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The Lucky Shot: Chato's last photo shoot

Alameda, CA - January 2012

After spending the morning of New Year's Day 2012 taking pictures at the Mountain View Cemetery, I decided to get some shots of Chato (front) and Birdie in the late-afternoon sunlight. I have taken many pictures of Chato on the high Victorian front porch; he enjoyed sitting there in the sun, surveying the activity of the neighborhood. I wouldn't say it's my "best" photo of 2012, but to me it is the most precious: Chato died two weeks later (rather unexpectedly) from congestive heart failure. He was about 5 weeks shy of his 11th birthday. Although he was probably one of the most-photographed dogs in California, I consider myself lucky that I had the good sense to take these last shots of him and Birdie--so that I have images of him in 2012, shortly before he died. And I am lucky I got to spend over ten years with such a wonderfully unique friend and companion. Now, almost a year later, my grief is still very intense; I loved him so much, and I miss him every day.

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Taken on January 1, 2012