Poignant Photo Series Captures Raw Emotions Of Pet Owners As They Say Goodbye

The ‘Last Moments’ photo series was created by a talented photographer named Ross Taylor. When Taylor’s dear friend lost her pet, he saw the emotions that go along with losing someone so special. It’s deep and raw, and while hard to look at, it captures humans when they are most vulnerable.

Each and every photo illustrates a unique bond that pet and owner share. As heartbreaking as it is, death happens to be a big part of life. The photo series was captured from 2017-2018 in Florida while an at-home pet euthanasia service, called Lap of Love, was being used. The service allows pets to pass away peacefully while in their home instead of a sterile vet office.

Although they’re heartbreaking to look at, the photos are also beautiful. To know a bond can go so deep and be so pure is what makes dogs and humans so very special to one another. We’re including the photos with their captions above them.

Bob Zahn touches his dog, Spencer, a final time, just moments after the dog passed. His wife, Leigh, left the room immediately, as it was too much for her to take. “She’s going to take it harder maybe than the loss of her parents. Your parents can tell you when something is wrong, but your dog can’t.” He sighed. “She’ll be a mess, today, tomorrow and the next few weeks. She loved him.”

 

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Bob Zahn touches his dog, Spencer, a final time, just moments after the dog passed. His wife, Leigh, left the room immediately, as it was too much for her to take. “She’s going to take it harder maybe than the loss of her parents. Your parents can tell you when something is wrong, but your dog can’t.” He sighed. “She’ll be a mess, today, tomorrow and the next few weeks. She loved him.” • “Last Moments,” is a photo essay that explores the intimacy of the human-animal bond – specifically, the last moments before, and after, the passing of a pet at home with their owner. It is a somber, and intense, testimony to the bond and the pain that comes when it is broken. • This series examines the intense connection shared between people and their pets. The decision to have at-home pet euthanasia is part of an emerging trend (to have end of life care in the home, instead of in a clinic). Nationally, tens of thousands of pet owners go through this painful experience each year. • It's important for people going through this to know they're not alone in their grief, and that it's not to be taken lightly. #love #pets #lastmoments

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“I tried to do more, I tried to do all I can. But they said there’s nothing more I can do,” Kiara Manrique said while weeping at the loss of her dog. At left is her sister, Kimberly, and veterinarian Nil Wilkins (unseen) who later reached out to comfort her.

 

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“I tried to do more, I tried to do all I can. But they said there’s nothing more I can do,” Kiara Manrique said while weeping at the loss of her dog. At left is her sister, Kimberly, and veterinarian Nil Wilkins (unseen) who later reached out to comfort her. • “Last Moments,” is a photo essay that explores the intimacy of the human-animal bond – specifically, the last moments before, and after, the passing of a pet at home with their owner. It is a somber, and intense, testimony to the bond and the pain that comes when it is broken. • This series looks at the intense connection shared between people and their pets. The decision to have at-home pet euthanasia is part of an emerging trend (to have end of life care in the home, instead of in a clinic). Nationally, scores of pet owners go through this painful experience each year. It’s important to note the immense care and compassion that the veterinarian community demonstrates towards the families going through this. • It's also important for people going through this to know they're not alone in their grief, and importantly, that their grief is not to be taken lightly. #love #pets #lastmoments •

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Marquita Leibe paced back and forth shortly before bending down to be near her dog, Daisy, minutes before she is put to sleep. At right is her husband, Donald. Shortly after, he stepped outside to compose himself, overwhelmed with grief.

 

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Marquita Leibe paced back and forth shortly before bending down to be near her dog, Daisy, minutes before she is put to sleep. At right is her husband, Donald. Shortly after, he stepped outside to compose himself, overwhelmed with grief. • “Last Moments,” is a photo essay that explores the intimacy of the human-animal bond – specifically, the last moments before, and after, the passing of a pet at home with their owner. It is a somber, and intense, testimony to the bond and the pain that comes when it is broken. • This series looks at the intense connection shared between people and their pets. The decision to have at-home pet euthanasia is part of an emerging trend (to have end of life care in the home, instead of in a clinic). Nationally, scores of pet owners go through this painful experience each year. It’s important to note the immense care and compassion that the veterinarian community demonstrates towards the families going through this. • It's also important for people going through this to know they're not alone in their grief, and importantly, that their grief is not to be taken lightly. #love #pets #lastmoments •

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“I always felt safe with him,” said Juliet Rubio as she laid by her dog, Dingo, who is 12. “I hate this, I hate this,” she said over and over again before the passing of Dingo. “He’s given me so much comfort.” As he started to die she cried over him saying over and over, “I love you, I love you. Soon, you’re going to be free again.”

