It actually happened by chance after Shanti my soul dog came into my life. This week I turn 45 years young and I think this is a perfect time to tell you my story.

I’ve been a photographer since 2011 and worked in many photography genres such as newborn, maternity, boudoir, fashion, wedding, events, you name it. I always wanted to specialize in a specific area of photography, but I hadn’t yet found the niche that would ignite my passion and define my career as professional photographer.

About 5 years ago we adopted Shanti, her name in Sanskrit means “inner peace”, her name was chosen wisely as ‘inner peace” is what she represents to me. Let me back up and tell you a story…

My husband and I are married for 18 years now, and for at least 8 of those years, we’ve tried unsuccessfully to conceive. As you probably know infertility issues happen with many many couples and it is a very delicate situation and a suffering process to go through. Those who have been through it know how it feels and know how hard it is to talk about it.  

We’ve had gone under several fertility treatments and I’ve done IVF fertilization a couple of times too. Sometimes the fertility treatment worked and I would get pregnant, but ended up miscarrying a couple months later. It was always such a hard thing to go through, and after three miscarriages I decided I was done trying it to have a baby. My body and mind couldn’t take the pressure anymore!

Well, surprisingly a few months after I was pregnant once again. This time naturally and totally unplanned. It happened by chance, what? The Universe was on my side, and the angels had finally heard my prayers. I was happy! I was very happy! Then I was thrilled, it was a pregnancy of twin babies. Wow! Twins?! Double of the blessings, lucky me!

But the happy times didn’t less much longer, oh my, at about 14 weeks during my doctor visit I found something was wrong. They could find a heartbeat I was told. I couldn’t hear anything else the doctor said after that, as my own heart had was also skipped a beat. That was the worse day of my life. Why? Why? I asked! There was no answer why, just sadness and sorrow. At the moment of suffering, we don’t see why things, situations, or events happen to us, but if we cultivate enough self-awareness later on in life we’ll understand why things happen as they happen. 

I was in tears, I was devasted, I was sad, I was tired, I was feeling defeated, and I wanted to die.  Depression hit me hard! I had lost the will to live, I had suicidal thoughts and life didn’t made sense to me anymore! I was very depressed.

The months went by but depression and loneliness continued being a big part of my daily life.  My husband and I thought it would a great idea to have a family pet. I loved dogs and I wanted to have one, but unfortunately the condo we lived in didn’t allow pets at all. Sad!

However, a couple of months later something really awesome happened…we bought a house! And right away, we started searching for the perfect dog for our family. It wasn’t easy to find a small and hypoallergenic mix dog at local rescues and shelters, and the search to find the right dog for us took several months. Disappointments! Bureaucratic processes! Rejected applications! Scams. I was very disappointed and thought it would be best to give up on the idea of adopting a dog. I couldn’t have children and apparently, I wasn’t good enough to adopt a dog either. What a loser!  

Then Christmas 2015 came and we went to Florida for the holidays. And little did I know that I would end up finding the inner peace I was searching for years. My father-in-law, a FL resident, suggested we look for a dog there during our stay and guess what? We did it! The first time I looked at her face, I almost cried.  It was love at first sight! There she was, a cute puppy with beautiful black eyes looking back at me, ohhhh I had found my dog. I had found my Shanti!

We rented a car and drove back to New Jersey with her, it was a very long road trip. But it didn’t matter because, for her, I think I could drive back and forth to the moon. She was the cutest puppy I had ever seen! And in no time, she filled my sad heart with happiness and joy!

I was already I photographer then and I was taking a lot of pictures of my cute new puppy. I didn’t want to fill my feed with dog pictures and risking losing a few friends lol, so I decided to create an Instagram account for Shanti. I am not sure if you know that, but dog’s Instagram accounts weren’t as popular 5 years ago as it is today! Shanti was a natural model and loved being photographed by me. Every time she’d see me withholding the DSLR camera somehow, she would strike a pose and look at me almost saying “take a picture”, too funny. I laughed and clicked the photo, and that made her happy. Of course, it made me happy as well!  And she knew it, that is what she wanted for me to feel truly happy again! Getting dress up and taking pictures was a fun game for her, and it became a fun game for me too.

That’s when I started developing an interest for Pet Photography!  Because of Shanti, my life changed. She helped me get out of a major depression and she helped me find myself again, not only in my personal life and in my professional life as well. She is an angel! I am grateful for her every single day!

As you can see I didn’t choose to become a pet photographer, but rather Pet Photography choose me. I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason.  When we are going through hard times and suffering we don’t understand why those awful situations and circumstances are showing up in our lives. We think it is the end of us and there is no way out. But as time passes and we heal our wounds we finally understand the reasons why things happen as they happen and make peace with ourselves and with the Universe. 

Some things in life ​​are just meant to be or not! We all have a path to walk in our brief existence on this beautiful planet called Earth, and mine didn’t include children. I am okay with that. Totally! I really mean it. My path includes dogs, Shanti, and her sister Gaia, they didn’t come out of me nor they carry my blood but they are my kids. I love them so much. I am happy to be a dog mom and follow the path chosen by my soul in this lifetime. Gratitude for everything always!

“What dogs? These are my children, little people with fur who make my heart open a little wider.”

Oprah Winfrey

Photo credit: Keter Brogni Photography

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