A WELLARD family who spent their entire life savings on their dying dog has been nominated in the finals of Australia’s Top Emerging Photographers Awards.
The awards are presented by professional photographer magazine Capture.
Krystle Ricci’s photos depict the relationship between her son Theo and her 11-year-old Weimaraner George.
She said George had comforted the family during their hardest times.
“He was beside me during the dark days of postnatal depression and when I was mourning the loss of my sister to cancer,” she said.
“He stayed by my side curled up on the couch, licking tears from my cheeks.
“I believe he understood what I was going through.”
Mrs Ricci said that was why they refused to give up on George when he became gravely ill with severe pancreatitis.
“Losing him was comparable to losing a human loved one,” she said.
“We had to give George a chance and I’m so glad we did because that was five and a half years ago.”
The family spent their entire savings and borrowed money from family to save George.
“Like for many families with pets, George was our first baby and more than just a dog,” she said.
Mrs Ricci said when their children were born they too became best friends with George.
“When Theo was not in hospital, they explored every nook and cranny of our house together,” she said.
“They enjoy watching the garbage truck every week and love playing superheroes.”
Mrs Ricci said the intense friendship between Theo and George made the perfect subject for her submission.
“During this project, it became unclear whether George thinks he’s human or whether Theo thinks he’s a dog,” she said.
Mrs Ricci said more families should take photos with their pets as a celebration of how special and meaningful their pets are and to have something tangible to hold on to as a remembrance that allows them to stay in those moments forever.
“Your pets provide you with comfort, unconditional love and compassion unlike any other,” she said.
Results of the Australia’s Top Emerging Photographers Awards will be published in the May/June edition of Capture.
Tips to photograph pets
– To ensure pets are relaxed and calm, take them out for some exercise before the photo session so they can burn some energy
– Bring some special treats to bribe them with to encourage them to pay attention
– Engage the whole family in an activity where everyone can interact and relax, such as snuggling on the couch or playing outdoors with the pets
– When posing newborns with the family pooch, opt for a beautiful timeless pose where the dog is looking into or standing next to the baby’s cot
– Let the pets do their own thing rather than force them to pose