DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
Challenge Entries
Portfolio Images
How do you know when it's time to say goodbye?
How do you know when it's time to say goodbye?

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Posthumous Ribbon (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: Beagles and Friends
Camera: Olympus E-520
Lens: Lensbaby Composer
Date: Nov 24, 2010
Galleries: Animals
Date Uploaded: Nov 24, 2010

This is a question that I struggled to answer for the first time about 3 years ago. We had to decide what to do about Barney beagle (age 11), who was sick with lymphoma.


So here we are, three years later, having to make the same decision again. This time it was about Barney's life long partner, Coco.


Coco was not sick with an aggressive disease like Barney was, but she did have some slow growing internal tumors. So weíd been watching her closely for the last year to see what would happen. She'd have her good days and her bad days, and sometimes we'd wonder if it was time for her to go. But then she'd bounce back and all would be normal again.

Until the last two days... :(

For the past few months I'd been watching this tumor develop along her neck. Then the other day, something went wrong in her mouth. Either a tumor broke up or she had an abscess maybe because of a bad tooth. She looked horrible, her face was swollen, and she started to move slower than normal. I think the pain was finally getting to be a bit too much.

So we made that awful decision, and chose to put her down today, 11/24/10. The picture I submitted is one of her last shots. We are at the parking lot of the vetís office, and the boys are holding her. I chose to enter this shot because Coco was a master at making eye contact with the camera:


For the last few months though, she was cranky about posing, and would walk away whenever I tried to take pictures. So I feel quite fortunate that I was able to capture this one last look from her.

I loved this dog. We got her when she was 6 weeks old. She was a mama's girl and taught me so much about unconditional love. Today we sat together for three hours - she fell asleep in my lap while I was counting down how much time we had left together. I lost one great little fur baby today and my heart is broken

So how do you know when it's time to say goodbye? I don't believe I'll ever know. Iíve had to do this twice now and I still feel sick about it. I think it sucks having to make this kind of decision. And although I know it really was the right thing to do, I still question whether the timing was good or not.

So goodbye sweet Coco. Thanks for being my furbaby for the last 14+ years :) I know you are having a grand old time now with Barney. I miss you :(


Place: 78 out of 133
Avg (all users): 5.3471
Avg (commenters): 6.7857
Avg (participants): 5.4875
Avg (non-participants): 5.2222
Views since voting: 536
Views during voting: 331
Votes: 170
Comments: 23
Favorites: 2 (view)

Please log in or register to add your comments!

12/19/2010 08:09:06 AM
Moving picture and write up. It's a challenge that every pet owner faces and some point and will never be easy.

I think the processing is really effective here as the lensbaby effect helps emphasise the lack of clarity around the question.
The main subject is clear . . yet also unclear.
You know the answer - yet it's not a simple quick crisp answer.
Some bits are sharp - others are not so focussed . . .
. . and the chin in the background helps tie in Coco to your family - not a specific person - but more a generic member of the family.
This is about the dog - but it also affects you guys.

Tough indeed - and a fitting tribute.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/18/2010 10:44:34 PM
My condolences, Michelle.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2010 07:35:28 PM
Oh dear Coco!!! My heart is aching for you (and glad for her that she can now be playing free of pain on the other side). I had to do the same with two of my Aussies within months of each other. It is painful but the kindest thing we can do for them. Blessings!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2010 05:55:25 PM
Goodbye, Coco. Lovely photo. I'm so sorry for your sadness.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/03/2010 03:34:23 PM
It doesn't matter what the placement or score is on this picture - because it means the world to you. I put my Annie down November 13th - it's amazing how they seem to know what's going to happen. Dogs are definately the most wonderful of companions!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/03/2010 01:00:38 PM
I read what you wrote... it brings tears to my eyes... wonderfully emotive portrait.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/03/2010 01:17:14 AM
lost a dog this year. so much to bear.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/03/2010 12:30:27 AM
Love this. A wonderful tribute to a beautiful furbaby.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
12/02/2010 11:17:16 PM
giving thanks to a special family for a life of love and wonderful memories
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/02/2010 10:36:38 PM
seemingly emotive
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/02/2010 07:53:24 PM
The idea behind the Posthumous Ribbon is to encourage you to break the rules, to find new and different ways to express yourself. To free your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come, to laugh at world and at life, not doing what others are expecting you to do, but just following and listening to what's in your heart. DPC itís a wonderful learning place where everyone should be supported on their way to be a photographer. A special attention should be aimed to those working hard with different views and approaches to photography, those not aligned with the mainstream taste and receiving no recognition. Itís our responsibility to support these photographers creating diversity and expressing different visions. Being active at the Posthumous thread itís the best way to do it. Being active at the Posthumous thread itís the best way to protect your and the otherís freedom of being different. Thanks for taking the time to enter this challenge. Stay wild.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/02/2010 05:32:19 PM
Straight to the heart, without any excess.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/30/2010 02:59:51 PM
I never want to say goodbye to puppy
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/29/2010 11:23:27 PM
This is very poignant. What a sweet face!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/29/2010 10:44:42 AM
Always so sad to lose a pet. That one looks like it has been well loved. Nice shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2010 04:24:09 PM
This is a very sad scene. Quite powerful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2010 02:44:52 PM
makes me wanna cry...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2010 01:19:36 PM
So sweet. Almost makes my teeth hurt.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2010 11:23:41 AM
Very emotional shot. This brings tears to my eyes. I've been through this several times and just gets harder every time.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2010 11:06:30 AM
so sweet.. and so sad... what a wonderful treat to have this picture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/26/2010 09:15:13 PM
Ok....tears galore right now. I can't even see to type this in. (and, I don't even know WHY I came in here tonight as I haven't been here since the summer!)

"My heart and the love in it is strong but, my body is giving out. I've lived a good and long life and I've been loved greatly and I have given love back in return. I've played and eaten the best and, I've sampled the garbage from the kitchen and front porch. I've had the pleasure of having rolled and laid with 3 babes who have grown into fine young men. I've been given all that I've ever needed, wanted and more and I've given my all back to those who have shown me a beautiful life. I am loved.

I am not gone. I am in your hearts and minds and will be beside you, watching over you all. Be happy for me....for I was tired but, I will always be with you. You'll feel me with you wherever you are for I am eternal and my love is eternal just as I know that your love is eternal for me. You knew what I needed most and you gave that to me. Just as for every other living being...it was just my time to take a rest. I thank you for loving me so much to be so unselfish to have let me be free to go and take that rest."

Eyes speak volumes and you've captured that in this shot. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/26/2010 07:28:22 PM
Oh, break my heart. :~( How beautiful. Truly.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/26/2010 01:17:55 PM
Those eyes can definitely make me melt. And the little noggin' on top of the head is just too cute. Awww :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.

Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2019 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 03/26/2019 03:59:32 AM EDT.