While I am deeply saddened by this turn of events I am trying not to dwell in the loss, but remember the life and times we shared together. Now I am more thankful than ever for my obsession with photography. It has provided me with a way to keep the memories of happy times fresh in my mind so I can be uplifted by Cami's spirit by looking at her photographs. It's funny because over the years as a photographer I have shared many photos of Cami and always tried to pick out the ones that were the best quality to share. But sometimes those great photos that look just right don't tell the whole story. Its the odd picture here and there that looks a little goofy or that you just took for the heck of it with no planning or thought that truly depicts a life. So below I have posted many pictures of Cami, many of which I probably haven't shared before. Some because they weren't "good enough". Some just because I have so darn many. Here are some of the photos that to me represent Cami's life.
This is a photograph of Cami when she was a puppy. Such an adorable little bundle of fur. She always had that cuteness factor.
This photo represents what my wife and I now call the awkward phase. She has gotten taller and longer but hasn't filled in yet. We thought she was so cute then, but when we looked back at the pictures later we always thought she looked so goofy compared to when she was fully grown.
Cami has always loved being out in the snow. Just prancing around the yard looking gorgeous.
With her thick long fur it was never a problem to just lie down and relax in the snow and just enjoy the weather. She never cared about what we humans complain of as bad weather.
She always looked like a smiley happy dog.
This was just one of those moments that just happened and was so cute. Cami just decided to lie down right in this bed of wild flowers and I could not resist taking a photo. Cami was always so photogenic and willing to sit for a photo.
Cami was always so playful and happy. She could always find a way to have some fun. One day she sat under our oak tree in the front yard and just started ripping the leaves off the branches. She was having such a good time. I had never before seen a dog do that and I still have never seen another dog do it.
The snow does not bother Cami at all. She always just sat there soaking it in and laying and rolling in it. I think if we didn't have her come back in, she would have stayed out in the snow forever.
Cami always made the most out of everything. Normally going down to our pond to get a drink of water, but what do you do when the pond is frozen over? Of course you just lick the ice.
One of Cami's defining characteristics was always the huge blaze of white fur up her chest and neck. The fur was always so thick and soft. I love how you can see it just billowing out in this photo.
Cami was never above rolling around on the ground for a good back scratch.
Cami liked to walk around the yard and survey the area before finding a place to settle down. Her happy tail always help high and wagging.
Despite my wife's insistence prior to owning a Bernese Mountain Dog that they are quiet dogs, Cami was always quite the barker. She even had this strange howling like bark. You would think she was calling out the the rest of her pack.
I just love this photo. I think she looks so noble in this image. I didn't even remember seeing it before as I was looking through all the pictures. That is why I will always love photography. It has allowed me to enjoy moments I had with her that I don't even remember.
Happy Cami. She always sat and cooperated so well for me when I took her picture. I was always able to get nice profile photos of her. I think she just humored me because she new it was my crazy human obsession.
Cami always loved to spend time down by the pond. That was one of her favorite places to lie down and relax on a regular basis. Step one go get a drink of water. Step two lie down and relax a while.
I love this image for one little thing that you might not be able to see. In this shot you can read her name on her name tag. I just thought that was cool.
I have always thought Cami had gorgeous eyes. I tried over the years to get a good shot of them and this is probably the best one I ever got.
Cami was always so alert and focused to every noise around her.
Cami and Buck asleep on the floor. She was so small compared to her big brother.
Cami and Buck we inseparable as puppies. They were always together.
They even still cuddled sometimes when they got bigger.
Cami and Buck loved to play in the snow together.
Cami with her brothers and sister down by the pond on a nice winter day.
Cami and Mojo playing when Mojo was just a puppy.
Cami and Buck at the park. This was a hard day because it was when we began to realize that we just couldn't do all the same things with out dogs that we used to anymore.
I don't think I have any more photos of Cami after this day. I love her some much and always want to remember her, but you could see in her face that she was sick and I made the conscious decision that I did not want to remember her that way. I simply didn't want to be looking through pictures and be reminded of how she was sick and the toll it took on her. I wanted to remember her with the happy pictures.
Here's to Cami. A great loving dog who was always happy and affectionate. You will always live on in our hearts.