Bruce, Neko & Josh / Edmonton Dog Photographer J Shantz Photography

Meet Bruce and his 2 senior dogs, Neko and Josh.  I photographed Bruce last July in is home.  Sadly his beloved Neko has just recently passed.  RIP sweet pup, it was a pleasure meeting you.

  Bruce is a wedding and portrait photographer in Edmonton.  His business is called Moments in Digital and he runs it along side is wife Sarah.  They have been photographing weddings, portraits, events, food and many other genres for over a decade.  Bruce also teaches photography classes in the Edmonton area with the Burwell School of Photography.  Be sure to check out their beautiful photography when you have a moment.   For now enjoy reading what Bruce has provided below on life with these to senior pups. 

Thanks again for including us in your personal project. Writing this today is a little difficult as we are actually preparing to say goodbye to Neko tomorrow afternoon. His health has been declining over the past few weeks and he’s having a really hard time at night. The past couple of days he’s having trouble standing on his back legs so we’ve made the tough call to let him go and put him out of his pain.

That being said, I will always remember how smart of a dog he was. From the day we brought him home as a puppy, we could tell he was pretty smart. Almost too smart for his own good. He loved to play and one of our favorite games was giving names to his different toys and having him go look for them and bring them back. At one point he knew well over 30 toys and could bring them to us just by naming them. He even had multiples of a few toys and could distinguish between two different colors. He was also very athletic. We enrolled him in agility training when he was still a puppy and the trainer was quite impressed that he was able to hold his own with breeds more commonly associated with agility including labs and German shepherds. It was actually quite humorous watching this little wiener dog navigate the obstacle course and do his best to make it over the hurdles but somehow he managed to do it.

As someone who works from home, he was always great company and we enjoyed going for long walks and hikes. Sadly old age caught up with him and he developed cognitive dysfunction syndrome over the past year (also known as dementia in humans). Sarah’s dad suffered with dementia & alzheimers for several years before he passed away & we were actually able to recognize some of the similar signs in Neko.

As for Josh, he’s always been a very resilient little dog. He began life as Sarah’s parents dog. When Sarah’s dad was dealing with dementia, Josh became the recipient of one too many treats & extra meals and ended up becoming quite overweight which lead to issues with his breathing and his joints. When Sarah’s mom passed away suddenly, we adopted Josh and he settled in quite quickly and became a good companion for Neko. At first he preferred to keep to himself but now he loves to cuddle and asks to come up on the couch when we’re watching TV. With more exercise and a stricter diet, he’s also managed to lose a lot of his excess insulation and is much more mobile and his breathing is 100% better.

He’s been a great younger brother for Neko and in recent weeks has really been keeping a close eye on him. He also sounds the poop alarm when Neko has an accident in the house.

If they could each have a superpower, I’m sure Josh would like to have opposable thumbs so he could open up the food container and help himself to food whenever he’d like. As for Neko, I’m pretty sure he wished he could have jumped higher so he could have really shown those bigger dogs how agility should be done.

This entry was posted in Personal Project.