Skip to content
Shep the Maremma sheepdog in Kamloops, British Columbia

The beginning of a podcast

This is not the beginning of a journey.

The first steps were taken more than a year ago.

When I started to see more than one-third of my professional pet photography clients coming to me for end-of-life sessions, I wanted to become a better service provider for them.

I’ve experienced the grief of losing my boy. Shep was the most marvelous being in my life for 10 years and although I saw the signs of him aging, he left me more suddenly than I expected.

I didn’t really understand, though, what anticipatory grief is and how many pet parents endure the agony of a sudden diagnosis or a progressing disease.

I decided to read everything about anticipatory grief and pet loss grief that I could find. 

I wanted to be a more compassionate, more sympathetic shoulder to my clients during their session, all the while creating beautiful, epic images of them and their dogs to comfort them in the time after their best fur friends cross the Rainbow Bridge.

Worlds collided

Then my mom died.

This past January, my mother – Catherine Anne MacIsaac – had a series of massive strokes and collapsed on the floor of my childhood home in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. My eldest brother found her and rushed her to the hospital.

There, she laid for two days, unconscious and unresponsive, until she finally slipped away.

Not only did I feel a renewed purpose to understand grief and how we heal from it – how I could heal from my grief – but I also needed to apply that knowledge to my pet photography business.

But not just my own pet photography business.

How could we – pet photographers – as an industry become better service providers to our clients.

The answer came on a hike

Hiking with Bella, my 8-year-old Maremma sheepdog, is my escape from the world. We climb hills, traverse forested trails and dip our toes into mountainous lakes. 

It’s a time of freedom and I give myself permission to not think.

Bella at the Rocks of Sharon

That’s when my brain opens up to creative ideas.

It was on a hike to the Rocks of Sharon in Spokane Valley, Washington, that One Last Network was born. 

I thought, “There’s so much to understand about grief and healing and … I should start a podcast.”

With my background in journalism, I knew I could find the right people to talk to. 

I knew I could open space for pet guardians to understand the grief over losing their dog, cat, horse, goat, pig or chicken is normal.

I couldn’t do it alone.

A little help from my friends

The pet photography industry is worldwide. I have amazing friends I’ve never met in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Massachusetts, Texas, California, Alberta, New Brunswick and more.

I called on the best content creators I know and pitched the idea of contributing to a podcast centered around connecting pet guardians to the support and services they may need as their pets age and ultimately cross the Rainbow Bridge.

You will be hearing from:

Darlene Woodward of Pant the Town Photography, Georgetown, Massachusetts

Marika Moffitt of Soul Dog Creative in Seattle

Courtney Bryson of CM Bryson Photography in Atlanta

Jessica Wasik of Bark & Gold Photography in Pittsburgh

Nicole Hrustyk of Pawtraits by Nicole in Las Vegas

Kylee Doyle of Kylee Doyle Photography in Sacramento

They will be interviewing pet people in their communities for the podcast and helping to get us all better informed about the ways we can care for our aging pets and handle the grief we experience as they age and then leave us.

Certifiably …

Insane? My husband would agree.

As my career should be winding down, I’m ramping it up instead. After more than a decade in journalism then another decade-plus in marketing and communications, I should be seeing the twilight of my working days.

My pet photography business, however, is too soul-fulfilling and now my mission to normalize pet loss grief and grief in general feels too important.

So important that I am now a certified grief coach under the mentorship of Cathy Cheshire, renowned grief expert, and creating my own pet loss grief coach certification for pet photographers.

My founding members will all be trained to better understand the emotions our clients are feeling and to comfort and support them on their grief journey.

My own training and learning continues every day so I can pass that knowledge onto other pet photographers and teach them to be the best possible.

Join the journey

My founding members and I hope you’ll take steps with us on our journey – whether you’re a pet owner in the happy years of health and fun or taking the painful path of anticipatory grief now. 

There’s much to learn, much to understand.

In the coming episodes, we’ll be talking to:

  • Kait Dinunzio, of Calgary, Alberta, a change management expert who guided her own household through the loss of not only their family dog but also her own father
  • Donna Wilson, of Edmonton, Alberta, a nursing research specialist who recently released a study on humor and grief
  • Laura Latini, of Pittsburgh, who runs a rescue dedicated to senior dogs
  • Laura Blomer, of Unionville, Pennsylvania, a pet psychic and animal communicator

Each of the founding members to hear their stories and why they do what they do

There is no subject we are afraid to explore. 

If you have ideas for a podcast episode or would like to share your own story of grief and pet loss, please drop me an email at angela@onelastnetwork.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *