Dogs and the people they love

Dogs and the People They Love


Dogs and the people they love – losing a best friend. I just lost one of mine.

Yesterday morning I received the message I was dreading, but knew would be coming. My lifelong friend Jacqui, who I first met when we were in first class at school when we were only 6 years of age, had passed away overnight.

Jacqui was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer 9 years ago this month, a few days after my wedding in 2010. She fought this horrid disease like I’d seen no other person fight so hard. She fought it with everything she had, her wisdom, her knowledge and her belief in the pure and natural. Metastatic ovarian cancer usually takes people quickly but not Jacqui. She could have written a book on all the things she learned throughout this journey, and how she rose above each and every obstacle and found her way into years of stability through natural health methods. But this was a her journey, and everyone has their own way of dealing with such a shattering diagnosis.

Jacqui was an incredible inspiration throughout my whole life. She was the architect who transformed our home, she was the yoga teacher who taught me how to be still and at one with nature, she was the whole-food coach who guided me on healthy eating, and she was the friend who knew how to connect with my soul. Her yoga retreats were transformational not just for me, but for all who attended them.

You may be wondering how this fits in with this week’s theme and well for one, she is all I’m thinking about right now, and well, Jacqui adored and was adored by her dog Cleo … a cherished member of her family.

Last year I photographed Cleo down at Clareville Beach close to where they live in beautiful Avalon, and although the focus was on Cleo, I did capture some heartfelt moments between Jacqui and Cleo that show the beautiful bond between them.

Jacqui was so happy that I made the decision to quit the corporate world and follow my dream by taking on pet photography full time, and she wanted to support me by showing my work to her friends and colleagues through photographs of her own dog. Cleo absolutely adored Jacqui and would even talk to her in her doggy “raow raow raow” way.

Jacqui was surrounded by her family these past few months and weeks of her life, her husband, their two gorgeous kids, Jacqui’s Mum and four sisters, and of course Cleo. I am so sad for them all going through this incredibly tough time, but I’m also so grateful that Jacqui was able to be cared for at home, and where she passed away, surrounded by love. I often wonder how traumatic it must be for animals when they don’t know where their human has gone for those who have to be in hospital, but for Cleo, she knows, as she was there, and for that I’m truly grateful.

Here are some of Cleo’s photos from that beautiful afternoon …

Thank you for reading, I was almost going to withdraw from this week’s theme, but then thought this should be shared.  Please head on over to check out Terri J Photography, photographing Pets and People in the Toronto area and Southeast Florida, for Terri’s take on this topic, and continue clicking the link at the bottom of each post until you end up right back here.

If you’ve been thinking of having photos taken with your dog, please get in touch.

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  1. Kim Hollis on 3 May, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    Blessings to all who love Jacqui and miss her. This is beautifully written and I love your images.

    • Jo Lyons on 4 May, 2019 at 10:00 am

      Thanks so much Kim x

  2. Angela Schneider on 4 May, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Jo, I am in tears. I am so sorry for the loss of your very special friend. You created beautiful images of Jacqui and Cleo. Their bond is so very clear. My heart goes out to you and Jacqui’s family.

    • Jo Lyons on 4 May, 2019 at 10:01 am

      Thank you Angela x

  3. Rachel on 4 May, 2019 at 9:10 am

    Brought a tear to my eye. It must have been a hard one to write. I am sorry for your loss and also happy that you were able to capture these images of your friend.

    • Jo Lyons on 4 May, 2019 at 10:01 am

      Thanks Rachel, it was very hard to write x

  4. Amanda on 4 May, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Just beautiful, she sounds like the world was a brighter place for having had Jacqui in it. Your images are amazing. ❤️ So sorry for your loss

  5. Colleen on 4 May, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    Jacqui sounds like an amazing woman. This is a most lovely tribute to her. Your love for Jacqui and your friendship shines through.

  6. Elaine on 11 May, 2019 at 1:08 am

    The best people leave too soon. I am so very sorry this planet lost Jacqui. This is a beautiful tribute.

  7. Tracy Allard on 8 August, 2019 at 2:55 am

    Ugh, and I’m just now reading this so hopefully this comment won’t bring back sad memories. Your images beautifully capture Jacqui and her Cleo and I’m sure her family will cherish them forever. I’m sorry for your loss.

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