Eliot the 13-year-old English Springer Spaniel was named after the poet T.S. Eliot. Mom received him as a puppy for her 21st birthday! This photo session was all about portraits with senior dog Eliot! Pictures are a great way to have a tangible reminder of your favorite soulmate.


portrait with senior dog in riverside ca

By the way, November is adopt a senior pet month! As I noticed with Eliot, seniors make the best pets as they are:
– already potty trained
– no puppy chewing your shoes and furniture
– wiser and ready to please
– incredibly grateful for a loving home and eager to love you right back!
– what you see is what you get
– instant companions
– don’t need as much excercise

While Eliot is a lucky boy to have such a loving mom and buddy, there are always older kitties and doggies in the shelters that deserve a comfy place to lay their head for their last couple years (instead of a cold hard concrete floor). My favorite senior rescue groups are Lionel’s Legacy and Frosted Faces who simply ask for foster homes and will pay for the pet’s care. Snuggle buddy anyone?


Of course, Pascale, who is 5 years old and lives with Eliot, thought I was there just for her. She wanted all the attention! While Eliot was the main subject of the session, we of course wanted to include Pascale too.

pictures of black lab pit mix at home

Pascale was named by mom’s late husband because he thought French girl names were pretty 🙂 She was a stray in Texas that got dropped off at mom’s horse barn! She is a lab / hound / pitt mix that mom describes as a “Texas Black Dog.” Pascale wants to run wide open anywhere she can. She is a very good girl, but is protective of mom, especially when she’s walking on a leash and sees skateboards or other dogs. She wants nothing but to please mom and charm anyone that comes to visit!

I usually ask my pet photography clients to describe their dog in one color and why. Mom says Eliot is navy: deep and brooding and moody, but beautiful. Pascale is a rainbow because she’s almost always ridiculously happy and excited.

Here are some of mom’s favorite pictures from her dog photography session at home in the Inland Empire area of CA. (Mom is a writer so I wanted to show a bit of everything she loves in this portrait – her companion and her working space.)


photos of mom with dog at home

dog portraits at home with dog kissing mom

When Eliot was younger, he loved to swim and play fetch. Now that he is a senior dog, he is deaf and has mobility issues and cancer, but still manages to give kisses to his favorite person!

Speaking of mobility issues, I HIGHLY recommend the following websites for caring for an older pet:
LapOfLove.com/Education (+ Dr. Mary does great Facebook video giving tips on caring for your aging pet!)
JoySession.com/Resources (+ Facebook group: “Supporting You…”)


Mom’s desire to get pictures of her with her dogs was mostly for portraits with senior dog, Eliot (who has lived with her in FOUR different states and through all phases of her adult life) and to also give as a gift to her family for the holidays.

She shared that she has a bunch of great photos of him, but nothing recent of the two of them. Mom chose to enjoy her dog portraits from her pet photography session at home in digital form, receiving her USB drive along with a set of prints to enjoy for decades to come!

Lastly, here are two of my favorite portraits of Eliot and Mom.

picture with my older dog giving him love

picture with old dog sitting in moms lap looking up at mom

Adoration was showing through both ways in that last dog portrait! It was such a pleasure to do a pet portrait session for them at home to document the bond Eliot and mom have! I truly hope these photos bring comfort and peace in the coming months and many years later.