I met Brooke and her Bernese Mountain Dog Greta after her friends organised them a Ragamuffin Pet Photography Gift Voucher for Brooke's birthday (at her request). Brooke knew right from the get go that she wanted an urban pet photography session. Luckily Melbourne is just overflowing with awesome photography locations, so we spent a couple of hours exploring some of the best. Read on for Brooke and Greta's story . . .
All she had ever wanted was a dog.
She begged her parents every year. At her fourth birthday, the answer was no. The answer was no on the Christmas when she turned 8. She was officially a teenager, but the answer was still no. Sweet Sixteen, but no puppy. 18 - no, 19 - no, 20 - no.
Her 21st Birthday was coming up, and as per usual she put in her doggy request. But this time, the answer was "Well, what sort of dog do you think you might like?"
Do you reckon she had to be asked twice? Brooke had been preparing for this answer for the past 17 years. She compiled a full dossier file on the Bernese Mountain Dog, and researched registered breeders until she found Felicity from Bernation Kennels (who is the founding member of the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Victoria and the current Rescue Officer for the club).
She waited, brimming with anticipation, for six months for her baby to be born. Finally, after 17 years & six months Brooke met Greta. They have been inseparable ever since.
"I decided to ask for the Rolls Royce of dogs - a Bernese Mountain Dog!" ~ Brooke
Tragedy struck when Greta was only six months old.
She was hit by a car and both her front and back legs were broken. Brooke was devastated. Lesser people might have given up on Greta, but not Brooke. She simply did what she had to do to save her family. She carried her baby girl to the toilet for four months and didn't leave her side. She spent almost half of her annual wage on Greta's recovery.
21 years old, poor and she couldn't go anywhere without her dog. Greta even came to work. She was bound to living in a cage while her legs healed (and never did grow very big as a result). But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I am sure the trials of their first year together played an important role in the amazing bond these two ladies share. Greta would do anything for Brooke - and obviously, Brooke feels the exact same way.
"Greta is the reason that I get out of bed in the morning. She has been by my side through some hard times and she is my very best friend." ~ Brooke
Greta is now almost 10 years old. Brooke nearly lost her again last year - this time to Pyometra. Pyometra is an infection of the womb - a common disease in unneutered female dogs. Fortunately, Greta recovered after a full hysterectomy and she is now back to her gorgeous, healthy self.
"She is Crazy, Needy, Smoochy, Precious . . . Idiotic!"
When I first met Greta, she was chilling out by the graffiti on Hosier Lane, cool as a cucumber just watching the busy world walk by. She's a beautiful girl (we had crowds of people stopping just to say hello) but it's her funny personality that made me fall in love. This girl goes from melting in a cuddly heap right in the middle of a bustling street, to rolling around like a puppy (tongue lolling and big feet sticking out at all angles) all within 15 minutes. We had so much fun exploring the city together! Scroll down through the photographs to see some of my favourites from our afternoon - be sure to let me know your favourite photo by leaving comment below.
Brooke and Greta - thank you so much for such an entertaining afternoon. The love that you two share is the kind that inspires me - if more pet owners were as dedicated, responsible, loving and unselfish as Brooke then the rescues and shelters wouldn't have to exist. Greta is such an awesome, hilarious, gorgeous girl and I can see why you both adore each other! Can't wait to see your stunning canvas prints up on the wall!
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