Minneapolis + St Paul Pet Photography Blog

remembering killian

Laurie is awesome. She was one of my first pet studio clients, is one of my biggest fans, and a wonderful person. When she called me last week to get some shots of her and her Newfoundland, Killian, one last time, I of course said yes. Killian has been with Laurie for the past 12 years. She’s helped her through multiple moves, jobs and boyfriends. She was a companion, friend, so much more than a pet….. Laurie put it beautifully when said that Killi has been her “way of life.” It’s so true. When your dog is your family, you plan your day around her. You choose apartments to live in and restaurants to frequent that accommodate you both. She’s there when you get up in the morning, when you get home from work…..She becomes your way of life.

Killian had been having some health problems off and on over this past year, and just recently started to go downhill fast. Going outside one night, she collapsed. The emergency vet diagnosed her with severe hip dysplasia, arthritis and diabetes.

I photographed and sat with Laurie and Killi for a couple of hours right before her vet appointment to be put down. I got some great images of the two of them together, really feeling the love they have for each other. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and Killian got to lay out and see a few of her friends that morning. Laurie has always wanted bright blue skies for photos of Killian, and that day we had a perfect sky.

I sat down with Killi while Laurie brought her car around with another friend to help at the vet. The whole time she was gone, all Killi did was look for Laurie. She couldn’t get up, but she really wanted to go after her, to be with her person. We helped get Killi in the car, exchanged hugs and tears, and she was off to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

I cried more over Killian than I have over any of my own pets who have passed on. There’s just something about her giant, gentle soul that touches you. I still tear up going through these photos, and I’m so grateful to have been a part of her life.

Had to get one of the two of us together….

I went back through the archives and found some favorites from past sessions with Killian. These studio shots are back in 2008 when I was still figuring out what I was doing  :)

This was our second shoot, on what seemed like the coldest day ever. I love how Killi would grab her leash to walk herself…

These are from last summer, on Killian’s “date” with her boyfriend, Archer. They totally loved each other.

Goodbye, sweet girl. I hope we will see you again some day.

Thank you to the wonderful people at Lake Harriet Veterinary for caring for Killian and helping Laurie through this difficult time.


Hi! I'm Sarah, but feel free to call me Sarah Beth. I've been a professional photographer for over 17 years, and I've been an animal lover and an artist my entire life. Read More . . .


Sarah Ernhart
Sarah Beth Photography

2205 California St. NE, Suite 101
Minneapolis, MN 55418