I have a special connection with Stewie and his people. I first met Tanya and Ken when I took their wedding photographs, ages and ages ago. Then later, they got this crazy puppy called Stewie, and we decided to do a “family” shoot. (Stewie was my very first ever official pet photoshoot.) Over the years I’ve done a few more photoshoots for the family – when Tanya was pregnant, and when the girls grew up. Stewie was always there, getting older and more diginified with each session. And so last weekend, when I went to Duncan to do this shoot, it was a special time.
Tanya wrote the story of Stu in her own words, and she’s kind enough to let me share it here:
It all began 8 years ago when we decided it was time to add a dog to our family. He was a little 6 pound puppy that kept coming up to us; he picked us to be his family. From that day on, our lives have been forever changed. Stewie was an entertaining puppy bordering on neurotic. Everyone who knows him can remember his crazy days as a puppy!
When we brought home our first daughter he decided to grow up and take the role of her protector. This continued with our second daughter’s arrival. Stewie tolerated the kid’s behaviours with love and grace and they both love him for that. His tenderness with the girls both surprised us and melted our hearts.
Then came the day Stewie couldn’t walk. Our hearts sank with grief and the fear of the unknown. His prognosis was grim without major back surgery. So, he went to see a neurosurgeon and went under the knife. Luckily he recovered but then our worst fear came true and a year later he needed another surgery. We thought he had already had a lifetime dose of bad luck but then we found a lump on his shoulder. It was the big C, cancer. And off he went to see an oncologist for yet another surgery.
Today, Stewie is cancer free and a happy content dog. Gray hairs are beginning to ring his soft muzzle as the years pass. His walks have gotten shorter and many days are spent snoring in front of the fireplace. He has aged more over the past years than expected but we are embracing this quieter time of his life. Stewie has been a constant source of happiness and joy for our family; we can’t imagine life without his snorting, waddling and wagging tail. He is our happiness on four legs.