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Growing up, I had a lovely Cocker Spaniel named Goldie. He was a beautiful blonde boy, and we spent our days playing outside, camping and cuddling at night. Growing up, he was my best friend, but I honestly didn’t understand how much work my parents put into taking care of him. He slipped away peacefully one evening when he was fifteen, taking a piece of my heart with him.
Fast forward twenty years, and I’m now a single parent in my late thirties. Having four kids is never quiet, but it has kept me busy over the last decade. When my youngest started school, I felt alone for the first time. My days were quiet and filled with mundane chores until the kids came home from classes. They had been asking for a puppy for a while, but it never seemed good timing. Finally, I conceded, and we started our search.
We found a beautiful little Pomsky in Northern British Columbia and decided he was the one. He had a long journey to the province’s interior and set off on his first trip. When we picked him up at the airport, it was love at first sight, and he snuggled right into my arms. After a few days, his true personality emerged, and he was a fireball of energy! My days were no longer relaxed and quiet, and I found myself picking up fluff from stuffies he destroyed, hiding the parts of the couch he chewed, and running after him when he’d jump over the fence and chase the neighbors’ cats! I’m not going to lie, there were times when I thought I was crazy for having such a high-energy pup, but once he passed that puppy stage, we started going on adventures. That’s when everything changed.
We’d drop the kids off at school, and I’d drive. We live in such a beautiful province, and I had six hours during the day for us to explore. We found hidden beaches where Max loved to swim, trails that led us through the forest, and his favorite, the dog park. I was surprised at how quickly I made friends there. We started meeting every morning, and it was something Max looked forward to. I woke up earlier every day to try to get in an early morning run, and Max was always eager to come along. He’d run off with his puppy friends as soon as we got there, and it was like I was myself again. After going through a complicated divorce and figuring out how to live by myself with four kids, I didn’t realize how much of myself I had lost. Day by day, I laughed more, enjoyed myself, and became very content. We also discovered paddleboarding!
Max is five years old now, and he is my life companion. He sits in the passenger seat of my van and loves when the windows are down, and he can get some fresh air. We snowshoe and sled in the winter, but summer is our favorite. There is one particular beach in West Kelowna where I could spend all my time. It’s a long stretch of sand and spectacular Okanagan Views.
Max takes off immediately when we get there, and I can’t help but laugh at how fast he jumps into the lake. He loves chasing ducks, although he never comes close to catching one.
He seems to think that they’re there just for his amusement. My parents have an older husky named Luna, and we often go and pick her up so that she can come along with us.
She’s over one hundred pounds, and I’ve noticed people are intimidated by her. She is a gentle giant, though, and has this grace. She has this gentleness to her that has helped Max.
As my parents get older, I think Luna will eventually end up with me. I always feel safe in her presence. She has that husky instinct, though. Recently I took her camping with us
And she decided she needed to take a four-hour run deep into the forest. When she finally returned, she had a large deer antler and looked proud of herself. My annoyance slowly faded as I realized that she lived for these things. She has a free soul and has always liked to wander off since she was younger. I don’t let Max off leash as much since he’s still more youthful and on the smaller side, but I know he yearns to go with her. The two of them have become best friends, with Luna leading the way.
I think all dog owners understand the deep bond we share with them. I live for our adventures now. Some days, I feel I must be crazy with all pets, especially cleaning up after Max has eaten the carpet off the stairs or when he chews my glasses. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, though. I’m driving him to Vancouver to meet with one of his siblings this summer. That’s the fun part about having a dog. You get to meet new people all the time, and we’re stopped a lot while we’re out because Max looks like a tiny husky puppy.
Pomskies are a big commitment and are a lot of work, but it is worth it. I could have never imagined having this little buddy who means the whole world to me. He’s pushed me out of my comfort zone, especially if we’re hiking. I am afraid of heights, but he can sense when I’m nervous and stays by my side. Watching my kids have the same bond I had with Goldie is so beautiful and the two of them somehow managed to help me find myself again, and for that, I am forever in their debt.