My job usually entails helping women see their beauty. Sometimes the way to heal with photography can be to remember someone that will inevitably pass away. I’ve written a bit about the life on the farm. I live on an organic farm that sells organic eggs, veggies and herbs. We have chickens, roosters, goats, sheep, and the most amazing guard dogs.
There are ten working dogs. They take care of all kinds of predators. They’ve finally learned the sound of my voice and car. (Apparently they’ve become used to the sound of me returning home late even.) I adore these dogs more than I can say in one blog. I’m also blessed with amazing landlords. They’re the ones that do the endless tasks to care for the working farm. Once a creepy guy showed up and I called them and they were right here. They’ve helped me learn the area and network. I’m endlessly grateful for how they’ve helped me settle in. They take joy in explaining why they farm the way the do. They let children hug chickens and help on the farm. I love learning how much work goes into something like a dozen eggs. Things most people take for granted. I got a call from Linda while I was in Colorado that Beau, one of our beloved dogs, had an aggressive form of bone cancer. She thought he might pass before I got home. My heart broke. He is, like most dogs, an endless optimist. He’s also one of the friendliest wanting lots of cuddles. He had a special place in my heart from the first moment I met him.
When I got home I made time to go visit and photograph him. I’ve only lost three people close to me in my lifetime. The end of a life always makes me question the circle of life and the reasons behind losing a life too early.
My landlords care so much for ALL of their animals.
I knew their hearts were breaking too. I wished there was something I could do to alleviate everyone’s pain. But life and death is beyond our control. Taking life for granted is something well within our control. In my day to day life I visited the dogs less and less. The one thing I had was love. So I went to photograph him. Capture his beautiful spirit before he left. His leg was hugely distended.
I couldn’t believe how fast the cancer was taking him. Before I started taking pictures I felt moved almost to tears as he limped and still managed to gallop to the gate like always.
Never complaining. Just wanting to love us. And so I loved him. For a good twenty minutes (before I started taking pictures) I hugged him and told him how much he was loved. I let him kiss me on the face and rub his fur all over me. It wasn’t much. But love is the universal language.
And I hope I’m loving him with these photos. Beau’s leg started bleeding a couple days ago. The day before he was scheduled to be put out of his misery, I got another call from Linda. I was worried it would be the call confirming that Beau had passed. Instead, she had discovered that a chicken had snuck into the rafters of the barn and made an unexpected nest.
A tiny chick had hatched and fallen. She needed help getting the chick back into the nest with the other eggs.
I got to hold the newborn chick and love on her. (SO CUTE!) One life is ending and ten more teeny tiny little lives are hopefully being born. The circle of life on the farm. And every life is beyond precious.
To your healing,