Photographer Documents Beloved Dog's Final Day on Earth
Duke, a three-legged black labrador retriever from Houston “traveled over the rainbow bridge” last week. As his beloved owner, Jordan Roberts, prepared to say goodbye to her beloved pet, she asked her friend, photographer Robyn Arouty, to take on a special project – documenting Dukey’s final day on earth before being put to sleep. Arouty, an animal lover, agreed, and their beautiful final product has gone viral thanks to features on Buzzfeed and The Daily Mail.
"Most people are so overcome with sadness when their pets get sick, so they don’t think about celebration, not to mention photographing it," Arouty tells Yahoo Shine about Roberts’s decision to document her pal’s last day. Dukey, who’s around 8, was suffering from a returning bout of cancer (he lost his leg the first time he battled the disease), and a vet had determined that the tumor was too big to remove. So Roberts prepared to say goodbye to the dog she adopted in 2011.
The two women had met and become friends through Houston’s animal rescue community. And the project was extra meaningful for Arouty, who has lost three dogs of her own in the past two years, including 16-year-old Maya, whom Arouty calls her “soul mate.” She adds, “I have learned a lot through the process of grief,” something she kept in mind while photographing Roberts and Dukey.
Above: Dukey, just before he eats a bunch of his favorite burgers. (Photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography)