One thing you probably don’t know about me is that I decided to become a pet photographer in 2019 when I was recovering from my second heart surgery.
I had my first heart surgery when I was 10 months old so of course I don’t remember a thing! It was scary now having to face this as an adult! I had gone to one of my checkups and they wanted to run additional tests.
After one particular test they wanted me to meet with a surgeon for a consultation. Prior to meeting with the surgeon I didn’t know that to fix the problem it would require surgery. I found out during that meeting that surgery was indeed necessary. It felt like a punch to the gut. I was somehow in shock, sad, and scared all at one time. Talk about surreal!
I learned that the surgery would have various outcomes and approaches. The two options were either a repair or a replacement of my heart valve.
The replacement option would have required hefty blood thinners for the rest of my life and make it more likely that I would need an additional surgery at some point. The repair would be the best case scenario and not require blood thinners.
I wouldn’t know until I woke up from surgery what the outcome would be.
How I Transformed Fear into Determination
In the coming weeks fear and anger crept in. I was angry because I had been told all my life that I had no restrictions and that if I needed another surgery that it would be well into my 60s; certainly not my early 30s. I went ahead and scheduled the surgery for January 2019.
I decided to change my anger and fear into determination. I did all I could in the coming weeks to prep for the surgery. Here is what worked for me:
-Exercised daily so I could be as strong as I could. Even when I didn’t want to, I made myself. I did those Jillian Michaels high impact workouts. Those were tough!
-I ate healthy
– I meditated twice a day. My nightly meditation consisted of a surgery preparation meditation. If you are ever facing surgery I highly recommend Health Journeys if you are looking for a pre-surgery meditation.
-I accepted support from friends and family about my upcoming surgery.
I’m happy to say everything went as planned with my surgery; I was able to get repair thanks to the amazing, world renowned surgeon Dr. Glower and his team.
Some things that helped during my recovery, (or as I like to describe: my “heart surgery recovery starter pack”): family and friends, a recliner, watching the Great British Baking sho, . Gatorade, wheat thins, applesauce, and going to rehabilitation appointments.
At times I would get frustrated but would overcome this by reminding myself that recovery is a process and thinking about everything I am grateful for.
The Moment I Decide to Become a Pet Photographer
These days, when I think about it, I feel that going through surgery was definitely a blessing in disguise. The thing about a major surgery or a challenge in your life is that it can give you a newfound perspective.
As I was recovering I reflected on things that made me truly happy. One of those things was that spark of joy and connection I feel when I connect with a dog that is on the other side of my lens.
There is something so meaningful to me to be able to connect soul to soul to another being in that way. When I take photographs of dogs it’s often as if they are saying: “you see me. You get me.” I knew I needed more of that in my life and so Paws Fur Joy Photography was born.
This sense of joy and connection influences everything I do in my business. With my photography I aim to celebrate your pet, give back to rescues, and support other small businesses. I believe in my heart and soul that dogs are a vehicle to heal, connect, and celebrate the important things in life. I find being a pet photographer to be meaningful, fulfilling, and fun.
I would love to learn about how your dog has helped you either connect with others, heal, or what you enjoy about them. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear all about it!
Learn more about my pet photography services HERE.