Do you save photographs that you really like of your dogs? Have you put any in frames? Do you have any drawings or paintings of your dogs that you cherish? Bonus points for anyone attaching one of your favorites in a comment on this post ;)
I ask because an online dog forum buddy just sent me this drawing she did of my 3-year-old Yorkie, Jillie. I love it, and it's destined for a framed spot on the wall next to pictures she did of two other Yorkies of mine years ago.
It got me to thinking how important visual memories of my dogs are to me. I have only one framed picture of my first personal dog, Alex, a Lab. I picked him up at a shelter when he was 10 weeks old and he lived to almost 15. We literally grew up together. He was a part of all the big changes in my adult life -- moving from California to Alaska, living in a van for the first summer, hikes and other adventures, moves from one apartment to another ... If I did it, Alex was with me.
But it's always bothered me that I kept just the one picture of Alex. It's not a bad pose, but it doesn't really capture his spirit -- his silliness, his spunk or the look in his eyes that told me I was loved unconditionally. And it's only a 3 x 5 photograph. I don't even have the negative.
Anyone who knows me now knows I've gone a little overboard in the photo department. Motivated by my shortcomings with Alex, I shoot dozens of pictures of my dogs every week and have done so pretty much their entire lives. I have entire hard drives filled with pictures of my dogs, and I look through them from time to time even now. When my dogs die, I have no doubt looking at these pictures of their lives will bring me comfort for the rest of my life.
Hence the question. Are you like me? Are pictures important?