 

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“I always felt safe with him,” said Juliet Rubio as she laid by her dog, Dingo, who is 12. “I hate this, I hate this,” she said over and over again before the passing of Dingo. “He’s given me so much comfort.” As he started to die she cried over him saying over and over, “I love you, I love you. Soon, you’re going to be free again.” • “Last Moments,” is a photo essay that explores the intimacy of the human-animal bond – specifically, the last moments before, and after, the passing of a pet at home with their owner. It is a somber, and intense, testimony to the bond and the pain that comes when it is broken. • This series looks at the intense connection shared between people and their pets. The decision to have at-home pet euthanasia is part of an emerging trend (to have end of life care in the home, instead of in a clinic). Nationally, scores of pet owners go through this painful experience each year. It’s important to note the immense care and compassion that the veterinarian community demonstrates towards the families going through this. • It's also important for people going through this to know they're not alone in their grief, and importantly, that their grief is not to be taken lightly. #love #pets #lastmoments •

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Wendy Lehr met Dr. Erica Unz with tears in her eyes. As they settled into the living room, thunder boomed outside. A heavy rain pattered against the roof. Mimosa, center, didn’t move and Wendy Lehr notices it. “She’s normally scared of it.” After awhile, Erica Unz asked if they’re ready.“I don’t know if we’ll ever be ready, but I guess it’s time,” she said before starting to openly sob. It was one of the hardest cases I’ve witnessed and brought me to tears immediately. I felt so sad for them.

 

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Wendy Lehr met Dr. Erica Unz with tears in her eyes. As they settled into the living room, thunder boomed outside. A heavy rain pattered against the roof. Mimosa, center, didn’t move and Wendy Lehr notices it. “She’s normally scared of it.” After awhile, Erica Unz asked if they’re ready. “I don’t know if we’ll ever be ready, but I guess it’s time," she said before starting to openly sob. It was one of the hardest cases I've witnessed and brought me to tears immediately. I felt so sad for them. • Today will be my last day posting on the project, "Last Moments". Thanks for everyone who has reached out along the way, it's meant a lot to me. • “Last Moments,” is a photo essay that explores the intimacy of the human-animal bond – specifically, the last moments before, and after, the passing of a pet at home with their owner. It is a somber, and intense, testimony to the bond and the pain that comes when it is broken. • This series looks at the intense connection shared between people and their pets. The decision to have at-home pet euthanasia is part of an emerging trend (to have end of life care in the home, instead of in a clinic). Nationally, scores of pet owners go through this painful experience each year. It’s important to note the immense care and compassion that the veterinarian community demonstrates towards the families going through this. • It's also important for people going through this to know they're not alone in their grief, and importantly, that their grief is not to be taken lightly. #love #pets #lastmoments •

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“It’s tough saying goodbye,” said Carrie Peterson after she dropped sunflowers over the grave of her dog, Asia. The smell of freshly turned earth is what I remember, and how peaceful Asia looked within it.

 

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“It’s tough saying goodbye,” said Carrie Peterson after she dropped sunflowers over the grave of her dog, Asia. The smell of freshly turned earth is what I remember, and how peaceful Asia looked within it. This is the final post of the “Last Moments” series here on Instagram. I’ll be working to complete a feature-length film on the topic this year, thanks largely with help from @lukerafferty. • There are not enough words which can convey how much this project has impacted me. Life can be profoundly difficult, and for many, our pets are a respite from the challenges of life. I can not possibly thank Dr. Dani McVety, the veterinarians and staff at Lap of Love and the folks over at Caring Pathways enough for trusting me. • Importantly, I also thank all of the families who have let me into their lives. This couldn’t be done without them. Thank you all so much. • “Last Moments,” is a photo essay that explores the intimacy of the human-animal bond – specifically, the last moments before, and after, the passing of a pet at home with their owner. It is a somber, and intense, testimony to the bond and the pain that comes when it is broken. • This series looks at the intense connection shared between people and their pets. The decision to have at-home pet euthanasia is part of an emerging trend (to have end of life care in the home, instead of in a clinic). Nationally, scores of pet owners go through this painful experience each year. It’s important to note the immense care and compassion that the veterinarian community demonstrates towards the families going through this. • It's also important for people going through this to know they're not alone in their grief, and importantly, that their grief is not to be taken lightly. #love #pets #lastmoments •

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“I hoped I could give him a magic pill to make him better,” Gary Clay said of his dog, Woody, under his breath as his dog slipped away.“Good boy Woody, good boy. I’m going to miss you.” 

 

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"I hoped I could give him a magic pill to make him better,” Gary Clay said of his dog, Woody, under his breath as his dog slipped away. "Good boy Woody, good boy. I’m going to miss you." • “Last Moments,” is a photo essay that explores the intimacy of the human-animal bond – specifically, the last moments before, and after, the passing of a pet at home with their owner. It is a somber, and intense, testimony to the bond and the pain that comes when it is broken. • This series examines the intense connection shared between people and their pets. The decision to have at-home pet euthanasia is part of an emerging trend (to have end of life care in the home, instead of in a clinic). Nationally, tens of thousands of pet owners go through this painful experience each year. • It's important for people going through this to know they're not alone in their grief, and that it's not to be taken lightly. #love #pets #lastmoments

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Ross Taylor touches on a topic that most of us shy away from for many, many reasons. We wish our pets could live forever. While that’s not possible, the memories we shared with them are eternal. Thank you, Mr. Taylor, for sharing these private moments with us.

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