Meet Victoria, Edward and Henrietta whose company I have had the pleasure of since 16th October 2016 when I collected them from CLAW. The triplets as they affectionately came to be known were part of a litter of nine puppies dropped off at the CLAW hospital after their mother died and they needed a foster home. They were only a few days old when I brought them home.
I decided to keep a visual diary to document their progress so I could capture the memories of them growing, which they did rapidly.
Putting them on my boyfriend’s hand was a great way to measure how much they would grow and give an idea of just how tiny they were to start with.
Having never looked after brand new puppies before, the learning curve was steep. Newborn dogs are just like newborn babies, they are totally helpless and need to be fed every few hours around the clock. In between feeds they slept, and pooped, and then slept again.
Henrietta was the first puppy to open her eyes at around 2 weeks old.
Shortly followed by Victoria
And then lastly Edward
Watching these guys grow and change was as exciting for me as it was to watch my daughter develop from a newborn to a small person, but at a much faster rate. They literally got bigger by the day.
Pretty soon they started walking and playing together.
Then the fun really began.
Victoria is a very confident and naughty puppy, even at 6 weeks old, she had a cheeky glint in her eye.
Ed was always the strongest puppy (he was almost uncontrollable when he wanted his bottle of milk) and pretty soon I decided he was going to stay.
Henri is a very sweet and gentle puppy and loves to snuggle up with my elderly Daxie, Jeremy.
In all honesty I would have kept them all, but aside from the fact that eight dogs is probably a few too many (especially given that the triplets are going to be big), I would probably find myself single.
As someone who captures memories for a living, I am very aware of the impact and importance photographs have for my clients, but the triplets have really brought home the value of being able to capture the passage of time with photography. The pups literally changed before my eyes and had I not taken pictures regularly I would have missed the subtle changes such as Ed’s nose changing from pink to black and their eyes changing from blue to brown.
My studio soon became their favourite place to hang out and by hang out I mean sneak into and chew on lighting cables, unpack props and rip paper backdrops up. I suppose given that I photographed them so often that shouldn’t be a surprise!
Caring for the babies wasn’t without drama. We became very good friends with our local vet after Victoria got bitten by one of my other dogs because of an altercation involving a toilet roll tube, you’ll note the swollen eye here… and a couple of bouts of gastro.
I was away for a couple of weeks over Christmas, so there was quite a gap between photos. They had grown spectacularly in the time I was away so that they didn’t look like puppies anymore, but rather small dogs.
The puppies were 400grams each when I started fostering them and now weigh in at 10kgs each, so the transformation has been remarkable and I’m so glad I was able to capture it. This has been three months of my life that I will always treasure and remember very fondly. I’m very sad that it was over so quickly.
Given the time of year they came to me, it has been quite a struggle to find homes for them. I also think the fact that they are mixed breed dogs doesn’t work in their favour. I love mixed breed dogs and you can find out more about my campaign for them at www.adoptionistheonlyoption.com
Lucky Henrietta is going to her new forever home tomorrow which is going to be a very sad day for me, although she is going to a brilliant home. To quote The Fray, ‘Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same’. I think this will be the last photo I get to take of the three of them together so it’s rather poignant for me.
Getting them in the same order as the photo at the very top of the blog post for a proper ‘compare and contrast shot’ was challenging, but nothing Beanos couldn’t help with.
Check out my Facebook page – www.facebook.com/emmaobrienphotos and my instagram account – @emmaobrienphoto for more photos of Ed as he grows up and Victoria whilst she’s still staying with us. I suspect Ed will be the most photographed dog in Gauteng.