Goodbye My Friend

Posted on January 19, 2011

lori and jazzI just received some really sad news. Jazz, the first dog I had a hand in helping to save, passed away. I can’t even write that without tears welling up in my eyes. I wrote about him in one of my first articles for the Culver City News. He was a really special boy and he touched my heart in ways even I don’t understand.

I really wanted to keep him. He was the first dog that I fell in love with as an adult and the first pit I ever met too. We would have kept him too, but he hated cats. Enough that he wanted to eat them. I didn’t feel it would be fair to put the cats through that, so we fostered him until we could find a better place for him.

My God, I just remembered how bad he smelled when he first came to our house. His skin was so infected and swollen that he stunk. Poor boy. He lived out in the art studio at first. Not a bad place for him. He came from being chained in a yard. Left for dead during hurricane Katrina. The art studio with the couch, skylight and access to the backyard (only if he wanted) was perfect. He loved to lounge on that couch. He wouldn’t even get off for a walk.

Slowly his body began to heal. His bright red skin turned pale again. His bald patches finally grew hair. His skin didn’t itch…as much. His limbs shrunk to normal size. One thing that stayed with him was his fear of wind and rain.

Jazz040I remember the first time I realized his phobia. It was the rainy season in LA and not even a bad one.We only had a few minor storms. Poor Jazz would shake and cower on his couch. I would have to sit with him to keep him calm. Makes sense, since he was left chained during the worst of Katrina. In fact, he tried to get away by trying to chew his chain off. Of course it didn’t work and he wore down his teeth instead. Jazz with his missing teeth and adorable underbite. I can still picture that face in my mind. I wish I could see it again.

We found him a foster with a potential to adopt. I was so happy. Sadly, it didn’t work out and Jazz was back in boarding. I would go and take him out daily. We had adopted Gabby by then and couldn’t foster him. (Actually, now that I think about it, I never wanted Jazz to see me with another dog. I felt guilty and didn’t want him to feel like he was unwanted or unloved. Crazy, I know) But he did come over now and again. He and Gabby were good buddies. Harley too.

Jazz035I think Jazz was bounced around to several different foster homes. Everyone fell in love with him. But for some reason or another, adoption wasn’t possible. Then there was a call. Someone wanted to adopt him. I can’t remember the details, but I was going to take him down to Orange County to meet a couple and their dog. Tammy was the middle man on the OC side. We met at my friend Judy’s house. Everything seemed to go great and I was so excited that Jazz was finally going to have a real home. When the call came that the couple decided to go with another dog, I was crushed.

Apparently, so was Tammy. She emailed me saying she couldn’t get Jazz’s face out of her mind. I agreed he was hard to forget. He had a way of worming his way into your heart. I knew Tammy already had 3 dogs of her own and there was probably no chance she could adopt Jazz, so I didn’t even let it enter my mind. (here come the tears again) I’m not sure how much time went by, but it wasn’t much. Tammy couldn’t let Jazz go. She wanted to bring him home. His first real home. Ever. And so, Jazz found his forever home. One that was perfect. I can’t even image what Tammy is going through now. Well, yes I can. He never left my heart. And now it is filled with sadness. But also with joy. Because the poor lost soul he came to Los Angeles as no longer exsisted when he died. He was loved. He had a family. He had a life worth living.

Thank you Tammy for giving him that.

And here are a few of my memories of Jazz.  Turn up the volume and enjoy.

Happy Anniversary Darla & Ron

Posted on January 13, 2011

Turn up the volume, sit back and enjoy the show!

The Shaw Family {Irvine Photographer}

Posted on January 13, 2011

Enjoy the slide show! Don’t forget to adjust the volume on your computer.

Best Friends & Sisters

Posted on January 12, 2011

Sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy your slide show!

50 Years Of True Love

Posted on January 11, 2011

I love when I get to meet such wonderful people. Honestly, Debbie and the entire Gorman crew were so nice. I felt like I was an old friend. This was a surprise anniversary party for the lovely Ron and Darla. Can you imagine being married (and in love!) for a generation? Well these two definitely are…I loved hearing all about their life together. It’s true, I’m a sucker for a good love story.

Debbie (and crew) enjoy your sneak peek! More to come. (I had a hard time chosing which photos to pick for this first look.) Oh, and a funny thing…I was at Dear John’s the other night and guess who was sitting in the booth next to me? Yep, you guessed it. :)

Lilly & Claire

Posted on January 6, 2011

Mother Nature finally cooperated! We had to reschedule 3 times, but the day turned out to be fantastic! Couldn’t have asked for more gorgeous weather. Good thing too, because these two sisters are stunning and needed a beautiful day to match their good looks. And twins no less.

I had so much fun photographing these two. Lilly and Claire, hope you like your sneak peek. The rest will be done next week. I’ll FB you and let you know when. Enjoy!