Goodbye is the Hardest Word. Ever. | Rochester NY Photographer

So…if you read my blog at all you must know that I love being happy.  I’m perpetually optimistic (to a fault) and I LOVE the people in my life.  No matter what.  I like talking about my clients and sharing details from the things that we do here at the studio…but rarely do I share all the boring stuff or the hard stuff.

Today it’s the hard stuff.  I debated whether or not to even write this entry — I mean…how can I even come CLOSE to sharing something so personal and so hard with all of you…but I came to the conclusion that if your even here reading this — then you either…like me…know me…or want to know more about me.  And Lulu is a very very big part of my life.  For eleven years.

I lost my best friend yesterday.  It was quick and unexpected — even though I could see age taking it’s toll — I still clung to the belief that she would be part of my life forever.  Those of you who have pets or anyone or anything super important in your world know exactly what I am saying.   You know it’s coming — but you’ll willingly cling to the last scrap of time together no matter how hard or how much effort it takes.

I used to be (haha.  that’s a joke.  I still am.) afraid of relationships.  Of commitment.  Of making a CHOICE and having to stick to it forever.  I didn’t want to be tied down with a pet…I felt like it was not the greatest decision I made…

But then I met Lulu.

Those of you who met her will know that Lulu has (forgive.  I still cannot speak in past tense.  not yet) the most amazing personality.  She was happy to see me no matter how long I was gone…5 minutes or 5 days.  She missed me.  And I missed her.

Losing her is so terribly painful.

But I also want to tell you that the pain I am feeling is small compared to the amount of joy that dog has given me over the years.  She’s listened to me.  She’s snuggled me when I was upset and growled at me when I wanted to play.  She made me laugh  And I am going to miss her so much.

So…here are just a few of the amazing things that I love about my dog.


1.  Her aversion to peanut butter.  She never could understand:  was it a liquid?  was it a solid?  She made the funniest “peanut butter face”.  OMG.

2.  Floppy Tongue.  Floppy tongue came out when she was happiest.  When the people who loved her were around her and paying attention to how fabulous she was and rubbed her belly.  This is a RARE photograph my son snapped of my puppy and me and floppy tongue.

3.  Swimming Dog.  She’s a lab right?  She loves loves water.  And swimming.  And shaking it all off on whomever is closest.



4. Her smile.  Lulu always smiled.  Unless I was going somewhere and not taking her.  Her smile sometimes got me through the day.

5.  She loved me no matter what.  If I was grumpy, unshowered, weird, tired, sad, happy.  Her devotion never waivered.  Nor did mine.



I know she’s not in pain anymore.  I know she loves me.  And I know that in knowing her — I am a completely better, calmer and happier person than I would have been.  And…it really really hit home to me how incredibly important photographs are today.  These photographs…some of them are OLD.  All of them are PRECIOUS.  Because I can’t get her back again.  But I can carry her in my heart and remember.

So … I don’t want you to be sad for me.  I’m soooo lucky to have had such an amazing dog in my life.  I just wanted you to know I’m sad.  And I miss my puppy.

Love you Luleelu.  You’re SUCH a good girl.


xo Tam


Posted byTammy Swales

15 thoughts on “Goodbye is the Hardest Word. Ever. | Rochester NY Photographer”

  1. Beautiful, Tammy. Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life. This tribute to Lulu is amazing. RIP Lulu, and my thoughts are with you Tammy. <3

  2. Oh Tammy, I’m so sorry for your loss! I know how loyal and loving dogs are, and what a big part they play in their humans’ lives. I’ve never been a dog person but I’m definitely a Myla person – better yet, I’m Myla’s person. My puppy gives me so much joy I can’t even imagine life without her even though I hope not to have to think about it for another 15 years at least. Hang in there, hugs!

  3. Beautiful, Tammy! I am so sorry for your loss. You did a great job describing her, I almost feel like I know her now. The photos are precious and priceless!

  4. Thank you for sharing that, Tammy. I am so sorry for your loss, but know what you mean about having had the time with a pet being so worth any pain at the loss. We nearly lost my Buddy a couple months ago and not a day goes by that I don’t say “Thank you so much, Buddy, for surviving. My thoughts are with you.

  5. Thank you for sharing with us. It is so sad when we loose what we love & which we find comfort in….. I had a special cat who was this to me…. It’s been 2 years and I still grieve him and miss him terribly. It’s one of those once in a lifetime relationships and yes, we have to remember all the joy & love, because if we think about the loss. the grief. I’m afraid this would be way too overwhelming they wouldn’t be there to help us through it… I’m so glad you have these wonderful pictures…. There will be days when you Lulu is not here…..those are hard….. I hope your remembrances of the devotion of Lulu will get you through it……. Hugs to you……

  6. Even though its never long enough, I am so glad you and Lulu had eleven great years together! My thoughts are with you!

  7. Tammy…..we are so sad for you….losing your precious pup LuLu….our wonderful dog Rufie has terminal cancer…he is the best ever!!! We are sucking up every single nano-sec we have while he is still here with us. We wrap out hearts around you. Your beautiful heart-felt images of Lulu had us in tears…..

  8. Oh, Tammy, so very, very sorry…I know how hard it is to let go of a beloved pet/friend – my thoughts are with you – hugs!

  9. I had to let my cat Spike go last year, he was 18. He was with me longer than any person has been….I miss him and just want to say, “Meow meow” to Spike.

  10. oh tammy, i’m so sorry. i’ve lost a pet, too, and it is devastating. i had the same reaction of being so grateful for all the pictures i’d taken of the furball. i’m thinking of you.

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